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Baja California

Author File Description
RF_Gandalf Baja California
A random map script for AOE3
by RF_Gandalf

Baja California is a new RMS created with 2 goals: 1.) to make a representation of a geographic area not included by ES in the original map set, and 2.) to create an interesting, variable map with new options and strategies for gameplay.

The map is characterized by a long peninsula with a central mountain highlands. This map is rectangular, not round, to better fit in the length of the peninsula. There is a single central trade route with randomly 3 or 4 trade posts running the length of the peninsula. Each player starts with 2 nearby silver mines, a nearby herd of huntable animals and a second herd a little farther off, and 3-4 scattered pairs of sheep or cows. There are no berries in this arid region, and there are only a few other scattered animals to hunt. The best source of additional food is the the abundant fish in the surrounding seas. Additional sources of coin include a few more mines in the central highlands or in the northern part of the map, or the whales which are most abundant in the sea off the southern tip of the peninsula. Note that the mines in the central mountains are different - they are gold mines instead of silver mines, and are worth 5000 instead of 2000 coin.

Since none of the 12 NA tribes incuded in AOE3 are truely native to this region, I have chosen the Seminoles and Tupi, representing natives with primitive weapons, and Aztecs and Maya, representing the country of Mexico, as the possible natives for this map. There will always be 1 or 2 types of natives per map, who will be located at the northern and southern ends of the peninsula or along the central mountain highlands. Each map will have a total of 3 to 5 NA villages (2-5 for 2 player games).

Teams (or random players in FFA) are lined up on opposite sides of the central highlands, just inland from the coast. The ridge is interrupted by multiple small breaks in the cliffs to allow passageway to the top and other side, and the range ends well short of the map edge in the north and the southern tip of the peninsula. It is possible to wall off your side of the map, but not easily, given the number of gaps and the ridge ends, and the length of the ridge. Scouting is extremely important on this map to be sure you know the location of distant resources and all of the passageways thru the mountains. The relative amount of resources in the sea can lead players to a naval strategy, although that is not necessary. The unique shape of the map leads to the possibility of naval conflict in any game.

Player position and location will vary a little randomly. There is full support for the Free-For-All play with any player number.

To play this map, the two files (Baja California.xs and Baja California.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. ES has finally given us the ability to provide map descriptions in the startup screen, and I have included this feature.

I have enjoyed making this very different 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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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Rapidash Great map! I love it.But, The cliffs is so disturb my army when i was trying to destroy enemy.
Map Design5.0
Rating: 5
(Insert Rating analysis here)

Additional Comments:
I enjoyed this map alot! The rectangle shape threw me a bit at first... but you get used to it quickly. The play seemed a bit more fast paced too since everyone is a little closer - which was fine for me.

You did a great job with the map, like most of your maps. I really liked the central mountain region and the different attack/defense points. Placement of resources, treasures and the trade route was fair.

I really couldn't ask for much more! Please keep'em coming. Especially the maps of real locations.
Map Design4.0
Rating: 4
Excellent gameplay. I love the idea of playing on a peninsula. Excellent alternative to ES' build-in RMS. It's like ahving twisted Hispaniola, Yukon and Sonora, into an Action-packed RM.

Additional Comments:
HgEuAaVrEdN i am from baja california, some things can be improved:

props, lots and lots of props.- as the map is right now its kinda empty, big expanses with nothing to see it boring, even in desert maps, more vultures, rocks...

the center mountain range is not as rocky as it is in reallity, one idea that i have is make a cliff, then make a higher cliff on top of it, place some rocks and done.

this map is playable but it can look better :p
File Author
HgEuAaVrEdN - sorry - but the idea is not to exactly re-create any geographic area - but to make a playable map with a unique style of gameplay. Carolina does not look anything like it's map, the Great Lakes are not circular with a central isle, etc.

I have tried making mountains as you describe, and they look nice, but the extreme height distorts the view for gameplay.

Glad you like the gameplay, anyway!
PureAlbino Thanks for all the great RMs Gandalf.

One thing I've noticed when playing this in SP is that the AI doesn't make a dock. Therefore no AI ships. Hmm

Top marks though. This is one of your best imo.
wind_highlander Very nice RM. It is exciting because somehow you never know what to expect, it's so long, things are spread across wide distances, you've got to plan differently.

The different feel comes from this north-south perpective, that becomes so obvious and stategic. The center IS a real center, the sides ARE sides, everything is more absolute and becomes valuable in a definite way. Other maps are more relative, vague. This one has a more precise, geographic sensation.

I also loved its size. You have to scout and keep a watchful eye all the time. Great. Feels like the big old Age 2 maps.

I did use walling. It's true, not that easy, but all these cliffs and choking points are great. And walling just makes it better.

One suggestion: You can absolutely make the borders round and not change the map itself a bit. just spread to the sides with the sea until you reach the borders and that's it. Please do it, it'll add to the great feel of the map. Greetings, good work!

File Author
Pure Albino - interesting note on the AI - I think it depends on the difficulty level and on some choices the AI makes. I have seen the standard AI on the hard level both fish and make a navy and attack me on this map, but not always. I recently started using the Draugur AI made by Felix Hermansson (and edited it to include my map names as recommended on the forums by Jugit) - wow the AI is more consistant on the water on the hard level.

wind_highlander - The rectangular shape keeps the total area of the map a little lower, making it not-as-slow-to-load as it would be if left the same length and made round. Lag is also a problem as the map area increases. Glad you like it though.
Achaean Lionness
A lovely field for some good combat.
Defensively suitable, and good ‘Campaigning’ ground.
In all, a great idea for a Random Map type, IMO.

At the same time – I tried it for the first time this morning – myself (Russian) with Ottoman ally –vs- Queens Elizabeth and Isabella.
Strangely, Isabella’s Spaniards only produced Seven ( 7! ) settlers, and remained in the Colonial period until the very end.
After we rather too easily wiped out Elizabeth’s few – I simply marched a division of Imperial Musketeers onto Isabella’s couple Mills and one Plantation and executed everyone (for the final ‘victory’)

A rather cold & brutal end of things...

I’m just wondering whether this may have been a ‘fluke’ of some sort – or is this RM perhaps not well-suited to more than ‘two players’ at a time (using AI)..?

Aside from that strange view of a terribly impoverished Spanish Colony – it was enjoyable on so lovely a field.

Thank you for this one as well Gandalf …

~ Lionness
File Author
I had not noted any AI problem on this one but will recheck.

Was the setting on Hard? I have seen some examples of the AI surprisingly underperforming on lower settings.

I have also seen two times when one of a pair of hard AIs seems to play poorly (though not on this map); I checked the post game stats and found it had tributed a bunch of resources to the other AI early then kind of sat around. Don't know enough about AI to speculate.

I have started using the custom AI made by Felix Hermansson, the Draugur AI, available for download on this site. I really like its performance especially on water maps. Give it a try - I think he would appreciate some additional feedback also.
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