A Xia's Diary II - Singleplayer Campaign
"He is honest in words, effective in action, faithful in keeping promises, and fearless in offering his own life to free the righteous from bondage." ~ the historian Sima Qian, describing a Xia.
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"He treasures the state, friendship, duty, promises, kindness, vengeance, honor, and righteousness more than his own life." ~ the historian Liang Qichao, describing a Xia.
"For ten years I have been polishing this sword;
Its frosty edge has never been put to the test.
Now I am holding it and showing it to you, sir:
Is there anyone suffering from injustice?" ~ from "The Swordsman", by Jia Dao - a 9th century poem about the Xia.
Who were the Xia? The Xia (pronounced 'see-ya' in English) can be thought of as the Chinese equivalent of Europe's Knight-errants. However, they were more than that. They were administrators, scholars, and soldiers-of-fortune. They came from both noble and humble origins. They lived their lives by a code and measured themselves by a strict set of values. They were men of intelligence, as well as men of action, and they played important roles throughout the history of the Middle Kingdom.
In "A Xia's Diary", you became part of the story of a clan of Xia, wandering the land to offer your services to many kingdoms. This campaign is its sequel, and will pick up the tale of the clan approximately 1100 years later, during the "Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms" period. This was a turbulent period of fragmentation that occurred after the fall of the Tang dynasty in the early 10th century CE. Once again, your own diary entries will chronicle your adventures. Be prepared to become an active participant in many of the actual historic events of the time!
This campaign includes the maximum scope of ten missions, and features nine new maps of original design. A player will interact with 22 historically-accurate cities. Resources, commodities, and available structures follow the Emperor model for the steel age.
This campaign uses a customized pricing scheme for commodities (designed by Shaun), which replaces the game's default Imperial Standard Prices. These customized prices ripple into several aspects of gameplay, and the overall impact adds an additional level of challenge.
Sabotage by spies has been disallowed in this campaign, although spies may still be used for information gathering.
An extra file is included in this download. It is a text file named 'AXDII_Readme.txt', and contains installation instructions, 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 will provide a solid challenge for advanced players. For the best play experience, a player should possess an advanced understanding of the game's military aspect, time-constrained missions, money management, trading, labor allocation, production output, monument construction, summoning and using the Heroes, and empire-map diplomacy.
Missions Teasers: (Note - all missions except 10 use a 'time limit' or 'survival' goal)
Mission 1 - A Temple to Mighty Xiong - 4 years, from 907 CE to the end of 910 CE.
Mission 2 - The Prisoners of Lop Nor - 6 years, from 911 CE to the end of 916 CE.
Mission 3 - Convalescence in the Company of Cormorants - 4 years, from 917 CE to the end of 920 CE.
Mission 4 - The Conquest of Balhae - 6 years, from 921 CE to the end of 926 CE.
Mission 5 - The Great Festival of Chu - 4 years, from 927 CE to the end of 930 CE.
Mission 6 - Promises to a Dying King - 8 years, from 931 CE to the end of 938 CE.
Mission 7 - The Lost Treasure of Annam - 4 years, from 939 CE to the end of 942 CE.
Mission 8 - An Instrument of Punishment - 5 years, from 943 CE to the end of 947 CE.
Mission 9 - A Collision of Vengeance - 12 years, from 948 CE to the end of 959 CE
Mission 10 - Grand Xia of the Song - no time limit, starts in 960 CE.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
This was rough, but absolutely fabulous.
Replay value is nagging...
always asking how could i improve the designs and city blocks.
No campaign is perfect so not sure any campaign can get a full run of 5/5 scores. The other ratings are all 5/5 so here is the rationale for giving 4/5 for playability - M10 is too damn long!
With ten missions and nine maps there is every kind of a challenge here that Emperor can throw at you.
M2 in particular stands out - you need to build and run a prison (or probably more accurately, a labour camp). Given the premise, the housing and food limitations, map layout etc all make perfect sense. This is a brilliant example of a campaign designer ensuring the execution matches the concept.
Map Design: 5
Nine maps, all cleverly laid out.
Logical flow where the story leads the missions. Subtle hints thrown in.
As I posted cities for each mission, just a few points to note.
M1 - good warm up.
M2 - most creative setting.
M3 - bit meh. Place lots of fishermen and wait.
M4 - very enjoyable mission.
M5 - fun avoiding tigers.
M6 - be careful of time.
M7 - odd mission. Gweilo said it was his favourite, I didn't warm to it. Funny how different players have different experiences.
M8 - extension of M4.
M9 - favorite build.
M10 - fun build but dragged on.
Of the ten missions, I've gone back and replayed M9 a few times exploring different layouts so I guess this must be the mission I enjoy the most.