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Stronghold Crusader 2 review

Posted by EaglePrince on October 6, 2014 at 7:25 AM

Stronghold Crusader 2 is the successor to the successful RTS castle simulation game of the same name from 2002, With a full skirmish mode supporting up to eight total players (including fan beloved AI bots) and all new castle co-op skirmish mode, Crusader 2 is your ticket to castle simulation paradise.

For new Stronghold players:

Stronghold Crusader 2 is a real time strategy game set during the crusades, it has a stronger focus on combat as the ingame economy has been streamlined from the other Stronghold games. You are charged to provide food and entertainment for your workers who, in turn, form the backbone of your economy. Mine Stone, extract pitch, farm wheat, or chop wood. Once your stockpile has a steady flow of raw goods you are ready to refine them into weapons, drink, or processed food types. A strong economy is mandatory to support an ever growing military.

On the militant side of the game you have one of the hallmarks of the Stronghold franchise, entirely modular defense system. The map has a grid superimposed upon it which is used to align and place structures. Each wall is placed piece by piece, every tower and gatehouse where you want them. Lay traps such as killing pits and pitch ditches for your enemies and garrison your archers atop your great towers. There are many defensive and offensive tactics to experiment with, sally forth and meet your enemy in the field or bring the fight to your castle and employ traps and tower mounted siege engines to your advantage.

In skirmish mode the base objective is to kill all enemy lords, although multiplayer games have a greater range of victory conditions. The single player campaign has custom objectives and scripted invasions/events. When Steam Workshop becomes available for Stronghold Crusader 2 players will be able to create and share their own skirmish maps and custom missions.

For existing Stronghold Crusader HD players:

The biggest difference players coming from Crusader HD will notice is the transition to a full 3D game engine. Many of the same units feature in both games but I'll make a note of where they differentiate. Crusader HD fans will also notice a simpler overall economy with many previously gimmicky mechanics streamlined or just removed.


The following times were recorded using the time it took an archer to traverse a flat terrain map and are done on the diagonal (corners: top left to bottom right). Stronghold Crusader 2 has an additional map size and all map sizes for Crusader HD use numbers to represent size (eg 200x200).

>> Stronghold Crusader HD

Map Size | Time in seconds

160x160 | 46

200x200 | 58

300x300 | 88

400x400 | 118

>> Stronghold Crusader 2

Map Size | Time in seconds

Tiny | 20

Small | 60

Medium | 100

Large | 140

Extra Large | 220


-Changed! Faith - churches now operate similar to the Granary and needs candles to operate which are built in the chandler's workshop.

-Changed! Inns have remained largely unchanged but you only need to place one inn now to cover your entire populace.

-Changed! The Stockpile, Granary, and Armory now have unlimited storage capacity meaning you only need to place one.

-Changed! Iron Mines now require an Ox Tether much like Stone Quarries

-Changed! The Market can now be set to auto sell goods when they reach a preset threshold.

-Changed! each weapon type requires it's own unique workshop.

-Changed! Tower mounted siege engines can not be placed on stone towers, they incorporate their own wooden tower.

-Removed! Hunter's Hut, replaced with Pig Farm

-Removed! Fear Factor has been removed, troops will no longer receive a malus or a boost based on your economy.

-Removed! While not exactly a building, moats do not feature in the game.


-New! Slave Driver - whips nearby slaves into a frenzy

-New! Healer - units within range slowly regenerate HP

-New! Whirling Dervish - a poorly armored melee unit with a strong first contact attack

-New! Sassanid Knight - light knight with special charge attack

-New! Ranger - proficient with both sword and bow but has poor range

-New! Sergeant-at-Arms - units within range receive a HP boost

-New! Conscript - basic weak units, no weapons required to recruit

-New! Hussite War Wagon - can station units inside, provides protection and mobility

-New! War Wolf - super catapult

-New! Burning Cart - creates fire on impact, triggers traps

-Changed! Spearman now called Man-at-Arms and can throw his spear

-Changed! Maceman only requires a mace to recruit now

-Changed! Knight now called Templar Knight and can fight mounted or on foot

-Changed! Fire Thrower renamed to Oil Pot Thrower

-Changed! Battering Ram - Can now only destroy Gatehouses

-Changed! Catapult - can no longer throw diseased animals

-Changed! Portable Shield renamed to Mantlet

-Removed! Slinger

-Removed! Ladderman

-Removed! Siege Tower

-Removed! Tunneller

Engineers are no longer recruited but automatically provided if required when recruiting siege engines. Also, due to the 3D engine many of the map tricks previously used to create eye candy are impossible but there are a fair selection of set pieces to add some much welcomed variety.

Note: for those wondering how to access the map editor, go to your steam library dropdown menu and elect to filter your library by Tools. The map editor should show up on the list of utilities as 'Stronghold Crusader 2 Map Editor'. After a small 2MB install you are ready to start map making.

by Sir DavidSpy
source: Stronghold Nation

Categories: None

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