*** Blood on the Water ***
||Build and Destroy
*** Blood River Part 1 ***
"Tell us the story again."
There was once peace in this jungle. Civilizations found each other, and worked towards the common good. Large ceremonial mounds were built in the jungle, as monuments to the dead and as monuments to the feelings of comradery in the jungle.
Also, etched into the landscape were a series of canals that lead from one town to another. These were once filled with trade ships spreading out the wealth of the jungle. One town might be rich in gold ore, another have a bounty of strong wood, another skilled stonesmen who crafted giant blocks towed around the canals on barges. The evils of the forest were walled off, for all that was needed were the canals.
No one remembered exactly when the problems started, but no utopia can last forever. Petty rivalries began in the towns. There was no indication of what this would herald, for they started as bickerings between craftsmen, simple things really.
These escalated, though, and soon the pride of entire towns were built up, struck at, and torn down. Bickering became rivalries. Rivalries became blood feuds. Blood feuds became war on the canals.
Towns were razed from without by marauding ships, and from within to accumulate the wood needed to compete on the rivers. In the end, the towns had fought to a mutual stalemate. None could muster up the strength needed to keep fighting.
A new dark age sank into the jungle. Towns were barren, and the woods began to encroach. It will be necessary to build up from scratch, and learn from mistakes made in the past. Oh, this time, there will definately be corrections to the mistakes of the past.
Then release the birds! They will signal our existance, and they will act as a warning to all who see them!
This time there will be no time of peace, only war, and blood on the water.
You will begin this map with a slight modification to the traditional start. You will have your standard number of villagers, your civilization's scout unit, a town center, and a wall surrounding your city. In addition you will have a canal running through your town, two sea towers, a dock, and a special naval unit. It will have the appearance of a Galley, though it's icon will be a king. In the script it is referred to as a SCOUT_GALLEY, and it has wonderful speed, and can convert enemy ships (yes, this is the much sought boarding ship that didn't make it beyond beta testing).
The Canals: Connections in this map are made with water and shallows instead of paths cutting through forests. The canal will lead you right to another town, and lead everyone else right to yours.
In addition, there is the potential of patchy water on the map. Each of the following conditions has about a 33% chance of occurring:
Canals Only: The land is sliced to ribbons by canals that travel everywhere. This creates plenty of small islands that are almost begging to beused for forward building. It also gives you a chance to sneak a navy around a non-direct route to get to your enemy. Of course, he may be doing the same thing, so defensive naval presence is still important. There will be open lands away from the middle, and plenty of small islands connected by shallows in the middle itself.
Fishing Holes: Small ponds dot the terrain, cutting down the aount of open land, but not greatly increasing the naval aspect of the game. Watch out for a chance to grab plenty of extra shore fish. Mm-mmm them's good eatin'.
Blood Waters: Large lakes are connected by the canals, creating bulges in which huge naval battles can occur. Open land will be cut down a lot, and land troups will either have to be sent in to an enemy town using transports, or will have to walk single file across some beaches.
Navy: There is no way to get around building a navy in this map. You will be started with a dock, so that's a bit of a break in your wood expenses, but eventually you will want to send a navy down the canals. At the same time, though, others might want to send a navy your way, so dividing into an offensive and defensive navy might be necessary. Remember, turtles are partially aquatic animals.
AI Playability: The AI can handle this map fairly well, though might get confused with the presence of water, and might not make the best decisions about whether to build a navy or not. If you have a computer on your side, that's easily combatted by telling it to Build A Navy.
Land: Your town will run out of land eventually. The walls might start feeling quite claustrophobic. In the Canals Only mode, there will probably be good tracks of land outside your base, but once water starts to appear, you might have to take advantages of what extra land appears. In Blood Waters mode, there is a good chance of some larger islands in the middle of the map, and you might want to make a break for those.
Notes and Thanks:
This may launch a series called Blood River if I get good responce, but such a series will be delayed a bit because of the time it took to write this. Basically, I want to get away from it for awhile. Word to the wise, if you're thinking about doing river connections in RMS, I'm not forbidding it, I'm just warning that it's a pain and a half!
Thanks to everyone on the Tsunami Studios team who gave me suggestions, suppoprt, playtested, and (most importantly) put up with me saying "it'll be done by Monday" for about 5 consecutive weeks.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
*********************Blood on the Water*********************
"Let fire and brimstone rain from the skys and let blood flow like water." Blood on the Water is an intresting and creative random map. Basically you start off in a little walled off square, with a towncenter, vils and two water towers and a boarding ship (SCOUT_GALLEY). Everyone's base is connected with narrow rivers. This can make for some intresting sea and land battles.
I sure felt like i was in a jungle where evil lurked behind every corner. The creator of the maps discription matched the game exactly, even to the mounds that he talked about in the discription.
Visual Appeal 5
This random map looks fantastic, it is a feast for the eyes. The connecting rivers looked great and combined with shallows here and there made for a overall great looking map.
This is the worst part of the map. Your towncenter can sometimes start almost completly inclosed by water, this makes farm building difficult and since some players do not have this problems they can build farms more easily thus giving some players an un fair advantage. You in my opinion are given a rather small walled in area and i felt really cramped.
-Changing the script so that players TC can not almost be enclosed by water
-making the base sizes larger
Overall this is a pretty good map and i would recomend its downloading.
Blood on the Water is an interesting random map that uses 2 of the more unusual 'hidden' units available to rms scripters - the boarding galley and the sea tower, and uses water connections (which from personal experience are very difficult to work with) between players.
VISUAL APPEAL - score 5. Great. Maps are beautiful, varied, never the same. Randomness of the connections adds a lot to the appearance, though it does affect play a bit.
PLAYABILITY - score 3. Here the map falls a little short only because the starting positions fail to be equal in protection and to a lesser degree resources. The random shallows near the TCs allows some player's walls to be more complete, while other player's walls are broken by the water connections(some places the connections are thru shallows). This makes some players more vulnerable to water attack. On one map with 8 players, I saw one player with 3 different gaps of water in his walls, another 1 with 2 gaps, 4 with one gap and the last 2 players with no gaps(walls or gates across all shallows). I wondered if eliminating the shallows would make this more even? Also, the sea towers are placed somewhat randomly and are not always equally valuable in defence. From the resource standpoint, rarely I saw some of the starting gold blocked by walls, and though this could be corrected by deleting wall sections it was a bit of a pain. The water access is not always equal for each player, a detriment when fishing could be so important.
THEME - score 4. Great correlation bertween description and map. Interesting idea and story. The map was so well done that I hesitated to knock this score down. I have done work with walls, water connections and sea towers and know how hard these units can be to place correctly. I think that by either making all the water around the players into shallows or making it all water, some of the variability in player start positions would have been eliminated. I detracted one point for execution of the script, though I am not 100% sure that it could have been fixed without detracting perhaps from the appearance.
Note that I would categorize this script as: atypical based on extra units(boarding galley).
Note that the computer does not seem to be able to use the boarding galley to convert, but only as a scout, at least not in my limited testing. I tried to leave my boarding galley near an enemy with no apparent attack, then tried attacking the enemy boarding galley then calling off my attack, with no apparent response. Has anyone seen otherwise? The computer AI otherwise seemed to play OK at the start. I did not play into later ages to see how it attacked or used warships.