Posted on 12/13/06 @ 02:22 AM (updated 10/04/07
It was a tale of twins born to Archon priests - Aramil and Irasmus. As years passed by and both men attained proficiency in the arts of priesthood, the urge to explore the unknown overcame them. They practised beyond the simple act of resurrecting the dead and wanted to improve it to heal the victims and restore them to an age younger than at which they died. When their parents died, they decided to try out their new-found skills on them in an attempt to live with them longer. While Aramil's magic worked to perfection in bringing their mother back alive and young, Irasmus failed miserably - bringing back a shadow of his father without his soul. Seeing her husband turned to Undead, their mother consumed herself in the holy pyres again. This led to a bitter fall-out between the brothers and being blamed for their parents' death and shunned from Archon society for suspicion of practising the Black Arts, Irasmus vowed to exact revenge on all things Holy. Thus were born the Orders of the White and Black Knights - epitomes of Good and Evil and destined to hunt and fight each other to death. In the recent years, these Orders have waned almost to extinction but as with all things past, the legend of these Orders still holds a pull for young men and the Knights still roam - born of cruel rituals to strip away all emotions save the burning hatred of the opposite Order.
||AoW: SM - Unofficial Patch 1.4
|Co-Op vs. AI?:
|# of Wizards:
|# of players:
With the Orders' strength in numbers waning, both Aramil and Irasmus decided to explore new lands in search of impressionable recruits. By a quirk of fate or a result of the twin-birth or a play of the very gods they worship, they both have chosen the once-rich lands of Barre to set up the new Temple for their Order to attract followers. Unknown to them, though, there was a bigger power active in these lands that decided to twist the futures of these twins in its own perverted way. Sealing all the exits out of the lands through powerful magic, the twin mages have been tasked with a unique quest of survival...
Their individual Generals have been teleported underground, to an area designed by The Lord of Chaos for its own enjoyment. A massive maze in design, it is home to a number of monsters and unique artifacts left behind by previous adventurers upon their death. The rules of the maze are very simple - fight to survive while earning experience points for killing monsters and exploring structures. Everytime any one faction accumulates 1000 experience points, the mage on the surface will receive random reinforcements. Without these reinforcements, the mages can train only the lowest level of units...for what can a mage train in the arts of war when his General is not there to oversee it?
Rules of the Game, Tips, etc...
- Conceptually based on a game called Dragonshard, the game plays as such: you gain experience points for dungeon crawling and this will reward your wizard on the surface with troops.
- The first 1000 points are crucial as it will reinforce your wizard's forces with a boat (essential for movement to the mainland and start exploring)
- Each structure assigns experience points on conquering it. The list is as follows and different xp are for weak/average/strong guard settings:
Node: 100/150/200 xp
Magic Vault: 150/250/350 xp
Ancient Ruin: 100/150/200 xp (supplemented by 1 minotaurs)
Crypt: 100/150/200 xp (supplemented by 1 spectres)
Camp: 50/100/150 xp
Rainbow's End: 150/250/350 xp (supplemented by 1 leprechaun)
Magic Relay: 100/200/300 xp (default guards will be supplemented with a Chaos Lord)
Chaos Node: 100/200/300 xp (default guards will be supplemented with a Chaos Lord)
Town: 250 xp
Gold Structure: 100/150/200 xp
Watchtower: 50/100/150 xp
The Unnamed Kingdom: 1000 xp
Lair: 200/350/500 xp (supplemented by 2 flyers)
Seeing Waters: 50 xp
- The above experience points are granted on flagging a structure ( everytime!). Exploration structures give exp points only to those who explore it first.
- The key to this map is your recruiting strategy - dominate, seduce, resurrect, control animal, trap...don't get your initial necros and saints killed soon is all I can say! There are some powerful artifacts available too, so heroes will also play a major part.
- Each faction will continuously receive reinforcements (minor!) in the underground once every 5 turns after turn 30, near their starting positions.
- Important: City Growth is disabled, so choose wisely the units to build.
- The only free heroes available are neutral heroes.
Recommended Settings: Surrender, Build Outposts, City Growth, Shrines disabled!
Update: 10/04: Fixed a bug with Aramil's spawns not occuring when the 3000 xp mark was reached. Corrected Aramil's starting xp setting to 0 instead of 950 as it was before.
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I played as single player and it was still fun just for the dungeon crawl and seeing what one got.
I played as single player, so I don't have a real strong basis to rate this however, it looks like it would be good.
Dungeon was fun.
Map Design: 4
Good map. For single player, it would work better if the AI was not on an island. They don't handle that well.
Early background was good, but not much during the game itself.
It's an endless fun to play this scenario. The dungeon's worth playing several times and it won't bore you.
The map is perfectly great for multiplayer. I'm sorry but there's indeed no fun at all playing this map in SP. AI can not handle this new kind of playing concept.
Gameset is well balanced too though not identical. Archons have great advantage with Cardinal but the Soceresses of the Undead are also awesome with the paralyzing magic bolts.
Advantage may go to Archons if they can manage to revive lv4 units :)
On the other hand, Undead can have mana node right at the first day when it cost Archon two days to make it. In the underground they also can have two gold structures in the first day and they are on their way to other structures.
It's the first scenario ever made using this experience-point-system in AowSM. It brings a new fresh breath into multiplaying games. I'm sure will see a lot of new duo in the near future with this map. :)
Map Design: 5
The map is well designed with diversity and creativity. Archons have some disavantage though with all the forests get in the way of hunting treasures. This however is just a minor one.
Story is fine and inspired :)
The archons underground troop is relatively slower than undead's one. It's not about speed but the setting of structures and starting spot is somehow a disadvantage to them. I'm playing both race and just find that Archon is relatively slower than Undead.
Another point, on the undead side (underground), there's a good chance they can revive and sphinx (if there's one in pyramid ruins) by the Cardinal. Well, Cardinal, Sphinx with drainwill from Necromancer and chaolords (in nodes) and Reapers (scrypts) are all around they can have fearless armies in no time. And chances for a Sphinx to randomly appear in the pyramid ruin is high when default guard is set to 'Strong'.
I still wonder if the Cardinal who is placed to be hired on undead's side can be overbalanced to Necromancer on Archon's side, a socerress would be more proper IMO.
ps: IMO, in the UPatch 1.5, Cardinal should be definitely set to be lv4 :)