I feel like this map is a little too brutal if you get kicked off the main play area early on. It's nearly impossible to recover and develop any income after that, especially as the number of players increases. I realize you don't want to rework the gameplay significantly any more, but I wonder if it could be fixed with a simple tweak. Maybe making the kingdoms autodeploy +1? That would give a slight help to people to reenter the map after the beginning of the game, without helping anyone who actually has a power base on the map.
Plus, as a side effect, it would make eliminations via the Forbidden Lands slightly more difficult. The killer neutrals there could be reduced to 20 or so to make up for that? That too might make for a more interesting game, with that territory taken somewhat more often than currently.