So I finished all 7/7 Required Objectives in the Archidamian Campaign, and now since I have a good feeling I've fully explored what the Scenario has offered at least, to what's available in this Alpha 6 Version, here are my final conclusions and thoughts based on Alpha 6 preview of this scenario: (This is gonna be a long post, so grab a cup of coffee, soda, or whatever floats your boat, hehe) Note I won't really talk about any bugs or such, since I've already posted them in the news thread, this just an overall feedback-suggestion post.
** Army Make-up of the Peloponnese Army and Feel of the Campaign
I have mixed thoughts about this, I know I spoke about this before and you gave some very nice feedback on that Rob, but overall I was a bit disappointed with the fact that most the armies I dealt with, were mostly made up of Spearmen and Peltast, at the same time some battles, especially near Attica in the beginning against Thebes, and naturally down the line towards the end at Plyos, we're truly epic because it feels like they throw every single unit at me and at times I was sweating bullets, even on these lowly units. However, I think if more Hoplites were thrown into the mix, if possible, I would feel a lot more pressure, and a lot more resistance, and even more epic the battles would seem. Also, in the entire 18 hours or so I played the scenario, I do not think I encountered one single Spartan Hoplite, perhaps towards the end in the climatic areas of Pylos, you guys can script some actual spartan units to come at you there? (I'll go more on the main required objectives in a bit)
As to how the overall campaign felt, I think it was a nice change of pace from Macedonia, you truly are a massive empire, with at times, everyone seems to be against you, but as you gradually turn the tide, and gather your own allies (I had the Phocians and Argos on my side which helped big time), you can start to turn the tide, and I really like that fact. However, I did have to side-track a lot and wipe out certain areas because they were just to much of a threat like Thebes and Corinth (especially after I allied with Argos, since Corinthians came at me non-stop after that), so I had to take all their cities, because they were just too dangerous to leave around, so I do feel some Objectives should maybe touch up on that too, so it feels you consistently accomplish something towards working towards a truce with Sparta.
**Comic Book Style Cinematics
I hope this maybe is in towards the final release, but those Comic Book style cinematic were awesome for Phillip, and I only wish there was more of them there, if possible, I highly recommend to do something like this here because you have much better story to tell, and I think it would truly give a sense of attachment to all characters that you control.
**Shortness compared to Phillip Scenario
This is difficult to judge because I'm seeing one half of 2 scenarios pertaining to the same war plus it's not a final-release product yet, but overall this playthrough took me 18 hours, while in my many Playthroughs of Phillip Scenario, I've easily eclipsed over the 60-70 hour mark, with still about 5 or so primary objectives left to go after, besides naturally the many secondary Objectives still to do. Again, not sure if all the entire features of the first scenario are in yet, but never the less, I am pointing that out, in case you wish to add more objectives, or something to lengthen the scenario if possible.
**Breakdown of all required Objectives
So, since I've completed all 7 required objectives, I'd like to give my feedback on that, and perhaps some suggestions to each required Objectives, if you guys feel it's viable and within the historical confines that you are trying to accomplish for this scenario.
1)Ravage the Megarid
A very straight forward objective, and probably the first major battle that any player would encounter with Corinth and also Thebes which will send help , so I enjoyed it a lot. There is not much critiquing I'm really going to say about this, as I think this objective served it's purpose in many ways (between lower the hostility with Thrace, and the extra Heroic points for the Generals). If anything perhaps you should also get some gold for accomplishing this, since this was one of Athens first major offensive moves in the war.
2) Pericles Predicament
A another interesting objective, to get Potidea back, and again not much critiquing to be done here, the reward of objective of 500 gold is quite handy for accomplishing this. Granted, I'll give 300 of that back most of the time, since I have to do a Truce with the Chalcidian League, or else it becomes to much to handle there, but overall it was rather fun and most importantly showcases Athens naval strength which is good.
3)A Plague Upon Thee
Not much to say here, very straight forward, lose one awesome General, but gain another awesome General instead. I think here would be a perfect time for a nice Comic Book Style cutscene, if you are thinking about using that.
4)Hipponicus and Eurymedon at Tanagra
This objective can be a little deceiving, as you got to move these guys into a Theban controlled city, so naturally it needs to be conquered first. But at the same time, it's a huge catch-22, because then you'll stir up the Hornets Nest of the rest of Thebes. I do think this objective needs to be a refined a bit more. It seems this main objective was to knock a seriously blow to the Boeotian Allies, but in reality, all you're doing is just tickling them, because you still have to do way more in Boetia to settle things there. In my case, I just went after the rest of their cities to truly silence that front once and for all, and I think more objectives within this one here should reflect this. Again, just to give progression of the overall sense that you're moving towards a truce with Sparta, and this is one step along the way. Now, if you say this may not be historical or something? Well, you did make us conquer Sparta as a required objective in the Phillip Scenario, which Phillip, or Alexander the Great never did, so I feel some liberties can be taken here in my eyes.
5)Demosthenes Plan, Trap a Spartan, and Catch of the Day (Since they are all around the same area)
Here's where it starts to get epic, and really well done I think, I like this idea, of raiding that little area, fortifying my position there, and prepare for hell which is what basically happened :) I think, here, if possible, the game could use some nice scripted sequences, especially with an actual Spartan army if that's possible. It would truly be an awesome climax to the scenario I think, but overall these string of objectives are well done.
Well, that's my opinion so far from Alpha 6 on this, Overall I really enjoyed it, and naturally there's massive potential in this. I think, if anything, there needs to be more raiding on the coast objectives, to reflect the true damage Athens did to that Peloponnese Coast, I think also adding more objectives like this would increase the shortness I felt in the overall campaign I think. Overall though, this is going to be one awesome experience come final release, so I do hope this feedback helps, and naturally looking forward to more play testing, and also checking out the final scenario of this War :)