"Ansalon. A country full of riches and cultural diversity. Full of adventure and full of danger. Full of people who would sooner kill you and spit on your corpse than shake your hand. Yes, Ansalon. With deserts to the west and snow to the north. It is my homeland, and I would not trade it for anything in the world."
The Land of Ansalon is a five-hour project of mine. It is a diplomacy style map which has been given much attention to fairness and detail.
If you do not have an easy to defend base, you're going to be able to expand and you'll have an easier time taking the fight to others, and if you are sheltered in or have an easy to defend base, you're going to be one hell of a thorn in your opponents side when they're trying to take you down.
On the forum thread ( http://aok.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/aokcgi/display.cgi?action=ct&f=4,40436,0,30 ) some of the screenshots may look boring, but you would be suprised at what breaks out in a large scale war. Even the most dull places turn into warzones and are filled with action. There are places for ambushes, and places where Siege Onagers make winning a war so much more easy.