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Version: Empires: Retail Release
This is my first scenario, a recreation of the battle of Stalingrad, where you play as the Russians against almost overwhelming odds against the German Panzer Army and the German Sixth Army.

You must utilize your limited resources to gain ground over the technologically superior German army and eventually drive them out of Stalingrad.

*Note: I did use a fair amount of triggers and this is my first scenario so let me know if there are any bugs.
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Midgard Eagle
Map Design3.0
Okay, here's the review, straight out of the oven and still smoking!

Playability: 4
This is a most entertaining battle. You start with a reasonable amount of units, but the Germans starts with an unreasonable horde of units. You start with a small town, while the Germans start with a whole city. You can train only infantry, while the Germans can train just about any unit. And your base will come under attack almost at once, although there are ways of blocking the bridge off. The battles are simply vast.

I did give this a 'four', however, because there was no dialogue or anything in-game save from Chats each time you captured a factory or reinforcements arrived.

Balance: 4
I've played hard scenarios before, but this one took my breath away. I'm giving it only a rating of 'four' because I felt it was a bit too hard, especially with the repeated raids on your starting village. Your first attempt to beat this scenario is almost guaranteed to fail. True to World War II, you can send a large army across the Volga in six transports and lose. There are general strategies you can employ, though, which will lighten your load a little. You will also find that a certain area, in my opinion, isn't worth taking because of the difficulty and unit loss involved. It does, however, provide a shortcut past the enemy fortification on the other side of the Volga river bridge (although that doesn't have to mean it should be avoided). In other words, you also have to pick your targets carefully, which I liked.

The only units you can train in the beginning are the Soviet infantry units: Conscripts, Commisars, Snipers, and Cossacks. You also have a University with a variety of Classified Projects and the option to build an Armory. You have a Dock, but it can only produce Transports. You get a welcome group of Conscripts every now and then, though. In the early stages of the game, it can greatly help.

Your initial army consists of additional siege and field weapons in addition to infantry, but these should be used with care as they cannot be replaced before you capture factories, and most of them are most likely destroyed in the initial battle in the north. You have no air force, and the Axis occupants have a whole swarm of fighters. All in all, you'll have to fight for every kilometer, which was what I liked the best about this scenario.

Creativity: 4
There was nothing really groundbreaking in this scenario, although there are some nice features like reinforcements and the ability to capture buildings.

Map Design: 3
Should you care about numerical ratings, which I fail to do but still gets around to utilize, the map design is a decent 'three'. Terrain is varied and terrain features are scattered throughout, but there's virtually no eye-candy. Also, certain less-travelled regions were completely blank save from terrain variations.

I would also like some more detail within the city, such as roads, street lamps, and so on. Letting whole city blocks consist of only brick houses on cobblestone makes for a very monotome scenario.

Story/Instructions: 3
The introduction on the download page was the only description you got, and although it gave me a general idea of what the scenario was about, it should do more than that.

I would also like some opening sequence in the game. I'm not asking for a cutscene (not every scenario has to have one), but some instructions and dialogue would be good.

Also, 'German' is spelled with a capital 'G', not a lowercase 'g'.

Additional Comments:
'Stalingrad' is a very challenging scenario that should take you several attempts to complete. I very heartily recommend it.

[Edited on 01/18/04 @ 12:40 PM]

Map Design4.0
Playability: 3

A very difficult, long winded scenario. Because of the resource bottle neck and constant attack by the Germans, it takes a long time to really get off your feet. The difficulty level against the Germans is similar to Mechstra's "Crossing the Volga", however your reinforcements don't come nearly as often or in as large of numbers. Most of the time you will be lucky to save your own base, let alone build up a big enough army to take it to the Germans. Once you do the German AI is pretty stagnant, allowing you to pick away at them pretty easily. If you wish to micromanage some snipers, you can eliminate many of the German defenders without them firing back. It's a bit time consuming though. The main obstacle becomes German artillery, which can shred your army in seconds...then forcing you to go back and build up again. Getting tanks and artillery helps, but you spend a lot of time actually getting to where you can capture the buildings, then because of low resources will take you even longer to build up a strong force consisting of tanks/artillery/Katyusha, whatever.

Balance: 2

I was going to give a 3, but I felt the balance was way towards the Germans. It took much too long to build up for attacks, and the German assaults happened too frequently. The amount of men you lose happens so quickly and the buildup to get those men takes so long that it becomes frustrating. Even with Steamroller, it still takes awhile as you wait for snipers and commissars to fill the ranks.

Creativity: 2

It's essentially a B+D scenario on a custom map. You have a few basic objectives, and the AI throws regular attacks at you. The only striking difference between a regular game vs. the AI is there are objectives and some units/buildings are disabled (And of course, the great custom map). Trigger wise I didn't see anything out of the ordinary, and gameplay wise it didn't feel much different from a B+D random map. There WERE objectives and some use of triggers, and the AI was custom (AI box not checked) so the gameplay didn't feel totally like a 1vs1.

Map Design: 4

The high point of the scenario, in my opinion. I thought the rivers, bridges, open land and cities were all done very well. I liked the water areas too, as it gave me more than one option to assault the German positions One problem with the bridges though, is that I get an attack cursor on them and can destroy them. The main issue with that is when I'm trying to attack an enemy and I keep clicking on the bridge instead. Overall though it really gave the scenario some personality.

Story/Instructions: 3

I was going to give this a 4, but I've decided to start docking a point if there are absolutely no cinematics. The ability to create camera shots is so easy now, there really isn't a reason why at least an intro can't be included. The instructions were clear, I knew what I had to do and where I had to go. There was no story though other than the fact you are fighting the historical battle it is named after.

Additional Comments:

For your first scenario I think you did a good job. You implemented triggers and spent some time making the map look nice and designed it so there wasn't only one way to attack the Germans. As I said before, I felt the difficulty was too much and didn't allow me to really "play" the scenario. I spent more time surviving and building up than I did trying to accomplish my objectives. Overall though I felt the scenario was just missing a few things to really make it shine. You're definitely off to a good start designing, so I hope to see more stuff from you in the future.

[Edited on 01/30/04 @ 02:36 PM]

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