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Old February 7th, 2015, 09:50 AM
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Re: WARGROUNDS of SCAPE (WoS) - discussion thread



Lava is marvelous, lava is great. Let's just make it explicit: if you a lava set, it's the single best antidote to Raelin/Rat/Ranged cheese. Make sure that the highest terrain is crowned with lava, and Raelin can't perch (well, not safely for long), Rats can't forever block choke points from unassailable heights, and ranged units in general will be forced to give up height at times, all of which are very good things. There's also the nifty fact that -- as with maps with Wannok -- it can sometimes be an advantage to go second on lava maps, which adds additional depth to the effects of initiative.

That said, there are still many bad lava maps. So let's be clear: Wyrmwalk is emphatically NOT one of those. It is a fantastic map.

Yeah, I love the fact that the SZs are immediately obvious: they consist exclusively of sand, and sand is used nowhere else on the map. I love that visual clarity. The road... yeah, the road is nice enough. And yes, the name Wyrmwalk itself is frickin' cool. Let's face it: names matter. Not a whole lot, but some.

But it's really the inspired interaction of lava, LoS blockers, and shadow that shines here, drawing action all over the map. The lava hill right in front of the SZ looks (and is) attractive, and would probably monopolize too much attention if it weren't for that stretch of water separating it from the SZ, guaranteeing that units will also have incentive to go right and, even more commonly, left, seeking other heights. The LoS blockers do a good job of cutting off firing arcs, without unduly penalizing ranged or producing too many choke points. And the shadow is just masterful: clearly placed with advancing melee in mind, it's nicely staggered for units advancing out of the SoZ (particularly in the middle) and attempting to dislodge enemies from height. The result is an extremely fluid map with excellent pathing (neither overly restricted nor agoraphobia-inducingly open) and a variety of tough decisions.

Is it perfect? No. The road, while sometimes useful, isn't as useful as one might like. The fact that the power glyphs aren't equidistant from the SZ -- it's 9 spaces to the left, but only 7 to the right -- may, in some circumstances, adversely affect very slow armies (think Knights). I also find the glyphs perhaps a bit too difficult to hold, particularly against ranged attackers. And the set requirements might be a bit steep for some. But these are minor objections.

In short, if you have Forest, Lava, and double Dungeons, pull those sexy thangs out and build this bad baby. Now.

I vote YES to induct Panopticon's WYRMWALK into the Wargrounds of Scape.


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