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Downloads Home » Single Player Scenarios » The Great War Campaign: The Battle of the Somme

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The Great War Campaign: The Battle of the Somme

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Game Version: AoE3+TWC+TAD
Hey guys, I realized that the Battle of the Somme started in July 1st and I decided to finish up this half completed scenario that I had when I abandoned my campaign after DayoftheNinja left to fully engage on his modding project. I thought that without the mods, the campaign would be useless because it was a modern/industrial war. However, I hastily finished this scenario--it would of been a lot better with those mods completed and implemented into this scenario, such as the Mark V tank which first appeared in the Battle of the Somme. But I do realize that creating such an object is very difficult. But we can always try--which he never really did. But oh well. I'm aware that there are a few errors in this scenario because of my rapid completion but give me feedback through a review. Thanks.

And hopefully, you don't experience much lag.

Requires all Age of Empire 3 Packs

Genre: Strategical Fixed Force Offensive
This maybe another fixed force scenario, but it doesn't mean that you can just simply click on units and send them to your enemy to kill and hopefully win a quick one. This scenario has a number of obstacles to come across such as Machine Gun Fire, Mortar Fire, Gas Attacks, and Artillery Fire. It requires you to be an efficient commander to guide your forces through No Man's Land without losing a whole squad or a whole platoon!

Basically, what really happened at the Somme. Relieve the French at Verdun(off map of course--the previous scenario) and move up towards the German Lines to push them back.

I think I made the scenario fairly difficult and balanced. You'll have to see it for yourself.

I would of made this a lot better and longer, such as more objectives, more dynamic scenarios and such. But I was kind of lazy to add all that in and lazy to play test it abundant times. I hope this is good enough. Feedback :D
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design5.0
Playability: 4
The battles were large-scale and quite compelling with a degree of chaos and eerie sublety that befit the trenches. However, the sheer scale is also somewhat of this scenario's downfall as (oh ho 600+ troops versus 600+ more) this will probably give a good romp in the arse for anybody with a medium or low-grade computer. The effects contribute to the theme and reality of the scenario, giving it its inner feeling. Me hopelessly charging 50 British soldiers down the field only to lose 12 to sniper fire, 14 to machine guns, and 16 more to the horse cart bomb. Due to the high risk of casualties in and out of the trench, the average player must reconsider his normal strategies with other means, giving him/her a multitude of approaches to the situation. This means the only reason you got a 4 was because my computer and possibly others had trouble properly stomaching it.
Balance: 4
Despite from my casual assumption that the sides had equal numbers of troops, I found that the earlier and middle portion of this scenario was enjoyably difficult and required people to think a little about their tactics before trying anything else. There was something strange though after I managed to break through and destroy the first barn and artillery position. Things suddenly became easier for me mostly on part due to the questionable intelligence of the A.I. The soldiers did not react much after I put my men in the back, allowing them to slowly form up and charge down the second battery and third one and so on. It was strange how the Germans just sat there and only attacked when I came near their outer entrenchments from the inside. This is by no means your fault, but consideration of unit placement for a dumb-as-dirt A.I might be an idea you should consider in future scenarios. It made it a challenge and for most of it that gave me the impression that I might just lose or fail and give up. You earn a 4 for this.

Creativity: 5
No one really ever attempted a World War I design before and even so no with such finesse and love put into it, even without the mods you've mentioned it still conjoured up my old memories of "All Quiet on the Western Front" in a way that makes this map unlike others. The mood and the overall unusual setting and composure of the scenario earns it a solid 5.

Map Design: 5
The field for Map Design falls in some categories alongside Creativity in that such an environment never been attempted in AOE3. The ugly nature of the trenches was its beauty in a fashion that suits the theme. The no-man's land lives up to its' name, dead, shelled to ashes, and plain depressing. However, in my personal opinion, the greatest part of the map visually was the north-center where the second German battery awaits my unsuspecting troops. Right between dead land and hallowed forest was probably the most beautiful war scene I can encounter. It wasn't clogged, it fit the time and war, the trees sparse from the shelling, the little mud river running down the corpse-ridden dirt, amazing. Hell, the minimap looked just as good with the dead man's land appearing to be smoldering from phosporous and fire when it was really the terrain. Solid 5 right there.

Story/Instructions: 4
The anti-war sentiment was clear in this scenario. The instructions are simple but somewhat vague to the simpler kind of player. I give you a 4 for this.

Additional Comments:
Sound is not specifically classified in the review as it is more often than not optional. The ambient shelling and gunfire give it a genuine "Holy sh** I'm in a freakin' warzone" kind of feeling that added to the realism. I praise you for this.

P.S It's a rather morose sense of humor to send 200 soldiers at a time to their graves by a gatling gun and subsequently recieve 200 more alongside a message with the words: "careful, these are real men."
File Author
Thanks Sushi. I always enjoy reading your reviews. No bias, no cheating remarks, a little humorous, and generalization highlights such as computer strength to run this map and player intelligence(the simple kind of player) and interests(disregarding scenario genres that you like or dislike).

Playability: I was aware that this was going to happen--lag, a little too much to bring some users' computers to their knees. But we are fortunate now because this map has been down-sized vastly compared to what it formerly was when I worked with during the campaign days. The map was much larger involving the Thiepval Redoubt--a giant defensive hill surrounded by trenches running all around its slopes. But I removed that because it was too difficult to make it seem "natural" or remotely satisfying to the eye--the trenches on the hill and such. Leveling was an issue. I'm glad that I have added the MG, mortar(horse cart bomb), and such into this scenario. It adds a sense of difficulty and responsibility passing No Man's Land and it looks awkwardly shocking to see your selected 50 troops to walk across the desolate field and then watch them fling their heads back and falling face first into the mud after a mortar shell impacts or the vicious death sound of Machine Gun fire with the flare on the mini-map showing that bullets are ripping through the men. Even though its a game, it brings the player into a serious situation of "how-am-I-going-to-cross-No-Man's-Land?" And, it also prevents cheaters from attempting anything, if it is possible to cheat. But if you were to simply just ignore the obstacles and continue head first--like the British Commanders at the Battle of the Somme. You would end up with a even larger number of unnecessary deaths caused by mindless tactics.

Balance: I was also aware of this, that the units behind the German trenches were "dumb-as-dirt" but I decided not to fix it because it was hastily designed and that I wanted to make it difficult or even seem difficult compared to my Battle of Verdun scenario. Originally, when the scenario begins, there's a large amount of troops resting behind the trenches. But when you get a order and used that order to fire on: Inner, it kills some of the men behind the lines and causes them to form up in awkward positions allowing them to be easily exposed to fire when coming in contact with them after you break through. The Barns do neutralize the sectors so it does become easier. As you notice, you walk across No Man's Land in certain areas, your men are no longer affected by the war death obstacles and thus your forces accumulate and breach through the lines.

Creativity: "with such finesse and love put into it", yes, I tend to put much time into my landscaping and eye candy skills. But I work fast and finish them quickly. The triggers are what takes up the most time for me. I was glad to have put more interactive feel into this scenario with the use of triggers such as artillery bombardment and the crossing of No Man's Land. You've also mention All Quiet on the Western Front before in Verdun. I also have another half completed scenario: The Battle of Passchendaele, or the Third Battle of Ypres, which I choose to officially close my campaign. The scenario features a lot of dynamic features such as weather, objectives, engagement, and much more. I'm not sure if I should enter it in the contest with this one.

Map Design: If you noticed throughout the campaign, I have added new eye candy features in each scenario which I discovered while designing. Sure, it can be repetitive to see trenches over and over again. But there are other things that come to the eye--such as the artillery batteries in this scenario and sandbags covering the trenches' edge. But I thought too much would cause lag.

Story/Instructions: I will always place up my anti-war sentiments. Even though I try to add features that brings the player into the depths of the scenario as if I was simply glorifying the intensity of war. But no. As you notice, I try to add custom sounds, especially screams and cries into the scenario to bring a eerie chill down the player--if they're even conscious enough or intelligent enough to realize what's happening and its not "JUST A GAME". I try to educate people where ever I go about life lessons and such. The next scenario, The Battle of Passchendaele will have a lot of emotion in the scenario and will be extremely difficult--possibly worse than Verdun. If some don't know about this battle, the Battle of Passchendaele is one of the bloodiest and worst battles EVER. The pictures are just horrendous and the most shocking war photos I have ever seen. Such ability we have to simply change nature without consent or thought. Death in the mud as they say in this battle. The instructions were simple but I guess that there are some players that will have some trouble understanding the situation and the objectives.

Thanks again for the review.
Zoidberg24 I did download this, and am looking forward heavily to playing. However, when I try to load the scenario, it tell me that "the scenario is newer than the game." Does this mean it's conflicting with another mod I'm using? I installed the most recent updates.
Map Design5.0
Playability: 4
It was great. Loved the explosions. 3 is average, I felt it was above average and not perfect due to the massive size of both armies. (And how devastating the explosions are 30 lost with one)
Balance: 4
Same as above above average but not perfect.

Creativity: 4
Creative..But..Too me it was the exact opposite of your amazing Verdun scenario. I know it's a campaign but I felt like it was the same just your the Germans invading Verdun.

Map Design: 5
Outstanding design.

Story/Instructions: 5
Short, simple, and to the point like my explanation.

Additional Comments: Loved it. Fun. Keep up the great scenarios.

[Edited on 10/30/09 @ 11:12 PM]

voltrat247 I couldn't get the campaign to work. It says the file failed to load when i launch the mission. I have TWC, TAD, and Vanilla. Help!!!!!!!!
Teutonic Twit Make sure you have all the latest patches...
voltrat247 I do have all of the patches. I kind of new to this thing so any help is much appreciated.
Teutonic Twit Did you launch it in TAD (TAD disk in your drive)?
voltrat247 Yes. I'm gonna try to reinstall the files
voltrat247 I found out that TAD couldn't even play its own campaign scenarios. Gonna reinstall and try.
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