After many years of being dormant, I have finally made another multiplayer map for the community. I always like to have all the races available on a map so its gives flexibility to the players, and also the chance to play your favorite race. This map being of Medium size for fast games, was a challenge to fit all the races and trying to maintain balance between them. I do hope you all enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed creating it. :)
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Please give your feedback & comments. Thanks ;)
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Ok, so I tried this map out. I'm going to try and give constructive criticism here.
I played as the Highmen
Allied Victory On
Customize Leaders On
Classic turn style
AI on CPU Emperor: Aggressor
It's rare that I don't play a map all the way through. I'm afraid I couldn't stick this one out, however. You said that you wanted a Medium map for "fast" games, but all 12 factions for maximum variety. In the end, those two goals worked against each other and neither were achieved.
Small maps can still mean long games. In this case, there is VERY little room to expand, which means you're stuck with one or two cities to build your army. Hard to build a defensive garrison, much less a conquering horde, with that little in the way of resources. It's rare that I have gobs of money to spend in the first 10 turns, but no way to spend it. You start each race next to nearly 8 gold resources, and only one power node. The 4-hex cities are each defended by two leprechauns, which is an unreasonably tough defense, given that I have only a couple towns to build a siege force. Each sphere node is guarded by a syron - same problem.
Too much balance can be a bad thing. Two leprechauns guarding EVERY 4-hex town? It's okay to mix that up a bit. Same with a syron on every sphere node.
I didn't find any wizard towers or altars, which can help spice things up. The starting town appeared to have the gold resources just plopped right next to it, providing little challenge to take and protect them. No shipyards, although which made strategic use of the waterways moot. Cool map name, though.
Map Design: 2
Careful with your caverns/depths design. You made all of the passageways narrow single-hex. This causes the AI issues, and makes defense via bottleneck far too easy, slowing the game way down. Besides, the starting surface races get to enjoy multi-directional exploration; why force the underground races to follow rails?
Some backstory, and message bubbles and signs for the Undead player.
Just because you want to allow players to have race variety, doesn't mean you have to have 12 starting races. As long as you have one neutral, good, and evil starting race, you can make cities of other races available so that players can avail themselves of that variety. Heck, you can even assign ownership from the beginning of the map if you like (a la Valley of Wonders).
To get a benchmark ratio of map size, city count, and starting races, I scrolled through the maps in my folder. Almost all maps that have ~30 cities are Medium or Large maps...for 4 players, not 12 or even 8.
I was thinking that while setting up the game you could leave some of the races as unused (i.e. independent), but I think other flaws with this map will still weigh down the game play.