Age of Wonders II Heaven Julia with Gameplay background
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Downloads Home » Scenarios » Wintergarden b/w Forest of Forking Paths

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Wintergarden b/w Forest of Forking Paths

Author File Description
King David
File Details
Ruleset: AoW2: TWT - TS Standard Rules
Map Size: M
Levels: 2
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: No
PBEM/Hotseat?: Yes
Multiplayer Online?: No
# of Wizards: 4
# of players: 4
Skill Level: Any (depends on AI difficulty setting)
Password Protected: No
This is my newest addition to the AOW2 library. It is a 4 player free-for-all, but could probably be played as 2 vs 2, and SP for all skill levels (might be a good map for less-advanced sp players).

I would like to thank greenmonster and Swolte for taking their time to look over and comment on the map. Their suggestions were all taken into account, and I hope to one day be able to return the favor. Thanks again to both.

The Story:

Wintergarden. Why, the very mention of the name is enough to summon the most nostalgic looks of longing from he or she who does that name hear. What creature old enough to remember the good ole days did not share the dream of owning a cannon forged from the furnaces of Wintergarden's infamous Ironworks, the very same ironworks that led to the city's strategic designation as the Seat of Governance of All The Land? The Wizards who ruled there did so under the guise of benevolence even as they ordered their finely-crafted weapons of destruction turned against those who would their policies question. Wintergarden. The name brought longing to the eyes, and an icy chill to the blood.

And then the revolt. Who does not remember the revolt? Why, it seems that one is not born without knowing of the revolt. And to think that it came from within, from the very craftsmen who toiled daily in the furnaces of the Ironworks and not from some rival Wizard!!! From those exploited laborers common to all civilizations that have reached a pinnacle of growth and development and in so doing have crafted the very mecanisms by which they shall fall! The Revolt was swift and the Wizard did fall, sent to the void eternally. The Wintergarden Ironworks Syndicate established a new order in town, building the finest cannons possible to protect the City and its people, allowing no leader to emerge as governor, defending their trade and promoting their craftmanship under the motto, "No Wizard, No !
And so does Wintergarden stand today.

But climates are harsh and resources scarce, and four Wizards with personal agendas have set their sights on making their own this place of legend, and of submitting the Land once again to the practice of magic. He who should achieve this feat would become very powerful indeed!

Four are the Wizards who would submit their troops to battle and place the fate of their Nations at stake in the pursuit of claiming soverign control of Wintergarden:

Anakof of the Elves:

The Archons, a people who place the highest regard in diplomacy and conflict prevention, lost faith in their leader Anakof when he failed to establish dialogue in the labor dispute between the Wintergarden Ironworkerss Syndicate and the Governing Wizard of the City. Talk of Anakof's ineffectiveness as Leader dominated social circles and facing a motion of censureship in the Archon High Court, he resigned. Still, Anakof has a history of being a decent diplomat and is a practicioner of Life Magic, and the Elves were only too happy to invite him to replace Julia, who to them was but a pale reminder of their former leader, Inioch. Anakof hopes to justify himself to his former people by leading the Elves to Dominance in The Land, and thus regain the respect he once commanded among the forces of Good.

Bockwit of the Halflings:

Bockwit rose to power among the Halflings the hard way; he was born the son of a common ships oarsman, raised by indifferent aunts and uncles in a house of little motivation, and sent off to learn the skill of crafting wine casks at an age too young to care and too old to pursue a more lucrative trade. He spent his days dreaming of grandeur and his nights plotting an escape. This he found in the very means of his newly-learned trade. He enclosed himself in a barrel and was shipped off to ports afar. During his voyage, he fabricated a new identity and presented himself as the forgotten son of a great and secretive Wizard. The halfwit populat!
ion beli
eved him, or didn't care not to, and eventually he himself sat at the throne of the Halfling Nation. Now, he plans to expand that nation through a quest for adventure that shall only be fulfilled upon the conquering of Wintergarden.

Mirlo of the Dark Elves:

Long ago, the Dark Elves rose to greatness under the tutelage of their revered leader
Meandor, who embodied the spirit of the disenfranchised and unified a vision of darkness through the practice of death magic, the primary objective of which was vengeance against the naming of his half-sister Julia to the Elven throne. The Dark Elves thus built their empire on the ashes of the Lesser Elves and so did prosper until the death of Meandor. After his death, the Dark Elf empire passed into a period of decadence, sparked by the unconvincing rule of their newly chosen but somewhat benign ruler Arachna, who was later replaced by a fool named Meando, a simple flake who purported to be the secret son of Meandor and Arachna both. His story belongs to a different chapter in history, but the fact that the Dark Elves followed him demonstrates the sorry level to which their civilization had in short time fallen. Now, they have a new leader, Mirlo, who was chosen quickly in the hope of giving closure to this humiliating chapter in Dark Elf history. The population does not truly believe in Mirlo's capabilities, but Mirlo is at peace with his own mind and soul, and has confident plans to restore to greatness the Dark Elf civilization. He has sat for 40 days at the tomb of Meandor and has begun to read the very same books that to the former Wizard himself gave knowledge. At Wintergarden, he hopes to prove himself a capable and cunning leader, and in so doing bring hope once again to the Dark Elf Nation.

Lord Bane of the Orcs

The Orcs have decided to make a stand at Wintergarden, which they see as a testing ground for their new strategies of Dominion of All The Land. For this, they have recurred to the past, and have sought out t!
he once
reknowned Warlord, Lord Bane, to guide them. Lord Bane rose to greatness as a practioner of Death Magic and then, in the space of one night, disappeared. There were rumours that he had fallen victim to his own evil spells, and others that spoke of his capture by Horse Lords, and others still that said he had reincarnated himself as a foot soldier in order to get more blood on his hands. But rumours are but whispers distorted by winds and subjective tounges, and the truth is that Lord Bane had become bored with the practice of Death, and ventured forth into the earth to study ways in which to harness the power of Fire, a sphere capable of inflicting pain far greater than that of mere death rays and pestilence. In the very pits of Hell the Orcs found Lord Bane studying, and convinced him to lead them in converting the Land to Fire, and the Races to Ash. This he plans to do, and he sees taking control of cannon production at the Wintergarden Ironworks as a logical place to begin building his new Empire.

Yet there is another legend, much more mysterious, repeated by many but told only by a few remaining elders who in their youth may have visited the place before the earth shook and the entrances were closed off as if by some decree of the Spirit of Nature herself. It is the legend of the Forest of Forking Paths and it is told that this forest has no end and that within it lie cities lost to time and nodes of magic and places of wealth fantastic, and that he or she who would be successful in returning to the Forest of Forking Paths and show not indecision when determination is required, should gain a power much greater than those who once inhabited Wintergarden ever dared to dream.

It is also rumored that no one shall gain entrance to the Forest of Forking paths whilst control of Wintergarden remains in the hands of those who stoke the fires of that city's legendary Ironworks.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Luticus Our gaming group just finished playing an online 2v2 match of Wintergarden/Forest of Forking Paths, and we had a great time. King David gets top marks for his creative and lovely use of terrain, and for some neat event scripting. It was the most tense game of AoW2 any of us have played to date, and really challenged us.

There was a dramatic showdown at Wintergarden early in the game, which resulted in the city getting razed and the northern allies in retreat. The focus then shifted underground, where the combination of much forest, many stealth units, and very limited visibilty for units with True Seeing made for an incredibly tense mid- and endgame.

I would be curious to hear King David's balancing rationale. The map seems pretty well-balanced, but in some areas I'm not sure -- for instance, I think the underground wizard-tower cities might work better as neutrals, since they seem to afford advantage to the Dark Elf and Elf players.

All in all, and excellent map, and one sure to get further play from our group. So far, Wintergarden and A River Ran Through It are our top picks from among the maps we've downloaded from AoW2 Heaven.

Great work King David!
Map Design5.0
Playability: 4
(Insert Playability analysis here)

Balance: 4
(Insert Balance analysis here)

Creativity: 5
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Map Design: 5
(Insert Map Design analysis here)

Story/Instructions: 4
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Additional Comments:
Very nice map, starts small with no tower, requires a good bit of common sence. Works well with pbem.
Map Design5.0
Playability: 5

Balance: 5

Creativity: 5

Map Design: 5

Story/Instructions: 5

Additional Comments:
Really outstanding map. Nice work.

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