Posted on 07/14/01 @ 12:00 AM
Playable races: Human, Elf, Dwarf
|TS Standard Rules
The Humans, Elves, and Dwarves are at war over the very rich Valley of Beauty. All three factions have converged upon the city that guards the Valley and the battle is about to be joined. Little do they know of the impending events that will make them rethink their diplomatic relations...
[This map began as a serious sort of map and took on a life of its own as a private joke between the members of my college gaming group. Monsters, towns, and items are (very appropriately, in many cases) named after friends of mine who I regularly spank in AOW. :) I'm pretty sure it doesn't impede the gameplay as a whole, but let me know. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.]
|Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Hey, thanks for the shout-out (I should've used "Naughty North" as my screen name here)! ;-) I got a kick out of the references to our old gaming buddies. I wish I had seen this map back in our college days, but later is better than never. :-)
Posted on 05/13/11 @ 02:31 PM
I played as the Dwarves, customized leader, allied victory on, explore on. AI set to Emperor.
I thought you did a great job of getting the map to play out as a struggle for survival. I actually felt challenged immediately, for rest of the time until the last few turns. I think you found the tipping point of how to skew the AI so that it actually challenges Human players. Too often, maps try to accomplish that, and they look good in design, but fail in practice (see: The Bitterhorn). The Dwarves were beset on all sides by raiding Orcs and Goblins, and had to scrap tooth and nail to gain ground. I tried many times to make peace with the Elves, but they never accepted. Maybe I shouldn't have slaughtered their units in the Beauteous Valley on the first turn. The humans made peace with the Orcs, so I was forced to make a quick strike on their leader to protect my flank. The Elves pretty much holed-up behind their holy woods and never challenged the invaders (except for raiding ME!), which was frustrating. I had to do it all myself.
The Dwarves are balanced well against what they face from the Orcs, but I think the Elves are underpowered. The Humans can probably play dirty by befriending the Orcs right away, but they also don't have much to start with. I wouldn't give the Orcs 3 black dragons to start like that. Maybe just 1, and use Demons instead. The Orc leader also seemed a bit under-powered. Maybe he should be given regeneration or something.
I liked the use of teleporters to ambush the center of the map, and the personal touch relating to our gaming group. One unfortunate thing was that I couldn't take the time to explore, because there were hordes of Orcs EVERYWHERE!
Map Design: 4
Pretty well laid out and planned, I thought. I would make a couple changes. Perhaps add more mana nodes. Either add an exit to "Hell" or remove it entirely. Putting so many sea monsters in the Frozen Lake forces you to use a flyer. Maybe guard that wizards tower with an air elemental instead. Good placement of altars - they really had an impact against me when I tried to retake the Valley! Your map forces the player to use stacks of units to be successful, so altars are huge.
Good use of message bubbles and signs, though maybe giving a clue as to the location of Naughty North's coliseum would be nice. Background story for the map was good, too, and the opening setup encourages that free-for-all resource grab just in time to get bushwacked by the Orcs.
For such a large map, it feels crowded, yet as soon as one player goes down, it seems like less is happening. The Humans died quickly and the Elves were a non-factor, so it felt like only Dwarves and Orcs most of the time. I wonder if there's a way to add a faction or two and increase the map size.