The Middle East during the 600-800s was a very dangerous place. The spread of Islam had found its way into all of Persia. Roving bands of Muslim raiders dominated the desert in their search for more riches and converts. Arabia Petrea is similar to the "Arabia" map found in Age of Kings, but with improved forests, varied terrain, and eye candy.
- A desert map that resembles the Fertile Crescent/Holy Land, with several small oasis, palm trees, and varied terrain.
- You start out with a small, randomized army to guard your tribe.
- Difficult, but not impossible to fortify. A large army is necessary to defend your city, and to defeat your enemies.
This map has some good thigs going for it but several drawbacks as well.
First the author did write up a decent short description of his work, which helps the reviewer see what he was trying to do.
The Theme is not hard to make a judgement on. The map shows well thought out ideas and the units and terrain used fits the theme of 'Arabia Petrea'. There should have been an explanation that there are varied amount of relics depending on map size.
The Visual Appeal is average. I really liked the very small clumps of Palm Desert on the Desert terrain. The biggest problem with the appearance of the map was that the road connections looked littered with objects: rocks, flowers, haystacks and especially palm trees. The connections were incorrectly done, since they did not include the main forest type of Palm Desert.
The Playability was below average for a few reasons. The starting military units included an Elite Mameluke for each player, plus randomly chosen other units from different ages such as Militia, War Elephants, Light Cavalry or Cavalry Archers. This could make a very short game if someone raided the enemy base very quickly and decimated their vills. Another problem has to do with blocked access to resources. The script calls for clear land terrain to be placed onto forest, almost always a mistake. In this script important gold or deer are often placed in inaccessable spots within a forest or at edges blocked by forest. This makes for unfair maps.
There was also a problem with the elevation apparently intended by the author, who scripted elevation for Forest and Grass as well as the Base Terrain of Desert, but unfortunately elevation is only created for created lands or player lands. This is a minor detail.
With some minor corrections this could be a very nice random map script.