12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

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Thundersnow
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12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by Thundersnow »

I have just discovered The Battle for Wesnoth, and enjoy playing the game a great deal....but not as much as I enjoy using the editor to create new maps! I decided to start with a small (12x26 tile) two-player map with perfectly reciprocitic symmetry that I call "Alpine Coldfront." It took only a few hours to complete it to my satisfaction; however, I revised my conditions for satisfaction upon learning more about terrain and units, and I just can't seem to stop tweaking it (even though I've declared it "perfect" several times already for several slightly different alternatives). So, I have decided to leave well enough alone and attach it to this message for your pleasure. Merry Chirstmas!

Here it is.....
http://www.box.net/shared/30s267x2y6

:eng: Oh, "Alpine Coldfront" is a mildly winter-themed map which has lots of impassible mountains and plenty of snowbound terrain; I have tried to make it fair for all factions, although I haven't quite been able to sufficiently nerf flying creatures or elvish cavalry. I've played a few games (and watched the computer play a few games) through the various permutations that have led to this point (and I've played this one, too). It's pretty good, but I can't help but tweak it. Let me know what you think, and help improve it.

Attached is a screenshot.

:: Thundersnow ::
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Thanatos
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by Thanatos »

Looks nice, but I wouldn't like to play this map versus Knalgans aka Dwarves.
Too much mountains for my taste. :wink:
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bert1
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by bert1 »

Welcome to the forums Thundersnow. :)

That's a nice looking map. It has a few problems, though, in my inexpert judgement.

1. The dense terrain on the map favours fliers too much. Loyals will never win here as far as I can see. There is just too little movement for any units other than fliers.
2. The large number of villages amplifies the ability of knalgans, drakes and undead to field expensive flying units.
3. So many mountains favours dwarves.
4. Chokepoints. Imagine in a northerners vs knals match, both sides establish a hold in the mountains. Knals will have trouble breaking through a troll whelp on a mountain, and northerners will have even more trouble wearing down a dwarf.

I've attached a replay showing how knals will beat loyalists. I did it in a hurry, and I didn't play either side very well, but I hope it makes the point.

I'd recommend playing knals vs loyals over and over with knals recruiting lots of gryphons, tweaking the map each time.
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Thanatos
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by Thanatos »

I have played it now, too.

Well, bert1 is right. Even for UD (and badly played), Knalgans (at least controlled by AI) are no threat due to the high mobility of my ghosts and the massive income.

Attached the replay.

/EDIT: Note that I am using 1.4.7. From your screenshot it seems, you are still using 1.4.5.
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Thundersnow
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by Thundersnow »

Thanks for trying it out; your critical analysis is precisely the feedback I was looking for. Eh, I guess I didn't get enough sleep (I've been trading sleep for Wesnoth since discovering it), so I didn't really notice what you all had pointed out. I did, however, experience it.

I played as Loyals versus Kalgans, and got SMOKED. Granted, I did pretty well, and was able to *almost* completely turn the tables holding the last line during an epic series of siege battles. Bowmen and Spearmen were able to deal with the the Gryphons, and my Heavy Infantry were able to hold the line. Note that this was in a slightly earlier map, which had castles that could only produce ONE unit per turn instead of TWO as this version of the map now has. I'm thinking of going back to single-unit-producing castles to slow down development for this tiny map.

Attached is the original version before I fiddled with it a whole lot.

I also noticed when I woke up this morning that there is no way for conventional (Loyalist) cavalry to cross from one half of the map to the other, so I replaced one mountain behind the rockbound caves behind each swamp village with another rockbound lit cave. Still, cavalry have to fight their way through the snowy hills and swampy rivers on either side.

I am going to adjust things a little bit more after Christmas by adding (actually, restoring, as I had removed them) more crossings and navigal portions to the rivers to give cavalry a leg-up (or would that be a "hoof-up"?).

Regarding the dominance of flying units, why aren't there special terrain-types which eliminate their movement advantage (perhaps due to violent storms)? They could be called "Storm-swept", as in "Storm-swept Mountains" and "Storm-swept Snow-bound Forest." Flying units cannot enter these terrain types by flying, and instead must enter them as normal ground units, paying an adjusted movement point cost based on the ground force unit they most similarly resemble (i.e., cavalry or infantry). Alternatively, to make matters easier, flying units could just pay a huge x4 movement points to enter such Storm-swept spaces.

Honestly, playing the game is fun, but I see it only as a means to designing the maps, where I waste much of my time now. Here are some screenshots of older versions of this map (as I learned more about terrain):
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Thanatos
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by Thanatos »

Two little additions:

1) If I remember correctly, I have read somewhere that totally symmetric maps are not really balanced, because of the then-existing first player advantage. But this is just something from the very back of my mind. Would be great if someone could double-check this.

2) The main difference I see between the older and the later version of the map is the heavily increased number of villages (from 22 to 34). A way to balance this really tiny map would definately be to reduce number of villages. 34 on this map size is just way too much, I think. I could buy 2 Ghosts every single turn and had money left at the end.
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bert1
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by bert1 »

I second Thanatos' points.

If you want to make good balanced multiplayer maps, I don't think you can really avoid a lot of online play in order to understand how to exploit a map's features.

Also, you might want to read this.

It may be possible to make a balanced map with a lot of connected mountains on it (which do look very nice, so I can see why you want them), but it will be very hard to make it so knalgans can't exploit it. Similarly with connected forest hexes and elves. If you look at the dominant terrain on all the default maps it is grassland and its aliases, and it's like that for a reason. Without it loyalists can't move.
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Thundersnow
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by Thundersnow »

I changed the map quite a bit to make it more open for Loyalist forces and threw in some strategically placed impassable mountains to keep fliers from pwning so much. To slow the game a bit, I reduced each castle from two to one new-unit spawn points. I made snow-covered mountain passes along the north and south edges of the map behind rows of impenetrable mountains; in the middle of each is a ruined castle with a single spawnpoint. I also reduced the number of villages to 16 or 18 I think.

http://www.box.net/shared/e23jf2s7ii
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Thanatos
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by Thanatos »

Will give it a try when I am back in a few days. Same setup as last time.

The map looks much less "rocky". I am afraid I have to recruit more than only Ghosts this time. But I can definately say that I am no fan of only one recruiting space. This will just slow down the game soo much. We will see what the playtest will tell.

But for now: mini-wesbreak. :P
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Velensk
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by Velensk »

The amount of snow is a problem. Snow is a usefull type of terrain, but that much of it bogs things down allot. Loyalists in particular would never be able to get anywhere here. This is especialy the case when their fastest units cannot enter moutain hexes. Infact the terrain on this map in general is all areas that slow units down. With the exception of the few units that can get over moutain and snow easily, any faction trying to get a succesfull offence running in this map is going to have a tough time of it. This map also has far to much in the way of choke points, which would make it fairly impossible to launch an offence once both sides have taken control of their end of the bottleneck.

Also, as an aside note: use the multiplayer development section of the forum for this kind of thing in the future.
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by Baufo »

I really don't want to sound too discouraging but well, in my opinion you got to be an at least decent player to design a good multiplayer map so maybe you want to play a little more before continuing your efforts. Anyways, you might find this useful.
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Thanatos
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by Thanatos »

Hmm, I played the tweaked version now... but stopped at turn 5 I think.
Against Knalgans, this map is no fun at all. First recruit for Knalgans will be a Gryphon - even the AI knows that. And this is the problem. As a UD, I cannot run and hide on this map, and I have nothing strong enough to cope with a Gryphon on a unit-to-unit basis. Maybe I am just a weak player, but when I then saw the easyness, with which Dwarves ran thorugh the centered mountain area, while the fast gryphons came to take my villages... nope. Don't want to play this maps against Knalgans, like I said in my first post.
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by JW »

Thundersnow wrote:Regarding the dominance of flying units, why aren't there special terrain-types which eliminate their movement advantage (perhaps due to violent storms)? They could be called "Storm-swept", as in "Storm-swept Mountains" and "Storm-swept Snow-bound Forest." Flying units cannot enter these terrain types by flying, and instead must enter them as normal ground units, paying an adjusted movement point cost based on the ground force unit they most similarly resemble (i.e., cavalry or infantry). Alternatively, to make matters easier, flying units could just pay a huge x4 movement points to enter such Storm-swept spaces.
I wish this was the case. I've pushed for weather effects on 2 separate occassions. No one wanted them.
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Akkarin345
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by Akkarin345 »

The map could ( i would need to play it ) be good for a long battle. However the two bottleneck bits would get very annoying. 2 units could stop the flow for a very long time especially with the village. So you put mountains, slows the enemy down but they can get around. I would like to see how this worked out with humans vs elves or something like that. However any faction with a flying unit can sail straight over these, and especially the dwarves. If you made all the mountains impassible, this would solve the problem. However then you have the two bottlenecks which could lead to a very long dull battle. I think it has some good bits which would work on other maps, but i think this one would be too advantages to one faction.
Thundersnow
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Re: 12x26 Winter Map -- Alpine Coldfront -- (my first post here)

Post by Thundersnow »

http://www.box.net/shared/h04gtutsc0

I've reworked much of the map, taking into account what everyone said. You'll find caves and mushroom groves to provide shelter against the Gryphons (although now letting the computer play itself seems like this map favors UD and Northerners). Each caste has only one spawn point for new units -- but there are now 8 castles. Granted, this is only supposed to be a 2-player map, but up to 6 players are viable (players 7 and 8 usually get hosed and cause the hosing of/by nearby players 1 and 2). There are now plenty of twisty roads and open ground for the Loyalists, but I left as much of the intricate labyrinthine bottlenecks in place (although now there are always at least three spaces that can directly attack any other given space as far as I was able to make due). Plenty of forest still remains for elfin fun and general cover. Numerous impassable mountains have been added/upgraded, so that now there are only a couple of narrow mountain range corridors for dwarf exploitation to curb their dominance of the central peaks.

There are now only 18 villages, which seriously cuts down on expensive units.

Also, I managed to play as Loyalists against Knalgans on this new map, and I won (although it was a bit tricky). Check out the replay here:
http://www.box.net/shared/6pv0eckhbb
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