Post Industrial / Post-Imperial (PI) maps
A set of random map scripts for AOE3 for Post-Industrial, Post-Imperial or Deathmatch play
Did you ever wonder how your colony would start off if your wise emperor or queen sent you off with adequate equipment for doing this colony building and conquering stuff the right way? Here is your chance to try a different kind of colonization in AOE3. This is a new 'style' of map which adds several advanced 'wagons' to each map for a different type of gamelplay. All 8 of these maps are based on maps I released earlier - see writeups in the Heaven download section, or the text file within each downloaded zip file for a full description of each base map.
In each map, at the start each player gets, in addition to the usual starting units, two Outpost Wagons, two Fort Wagons, one Covered Wagon (two if Portuguese) and two Factory Wagons. The catch is that if you start in the default Discovery Age, the only units that can be used right away are the Outpost Wagons; the rest have to sit in your base until the appropriate age to be built (RISKY!). For Forts and Covered Wagons, they will not build until the Fortress age (Colonial Age for Ports), for the Factory Wagons, they will not build until the Industrial Age. The name of the maps - Post-Industrial maps - comes from my suggestion that these games should start with the Post-Industrial setting. When this setting is used, the games are a frantic, fast-paced start, setting up your factories quickly for resource production, setting up your Forts and Outposts and Covered Wagon for defense or claiming territory, and getting your villagers started with resource collection immediately then building other needed buildings ASAP. Warfare gets started very quickly, once some artillery is created (I believe that the Artillery Foundry should be your first additional building since you can make other military units from your forts-or blockhouses if Russian).
Gameplay is somewhat a cross between a normal game and deathmatch. You do not have the long wait until action starts. You do not have a lot of slow buildup to do. Starting with 2 factories you will not need as many villagers to get military production rolling. You are never defenseless unless you send your protection halfway across the map or forget to set them up.
There are other good options for game settings. First, these maps can be used in Deathmatch - for an even faster start and more frantic action from the beginning. I personally do not prefer this - deathmatch is just a little too fast paced for me. Next, I will contrast the other main setting option, Post-Imperial, with the suggested Post-Industrial. Either is fun, there are slight differences. First, in both settings all Market researches are done and all Arsenal and Church researches are already done, EXCEPT for Mercantilism and those Unique researches or units only available with a card (such as Wallensteins Contracts if Germans or Kalmucks if Russian). So don't build those buildings unless you plan to use those unique cards and techs. In Post-Imp, you have every unit otherwise fully upgraded, and never have to research upgrades at the Barracks etc. In Post-Imp, the Capitol will allow you to research Spies and Blockade - all others are already researched. In Post-Industrial starts, there are still the final upgrades to research after you advance to the Imperial Age for most of the unit lines, and for the Capitol, all researches are still to be done. The reason that I prefer the Post-Industrial start is that after advancing to Imperial age you can re-send your cards - mercs and all. In the Post-Imp starts you only can send each card once since you cannot advance in age. I prefer the Post-Industrial start, my son prefers the Post-Imp start - just a matter of taste.
Obviously creating special decks for use on these maps is a must - very few cards for the first 2 ages are valuable - for some civs the unique church research card, perhaps ATP, perhaps advanced arsenal, perhaps an explorer upgrade for some special strat with the Ports' 3 explorer option. Otherwise the cards you use should be from the 3rd and 4th ages - these are more powerful and more useful.
After testing this type of map over the past couple months, I believe that it is a mistake to try to push too far out from your starting position to place your Forts and Outposts especially on the larger maps - put them in a sort of perimeter outside the area of your base. Don't try to use them to claim most of the map. You will not need to gain control of distant resouces as much in this game, as you have multiple factories to make resources. The factories are extremely valuable at generating the resources needed to get a fast start, and I do not switch them to making Heavy Cannons until my economy is really going (and even then, not all of them). I believe that shipping your additional factories should be your first cards (or at least the first one), and then some units. Makes an interesting game to have 3-4 factories going flat out producing resources, as well as 3 forts at your disposal (4 if French). You can get by with less villagers and have more military units with the extra factories.
The AI does a pretty good job of using these extra units and playing a good game in the Deathmatch setting on Hard, a little less so in the two PI settings unless playing on Hard. Often the AI does not use all of the extra wagons, and you will find one or more in his base when you attack. Obviously the quality of your games will be better against other players.
To play these maps, the files 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 of 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. The eight maps I have used as the base for these PI maps are: Appalachians, Baja California, Prairie, Big Continent, Gandalf's Giant RLM, Gandalf's RLM, River Crossings and River Crossings II, for a variety of map styles and sizes.
Thank you to ES for giving us the tools to do this! Hope you enjoy the maps and the new style.
Feedback appreciated! Would love to hear how others view these maps, how others view the ideal buld orders, and how the deathmatch players like the maps.
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A very good map which introduces a new, more challenging form of play.
I am truly lookin forward to the next set of Post-Imperial maps if there will be any more.
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Map Design: 4
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very well done