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Mathew Steel

A map editor tutorial

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Now I'm sure others such as Lord_Vetka have made tutorials for this already, I have wanted to do this for a while, since the Stronghold 2 editor is my strongpoint. I hope these hints and tips help you out when creating your very own Stronghold 2 map. Whether it's Kingmaker, Free Build, a War Scenario or a Peace Scenario! Plus, the guide has pictures! :D

 

Key - Green = New topic

Blue = Sub topic

 

Introduction

The first thing you should know about the Stronghold 2 map editor is that not everything is as clear as it may seem. It can be very difficult to use but at the same time it can be a joy to use! The map editor allows you to create 4 different types of maps. The first is Kingmaker (which is basically Stronghold 2's version of Skirmish, as seen in Crusader). Secondly, Free Build, this type of map allows the player to build a kingdom and an army for however long he wants without any form of enemy attacks (as of 1.4.1, there is an option to start invasions to test your kingdom's strength and to make the game more interesting). Third, we have War Scenario, war scenario allows the player to create his own campaign of sort, setting invasions, available troop types and so on. Finally, we have Peace Scenario's, peace scenario's are similar to war, except instead of being focused on armies and attacking, they focus more on reconstruction and helping other Lords or villages.

 

Starting

The first thing you should do before creating any map is decide what map you want to do. Once you've done this, you want to choose the map size. This is something that they've hidden quite well in Stronghold 2. The way to do this is to click the red "Edit Button" in the bottom right. Once you see the map, click the big tree (the terrain editor). In the mountain icon, there will be 3 small squares near the grid size selection. The two on the top allow you to choose between "small" and "large".

 

Image_1-1a5897.png

 

Now, the next thing to do is to configure your missions (if you chose Kingmaker, then ignore the next steps).

 

Free Build

To configure a free build map is simple. Firstly set the starting goods for your map (this is the wood, stone, iron the player starts with at the beginning of the mission). Next select "Edit" (the red button in the bottom right) to bring up the map. As there is only one player, you do not need to set any more territories. Go to the terrain editor ("Tree") choose the "Flag" icon. This will bring up a palette of different colour squares. Next to those squares you will see other icons, for now, all of those are irrelevant but one. Select the castle icon, then place the green flag anywhere on the map.

 

Image_2-79cb02.png

 

Now go back to the main map editor page. You will see a white background within the large square, with a keep somewhere on the map. Next to that large square, a red shield. Click that shield, then click the keep icon on the large square.

 

Image_4-ed705c.png

 

You have now set the territory for the player. That's it configuring your map. Skip to title "Editing the Map" for the next step.

 

War Scenario/Peace Scenario

NOTE - Peace and War Scenarios are in the same title because of the similarity. The only difference between them is the category. Both Peace and War Scenarios have all the same actions and triggers, the only difference is that Peace Scenarios are categorised as less battle and more economy building whereas War Scenarios are the other way around!

 

War Scenarios are the most difficult maps you will have to create, that's not to say it is difficult. First of all, you will want to think of the storyline and the mission. Once you have chosen what type of War Scenario you would like, I suggest editing the map first.

 

Now that you have your map. it is time to "script" the missions. You will notice upon selecting War Scenario as your map type, "Mission 1" automatically appears. Highlighting that, then selecting "Edit Mission" below the large square, will take you to the configuration menu. You will notice a "Lose" action with the condition beside it. I recommend leaving this action alone as for most missions, losing your Lord should make you fail the whole mission (unless of course that isn't important to the mission). There are loads of different missions you can create, with a load of different events. For the purpose of the tutorial, we are going to make a mission where the player must survive an enemy attack, then kill the enemy lord.

 

First, select "Add New Event" in the top left corner. This should take you to the events page. In actions, select "Win" then in triggers scroll down until you see "Enemy Lord Dead" select Edwin. Your events page should now look like this:

 

Image_5-10014e.png

 

Click the green arrow in the bottom left to go back. Select "Add New Event" again. In actions, select invasion. This will be a very simple invasion, change only the highlighted boxes, and match my screen print (to change the values, use the mouse scroller):

 

Image_6-71e7c0.png

 

Now go back to the configuration page. In the bottom of the page, you will notice another box which says "months". This indicates the months before the action is executed (a month in Stronghold 2 is equal to 1 minute in real life). I've set this to 12, you may set this to whatever you think is a fair amount of time. Note that this should vary depending on the missions difficulty, the starting goods, the map itself, the troops within the invasion (numbers and power) and what type of player will want to play the map!

 

Image_7-4158fc.png

 

Now go back to the edit mission page. Your mission should now be almost identical to the one on my screen. Notice how I highlighted 3 other options. Those are completely up to you to decide. The "Trader" option is what is available for purchase and for selling in the market. The "Start Goods" option is what the player will start with, this includes resources, gold and popularity! The third option, "Building Availability" is what the player is allowed to build. Note that the last option gets buggy towards the end of the list, you may need to select a building 3 choices higher than the building you want to actually edit:

 

Image_9-f73a1e.png

 

Now go into the map editor. Select the terrain editor "Tree" and choose the flag icon. This will bring up a palette of coloured squares. Next to those, 4 different coloured flags. Since we selected red as the "Invasion Point" in the invasion event, we will select the red flag. It's important you place the first red flag in the right place as we chose "Flag 1" in the event editor and there is no way to delete a flag! Place the red flag wherever you wish the invasion to start. If you want to make it look realistic, I suggest placing it on the border of the map, but not too close as this can cause game crashes or the invasion to not work! The enemy troops will automatically attack the Player since we set the "Attack Player" option to true by selecting "Player".

 

Image_10-542238.png

 

For the final part, skip to title "Setting Territories".

 

Setting Territories

Setting territories is mandatory for any map type! Luckily, it's very simple to do. Every player/AI needs his own territory. There are two different set ups. One for kingmaker, the other for Free Build and War/Peace Scenarios. Since kingmaker is the easiest, we will start with that.

 

Set-up 1

Once in the map editor, select the terrain editor "Tree" then click the flag icon to bring up the territory selector. By default the whole map is red, this counts as one huge territory. For the tutorial, we will only set 2 territories, although you may have up to 17 (territories are needed for estates as well as castles). We will make the territories equal, to help us, we will use the grid option.

 

Image_11-73b222.png

 

Select territory 2 (orange) and change the brush size to the largest one. I've highlighted the icons to select:

 

Image_12-81c7b3.png

 

It's useful to know that there are 64 big squares length and width along the "Large" size map and 32 on a "Small" size map (using the grid) making a perfect square for each map size. This is equal to 256 small squares length and width for the "Large" size map and 128 small squares length and width for the "Small" size map. Meaning for 2 equal size territories on a large map you will have to give both territories 32 big squares length and width, and 16 big squares length and width on a small map.

 

Once you have done this, select the "Keep" icon next to the colour palette. Place one keep flag in each territory:

 

Image_13-626fcb.png

 

Note that using the building editor "Tower" then selecting the "Hovel" icon takes you to a page where you will see 4 different keeps. Placing one keep in each territory moves the flag and sets the keep spawn.

 

For kingmaker you have finished.

 

Set-up 2

Continuing from Set-up 1, go back to the main map editor page. You will see 2 keep icons in the large square. Since you have selected the map type Free Build or War/Peace Scenario, you will have a selection of different shields, (Free Build only gives you one shield) free Build is explained more in-depth in the "Free Build" title! Select the Player shield (red) and place it on the Player's territory. Depending on your opponent/allies you will select their shield and place it on the correct territory. For the purpose of this tutorial, I will use the Player's shield and Olaf's shield:

 

Image_14-5a0b02.png

 

You will see the territories match the colour of the attire.

 

That is the second Set-up complete.

 

 

Editing the Map

This section will cover map editing techniques and tricks that I've found during my time using the map editor. First, take note that there are 2 different types of editors. Building and Terrain, as I like to call them. Building is shown by a "Tower" while terrain is shown by a "Tree".

 

Image_15-a37d99.png

 

I won't go too much into detail with the building editor as it's quite self explanatory. It allows the player to place buildings into the map. There are some map editor-only buildings, such as ruined bridges and monasteries, which the Player can repair during the mission. There are also different keeps and an outlaw camp which you can place into the map as well.

 

Terrain Editor

The terrain editor is the most important tool within the map editor. Every single map requires you to use at least one section of the terrain editor. Again, nearly everything in the terrain editor is self explanatory, but there are a few things which you may not understand, so I will go over those now.

 

Image_16-67c837.png

 

I will work my way from the top left highlighted icon, to the bottom right highlighted icon.

 

1. The first icon in this section is the river icon. Simply this allows you to place flowing rivers into your map.

2. The one right to that icon is the river-flow editor. This allows you to edit the river flowing direction to suit your liking.

3. The next icon creates a ripple effect within the river. As if someone had dropped a pebble lightly into the river.

 

4. Now we move on to the sea placing icon. This simply allows you to place the sea into your map.

5. Next to that we have the sea flow editor, similar to the river-flow editor, except it's for the sea :P

 

6. This icon allows the player to place marsh land, where the player may gather pitch.

7. Finally fog, this icon allows the player to make foggy areas.

 

Textures

Textures is an important feature to use in order to make your map look as beautiful and realistic as you can. All the textures are useful, but I'm going to go over my favourite ones.

 

Image_17-982f6e.png

 

I will work from left to right, of the highlighted icons.

 

1. This one is a dead and damp type of grass. It's useful in very small patches to add different types of textures into simple and plain areas.

2. This texture is my favourite grass texture. It's a dark and damp grass, useful in large patches to cover a lot of plain grass.

3. The default grass texture. I highlighted this because I use it as an eraser. Any land that looks ugly or overcrowded, dab some plain grass on it and start again.

 

Image_18-bf09e8.png

 

Again, I will work from left to right.

 

1. The first highlighted stone is sort of rubble mixed with damp grass. It's useful for broken paths, or for low-rocky areas.

2. This texture is the default grass with pebbles. It's useful scattered around flat land on mountains or next to stone buildings.

3. This texture is similar to the first one, but it contains more stone than grass and has almost a marsh land look to it.

 

Image_19-56d7cd.png

 

Once more, left to right.

 

1. This one is plain dirt, with particles of green grass poking through. Useful next to iron ore, or in ditches within mountains.

2. This is the opposite to the first. It is the default grass texture, with almost dust like mud. Useful for muddy paths or next to wooden structures.

 

This next trick I want to show you isn't so much a texture. A lot of people use this as a marker, I use it to change the time of day of my maps. This is how to create night time maps in Stronghold 2 map editor.

 

Image_23-ded5f1.png

 

Let me show you how well this works! -

 

Image_21-794102.png

Day Time

 

 

Image_22-b2efc4.png

Night Time

 

 

That's it for my tutorial. I hope this helps you out! Any questions just post a comment and I'll get back to you ASAP!

Thank you for reading!

 

Best regards,

Tom :)

Edited by Mathew Steel

"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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Wow, you've gone into amazing detail here. You've put loads of effort into this one! :)

 

I'm going to stick this topic & feature it on our homepage. It also seems you've saved me a lot of work, I've been meaning to get an article like this done for a few months now, but haven't ever got around to it. Could I post this as an official article, and would you like to release the map in the tutorial as an example map?

 

Really good work! :D

Edited by Lord_Chris

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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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You sure can :)

 

Thank you for the kind words again! :D

 

By the example map you mean the War Scenario map?


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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Yeah, that would be a good addition to the downloads as well - but I originally meant the map under the textures heading:

 

Image_21-794102.png


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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Ah sneaky ;)

 

Yeah, just the war one from the tutorial then, please. :)


Quote

The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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Haha no no I wouldn't have took credit for it, I would've uploaded it and said "Created by some forgotten soul" :D

 

I didn't actually save that but I'll make a simple map using the tutorial I wrote to show all the features.

 

Since we're on the subject, I noticed my map hasn't been accepted. Is that something on my side or just nobody has had time to check it yet? It's no rush just curious :)


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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I haven't had time to check it yet and no other staff member has been online today. I'm hoping to be able to do it later today, if not I'll do it tomorrow.


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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I've submitted the map I created in the tutorial. It has some changes to it to make the map easier for beginners :)


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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Just so you know I updated the map to fix the no pikemen mistake. It seems I selected swordsmen instead :P


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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I've approved your updates, and here is your article: http://www.strongholdnation.co.uk/article/186-a-map-editor-tutorial :)


Quote

The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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can anyone help with maps? that?i?can download and help me step by step how to upload it into the game itself? really want to try a new and cool maps.?

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Hi @baroniliya,

 

You put the downloaded maps into your My Documents/Stronghold 2/maps folder. The downloaded files should have an s2m extension for Stronghold 2.

 

We currently don't have an article on this, so thank you for your input, I will write one explaining this for new users. :)


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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Hi. I recently decided to try creating a war custom map, but the amount of problems I'm encountering starts to discourage me. I list a few problems and I hope I can get help with at least some of them.

 

1. Annoyances: when I delete carter's posts the cart remains. Same happens when I deleted a hobelar, yet his horse remained on the map.

 

2. Knight problem: When I set an invasion that includes knights, they attack on foot, instead of sitting on horse. However, in the campaign, Barclay's knight in chapter 6 attack on horseback and when I modded chapter 8 to make Hugo Blanc attack the player, those knights also came with horse. Is there a way to put those invading knights on horseback?

 

3. Major issue with changing castle and estate ownership: the peace campaign had a feature when I relocate to a castle and convert the old estate into village. However, when I'm trying to do that, it becomes a neutral village or a "friend" if I don't touch the estate. The change also left me buggy.

 

A: getting like 500 gold from somewhere, despite I'm having set the resources. I'm also receiving 10 honor/month without having statues on the lord's estate or in my old one. No monastery either.

 

B: just like in chapter 6, the estates' banner not changing with the owner. I or an enemy lord taking an estate and despite capturing it, the banner remains the original owner's.

 

Similarly, I have found no options for ownership change or anything specific about the estate. For example chapter 11 has me to take Upwey from William, which is a feature I can't replicate. The peace campaign also gives me neutral or other lord's estate with a trigger I didn't manage to find. It's something coded or I'm just missing it somehow?

 

4. War chapter 8 had custom lords such as Duke de Montparnasse, Lord Beaufort and Hugo Blanc. Each of them shared the default Matthew Steele lord. Is there a way to change the lords' appearance or at least rename them?

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Welcome to the Nation @Cortez!

 

1. Annoyances: when I delete carter's posts the cart remains. Same happens when I deleted a hobelar, yet his horse remained on the map.

 

This does sometimes happen, although these are only present in the editor, and can have things painted over the top of them. In short, although the graphic model still exists, just ignore it as it only exists in the editor as a model. You can add trees, rivers .etc. over the top and the game treats them as if they don't exist.

 

2. Knight problem: When I set an invasion that includes knights, they attack on foot, instead of sitting on horse. However, in the campaign, Barclay's knight in chapter 6 attack on horseback and when I modded chapter 8 to make Hugo Blanc attack the player, those knights also came with horse. Is there a way to put those invading knights on horseback?

 

As far as I'm aware, unfortunately not. I don't think there is any way to get invading knights to use a horse unless they are modified from a campaign chapter which does. Though I am astonished that this functionality isn't added into the game editor.

 

Major issue with changing castle and estate ownership: the peace campaign had a feature when I relocate to a castle and convert the old estate into village. However, when I'm trying to do that, it becomes a neutral village or a "friend" if I don't touch the estate. The change also left me buggy.

 

Could you describe exactly how you're doing this, what process you're following and all details such as event markers and estate colours so we can try to replicate this?

 

getting like 500 gold from somewhere, despite I'm having set the resources. I'm also receiving 10 honor/month without having statues on the lord's estate or in my old one. No monastery either.

 

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this. Is it that you don't want this?

 

just like in chapter 6, the estates' banner not changing with the owner. I or an enemy lord taking an estate and despite capturing it, the banner remains the original owner's.

 

This is a known bug, unfortunately. Sometimes it changes straight away, sometimes it takes a while and sometimes it doesn't change at all.

 

Similarly, I have found no options for ownership change or anything specific about the estate. For example chapter 11 has me to take Upwey from William, which is a feature I can't replicate. The peace campaign also gives me neutral or other lord's estate with a trigger I didn't manage to find. It's something coded or I'm just missing it somehow?

 

Unfortunately, in some cases, such as custom messages and other things in the Peace Campaign, there is no way to create this in the game. You can only use existing campaign maps and unlock them to use their events instead. This is a pain, but unfortunately there is no other way of doing this that I'm aware of.

 

War chapter 8 had custom lords such as Duke de Montparnasse, Lord Beaufort and Hugo Blanc. Each of them shared the default Matthew Steele lord. Is there a way to change the lords' appearance or at least rename them?

 

If the lord is a built-in Lord (e.g. Olaf) then you can change their appearance by renaming the .uni files. If the lord is not a built-in lord, such as Duke de Montparnasse, you must edit the appearance of your own lord which will also change them. There is no other way to do that.

 

In terms of renaming lords, all game text is found in the file C:\Program Files (x86)\Firefly Studios\Stronghold 2\i18n\en.xml. All Lord names are also in there, so you can change them from there.

 

I'm sorry to say that we don't currently have a tutorial on doing that, but you simply edit the XML file and run the game again, which should show the new text. Though if you have any questions, I'm more than happy to answer them.


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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Thank you for your quick response.

 

The map's first mission is like this: you start as "rebellious estate" (which is in reality a castle, although very small). Your mission is to take out your liege (an enemy lord) and take his castle. If you kill the lord, there's a "take enemy castle" event, which happens along with the "convert estate (your old castle) into village at the end of the 1st mission. However, this event somehow resets my former estate into neutral, instead of letting me have it as a village.

 

My only possible suspicion about this strange resource gain is maybe a bug due to the castle's former allies (the other lords). Although they are hostile to the player before and after taking over the castle, they are the only ones with statues that generate honor, thus can be the reason of your honor gain. I set the allies correctly, the hostility proves it, but can we somehow share resources?

 

I'm familiar with the .uni change, but the problem with it is that I have to change my own lord into someone else in order to have another "matthew steele" lord. Hugo Blanc and his pals were all default lords and from what I know, changing the .uni files can't have similar names, thus I can only have one "matthew steele".

 

The xml modification is like the .uni change as it works only for me? So, if I want to upload my finished map, I have to include the xml file too in order to other people see the changes as well?

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Could you screenshot a list of all the current events into the forum for me (Map Editor -> click on individual mission -> screenshot)? You can follow this tutorial for taking a screenshot inside Stronghold 2.

 

My only possible suspicion about this strange resource gain is maybe a bug due to the castle's former allies (the other lords). Although they are hostile to the player before and after taking over the castle, they are the only ones with statues that generate honor, thus can be the reason of your honor gain. I set the allies correctly, the hostility proves it, but can we somehow share resources?

 

So if I understand this correctly, this phenomena only occurs after the take enemy castle event? If so that to me sounds like you're gaining any gold or honour which the AI had before the event happened.

 

I'm familiar with the .uni change, but the problem with it is that I have to change my own lord into someone else in order to have another "matthew steele" lord. Hugo Blanc and his pals were all default lords and from what I know, changing the .uni files can't have similar names, thus I can only have one "matthew steele".

 

Yeah, unfortunately there is no way to actually do this that I'm aware of. I would be very surprised if there isn't some way, but it's likely to be very complicated and will require the editing of a lot of different files to do so. The only way I can think of is to follow the trail of everything relating to existing lords and attempt to add in the ones for (e.g. Hugo Blanc) using the same naming conventions that already exist. We may get lucky.

 

It is obvious to me that when the skin of a lord does not exist, or there is some for of issue, it falls back on Matthew Steele instead. This could potentially be the explanation, which is why adding in this may work.

 

The xml modification is like the .uni change as it works only for me? So, if I want to upload my finished map, I have to include the xml file too in order to other people see the changes as well?

 

Yes, unfortunately this is the case. Language changes only affect your version of the game. While it is possible to create a portable application which can both install and uninstall any changes such as these inside the language files, this is very probably too complicated for most modders and so simply uploading the updated XML file is a better way.


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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Recent test only showed the gold increase which is still weird, because if I cap a resource, I shouldn't get more. I have the pictures, but how am I putting it to my comment?

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You can use an external service (e.g. postimg) and then paste the link in here for us to view.

 

Or, another alternative is to post them directly here on the forum. As a general rule you need 5 posts on the forum to post attachments, but I've promoted you so you can now upload them directly with your post if it's any easier. Note though that you can only upload one image at a time so should edit your post to add any more screenshots.


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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Alright, I'll try uploading them.

472986882_STRONG12017-02-1721-14-11-58.thumb.jpg.1fe65f27eeeee92e1de778bc95df1364.jpg

2126813527_STRONG12017-02-1721-13-05-98.thumb.jpg.3f9f1fe6b223f44abf09ebe5301a29c4.jpg

Edited by Cortez

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Just ignore the first 58 one, it's the second mission.

1032366284_STRONG12017-02-1721-14-11-58.thumb.jpg.6b7ab2f875701b81cc75ff41ca749514.jpg

838834787_STRONG12017-02-1721-13-35-65.thumb.jpg.8af95d204d4cebe79ed158ea033183ab.jpg

Edited by Cortez

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You can also try with Photobucket. From there you can just use a tool to copy the bb code of the desired picture. The downside of Photobucket is it has a lot of add banners which can be annoying if you don't have a powerful PC. Maybe Postimg is better in that regard.

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Attaching things or just dragging them into my comment section seems easier than messing with photobucket just to upload some image.

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A couple of things which stand out to me:

 

  1. "Take enemy's Castle" - can you show me everything you have setup for this event?
  2. Set Allies - can you screenshot this event for me
  3. Building sites - can you also screenshot this

 

Other than this, as far as I can tell, it's simply a case of correct invasion markers. Can you also confirm though, what the exact setup is once you've started the second mission? (e.g. Does the estate still fall under the control of the deceased Edwin, is it Neutral, does it belong to you .etc.)

 

Could you also confirm the ownership of any other estates which are on the map, both before and after you've started mission 2.


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⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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      in Stronghold Crusader & Crusader Extreme

    • Stronghold 2 Map Editor Help

      Hello, Within the map editor, I am trying to make a trigger where the player takes control of an AI player for a period of time (like in the military campaign, or when you take over Sir William?s estate to gain him honour while he is gone). Does anyone know how to do this? I saw something about controlling AI and it says enabled or disabled... but it seems to not do what I want it to do. Feel free to DM me or reply here! Thanks :)

      in Stronghold 2

    • Stronghold 2 Scenario Editor Question

      In the Stronghold 2 (and Stronghold Legends) scenario editor, is there another set of keys one can use when setting things like the start date without using the mouse wheel? (I honestly see no reason why there isn't since some people play on laptops and not all computer mice have wheels, but there is no indicator there is an alternative to using the mouse wheel in the documentation.)

      in Stronghold 2

    • New Tutorial - Modifying Crusader 2

      I've posted this on the main site under a tutorial, but since this helps people to modify the game files which wasn't possible beforehand, I'll post a link to it here: http://www.strongholdnation.co.uk/article/167-enable-viewing-all-game-files   This can be a help thread in case people need assistance with it :)

      in Stronghold Crusader 2

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