Heh, I'm not trying to reopen an old argument by saying "Supersize". Really, it's just the obvious, um, "fullness" of the map that prompted my reaction. I'd be the first to say, for instance, that Waterloo could have used a wee bit more room. And just to be clear, in no way was I proposing more territories or other gameplay elements, just some extra space so that the map has a little more room to breathe. Anyway, Evil D has done a wonderful job of getting everything into the space he has and still keeping it to the Foundry standard for clarity. Yes, that's right, I feel it meets the standard; I also feel that a little more room could improve the map clarity. However ultimately it's up to the mapmaker, and re-sizing a map is a huge pain in the butt, so this is the last that I'll say on the matter unless Evil D brings it up.
As for the map gameplay, I'm happy with the framework, and the elements seem to have gotten a huge boost (from my perspective anyway) from the Victory Conditions. In fact, my one overall suggestion for the gameplay is simply to emphasize the Victory Condition regions further, and to pull back on some of the larger bonuses.
Here's my thought- in all of the current Victory Condition maps (where the Victory Condition is viable, anyway) only one player can hold the needed regions to gain victory; if more than one player is pursuing the Victory Condition, they have to fight over the regions. However, this map has 24 possible Victory "Points" available and a requirement of only 12 VP to win. Thus, two players could be pursuing the Victory Condition in parallel and never have to fight, giving the map more a feel of a race.
I like this, it's different but not gimmicky or complicated. In fact, it might be nice to expand the number of VP available so that 2 players could pursue Victory more comfortably, so that it would have a real possibility of coming up in an actual game.
What could encourage pursuit of VPs further (without making it an overpowering element of the map) would be to tone down some of the bonuses associated with VP regions, thus making them less attractive to players who are merely pursuing lots of reinforcements. Then VPs could be pursued more for their own sake. Finally, by reducing bonuses that are already a bit out of line with the other 'continents' (Epochs), it provides more balance to the map as a whole, although that really isn't strictly necessary the way the map deployment is laid out.
I would suggest reducing the huge bonus for the Twin Oasis (btw is there a plural for 'Oasis'?) a bit, maybe down to a +10? The bonus for the castles and villages might work out as a +2 autodeploy and +1 auto.
Really that's about all I've got, and even those are just preferences, I don't think the map gameplay is imbalanced as it is. The routes through the ports and helipads really keep any one Epoch from being overpowering.
Oh one other thing, what are the probabilities for a bonus on the drop, and how big? I notice some +2 for 3 regions bonuses (like on the inset) and a several +1s as well...
As for looks, well, the region names will get a bit hairy to sort out when a person actually has to find 'AA2' or some such. The naming conventions are consistent and easy to grasp, but not as easy to find, because some of the Epochs are so large. I think perhaps some things could be done in this area to improve the clarity, but right now it's only a feeling... I may have some concrete suggestions in the near future.
-- Marshal Ney