Vaguely similar to Highland, in that a river cuts through the center of the map.
Differences are that the river is very wide, and has no connections- rather, a series of commands causes the river\'s coast to break apart into numerous pools, with shallows scattered throughout the river, usually making connections between the teams\' lands.
Due to (I think) the base terrain choice, with water over it, you\'ll often find cliffs jutting into, or wholly situated in, the river.
Most often you can walk to your enemy, but sometimes you may have to tranny across.
Food is plentiful, with extra deer and an additional boar, and perhaps good fishing- which is dependent on a lot of things.
Note that this map is intended for play between two teams, be it 1v1, 2v2, etc...
I tried a 4 way FFA with the ai, and it generated fine, but it looks and plays best with one river seperating teams.
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This is an excellent random map and I recommend it highly. See author's description for his intention.
THEME: (4) Very well done, nice repesentation of jungle terrain. The river separation between the teams is scripted in a very diferent way than most people would use, and it gives a diferent appearance. The crossings between the teams on opposite banks of the river are very random, and not created by true connections, but by randomly placing water and shallow terrains on the previous terrain. The cliffs jutting out into the river are interesting also. I like how the number of crossings are random, so you cannot always just go wall off one or two crossings to feel safe. I have only noted this type of water crossings made in 2 previous maps (Canyonlands by me and ES@Seasons ). In my test runs, I did not see any occurances of no crossings between the players, though it is certainly a small possibility, as brought up by the author.
VISUAL APPEAL: (4) Very nice, and close to being a 5 in score. Not cluttered with a lot of useless eyecandy, which is mostly the rocks placed on the shallows. I like the appearance of the river in particular, and even though the graphics of the cliffs don't always appear quite realistic placed in the water, they are an interesting feature. My only real complaint in the appearance is how the DESERT terain is placed directly on GRASS terrain, which does not look quite realistic. Larger clumps of DESERT terrain always looks more natural placed on top of DIRT or DIRT3 terrain.
PLAYABILITY: (5) I like the randomness of the river crossings, which add a lot to the replay factor in this new map script, which is otherwise much like Highlands. The resources are slightly above normal, with 8+/-1 Deer per herd, 3 Javelina per player, and slightly more than normal Gold and Stone. The fish resources are much more than in a standard map, making control of the water something worth going after.
The author could have balanced the river crossings in different sized maps a little better, but this is not a major problem. As the size of the map goes up, the amount of open water really goes up and the relative percentage in shallows goes down. As a result, on the Giagantic size map with 8 players, crossings in 8 tests averaged 3 (range 1-5). On the Large size map with 4 players, crossings varied between 2 and 10, with average of 5.5. On a Tiny size map with 2 players, crossings varied between 3 and 8, average 5.
Another minor drawback is that the author randomized the number of relics (between 2 and 7) without explaining that in his comments. Relics are one means to victory (though not widely used as such), and although I have no problem with randomizing the number, players should be informed ahead of time that this is possible. Otherwise they might collect 5 relics only to find no victory countdown, and discover that there still are 2 more somewhere.
My only other comment on the map have to do with aesthetics - I don't like to see Salmon in the Amazon River, they are a cold water species. Perch (a rather widespead name for many different fish) or "Fish" or even Dorado are probably better choices in a jungle river setting.
This is a very nice, playable RMS and should be tried by everyone!