BF@Islands is a cross between the Standard Island, and Migration maps. Each player is located on his/her own island, and usually towards the center of the map there is a either one or two further islands, occasionally with at least some gold and/or stone. The description page mentioned two such Islands one with stone and one with gold, but this only seems to be the case for larger size maps with just two players. If there are any more than two players, 3 on very large maps, the script hasn’t taken in to account the size of lands for the players and other factors, and hence one of the central Islands is often lost. The theme is not new, and it’s only a slight variation on the Standard Island maps.
Visual appeal: 3
The maps are very functional, but unfortunately nothing striking. The player’s islands have little in the way of terrain blending, and only use grass, pine and oak forest terrains. The central island, or islands if you have two, do tend to look a little better, using dirt and grass terrains. But on the whole, with little use of eye candy and no elevation, the maps tend to look quite plain. One observation is the number of Hawks, while they can only be classed as eye candy, there is a high number of these, and on small maps they can become quite distracting at times.
Game play is similar to a standard Island map, but the island/s in the center of the map are large enough to be able to build a secondary base of substantial size if you so wish. This presents slightly different than normal game play, and can give a different strategic opportunity to the players. The standard AI plays the map reasonably well, although as with any Island map the standard AI will never build on any Island other than its starting island. Each player starts with the standard town center, villagers and a scout. There is a reasonable amount of resources, but unfortunately these can be quite unbalanced. Many times one player will have far more gold on his/her island than the others. There seems to be 6 relics each time you play, and these are generally well distributed across the Islands. The description page mentions the central Islands contain gold and stone, but unfortunately if the number of players is 3 or more, or the map size is to small, then the islands often contain no gold and/or stone. This reduces the strategic importance of controlling these islands, and hence the game play is reduced somewhat. One observation, there are no shore fish around the islands, this is not really a problem because there is plenty of other fish to take advantage of with Dark Age fishing, but it does take away the opportunity to gather fish with villagers.
Overall BF@Islands is an admirable first script by the author, the game play can suffer from many issues as already mentioned, but generally if you play on large maps, with 2 or 3 players, the script works as intended and does offer a change from the standard Islands map.
Notes to the author:
I personally feel the script has been let down by lack of testing, many of the problems highlighted above could, and should have been detected. When testing a script it is imperative you test on many different setting, and ensure the script works on them all, or instruct the player on issues with map sizes and/or numbers of players, but at least try to address the issues. Using more terrain variants, and including a little eye candy helps with visual appeal, as can the use of elevation. Commands like set_flat_terrain_only or taking advantage of land generation can help avoid issues with elevation on water. BF@Islands is however a good first script and I look forward to seeing more. Should you wish to update this script, I will gladly update the review accordingly.