Horus2's maps - Wear your hardhat

Discussion of all aspects of multiplayer development: unit balancing, map development, server development, and so forth.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

User avatar
Posts: 407
Joined: September 26th, 2010, 1:05 pm

Re: Horus2's maps - Wear your hardhat

Post by Horus2 »



Formerly known as the "map with no pumpkins", Hellhole is my attempt to set things right when every other game gets free new content during festive periods. I had the idea of two nearby, opposing village connected with an underground tunnel for a long time. But when i finally started doing it, the corridor started to look dull, since it could have been obstructed with certain factions entirely - so it quickly evolved into a sacrificial pit. This was only the first radical change in the design during making an entire streak of radical changes: originally i aimed for a small Den of Onis spin-off with 6 villages per side. But behold, suddenly it became greater than Sulla's Ruins and i neved had the chance anymore to redeem my sins.

What makes this map unique

Strict mountain regulation

There is not a single mountain on the entire map, because the entire map takes place in a single mountain. Put down those thundersticks, Knalga players: it is filled with caves instead. In fact, no 1v1 map featured so many caves before!

The sacrificial pit

The central element of the map is this dimly lit cavern with a tiny pond(?) in the middle, where fossils of great scientific importance have been amassed. The cavern has two proper entrance, which is indicated by the village and can be plugged easily, and two "windows", where disobeying units can get outside and suddenly flank your plug. However stone arches and other curious geographical formations hinder anyone but dwarves, saurians and ghosts to go around the place instead of fighting their way out. This is a place for heavyweight doormen and units with high burst damage, such as Dwarvish Ulfserker, Dwarvish Thunderer, or Horseman.

Rocky stream

This waist-deep but unusually wide rivulet (for 1v1 map standards, at least) connects the central area of one ghost town with the right-hand flank of the opposing side. This allows swimming units to take part in pushes effectively. One bank of the stream is confined with a long line of trees, serving as a compensation for rebels between the pit cavern and the barren, grey cliffs on the other side. This is the route for factions who want to attack with a deathball and bite out the most from the treasure room of the enemy, however it is also the riskiest.


This cave formation exist for individual units to casually percolate through the main armies. The funnel allows an unseen switch between the flank and the stream, ideal for both initial rushes and surprise attacks. It is important to note how every element of this funnal is designed to annoy loyalist mounts the most; otherwise they would be the only ones really profiting from this shortcut.


Both left-hand and rigth-hand flank contains a single village that has flat ground from all direction, but cave walls restricts offensives. This layout makes these villages easy to be stolen at the early stage of the game, while very defendable late game. The path connecting the opposing flank villages has many difficult terrains.

Primary and secondary (dam) castle

The distance between left-side and rigth-side flank is enormous: at least 26 tiles to take from one village to another! Leaders have to time their swings well to protect both, while sometimes still guard the pit entrance or the water village personally. Moving armies from one side to the other often forces a unit to an area where it is suboptimal: a low-mobility unit ends up watching the flank, or a water unit stands in the pit entrance. High-level games are expected to be decided by the quality of these ad-hoc solutions.

Every faction is overpowered

With these characteristics combined, every faction has a peculiar way to carry their point:

Loyalists use the size of the map and the need for side switches for their advantage.
Rebels have a flank densely spotted with forests, and green corridor around the pit.
Knalga easily encircles villages with outlaws, while dwarves can have a dominancy at the pit.
Northerners, with their numerical advantage, can press both end of the map simultaneously.
Undead have a riverside littered with fungi, and their scouts can use many flank routes unhindered.
Drakes command the most suitable units for this map: the Saurian Skirmishers.
Last time updated: 13th January, 2016
(12 KiB) Downloaded 166 times
Post Reply