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Missouri Crossing

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File Details
Game Version: TWC
Missouri Crossing
A random map script for AOE3: TWC (with version for the original as well)
by RF_Gandalf

Missouri Crossing was an idea I had while deciding on a map for the "The Dakotas Random Map Contest". One of the defining features of the Dakotas, besides the prairie, is the Missouri River which flows across the region and was instrumental in the original exploration and settling of the region, providing a means of transport and trade when the river was not too high or too low for boat traffic. Today the river is mostly a series of lakes. The map depicts a section of river with a single wide crossing in the center, the river lined by bluffs or cliffs, and the players starting on the prairie away from the river. Included are versions for both The War Chiefs and the original (vanilla) version of AOE3.

This map is a little larger than the standard maps (40% larger in area than Great Plains) for a 2 player map but actually smaller than Great Plains at high player numbers. The map is rectangular, and is longer for higher player numbers.

Player starting positions are a little different on this map. Teams start in 2 opposite corners, on opposite sides of the river, each team in a line for over 2 players. In a free-for-all game, players are placed in a similar pattern, making a little different setup of 2 groups of non-allied players in opposite corners. This makes a different game, generally each group of players will fight it out among themselves before crossing the river to do battle. FFA really works out best for 4 or 6 players on this map - uneven number of players make somewhat uneven starting chances, and for larger numbers of players in a FFA, the players get placed pretty close. If you do not like this setup for larger player numbers, check out my similar new map named Missouri Valley which has more spread out starting positions for FFA play.

Each map always has 2 trade routes, one on each side of the river, each with 2-3 trade post sockets, dependant on player number. For 2-6 players both routes have 2 sockets, for 7-8 players both have 3 sockets.

There will be 1-2 Native American types per map, chosen randomly. These will vary in number and are placed in the quadrants away from the player start areas. The number of native villages is partly based on player number, partly on chance, with 2 villages for 2-3 player games and 2 or 4 villages per map for over 3 players. The natives can be Cheyenne (Lakotas in version for the original AOE3), Comanche, and/or Cree (I know that the Comanches and Crees were not in the Dakota area, but they represent other plains Native Americans in the interest of better gameplay).

Resources are similar to most other maps - there are the usual starting deer, pronghorn, elk or bison near the player start areas, and out away from the players there are some larger herds of bison. These are large enough to be worth fighting for control of at any point of the game. There will be a few berry bushes near the player start areas as well, and occasionally extra berries are placed. Mines are placed in a pretty standard manner, with some extra mines in the quadrants away from the players.

Another feature of the map is that there are two variations in the map appearance - a summer pattern where the prairie looks more yellowed and dry, and a spring pattern where the prairie is greener and flowers dot the plains. This script also has several different lighting sets possible (not triggered lighting changes). If you have spent much time out on the prairie in different seasons, in different weather or times of day, you would note how different the natural light can make the landscape appear. I have tried to capture a little of that variability.

Gameplay on this map is only a little different from standard, in that the increased size slows down the speed of the standard rush. Like Orinoco the possiblilty of walling along the crossing can be considered. The bluffs along the river add some structure to the map - basically an area where choices must be made on how to defend or attack around them. And in games with larger numbers of players, the relatively close proximity of teammates contributes to team defense. But as noted above, gameplay for FFA is different.

To play this map, the files must be placed in the proper folder so please follow the instructions closely. For The War Chiefs the files (Missouri Crossing.xs and Missouri Crossing.xml) must be placed in the folder: My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\RM2. For original AOE3 the files (Missouri Crossing V.xs and Missouri Crossing V.xml) must be placed in the folder: My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\RM. 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 the random maps in that My Games folder from the drop-down window. Please do not place themap for TWC in the RM folder for the original (or vanilla)AOE3 custom random maps, as the use of the Cheyenne natives will cause the map to not work properly.

I have enjoyed making this unique random map script. Thank you to ES for giving us the tools to do this! Hope you enjoy the map.

Feedback appreciated!

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