The Monthly Challenge map for October 2003 is based on Vince Bly's excellent map, Star Ranger Academy. You can play with leaders ON, and must have no leader customisation, no alliances, exploration ON or OFF, and either simultaneous or classical turns. Submissions to email@example.com by 23:59EST on Friday 31st October. Extra points for having the MC Ring and/or the Jolly Roger. Good luck!
Here's the story:
The day you were accepted to the Star Ranger Academy was the happiest day of your life. A little over three years later, you've finished your course work and are less than a year from graduating as a genuine Star Ranger. There's only one teensy problem. The Academy believes you need practical field experience, so they've put you down on a backwater planet some twelve light years from the Academy. All you've got to do is get back in time for graduation! Somewhere on this God forsaken planet there's a way back. You must find it and get back to the Academy within 80 days.