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ARV Maps - September 2018

Posted September 6th, 2018 at 10:15 AM by HS Codex

Contest Review
Wastelands of Valhalla
Author: BiggaBullfrog

Time for another Contest Review, the part of the blog where we reminisce on past contests and look at what mapmakers were able to create for the Heroscape community to enjoy.

Contest Overview

“Wastelands of Valhalla” was the fourth ARV map contest. In the same vein as the previous contests, participants got to submit up to two of their creations that met the wasteland theme. It was a theme we judges were really excited about and one that sparked a lot of imagination among the map creators in our community.


We had 18 submissions this contest, coming from 14 different users. This gave us a good variety of maps for the contest, with many different styles represented. Big maps, small maps, crazy terrain and glyph combinations, and more conservative builds. Any kind of map you might want to play on could be found in the group, and you can search the submission archive.

One thing I always enjoy looking at is what sets are most popular during a map contest, to see what mapmakers use to interpret the contest theme. This time, the sets ended up being fairly balanced. For master sets, Rise of the Valkyrie was the most represented in 9 maps, with Battle for the Underdark following closely at 8. Six maps featured Swarm of the Marro, and 2 used the Marvel master set. The other expansions saw even more even representation, with Volcarren Wasteland having the most maps at 6 and Road to the Forgotten Forest having the least at 3. The other expansions were seen in either 4 or 5 maps, making for a wide variety of maps overall.

Top 10

The top 10 for this contest featured another wide variety of maps, again seeing maps both small and large, traditional and more experimental. These top 10 featured the maps that received the highest scores from the judges, and we were able to use them in a tournament in Idaho. I attended the tournament, and each of the maps provided unique gameplay there (even if some were later found to not be at the competitive level we look for in ARV sanctioned tournament maps).


As always, we held a vote for the community to determine the “best” map out of the top 10. It was a really exciting round of voting, and had our largest turnout of voters from the community at that point. This contest ended up being swept by Leaf_It, who took not only first place with his map Obsidian Wastes, but also second place with Lost Road Marsh. Both maps are beautiful builds and deserved the spotlight, and can be seen (along with the other top 10 maps) in the thread.

ARV Sanctioned Maps

I’ve mentioned before that playtesting maps is my favorite part of the ARV process, as it takes all of the hard work that mapmakers have put into their maps and tests it as we push the maps to their limits. This time, only one of the maps ended up receiving enough votes to be admitted: Ticallan Tower by Sir Heroscape. Despite a strong showing of mapmakers and talent in the contest, most of the maps had just enough flaws to keep them from receiving that stamp of approval—even the contest winner (in fact, none of the contest-winning maps have been sanctioned as competitive by the ARV, which has become a sort of running joke among the judges).

However, I will say that, as a judge, this selection of maps had the most close calls that I’ve had to make. Usually I feel that I can get a good grasp of a map pretty quickly, but a lot of maps that I tested turned out to be closer to a competitive state than I anticipated. It was a blast to see how close they came, and was of course a bummer when flaws came through just too strongly to be ignored. I enjoyed my time playtesting these maps and still hope to see many of them go through the workshop and resubmission process.

Overall the “Valhallan Wastelands” contest was a blast to conduct and participate in. We judges were incredibly pleased with the turnout, and hope the participants had as much fun as we did. We’re in the stages of receiving submissions for out next contest right now; head over to the ARV forum to check it out!
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