River Crossings Plus
A random map script for AOE3
River Crossings Plus is a new RMS based on by previous release, River Crossings. The only difference is that each player starts out with 2 outpost wagons as additional units. The map is characterized by a simple central river with 1 to 4 shallows crossings, with the teams separated by the river. This setup gives another map with defensive possibilities, including the possibility of walling, or at least the use of the shallows as choke points. There are 15 different randomly chosen terrain patterns, and include appropriate rivers, forests, fauna, lighting patterns and treasures. The map uses the same 'river' and 'shallows' construct as found in the Yukon and Pampas maps, and also includes the previously unused 'Amazon River' river terrain for the 'green' terrain patterns. The map plays somewhat similar to the Highlands map for AOK.
There are 4 different patterns of Trade Routes, with variation in number and placement of the sockets. There is always one Trade Route on each side of the river. Unlike the Pampas map, the trade routes do not intersect the river and will not prevent walls to control the crossings.
There are either one or two Native American types per map; these will vary in number and are placed in a variety of fair, symmetric patterns and combinations. The natives will match the terrains loosely.
Player position and location will vary randomly, more so in a 2-player game (in a 2 player game the players are not always in a directly opposite position). There is full support for the Free-For-All play with any player number, with the players placed randomly on one of the two sides of the river.
The addition of the outpost wagons gives a little more defensive flavor to the map - these can be used at the base to protect your initial economy or moved to the crossings to help defend there. Of course for the Russians, the outpost wagons transform into blockhouses and are usable more offensively. This might be considered too much of an advantage for them, so you might want to use this map in single-player only - test it out and see. Consider that the Texas map starts each player with 2 outposts or blockhouses also (though they cannot be placed at will like these). Anyway, I found these a fun variation - hope you will too. Note that the AI will hold the outpsot wagons in their town area until the second age, then at some point erect them in their town - the AI does not use these aggressively to hold resources or crossings as a human might.
This is another good map for coordinated teamwork in planning a good defense, and of course, executing an offense to break the enemy's defense.
Another note - you can build docks at the river crossings, but ships cannot cross the shallows. Also note that there are only a few fish in the maps that use the 'green' terrains and the 'Amazon River' construct - the Pampas River and Yukon River do not seem to take fish via a RMS script (although you can place fish in them in the Scen Editor).
To play this map, the two files (River Crossings.xs and River Crossings.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. Note that the .xml file will give a map description at the startup screen.
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.
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My rating here if I Could do it, would really be something like 4.5 – but I give this one five stars for the reasons hopefully accounted for below.
Another excellent RMS (x2), Gandalf. Many thanks.
Lovely terrains, nicely balanced, everything sensible as ever and everything seems to work with no issues here.
Knowing your due-cognizance of what it is you produce & that you always have your reasons even for the seemingly most-minute details – I can only say that while sure you have your reasons for it, I simply find these too small.
To my thinking – either four or five times larger for these ‘River Crossings’ maps would be ideal. Neither too large, nor too small.
The present (small) size although very fun and generating some great fields, seems to negate a fair amount of the larger Strategic values – not least, control of center field.
When a map of this type is ‘this small’ – flanking movements to any side crossings becomes much easier & more common: not a problem per se – and sure this ‘could’ also add to the dynamic of the war development (though I think pretty unlikely), but – on a much larger map, there would (I believe) be a more focused and concerted effort on all sides to control the center and any crossings there.
In my view, this map design is superb in concept as I also much appreciate such good defensible ground when the terrain affords it, but sincerely believe that for the type – a larger land area (so divided by the river), would produce a more sensible and realistic strategic field.
At the present size, there isn’t really much of any strategic value in the crossings – they are simply the crossing points and one pushes oneself over them where-ever one wills – dictated above all else by the most direct route to the enemy’s position(s) on the opposite side.
I wonder thus, whether you might perhaps please consider a “Large River Crossings Plus” RMS?
I say “Large” here – not ‘Giant,’ as I think a Giant one of this type would produce the same strategic nullifications as this small version.
Either way – this is another wonderful RMS, particularly in its concept design, and we are, as always – grateful …
[Edited on 05/01/06 @ 03:51 PM]
(Insert Rating analysis here)
I recieved your test map and all I have to say is, WOW! This map is exactly the right mix that maps for a good LAN party map or at anytime. Thanks for letting me test this map and I will definatly download the finished product. I have always liked your maps and your work is superior. Thanks