Stronghold, how I love thee

So I have been playing this game called Stronghold a great deal lately. As I said before it is a castle-building game and has several game modes. I am playing the demo as we lost our copy of the game a long time ago but it still gives a fair few hours of gameplay if you can play with someone else. The solo stuff includes an economic mission, where you have to makesome weapons in a specific amount of time, a siege where you can attack or defend, and an invasion, where you have a limited amount of time to prepare your castle for a large attack. The game requires you to manage your resources and servants as efficiently as possible. Often there isn't a lot of space, and you always need to make the most of it, so you need to be able to know in future what you are going to build and where it is going to go.

Depending on the popularity of your castle/king people will rock up at your castle for you to use as workers, or to turn into archers/macemen/crossbowmen etc. The main resource in the game is wood. This can be used to make buildings, make spears and bows and crossbows, and make fairly weak wooden walls. There are a few other resources such as iron, wheat, apples, peat etc. but these are less essential in the early parts in the game. To build certain buildings you need gold and the only way you can gain gold is by either selling your goods for a tiny amount, or taxing your workers. However, taxing your workers results them in being unhappy and they will begin top leave the castle unless you do something to cheer them up. These things include bribing them with food by increasing their rations, increase the variety of their food, so produce apples, cheese, and bread, or build happy little places for them to look at such as large ponds.

The game however does have some major flaws. As I said above I have been playing with my brothers and friends. My on one computer and them on the other, yet the game is always favoring the defending side. If you decide to build up massive defenses then there is little the other person can do to beat you. There are also issues with...balance...I guess you could say, as some troops are much much stronger then others for about the same cost. But overall, it has been a blast, I wasted most of yesterday playing with my brothers and loving the nostalgia. Oh, one last thing about Stronghold which is really the icing on the castle; each player is able to trade medieval insults. You just hit a button and the man will roar out "Weasel Turd!!"


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