Colonists II - The Southern Lands
Posted on 01/08/07 @ 08:00 AM (updated 06/20/07
COLONISTS II - The Southern Lands
||Build and Destroy
|Number of players:
After the fall of Cantonia and Lantonia, the three warlords, Alexis, Sadarkes and Radacon, were nearly bankrupt and their people revolted againt them. The people wanted peace, but the leaders wanted power and glory in this new world.
In the end, the warlords were all forced to escape their new homeland and leave their people to their destiny. Along with a few loyal soldiers and villagers, they marshed to the south and to the unexplored lands. A world of mighty cities and unexplored nature... and treasures so reveal.
In the game there are eight players, and at least three of them MUST be human players. All players must be in the game, whether they're human or computer controlled.
As always with my Colonist games, there are rules to follow. The eight players has specific civilisations that they must use. These are the following:
Player 1: Britons
Player 2: Celts
Player 3: Saracens
Player 4: Vikings
Player 5: Teutons
Player 6: Goths
Player 7: Spanish
Player 8: Mongols
The one that starts the game must play as Player 1, the one that enters second must play player 2 and so on.
The players 4-8 can be either computer or human players, but if any of player 5, 7 or 8 is human, all three must be human or it wont be fair to players 1-3 and the computer teams. Players 4 and 6 are small teams that dont take much part in the game and they wont be as funny to play. They can of course change their role if played by a human, but they dont have the same power as, for example, players 5, 7 and 8.
When playing player 1, 2 or 3, you must find a good starting position to set up your camp. The place you start on might be a good,m strategic place, but there are many other much better places out there. Dont waste too much time picking one, your enemies will do their best to take a spot before you find it.
- my best multiplayer map design ever
- very varied landscape
- and more
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Colonists II - The Southern Lands is a B&D with RPS elements, migration style, a Multiplayer for eight, recommended for three human players, the sequel to Colonists. You play one of three warlords, Alexis (Briton), Sadarkes (Saracen) or Radacon (Celt). The story is fiction staged in Iarnia, the Land of Peace with unexplored areas in the south to where your people force you to leave.
PLAYABILITY: The basic idea is good, offers a varied game play depending the area you chose to start. There is an easy defendable height on the other side of the river, sparse in resources. A plateau on an island where you have to defeat a computer player's outpost to get to the gold and stone, an open, easy to wall area near the player's starting point with enough resources except stone or anywhere on the map where you find the resources necessary to build up. It pays to explore, you find relics, Gaia units, buildings, camps and ships. However, due to errors, bugs and playability issues the scenario is far from what it could have been. The game will crash often after twelve seconds, reload, do not move before thirteen seconds into the game, game speed slow or normal in the beginning, and it will play eventually. Unfortunately, it crashes also in game, lucky if early but once it took 45 minutes before the crash happened. Another game lasted less than an hour to achieve victory; my purple ally Pergonia built a wonder, which spoilt the game, as big battles did not even start. I luckily finished the game once in Single Player mode. Another game-play killing aspect is the diplomacy setting, attacks by computer players were inexistent they were occupied with themselves. Player 4 is enemy towards player 7 and 8, while they are ally to player 4. The stronger enemies, player 7 (yellow) and 8 (green) are close and enemy to each other, low on resources in the vicinity, no one to trade with. I had some lag in the beginning but that got better after units and buildings disappeared during early warfare, still the main reasons for lag were layers of dirt paths and flowers. IMHO, the scenario is unplayable in Multiplayer, plays with restrictions for Single Player, and I have to admit that it was much fun to play when it did play. 2-
BALANCE: In Multiplayer games balance is not about how easy or difficult a scenario was to complete, as that would highly depend of the skill of your human opponents. We rate the starting position, nothing but the starting position of the human players, which is not only geographical. Alexis, blue has all balance aspects slightly in his favor,
Player 1 (14 military units, HP 2895, AP 214, resources of 1700)
Player 2 (12 military units, HP 2735, AP 191, resources of 1600)
Player 3 (9 military units, HP 2840, AP 157, resources of 1500)
In addition, the players start in the upper left, spaced out, so that player 1 on the right starts in the middle of the map with the advantage to have half of the map closer, to take the east of the river, accessible by one bridge with enough gold and stone, two relics and a negligible amount of enemy units. It is not necessary that the starting position is exactly the same a perfect balance can have different units, starting positions, resources etc but the advantages should balance the disadvantages, here we got amount of units, resources, AP, HP and the starting area in favor of player 1. 2+
CREATIVITY: The scenario is highly creative especially compared to many other Multiplayer maps I played. Creative map layout, B&D with RPS parts, surprises, humor, units, buildings to find and various enemies, human and computer to fight. It is a creative concept for a Multiplayer B&D but the author needs to explore the ideas further, work on playability, balance, map design and story, which I mentioned in the related categories. 4-
MAP DESIGN: It is an enjoyable map to play on, better than a random map with a great technical layout. There are nice areas but overall the design lacks realism, terrain mix and blending. Flowers and dirt paths replaced terrain mix. You find a mix of oak, pine, palm trees and jungle in the same area; snow next to desert with palm trees, higher areas unrealistically seem warmer. The climate changes are abrupt, in the east it starts with a snowy landscape, a short mild climate in the middle and the south with desert and palm trees, and all of these changes along a river. 4-
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: The game comes with a good, helpful, extensive hint section, pre game and in game instructions and a small story. While objectives and hints are clear, the story misses depth, character descriptions and some historical background about what happened in the first part for players that start with Colonists II. 4+
OVERALL: Colonists II - The Southern Lands is a creative, unplayable Multiplayer scenario.
SUGGESTIONS: TBH, redo the whole map; it is a Multiplayer game with a good potential to make the best of AoK. Unfortunately, I have no solution how to fix the crash, but I am quite sure that it is a terrain issue. The triggers are fine while the elevations at the edges might be a problem. I flattened all with elevation 2, but it did not solve the crash problem. There is a terrain issue somewhere inside the map. Probably you went with a terrain over trees. In case you redo the scenario, be realistic with the design. Snowy pine mix with pine and oak only, pine with oak, you can mix oak with palm, oak with jungle, palm and jungle in the same area and the jungle bushes mix with all others. Bamboo fits Asian maps unless you place them around water where they pass as reed. Avoid too many flowers; they are the main reason for lag while too many layers of dirt paths might even crash a game the moment the player reveals them. Give equal starting positions to the human players to balance the scenario, the starting area closer together. To avoid early skirmishes give them the diplomacy setting ‘ally’ for the first 10 minutes into the game. For more challenge, make the enemy comp players ally to each other. Block the wonder for all players and select Victory Condition ‘Conquest’ under Global Victory in the editor.
OBSERVATIONS: Terrain does not remove, you can only ‘cover’ it with other terrain in the editor. For the game engine, all layers of terrain are still present during game play. When too many layers pile up the game might crash. Mind you that in the editor, terrain is not only grass, dirt and leaves, terrain is also Palm Desert, Jungle, Pine and Oak Forest. Never cover trees with other terrain and if you want to remove a tree, do not delete it, move it elsewhere instead.
IN CLOSING: Download if you have the patience for multiple restarts.