In Nomine Domini v1.2
From Scenario League Wiki
Following the disintegration of Charlemagne’s Empire, three feudal kingdoms emerged, roughly corresponding to what we now know as France, Germany and Italy. These states were at the basis of medieval Europe but Germany, later the Holy Roman Empire, and Italy were never completely united again as kingdoms under a single authority but for a few rare exceptions. This is the environment in which European feudalism developed and were Christendom emerged as state religion for most of the countries of Europe. By now, only Moslem Spain refused the authority of the Pope and, one by one, Hungary, Russia and even the Vikings accepted Christianity.
In the East, the remnants of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Byzantines were surrounded by hostile Barbarians, the Slavs and Bulgars, the Turks, Arabs and Kurds, but the greatest threat was the Islamic religion itself.
The outcome of the religious struggle between the Cross and the Crescent in the Holy Land led inevitably to holy wars. The Christian Crusades were soon to be countered by the Moslem Jihad movement. It was the time of great deeds of chivalry but also the time of pillage and suffering.
As the name suggests, this scenario is mainly about the end of the Dark Ages in Medieval Europe and the evolution of the Crusades until 1291 A.D when the Christians lost Acco. It uses multiple events and rules files so you will be able to play as the English, Franks or Germans using event files specific to each tribe. InNomine also supports multi-player games.
As explained in the readme, this scenario is basically an improved version of Bernd Brosing’s excellent “Cross and Crescent” and uses many of the same unit graphics and events but with a larger and more accurate map, improved tech tree, and some new units and improvements. It also uses new sounds and city graphics.
IND is one of two scenarios created by Paul Mutica using Bernd Brosing's scenarios as a template, in this case, Cross and Crescent. Paul's designs are NOT simply modifications of Bernd's work, but are comprehensive reworkings down to very fine details.
Like Mamelukes, there are aspects to this scenario that are very nicely done. Here is a list;
1.) The units. Bernd's Brosing's medieval and ancient unit files are brilliant and colorful, and represent almost everything a medieval designer could want. Paul uses the best of everything, paying careful attention to historical accuracy.
2.) The Map. This is a very large map, but the size is put to good use. The individual regions are sized so that the local AI functions well. It covers the vital areas of historical action and effectively cuts off most of the inactive areas and channels movement by using invisible impassable units placed strategically.
3.) The Tech tree. This tech tree is far and away the best medieval tree I've ever seen. Very well informed and beautifully historical, it's a true masterpiece. I STRONGLY suggest that anyone creating medieval scenarios examine this tree first.
4.) The civs. The three civs intended for play are French, English, and German, with other civs representing the Fatamid and Turkish branches of Islam, the Byzantines, and a catch-all civ called Christian Kingdoms, which subsumes all the various independent regional states which existed at the time.
5.) The IDEA of a batch file that alters both the basic elements of the scenario and provides a new set of events.
There were aspects of IND that proved unsatisfying, however. Too many times the placement of impassable units limited strategic flexibility. The game is tightly bound to perform in the intended way, but perhaps too tightly bound. Strategic options are too few. As the English, holding on is just about all one can do--until the flood of units begins to appear in Normandy. As the French, there just aren't many options about where to direct military action--until the English units begin to appear in Normandy, and then hanging on is all one can do, once again. The Germans also have too few strategic options. The attempt to direct the players in this scenario is VERY well done, but tends to discourage spontaneous ahistorical strategies strongly. If you play this one, be prepared to reenact history, with all the frustrations attendant thereupon.
The use of the batch files has never been successful for me. The "event header not found" error always appears. Using it nevertheless, I attempted to examine the contents of the individual events files. There is some well thought out use in these, but the potential for this device was not fully implemented.
This is a complex scenario, deeply designed. Perhaps this reviewer is missing things. Do the more powerful units seen in the pedia make conquest, particularly city-taking, easier? It's difficult to say, because the new techs that provide these units prove difficult to obtain with all your cities producing military units while still losing ground. Emphasis on research and trade is only effective if these things can be protected. Are there events in later events files that eliminate some of the impassable units? Do unit stats for various types change with subsequent events files?
The most discouraging element of IND was encountered while playing as the French. During the initial run up to 1066 and the first batch file change, the French state can actually get on its feet and begin to build for expansion. It is under attack, but can make some progress. Just at the end of this period, however, the English recieve very powerful reinforcements in Normandy on every turn, sometimes more than one unit per turn. As the French player, watching your carefully-built state be occupied and ransacked by event-generated English units is no fun. While I do understand that this is intended to simulate the creation of the Angevin/Plantagenet state of the high medieval period, that state was created through fortunate dynastic marriage, not the conquest of half of France by vast, spontaneously-appearing English armies. This situation is rendered worse by the realization that, up to this time in Britain, the actual English are probably being overrun by Vikings of one variety or another.
In the end, everything works in this scenario. It is complete, and clearly functions in just the way the author intended. That said, the question of playability is raised, and that may be a subjective question. Is it fun? I strongly suggest examining it closely; if nothing else, it is instructive in the mechanics of the game and how they can be used effectively.