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  #265  
Old September 2nd, 2021, 01:39 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Got a few more games in over the last few days so here are some votes.

Bad Moon Rising
This is a bit of a crazy map. I forgot about the build for this with the castle bases on the bottom layer. I really dislike that for our events as the map is a little flimsy and difficult to transport. But Gamebear is really trying to get the most out of the terrain he has limited himself with and that is a great asset to TDs.

The gameplay on the map is really solid. I went back and reread my review when this was submitted for the BoV and I had many of the same thoughts. The glyph placement is fair and interesting. The middle shadow pool feels even for both ranged and melee units. There are interesting moves to be made throughout the map.

We've used this one at multiple tournaments in our area and I've always had solid matches on it. I think this an excellent map for competitive scape and it's tough to imagine meeting it's standard with this terrain set. I vote YES.

From the Ashes
This is a cool looking map that I hadn't seen before, so I was eager to get this built and test it out. I have a few issues with the build itself. The average tournament goer might not care about this, but as a map maker, these things stand out to me. On the central wings, two single hex tiles are used to support the extreme edges of the map. I always hate doing this as these hexes always seems to fall out when moving them. Maps like this always seem less stable.

Additionally, I don't think this map makes the most out of the terrain set. With tournament maps, I like to see the variety offered by the terrain set you are using really show in the map. That way it's more plausible that a wider range of units are competitive in the event (and each map feels unique). This map actually puts several lava hexes on the bottom of the build and it doesn't use any molten lava hexes at all. I definitely would have liked to see lava having a larger play on the map.

The flow of this map is a little weak. Access to the glyphs is generally funneled through the start zones. If one side has a better glyph for the armies, we kept seeing the units flowing through the start zones rather than developing up on the map. The map just didn't invite movement up and through the map on the way to the glyphs, so the movement wasn't as exciting in some of our games.

But the killer I think is the general geometry of the map. The loss of an initial engagement on this can be devastating and you find yourself getting your start zone rocked from high ground. We saw this happen pretty frequently and games rarely swung back after the initial engagement.

The nail in the coffin reared it's head last night. I was able to continually move my 10th onto the glyphs and shoot DOWN from the glyph into R˙chean's start zone. I vote NO on this one.

By the way, I'm not trying to be overly harsh, just wanted to share some thoughts. This map does look cool and is a pretty solid map for a tournament, just not best of the best. I wanted to offer some specific criticism just to help people understand the reasons behind my vote.

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  #266  
Old September 2nd, 2021, 01:48 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

I'm loving reading all these reviews!

Analyses of 'Scape maps may be my favorite genre of literature.
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  #267  
Old September 2nd, 2021, 03:13 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Congrats to Bad Moon Rising, our newest inductee!!
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  #268  
Old September 2nd, 2021, 07:51 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dignan View Post
By the way, I'm not trying to be overly harsh, just wanted to share some thoughts. This map does look cool and is a pretty solid map for a tournament, just not best of the best. I wanted to offer some specific criticism just to help people understand the reasons behind my vote.
I for one definitely appreciate the candid feedback, and am super glad my map was held to such a high standard! I agree with what you said, too. (Well, maybe other than that no molten lava on a map is a bad thing but I see the point.) It was definitely built with more of a “go for the opponent” mindset and the side-to-side/other movement wasn’t on my radar as much. So the resulting gameplay for you totally makes sense.

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Last edited by BiggaBullfrog; September 2nd, 2021 at 07:52 PM. Reason: Can’t believe I made 10th happy on a map… only thing worse would be happy Stingers, oof…
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  #269  
Old September 2nd, 2021, 10:05 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggaBullfrog View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dignan View Post
By the way, I'm not trying to be overly harsh, just wanted to share some thoughts. This map does look cool and is a pretty solid map for a tournament, just not best of the best. I wanted to offer some specific criticism just to help people understand the reasons behind my vote.
I for one definitely appreciate the candid feedback, and am super glad my map was held to such a high standard! I agree with what you said, too. (Well, maybe other than that no molten lava on a map is a bad thing but I see the point.) It was definitely built with more of a “go for the opponent” mindset and the side-to-side/other movement wasn’t on my radar as much. So the resulting gameplay for you totally makes sense.
If it makes you feel any better, your maps are doing better than mine. Mine are getting lit up by these guys

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  #270  
Old September 5th, 2021, 06:15 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

The Crypt: I played a half dozen or so games on this last winter to test for the GenCon map pool (before I knew that GenCon 2021 was going to be cancelled and that I was going to run ScapeCon instead). I think I have my thoughts together enough to review this map without playing it again.

Aesthetically, this map is really cool. The theme works.

Unfortunately, I have some issues with its gameplay. First, I tend to strongly dislike LoS blockers placed right in front of the starting zone. I find them incredibly unnecessary. They don't hinder gameplay much, but they do screw up any figures that need LoS (be it a cheerleader like Raelin or Nerak or a commander like Ulginesh or Kurrok). I have less of an issue with the first category being impacted (although I still find it unnecessary), and a bigger issue with saying a huge "screw you" to already mid-level units. Again, it's ok if these units are impacted if there's some meaningful benefit overall. Here, and in most other maps with immediate LoS blockers, I don't think there is.

Second, development is fine. The battlements aide in the sides being a little chokey and tough to traverse. Speaking of which, screens are generally pretty strong on this map- the map is almost entirely 2-wide gaps between pillars. The pillars obviously serve as nice LoS for approaching forces, but it's just too tight imo. This tightness also just restricts choices in general, and makes the games less interesting than they'd otherwise be.

Last, the map is just annoying to play in person. Yes, a crypt is a cool thematic setting. However, it can be achieved with 50% less LoS blockers. If you're playing this in person, you'll be constantly checking to see whether your opponent has any units hidden behind the many pillars. The general usability suffers from the excessive LoS blockers, to the point that it's just more work than it should be to play the map.

Lest this seem too harsh, this is a fine enough map. I hold Flash's maps in high esteem, which maybe makes his more middling maps seem even worse to me. However, I don't think this is even in his top 10 maps, and certainly not one of his maps that I think deserves WoS status. It's going to be a NO from me dog.

Last edited by OEAO; September 5th, 2021 at 06:20 PM. Reason: Yes, I have a Flash map tier list. No, it's not done. No, you can't see it.
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  #271  
Old September 5th, 2021, 09:40 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

@OEAO , your "Last edited by" reason:
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  #272  
Old September 6th, 2021, 05:34 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

I'll also vote on the Crypt now, having played it several times before and just a few weeks ago in OHS:

This map uses battlements and walls in the center of the map to limit LoS and direct development. Some maps easily turn into a shooting gallery where the high points have LoS everywhere. This is not one of those maps.

Focusing on the level 4 spots for a second, you can see that their LoS is extremely limited. They can see the spaces directly adjacent to them and the rest of the central 7-hex, and then a few spaces on each side, including about 3 level 1 road spaces. This leaves several spots within a 5-move radius of the high ground that are both completely safe from that high ground AND able to attack the high ground next turn (the back 4 road hexes and 2 spaces just beyond the level 3 stone single hex).

Combine that with the fact that it's a bit tricky to even reach the high ground when there's some figures already developed, and most games I've played on this map ignore the center region for most of the game.

That leaves the level 3s as the focal points of the map, and it just plays a little tight and flat. There's battlements and pillars to block movement, the road is a bit windy to be useful, and 95% of the battle takes place on levels 2 and 3, rendering this map basically a 2-level affair rather than the 4-level affair it purports to be on paper.

My concerns are slightly overstated here, I think The Crypt is a fine map (and it's certainly evocative). But I'm going to give it my first WoS

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  #273  
Old September 19th, 2021, 08:29 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Over two weeks now without any new reviews.... <cries>
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  #274  
Old September 20th, 2021, 02:52 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

I'll go ahead and take From the Ashes out of the queue. I'm trying to limit how many downvotes I give without trying the map, but this one is pretty obvious to me (and I know I've watched at least one game be played on this map, and the issues were front and center there).

Unlike Dignan, I actually like when not all the lava field tiles are used, or when some are covered by other tiles (even other lava field tiles). Too much lava has the effect of slowing down games, and can encourage turtling in a "safe" zone (see: Ashfall).

That being said, I dislike the elevated glyphs. It makes sense that 4th/10th are strong on this map. If you take the height (and/or height glyph), it's incredibly hard for the melee player to challenge it. The lateral movement seems fine once you're in the center.

But that's the issue, right? Good luck getting to the center. Development on this map can't be good. This is a classic "Oops! All battlements!" scenario (well, "Oops! All battlements!" is less classic of a problem than "Oops! All Lava!", but you get the point). The battlements severely limit options for developing forward. My first step to rectifying this problem would be to remove all the battlements and see which ones are actually necessary.

It's weird that this is the Bigga map that seems to have the most recognition. I think Bigga has a few others that look substantially better, but when I mention to someone that there's a Bigga map that I want to try, this is always their assumption. Bigga's a smart (and great) guy- he'll be able to make the necessary tweaks to this one. But for now, my vote has to be NO.
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  #275  
Old September 22nd, 2021, 12:58 AM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Thanks so much for the review! Reading this and Dignan's has definitely got some gears turning for me, and the map is for sure on my "to revise ... sometime" list! (I think I've got some good ideas, it's just a matter of when I get around to it.) Like I said earlier, I'm super glad to have seen the map held to high standards, and I appreciate the time and energy put into the feedback!

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  #276  
Old October 4th, 2021, 08:40 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Invasion
I don’t love this map. It feels more difficult than it should to effectively slow roll units due to the fairly constricting pathways out of the start zone – it seems very common on this map to forfeit an extra movement space because of these narrow pathways when combined with the placement of water tiles and battlements. The narrow pathways, water, and battlements also worry me as they make the map not as “catch-up friendly.” Having said that, the jungle pieces are well placed overall, and help mitigate the power of established ranged units. The narrow pathways out of the start zone are well covered by those jungle pieces in general. The road layout is also well done.

At the end of the day my mild dislike of this map, when taken in the context of favorable playtests, is not enough to downvote it at this time (though I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed in the future).


Fossil
This map encourages way too much podding. There is too much height too close to the start zone with a seeming “no-man’s land” in the middle (particularly true in range vs melee or range vs range). The middle of the map, running from side to side, consists almost entirely of level 0 and 1 — this type of map design inherently favors ranged units camping out on the plentiful abundance of level 2 height close to the start zone while forcing melee units to approach via the lowest levels of the map to engage and attack. This design also makes glyph control very easy for ranged armies. The map does a decent job of trying to slow down development to the greatest height on the map, but it is not enough in my opinion.

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