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The Peloponnesian War map has one of the most interesting development histories. The map first entered its playable Beta phase on March 24, 2009 and was not completely released to live play until June 30, 2010, experiencing the longest Beta period of any map to date because of graphical disputes over clarity and concerns with gameplay description and coherence.
Since the issues with Peloponnesian War, map-makers receive their medals once their maps go live, and not upon entering the Beta phase as they had previously. Issues and conflict aside, whether because of the great map design or the bold and beautiful color scheme, Peloponnesian War was the most popular new map of 2009 in terms of games played.
Peloponnesian War has 87 total regions, the vast majority of them being neutral regions at the start of each game. There are no standard bonuses. The few collection bonuses that this map offers are fully described below under Features in the Classification section. Nearly all game types are best played with any spoils, chained or unlimited reinforcements, and the fog of war setting turned on (fog of war exceptions explained where necessary).
Size: Large conquest map (87 regions)
Bonuses: Balanced Complexity: Easy Features Starting Position: This map contains start positions, meaning players will start with one or more of a preset group of regions. The starting positions are the 8 gold helmets. Each player will start with 2 gold helmets in a 2-4 player game, and 1 gold helmet in a 5-8 player game. The 8 gold helmets are (clockwise from the bottom-left of the map): Romans Skyros Illyrians Dardanians Pontus Lemnians Icaria Persians Autodeploy: Troops are automatically placed on specific regions on the map. The 8 gold helmets listed above give their owner(s) +2 autodeploy troops at the start of each turn. Conquest Gameplay: Players only start with a small number of regions and must conquer most of the map away from neutrals before reaching other players. There are at least 17 neutral troops between any two starting positions. Collections: Unlike continents these only require a specific amount of the designated regions to gain a bonus. Successfully holding any two regions bearing swords will give you an additional +2 troops to deploy at the start of your turn. Additionally, successfully holding any one region bearing a silver helmet will give you an additional +1 troop to deploy at the start of your turn. Victory Condition: Players can win by holding a set of specified regions instead of eliminating the other players. If you successfully conquer and hold all 8 regions with a shield for a full round, you will win the game at the start of your next turn. The 8 regions with a shield needed to win by victory condition are: Lacedaemonians Athenians Macedonians Corinthians (see zoomed-in window within the map legend) Boeotians Erythraeans Lydians Troadians How to play Peloponnesian War
show: The Victory Condition
One criticism of this map, that standard global domination (simply eliminating all opponents from the map) is much preferable to attempting to win by achieving the victory condition, is justified. The gameplay of this map is almost always in the shape of a lower case "n." The Romans and Persians regions act as the two endpoints, with players moving North, arcing across the top of the map past Dardanians, and then eliminating opponents all the way through to the other end.
The only time that smart players will ever risk going through all of the neutral regions in the South is during large escalating games when they have the benefit of using large spoil cashes, and they will only do so to eliminate an opponent. The shields at Athenians, Boeotians, and Corinthians are too far out of the way and require you to go through too many neutral troops and regions, wasting your troops that could be better used against your opponent. If you're looking for the quickest and most efficient way to win a game on Peloponnesian War, do not attempt to win by achieving the objective. Eliminate your opponent(s) instead.
show: Two Player
In a two player game, both you and your opponent will start with two starting regions. Keep in mind that this means that 4 of the starting positions on the map are neutral regions. The first thing that you should do is to acquire the silver helmet from each of your starting points. Each silver helmet will earn you an additional +1 troop to deploy, so acquiring both will mean that you with have 5 troops instead of 3 at the start of each turn. From this point, there are two general strategies to employ.
The first is used when your two starting regions are far apart. If you begin with one of the two "ends" (Romans and Persians) you deploy all of your troops there and slowly work your way North to the top of the map and then down the other side. If you begin with Icaria, head South and clear Persians first so that you won't have to worry about an attack from below. The same should be done to Romans if you start with Illyrians. Once this is done, you slowly work your way to the other side. Eventually you will draw near to your other starting position. At this point, you should have enough troops gathered there due to the autodeploy that you should be able to break through the neutral regions and combine your forces before proceeding through the map to hunt down and eliminate your opponent. The second strategy is used when you have two starting regions that are close to each other (for example: Pontus and Lemnians). In this case, you reverse the above strategy. Here, you combine your forces first. Once this is achieved, you will be able to fortify your front lines each turn with your autodeploy troops. The additional troops will prove beneficial as you move along the map. Keep in mind that as you do this, your opponent will be doing the same thing. This is why you should proceed slowly. If you attack too aggressively, you'll have few troops and killed many neutral regions, making the job much easier for your opponent. It is better to move with caution so that when you do eventually run into your opponent's large troop stack, you will have one of your own to combat it. Do not take more than two regions at a time until you're ready to break through a neutral region with 6 troops to try for an elimination. If you are playing with flat rate or escalating spoils, it's best to only take one neutral region at a time, using the spoil cashes to provide you with the extra burst needed to break through several neutral regions or to attack your opponent. If you are playing with the fog of war setting off, your opponent will be able to see everything that you do, moving to effectively counter everything that you do. When this happens, eventually you and your opponent will have one battle between large troop stacks, and the winner will almost invariably win the game. This isn't "fun," and eliminates any strategic advantage that you may have. Playing with the fog of war setting on adds an enjoyable aspect of suspense as you progress along the map, and also allows you to employ whichever strategy you choose without them knowing.
show: Standard, Terminator, and Assassin games
Standard and Terminator - recommended settings: 8 players, escalating, chained or unlimited, fog of war on Playing with 3, 5, 6, or 7 players means that there is the possibility of you reaching a new starting position and finding it to be neutral. In 4 player games, each player will start with 2 starting positions. Even if you are successful in conquering a starting position from a player, they will still have another that you might not have access to, and all you have effectively done is made it easier for another player to eliminate the player that you assaulted and collect their spoils. Because of this, standard and terminator games are best suited for 8 players. This way, a player will occupy each starting region, and conquering any of them will result in a player elimination earning you their spoils and their points if playing terminator. In an 8 player game, you will need to conquer neutral regions to reach an opponent, but the closer you get to an opponent, the closer the opponent gets to you. If you are playing the game with no spoils and fail in an attempt to eliminate an opponent, your opponent will most likely kill you as you will then be weak. For this reason, it is best to use escalating spoils. This way, you can cash spoils to give you additional troops needed to eliminate an opponent and hopefully cash a second time after the elimination in order to replenish your depleted troop count. As previously stated, with each successful assault, you will expose yourself to your enemies. It is best to play these games with the fog of war setting on so that your troop count is hidden from your closest opponents. When playing these escalating games with the fog of war on, it is best to only conquer one region at a time. Assaulting two regions your first turn to acquire the silver helmet is inadvisable. It is best to wait for round two to assault the silver helmet, as it's worth more to you as a safe spot to earn a spoil than it is as an immediate +1 bonus. With these settings in mind, there are two things to keep in mind to successfully win a game. The first is the strategy described in the two player section to secure the closest "end" and then work to the other side. However, depending on your starting location, this may prove to be a secondary strategy. One of the criticisms of this map during its Beta phase was that the distribution of neutral troops between the starting regions is too uneven. You can use this knowledge to your advantage. Below is the number of neutral troops and neutral regions one must conquer along the quickest path between each "adjacent" starting region: Romans <--27 neutral troops, 11 neutral regions--> Skyros Romans <--24 neutral troops, 9 neutral regions--> Illyrians Illyrians <--18 neutral troops, 7 neutral regions--> Skyros Illyrians <--15 neutral troops, 5 neutral regions--> Dardanians Skyros <--19 neutral troops, 7 neutral regions--> Dardanians Dardanians <--19 neutral troops, 7 neutral regions--> Pontus Pontus <--20 neutral troops, 7 neutral regions--> Lemnians Lemnians <--20 neutral troops, 7 neutral regions--> Icaria Icaria <--19 neutral troops, 7 neutral regions--> Persians Instead of concentrating on clearing the ends, depending on your starting position, it might be best for you to assault along the path with fewest neutral regions and troops so that you have the best chance of eliminating an opponent and receiving a secondary escalating spoils cash. Once the spoil value reaches around 30, your goal should not be to eliminate single players, but to eliminate all players in a single move by using the troops earned from each successive spoils cash to eliminate another player. Assassin - recommended settings: 8 players, escalating, chained or unlimited, fog of war off Assassin games are the one gametype that is best played without fog of war. The reason for this is that the luck of the starting drop plays the greatest role in victory. For example, if you start the game occupying Dardanians and your opponent occupies Persians, it will be almost impossible for you to reach them let alone kill them before somebody else with a closer target wins the game. Playing an assassin game with fog of war means that there is only a 1/7 chance that the starting region you blindly choose to assault will be your target. By keeping the fog of war off, you will at least know where your opponent is and you will be able to use your escalating cashes in a focused assassination attempt.
show: Team Games
All possible team games work well on Peloponnesian War. Triples and 3-team doubles games are best played without fog of war due to the fact that there will be two neutral starting regions, but 2 and 4-team doubles as well as quadruples are best played with fog of war. There are three possible strategies for team games.
The first is to locate your teammate with the best starting position, those being the "ends" of Romans or Persians, or the closest starting region to those two. All teammates then deploy their troops on that player, creating a large troop stack to act as a battering ram. This teammate will effectively do all of the team's work, with the rest of the team simply supplying the stack with the additional troops needed to move forward. The only time the supporting teammates should make any assaults is once they have accumulated 7 troops on their gold helmet. At this point, they should attempt to acquire their silver helmet for the +1 troop bonus to be used to drop on the stack. After the silver helmet is acquired, though, no further assaults should be made for the remainder of the game so long as the main stack is still alive. There are two deviations of this strategy, depending on the initial troop drop. Say for example, that you are playing a 2-team doubles game or a quadruples game and your team's starting positions are Persians, Icaria, Lemnians, and Illyrians. Here you don't need to stack on Persians, but can instead load all troops on Illyrians because your team doesn't need to be worried about an assault from the South. The second deviation is to deploy all troops on Illyrians, your team's isolated position and likely the one that the opposing team will attempt to eliminate first. If your team is set up all in a row except for one opponent in the middle, it is best to eliminate that opponent first before heading to the other end of the map. For example, if your team starts with Icaria, Lemnians, and Dardanians, it would be beneficial for your first attempted elimination to be from Dardanians to Pontus to remove any threat from the middle of your team's position. The second strategy is the exact counter to the first strategy. Assuming you are playing with fog of war, you figure out which starting positions your opponents have and attempt to predict where they will build their stack. You then load the closest player on your team in order to counter. The final strategy involves the same setup as the above strategies; however, there's a twist. Instead of your team being the first to make an attempt at an elimination, you intentionally wait for one of your opponents to do it first. By being the first to attempt an elimination, there is a possibility that your opponent will thoroughly weaken themselves going through all of the neutral regions and eliminating one of your teammates. Once they do this, your team uses your main troop stack to follow them in once they have thinned themselves out and done the work of breaking through the neutral regions for you. Keep in mind that this is the most risky strategy, as it's possible the opponent will not lose many troops at all, but you will when you try to follow. Use this strategy with caution and only if you are comfortable with the risk. Whichever strategy your team decides to you, your goal is to navigate around the map and eliminate the opposing team members one by one until you have won the game. It's usually best to make an attempt at elimination in Round 3 or close to. Any later and your opponent will get the jump on you and likely gain a deployment advantage. If your opponent attempts an elimination first and fails, it's best to shift your deployments to your teammate that was assaulted. You can either load the front lines and hope to push the opponent back and possibly kill him, or drop defensively (creating several small troop stacks of 2's, 4's, etc.) and wait for your teammate with the main troops stack to arrive and protect you. If you are playing a team game with flat rate or escalating spoils, it's up to your best judgment based on your team's starting positions to decide whether or not your support players should assault additional regions past the silver helmet for spoils. If your team decides to do this, all troops are still deployed on the player acting as the main stack, but the support players reinforce their autodeployed troops forward each round in the hopes of using those troops to assault a new neutral region the following round. Once a supporting player acquires a spoils set, it's best that they stop and wait for the right time to cash in the spoils and deploy those troops on the main stack.
show: Additional Notes
Recommended Settings Summary 2 players: automatic deployment, chained or unlimited reinforcements, any spoils, fog of war on 3 player standard, terminator, assassin: automatic deployment, chained or unlimited reinforcements, escalating spoils, fog of war on 4 player standard, terminator, assassin: automatic deployment, chained or unlimited reinforcements, any spoils, fog of war on 5 player standard, terminator, assassin: automatic deployment, chained or unlimited reinforcements, escalating spoils, no fog of war 6 player standard, terminator, assassin: automatic deployment, chained or unlimited reinforcements, escalating spoils, no fog of war 7 player standard, terminator, assassin: automatic deployment, chained or unlimited reinforcements, escalating spoils, no fog of war 8 player standard, terminator, assassin: automatic deployment, chained or unlimited reinforcements, escalating spoils, fog of war on 2-team doubles: manual deployment, chained or unlimited reinforcements, any spoils, fog of war on 3-team doubles: automatic deployment, chained or unlimited reinforcements, escalating spoils, no fog of war 4-team doubles: automatic deployment, chained or unlimited reinforcements, escalating spoils, fog of war on triples: manual deployment, chained or unlimited reinforcements, any spoils, fog of war on quadruples: manual deployment, chained or unlimited reinforcements, any spoils, fog of war on Manual Deployment: Manual deployment has little to no effect on the gameplay of a Peloponnesian War game. At most, any player will start the game holding two starting regions, meaning a starting manual deployment of 4 troops. Because there are so many neutrals to go through, an additional 2 troops deployed on a starting region is almost insignificant. The only game types where manual deployment has the potential to make even the smallest difference is two-team doubles games and quadruples games, where the player acting as your team's "stack" will start his or her first turn with 9 troops on his gold helmet as opposed to 3. The "stack" will have much better chances of acquiring the +1 silver helmet in their first attempt, and the chances of falling a few troops short of an elimination decreases slightly. Nuclear Spoils: At least 79 regions will start the game as neutral regions. Due to the sheer number of regions on the map, the odds of you either nuking an important region are slim, so nuclear spoils games should be played in the same manner as no spoils games. However, nuclear spoils creates a great risk/reward scenario. There is a possibility that you could nuke a neutral 6 to clear your path or nuking the region where an opponent has amassed their troops. However, you also run the risk of nuking your own main forces or nuking a neutral 6 in your opponent's path. Whether or not the possible rewards justify the risk is entirely up to you. Adjacent Reinforcements: In order to win the game, you must distance yourself from your starting position. As you do this, your main troop stack will move further and further away from your autodeploy. Playing with adjacent reinforcements cripples your ability to effectively fort your autodeployed troops to your front lines and should be avoided. Similar maps: Feudal Epic, Imperium Romanum, Jamaica, Monsters, Treasures Of Galapagos Reading the Game Log: When playing a flat rate or escalating spoils in conjunction with the fog of war setting, it's possible to use the game log to determine your opponent's starting position. When an opponent cashes in a set of spoils, see if a +2 bonus is earned. If it is, search for the regions corresponding to the cashed spoils on the map to narrow down that player's location. For example: An opponent has 4 regions and cashes in spoils for Eleans, Dolopes, and Chaonians and earns a +2 bonus. It is impossible to get to Eleans or Dolopes in only 3 assaults from any starting positions. This means that the player earned the +2 bonus for holding Chaonians. Having only 4 regions, you now know that player started the game in Illyrians. Pay special attention to how many regions each player has. If an opponent holds 6 or more regions, chances are good that they've assaulted a neutral 6, weakening themselves and removing some of their defense. At this point, it's time for you to consider attempting an elimination. Other related topics