Slithering Rivers by Dragol
Well here it is as promised, story is in decription as normal. Hmm, In my opinion it is not as good as my last map Everlasting Waters, but see how you go.
Probably best played You vs another 2 opponants (all AIs SHOULD work)
Reviews and comments are TOTALLY appriciated
This landscape attracts the eye and concerning tactical aspects the map seems promising. Then gameplay turned out to be rather easier than I supposed it. The few fords are quickly blocked (seldom I use the death match pitch but here I was really invited to do). Noticed many AI units getting lost on the big islands. And though I chose stronger enemies I did not find their attacks decisive. Once Saladin managed to build some siege engines in the mountain above my castle. This was alrming and could have made trouble.
Thus I experienced an almost carefree city-building and troublefree final overwhelming of the enemies' castles. Not the kick. But the map will be played better by human lords.
Interesting that both AIs worked well "finding" even deposits quite far away from their castles.
It depends on the location of the player's keep. Less resources, use-less surroundings and hardest defence position would be the northwestern site.
As I spontaneously followed the author's recommendation and took the western position the map was too easy against only 2 AIs. Nature irritates them and gives me a strong natural defence. Things would be different with a human attacker firing into my castle.
Rivers & mountains make up a good combination. The map looks impressive with the maze of water in the centre and the mountain areas around it (A new arrangement after the author's "Everlasting Waters"). Together they provide an exciting feeling and allow tactical movements.
This landscape you have to know how to handle. In a skirmish map the land is the event per se. This area forced me to deal with while expanding the economy. Many farms, some wood cutter huts and mines were outside the walls and I had to try to protect them. Funny trouble: repeatedly I had to open gates manually still facing charching enemy units (otherwise the workers would have tried a large detour into certain death).
Map Design: 4
There's light and shadow. Everybody will say "wow" about this giant maze of water. For my taste even stronger points are (once again) the fine modelling of the mountain area and of the bank greenery. They both look VERY natural. Thought I could feel the sharp wind blow over the wildly shaped mountains. And the grass often seems to show that it has grown for its own reason and not for sheer farm placing (ok, sometimes a cheeky blocking sandy tile is inserted). Often I imploringly waited for free space to place a new farm. Or after a while I discovered that there yet exist combinations of iron tiles that allow to build more mines. Loved it.
Then, Dragol, I'm astonished that a different aspect seems hard for you. Think you could work finer on the curves and edges of the rivers. They are far better now than on your first maps but still lack a full natural appearance. Also you distributed the trees in a rather linear way.
The story of the tale of slithering snakes immediately made the map become more vivid and scary, foreshadowing the dangers to come.
A map that deserves some tries by players. The mentioned big points of map design we can really enjoy and we can learn from them as a model.