Grats again, ManB!
I like this map. I think the graphics
helped win the competition so maybe the colors, etc don't need to be changed
Personally I think mountains
make more sense than forests as impassables. (If there are some trees between my army and yours that doesn't really stop me...) So I would go back to mountains. Maybe make them more grey/rocky (even snow-capped)?
I like the idea of connected rebels
so they don't become three separate isolated troop-collecting dead-ends. Whether or not a person gets stuck on one as his last territ, they become pretty useless if they just sit there with this growing pile of troops that can't do anything but bomb adjacent. (Once an army started building there everyone would just avoid getting close. Come to think of it that's an interesting feature - to create a kind of "bomb" everyone has to avoid... but I don't think it works for the map because attention is focused away from the rebels on the stronghold.) I would really like to see them attack out somewhere... the question is where. How to preserve a kind of unique function for them? Maybe the rebels attack the 3 armies in front of the stronghold? Or even better, what if the rebels attack as normal all territories around them, but bombard the 3 armies
? That's a great way to break into the neutral-guarded armies. You still have to coordinate an attack since you need ground troops to actually assault the armies. It's also fits the theme/concept that the rebels would harry the armies - bombardment. And the rebels become very strategic spots because the auto-deploy can be forted. If they also attack or bomb each other its a really dynamic feature. I think you need to at least give them the utility of archers on King's Court - where they attack other archers and eventually bomb something useful. You still have to think twice about taking them, but they have a function. However, I would really like to see something more dynamic as suggested.
Perhaps my biggest issue with the map is I don't see a high fantasy
connection. Again, it's a great map, but it feels like an adventure map that could happen in Sherwood (as mentioned in the other post), or Kosovo, or New York, or anywhere. What's "fantasy" about it? Names? Do cosmetics or naming make a map high fantasy? I don't think we could paint over the Classic map and change Europe to Mordor and Berlin to Mount Doom or something and now it's fantasy. There is no essential fantasy element in this map.
When I start trying to think of how the map could be transformed into more of a "high fantasy" map I end up drawing from my own map (a very poor submission which was very unfinished
). So I apologize in advance, but this is how I approached fantasy.
You could have magic wielders or "centers of power" instead of rebels. These centers of power somehow connect to each other and either attack the stronghold or affect the armies in some way
. Maybe gaining control of the stronghold grants a special advantage/ability. There's the classic "once you conquer the stronghold you can attack/bomb everything." Or maybe to emphasize the fantasy theme again - from the stronghold you can attack the centers of power (rebels).
The focus of the map would then be on these really dynamic fantasy-themed powerful hubs. Of course you would really have to wrestle with balance - but if there are multiple connected points maybe that's mitigated.
The biggest problem with these suggestions that comes to my mind right away is the complexity. Is there a way to implement any of this without becoming too complex? Connections across the map, etc aren't immediately apparent and mean the map requires some study to understand - which you wanted to avoid (in your 1 min random speed game scenario).