This article will briefly introduce you to the Custom Skirmish scenario type in Stronghold Legends, and what you need to do in order to play both by yourself and online with your friends.
To begin with, the Custom Skirmish settings can be accessed via the main menu of the game. To get there, select Single Player and then Custom Skirmish. This will bring you to this screen:
This Custom Skirmish screen is used for both single player and multiplayer games, although to get here in multiplayer you must get here via a different route which we will discuss later on. We have divided the screen up into several different sections. They are:
This section shows all of the current players, both human and AI, who will play on the map. Unlike in Stronghold 2 there is no distinction between human and AI players. The player is marked by their name in white text. The green tick/red cross is for multiplayer games only, and symbolises that the player is ready to start the game. In multiplayer games you can set this by left clicking on the larger tick next to the "Play Game" button.
When you first enter the Custom Skirmish settings in single player, only your own name will be present and will need to manually add AI lords to play the game. When you enter multiplayer the other players will soon automatically enter the game lobby with you, and will immediately appear as opponents as soon as this happens.
You can add AI Lords into your game by clicking the "Add Computer Opponent" button, and select your opponent from the available AI Lords. You can add multiple versions of the same AI Lord in your game. This can also be used in Multiplayer mode as well, meaning that another difference between Stronghold Legends and Stronghold 2 is that you can also play with AI Characters online in Stronghold Legends. To remove an AI Character, or a human player if you're in multiplayer mode, click on the "boot" button next to the respective player- this is left of the green arrow/red cross.
Unlike previous games in the series, Stronghold Legends provides you with the ability to play as a faction. The available factions are: Arthur (Green Shield), Ice (Blue Shield), Evil (Red Shield). Each faction has different abilities, units, buildings and traits. You can cycle through the available factions by left clicking on the shield next to your own name, which is always Arthur by default. You can right click on your own shield to lock all the factions for the players. Right click again to unlock them. Note that AI Lords also play as a faction, although you cannot change the faction of an AI Lord. Human players in multiplayer will have the ability to change their own faction by left clicking on their own shield.
Each player in the game, whether AI or human, will also have a coloured square on the left-hand side of the menu, respective to their row in the opponents table. This depicts the colour of the player during the game, and unlike in Stronghold 2, you can change your own colour (and other player's)! There are a total of 10 colours to choose from. It is also the same colour that the player is shown on using the minimap to the right of the screen. If you change a player colour, it will instantly update on the minimap as well. You can setup teams by changing the number on the flag by the player's name. To do this simply left click on it, cycling through the available team numbers. You can can a total of 4 different teams. In the screenshot below, I am in a team with Dietrich while Sir Lancelot and Morded are in no alliance, i.e. they will be hostile to every player. Setting a player's team does not impact what castle they are assigned to on the minimap. You can have a total of 4 players per map.
The minimap shows a preview of whichever map is selected, the number of estates it contains and which players are currently assigned to which estates. There are three types of estates for the purpose of this Kingmaker menu:
As players are added to the player list on the left, they are automatically assigned a castle estate on the minimap. The allocated castle estate will colour an estate containing a grey tower icon to that player's colour (automatically assigned by default). You can assign village estates (containing a red banner icon instead of a grey tower) to yourself or other lords as well as your castle estate, but each player can only have one castle estate. To change a player's estate, click on the tower icon with their colour and then left click on another castle estate to change their location. You can also swap estates with another player by doing this and clicking on their estate too. Please note the following points about estates before you change any castle estate ownership:
Some maps contain village estates. These villages will sometimes produce goods on their own, or sometimes you will need to start production in those villages. The only way of telling this is through the game editor, unfortunately. To start production in an estate, left click on the village keep, and select which resource production you would like to switch to. Note that unlike in Stronghold 2, you can no longer place your own buildings in village estates. You must otherwise play the map to see exactly what the village estates offer, but this doesn't necessarily prevent you from assigning these estates to players before you begin the game.
To assign a village estate, you should left click on your own castle estate, and then click on whichever village estate you would like to use. Note that this estate's background should turn the same colour as your own estate does. If the village was previously assigned to another player, they will lose that estate and nothing else will happen. You can remove the ownership of a village by left clicking on the castle estate of whoever owns the village estate, and then left clicking on the village estate again. This will remove any ownership from the village and leave it neutral again.
The rules for village estates are as following:
This section allows you to list all of the available maps that can be played for Custom Skirmish. You can sort the maps by the number of players (castle estates), whether or not the maps are balanced, and alphabetically. You simply left click a heading to do this, and left click again to reverse the sort order.
With the number of players, remember that this is just a maximum amount. You can still play with only a single AI lord if that's all you want. A map must have at least 2 castle estates before it can be used as a Custom Skirmish map. If it does not, then it will appear greyed out or you will not be allowed to begin the game whilst that specific map is selected. If you have no castle estates placed in your map, then the map will always be greyed out, regardless of how many players are currently assigned to your map.
Similarly if you have more AI lords selected than castle estates for them, maps that cannot accomodate this large number of players will also be greyed out. One or more players must be removed in that circumstance in order for the game to begin.
Maps are considered to be balanced if each castle estate is roughly the same size, as well as having roughly the same level of resources and defensive structures (i.e. hills) that all other castle estates have. Balanced maps should also contain roughly the same amount of wood, stone and iron in all castle estates. If your map does not have all these properties, then it is not balanced. Unbalanced maps can be more interesting because each player has different natural resources available to them. With these kinds of maps, village estates and alliances become very important in ensuring that players can still function properly in the game. For example, some estates may have an excess of iron but no stone, or vice-versa.
The other two ways you can sort maps are through their name and date. The map name is sorted alphabetically, while the map date is not shown. The map date is sorted by the date the map was created or downloaded to your computer.
To select a map you simply scroll down the list and click on its name. Once you have selected your map, the minimap preview will change instantly and re-assign all of the players to estates on the new map. Note that any village estates will be cleared and you will need to re-assign any of them if there is an option to do so on the new map.
Starting conditions on the map will allow you to setup what each player receives in terms of money, troops and resources when they start the game. Clicking on this icon will bring up the following screen
By left clicking on a box, you will cycle through the available starting resources for that category. These are:
Random events are video messages that will sometimes occur during the game. These can be anything from your peasants revolting, to Outlaws or Mercenaries joining your Castle, to Witchraft or other events. Sometimes the random event will actually occur in game and not just be a message, i.e. Outlaws or Mercenaries will actually join your Army and arrive at your Keep, while the peasants around your Campfire will actually revolt.
Trading your resources will allow you to buy/sell resources from your Stockpile. Trading Food will allow you to buy/sell food from your Granary. Trading Weapons will allow you to buy/sell weapons from your Armoury. The button Toggle all starting options will toggle the amount of starting resources you receive and keep each one in relative alignment to the other. This will start at low resources, and toggle through to high before returning back to low again. The Toggle all trading options performs a similar task, but only toggles the resources, food and weapons settings.
On a King of the Hill Scenario, there will be an additional box in this menu. This will be entitled KOTH Points, and will cycle through the available number of points for a player to collect before they win the game. The available options are as follows: 2, 5 (default), 10, 20, 30, 60. For a full list of the other starting goods available to you on the other various settings, please see the table below:
|Resource Setting||Low||Medium (Default)||High|
|Starting Resources||30 Wood, 15 Stone||100 Wood, 50 Stone, 10 Iron, 10 Wheat, 10 Hops||500 Wood, 100 Stone, 20 Iron, 20 Wheat, 15 Flour, 10 Hops, 10 Ale|
|Starting Food||25 Apples||40 Apples, 20 Cheese, 20 Bread||100 Meat, 100 Apples, 100 Cheese, 100 Bread|
|Starting Weapons||10 Bows, 10 Spears||10 Bows, 5 Crossbows, 5 Swords, 10 Maces, 5 Pikes, 10 Spears, 10 Plate Armour, 15 Leather Armour||20 Bows, 10 Crossbows, 10 Swords, 15 Maces, 10 Pikes, 20 Spears, 20 Plate Armour, 25 Leather Armour|
|Starting Troops||10 Men-At-Arms, 5 Archers||30 Men-At-Arms, 15 Archers, 5 Macemen, 2 Knights||30 Men-At-Arms, 20 Archers, 15 Macemen, 10 Pikemen, 10 Swordsmen, 5 Crossbowmen, 2 Knights, 10 Laddermen|
King of the Hill Mode is a new Skirmish mode available in Stronghold Legends. Upon selecting this button, you will be taken to the King of the Hill selection screen and will lose any previously configured settings on Deathmatch mode. You can create your own King of the Hill maps using the map editor, but these must be specifically configured through the map editor. You cannot use a Skirmish or Deathmatch map on a King of the Hill game.
Once the King of the Hill mode has been selected, you will be able to select your map, players and teams as your normally would do. The only difference is that within the Starting Resources for the players menu section, there is an extra option entitled KOTH Points. This will allow you to set the number of points for an individual to collect before winning the game on a King of the Hill scenario. To return to deathmatch again, simply left click on the skull icon left of the King of the Hill icon.
This will allow you to type in the box and send messages to the other players over multiplayer. However, you cannot send any messages in single player. To do so in multiplayer, simply type in your message in the box at the bottom, and then hit the enter key to send it.
This button will take you back to the Single Player menu screen.
If you are happy with your player settings, and everything is configured correctly, then this will allow you to start the game.
The best way to set up your Custom Skirmish or multiplayer game is to follow the following steps as it will help you to do things in a logical order: