DRAW by River_God
This file contains both DRAW I and DRAW II. This is a map set in the Wild West. Fighting 1v1 by random selection, be the first to kill, or die trying. Host in FFA, with as many players as you want, keeping in mind it's 1v1 each round, so the rest will have to watch the epic battles ensue and distract the fighters with their talking ;D Hosting in Sandbox difficulty will add some extra in-game instructions. While in-game, the Host has the power to Fault a round. To do this, they must delete their skull knight. If the Host dies, then the next player will get a Skull Knight. Before each round, the players fighting are selected; Home is the player on the left, Away is the player on the right. On your turn a Pilgrim will appear. Use it to build up an army to kill the other Pilgrim. If your Pilgrim dies, your Renegado will lose some HP. When he runs out of HP, you lose the game, and are out permanently. Speed is key, but strategy and good micro will keep you alive. Make sure to have a good deck.
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Balance issues notwithstanding, this is hilarious fun to play for people of a wide range of skill levels. Because the pairings begin randomly, it gives you a decent chance to squeak out a win even if you face the top player in the end. The spectator chats can be hilarious and are mostly friendly.
Unfortunately, Spain, Russia, and to some extent Brits are favorites here, by a mile. The speed unit training cards just give a huge advantage to getting out a critical number before the enemy. As a result, there's little variety. You usually need to build a dedicated deck for the map, and I'm wondering if there's not a better way to go, for instance, disabling home cities to even the odds for more civs.
EDIT: After writing this review I played the Draw 2 map and noted some balance changes which make most civs fairly viable in the ring. This later version deserves at least a 4 in balance, so I've edited to reflect this. You still have to have a pretty good deck to perform at the top level, not just any supremacy deck will do, so newbies may be at a loss.
Haven't seen anything like this before. It's a new concept that takes some getting used to, but once you figure it out, it fits with the theme of quick draw single combat very well.
Map Design: 5
Map arena is just large enough to let you get a critical mass of blockhouses up, but nowhere to hide if you're beat. Doesn't lag, looks nice, atmosphere is austere like high noon in Tombstone, scalable for six or more players is important since it means you have a better chance of not going up against River_God himself multiple times. :D
Not sure how detail/accuracy apply to this RMS which is NOT a recreation of any geographic region. Maybe a comment about the flavour. With Holme as the emcee, you feel like you're really in a shootout. There's not much more you can do with the map setup to make it more Western, and still have room to build like a madman. Well done, nothing miraculous.
Additional Comments: A great map for a fun, relaxing quick game or a whole evening of friendly silliness. A little hard to start right out of the box, because the very best players have special decks built for this purpose and only two or three civs are truly useful in the arena. I look forward to a version that lets you play a wider variety of civs.
[Edited on 07/24/09 @ 10:18 AM]