Builder for the Great Khans - Singleplayer Campaign
Posted on 02/05/07 @ 07:17 AM (updated 02/03/08
In this sequel to 'Trader for the Great Khan', you begin as the son of the famous merchant prince who reopened the western trade routes for the mighty Genghis Khan. In the years since Genghis's death, the Mongols have grown even more powerful. They have sent word that they are in need of a skilled builder, and you have answered their call - armed only with your family's reputation and a burning ambition. Will that be enough? Challenges based on actual historic events of the 13th century await you!
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A player will interact with 13 cities (12 historically-accurate), which includes construction of the famous mongol cities of Karakhorum, Shangdu, and Khan-Baliq. Resources, commodities, and available structures follow the Emperor model for the Steel Age. This campaign features five new custom maps of various sizes and climates. Sabotage by spies has been disallowed for this campaign, although spies can still be used for information gathering.
For chronological continuity, this campaign should be played after concluding the 'Trader for the Great Khan' custom campaign.
The download zip file contains an extra file named 'BFGK_Readme.txt'. This text file contains installation instructions, historical background information, campaign design notes, general play tips, and mission hints (warning: contains spoilers). Additionally, other hints are available by viewing the album of playtest screenshots in the Emperor Heaven gallery.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This campaign is rated 'Very Hard', and is designed to provide a solid challenge for advanced players. For the best play experience, a player should possess an advanced understanding of time-constrained missions, money management, military operations, trading, labor allocation, monument construction, summoning and using the Heroes, and empire-map diplomacy. There is some military action in this campaign, but it is not combat-heavy.
Missions Teasers (note: the first five missions have a time-limit)
Mission 1 - 'The Mongol's Forge' - 6 years, from 1229 CE to the end of 1234 CE
Mission 2 - 'Karakhorum Reborn' - 7 years, from 1235 CE to the end of 1241 CE
Mission 3 - 'Ghosts of the Tanguts' - 9 years, from 1242 CE to the end of 1250 CE
Mission 4 - 'A Stately Pleasure Dome Decreed...' - 10 years, from 1251 CE to the end of 1260 CE
Mission 5 - 'An Empire Divided' - 4 years, from 1261 CE to the end of 1264 CE
Mission 6 - 'Master Builder of the Mongols' - no time limit, starts in 1265 CE.
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(All of Gweilo's Campaigns play well IMHO.)
(I'm not sure what this field really reflects?)
(Without a doubt Gweilo spends a great deal of effort to creat a campaign worth playing.)
Map Design: 5
(The maps are pleasing to the eye and often feel as if I'm there as it once was.)
(Here is where Gweilo gets me hooked in the playing the campaigns. The fact that this subject matter really is a passion of his. The added text for the history of the period gives a sense of what took place. I do read the spoilers, I have to admit.)
Gweilo I want to thank you very much for giving many hours of playing enjoyment.I should have left reviews of your campaigns long ago. Sorry.
I would also like to thank the play testers as well. I'd love to paly test myself.
I must admit that reading Shaun's play tips have helped my game as well and would love to learn how to play faster. It always seems as if I can startoff ok, as I do try to plan it out before starting, but seem to bog down in the middle and late stages of the game
[Edited on 05/28/08 @ 01:23 PM]
A range of very enjoyable missions. All of them with distinct challenges, I particularly enjoyed the first and third missions.
Later missions featured a lot of price increases and decreases that a player could use to adjust trading strategy and profitability. Sometimes I felt this was a little over used and eventually I just ignored them and traded at standard prices. Hardly a withering criticism!
Well designed use of resources and particularly well thought out trade/resource allocation when moving from city to city. Perhaps a little light on military action for the combat bunnies.
Excellent use of trade/resource allocation. As the story develops and access to cities increase the available goods add naturally to the meet the needs of the cities. The luxury goods limitations in the final mission is an interesting idea.
Map Design: 4
As always from Gweilo, realistic and beautiful looking maps. I enjoyed the challenges set by the terrain limited maps in missions one and three in particular.
By happenstance I'm currently reading "Kublai Khan" by John Man, so it was a delight to see how the story here reflects the reality of the rise of the Yuan dynasty (the Mongol's conquest of China).
Additional Comments: Completed cities from each mission have been posted so below are some general comments about the missions.
Mission 1, Yin - a delightful little map that provides a real space management challenge. I hadn't played Emperor for a while and this was a great way to get re-acquainted with the game.
Mission 2, Karakorum - a trading player's dream and clever use of the vultures as an irritant. Not overdone, but enough of a nuisance that it forces the player to do something about them.
Mission 3, Ningxia - possibly my favourite of the missions, again a space layout challenge.
Mission 4, Kaicheng - a great map and plenty of options on where to build.
Mission 5, Kaicheng besieged - fun for the combat bunnies and a relatively short mission. Feels a little bit like an afterthought as if the designer felt the need to throw in a significant combat element to the campaign. Still fun though.
Mission 6, Khan Baliq - a hearty challenge in terms of continuity of luxury goods supply. Took me a while to warm to this mission but I can appreciate it now that I've cracked it.
Overall, a cracking set of missions and maps. My only criticism would be that perhaps a little overscripted at times, especially the price changes in certain missions.
Now that I've finished I'm off to add my current apartment to the Khan Baliq map which is better known now as Beijing. I think it's located just to the west of the quarry...
[Edited on 05/28/08 @ 11:25 AM]
Fun as always... first years always fun to micromanage. swopping between farms and industries.
Very trade orientated. I'm still a little more combat focussed with hurdles to cross. I tend to over build and when you're sitting with 100+ crops in warehouses and 9 Heroes on joyful exalted life gets a little crowded for labour and more housing blocks
Appluase: Absolutely fabulous.
Map Design: 5
Exquisite: diverse, challenging. beyond expectation.
I feel good again. Better than the surrender of a couple of weeks ago.
Questions: BT: how did you finish the Forge with 18 months to spare?
Gweilo: why only archers? Think i missed this aspect in the story.
Fabulous experience!! This experience is beyond educational everytime i play