GREAT LAKES is loaded with heavily forested areas and numerous lakes, streams and ponds flowing with fish. The lakes sometimes create islands and narrow peninsulas. Other times, players have their own "private" lakes which may provide for the quick movement of troops through otherwise heavily forested areas. In most cases, small rivers will snake their way through the map, providing narrow connections between lands. The streams are sometimes passable by way of shallows and other times units will have to either try to find a way around the water or use transports for crossing.
A dense forest occupies the approximate center of the map and should provide great cover for moving troops fairly undetected. It should also provide a natural barrier that will inevitably slow down advancing forces and will keep large forces scattered. It may also provide some cover from ranged attacks. Most battles in this forested area will be close-quarters and hand-to-hand.
Relics are often scattered throughout the forests and, on rare occasions, a group of three may be found together in the map's "center forest".
Impassable forests sometimes form barriers and create land-locked areas closed off from the rest of the map (and may contain relics) from players with no motivation to blaze a path through. These "hidden" areas are great places to build new Town Centers for those times when a mass exodus is needed.
This map was inspired by the concepts behind the Black Forest map and the Dead Forest map by Wallace Lee. Perhaps living in Michigan, the "Great Lakes" state of the U.S. inspired me to place a great deal of emphasis on creating not only a heavily forested map but one with a great deal of winding rivers and streams throughout. As such, my hope is that players will find this map challenging, given the fact that strategies will need to take into account both the sometimes difficult terrain as well as the large amount of water. Success will, hopefully, require a balance of water and land strategies.