(updated 08/01/09) Age of Wonders II Heaven :: BNW3: The Last Dwarf V1c
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BNW3: The Last Dwarf V1c

Author File Description
Roger the Rampant
File Details
Ruleset: AoW: SM - Unofficial Patch 1.4
Map Size: XL
Levels: 3
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: No
PBEM/Hotseat?: No
Multiplayer Online?: No
# of Wizards: 2
# of players: 1
Skill Level: Advanced
Password Protected: No
FOR THIS LATEST VERSION OF THE MAP (1c) TO RUN YOU NEED TO HAVE SELECTED BNW 3.2 IN AoWSMSetup.

Please note that this map was designed for BNW 3.2, i.e. Brave New World mod (for the uninitiated). You also need Upatch 1.4 installed. All your scouting stacks (except Kuma No Tsume) are likely to be killed if you leave them where they are, so keep moving! Thanks to Kirky Picardo for such a brilliant mod, and hopefully this map will help you enjoy his work of art to the full.

If you're looking for an easy beginners map, this may not be the best map for you. Although you can change your race and/or spheres, it is designed for you to play as dwarves. Also you will find that if you fight the initial battles over the first few days in Fast Combat, you will probably lose. Even in Tactical Combat they will be tough. But - just for an example - one blood cannon in a tower, using Tactical Combat, CAN kill two warlords, or a kharagh, or even a ghost dragon, with a bit of luck. So good luck!


"Dad, I saw a Halfwing today"
"A Halfling?"
"Yes, a Halfwing, down by the old druid circle"
"No son, you must have been mistaken, there have been no Halflings in this shire for over a year..."
"It was!"
"and those pesky druids were kicked out at the same time!"
"He had a sling thingy, Dad, and a sanctimonious look on his face. He was nearly as short as those bearded smelly dwarfy things, but not as ugly"
"You're getting confused, son, it's the Archons that are the sanctimonious ones. Halflings are the greedy ones. Anyway, all the goody two shoes races have been expelled from this shire. The Archons stepped into the shire wars, supposedly to save everyone from evil, but they were routed by the Undead in the Battle of Jacob's Creek. Fat lot of good the Archons did, despite their high and mighty claims. Two great undead generals, Semillon and Chardonnay, flattened three quarters of the Archon army in one day. Then an enormous comet smashed into the shire, which by coincidence completely obliterated the archon lands, leaving nothing more than piles of earth and some craters, which soon filled up with a strangely colourless water. The surviving Archons simply grabbed their prayer books and fled. After that there was little that the Archon warmage Lambrusco could do, and he just faded away into the night"
"This was a halfwing, just down the bottom of our garden, next to the druid circle"
"I don't think so, son"
"It was!"

So who was right, the father or the son? Well, in a way they were both right. There had been a Halfling straggler at the bottom of the garden, hoping to find some druids. Yet evil did reign supreme in this shire, as Dad had said, following the vanquishing of the good races. Shadow demons ruled the shadow world. The surface was shared by Undead, Orcs, Dark Elves and Morlocks, stumbling along in an uneasy truce.

Little was known about what was underground, as it was ruled by gangs of bandits, mainly ex-army characters that had become unemployed once peace returned. Unable to find lucrative employment, they had turned instead to crime. Few people ventured underground - those that did tended not to return!

Over in the northwestern area of the shire was a major area of wasteland, inhabited mainly by the Undead. A band of renegade dwarves had been conducting guerilla warfare there, under the leadership of a wily old guitar-playing dwarf lookalike, Arcie, and they had just convinced a Nomad encampment on the edge of the wasteland to lend them their assistance. This had brought a swift response, and their destruction was imminent, barring something short of a miracle. They've "Got Him Under Pressure", but will he "Give It Up"?

Apart from that, all that was left was a small dwarven mining community, that the evil races didn't even realise was there, buried away in a remote mountain enclave. As soon as they heard of the evil invasion they had collapsed all underground entrances, and started to fortify. Even so, the evil armies had razed any underground dwarf cities they could discover and killed all the dwarves they could find, leaving only when they believed all the miners to be dead. Things looked bleak, all that was left was the old warrior Thor Bloodfist, and a couple of dutiful moles. He had no money for a war, so his few remaining miners were searching out their old shields and axes.

Also the fact that the comet had just eradicated the Archon settlement, and nothing else, seemed to be a little bit too much of a coincidence to some people. Rumours abounded concerning the possible involvement of Beelzebub, or even the Spirit of War, who had both had various run-ins with the Archons over the years. It was also noted that, unlike previous comets that had been reported in the shire over the eons, this one had a peculiar cloud, which was in the shape of a mushroom, and visitors to the crater had subsequently suffered from various ailments, including sickness, diarrhea, blistering of the skin, inflammation, exhaustion, dehydration, hair loss, ulcers, vomiting blood, a bleeding mouth or nose, even premature aging.

However, the infections and other strange symptoms of the strange comet were not the only afflictions to occur. Ever since the strike had occurred, more and more people had found themselves attacked by huge, lizard like creatures which were soon dubbed as the Basilisk from legend. Something akin to a cross between a lizard and a snake, these creatures could spit a deadly ray and had a strange taste for scouting dwarves, orcs and the undead. They had at first been seen only around the site of the impact, but were regularly being found further and further away. They seemed not to have any desire to attack livestock or any kind of natural prey, but never seemed to come very close to the villages, either. Only brave scouts dare travel now, but they must keep their wits about them, or they will become fodder for these strange creatures. They act almost as if they have intelligence far beyond that of a mere beast.

This had excited the scientific community greatly, although to most people it just looked like a big hole in the ground with earth piled up around it, and within a year it was attracting respected scientific visitors from other shires. In particular two Human scientists, Walter Muller and Hans Geiger, were regular visitors to the zone. It seemed, however, that the small band of estranged scientists that had tagged along or avoided the proficient pair had little idea what the true infection in the water could do; so few people had thought much of the change. On the very same day of the Halfling's shock arrival within the child's garden, a ravaged human wandered into the dwarf territory. Like a wild creature he babbled and screamed nonsense, waving about what looked on first glance to be nothing more than a bundle of tattered pages.

When he was driven with hard rocks and rotten fruit, the pages were left lying on the muddy floor. When inspected, it was discovered that the pages of thin, damaged paper were in fact the diary of the very same scientist. The name was scrawled across the front in a slanting hand, 'Simlin Froyd', and the same writing was inside. At first there was nothing but technical putter, excited writings of the amazing changes and the horrific - yet amazing - diseases and infections that those who visited the land suffered. They seemed to have been poisoned by the blanket of dirt and invisible, heavy dust that the comet had created across the holes and water. Yet there was one extract that laid a heavy, deep running fear into the hearts of every creature that heard. It seemed the basilisks were not of a true, natural formation.

"As I watched from my usual post, today my sights were on that of one of the smaller pools of strange, utterly clear water. It sat in one of the smaller, ash-surrounded craters, the pool unstirred by any natural force. In front of my own eyes, a creature, nothing more than one of the normal orange salamanders that traverse these parts, scurried up the side of the crater. As it lowered its head and drank, I waited; the perfect test subject! The results from this will be astounding, I am sure now, to wait, and to watch"
The next part of the entry was written in a sharper scrawl, as if Simlin was remembering every second, causing his quill hand to shake.
"Such terror I have never felt before. The creature turned but, before it could even take any step, it began to shake. Such a squeal I did not think a creature could make, especially not a reptile of such size. Yet it did; a squeal of pure, intense pain and utter, utter terror. I daren't think what happened to the poor creature's mind. Yet that is not the matter. As I stood, the salamander screamed and began to bulge, swelling as if it was filling with liquid, but this was no liquid. It was pure muscle. This creature grew and transformed in front of my eyes until it towered over me like a mammoth! Such a horrific sight I have never seen. An extra pair of legs expanded from it's side, and horrific spikes emerged all along it's back, protruding, deadly, into the air! It's eyes were such a ghastly yellow, as if acid ran through it's veins. As the eyes of this beast met mine, there was a flash as if a very beam of light had come from it's eyes. I couldn't move, my limbs stiff, my notepad fell. Oh, my brave, brave comrade he attacked, dear Richard attacked and the once-salamander devoured him in front of my eyes. His gruesome attack was still underway when I managed to unlock my limbs and away. I feel sickened at heart and at stomach. This place is finally getting to me, but people must know, people the dark races I cannot think, my mind it's going fuzzy, I must tell"

The ink was spattered over the rest of the page, and the last few pages were blank. The fear has never before run so high within our world, and yet so many of the races think nothing of this place of dirt and disease. The scientists will work away, but what the eminent scientists had not yet realised was that the impact of the comet had also done enormous damage to the integrity and structure of the shire. Obviously people had noticed that at various points along rivers and lakes, a hole had opened up and water was pouring down those holes at an enormous rate. They didn't necessarily realise that some of the holes continued down through the caverns and even the shadow world, and that their contaminated water was effectively leaking out across the universe.

The scientists are becoming more and more reclusive, and no one dares get near the crater any more. Not that anyone cares, but still the scientists attack any who dares get near. Someone swore, as they returned in bloodied clothing, the only survivor in a band who attempted to get close; they swore that one of them screamed, "Where is my DIARY?!"

Unknown to the populace, the mushroom cloud from the comet, and the subsequent seismic ripples that it caused, were also visible to other worlds that happened to have a telescope. So the Asymmetrical Regional Seismic Expansive Horizontally Outward Luminous Energy (or ARSEHOLE, for short) was actually attracting the attention of intelligent beings from other solar systems and galaxies, too. As we all know, it's not healthy to have people from another planet taking a close interest in your ARSEHOLE! There are interesting times ahead - if you and the shire can survive long enough to see what unfolds!

Good luck! :-)


[Mapmaker notes follow, mainly for mapmaking nerds:]

I shy away from the "control freak" school of thought followed my some mapmakers, where every town has restricted building capabilities, you cannot change your starting race or magical spheres, or the map is password protected for the sake of some egotistical power trip. However, having said that, I have introduced SOME restrictions on this map, mainly because it is an XL map. You can still change your race or magical spheres, but changing your race will make some tasks much harder to achieve (for example, hopping over the mountains to capture a node), so I would recommend sticking to dwarves - up to you though, you still have the choice!

Also most towns cannot build a wizard tower, but there are a lot of magic relays throughout all three levels. I did this for two main reasons. Firstly, as Jean Luc said in the BNW3 thread at aow2.heavengames.com (http://aow.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=33,5246,,20) it makes magic relays more valuable. Secondly, when I played a new XL map recently (Earthquake) I found it quite boring that the AI built wizard towers in so many cities. You should have enough of a challenge taking out the three main enemy wizard towers in this scenario, without needing any more. I found the one in the shadow world particularly tough when I was playtesting.

I have deliberately gone around reducing the income from a lot of towns, by surrounding them with swamp or other such impediments, simply because most XL custom maps I download seem to give me far too much in the way of resources. Also a lot of your scouting stacks are being chased by tough indies that are likely to raze any structures you take, or recapture them before you have time to migrate them.

Another thing that I have tried to avoid is having a linear story line, as to be perfectly frank I tend to become bored by maps that are forcing me to follow one specific route as determined by the map maker, and I find myself deliberately trying to follow a different route in those maps just to see what happens. I also rarely go back to replay maps like that. Hopefully in this map you will find a number of different stories unfolding depending on where you go and what you decide to do, and hopefully each time you play the map it will happen differently.

This map may also not really suit those "I never abuse the AI, I never reload the game" clever dicks, as some actions you take on this map will have extremely severe consequences, and I know for sure that I reloaded the map a lot of times during playtesting.

The comet impact area in the middle of this map was made by putting cavern earth tiles around shadow water, many thanks to psykitty for being willing to state in the forum exactly how to put shadow water onto the surface. Obviously the sparkly water on the surface idea was "borrowed" from Across The Wyrding Sea, a cool Upatch 1.4 map by Needles: http://aow2.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=787

If you can find any errors in the map, and especially event errors, or defended recruitment sites without an AI block, I would be most grateful if you could notify me by email (rogerforward@hotmail.com) so that I can correct them. If you want to make nice comments about the map, or constructive criticism, please go to the page where you downloaded the map and click on [post review] or [post comment].

Also Kirky has invested an unbelievable amount of his time and effort to bring us what is arguably the best mod ever made for Shadow Magic, so please show your support by either going to this thread: http://aow.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=33,5246,,20 and saying how much you enjoyed it, or going to the BNW download page and making a positive comment there.

Have fun!


[Version 1a uploaded on 22nd September, has a few new units added (yeti, swamp thing, mothrad), removed quest to capture earth node, removed pavement from centre of Smeg outposts, numbered events.]

[Version 1b uploaded on 12th October, removed any events that trigger between days 5 and 17, removed a lot of teleports, added a hero called Kuma No Tsume, fixed event for Kirk to join the northern dwarf army (if it lives long enough), added a lot of snowmen, more enemies in the caverns, made winning by conquering dungeon in caverns much harder, gave dark elves some more wizard tower cities in the caverns, fixed Switchman quest, changed all "old" custom heroes for new ones and tried to make bodies more appropriate]
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
swolte
Staff
Am too busy to get hooked on mods but couldn't resist a peek now that Roger wrote so much (and an XL Map!).

I think Roger really brought out the strengths of this mod. One that may have been underestimated before, namely, its possibilities for mapmaking! You can really see in some areas how it could provide a unique feel.

We are talking 3 levels of XL map with tons of events. And I am not talking sloppy work...

So, I would recommend EVERYONE to play this map and see if you like it. BNW3 is easy to install (last I tried) and gives you lots of cool goodies.
It will give you a new game.
Roger the Rampant
File Author
Thanks for making it available for download so quickly, and your kind comments. A comment on a map within ten minutes of pressing the "submit" button must surely be a record! :-)
Chascal Just downloaded the map ! Can't wait to play it, as I really like this mod.

Btw, you still mean the beta version of BWN3, right ?
ltmoon I just played this scenario last night, only severl turns. The map looks beautiful and shows clearly what BNW can offer in addition to the original game. It is too early to give a rating but I am impressed by the effort (check out the story!) of the mapmaker.
Just one thing I noticed up to now is that the raiders are so barbaric! Just one unit raider pops out of the cave and demolished my observation tower near the main city. And a basilisk is coming to my town near the main city out of nowhere. Are these crazy raiders intentional?

[Edited on 09/18/08 @ 12:42 PM]

Roger the Rampant
File Author
Chascal we have moved beyond the beta stage now, check out the BNW thread for more info. I have included some structures from the final update in this map, so using the beta might result in having some structures missing, or maybe the map won't work at all, I don't know.

Itmoon this map is intended to be quite challenging, please check out the mapmaker notes below the story for more information.

Thanks again for the positive feedback, guys! :-)
Kuma no Tsume I DL-ed, played and it is great, until.... Day 11.
If I make a save around that day I'm not able to recall it later, the loading just freezes at 85-90%, so does the auto.
That's really too bad, cause this map is good.

Talked to kirky and he convinced me to start again. Will do. Map looks really good

[Edited on 09/19/08 @ 10:14 PM]

Merkraad Hi Roger :)

This is a superb map! One of the most fun and hard I ever played. Tons of things to do and see!

Unfortunately, I have the same problem Kuma no Tsume has. After turn 10-11 the saves somehow start to get corrupted, even autosave. I tried many different saves (and restarting the map) but they still get stuck :/

The error log had some 'Access violation at address 00000018' on AoWSm.exe, but maybe this could help more: "Resource Missing TTCRaceStructure 649"

Anyways congrats :)
Roger the Rampant
File Author
Thanks for the feedback. You need to make sure that you have downloaded the latest update from http://www.badongo.com/file/11157467 or from
http://www.doack.campaigncreations.org/BNW_3.0.zip

You should be choosing BNW 3.0 in AoWSMSetup, not the beta, because I have used some resources from the latest update in this map, as explained to Chascal in my earlier comment

If someone wants to email me a save from day 10 and from day 11 I would be happy to check it out
ltmoon
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 3
I adjusted the rating because the scenario causes troubles with reloading. In my several attempts I could not go over 75. And the longest game was in fact with the older map and the BNW beta version. But, even if it crashed, the scenario was full of excitement. (I complained about the barbaric Indies but I realize that they are the entertainers in this game. I have to be really careful even when the opponent is not near. I am not sure how long this experience would last but at around 70 I am still thrilled whenever I explore a new area.)

Balance: 5
I have had some contacts with the opponent but at this time, it is hard to tell. But, the Indies are challenging and make me busy without the enemies in sight. I can peek some of the opponent's stacks with mighty units but the mapmaker intended this map for advanced players.

Creativity: 5
This map shows very diverse structures and some new (?) terrains. Putting the shadow land tiles on the surface is an interesting idea. I often stop playing to check out the new structures and terrains which adds more fun.

Map Design: 5
How long did it take to build this map? This is a HUGE map but no part was done hastily. At least the parts I have explored showed the talent of the mapmaker. Seeing is believing!

Story/Instructions: 5
I gave the highest rating for this one too because the instructions in the quests are clear. Because this map is supposed to be nonlinear, I gave the rating based on my experience with the quests.

Additional Comments: I dare to say that this is the best map I have ever played. There are many stories everywhere. I am playing around 70 turns and still there are tons of places to visit. I have thought that having many wizards/races is always better but I changed my opinion while I am playing this map. The Indies are aggressive and cause many troubles in the beginning of the game but they make this map more fun. I have no complaints about this map upto now but even if I found some problems, this map deserves the best rating. Cheers to the mapmaker!
Oh, if you have not done so, this map might be a good reason to try the BNW mod. You can play any maps in this mod.

Edit: The problem seems to be fixed. I am currently playing 90 turns without the save issue. Without this issue, this map is simply awesome.

[Edited on 10/20/08 @ 11:13 AM]

rat_peddler I have the same issue about not being able to reload the game from a save file. It just freezes. Too bad, I was on day 86 and was just finally starting to really expand and explore the map. This was my second restart, so the trouble does re-occur. If you want to play this you probably better just hibernate your PC with AOW SM BNW open and running.
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Rating
4.9
Breakdown
Playability4.5
Balance4.8
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Statistics
Downloads:3,948
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:777.93 KB
Added:09/16/08
Updated:08/01/09
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