This map has a special feature that makes it unique (i think!): every player starts with
different units and/or buildings. In addition to standard stuff, everyone receives extra
forces, which vary for every player in the same game and are chosen randomly among 6
possible combinations. For example you may receive an army, your ally some heroes, your enemy a town...
Computers can play.
I tried to balance all combinations but it needs more playtesting. Let me know if some are too advantaged/disadvantaged.
'Specialists' is a random map in which you can get one out of six different start-ups. This makes it very unique especially towards the beginning of the game.
The theme is excellent, and implemented very well. The premise of starting in different ways eg. with a town, or some heroes, or an army, or monks etc. is very creative. It also plays rather well and it properly balanced. It adds something original and interesting to a random map without ruining its playability and it definitely deserves 5 here.
Visual Appeal: 4
The map is mostly land with and inland lake in between ( it depends however ). It has good terrain mixing and some gaia eyecandy ( mountains etc. ) that make it look a lot better than a normal random map. It also doesn't hinder the playability. Not really extraordinary, so I am giving it 4 here.
The radically different playability is the basic premise of the game. What you should do depends on what you get in the beginning. If you get monks you should get all the relics and convert any attackers ( though this gets tricky with heroes ). If you get heroes you should go on the offensive with hit and run attacks. And so on.
The game is also remarkably well balanced, though not apparent at first sight. The town's advantage is put off by being far away from wood and the monks are not as weak as people might expect. In fact the weakest start-up is probably the army because it consists of a ragtag bunch of dissimilar units making it very difficult to control.
Also later in the game it reverts to being an normal random map style and there is little hindrance from players playing as they would on a normal map.
An excellent random map. From my experience I played this many times on multiplayer and everyone liked it very much. Highly recommended for downloading and playing.