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Downloads Home » Scenarios » Lord of the Rings in the Third Age - Battle of Azanulbizar

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Lord of the Rings in the Third Age - Battle of Azanulbizar

Author File Description
BlackRose
File Details
Ruleset: AoW: SM - TS Standard Rules
Map Size: L
Levels: 2
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: No
PBEM/Hotseat?: No
Multiplayer Online?: No
# of Wizards: 4
# of players: 1
Skill Level: Expert
Password Protected: No
Surface Minimap:
Cavern Minimap:
Experience Moria and the Lands surrounding Khazad-Dum in never before seen detail! Experience the wrath of the Dwarves who have had their King slain by hands of foul Orcs! Enter a portion of Tolkien’s world in never before seen beauty. Experience a map that is diabolically difficult! Take Command, Stand Fast and Prepare yourself for The Lord of the Rings in the Third Age – Battle of Azanulbizar!

Nearly 70 Heroes Most with never before seen portraits and descriptions!
Nearly 400 Scripted Events to sharply craft and challenge your playing ability!
Play in Tolkien’s world as it was over 200 years before the War of the Ring!
Play in an Environment that has been meticulously crafted to really put you in one of Tolkien’s most mysterious and breathtaking locations!
Another Historical representation of Wars and Battles set within Tolkien’s Middle Earth brought to you by BlackRose!

Continuing the standard set forth by the Lord of the Rings in the Third Age v1.3 and beyond!

This map is only playable using the Mod Pack released with the Lord of the Rings in the Third Age v1.3.
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Celeborn
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
You've done it once again! Another great addition to your personal library =) I am glad I got the chance to enjoy it!

Playability: 4
Hard category to rank, it is single player and judging by my roomate's experience it will unfold differently every time you play. Nonetheless I don't think it has the same replay value as your 'War of the Ring' map. Truthfully I'd give it a 4.5 and judging on the criteria of other maps i'd give it a 5. But this is compared to your other map.

Balance: 5
This map may be harder than your other! It was very difficult and I am not all the way through it yet but I think I have things in hand. The persistant attacks from the surface keep the pressure going, and, of course the major assaults that come from that way (I won't spoil) were fantastic.

Creativity: 5
I've seen some new 'special effects' on this map and I really like them. Myself I enjoyed the constant piel of thunder on the surface and very much enjoyed the gatehouse event and the other similar one that happened later! Once again you incorporated a Historical Tolkien encounter and made it a delight to play, great work!

Map Design: 5
I loved it, in theory i could dock points because some of the areas, although detailed, dont really have anything happening. But that is the history, you managed to make those areas worth exploring however without destroying the balance and history. Major bonus for the fact that the underground looks like underground but it isnt the slightest bit boring. Another fine map.

Story/Instructions: 5
Again, brilliant. It is a different flavour that your other map. The detailed message at the begining lets the player understand the ramifications and the events surrounding your being there and why you're there. You went a step up with your descriptions of the orcs but stayed true to form with your descriptions of the Dwarves. I think I have found what your doing. In the case of historical charecters you keep the descriptions factual, however this time you invented a number of Orcish heroes and your descriptions were brilliant. There is a slight error here as one, (only one) of the dwarvish heroes you made was actually slain in the Sack of Erebor -- Thrain's Brother =) Still I found it amazing that you did all your research and incorporated all the dwarven folk that would have been alive at the time. Not incorporating Fili and Kili but having Dis was a treat for the LoTR fan =)

Additional Comments: Another great map, if I was not comparing it to your other I'd give it straight fives. You truly have a talent for this blend of Tolkien and AoW2, simply amazing!
A Former Lurker
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Hello hello again! Well we are back to review and rate your latest as promised! I've just been staring at the rating screen for a number of minutes trying to figure out what category warrents a 4. Myself I dont think this one deserves the ace marks that your LotR map did but I cant seem to find a category that I would give you a 4 in! This is another amazing map that although it was a L map seems like it will play longer than many XL maps =) My goodness Blackrose where do you find the time/energy for these creations? Fab work, once again. I've made my choice and all fives it is, I cant do it another way, you really deserve it so it is yours =) I'm delivering you some more bonus points on the Mod again and ofc all the new portraits for the Orcs and Dwarves (especially the Orcs!).

Playability: 5
I couldnt dock points for only having one playable side, that is just the way it goes, it's just to damn fun =) You randomize a number of the events (ie reinforcements etc) so that it will play differently each time. However the the proggression of you army is relatively linear. Still I've been playing this one long into the night.

Balance: 5
You said very hard and you delivered (again)!

Creativity: 5
Some things less some things more! I too really enjoyed the new descriptions on the Orc heroes and the general game story via signs as you advanced. I really got into the the fact that I was in the sacred Moria! You seem to be incorporating FX into your maps now and the addition is grand! Another great installment.

Map Design: 5
Simplicity interwoven with great complexity. Interesting effects and I actually preffered the terrain over your LoTR map. You've made significant improvements to your terrain overall and it shows immediatly.

Story/Instructions: 5
Again seamless, not too much and not too little. Are you a writer? I loved your descriptions and once again I'll plug the signs.

Additional Comments: Well i can only echo my roomie when we say wow, you've done it again! Great work, and once again check your email! We sent more detailed feedback and some suggestions about your first map early this week!

C.W.S.

PS M (Celeborn) told me that none of the events that transpire in this map will not take place in the book although some of the characters will make appearences. You've got me so hooked into this stuff that I read ahead into the Apendix to get the whole story (seems like you incorporated most of it!) Wow, wow, double wow!
camelrider hi. just opened your scenario. i'd love to know how i get the text-square up on top, rather than in the casual "showmessage"space, crammed into the gui in the bottom!
one thing about the opening scene though - i would never request that much reading from a player - i'd shorten that text down to only what is critical. and personally i prefer starting with less powerful troops. =)
cheers
camelrider bringin' feedback
BlackRose
File Author
Hey CM. Simply cut and paste the script from AoW:WT Editor to the AoWSM Editor. Supposedly it can make things unstable so I can only say that placing at the begining works for sure, I dont know about the rest.

About the startting units. As this is a Historical Scenerio I was bound by certain things, ie a Army marching towards Azanulbizar. That army, if you're highly skilled wont get you to Moria's Gates, let alone much farther :) I know its a bit of a different start but give it a shot :) It should be quite a challenge.

[Edited on 03/15/04 @ 01:45 PM]

Galahad_2nd
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
The one weakness of the War of the Rings map is fixed here. The number of units, though still high, is much more manageable. The action keeps going.

Balance: 5
Perfect! The dwarves have a challenge with fighting the hordes of Level 1 units and the occasional high-level hero, and doing so under a time limit which is imposed by running out of gold -- without the benefit of monks or high priests until late in the game. But the challenges are never impossible or frustrating ones. The important thing is for the player to level up his heroes as quickly as possible when fighting the low-level enemies.

Creativity: 5
The use of events is very good. The map has four original ideas that make this map quite different from any other:
a. The tactical feel, of being a detailed map of a relatively small area and of production and resource management taking a back seat to combat
b. Having high starting gold and mana and high expenses, but little income, to put a time pressure on the player
c. The strategic situation of attacking a fortress on the inside of a siege, while maintining outer defenses to hold off enemies on the outside who are trying to relieve the siege
and
d. A campaign of sorts within a single map -- fighting three enemy wizards but only one at at time, and each of the three battles being quite different in nature.

Map Design: 5
As with BlackRose's previous Lord of the Rings map, there is a vast amount of work, and demonstration of an excellent knowledge of Tolkien as well as of AoW mechanics. Very impressive.

Story/Instructions: 5
The messages, signs, and events do a great job of telling the story. Also, I'm very impressed that it weaves a lot of Tolkien lore into a new story. (See below) Tolkien fans can learn about new less, familiar parts and characters of Middle Earth.

Additional Comments:
First, I'd to provide more description, for people who haven't played it yet but who know LOTR well and want to know more of what this map is about. This map is really three different battles, one after the other. All are on a detailed map of a small section of Middle Earth, only Moria and the immediately surrounding areas. The first battle is against the orc/goblin leader Azog on the surface outside the east gate of Moria. This part is faithfully following Appendix A, Part III of Lord of the Rings. In the book, though, the dwarves decided not to enter Moria to face the Balrog. They fought some battles with the new leader Bolg through various parts of the Misty Mountains, and Bolg was killed in the events of "The Hobbit". In the book, Balin and a few other dwarves eventually re-entered Moria years later, and provide the dead bodies seen by the Fellowship. (That was in 2989-2994 Third Age -- the Balrog had come in 1980 T.A, the Battle of Azanulbizar was 2799 TA, and the Fellowship came to Moria in 3019 TA.) But in this map, the second battle (against Bolg) is a "What-if" scenario of the united Dwarf army invading Moria just after Azog is slain outside the gate. It is not according to the story, but is reasonable and was discussed as an option by the dwarf leaders. The Balrog is still asleep during this invasion, though. The third and final part is a further "what-if" escalation of the war -- the Balrog awakening after the Dwarves have reclaimed the main city of Khazad-dum, and Sauron sending armies from Dol Guldur to force the dwarves out of Moria and help the Balrog; and Elrond, Galadriel, and Rohan sending aid to the dwarves to fight Sauron.

This makes a more interesting and more challenging map than trying to follow the main plot of Lord of the Rings. After all, the War of the Rings was basically just a diversion so that Frodo could sneak into Mordor to cast the Rings into the crack of doom. All the struggles of Frodo, Sam, and Gollum which are so central to the story are way outside of the AoW game system. Not to say that a War of the Rings map isn't fun, but it isn't really the Lord of the Rings story after all. The Battle of Azanulzibar is a different story that makes an exciting game but still deeply steeped in Tolkien.
Webusver Great map!

[Edited on 08/23/04 @ 01:41 AM]

BlackRose
File Author
Thanks for the strong reviews guys :) I had a bit more creative liscense with this one which i thouroughly took advantage of :) When I did LoTR 1.3 I felt I needed to stay as true to things as possible, however in hindsight I would have toned down the units and removed 'Ressurect Hero' but se la viet :) Galahad, again thank you for the strong reviews, as the resident LoTR map maker for AoW your reviews are very appreciated, i'm thrilled you held Azanulbizar in as high regard as I did :) Thank you as well Webusver for your top marks !
The_Stranger
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Although I prefer the Lord of the Rings map because of its epic scale, this is probably the better scenario. That means it's about perfect. The enemy still attacks in droves, but they arrive on cues rather than wandering about: a very nice change by the author. The same great mod is also used, with a variety of unique units and spells, which give every race a distinct feel.

As I played, I had one reoccuring question about the mod: why do stone trolls get hurl firebomb? But possibly that's because a horde of them killed Elrond's sons and I'm still feeling resentful....

The map is nicely spread out and crafted with a great deal of forethought as to how the player will be able to deal with his foe's numerically superior forces. The spells given are useful but not unbalancing, and I enjoy the fact that some useful spells and units can be found in various spots around the map.

On another note, the ending (killing the Balrog) was made a bit melodramatic by the fact that the arena chap spawned one several times and ordered me to kill it, which I dutifully did, albeit with boar riders and not heroes....Of course, I could have sold my shrines if this really bothered me ;-)

Events are handled masterfully and there are quite a few pleasant surprises scattered across the map. This is definitely a world that I want to explore all of, regardless of whether it's part of the mission or not. Things were seldom where I expected them to be.

Triggers are skillfully handled and give the map an authentic feel. The conditions that need to be met drive the plot without being repititious or mundane. I should also add that the author writes well, not only in his narrative but also in his speeches/dialogue. The suspense feels genuine while avoiding the typical fantasy cliches.

To the author: you did a tremendous job here. This scenario was easy to play but hard enough to win. Thank you again for sharing you work with the community.

dan3438
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
(Insert Playability analysis here)

Balance: 5
(Insert Balance analysis here)

Creativity: 4
(Insert Creativity analysis here)

Map Design: 5
(Insert Map Design analysis here)

Story/Instructions: 5
(Insert Story/Instructions analysis here)

Additional Comments:

New to this community here but going to write a review. Heck of a job. I've read all the Tolkien books and the attention to detail is astounding. The only reason i gave the Creativity a 4 is because Tolkien is the one who actually wrote the stuff ;)

Good job and i'm going to go try out your second map.
BlackRose
File Author
petis if you could justify or explain your review i'd appreciate it.
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HGDL v0.7.1

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Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability4.4
Balance4.9
Creativity4.5
Map Design4.5
Story/Instructions4.8
Statistics
Downloads:7,858
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:811.74 KB
Added:02/26/04
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