Gandalf's Inland Rivers is a new random map script which provides a new playing environment for AOK:TC. This map is a kind of hybrid in gameplay between the Highland map and the Rivers map. In this map each player starts on his own land, separated from all others by a river. However, like the Highland map, there is no water around the perimeter of the map (all lands extend to the edge of the map). In addition, near the center of the map are two islands rich in resources (some extra gold, stone and deer). There are shallows connections between players and also with the center islands. These connections can vary slightly from map to map, but there are always paths connecting the players and the center islands. Except for the central islands' resources, the starting resources are pretty standard, but with slightly more fish and shorefish than in the Highland map.
While it is an excellent map for any purpose, this map really shines in team play. Control of the crossings and the central islands is essential to winning. The extra resources located there are helpful, but their strategic location is even more important to a successful team gameplan.
As with many of my maps, I have included a wide variety of terrain possibilities for your enjoyment. The standard Inland Rivers map will include selected patterns that include all possible terrains in AOK. Because some players prefer to play on an all green map (LCD screens and some poorer quality monitors give problems with locating some resources against brown terrain background on the minimap), I have included also a 'green' version (Inland Rivers-G), which has also some forest and appropriate resource variabillity. I have also included a clan/family favorite variation, a 'Relics' map(Inland Rivers-R), where each player starts with a monastery and a single monk, and there are 10 relics per player. This map allows for a very rapid economic advancement with many relics contributing gold from an early age, and is lots of fun for a change of pace.
The standard computer player AI does not play this map as well as a human, not understanding the importance of the central islands.
theme is a river map, i would have given it a 5, however a river map in itself is not a new concept, so wasnt totally blown away.v This one is nice becuase the separate islands are connected by shallows so computer players can use them too.
visual appeal, looks very nice, looks real, not all choppy and clumpy, nice varied terrain. Rivers stocked well with fish,etc
excellent playability with access to all lands by all players. I also tried the relic version, which made for a real chaotic battle. There must have been about 25-30 relics in my 5 person game, so beware these games can get real crazy even against the computer.