Tied up at the Crossroads
Eight player maps are very exciting to play but also hard to create (The playability is often the main problem). This map brought me pleasant moments while playing against three AI teams: team No 1 – Wolf and Richard, team No 2 – Emir and Caliph, and team No 3 – Pig, Wazir and Saladin (With a computer advantage). Emir and Caliph inhabited the North West part, Richard and Wolf started in the West, team No 3 had their stone keeps in the largest land. I chose the North East position. The map had no problems: AIs completed their fortifications, ran a strong economy (Richard was killed soon due to Saladin’s and Caliph’s bows). Wolf was left alone and it seemed that he’s a goner. Again the strongest AI proved his title, and I was left with Wolf to find out who will survive and win this mission- meat chopper. I should explain how this did happen: firstly the huge stocks of boulders and iron ore helped me to fill the treasure chest in a flash. Emir was the closer to me than the others and I used 20 horse archers to patrol near my structures and at the same time killing enemy farmers, other workers. His economy was weak and all I needed were 15 swordsmen to dash his tower and eliminate the first enemy. Soon Richard was defeated, too. Now I could breathe a little freely, and I started wearing down Saladin’s and Caliph’s economics with massive strokes, using knights. Later I destroyed half of Saladin’s fortress and rushed in with macemen. Another enemy fell. Now Wolf showed his power and easily destroyed Pig’s castle, later he killed him, while I took care of Caliph with a few trebuchets, assassins and swordsmen. Wazir had no chance to survive because of my pressure and 50 horse archers left his defense very vulnerable, pikemen and macemen did the rest. Now it was all between me and the Wolf. He tried to attack me a few times but even my archers and crossbowmen didn’t have to work. I gathered an army with 400 horse archers and 100 assassins. The archers distracted and splashed his defense; assassins climbed over the walls and won the campaign for me. In addition, I found the playability great for an 8 player map. You’ve done a good job!
The balance had no major problems, but still I found all the resources too easy to get (Especially farmland). You’ve also situated boulders and iron ore for two players, and destroying quarries and iron mines affects both players. The building space was wide; every player could disperse his castle. Furthermore, the fjords were situated in the strategically important river places; it was easy enough to reach every part of the map. Every player had quite even amounts of resources. The balance is good for a big, 8 player map, although maybe it were too much resources. There was nothing to fight for, just to defeat an enemy. Still, I find the balance fine.
Surajsubba mentioned that there aren’t many 8 player maps recently submitted. I liked the idea by splitting the map into four different parts, using the river, which started from a hill lake. The resources were spread nice, too. I think that the map needed a more specific idea. Hope to see it in your other maps.
Map Design: 3
The map design was average. You used the basic mapmaking tools, and created a very fertile map with lots of resources, although it needs more details. Firstly, the farmland should have more shrub, trees, maybe a few rocks, lakes. Resources look better when you mix them with rocks and hills. The hill lake was nice but it also needed a few rocks. The river is wide enough to place a few islands. Still the design is good for a first real map. Good job!
You’ve wrote some explanations, told how you got inspired. A short fill was in the map, too. Despite that it is a skirmish map, a story is a big plus for your work. Keep that in mind next time!
Overall a good 8 player map, which can be played in multiplayer as well. Bravo! Keep up the good work.