Extra Extra Resources is generally similar to a no rush style map, where each player is separated by a band of trees, only the fact that there are 3 Siege Onagers for each player means it’s not a “no rush” type map unless playing against AI players who don’t use Onagers to cut through trees. Like the description states, each player will generally have to “dig their way out” of isolation through the trees, but on the odd occasion players are connected and quite close together. The title suggests very High amounts of resources, while this is true to a certain extent, stone, hunting and obviously trees tend to be much higher than usual, there’s little more other resources than that of any map, except it is all located relatively close to your starting location, and not spread across the maps like a standard ES map. Investigating the script it would appear the Author hasn’t allowed for the amounts of resources and the spacing between these resources, and hence the “extra” gold and forage bushes have failed.
Visual Appeal: 2
The maps are always just two terrains, grass 1 and oak forest, with no terrain blending at all. Each player generally has there own isolated area, surrounded by dense forest. There is some eye candy (Statues and Ruins etc) placed around the starting locations, but this seems out of place, and only serves to hinder building, and this can be annoying due being fairly restricted in room to start with. There is some elevation and cliffs used, but these don’t really offer any increase in visual appeal, and are often lost in the woods so to speak.
The game play can vary quite a lot for this script. You are generally faced with either cutting through a dense band of trees, or if playing on smaller maps where player lands overlap, then it becomes more of an Arena type map, but without any protection from walls. Each player starts with a large selection of varying buildings and units as listed by the Author, but farms, mills, lumber camps, and mining camps tend to be more of a hindrance than a help due to there random placement, and rarely are they in a location that actually helps, making them rather redundant. The military units the player gets to start with can also upset balance. If you find that trees do not isolate you, then any civ that carries a bonus for Cavalry such as Franks has a clear advantage to start with, and attacking in the Dark Age will usually result in a very early victory. The fact each player gains three Siege Onagers to start with makes this even more evident, and with these excellent “tree choppers” it’s quite easy to negate the protection that is offered by the trees. There are a fairly high number of relics, and each player starts with a Monk and Monastery to take advantage of these early in the games. As with any map of this type the standard AI can struggle to play them effectively, but this is by no means a fault with the script. Now with all that said there is one surprising aspect for playability, each time you play there is varying strategy you need to consider, and after playing several times, some games were good fun, while others were the complete opposite. So give this map a chance if it doesn’t fulfill your expectations the first time, and try playing again before moving on.
Extra extra resources is not the most visually appealing map, nor does the theme live up to expectations, but the game play can vary quite dramatically and I found this offers an unusual “extra” appeal. If you are looking for a no rush type map to play against an AI opponent where the player has full control on when to launch attacks, then Extra extra resources is worth a try. If you are playing against human players, then try to use Civ bonuses to give players of less skill an advantage.
Notes to the author:
Try to use more terrain variants, and blend terrains for visual appeal. Creating open areas other than just those for player starting locations can really add to these sorts of maps. The number of units and buildings needs to be considered carefully. Any civ bonus can really mean the difference in the early ages. Placing a Castle might be considered a way to overcome early attacks, but Castles can be avoided, and without murder holes stand little chance against even the smallest army. Placing vital drop off buildings such as mills and lumber camps where you have no control over the actual location offers little in the way of benefit for the player. Placing of farms is fine if you restrict the distance from the TC. Considering this is your first script, it’s not as bad as it sounds, and I look forward to seeing more.