wolfs,wolfs, and more wolfs, or Wolf_packs as the RMS file is named, is an interesting theme, and the concept did intrigue me at first. As the description states there are a large number of wolves on the map, and they can be quite troublesome. However the map layout tends to let the concept down. You start in a kind of Fortress/Arena type map with each player having his/her own walled area, the walls are palisade and offer little protection from an opponent, but do protect you from the wolves. Each player starts with 5 Teutonic Knights and 2 Cataphracts, but with these units available, and the fact all the necessary starting resources are within your Fortress, the wolves are never a problem, and simply become an annoyance that can be dealt with by your starting military units, or as the game progresses.
Visual appeal 2
The maps are always a mix of dirt and dessert terrain, with a thick band of Jungle trees usually on one or two edges of the map. There is little or no elevation, and very little blending of terrains. With only these three terrain types used, and no eye candy the maps can and do look quite plain and unrealistic. Only the Palisade wall, and a high number of single jungle trees around your TC offer a slight improvement to the visual appeal. On very small maps the amount of trees at the edge of the map decreases, almost to a point where on tiny maps there are no trees other than the ones around your TC.
Each player starts with the afore mentioned military units, 5 villagers, Town center, and palisade walls surrounding this that offers limited protection. You need to build two houses before being able to create any further units (Huns excused), but this is not a major problem. The game play is similar to Arena, but the palisade walls offer virtually no protection from an early attack, and on small maps the starting positions tend to get very close to each other. There are a reasonable amount of resources for each player, except for sheep. Indeed there are a great many sheep on the map, in almost every game I was still gathering food from sheep well in to the Imperial age. I usually play Britons, and this gave me a major advantage over my opponents due to the bonus the Brits get when gathering from sheep. One major area that can and does unbalance the game is with wood, each player starts with a large number of isolated trees within his/her fortress. This is ample to get you to the Castle age, and with the fact you don’t need farms until after the sheep are gone, usually to the Imperial age. After which you need to move woodchoppers to the edge of the map where the only other source of wood is located. In some maps, especially small sized maps, the trees are only located on one edge of the map, and if you are fortunate to have your base located close to this edge, then gathering wood is relatively easy; otherwise it can be quite difficult to get villagers past your opponents base without drawing attention, meaning one player can and does have a major advantage in wood gathering. The are also a vast amount of relics on the map, this is ok but with so many, mining gold becomes secondary, and the strategic importance of gold deposits is far less, taking away some of the game play.
Wolf_Packs is a fairly plain looking map, with predominantly dessert and dirt terrain, it can suffer from some imbalance in resources, and plays similar to Arena maps. There are a lot of wolves on the map, but these are more of an annoyance than a threat. With a high number of sheep, relics, and if you play on a larger map setting then plenty of trees, resources are rarely a problem. With no real strategic advantages on the map, it quickly becomes an economy race. If you are looking for a simple map similar to Arena, but with less protection from the walls, with easy resource gathering then Wolf_pack is fine. I would recommend playing a larger map, as smaller maps can suffer an imbalance in gathering wood.
Notes to the author
The theme is ok, but only really effective against villagers who have little protection. Possibly having wolves in areas that have the necessary starting resources might make the theme work better, but without a lot of testing I’m unsure if this would still be effective. The concerns you stated about AI players should be secondary, as most scripts are intended for multiplayer use. Making a second file available with the download for use with AI players is a better approach. Try to use more terrain variation, and offer variety. Adding elevation to a script can really help with visual appeal, as can adding some of the gaia items like rocks, ruins, flowers etc. Above all you need to ensure you have allowed for varying map sizes with your script, as in this case playing a tiny map means there are virtually no trees on the map and players tend to be very close together with their starting positions. The high number of relics reduces the importance of gold deposits, and takes away the importance of defending these, so consider this and place less relics, or offer a second file with the download that has the high number of relics, and add a monk and monastery with the starting units for a variety in game play. The high number of sheep doesn’t help either, and only serves to make resource gathering easier. Sheep should be considered a bonus that helps kick start your economy in the Dark Age, and I would rarely recommend using more than 10 for each player. Above all don’t get disheartened by this review and try to learn from it. Download some of the other scripts that have scored well, and learn from their approaches. If you need any advice on future scripts please don’t hesitate to email me, I am always happy to help.