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Downloads Home » Scenarios » Battles of Creation - The Blackened Mire

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Battles of Creation - The Blackened Mire

Author File Description
jamieJME
File Details
Ruleset: AoW: SM - TS Standard Rules
Map Size: M
Levels: 2
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: No
PBEM/Hotseat?: No
Multiplayer Online?: No
# of Wizards: 3
# of players: 1
Skill Level: Advanced
Password Protected: No
Welcome to the incredible land of Erithnia

In a prequel to the most popular single player map for Age of Wonders 2, The Blackened Mire brings a whole new level to single player maps for Shadow Magic.
In this purely single player map, all decisions carry consequences: will your word be iron, will you be fair, protect the weak, reward the loyal. The choice will be yours....
Pushing the editor to its limits with almost 500 events and never seen before FX events, the combined efforts of the story, game play and graphics will give single player fans the most intense experience with Shadow Magic to date.



It is a time when innocents suffer
A time when frostlings flee
It is a time when evil roams at will
A time when orcs are marching
It is a time when purity is being corrupted
A time when snow is turning black
It is a time when a champion is needed against the tides of death
A time when a wizard is needed to combat the deathly threat
It is the time to prepare to play the prequel for 'The Battle Of Creation', the map that has had over 5000 downloads and overwhelmingly positive reviews
It is the time when you will return to the famed world of 'The Battle Of Creation'
The time when single player for Shadow Magic shall truly come of age.
Pages: [1] 2 » Last »
AuthorComments   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
jamieJME
File Author
Thanks a lot for your reviews guys. They are greatly appreciated! :-)

And a big thanks goes to all the people who gave feedback on the map while I was developing it. In particular, Swolte!

[Edited on 04/21/04 @ 04:21 PM]

Galahad_2nd WARNING -- SPOILERS

This is one of the best maps I've ever played. I'd like to rate the story/instructions as a "10" but the rating only goes up to five. This is a very creative map with a detailed and original story. I love the use of signs and messages to give clues and get the player to make meaningful choices and solve clever puzzles.

However, I'm not so sure about the play balance. I think that it is too hard. I've finally gotten up to turn 54 after many reloads. In the early game, when you are trying to get the items to rescue your wizard, you can get the Yetis and Doom Wolves which are just sufficent to defeat the goblins of the north -- but it is very tough to get enough gold to pay the maintenance on them long enough to do the job especially since some of the gold piles are random. In the mid-game, you face wave after wave of Gluttons and orc chieftains which often requires reloading and replaying turns -- I would have enjoyed it more if the orcs' production was trimmed back a little so that I could have got on with the plot of the story rather than doing so many nearly identical battles. Now, on turn 54, I've finally captured most of the enemy cities and have his capital surrounded, though I avoided the concentration of dragons in the south and heeded the warning to avoid the fire area in the NW. But the enemy capital is surrounded by shadow void and I don't have any clues at all of how to get through. I still see swarms of Gluttons everywhere, and I have a warning that my capital far to the north will be attacked in 10 turns. So I haven't finished the game and might have to start over from the beginning. I'll probably try it again in a few weeks.

The play balance could be improved by a) having a little more gold or mines or farms available to the player in the early game; b) cutting back the orc production capability a little; and c) giving some clues about how to get through the shadow void to the enemy capital.

I'm not giving it a numerical rating since I haven't finished it yet. But in summary, this is one of the best maps ever, except that it is a little too hard for my tastes. Not hopeless -- I'm sure that I could win it eventually -- but the above suggestions might make it even more fun.
jamieJME
File Author
Galahad_2nd, I'm sorry to hear you are having difficulties with the map. Thanks for your suggestions, becasue of your comments and others, I am considering making an easier version to go along with the original but that won't be for some time I'm afraid.

If you head over to
http://aow.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=st&fn=32&tn=3977&f=32,,0,45&st=45
This thread has become the help thread for the map and if you post questions/troubles, I'm sure that I or someone else will be able to help you.

You are actually told how to avoid the barrier in the storyline but without knowing how far down the storyline you got, I can't tell you what you have missed. Drop me an email or talk about it in the forums and hopefully I can help you through, it sounds like you have very nearly finished it so take heart! :-)


BlackRose Hello folks I just wanted to clear something up this is quoted directly from the review guidelines! Essentially Balance Rating is not what most people think it is and its covered in the Review Guidelines as such! The Balance rating that most people use is considered for rating MP maps only!

"Most perfectly balanced scenarios should not be able to be completed without the player losing a few times. If a player is able to complete the entire scenario the first time, then it's probably too easy for their level of play. On the other hand, a player should not need to reload 15 times to get by a certain part of a scenario. The ideal scenario balance happens when a player gets stuck, but she knows it's possible to complete the objective if only she did something a little differently. A player should not win by luck; the scenario should be constructed so that a player can learn from mistakes and use her skill to complete the objective.

Multi-player scenarios are reviewed a bit differently in terms of balance. Each human player should start out in an equal position with equal starting resources and equal starting units. Obviously, the set-ups don't have to match exactly, but they should be balanced. There are many creative techniques scenario designers can use to make each player's experience different, yet still balanced. If you choose to review multiplayer scenarios, it's your job to ensure that each starting position is balanced with every other starting position.

Note that non-playable sides may have been deliberately boosted to add challenge and thrill to the gameplay and are not usually considered when assessing balance. Also keep in mind the designer may also have specifically made one of the playable positions more difficult than the others. If so, the designer should state this somewhere in the scenario's description or instructions."


You can check the Review Guidelines for further info!
jamieJME
File Author
Damn, the rating bug is kicking in and affecting the overal catagories :-(
BlackRose Yah I noticed that on the Athendore map! Not sure if it actually lowers the ranking tho, it just looks bad, as I doubt you'd end up with 4.8 with a 0 in Map Design (isnt that just about the worst category it could show up as a zero!)
jamieJME
File Author
It is to do with the number of reviews a map recieves. Take a look at the original Battle OF Creation. There are only 2 catagories left there!

( You are right, it doesn't affect the score in any way)
Horza666 As promised here is my personal "strategy guide" for this map (Including some spoilers).

From the Book of Frostlings, Iceina's & Lyrilow's Diary:

It is a time when innocents suffer
A time when frostlings flee
It is a time when evil roams at will
A time when orcs are marching
It is a time when purity is being corrupted
A time when snow is turning black
It is a time when a champion is needed against the tides of death
A time when a wizard is needed to combat the deathly threat



Day 1: Found myself captured in a dungeon (nice animated FX !). Decided to ally with Jraam after a magical cry of help.
Day 2: Jraam and i decided to attack, the orcish mob... maybe not a wise decision, but we'll see.
Day 3: As i feared, Jraam was trapped and defeated, now the remaining hope is on the shoulders of my own folk. But where are they?
Day 4: Lyrilow shows up, starts to explore the area and killed a wolf in the woods.
Day 5: A friendly halfling miller gave me 361 pieces of gold, not to bad to start the campaign. The river spoke and shows me the further way. (nice change terrain event, i used it nearly the same way at the start of my own project.... ;-)
Day 6: I opened the rift by killing the guards. (again nice use of the FX event)
Day 7: Iceila told Lyrilow how to free her, she teleported and had to battle the zombies three times. Not easy if you don't start with enough HP, better to wait one day for the healing. The great hail spell is of no use, cause the enemies are not close enough to each other, it's just possible to hurt one of them, it worked better with multiple use of panic, cause of the strike, when they ran away... (i had to load the game 3 time here)
Day 8: Waited to heal wounds (i picked up the pillar of ice in turn 7 and returned to the cave where Iceila is waiting.
Day 9: Controlled my first wolf at the altar, called 4 Yetis and now move on.
Day 10: Rescued one little fellow from a slaver.
Day 11: Rejected the offer from the slaver and killed em instead.
Day 12: There was a storm at the tower, but none unit was hit ? (it's just FX - cool !) Anyway the guards were killed by the bunch of Yetis.
Day 13: I took the boat, crossed the river and engaged a necromancer guarding a pile of gold. I need that badly to pay the Yetis (this doesn't fit into the story, but it's sure a minor issue.
Day 14: The Shardthrower crosses the river too and is waiting for the boat i spotted some riders waiting for me.
Day 15: The tree teleporter is found /nice !
Day 16: My first windmill and again the badly needed gold.
Day 17: Mine captured some gobbos killed and additional Yeties called.
Day 18: 7 Yetis plus company cleared the ruins of the towercity. (easy to win in TC but lost 2 times in FC)
Day 19: The Dwarven Fuse is found, i expected the city to rebuild , but nothing happened.
Day 20: Marching
Day 21: Marching further east
Day 22: Killed some dwarves and now have The Bomb and The Fuse.
Day 23: Heading for the teleportertree.
Day 24: Teleported back and entered the cave to use the items for the rescue of Iceila.
Day 25: Iceila is free ! I expected some storms (or other events)here and moved my yetis back, hopefully they can leave the cave in time. But nothing happened yet.
Day 26: On my travel to the ruins of Snarik.
Day 27: Marching
Day 28: Snarik is magically rebuild (as i hoped)
Day 29: Advancing south.
Day 30: Killing area guarding Trolls
Day 31: Found the gargoyle market. Decided not to kill the Dwarves and rceive the machines they offer regularly.
Day 32-34: I don't killed te guarding Gargoyles in the cave and decided to cross over at the surface. The freeze water spell came just in time. This way i rescued Darice from that ice-plate. Then i switched some items between Iceila and Lyrilow. By accident they had the wrong items so far. My party now is 6 Yeties and Darice and Lyrilow.
Day 35: This way i could capture the City Lansdale on day 35 along with some windmills.
Day 36: I paid 40 goldpieces to a beggar on my move further east. Not sure if this is good for anything.
Day 37-38: Stefanos and his knights joined me. They moved on and the City Woonea joined, their troops moved out and killed a group of Wyvern spies. Report heared about that water magic area.
Day 39: Some Trolls were charged and i freed Ratnalk, who immediately advanced north and played a funny game with that fairies, killing two of them alone.
Day 40: My main army killed the guards at the life node and advanced further northeast. Darice got a new toy, and the city Luftman was razed.
Day 41: I cleared the water area from a lot of creatures, by luck no losses to report.
Day 42: Moving east
Day 43: Javt the former capitol joined and the siege forces where attacked and destroyed at once. Just minor losses. huh..
Day 44: The messanger from the firewood couldn't get money, i'm very short now, since i picked up some human followers. I captured the Echnost Mines and killed a Glutton on the way to Snarik. I have some siege machinerie from the dwarves. That was close !
Day 45: Nothing to report, just that another Glutton accompanied by two Doombats is roaming around the near area of Snarik.
Day 46: Very short on money, starting to rebuild one of the razed cities.
Day 47: The Elves in the norther woods joined me, again no help cause of to much upkeep for all those troopers, i lounched a harakiri attack at the eastcoast with some human hellebardiers. No harm done at the new landed forces from the orcs, they use boats efficently to cross the river !
Day 48: The city is rebuild. Along with a message about the wiztowers, no problem, but there is a big group of orcs (i think they spawned ???)
Day 49-50: The orcs head for Javt and let the totally empty rebuild town as it is in my hands.... don't understand that ... Meanwhile my main stack with 3 heroes recaptured Woonea from Kruta and killed him (i lost that city 3 turns earlier i think), too bad i have to migrate it to humans again.
Day 51: Big battle again. Rutrakus troops invading Jraam once again. Crossing the river in a boat. My guards where there to await them, without any losses there bodies now lie at the shore to bring fear for those who sure will follow them.
Day 52-57: More invaders attacked my Land, but enough guards where there to counter the attacks, another bunch of 16 riders where brought to the ground.
Day 58: A beggar appears, i spend em 40 pieces of gold, not sure for what this is good for... cause i'm short in money everytime.
Day 59: Again 16 units crossed the river, this time including necromancers and bonehorrors. After a terryble fight most of the remaining defenders are badly hurt, i sent them to the next city which has a sanctuary, to heal them as quick as possible. The replacement for the losses will be ready soon, lets hope we can keep the shore clean.
Day 60: The beggar appears again, and this time i don't gave em the money as he requested. It shows that he is a goblin spy, but he had bad luck, cause when he jumped up to engage my forces, some nymphs from the northern woods where right in place to seduce him. Now it will be much easier to defend the shore, cause the defenders can use the magic of Iceila, within the new heros domain. His name is Skarie.
Day 61: Just moving
Day 62: Regrouping
Day 63: Main army captured the tower on the old road to the swamps. Our scouts don't like what they see ahead. A well guarded orcish city.
Day 64: Lansdale is rebuild. Soon more humens will join our forces, as more and more people who surveived the horror came back from the surrounding parts of the country.
Day 65: Using the freeze water spell, Lyrilows army advanced to the Dragons nest and captured the Dragon Rod.
Day 66: The message is clear, all of Jraam is now under my control. Together with the humans we will end Rutrakus rule.
Day 67: The orcish city in the swamp is now under our control, beginning to migrate to frostlings.
Day 68: The spirit of war offered a quest, just kill some infidels, should be no problem, as one of our stacks is near them.
Day 69: The quest was fulfilled. Some gold fills the empty warchest.
Day 70-72: Advancing further to the west of the swamp. It is said that Blackdragons will appear as Rutraku is calling them, we'll see.
Day 73-74: Two Blackdragons killed each day, and it looks as there where more to come, a real danger.
Day 75: A Blackdragon enters Jraam, but the defenders where strong enough to bring em down before he could harm the people. A bunch of trolls captured the city in the swamp again. My army is to far away in the west for now to counter that.
Day 76: A woodman appears, bringing bad news. It's said that the Goblins of the Articik will attack us from the north. Crossing the passage in the next 3 days. Troops from Snarik where sent to the passage to block the way, including lots of machines from the dwarfs, which regularly join us for free. The firepower should be enough to stop them.
Day 77: Cirrus joins and now leads the homeland defenders. Awaiting the gobbos.
Day 78: Ghosts tell about the evil bane that started in the City Darkwaters of Avlas. Maybe one can stop the Blackdragons from appearing if the city falls. But for now it's a long way to go there.
Day 79: Moving
Day 80: The western swamp is cleared, a node captured and the troops are ready to attack the goblin city Nemizt. Meanwhile we still wait for the attack in the north, but no goblin from the Articik shows up. Maybe the strategy of blocking the passage was the best we could do, they might have seen the defenders and returned to the icelands straight away.
Day 81-82: First attacks at Nemizt, just using spells to reduce the defenders. The north is still quiet.
Day 83: Nemizt falls, i directy started to loot it.
Day 84: A quiet day
Day 85: The Slaver joins and now the defenders of Jraam have two stacks of 7 Knights including a hero leader. No more orcs will stand a chance. Negotiations with the Gobbos are started. They offered to betray Rutraku in exchange for their town in the swamps. As my plans are to leave this place shortly, i accepted the offer. Some humans don't understand that this was necessary at this time and gathers to raid near the Echnost mines. The Slaver and his Knights where there to stop them immediatly.
Day 86: A bunch of new Blackdragons appered.
Day 87: Skarie got killed by a Black Dragon, had very bad luck with my move.
Day 88: Spotted more Dragons and killed three of them.
Day 89: Recruited a Hatchling and heading for the Dragon Altar
Day 90: Killed the guards at the Dragon Altar, Bruuk is free and joined me. His special quest started.
Day 91: The last visible two Dragons got killed. I hope this thread is over once and for all.
Day 92: Moving
Day 93: Bruuk wants me to hurry, so i will try to do so. Heading back towards Jraam. Firemountains are waiting for me.
Day 94-96: My Balloon is filled with Cirrus, two Doomwolfes and a Yeti. They start an expedition from Snarik to a hidden Dragon's Lair in the Mountains to the west. By luck we found another two Yeties who joined us for free.
Day 97: Bruuk reached the top of the Firemountain. He's teleported away, not sure what will happen next, but i'm sure that i don't wanna kill em , maybe his quest will continue later.
Day 98: A message from Iceina concerning the beast from the fire, seems a little late to me, as Bruuk is already teleported.
Day 99: Bruuk is teleported again, now enters the fire realm, lots of beast there, he's heading north, looking for his final target. Meanwhile Cirrus explored the dragons lair and found the Crown of melting ice. His party will continue moving south to join the guarding forces.
Day 100: Bruuk reaches da fiery void. The last firecreatures where killed.
Day 101-102: Again a large party enters Jraam from the eastend. The defenders prepare for battle.
Day 103: A vision. Heard the voice of Bruuk from the firesphere. A magic gate openes (with a very nice FX event ) to help us with a strong present.
Day 104-106: A herostack is marching towards the firegate.
Day 107: The attackers were teleported to the firecave, the first two guarding stacks were slain without losses.
Day 108: Fireceatures again emerge at the skull, strange i thounght this was over. Nonetheless the Elves will take care of them. In the firecave more guards were killed as we move on, Bruuks voice was heared for the last time. He promises that the death spell will end. Stefanos now wears the Harp of the burning snow and the Fire of Bruuk. He now is nearly unbeateable.
Day 109-114: Lots of regrouping going on. Forces were devided into two main groups. The Jraam defenders with two heroes (The Slaver and Cirrus) and 14 Knights and the ugly killing force including Stefanos, Ratnalk, Darice and of cause Lyrilow. With them are a Golddragon, a Basilisk, a Doomwolf and a Knight, all with gold medals and enchanted weapons. These are now on the way to the swamp again.
Day 115: Jraam sees another great battle as the homeforces defend the territory against 16 orcish units (including 8 cannons)
Day 116: Some Bonehorrors escaped the last battle and take Lansdale. Setting up for the rescue.
Day 117: Two Bonehorrors slain outside from Lansdale, just one left guarding the city, should be no problem.
Day 118-120: Lansdale is back under human control. A pair of Doomwolfes accompanied by 6 Yeties are coming from Snarik. They prepare an icy passage for a sneak attack at the swamp from different sides.
Day 121: Razed Darkwaters of Avlas and killed the guarding hero along with his few followers. Most of the defenders left the city when they saw my troopers closing in on them. They try to cross the river via my own icy bridge. I have to kill them next. Those Gluttons are a real pain.
Day 122-123: A big battle on the ice, in the end a lone Doomwolf surveives. Now he's moving towards the main group which will go for a dungeon next turn.
Day 124: The dungeonkeepers were slain and 8 units set free joined forces. Now this is a very remarkable force (Runemaster, 2 Druids, 3 Centaurs, Sheriff, Saint). Now those bunch moves along with the heroes to kill the mighty Friag which is waiting near the orcish capitol. I hope that Bruuks prophecy is true and that the Harp of burning snow will lead us the way.
Day 125: After a long battle Friag and his minions are killed. I lost the Doomwolf but the rest of the army is now gathering near the orcish capitol.
Day 126: The men fear Friags body and want to butcher him. This bloodthirst might help on forthcoming battles, so i allow them to rip Friag into pieces.
Day 127: Dropped the Harp as requested and moved troops to the teleporting point. It works, Rutraku now really has to fear defeat.
Day 128: Victory ! Rutraku falls by the hand of Stefanos. He was the last man standing, but that was not enough. The world is free now and Humans and Frostlings now can live in peace. The rest of the orcs hiding in the swamp will spread and hide, or they will be hunted down.
(i haven't exlored the rest of the swamp further to the east. Hopefully i can try this when i play the game for the next time. I have a different strategy in mind. But for now, other AoW projects are first priority)

This is definately the best single player map i played so far for Shadow Magic. Go and get it ! (but don't forget to save the game regularly)
Webusver Great work!

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

jamieJME
File Author
I've just updated the reviewers list (http://aow.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=st&fn=29&tn=3923&st=recent&f=29,0,0,0)
All reviewers remember that when my next map is out, you will all get to try it out before everyone else! ( I will make a post about it in the forum when I am ready to give it to you.)
At the moment, I think you can expect it to be released in about 2 months ( hopefully)

[Edited on 06/06/04 @ 09:51 AM]

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Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability4.5
Balance4.4
Creativity4.8
Map Design4.7
Story/Instructions4.7
Statistics
Downloads:13,282
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:181.06 KB
Added:01/25/04
Updated:01/28/04