Personally I found this map to be by far the hardest map I have ever made. I decided to get very creative with this map, having things like "thin ice" and even dangers of Hypothermia, as you battle against several hundred units, with very little resources I might add (Yeah I know thats unheard of from me).
"The Ice Fortress" is a map in a genre i would describe as "Castle Krushers/Battlemashers vs DoomBase/Deathball". Simply put, its one of the biggest fortresses you have ever seen with one of the biggest armies you have ever seen attacking.
The players opening population is 738. The enemy starts with 1,115 units. Its amusing enough to hold off the massive army, but their attacks are quite poor and most stand around. Its also not very fun to organize the players force on such a large scale IMO.
Its really poor how the freezing triggers are setup;your units in a wide area take -50 HP quite often, yet some parts of the fortress are unaffected. This is just a cheap way to kill off the players villagers.
The is a substantial amount of lag right from the getgo. Considering the reviewers CPU is a quad-core 3.3GHZ system that far exceeds anything available in the 2000 era when AoC is released, this is not good;i would guess older systems will not run this very well. Even by 2008 this PC would be a beast;surprised no one mentioned the lag in comments.
Its a fairly simple job to defend as the enemy AI lacks ferocity. They also tend to take long trips around the fortress taking much damage from towers. Ultimately it becomes more difficult to defend as your units get killed off in mass due to the cheap freezing mechanic, but killing your units with triggers is probably not a fun challenge many want to cope with.
Its a reasonable changeup from random map gameplay and has some ideas put into it, but the execution is lacking. I dont find it very creative as it doesnt do much to simulate actual life in the winter;putting a trigger effect on the entire fortress that deals -50 HP every so often is not particularly impressive.
Map Design 2
It gets the job done, its not much in the way of design or detail though. There isnt a single tree in sight.
Its the bare minimum you would expect out of such a scenario
Final Thoughts: Not particularly worth considering for a download.