Posted on 01/03/08 @ 01:48 PM (updated 01/04/08
Antithesis here, with my latest release - Unscrupulous Neighbours. Standard skirmish, 400x400, with one or two perks thrown in.
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<---- S T O R Y ---->
The year is 1189. Richard I, better known as Richard the Lionheart, has just been crowned. King of England. However, his crown was hard-won: he had revolted and fought his father numerous times, and only succeeded when he allied himself with Philip II of France. Far away from the turmoil however, in the Holy Land, Jersualem has fallen to Saladin. Scattered pockets of European settlements still remain, not yet consumed by Saladin's juggernaut. Acre has fallen as well, and now only Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch remain. However, removed from the conflict, lie your lands and those of other minor lords. In the chaos that followed the fall of Jerusalem, the seat of Christian power, power-hungry lords seized the now-vacant lands, believing that God would protect them from the Muslims. Your unscrupulous neighbors have started minor disputes over over land. With no king to govern them, these disputes have snowballed into a small war - and you're caught in the middle of it.
<---- D I R E C T I O N S ---->
Establish your castle and economy as quickly as possible, before the hostile lords catch you cold. It is war now, and no quarter shall be given. Strike out and eliminate the closest lords to you, and expand into their territory. Take advantage of the chokepoints; proper usage of the fords and mountain trails will give you control of that part of the map. Should all go well, you will emerge victorious. But if only Fortune would smile upon us so...
<---- N O T E S ---->
I made this map with one main idea in mind - PLAYABILITY. The lands are divided into five sections by the river, and the only way between them are the fords and mountain trails. This makes for an interesting battle, as instead of creating a massive army and marching over to the castle, each player must fight for control of the fords/trails, and only then go on to the castle. Remember, this is best played 2 v 2 v 1, and also with the two top players allied together. It's more fun with you as the lone player, but if you're a beginner, teaming up is fine. Enjoy!
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Well as I promised I’ve played Your map in recent days. It’s been a long time since I last skirmished with AIs and I had a quite interesting challenge.
As usual a 5 player map offered enough space and resources to construct strong fortifications; I’ve chose a battle against two Wolves and two Richards (all allied, full computer advantage). The two Wolves took the south east parts, while one of the Richards was on the mid plain, the other’s keep was situated close to mine. The fertile oasis, sufficiency of the key resources helped me to outstrip my opponents very soon. I’ve thought that only the south and the south east courses needed defensive structures, but that was foolish of me, and I soon realized this, when Richard and the Wolf tried to sneak upon me from the back, using the resourceful mountains. That was a great idea to design these narrow paths! However I’ve soon managed to close all the gaps, the treasury was sinking in the overwhelming gold, and soon with the help of heavy siege equipment, massive cavalry harassment, the enemies were put to their knees. Overall, the map offered an interesting battle scenario, but there were a few flaws: some of the AIs couldn’t complete their castles due to the misplaced ruins; the south east position needed a bit more space too.
Great work here! You’ve managed to place enough resources (especially oases) for a five players and that the same time keep the natural and good looking map design, which is sometimes very hard to achieve. A small drawback was the small lack of trees and possibly boulders for AIs. For example, Wolf builds six quarries Richard three, and one of the Wolf stole a part of Richards resources, while the other Wolf built only three quarries (I think). Everything else was great, You’ve even added oil in the marsh in middle of the map, and Wolves had to fight with me for it. The fiords were placed nicely, there were some hardly noticeable paths, in the mountains for example. There was enough building for every player, the keeps were spread creatively throughout the map Thumbs up!
Excellent idea. While creating a 400x400 space map, sometimes the original idea disappears or converts, but I think You knew every step of Your work and now everyone can witness the final product. The narrow river, which splits into three even more narrow steams, actually looks like a claw of some kind. The oases were placed were it should be - near water, and they even strengthened the imitation if the claw (blue and green color contrast). Adding mountain in the north part was great thinking, if You just left the river – oases features, the map would look a bit plain, but those rocky cliffs really liven the map; furthermore, a very original and spectacular oasis was set in the middle of the mountains, it looked great and very natural (best part of the map for sure). Adding some ruins was nice too, sadly they were a disadvantage for the AIs. Altogether, the creativity aspect was splendid for a skirmish map.
Map Design: 5
Great work here either! The whole map looks natural and hard worked on, it’s obvious from the small and detailed features. The narrow rivers merged with fertile oases creates a great a lowland, however when traveling to North West, the landscape becomes rocky, mixed with high and mid plains. The mountains have the usual mix of boulders, iron ores and boulders, but the great feature is the wonderful oasis, placed between the mountains. It really looks as a small wonder of the world! The small waterfalls, lakes fill the water part, too. The resources were mixed with boulders, shrub, and this feature always looks well. The idea of adding ruins was an interesting one, but sadly it had the negative effect for the AIs. All in all, the map reveals Your good designing skills and creativity. Bravo!
Well usually the story part is often overrated in skirmish category (that’s one the reasons why skirmish maps aren’t in the best of Crusader category), if it was a custom scenario map I’d mention that the story is rather short and not detailed enough, however You’ve added notes, suggestions and the narrative part and this combines the maximum score. The story is based on historical facts (Jerusalem was concurred in 1187, not in 1189) slightly adding Your imagination and relating it to the skirmish plat. I’ve found the suggestions useful and detailed enough, still I played 1 VS 4. The language was vivid, I didn’t notice any obvious mistakes.
Overall, it’s a great map to spend some time with the AIs!