The Third Crusade [Quenched] Revamping

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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby captainwalrus on Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:51 pm

I think you still need some sort of bonus in the north eastern regions, or else there is really no need for it.
I don't know if you can have an autodeploy bonus that is recieved for holding 2 territories. Also, I would recomend like 7 nuturals on cyprus, and Tyer, mabey 5, since there is such an easy bonus one away from a starting position, it wouuld be so easy for the people who start at England or Paris.
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Industrial Helix on Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:07 am

Wonderful start to the map.

i do have some crits though.

The regions like kazar and early russia... do they yield a bonus? I find the circle with a color a tad difficult to read and coordinate with the rest of the map, might be me though.

Jerusalem migh tneed a little more than a swervy arrow. I took me a few minutes to figure out, but I think I get what's going on there.

The sea routes look a tad overly complex. I wonder if you might be able to clean it up with port symbols or something. I also think if you're going to give England the benefit of the channel, then places like sardinia or cyprus out to have the same benefit. Maybe... I'm still unsure but I thought it was something worth throwing out there.

I presume Tarsus can attack Melitene?

Anyway, those are my first observations. I love the graphics though, the pictures in the background are quite nicely added in. Keep up the good work!
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Kabanellas on Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:38 am

Thanks Walrus and Helix for those comments!

-As for the north eastern regions I’ve explained them before:

‘As for the Kingdom of Poland, Hungary and the Serbia- Bulgaria regions – I intentionally gave them a very small bonus... so they don’t get too appealing – the war should be fought in the Near East – let’s not forget it! Plus I don’t want to make the Holy Roman Empire to fat by easily gaining big bonuses from its neighbours.’


Also:

‘... I didn’t want to make a closed map rather than a circular one. I want players located in the east to be able to reach the Holy Roman Empire without having to necessarily pass through the Mediterranean.

If by any tactical reason someone needs to pass through Eastern Europe he/she should do be able to do it.’



-As for increasing the Neutral troops.... that can be an option. Not sure if that will give a bit of an advantage to Saladin and the Seljuks....... But it seems acceptable – levelling all to 6 neutrals:

-Venice
-Jerusalem
-The Vatican
-Cyprus
-Tyre (your 5 in tyre seem good – just be coherent, it gives less bonus than Cyprus)
-Seleucia (I’d put 4 here)


Helix:

-the regions with lighter lines do not yield any bonus – sort of no-men land – just existing to be crossed if you desire to.

-the circle with the golden ring – it seemed to me the easiest and simpler way to mark game-play objectives on map as long with the legend.

-the sea routes: well, I’m not quite a supporter of port symbols unless they all connect between each other. Not the case here.... So those dashed lines (after a lot of testing – believe me:)) were the more direct way to make those overseas connections perceptible.

-as for the English Channel I’ve explained it before:
‘The all idea about the English Channel having 10 neutrals is just so that France and England cannot attack each other EASILY. That’s why I gave negative bonus to Ratisbone owner when invading French territories, and same to Paris owner when invading Iberian territories.’

‘(I didn’t give negative bonus the other way around – France to Holy Roman Empire. I prefer to make it easier to defend (just 2 territories))

Also, I didn’t give any negative effects between England-France because they were actually at war right before the beginning of the Crusade – still those 10 neutrals are hard to pass’



-yes, Tarsus can attack Melitene.

Version updated now. Changes:

-Iberian Kingdoms and The Almohads bonus raised from 4 to 5 troops
-France can now attack Balearic Islands, and reach North Africa through them.
-Took out Melilla from the Almohad Zone to make it easier to reach the muslim bonus (Granada-Tunis)

something still worries me though... the player starting in Leon. Could he/she feel a little inprisioned there?

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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Industrial Helix on Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:01 pm

Ok, I see... I missed the bit where you posted expanded rules a few posts after the starting post. I'd suggest throwing that up there in the starting post.

Ok, the eastern regions hold no bonus then. I think therefore they should have no distinguishing colors perhaps or various shades of one color to designate geographical regions. I think the way it is set up now is slightly misleading.

As for the water lanes, if you're going to stick with it then I guess you're going to stick with it. Perhaps reduce the number of lines entering and exiting an island then? For example, two lines leave Toulouse. Couldn't that be consolidated to one line that branches out to two places... nevermind. I just drew over your map for simplicities sake:

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I think I'm starting to get skeptical about gameplay here. If I get deployed France in a standard game, I'm going to immediately make a move to eliminate the player at Germany. Granted this gives the German player a second chance as he's got a starting point in the Mid East... I think that player would have unfairly started in a weak position.

Also, you have two Triploi's, which while historical, may cause confusion in regards to the objective. Fudge it and call it Cyrene or something?

Otherwise, I think with such complex gameplay its going to be difficult to predict the problems that arise. But anyway, keep it up. It will be resolved eventually. I think you've got a strong concept that will make a great map.
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby captainwalrus on Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:03 pm

You seem like your not going to change this but no one is ever going to attack half of the territories. At least combine some of the russian or polish territories just so it looks more apealing, since they aren't going to effect gameplay.
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Kabanellas on Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:12 am

Right! I’ve inserted a map with less water lanes. What do you think?

About the France-Ratisbone issue:

Remember that there are negative effects from having Ratisbone and any French region…. Being so, if a player starting in Paris got so lucky to take Ratisbone He would be put out of game… (he would receive the normal 3 but would have a negative effect of -4 – He would have no armies to deploy in the next round.)


As for the different colors in those regions, they exist just for historical coherence and show different ethnicities – one color stands for Russia, one for the Polovars, another for the Khazars, another for the Alans and another for Kassogs…. And it seems to me, it also gives a richer and detailed look to the map……

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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Industrial Helix on Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:58 am

Looks good, I think it helps simplify things some. Athens/crete/attalia looks like it could a merging as well, and the black sea looks like two sea routes passing by... perhaps a clear merged dotted line would help. You could get rid of the cherson/kassogs line as well.

OK, good explanation. I didn't read the rules properly which is why I usually lose the first time I play a map :P

You ought to adjust the rule box so say the English channel reverts to neutral 10, rather than just neutral.

The problem I brought up before, I think also applies to Fez and Leon... unless the straits of Gibraltar aren't crossable, which historically is ridiculous. Perhaps if Grenada starts with a large neutral as well, which I can't seem to find in the previous posts whether or not it does.

And the regions with the white lines, I think they're there to designate optional territories in holding a bonus region... but not entirely sure. Is this correct?
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Kabanellas on Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:53 am

Hummm the thing in the Black Sea is that I need all those movements to be possible in the way they are…..

About Granada…. I think that for game-play reasons Fez should be able to reach to it, and then grab Tunis and make the Muslim Bonus… of course that you have a point there, one could try to eliminate the other.. if not in the first round (which seems hard) at least in the second….

But that’s a thought, having 6 neutrals could solve it…..
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Kabanellas on Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:18 am

Version 4 Updated

Inserted all neutrals that differ from 3.

(Helix) - changed the E.C. legend now :)

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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby captainwalrus on Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:35 pm

I just thought of something. In an assasin game, it will be really hard if the person who starts with Ratisbone if their target has Paris. The -4 will be really hard to get through.
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Industrial Helix on Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:46 pm

Yeh, changes to English channel look good, you might want to use the word "revert" over "turns back to" just to look all professional and that.

The border between Larissa and Athens is difficult to notice, I think because its so short. You might want to move it up some, or it might not even matter when you can see the men in the army circle.

I think England might be a little too easy to get a bonus. Maybe reduce it to 1.

I'd suggest changing the border of Tunis and Algiers so to fit the words Tunis in there better.
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Kabanellas on Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:24 am

Walrus... yes, you’re probably right – maybe not a suitable game for assassin mode – unless killers and victims start far enough from each other... (don’t know if the programming could solve that)

----------------

Helix, You’re right, far better now… Is it ok, ending with an ‘s’ (reverts)?

Changed the borders:
Moved up Athenian border, and redone Tunis.

As for England income, I could reduce it to 1. But wouldn’t it be a too much big difference comparing to France (4)?
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Industrial Helix on Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:20 pm

Yeah, looks better. I wish you could add some more terrs. to England though... Midlands, Cornwall or something. It's I just don't think it would fit.

One option would be to raise the neutral on Wales to 4 or 5 or something as to make England work for the bonus while France and H.R.E. have to go all over the place.

Also, can't France simply break the HRE bonus whenever it feels like and suffer no consequences? It seems there should be a bonus deduction for that as well.
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Kabanellas on Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:35 pm

Yes, I really have no Space to add one or two more provinces to England….

I’ve chose to make the Holy Roman Empire easier to defend, having just 2 borders. But, I thought about it too. Something worries me – if the HRE doesn’t have to defend its West borders he would have all its 6 troops free to use in the East…. (but I’m quite whiling to change this – Just think that maybe we should think a little more about it….)

Btw, I think that if was playing France or HRE – I’d go straight away for the Eastern bonus rather than making the zone bonus

Being in England, I’d make the zone bonus first, so I can deal with Cyprus later – the Eastern bonus is a little more difficult in this case, having 6 neutral troops to overrun in Cyprus (and let’s not forget the Byzantine pretensions on Cyprus).
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Kabanellas on Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:27 am

I’d like you guys to make an exercise, so I can figure out styles of play, and optimize game-play:

What would you do in the first 2 or 3 rounds if you were playing as any of those kingdoms/Empires:

The Kingdom of England (London)
The Kingdom of France (Paris)
The Holy Roman Empire (Ratisbone)
Iberian Kingdoms (Leon)
The Almohads (Fez)
The Byzantine Empire (Thessalonica)
Saladin’s Dominions (Cairo)
The Seljuks (Amasia)


Also, what are the starting positions that you find more and less favourable?

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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Industrial Helix on Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:27 am

The Kingdom of England (London) - Take Wales for the bonus and invest all in securing Cyprus.
The Kingdom of France (Paris) - secure France and hope HRE doesn't attack, then go for Antioch
The Holy Roman Empire (Ratisbone) - Go for the Kingdom of Two Sicilies bonus and focus my efforts on getting the Vatican... then going for Selucia, presuming other players havent made great strides there in which case, I would make a move to Selucia sooner.
Iberian Kingdoms (Leon) (This is one of the worst positions to get, imo.) Go for the Spain bonus and try to kill the Fez player... Try to hold at Toulouse.
The Almohads (Fez) Try to kill the Leon player while maybe securing Tunis.
The Byzantine Empire (Thessalonica)- Secure Servia-Bulgaria Bonus, go for the Holy Land
Saladin’s Dominions (Cairo) - Go for Saladin bonus, Then Jerusalem bonus
The Seljuks (Amasia) - Go for Seljuk bonus.

Ok, after that theory exercise, I think the player of Fez should be moved to Tunis. It will threaten the HRE a bit more and leave Leon a chance to not get killed within the first few rounds.
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby mattosaurus on Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:41 am

I really like the look of this map, simple, but with a lot going for it. A couple things: Its a bit hard to get the bonuses. but I don't think there's much you can do about that as it is. Also, there are two countries called Tripoli. Not that its that confusing, but you might need to alter the name a bit, especially for the XML. Other than that its a great map.
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Kabanellas on Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:09 am

Ok, that makes perfect sense Helix, coming to think of it – I’m moving Almohad starting position from Fez to Tunis.

Tripoli region in North Africa changed to Sirt (thanks mattosaurus for that remark), there really were two Tripoli. Actually there still are.


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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby whitestazn88 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:31 pm

Hey, whitestazn88 here for the preliminary review. I think this is the first time i've looked at the map, and its definitely pleasing to look at. Here's the things that i've noticed:

- the legend is a mess. I am not a fan of it at all. instead of all those words, a minimap might help.
- the knights templar bonus is out of place for me, and should be placed either closer to the actual places where those territs are so they can be easily found or in the legend.
- i like all the small bonuses and such, but are the 1 territory +1 bonuses going to be neutral starts? because this could lead to a huge discrepancy at the start.
- i don't like the positioning of the inset, but i understand that is the only place it can go... wish that could be changed some how... maybe make it smaller and put it under the actual place on the map if possible? (ie. switch it with the legend. that might give you more room to make a minimap legend with extras like muslims and knights)
- i just noticed the victory conditions.. i feel like that would be better suited in a larger area, it should be prominent, as that is the victory condition...
- good colors used

all in all, it is a nice map, i like the gameplay. but if you want me to approve of this getting forged at any time, that legend needs to be uncluttered.
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Danyael on Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:59 pm

This map is look very nice
i agree with whitestazn88 about the legend it being very busy
as a colourblind some of the region colour samples in the legend look the same but have the areas name makes the confusion alot less of a factor
this being said i think better organized legend and the right size of font may do wonders in clearing up the legend

I'm still wrapping my head around the game play but i believe some single region bonus need to start as a neutral
to lessen the chance of awesome drops

graphically it looks awesome
but Prussia's outline is a little wonky
and is there any reason that the principality of Armenia Cilica doesnt match all the other thicker outlines
or are you still working on matching them up with the rest

keep up the good work
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby barterer2002 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:42 pm

OK, I've been asked here for my thoughts so lets look at a few things.

1). It seems to me that whoever deploys in London gets a huge advantage. How, really would anyone attack London here. While I realize that there is some historical basis for this, in a CC map it needs to have some balance. Whoever gets London takes Wales and then just can move everyone to Cyprus secure in the 10 protection from the Channel. I don't see any of the Europeans attacking across that early in the game. On the other hand, the other players will all have to protect their home bases throughout.

2). IMO you've got way way way too many bonuses here. I count 17 different bonuses not even including the extras one gets for holding something plus another something (i.e. HRE plus Corsica and Sardinia).

3). Why does the Vatican start off as N6 and not Grenada. In terms of game play they're both important as either one or the other is necessary for the conquest. Historically speaking they're also important as Grenada is the choke point for the Med and the Muslim control limited what fleets of ships could sail through.

4). Since you're seeming to intend this to be a conquest game rather than a defeat your opponents type of game for the most part (see comments on London also you're earlier comments that it won't work for Assassin) are you providing a different advantage to the holder of Cairo who goes through two terts to get to Jerusalem over a starting point like Tunis which has to go through 5.

I guess my main concerns here are that the game play is fairly unbalanced with different starting positions having clear advantages over others.
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby samuelc812 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:14 pm

Hey Kabanellas,

Your map looks great in my opinion, you shown great use of colour. I have a few suggestions that would improve your map.

  1. I'm not sure why you have used diagonal lines on territories such as Cyprus, Granada, Cherson and Trebixond. As far as i can see there is no need for them, but forgive me if they do mean something. However if they don't then i would reomve the lines.
  2. The attack routes are a bit clumsy as dashed lines, perhaps try a dotted line or some other type of line. I don't believe the dashes really fit in, in this case.
  3. The bold borders seem to dissapear in the North East of the map?

Overall nice work, that's all i have right now, but i'll be back at some point in the future ;)

Kind Regards,
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby cairnswk on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:07 pm

Kabanelles. here for the preliminary review.
Your maps looks great and I can see there has been strict effort towards giving it a great appearance and legibility.
1. the colours are not distracting but pleasant and eyecatching
2. personally i find that image in the middle of the Med Sea distracting from trying to follow the gameplay.
3. you may have think about some of the cross-over routes between some terts as some players might see the crossing sections as confusing, i don't but others might.
4. Lot of suitable size bonuses for gameplay which everyone seems to enjoy as it provides opportunity for players to battle over and build up their armies.
5. my main concern comes from the image i scaled down below. I have reduced this map to the required 600px high version and i think you might have some issues with fitting some terts in particularly in the insert. You will see i have placed 22px army shadows on some of those terts.
When producing any map, i always do the small version first, and then upscale. While we still have size-restrictions, it's the small map that matters most as this appears to the default that is given us from the site with the large version our choice to use. But a small version must be produced and i think you might have challenges that will need to be overcome in these areas.

Good luck, I think you have a good map and something many will enjoy. I am sure you can also oversome the small map challenges.

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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby lostatlimbo on Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:10 pm

barterer2002 wrote:OK, I've been asked here for my thoughts so lets look at a few things.

1). It seems to me that whoever deploys in London gets a huge advantage. How, really would anyone attack London here. While I realize that there is some historical basis for this, in a CC map it needs to have some balance. Whoever gets London takes Wales and then just can move everyone to Cyprus secure in the 10 protection from the Channel. I don't see any of the Europeans attacking across that early in the game. On the other hand, the other players will all have to protect their home bases throughout.

2). IMO you've got way way way too many bonuses here. I count 17 different bonuses not even including the extras one gets for holding something plus another something (i.e. HRE plus Corsica and Sardinia).

3). Why does the Vatican start off as N6 and not Grenada. In terms of game play they're both important as either one or the other is necessary for the conquest. Historically speaking they're also important as Grenada is the choke point for the Med and the Muslim control limited what fleets of ships could sail through.

4). Since you're seeming to intend this to be a conquest game rather than a defeat your opponents type of game for the most part (see comments on London also you're earlier comments that it won't work for Assassin) are you providing a different advantage to the holder of Cairo who goes through two terts to get to Jerusalem over a starting point like Tunis which has to go through 5.

I guess my main concerns here are that the game play is fairly unbalanced with different starting positions having clear advantages over others.


I completely agree with everything barterer has said.

Your bonus structure is also perplexing - I'm still trying to figure out what the bonus is for the maroon-ish territory group surrounding Kiev is. I've looked over your legend a dozen times and I'm pretty sure it has been excluded. I wonder if I'm just missing something here, because I can't see that anyone else has mentioned this oversight.

Additionally, many of the bonus values seem off:
1 terit Antioch is +1 bonus (plus potential for Templar bonus)
2 terit Edessa is +2
4 terit Hungary (with no safe terits!!!) is +1????

I think this has already been said, but all the solo terits that have no purpose - Prussia, Alans, etc - just cut them out, make them a neutral gray or assimilate them into nearby territories. it makes no sense to have all these solo terits with different colors when you already have a map full of color issues and bonuses. visually, those terits make me expect a purpose, but they're just filler. imo, they need to look as irrelevant as they are.

I also second the re-organization of your legend. Having the Edessa green directly under France and England, creates the illusion of it being the Iberian bonus. The order of these is jumping all over the map. Instead, pick on corner of the map and start there, then work your way clockwise (or counter-) around the map. This and better colors (and maybe continent names on the map) will do wonders.

Constantinople needs to be a +6 neutral to coincide with the Vatican, Jerusalem, etc.

Overall, I really like the visual style you've chosen for this, but there are a couple places that look a little sloppy - primarily the Templar image that is seen in the Mediterranean. You can see a straight, hard line coming down vertically, just below Sicily and another horizontal edge between Apulia and Larissa. If you take a little more there and maybe fade both of these (the NW bckgnd image as well), I think it will look great.

The lone ship just above West Egypt, however, is out of place. I'd suggest dropping it altogether, but if you have your heart set on a ship image, try to find something that fits in visually with the other two images - something you can slip into the background of the sea. As it is now, I don't think it suits your theme.

Personally, this map simply has too much going on. Too many bonuses and color codes that are difficult to discern - even on the large map. Too many combos and one way attacks and a subset map that is extremely difficult to determine what borders what between it and the main map.

In some ways this reminds me of the Iraq War map, but something about its inset map of Baghdad worked where this one is lacking. I'd have to compare the two side by side, so maybe I'll leave some additional feedback when I have the time.

Long story short - nice visual effort, but I hope you can eliminate some of the excessive/filler elements and lay everything out in a way that's a tad easier to digest.
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Re: The Third Crusade

Postby Kabanellas on Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:42 am

Thanks a lot guys, for all those precious comments!

A lot of questions have been raised and I’ll try to summon all up in the best way I can. And forgive me, as you’ve probably noticed English it’s not my mother/first language.

First of all let me ask you for some patience and historical comprehension when approaching this map – this is intended to be a little less ‘flat’ than the classic -straight and simple- map design. Also, please read all the past posts carefully – some of what has been said now was explained and debated before.

Whitestazn – I’ve tried the minimap feature before to avoid legends – but I couldn’t make it. I just couldn’t find the space. As for the 1 territ bonus -this is a positional map – people will start in those positions marked.

Barterer – well the game is not intended to be fought over Central/Northern Europe – those 10 neutrals in the English Channel are there to emphasise that. Remember victory points are in the Mediterranean- Middle East. And the Third Crusade was fought there.

Bonuses appear to give that extra flavour to the game and in many cases to force the game-play to actually resemble the wars fought in the Third Crusade time frame – I know that in a first approach they will seem a bit confusing, But I’m sure that by the second time that people get a good look at the map and familiarize with it, they will all be pretty self-explanatory.

Good point there in the Granada situation – I’ll change it to 6

As for the assassin game – yes, it’s not a map intended to be played in Assassin mode – the concept itself doesn’t lead to it..... (can be played though.. as long as Killers and Victims don't appear right close to each other)

As for Cairo... well they are near Jerusalem (in the first crusade they actually owned Jerusalem), and they surely need some starting advantages they will face all European powers at their doors. France, England (and HRE) will have good auto-deployed bonuses in the area.

Samuel – those diagonal have been discussed before with Helix.... I’ve already simplified all naval pass ways. But I’m afraid that I’ll really need those crossing lines in the Black Sea.

No bold borders in the East European countries because they give no bonuses (the intention of those territories was widely explained before)

Cairnswk – I’ll definitely start working on the smaller version now. :)

Lostalimbo – Crusade kingdoms (Antioch, Armenia, Tripoli and so on...) are not intended to be self sustained zones by themselves... They should be what they really were – territories protected by the intervenient powers. Their bonuses should be low.

Hungary/Serbia – will always be a buffer for the Byzantine Empire. A Player that starts there could move (or not) his/hers borders a little further to central Europe without having a real big benefit for it. And again, this was debated before..... I’ll try to repost everything concerning this matter below.

The map of Jerusalem – I’ve tried the first and obvious position – near the middle East. Couldn’t make it fit there - it turns out that I kinda like the way it appears now :)
Good point there, I’ll redo the art work in the Mediterranean, the picture frame is appearing. And I do have the same feeling about that lonesome cog – I’ll try to make it smaller just to see what happens (but I’ll probably end up to just sinking it)
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