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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design » "Strategic Objectives: Cryptic Lakes" Scenario
Topic Subject:"Strategic Objectives: Cryptic Lakes" Scenario
Scenario Contest Winner
posted 09-10-07 11:42 PM EDT (US)         
“Strategic Objectives: Cryptic Lakes” is now available for AOE3 Vanilla and TWC.

Download it here: Strategic Objectives: Cryptic Lakes

New Features

“Strategic Objectives” qualifies as a new game type.

It allows to capture neutral buildings that are guarded by guardians (such as Forts and Barracks), and even re-capture them from the AI and vice versa.
Captured buildings offer either economic bonus or military bonus (free units).

Players can capture Great Cannons and use them to construct Fixed Guns anywhere on the map.

For more details about the contest, online tournament, and prizes see:

The “Strategic Objectives” Challenge and Give Away

Map Layout

This is a water map that has two lakes and three narrow land passages between the two players.

The AI

The AI in the new “Strategic Objectives” scenario maps has been enhanced.
The AI is now shrewd and evasive.
This time the AI relies less on numbers and more on tactics, so prepare to be challenged.

The AI is most challenging on “Normal ” and “Hard” levels, but on “Moderate” level the AI is not too challenging.

Game play

There are 20+ neutral structures around the map such as Forts, Barracks, Stables, Mills(with villagers) that are guarded by guardians (who are hostile to anyone who passes by) and any of these structures can be captured by any one of the players.

In addition to that players can re-capture them from each other.

Since every building offers either economic bonus or military bonus it is crucial to capture as many of these structures in order to achieve victory.

There is also one Fixed Gun on top of a hill that can be captured, and 5 Great Cannons that can be captured as well.
Once a player captures any one of the Great Cannons he can use it to build a Fixed Gun anywhere on the map after he reaches the Fortress age.

In order to capture any one of these structures the player has to have at least 7 units near it while no guardians or enemy units are left standing in that area.
There is an exception to this rule with fixed guns and great cannons where it takes only one unit to capture any one of them.

Military buildings that can be captured are invulnerable (so they don't get destroyed).

Players get free units from some captured buildings as long as they don't go over 250 population.

Free units and lower unit population allow for up to 200 unit armies (300-400 population).

Buildings that can be captured have two brown flags on both sides of the building.
That is how the player can know if that building can be captured or not.

After 10 minutes of game play the number of villagers is limited to 40 so players cannot train any more villagers (some exceptions apply to French and Dutch).
That makes capturing mills and plantations more important since you can capture or kill their villagers and the other player cannot train new ones (if he still has more than 40 villagers).

When a mill or plantation (that can be captured) is destroyed, the 10 villagers that come with it will be destroyed automatically.

The scenario includes 40+ card home cities for each civ.

Balance Changes

- Villagers have 150 more HP.
- Villagers cost is doubled after 10 minutes.
- Fishing boats are limited to 20.
- Fishing boats cost reduced to 60 wood.
- Explorer has more HP so he doesn't get killed by guardians right away.
- Natives are cheaper.
- Cavalry and cannons take less population.
- Some mercenaries take less population.
- Fixed Gun's range was reduced by 15 (it is 55 now for land and still 70 against ships).

Instructions on how to build Fixed Guns:

Fixed Guns can be constructed anywhere on the map once the player gets to the Fortress age and captures a Great Cannon.

There are two ways to build Fixed Guns:
1. Select the Great Cannon and your Explorer at the same time (both of them have to be selected) and the Great Cannon will be converted into a Fixed Gun.

2. Select the Railroad Worker you captured and place it on top of the Great Cannon.

The second method requires more micro but it is also more rewarding.
Every time you use the second method, all your Fixed Guns will gain 5 range, 5000 HP, and your Railroad Worker will gain 1500 HP.

Be careful not to construct Fixed Guns too close to the water as they may be constructed under water and won’t be functional.

Fixed Guns are very powerful and can help to achieve victory.

Scenario Versions

I have made several versions with different civs to play with and different difficulty levels.

For Vanilla:

There are 3 different civ versions and 2 difficulty levels for each civ (Moderate and Normal).

For TWC:

There are 4 different civ versions and 3 difficulty levels for each civ (Moderate, Normal, and Hard)

“Moderate”, and “Normal” versions are utilizing “Moderate” AI.
The “Hard” version utilizes “Hard” AI.

For average players I would suggest to play the “Moderate” version first.
Very good players can start with the “Normal” version.

No cheating codes are allowed with these scenarios

In the event the cheat codes are being used the AI will receive 100 mercenaries with 20,000 HP.

So just play the level that fits your level the most.

Original Music

I have included one music track from my CD “Quest for the Unknown” with this scenario.
The music track is called “The Saga Age” and it plays as opening music.

Scenario Launcher

The “Scenario Launcher” is a special scenario that allows the player to choose the civ he wants to play with.
Once the player chooses his civ the “Scenario Launcher” will launch the appropriate scenario version.


This scenario MUST be executed via one of the “Scenario Launcher” scenarios or directly from the Editor.
Executing one of the scenarios directly may cause AOE3 to crash under certain circumstances.
This issue has been notified to Ensemble and hopefully it will be resolved with the new patch.
In the meantime please use the “Scenario Launcher” and everything will be working fine.

Special Thanks

I want to thank Schildpad (also known as Furby_Killer) for helping me test the various “Strategic Objectives” scenarios and for his important advice.
Schildpad’s help and feedback was most valuable.

I want to thank pftq for his great “Advanced Effects” that helped me enhance the AI to a new level, and to introduce the “Building Fixed Guns” feature.

I also want to thank somme for his brilliant “Villager Second Calculator” which I used for the free units balancing, and to kjn for making the screen shots for me.

Many thanks to Ensemble Studious for the Custom Scenarios Online (CSO) feature that all of us are waiting for impatiently.

Thank you,

Moshe Levi

[This message has been edited by MosheLevi (edited 09-11-2007 @ 12:37 PM).]

posted 09-11-07 10:57 AM EDT (US)     1 / 4       
Really nice, can they be played through eso as well? (As in human vs human) (asking this for all 3 maps)
Scenario Contest Winner
posted 09-11-07 11:38 AM EDT (US)     2 / 4       
Really nice, can they be played through eso as well? (As in human vs human) (asking this for all 3 maps)
Not yet, but I am currently working on Online versions.
Give me a few more weeks.
posted 09-16-07 08:58 PM EDT (US)     3 / 4       
does it matter which patch version you are running for these scenarios?
Scenario Contest Winner
posted 09-16-07 09:47 PM EDT (US)     4 / 4       
does it matter which patch version you are running for these scenarios?
Most of the scenarios were saved with patch 1.03.
There are a few scenarios that I saved with patch 1.04.
I don’t remember which.

So if you still have patch 1.03 then try a few of them and see.

[This message has been edited by MosheLevi (edited 09-16-2007 @ 09:47 PM).]

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