A sea brimming with islands to conquer, including an island in the center brimming with gold. Resources are limited, so prepare to fight for your survival. All islands are connected by shallows.
This map was made from a map idea by qaz123tfg. Every player has their own island with rather limited resources and real estate, but there are many islands filled with different resources, including an island filled with gold. Therefore, fighting will be early and fierce as players must fight over resources if they are to be the victor.
As this is primarily a water map, I encourage the player to use a higher map size than normal. For example, use a large map for a four player game. This will make sure that players have enough space to build their towns and that the islands are not too snaky.
All islands are connected by shallows, but the player who builds the strongest navy will likely be the victor, because all the islands are vulnerable to bombardment by galleys and cannon galleons.
Claim resources early. Resources are at a premium on your starting island, so it is necessary to explore the islands and secure future resource deposits. The island with gold is especially important to secure, because the player who controls the gold on the map will likely be victorious.
Taking a defensive position may also be a good strategy, unless your opponent has a strong navy. The shallows are easy to wall off and secure. This is also a way to secure resource islands.
Note about AI behavior:
Computer AI's will play this map relatively well, though they will not fight for resources very aggressively. Therefore, this map is better suited for multiplayer. However, a good AI should still prove a strong opponent.
Download it and try it out! Any comments are welcome.
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It looks like a few people have looked at this by now. If anybody has comments on the map or ways to improve it please comment on this so I can improve and update it. I would like some feedback. I spent many hours on this.
'Island hopping' is a random map in which, as the name implies, you have to hop across islands ( which are connected by shallows ) to conquer your enemies and grab control of extra resources. It is a water map, not very different from the normal 'islands' map, except that all the islands are connected by shallows ( thereby allowing the use of land based rush strategies ). Also another important thing is that there is an island with lots of gold mines- so it is also similar to gold rush in that aspect.
The theme is creative, although having island maps or having to fight for resources is nothing new I haven't seen this exact idea before. However I think it lacks an overall theme, such as a geographical location or something. What might make the theme better is saying that the islands are pirate holdouts and they have hidden their gold somewhere, and maybe put a couple of pirate ( gaia ) ships for the players to discover or some such. As it stands it is just a map meant for playability than having some story behind it.
Visual Appeal: 4
The map is visually appealing, the terrains are mixed and there are a lot of animals and forests and such. There is some eyecandy like some sunken boats, but I believe there could be more, such as flower patches or haystacks. Also the forests were entirely oak forest. It would be better to have mixed forests with some pine or bamboo in it. Definitely good but has room for improvement.
Probably the most important criteria , the map is completely playable and fun to play. The players start with normal settings such as 4 sheep and 2 boars etc. At times one player will be closer to the gold island, but thats just luck. One thing to note though is that the island you start on contains lots of resources, it isn't absolutely necessary to move right away to the other islands. It's not like the ES-migration map. There are lots of strategies you can try on it, the normal rushes, building a navy, grabbing the gold island etc.
I think this map would be more fun to play with more players, say 4-6 players, it is not that interesting for 1v1. Definitely a good map to download and play.