General Information

  • Name of Scenario : Al-Andulas: Trail of the Sun
  • Final Score : 25.0/30
    (Breakdown: 0-10 terrible /11-15 Average/ 16-20 Good/ 21-25 Excellent/ 26+Best possible)
  • Type of Scenario : Historical
  • Name of Author: Jesús Balsinde
  • Name of Reviewer: Alcibiaties of Athenae

Summary of Scenario:

An excellent historical recreation of the Christian reconquista of
Spain in the middle ages, carefully researched, and rich with
historical flavor and atmosphere.

The Moors

Playability – Section Sub-total: 5

Were you able to finish in a reasonable amount of turns? (Score: .5 )Yes
Did the scenario avoid being tedious or repetitive? (Score: .5) Yes
Did the scenario capture the essence of what it was portraying? (Score: 1 )Yes
Were you impressed with the overall sound effects? (Score: 1)Yes
Was the choice of and interaction between races appropriate? (Score: 1 )Yes
Did you enjoy playing the scenario? (Score: 1)Yes

scenario was very carefully researched and playtested to insure that
all the tribes were playable and interesting. Each tribe has a slightly
different feel, and the Christian and Moslem states have totally
different agendas in this game, with the two ideological blocks having
different resources and units available to them.

major Christian power is Castle-Leon, and this power receives a supply
of powerful units via events. The Christian powers are behind in the
tech race, and must steal tech from the Muslims for certain advances,
but the Christians can simply overwhelm their enemies with swarms of
powerful Calvary types.

The other Christian states are more difficult (Navarre is the hardest to play, in my opinion), but the game is fun for each.

The Al-Andalusians (the Moors) are the protagonists in this situation,
and they must attempt to cope with growing Christian power, while their
own steadily declines as the game unfolds.

Units – Section Sub-total: 4

Were the majority of units changed from the default Civ2 units? (Score: 1 )Yes
Was the scenario free of ‘unbalanced’ units? (Score: 1 )Yes
Were there innovative combinations of special unit abilities? (Score: 1 )Yes
Were Barbarian units appropriate when they appeared. {Score:1)Yes

This author provided many new and unique units in this scenario, which
have since been reused many times by others, but they got their start
here. Each Christian power has unique Pikeman, and in this scenario you
will see Crusaders, Templers, Hospitalers, even the legendary hero
El-Cid appears as a unit. All in all, this unit collection is quite
beautiful, and completely functional, shield placement is never a

Research – – Section Sub-total: 6

Was the progression of advance to advance done properly? (Score: 1 )Yes
Were advances properly related to new units and obsolescence? (Score: 1 )Yes
Was the tech tree of a high level of complexity? (Score: 1 )Yes
Were non-event messages amended to suit the scenario ? (Score: 1 )Yes
Was the civilopedia properly updated? (Score: 1 )Yes
Were there dysfunctional improvements or useless technologies? (Score: 1 )No

The research of this complex subject is a real strength in this
scenario, and the author has included a chronology (In Spanish, with an
offer for an English translation). The city names and where they are
located has been carefully researched, and names for cities in both
Spanish and their Muslim names in included were applicable. Each power
has an order of battle very close to it’s historical capabilities (as
close as civ-2 can provide), and this whole situation can be used as a
learning tool to better understand the Reconquista. (The retaking of
Iberia from the Moslems by Christian forces).

Map & Terrain – Section Sub-total: 6

Were you impressed by the Map in general? (Score: 1 )Yes
Was terrain properly adjusted to fit the scenario? (Score: 1 )Yes
Was attention given to geography and historical details? (Score: 1 )Yes
Were you happy with the city, fortress, terrain improvement graphics? (Score: 1 )Yes
Were city names and the placement of cities correct? (Score: 1 )Yes
Were there innovations used in relation to Terrain? (Score: 1 )Yes

As previously mentioned, the city placement and names are excellent, of
the very highest quality that is possible in a scenario. The Terrain
gifs are beautiful, and different looks are given to the Christian and
Moslem cities, making the play of each rich in historical flavor.

Care & Details – Section Sub-total: 5

Did you find the documentation adequate? (Score: 1 )Yes
Was the events file sufficient for the needs of the scenario? (Score: 1 )Yes
Were you happy with the improvement and wonder icons? (Score: 1 )Yes
Did you find any very apparent errors? (Score: 1 )No
Do you think a lot of effort was put into doing this scenario? (Score: 1 )Yes

The great care and attention to detail is evident throughout this fine
scenario, and the readme includes the author’s opinions of the
strengths and weaknesses of the various powers. Even a superficial
glance at this scenario shows that it contains a vast amount of careful
workmanship, and many hours spent crafting and playtesting to insure
that is enjoyable to play.

Originality and Technical Proficiency – Section Sub-total: 4

Were there any sounds you had never come across before? (Score: .5 )Yes
Did you discover many units not used in any other scenarios? (Score: 1 )Yes
Is the theme of the scenario completely novel? (Score: 1 )Yes
Were complex events used to carry the story line or enhance the AI? (Score: 1 )Yes
Did the author deal with all areas which could be modified? (Score: .5 )Yes

Once again, the care and the detail of this effort was outstanding.
This is truly a work of art by a true master of scenario making.

Overall Assessment and Other Points of Interest:

This is another fine series of Scenarios portraying the history of
Spain and it’s influence on history. The author built this scenario
with the greatest of care, with many beautiful and unique units,
wonders, and icons. Any scenario that has the name of Jesús Balsinde
included in the credits is sure to be among the best in the genre.


Credit: Screenshots on this page were taken by Jesús Balsinde.