*Special credit to
Middle East is one of CC's oldest maps, originally designed by
and later revamped by
. The map is based on the area in Southwest Asia where the continents of Africa, Europe, and Asia meet. This map has 42 regions and no zone smaller than 5 regions, making it one of the fairer mid-sized maps available on Conquer Club. There really aren't any bad settings on this map, except for large multiplayer games with no spoils or flat rate spoils, which may take a while to finish, or manual deployment which usually degenerates into crashing stacks due the open nature of the map. Two player, standard escalating and even assassin all offer interesting games.
Bonuses: Balanced. Complexity: Easy. Features None. How to play ******
show: Two Player
Each player begins with 14 regions. It will be difficult to reduce your opponent to 11 regions on Round 1, but this should be the goal.
None of the bonus zones on this map are easy to conquer or hold immediately. It is rare for someone to start with a bonus zone, but make sure your opponent doesn't have too many regions in Bactria, which is the easiest bonus zone to take from the start, comprising only 5 regions. Egypt is the easiest to hold because it is accessed from only two regions, Israel & PT and Hejaz. Turkey is the next easiest with 3 regions accessing its borders, Cyprus, Syria, and Caucasia. Bactria borders four regions making it a difficult bonus zone to hold over the long term. Any type of spoils work well for the map, including nuclear spoils. The map plays well with both fog of war and sunny (no fog of war) settings. Fog of war may encourage an attempt at some of the larger bonus zones. If you can hold one of these, the game is usually close to over anyway.
An understanding of "Classic-style" escalating games will benefit you greatly on Middle East, as it is similar in size and gameplay to Classic. The only big difference is Middle East has more bottlenecked zones than Classic, resulting in a more difficult path to all of another player's regions. Despite it being an open map only two regions have a reach to 6 other regions: Central Plateau and Syria. A number of other regions connect to 5 regions.
The most obvious bottlenecks on the map are Baghdad and Caucasia, along with Israel & PT and Sinai. Be aware that Arabia is difficult to block off due to the multiple access paths. The only dead end on the map is Istanbul, which touches Izmir but no other region. The map is excellent for any number of players up to 8, including terminator and standard games. Fog of War works well for the map and the regions with a lot of reach (connecting to 5 plus regions) such as the previously mentioned Central Plateau and Syria become key.
show: Flat Rate, Nuclear, and No Spoils
None of the bonus zones are usually easy to conquer or hold initially. Small (3 to 4 player) flat rate games are exciting and action-packed, but larger (5 and more player) flat rate games and most no spoils games have a tendency to develop into build up games, which can take a long time to finish. Bactria, Turkey and Egypt are the three best bonus zones to take. Bactria is the easiest to conquer, having only 5 regions, but is more difficult to hold in the long run than Egypt, which has two more regions but one less border. Turkey is a nice long-term bonus zone as it has a +4 zone bonus and only 3 borders.
Nuclear spoils play somewhat similarly to no spoils, but have a few twists on the basic strategy for no spoils. It becomes more important to spread yourself out in order to prevent a lucky nuke from destroying a third to half of your troops, and to be able to quickly retake regions in your bonus zones that may have been nuked. In addition, holding a choke point becomes less important because eventually the choke points can be destroyed or conquered using the nuclear spoils.
show: Team Games
Egypt, Turkey, and Bactria are the best bonus zones to conquer in team games, as they are relatively small and can be defended by a partner outside of the region. Baghdad and Caucasia become extremely important choke points in team games. Try to conquer one of these smaller zones early, then work on breaking any bonus zones your opponent might have collected, or eliminate your weakest opponent. This map is good for triples, and four and six player doubles games.
Quad and eight player doubles games are a little too large for the map. In a quad game on this map it is therefore a better strategy to target one opponent specifically and eliminate them early on. Adding fog of war to this scenario can add another dimension of excitement for gamers who are interested in more of a challenge. Unlimited reinforcements are generally not recommended for team games on an open map like this as they give the first team to take a turn a big advantage. I'd recommend chained or adjacent reinforcements. Doubles games will start with each player controlling 10 regions each, triples with 7 regions each, and quads with 5 regions each.
show: Additional Notes
As a general note on the map’s bonus zones, see the following:
Near East: +8 troop bonus, six entry points (i.e. 1.33 additional troops per tied down defense point). Iran: +6 troop bonus, five entry points (i.e. 1.2 additional troops per tied down defense point). Arabia: +5 troop bonus, four entry points (i.e. 1.25 additional troops per tied down defense point). Turkey: +4 troop bonus, three entry points (i.e. 1.33 additional troops per tied down defense point). Egypt: +3 troop bonus, two entry points (i.e. 1.5 additional troops per tied down defense point). Bactria: +3 troop bonus, three entry points (i.e. 1 additional troops per tied down defense point). Other related strategy guides