It’s not really wording issues, it’s that there’s too much for the players to read. I understand that you want to push the mechanics as far as possible, but I personally don’t want to spend 5 minutes each scenario reading how the mechanics work, only to realise that the game is probably lost because I mis-read something. With scenario 4, I was thinking that you need to let the players know when teal changes stance, because it’s not written that teal changes stance at discontent level 20 or something (from experience). This would help the player avoid snowballing issues but maintain your mechanics so they can have that balance.
I’ve started scenario 5, but again found it too difficult in the second stage, and I think you have the same problem where the difficulty snowballs too fast if you can’t accomplish the side-quests quickly enough. there’s also some bugs that I found, for example orange and blue tend to send units to protect the mosque, but they end up clogging the middle so you can’t send units or villages north. Also do you lose control of the mosque when the castles are destroyed? I think the trade carts need to send some stone too, because its so hard to defend when the castles are not at full HP. Stone is quite far and the largest pile is under direct pressure from teal’s base. There is also a stuck relic behind some stone near blue’s eastern base.
I think I will probably stop at scenario 5, it’s just getting too hard and I am a bit time-poor so am reluctant to keep restarting. Overall I like the concepts you’ve introduced and the maps are beautiful. Each scenario offers something different so well done on putting this all together. Some further suggestions and overall comments:
1.) Adjust the difficulty scale. I understand you want to make a hard campaign, but even at standard it is too difficult, and there are casual players who want to just get immersed in the history and do something a bit different other than build and destroys. The mechanics are wonderful, but please make it easier for us casuals at the lower difficulties. For sure, keep it as hard as you want at the higher levels.
2.) Reduce the complexity of the scenarios and instructions. There’s too much time spent reading about mechanics which increases significantly the workload of the player, so many of them become a chore rather than a significant feature. You want the unique mechanics to stand out. As I have said, there’s too much reading and you should avoid addressing feedback with “did you read the instructions?”. Players probably did, but it was too much to remember and keep going back.
Some of the scenarios result in soft-locking defeats, where it is not possible to win. Scenario 4 and Scenario 5 had these issues, where in Scenario 5 I found in the first run, defeating teal’s bases whilst getting simultaneously raided because I hadn’t kept any leftover nobles or ox carts or monks was super hard. Also without siege, you’re basically not going to be able to destroy the castles, so if you miss the only blue base with siege, you’re basically not going further with the scenario if you run out of time before the saracens attack. Personally, some of the objectives should be listed as secondary objectives, not primary objectives, where they give you an advantage. Often if the secondary objectives are not completed, the disadvantage is too much, so it’s basically a defeat if you don’t accomplish them.
4.) The biggest problem I have is that generally, the enemies tend not to have an economy, and they auto-gen so many units. Fine, keep this at the hardest level, but for mere mortals make it an even playing field and give the enemies an economy to raid otherwise the game becomes grindy. Again, it’s the mechanics you want to let shine, not the disadvantages put on the player.
These are all suggestions, and my experience may not be the same as others so take these suggestions as you wish.