Woah! Thats my first instinct when i loaded up this map, "Rizun and the Zu-nho River" by Aristeides. Its pretty rare to randomly select a blacksmith submission and get rewarded with something good for once. Being the authors first work this was a very impressive map to behold. That said, it is quite a small map so one would expect a fine level of detail, and one is left wanting more to view;seeing the same quality of map design on a map size several times larger would give a really good impression.
Starting off in the steppelands countryside its quite a nice appearance with just enough trees and bushes, with a liberal usage of elevation which lent an air of actual shape to the terrain. The use of a gaia objects was well done, in sufficient quantity to provide value but not over cluttered. There is a rare appearance of the dirt path objects as actual paths, and this was looking quite good. The terrain mixing was on point, with the ground having a good detail and not looking plain at any point. The waterway was looking good with water mixing, detailing, and a nice shoreline with its desert and dirt mixing;however the farm with its hay bales and little to many neon green plants was feeling slightly out of place;these hay bales are tricky to use well in any case. Moving on into the city, its quite a nice affair portraying some actual life with citizens moving about, purchasing wares from merchants, hammering on the workshop, etc. The samurai teaching soldiers didn't seem to have any activity or dialogue, however. Up in the government section its a nice looking garden area, although some of the neon green plants were perhaps overdone and\or clumsily placed.
Certainly the biggest weakness on the map is the green mountain usage. When fully explored, these are not so bad as their base is somewhat obscured with boulders, stone and bushed. But its quite a poor effect when the player rides past these and they partially enter his LOS, which also shows their base without any of the detail work. I would recommend just not using the gaia mountains in this situation;it would look better if they were just deleted, and if you want to stick with them they need to both look much better with more detailing, and maybe consider some trigger use with map revealers so the player sees the whole area with their details including when he rides near.
Some minor detailing points;if you examine the gate to the government center the stone wall clips onto the bridge;also, the gate not aligning with the bridge doesn't look good, which calls for some kind of custom detailing solution. This isnt effecting your score in a negative way, its just that if your aiming for even higher achievements in map designing, this is a little detail that most masterpiece level maps would find some way to address, or conceal it cleverly.
It was good to see dialogue, but this was not available on all characters plus the writing is mostly contemporary;it felt out of place for Mongolians to be speaking this way. Its not a major negative point, and you could make a very high rated submission without improving this, but excellent dialogue tends to differentiate the merely good scenarios from the great ones with excellent polish.
The usage of sound effects and perhaps a music track would have helped create a unique atmosphere for the map;i played the AoE1 music while playing, which gave a nice tribal effect.
In summary its quite a nice effort from a rookie designer. You certainly seem to have the talent to improve and make even better maps in the future. On the topic of steppe-style maps, i would suggest two;"Storm on the Steppes" and "Kings of Destruction - Battles of the Khans" and for great mapping in general "Outlawed" by AmA may interest you as well.
[Edited on 07/12/17 @ 07:27 AM]