Hidden Agenda [12.0] is submitted for review.

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Hidden Agenda [12.0] is submitted for review.

Postby somenpotatis » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:01 pm

New map: Hidden Agenda [12.0] by somenpotatis.
Map editor link: Hidden Agenda [12.0]


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Re: Hidden Agenda [12.0] is submitted for review.

Postby somenpotatis » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:29 pm

Greetings Warlords!

Please have a look at my first original map. My intention was to make a map that promoted utilization of terrain as part of defensive and offensive tactics. Each players home base lies beyond a single narrow road on a certain terrain. The many towers along the road can be used to level up a hero (at the cost of missing out on an early center rush) or hide an attacking or defending army. Early sorceresses attacks on nearby home bases by the way of multiple sages is somewhat hindered by a ghost wall. The centre cities have full production capabilities and are rich (gives >1000 gp when plundered), but also lies close to the main intersection and are hard to defend.

The map can be played 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2 and as FFA4.


Please tell me what you think!
/Johan
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Re: Hidden Agenda [12.0] is submitted for review.

Postby KGB » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:03 am

It's obvious you spent a lot of time on this map so I hate to say this but:

1) Most of this map size (100x) is wasted space that won't be used. The outer boundaries with the ruins and gold sites will never ever be visited / conquered. You could have easily fit this map into 75x75. It's probably too late to change sizes now (actually it's not, you can cut / paste the terrain into a smaller new map if you wanted) so you should consider sprinkling a few cities out there so there is *some* long term reason to go out there. I still doubt they ever get used/conquered but at least they'd be there.

2) The distances between the starting cities and middle isn't equal. It's equal in distance (17 squares) but not in terrain. For example the swamp player has 7 swamp squares he must move through (non-road) while the desert player has 13, the hill player 5 and the forest player 9. You can't just use the value to move in the terrain because every player is going to at least buy a scout and most likely all will but the unit they need (orc, dwarf etc) to get 2 movement. So those sides with more roads benefit greatly. You have to assume 1 or 2 moves for each square max.

3) If there is a middle rush it will benefit the player who gets the lucky starting unit of their terrain (orc, elf etc). It's the ugly secret of Warbarons that's rarely mentioned but getting lucky with the right terrain starting unit matters huge (if it's a dwarf the hill side speeds to the middle while the others can barely move). The game DESPERATELY need user selection of starting units or 1 of each kind. But until then it's going to matter on your map.

4) I would lose the Dragon/Mammoth defenders in those towers and weaken the powerful cities by removing the Devil/Archon (just leave the 1 powerful unit and maybe add 1 scout like the middle cites). The reason is it's going to be all but impossible to build any army strong enough to go out there and take those because if you could do that you would have already won the game by conquering your opponents measly 4 cities. If you must have something, just put a single Hv Inf in the towers.

5) You should add an opening in the Ghost walls at the end of the city behind the capitals (ones at N/S/E/W compass points). That would give another way to access the rest of the map (where you are going to add a few more cities so players have reason to go there). You can guard the opening with a tower+defender like Hv Inf if you want to slow movement slightly out the gate.

6) I suspect that EVERYONE is going to build a tower on the 1 square wide area between the water to the middle and defend it with a L8 tower for their life. That's going to be the only way into their lands. If this is not what you want you need to adjust the map to deal with that accordingly.

KGB
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Re: Hidden Agenda [12.0] is submitted for review.

Postby somenpotatis » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:40 am

Thanks for your thoughtful input, I find it motivating to get a response from an experienced player!

1) Funny that you mention this. I started out selecting an arbitrary map size and then set my distances from the center to the capitals and then from the capitals to the 3 fringe cities assuming an average moving range of about 15, thus leaving the outer map boundaries being unused. The unused space disturbed me, so later I decided to fill the void with something natural looking that wouldn't really interfere with the tactical game inside the walls, but perhaps I should have just switched to a smaller map instead.

2, 3) This is a flaw of the FFA system I can't work around. The map started out as a scenario and each team was given a light infantry (and a hero) to start with and was limited to produce non-terrain capable units at the capital, and using such a unit enabled all teams to reach center with about the same move points. The main idea back then was to make players chose which of the 3 (originally unguarded) fringe cities to conquer first, and by doing that also deciding what enemy terrain to prefer to attack first after reaching the center (the center only had one city back then, so you were more likely to move on to an enemy home base). The main idea worked but was quite the slow burner and later forked out to accommodate a more aggressive FFA play style focused on reaching the center first.

4) I think you're right since no one in my test games so far has bothered taking any city outside the walls, and I believe having more cities to claim will give us longer lasting and more satisfying games to play.

5) I actually put a single square of road on the lava on the exact same spot you mention just to give players an easy way over the wall, but perhaps changing the ghost to something nicer would make the outside more useful (back then I didn't want the outside to be distracting from the tactical mechanics of the inside, but now I think that adding some poor villages near the mountains could give players more room to adapt to their own play style).

6) That is a viable defensive tactic of course, however getting enough units to both defend a tower and one/several central cities adequately won't be easy in the first turns of the game. I think it can work as it is?


Thanks for the feedback!
somenpotatis
 
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Re: Hidden Agenda [12.0] is submitted for review.

Postby szymraszyn » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:40 pm

Hello,
I've played several test games there with somenpotatis. I think this map needs 2 improvements.
1) add 2/4 ruins between capital and center, to make alternavite sorc tactic to barb rush tactic.
2) Outside cities should be poor cities, towers defending them should be poorer, and those cities should be nearer center, to mak ecapturing them worth.
szymraszyn
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Re: Hidden Agenda [12.0] is submitted for review.

Postby somenpotatis » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:05 pm

Hello!

I started a test game where i made the following changes:
- added a home base back door to the outside
- changed tower guardian to heavy infantry in central door to the outside
- added poor outskirt cities to make it (a little bit) worthwhile exploring the wilderness
- added poor cities in the courtyards close to the central doorways
- gave all players roads to travel on in their respective terrains to prevent unfair travel times
- slightly lowered the income from sacking the central cities
- changed neutral guardian alongside fire elementals to make those cities equally challenging to capture as the mammoth cities.

If you have the spare time, please join the battle to expose the hidden agendas and find the true path to victory!
somenpotatis
 
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