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The legend of Lake Tai

Author File Description
File Details
Age: Steel
# of Episodes: 1
# of Cities: 1
Difficulty: Hard
Custom Maps: Yes
“It is the end of Song Dynasty; China has taken over by Mongols force. A new dynasty, so called Yuan Dynasty, is now established. However, you, General Yao, will never give up and surrender to those people. You will lead a resistance force to Lake Tai to continue your resistance. Only from there, due to the complex water/islands environment, you will have a chance to survive. This is a long and dark way; it won't be easy. But, as long as there is a chance, you will never surrender, never give up!

General Yao, your enemy will try every way to take you down, not only militarily, but also economically. Due to the condition of islands, you must get some of your supplies from outside world. You enemy know this, they will try to cut down the trade routes you have. However, you are not alone; there are many other Chinese people feel the way you feel, and they will support you if they can. You can trade with nearby Chinese city stealthily, but once your enemy knows this, they will cut all the contacts you have with that city. Be prepare for this, it could be years without supply from outside. Mongolian force will also stroke you during supply blackout, because they know this is your weakest time. It is a long dark way, General Yao. In order to keep your people's spirit up and to monumentalize those deaths, you decide to build a small but meaningful monument--The Great Temple.”

Unlike my other two campaigns, this campaign no longer push you to the space limit, but you still need to plan every thing carefully. This campaign will test your ability to manage you supplies, from your own production, to imports, to store goods, you need have a good concept for each of them. Only if you manage those steps to its best, you can survive this campaign. Please note this campaign is not designed for beginners. If you are looking for a big flat piece of land with every thing smoothly, this is not for you. All setting in this campaign are reasonable and accomplishable, but you need to have a good understanding of the game to do so.

I will give you some tip to help you build this campaign:

1. All medium/large islands are connectable, and most of them can be connected by a few different ways. Try as many possible connections as you can; some of them could be more efficient than others. Play these connections before you start to build your city, after you have a good idea of island/connection placement, and then restart the game to build your city.
2. Some of the ferry can only be connected from one side first. If you can’t get ferry connection from one side, then try another side.
3. Both city entry/exit are near southeast of the map.
4. Connect your major islands by more than one way, especially if you use ferry to connect them to entry/exit. Your ferry can be destroying by enemy force, so you need multiple connections to prevent road blocked to China. By multiple connections, especially those backend connections, there is no way your enemy can block your road to China unless they destroyed most parts of your city.
5. Distance is fish production’s killer. Build your fishing quay near shipping spot, and build mill near the fishing quay. This rule is the same for some other production buildings.
6. Some of later trade blackout could last as long as 7 years (early version is usually 3~4 years), be prepare for this. Since your enemy most likely to strike you after they cut your trade routes, protect your warehouse! Build walls and tower you needed, and build multiple of warehouse, never put all eggs in one basket! You will have such hard time if your enemy destroyed your stored supplies.
7. There is a way to mining copper for cash. You need to build mint as close to copper mine as possible. There is one way you can place a mint and inspector tower close to copper mine on near islands, but you have to play round to figure it out. It is a puzzle game, the winner get the reward.
8. I also include a .set file within the zip file for player to take a look at event setting. This could help you to prepare for the coming events if you really need help. To play this campaign, you only need .pak file. The city map file is not included, so you can’t modify this campaign your self. If you believe a modification is necessary, leave your comments in the comment area; I will modify it if I agree with you.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
h711, you stated: "Unlike my other two campaigns, this campaign no longer push you to the space limit, but you still need to plan every thing carefully." I started playing your map and I don't necessarily agree with that statement. You have made a beautiful map (the best custom 'islands' map I've seen for this game), but in my opinion it does push the space limit for the mission goals you have set.

Now having written that, let me also say that my building style is not that advanced; I'm a 'block' kind of player. I have trouble building a city in which I can't use some kind of four-sided housing layout. So it might only be me that finds a lack of adequate space on your map. Others will no doubt rise to the challenge of it. I will leave a formal rating of this campaign to them...

[Edited on 10/27/03 @ 01:09 PM]

File Author
Gweilo2: Hi, thanks for your feedback. The reason I believe this pop requirement is not push to the limit is: from my experience, if I build this city the way I did in Lintao Island and BOW, this city should be around 6~7k. With pop requirement set to half of the size, I believe player can accomplish this if they spend some time on it (if they can overcome other challenges, like supply challenge).

I know everyone has a different way to enjoy this game, and I use to build my city by square block, too. It was from the last game, Zeus; I spent near a year building a large city. The city was full at pop 12k (with a lots elite houses), in the following 8 months, I keep optimize it to fit more common and elite houses. The pop went from 12k to 14k to 16k, and up to 18k within the same space I had. Every block has been optimized to its best due to surrounding. It was a great fun for me to play like this, especially since Zeus was an easy game; most fun are found with the own challenge I define to it.

The campaign was intentionally set to this way that the environment force you to build according to it. You no longer can repeat each loop by the exactly the same way. By this, each loop is unique, which require you to make independent decision based on each case. In my view, if you build many loops in many cities by the same block design, you are really building one; the rest are just repetitions. So, if you already build many cities, you should already familiar with this game and its concept, it shouldn’t be a problem for you to move on.

Any way, just as I said, everyone has his own way to be fun. So, if you like, I can email you the city map, combine it with .set and .map, you can modify it to whatever the way you like. I know you know how to play around with the editor. After all, the game is not about which way is right, its about how can you enjoy it. Have fun.

[Edited on 10/28/03 @ 06:18 AM]

File Author
For those people need help for more advanced play, here is a website can give you some useful help: http://www.marvl.com/Serpentineum/Emperor

Marvl in my view is a ‘true expert’ for this game. His web side gives you lots detail information about this game. Much information there was found by his own observation and tests, so you can’t find some of them any other place on the web.

Some of the detail info is not needed for standard game play. But when it comes to more advance game play, which requires you to calculate tile by tile, this information can make a big difference. A general understanding is no longer enough, you must know some of the detail definition and concept to fully control the process.

He give quiet a few block design analysis on his page. Each of them has its own uniqueness, the advantage and disadvantage. Now, most of them cannot be directly applied to this campaign, but the key is to understand the reason behind each design, so you can make your own design based on your needs. The small/irregular space on the islands force you to use some special loop design, like half loop, or multiple sub loop design. Some of the block or mill could be on another island, you need to calculate the distance of each building, and then design your own loop.

PS: I recommend player to know some of those info, but this does not mean this campaign require most of those info to play. It is not that hard^_^.

[Edited on 10/28/03 @ 06:26 AM]

h711, it's ok, I don't want to change your map just so I can feel more comfortable playing your campaign. Your offer is generous but I really can't accept. I need to force myself to 'break the paradigm' of my comfortable block designs, and your campaigns are good ones to practice this.

I think it was Sharog who said once that your campaigns are about 'the quest for perfection' or something like that. I think that is a good description and it does appeal to many players. Your designs have characteristics similar to puzzles and that is a good 'hook' for the players.

My campaign designs are different; I try to be more flexible in my map layouts in order to provide the players with several choices for construction locations. I think this adds an element of 'forgiveness' to players who accidentally make mistakes in design, as well as adding a higher factor of replayability for the map. Generally, my campaigns tend to focus more on action, diplomacy, speed, and historical storyline

Anyway, in my opinion your style of campaign design is unique and interesting. Keep up the good work! We need more designers, and the difference in our styles can only make the game richer.

I agree about Marvl's website, I've used it as a reference many times. I also use Pecunia's website ('The Great Wall') extensively, especially when I'm developing a military campaign, since the game tables are listed there very nicely.

[Edited on 10/28/03 @ 08:26 AM]

File Author
I totally agree the statement “the difference in our styles can only make the game richer.” This is why I always create campaign according to my style, and I would like to see you to keep by your style, too. I also believe one can do the job to the best if he goes by his own type.

In my view your style of campaign is based an overlook, top view method. Mine is very much focused on local, detail objects, and I dig deep into it. These two directions lead to two different style of game play, which almost feel like playing two different games. Fun, right? I believe this is the beauty of extend game life by fan creation.

[Edited on 10/29/03 @ 03:43 AM]

Map Design5.0
Playability: 3
The mission goals were a bit too long imho.
60 Year survival time!
I also messed up with my planning. I think I needed to take down my elites in order to reach the luxurious housing goal. :-/

Balance: 4
(Insert Balance analysis here)

Creativity: 4
The map was very creative. A nice little puzzle game.

Map Design: 5
Beautifull map, one minor point though. I didn't know where the villies would enter. I would like to see a road there to hint as to where the entry point is. Now there were three possible locations.

Story/Instructions: 4
(Insert Story/Instructions analysis here)

Additional Comments:
exido h711, could you please make a more open version of this map?
I read through the events and they end with the trade partners going inactive meaning even if I do beat it I cant play on.
Map Design5.0
Playability: 4
Fabulous was a great challenge, placement of housing blocks and spacing and absoulute challenge

Balance: 4
Good blance between the sectors, pop, industry, commerce, military aspects. good usage of Heros.

One complaint. Guan Di can bless a mill with Bean Curd. The mill setting doesn't accept Bean Curd... Not good thus to keep food quality up Zao visited me for years at a time.

Creativity: 5
Loved the size and spacing challenge. logistical nightmare. Compares to Wu Mountain

Map Design: 5
Good balance between fall of the song 2 and 3 and wu mountain. Logistically challenging. A little long for my liking. 36 years. After year 15 very monotonous. with slight variation towards last three expensive invasions. yet possible to bribe with a change from Doaist to Buddist heroes for the 3 invasions.

Thanks for the challenge.

Was fun my compliments to the chef

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