Here is the story outline:
"Alliance of Elves, Dwarves and Humans had defeated the Dark Lord, but the Evil is too deeply rooted in the heart of the Dark Domain. The new Dark Lord is about to rise, and not every leader of the old Alliance is prepared to trust the others."
1. The environment of "Return" is full of surprises - even in solitary play it pays to be as careful as if you were playing against a human.
2. Balanced play means it is hard to achieve a decisive advantage too quickly. On the other hand you will have also a safety net if a disaster strikes. Therefore don't despair & reload; concentrate on creating YOUR OWN story.
3. Old Duke is for a veteran player: biggest potential, but encircled by enemies. Serena offers a quiet play with long development time OR a ruthless battle of annihilation early on. New Apprentice can head a drive against the Dark Lord OR can expand underground while containing the hords of the evil warriors. Finally the Dark Lord is the protagonist here; his position allows arguably the best strategic flexibility, with a couple of special resources as well.
4. AI is set to "aggessive".
5. You can not build Teleportation Gates (it is a Medium map, after all) and Sanctuaries (to exclude top-level units for play balance reasons) in this scenario. Also a few settlements are restricted in terms of growth.
6. I recommend to use "allied victory" - in my view it is not fun to wipe out your minor allies after you get rid of the major threats. But this is a matter of taste. ;)
Many of my heroes are based of the art of Mr Lockwood; I use this opportunity to offer my gratitude to him.
I would highly appreciate your questions, feed-back and sharing with me the feelings you experienced while playing this scenario.