Posted on 02/21/06 @ 12:59 AM (updated 02/22/06
THE RETURN OF MEAT PUPPET: I haven't contributed a scenario in months, a lot has happened and to be honest I got frustrated with the scenario editor. But I'm back with a new creation that I hope you will like.
SCENARIO DESIGN: This scenario was designed using RON Thrones & Patriots scenario editor with custom scripting and custom sounds for special events and effects.
CUSTOM SOUNDS: Custom sounds include track35.wav, drums.wav, fallback.wav and Advance.wav. You must put these sounds in the same folder as the scenario to play them. The sounds add some great ambience, so you should make sure you keep them and play them.
SITUATION:In the year 1066, William of Normandy invaded England. King Harold of England fought off a Viking invasion in the north and raced south to London while William took his time plundering southeastern England. Harold reinforced his army of Housecarls (household warriors) and Fyrdsmen (men at arms and mostly peasants) until he had gathered a force about 8000 strong. Marching south, he surprised William by taking Telham Hill and cutting William off from London. Harold held a good defensive position, occupying a steep hill with his flanks anchored by two impassable marshes. William recalled his forces, which had been scattered pillaging the countryside, and marched directly to attack--now it was Harold's turn to be surprised.
The day of the battle, in October, two armies of roughly equal size but very different characteristics faced each other. If Harold lost, he could lose a kingdom--if William lost, he would certainly die with all his men, since the English Navy had just cut off his retreat back to France. The English Army consisted of about 2000-2500 Housecarls--Harold's household army, bred and raised for a life of war--and about 5000-6000 Fyrdsmen, many of them peasants with homemade arms and armor. The French Army consisted mostly of Normans but also included an army of Britanny, another region of France, and another from Anjou and Maine (Flemish army).
The English Army consisted almost entirely of foot soldiers. The knights rode to battle and dismounted and fought on foot, which was their custom. The French walked their horses to the battle, and mounted to fight on horseback.
The English Housecarls formed up to create a wall of interlocking shields, very good for defense. The English also had virtually no archers, while the French had a small vanguard of archers. During the battle, the French fired arrows at the shield wall, with few English casualties. Then they started to fire their arrows high into the air, which fell straight down on the English and caused many casualties, finally helping to break the shield wall.
Unfortunately for the French, they ran out of arrows. In a typical middle ages battle, the archers fired arrows at each other. When they ran out, they simply picked up the enemy's arrows off the ground, firing them back, and so on so that both armies were supplied until the end of the battle. But the English fired no arrows, so the French eventually ran out.
William's strategy was to attack in successive waves--first archers, then infantry, then cavalry. He almost lost, but then his archers fired into the air, killing many Housecarls, and breaking the shield wall. Some of his knights broke through and killed Harold among his personal guard. Soon after, the English broke, but the Housecarls stayed and fought to the end.
The rest is history ... William became king of England.
SCENARIO: When the game starts, your army is facing the English army across the battlefield. Your goal is to kill enough English to drive them off the field and finally force them to quit. All of the forces displayed roughly approximate the historical forces that faced each other in October 1066. Through maneuvering your archers, infantry and cavalry you must keep the initiative and pressure on the English, wearing down their elite units and forcing their other troops to retreat, as the battles lines dissolve into a general melee strung out across the battlefield.
SPECIAL COMMANDS: You get a special menu toolbar on the lefthand side of the screen, allowing you to group control major elements of your army and also your allied armies, the Flemish (purple) and the Britannians (cyan). The toolbar commands are set up to approximate William's strategy of successively attacking with archers, then infantry, then cavalry to wear down the English and break their army.
1 - advance archers
3 - advance infantry
5 - advance cavalry
Once you advance a force, you are then given the option to recall it, which causes that group of soldiers to retreat a short distance. Example, after advancing infantry, you see:
1 - advance archers
5 - advance cavalry
4 - recall infantry
These commands will allow you to control your army pretty easily, and respond to any English moves quickly.
* The Housecarls start in shield wall formation. They will never break and will fight to the last man. While in the shield wall, they get great defensive combat bonuses. However, if you kill enough of them, the shield wall will disintegrate and they will counterattack--which may surprise you, but they will lose their defensive bonus.
* You can only attack with infantry OR cavalry at one time. If you advance your infantry to engage and then want to advance your cavalry, you must first recall your infantry. This is both more realistic and fitting with William's strategy. However, note that your units may get hung up on each other, so you may have to do a little shifting. Try to create lanes so that forces in the rear can get through.
Of course, once you withdraw your cavalry and advance your infantry, for example, you can then scoop up your blue cavalry and send them in too. This is perfectly legal, but you will basically no longer be playing this scenario as it was designed. To play this scenario as it was intended, you can tweak your withdrawn troops to create lanes so other troops in the rear can get through, and to defend themselves in case the English pursued them, but otherwise they're supposed to be left alone.
* This game uses a morale system. If a given group of units loses enough soldiers, usually 50%, they will retreat. After they retreat, they may rally and come back. If your (blue) troops retreat, you can send them back but you should allow them to complete their retreat.
* Enemy pikemen and solduri (English Fyrdsmen and men at arms) may rally once they reach their camp and return to fight. If you knock them down another 50% in strength, they will retreat again and stay out of the game.
STRATEGY: In the real battle, William committed his archers, infantry and cavalry in successive waves to wear down the English. You should definitely start by trying to punch holes in the English line with your archers or at least take out a few Housecarls. The English may counterattack, though, so be ready to commit your infantry or cavalry. When I play-tested this scenario, I found myself switching off between the infantry and cavalry depending on how much of my forces had bled off due to morale losses. Basically, the only real strategy you have, since you can't flank, is to try to break open the center to crack the Housecarls and then successively beat off the counterattacks by the waves of Fyrdsmen. If you can take out King Harold, you should do it. If King Harold dies, the English Army will collapse much more easily. Otherwise, you may get a very close game or even trounced.
TINY GLITCH: You may notice that a small collection of characters begins to form in various parts of the map, such as a supply wagon, a caravan, a scholar, a citizen, etc. These units show up as various parts of the armies begin to rout. These are "markers" that are being used in the morale function. Just ignore them and leave them alone.
THANKS FOR PLAYING: This scenario has a bit of everything in it. Historical accuracy, lots of eye candy, interesting mix of forces, a solid opponent in a good defensive position, and the possibility of tactics. It's also got morale functionality, advanced command control functionality, and sound effects.
Enjoy! If you like this scenario, come back and give me a good review. If you don't, tell me what you don't like so I can improve it. I play-tested it as much as I could, but everybody's game experience will vary.
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(Ihe tool bar is easy to use after you get the hang of it, and the game progresses at good pace. Note, might be frustrating to some if they are unfamilar w/Age military tactics coupled w/how to use toolbar)
(Both sides evenly matched,no clear advantage observed for either side, other than Hill, you have to work to win, I like that, no storming the gates, here)
(Good Story to recreate, ain't to fond of the King stuff,but history is history, and it appears you covered it well, more importantly, you positioned unit's and forced player to tactics for time period, excellent)
Map Design: 5
(Great view, time warp me, not going to knock the lack of structures, but, would have liked to see a few farms and some farm animals or put more units on the map,e.g., spread them out. I know script writing makes this a pain, for your scnario style,but you would have knocked my socks off, if you had about 200 units per army,you had the space...map was just fantastic)
(You went to so much trouble detailing the battle and storyline(which was great), but, I found out how to use your toolbar by playing one of your old S-"Custer" by experimenting)
PS-Took a licking at First, but really enjoyed Custer Scenario also, Yeah, green, about a month now.
At first glance the scenario looks as if it will be impossible to control all of the units efficiently. However, due to the addition of the "special tool bar," it is great fun to pretend to be the general advancing and withdrawing troop types at will. Only problem...this is RoN and not Medieval/Rome: Total War. Therefore the seemingly endless tactical possibilities one has in those games unfortunately do not transfer over to RoN. The scenario turns a bit mechanical in the latter stages if one understands basic Medieval tactics due to the limited commands.
The Battle of Hastings pitted an extremely tired Saxon army under Harold, many of which were recalled once again from their farms during the harvest season when they were realeased from service mere weeks before William landed. Cavalry were not the sole reason why William won the battle (historically speaking), and this is well translated in the scenario; something that could have easily been overlooked. The only thing I would have liked to have seen different (although I may have just missed it, and it indeed it was already there), was a more sluggish Saxon army by perhaps decreasing all of their units' speed.
The varied models for infantry and cavalry were a nice touch, as well as the smoldering towns, presumably due to Norman pillaging. The custom sounds were also enjoyable. I'd actually like to give creativty a 4.5 but I obviously cannot. I just cannot bring myself to give a 5 when the scenario is historically based and technically an "unoriginal" idea.
Map Design: 5
It does not get much better than this folks. I was in Battle (the actual site of the battle, not Hastings) about a month ago, and it is true to form. The hill and the impassable marshes are still there. Again, placing the small villages on both sides of the map was a great touch.
Perfectly explained and put forth to the player. Those who do not know anything about the Battle of Hastings except that it was important and happened in 1066 will have no problem getting the full effect of the scenario.
I honestly did not have much problem winning this scenario but it was EXTREMELY fun. I downloaded most of your earlier scenarios and am looking forward to playing them soon. This is certainly one of my new favorite created scenarios. Excellent job. I believe somebody else suggested the possibility of a Battle of Stamford Bridge scenario?. I would be extremely interested in seeing you come up with something for that using a similar custom tool bar. How about having the infamous Viking berserker holding off the entire Saxon army on the bridge to begin the battle? Don't forget to give a major reduction in armor to the Viking army since they didn't suit up for the battle because they figured Harold would just surrender without a fight due to their numerically superior forces (if I correctly recall, that is). Or maybe adding an element that would give the Vikings their armor by having some supply wagons reach them, signifying the arrival of the armor. This would then give them a massive upgrade in the armor and morale departments, but if Harold is able to defeat/route the Vikings fast enough, they will have no substantial effect. I have no idea how you would do that though. Cheers.
(I personally would prefer a little more variety and ability to manuever troops. Your command structure does work as advertised though.)
(Looks like the battle could go either way. The armies seem well matched.)
(Your scenarios are always guaranteed to be original, well thought out and interesting.)
Map Design: 5
(Nice map. Not cluttered with a lot of unnecessary units or structures.)
(You go to extreme lengths in documenting your scenarios which adds to the understanding and enjoyment of them.)
Additional Comments: As much work as there is in this I hate to give it less than all 5's, but the push button control takes some of the play out of it for me. You do excellent work and have obviously been missed.