Posted on 11/10/06 @ 09:00 AM (updated 04/05/07
A random map script for AOE3: The War Chiefs
April 5th, 2007 - This map originally contained a small error or bug which sometimes prevented only Carib native trade posts from being built when that tribe was randomly present. This new version corrects that bug. If you previously downloaded this map, you should re-download to correct this bug. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Two Rivers is a new random map only for AOE3: The War Chiefs, for Single-player or Multiplayer use. This is almost the same map as the recently released Prairie Rivers, a rectangular map with two parallel rivers separating the teams, each with 1-4 shallow crossings. This map is somewhat larger than the standard ES maps. This map uses an 'unknown' format, with 24 different 'terrain patterns' including several specific to the War Chiefs (for example, there is a possibility of California or Andes or Northwest Territories terrains and forests as well as many from the original version).
There are up to several Native villages at various locations, randomly chosen and fairly placed, always either one or two types of minor Native per map. The Natives used are roughly keyed to the terrains used and can be in many different combinations. I have given a little emphasis to the new Natives - which are each present at a little higher frequency than any of the original Natives. Also the original Iroquois, Aztec and Lakota minor Native tribes, now gone from the official ES War Chiefs maps, are still available but less often than the others. The numbers of Native villages present on a map vary from 3 to 12, partly dependant on the number of players, and the village positions can vary greatly (though they are placed evenly). For example, on my Northwest Territories terrain pattern, you can find Cree and/orNootka, Cheyenne and/or Nootka, Klamath and/or Nootka or Klamath and/or Cheyenne as the 4 possible native chances. Or consider the Andes pattern, with Inca/Tupi, Inca/Mapuche or Mapuche/Tupi as the 3 possible Native chances. Please realize these are not intended to be historically accurate, just fun!
There is always one Trade Route on each side of the map, each with 1 or 2 trade post sockets (player number dependant). There is also a Trade Route with more trade post sockets running the width of the map between the rivers.
Mines, huntables, herdables, forest and treasures are pretty standard. All maps have 2 silver mines per player near the start area (though the second is just out of the starting screen), with an additional few per player further off. Often some of the distant mines will be gold mines rather than silver mines, which provide much more coin. In general the land between the rivers is 'rich,' with extra mines, herds, forest and the trade route - also often there are native villages there as well.
In my testing this map produces extremely fair, balanced maps for 2 team play. Effective play involves scouting the various resources, Native types, Trade Routes, map terrain, river crossings, and of course, the enemy. The gameplay on this map is unique and offers a variety of strategies. The use of the Natives should always be considered. There is a posssibility of defensive play at the crossings. Control of the middle land area and the river crossings is an important consideration. And the map is very well suited for coordinated teamwork.
To play this map, the two files (Two Rivers.xs and Two Rivers.xml) must be placed in the folder: My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\RM2. Please do not place them in the game's install folder - that will not work. When you start up a skirmish game in Single-player or Multiplayer, use the small blue 'Custom Map' button, which allows you to then select one of the random maps in that My Games folder from the drop-down window. The files will transfer in Multiplayer if your allies or opponents have not downloaded the files. Please do not edit the files or you will have compatability problems in Multiplayer. Please do not place these in the usual folder for the original AOE3(or vanilla AOE3) custom random maps, as the addition of the new Natives and new War Chiefs terrains will cause the map to not work properly.
Note: I previously released the more limited Prairie Rivers version with more minor natives per map, with intended focus on mounted native warfare. This map is otherwise quite similar, just with more variety in game appearance and in minor natives.
Note: if you only have the original AOE3, don't despair! I have made a Two Rivers-V version (V for vanilla) that will play in the original - it has none of the new tribes or terrains.
Thanks to ES for providing the tools to make random map scripting possible.
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