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  #685  
Old September 6th, 2023, 05:30 AM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by superfrog View Post
I am submitting (finally, I meant to do this months ago) my map Blackberry to WoS (2 M:tCB, 2 RttFF).



Blackberry was one of the maps that kicked off the Marvel map craze of late 2022, created just before the ScapeCon III contest. I drew some inspiration from the very first WoS nomination (Mayberry by mad_wookiee) but the differences are relatively apparent at a first glance.

My two main issues with Mayberry from playing and reading WoS reviews were the massive central double-wide canyon and the several spaces of level 3 that were set back not adjacent to the road. So, while keeping the road that basically goes everywhere, I added a few things for additional interest and momentum in gameplay. The first is that the double-wide central road is interrupted by two spurs of level 3 that are capped with level 4 ends. This is intended to draw development forward through the central road to interact with opponent's figures developing on their level 2.

The ruin is opened in this map to allow for easy access to that center, but there are also strong plays available by developing left or right onto the pseudo-perches. In the process of revising this map after several tournaments of play, I ended up raising a significant portion of the road to level 2 to allow those perches to be more easily contested.

I will say that the road bonus on this map is not always utilized in its entirety. Lots of moves will happen on road but not be able to get the full bonus of the +3 move. But the map wouldn't play the same at all with one road set, so I think some of the less useful road spurs are still justified as stretching these sets to their max.

Qualified Tournament Use:
Peoria Monthly, March 2023
Sir Heroscape's Champion Circle League, Qualifier II, June 2023

Non-Qualified Tournament Use (too small):
SoCal Monthlyish, June 2023

Previous Version Tournament Use:
Delmarva, September 2022
Maryland NHSD, October 2022
Oregon Creekside Carnage, October 2022
Utah Monthlies, September 2022
Blackberry by superfrog

I'll go ahead and already drop a review on this one as I played this map bunch of times already. In short, this is a fine map, plays completely fine, is very balanced (extremly balanced even), nothing really wrong with it but I don't think it's one of the best. I think it has nothing special and the choices and strategies are somewhat limited. The "dynamics" of the map are very straightforward. Also I'm not a fan of the road, it's very "serpentine", road bonus has been used very very marginally in all my games on this map even tho some of the machups were melee v range.

In other times I would've dropped a yes just like I did on Mayberry but I feel the quality needed to entry to WoS has increased significantly. This is a good and solid map for sure but not original nor interesting enough in my opinion for a spot in WoS. I vote No to induct.

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  #686  
Old September 9th, 2023, 10:41 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Wow. Hard to believe, but WoS was officially revived just over two years ago: on August 3, 2021.

It's safe to say, I think, that it's been a smashing success, with an impressive array of 19 maps inducted: 16 since the revival, of which 8 — exactly half — were BoV maps, with the other 8 being new ones. May there be many more!

And in terms of profile and community buy-in, it has no peer. WoS is simply THE gold standard for competitive maps.

So, lots to celebrate! Here's a toast to everyone who has helped make it the success that it is: The cartographers who made the maps in the first place. The tournament directors who selected them for public play. The players who nominated them to the WoS. And the WoS judges who tested and weighed them. Truly a community-wide collaboration. Cheers, everyone!
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  #687  
Old October 2nd, 2023, 08:42 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Canary by Superfrog
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Vhg...psi3vBkPv/view
BftU x 2, TJ

This is a good map. There's lots of choices when setting up or when pushing forward. The use of jungle and shadow does a nice job for melee to push. Even with all the defensive bonuses I often found getting higher ground was the right choice (which makes sense). The level one on the edges by the glyphs got a bit stuffy from time to time. I like this map quite a bit actually, but for better or worse when I was playing I kept thinking to myself why aren't I just playing on Dark Fulcrum? It uses the exact same sets and the dungeon and shadow seem satisfactory to stay on why you reinforce your melee. On Canary despite all the defensive bonuses I just wanted higher ground than my opponent.

Going back to the Nightfall review I did earlier, 2 BftU is a lot for a map in my opinion. I think the map has to be superior on almost every level. It's one of the reasons I never thought Black Moon Rising or Wyrmwalk was as good as everyone else does. The only map I've played on with double dungeon that I thought was just so good I couldn't say no to is Stygian Rift. Canary is a very good map. However I don't think it passes my double dungeon handicap to get into the WoS.

I vote no.

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  #688  
Old October 11th, 2023, 03:43 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Cage Match mod. by caps (originally Dignan)


I had never played on the original (or at least that I remember), so this is my first exposure to the map.

I do agree with dok's comments both times that this is an admirable map concept and I can imagine it leading to some very good games. But at the end of the day I don't think the two strong glyphs in the middle of a ring of height can deliver the consistently good gameplay I look for in a WoS map.

As stated in other reviews, Thorian is good for limiting the dominance that ranged squads would otherwise have on this map, but... that doesn't affect special attacks at all. This leaves armies with ranged specials un-nerfed while normal ranged armies run up to you on the road and hit you with 2 dice. Sure, you can engage and kill the glyph-holder (unless it's double Thorian), but you're banking on getting the kill (not super likely with the low attack of ranged squads) and most of the time exposing that overextended figure to a melee height attack. Wait Then Fire squads are especially punished, as running a figure into melee means no attack bonus pretty much ever.

So I tried other glyphs, but I didn't get better results. In fact, I started to miss Thorian. An attack glyph (I tried the ScapeCon Attack glyph) was nice but it just became a fish in the barrel environment against ranged squads. Valda would be ignored, Yngvild doesn't help as there's not enough alternate pathing to make disengaging viable, Wannok is fish in the barrel again, Ulaniva is strongly matchup-dependent.

In an environment where ranged specials didn't exist (making Thorian more okay) or ranged commons didn't exist (making Thorian not necessary) I think this map could really shine. And potentially there's a glyph combo out there that I didn't think of that makes this map work perfectly. But as it's presented, there's a huge variety of options of glyphs, and those choices will have an outsized influence on the gameplay delivered by the map. I don't feel that I can strongly recommend this for tournament play without throwing major meta/glyph caveats on it, and that's not what I'm looking for to give full WoS approval.

to induct.

Spoiler Alert!


----------

Blackberry is on the clock.
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  #689  
Old October 12th, 2023, 07:35 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Canary by @superfrog


Since Canary is a rework of Wingspan, my review for Wingspan may give some context for my comments on Canary.
Quote:
Wingspan by Superfrog


First off, Wingspan looks fantastic - it's aesthetics definitely catch your attention on the table.

An important disclaimer: after a couple games on the map, Superfrog and I worked through an alternate version that addresses some of the issues both OEAO and I had with the map. I mention that because my recent experience with the map has been influenced by the belief that there is a better version. That knowledge combined with the issues I've noticed have formed the basis for my opinion.

The most commented on issue with Wingspan is the level 3 double hex so close to the start zone. While the space isn't too problematic in terms of gameplay from my experience, it's proximity to the start zone makes it a gimme in terms of decision making as OEAO pointed out. And it is often one of the central areas of conflict.

The height distribution in general does create some issues (again, credit to OEAO for his in depth discussion of this issue in his review). In every game I've played on the map - each player stacks their level 3 seven-hex, and their level 3 double hex, making the gameplay feel more predictable and stale. In some matchups this can be more problematic for the reasons described by OEAO - it turns into a game of who leaves their hill first. While getting to the opponent's hill isn't the problem necessarily (due to the very melee-friendly shadow /jungle combo), once the figure gets to the opponent's side of the board, they don't have as much protection, and it can be more difficult to overtake opponents. These observations are likely the explanation for why the level four height was rarely used in any of my games on the map. The highest height often didn't have enough draw to convince players to leave their level 3 height closer to their start zone.

I enjoy the map, but for me it falls just short of what I'd want to see in WoS. It's close though, and I hope to see an updated version.

In my opinion, Canary is a significant improvement over Wingspan. It is more dynamic, and different features of the map complement each other much better. Reworked height distribution and shadow/jungle tile placement work well to diminish the power of the level 3 double-hex immediately outside the startzone, while that spot still gives range some help against level 2 shadow and jungle boosted melee units (which is very advantageous to melee). The height connecting the level 3 seven hex to the central parts of the board helps reduce the your hill/my hill gameplay that Wingspan sometimes suffered from.

I think superfrog has done excellent work.


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  #690  
Old October 13th, 2023, 11:58 AM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Congrats to superfrog for his second inducted map (and the 20th WoS induction), Canary!
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  #691  
Old October 13th, 2023, 01:09 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Thanks guys, super stoked about how Canary turned out and the role that WoS reviews played in its creation. And of course thanks to OEAO for picking Wingspan for SCII so that its flaws could become apparent.
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  #692  
Old October 13th, 2023, 01:48 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by dok View Post
Congrats to superfrog for his second inducted map (and the 20th WoS induction), Canary!

One of my favorite maps! Very glad about this.
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  #693  
Old October 13th, 2023, 01:56 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by superfrog View Post
Thanks guys, super stoked about how Canary turned out and the role that WoS reviews played in its creation. And of course thanks to OEAO for picking Wingspan for SCII so that its flaws could become apparent.
Lol- that was not my intent of course...

I haven't gotten to play Canary enough to vote, but it looks like it fixes all the issues I had with Wingspan.

Congrats superfrog!
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  #694  
Old October 25th, 2023, 02:52 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by superfrog View Post
Apocalypse Now by @Typhon2222



A few things to note at the beginning of this review:

1) This map is super pretty, and really evokes its name.
2) This map uses a lot of sets, but none of them have that much terrain.
3) This map uses a single BftU, which makes it more accessible (and thus brings more value to a TD) than a 2 BftU map in the current market.

I really have enjoyed playing on this map. There are very realistic options for developing left, right, and center, each one with its own jungle for protection. I think in general left won for me more than right, but usually I'd reserve a few to challenge the center and a couple figures to go right as well. Going left is probably the safest, but it does have a downside of being blocked off from the center by the elbow of the ruin.

The only level 4 on the map is directly in the center, and it's a linear 3-hex. Those aren't very common for some reason (seriously, go look at some maps, they don't have them) but here it works very well. In my reviews of Nomanisan and Mome Raths I noted that I find a raised center interesting, and I think a 3-hex is a great size for that, as it helps a double-space figure not be too comfortable perching.

The center is a little bit tight, but there are enough options for figures that developed right and figures coming through the center for it to be open enough in pretty much any matchup I played. One thing that helps is that the center itself is a goal, not a path, and there's other ways to traverse the map if you have other objectives you're trying to reach. Almost never do you have to get laterally through the center to reach your opponent, just to the center. Occasionally I wished that the tree was swapped into the spot where the level 1 shadow is, but that would tie up movement around the center just a little further so I think the current position is superior.

For a few games on this map I forgot to play with the asphalt level 3 2-hex near the glyph area. When I added it in, I found it an improvement to the map, offering a perch for added interest, with a built-in counter in the level 3 run around the outcrops (specifically the outer few hexes there). I had actually been wondering if those level 3s by the outcrop were slightly too strong themselves, but the level 3 perches provide dynamic counterplay there.

I appreciate the scattering of shadow throughout the map, I think I wouldn't change any of those placements. Having only a pair of double-boosted spaces means vegie can't object too strongly as they don't dominate the map at all.

I am in general not a huge fan of tripling the single outcrops but I think it's worth it here, the 3-hex formation is a core piece of the identity of the flanks here and it works well.

I also love the clarity of the SZs and the limiting of brown-edge hexes to those SZs, keeping the center for the greens all those striking greys.

Overall, Apocalypse Now takes some small sets that sometimes are tough to utilize effectively and combines them seamlessly into a polished, competitive map. to induct.
Sorry, life has been quite busy and I've been absent for too long. (I have played some games on recent WoS maps, but not enough to vote. I'm fairly sure I would have also upvoted Canary, fwiw, if I'd been able to play on it a bit more.)

Apocalypse Now by @Typhon2222 surprised me. I'm not a fan of the Marvel sets (especially the concrete pieces, as well as the warehouse ruin, to be honest). It's an odd (and to me ugly) set and it is hard to work with.

I expected to be able to play a few games and confirm that this wasn't going to work for me. Instead, I found the play to be quite fun and the (ugly) terrain to work with the apocalypse theme.

We found the game to develop around the sides, with the middle seeing less play, largely because of how limited the center spaces are--which in my mind is a good thing. That high point buys you much less than in other maps, forcing more dynamic play and offering melee meaningful cover (with the jungle and shadow making it even better). Having the middle so limited is a creative choice that I value here.

I'm also a sucker for maps that really make melee have a chance, without shortchanging range too much (which is hard to do). I think this is one of the better maps for this.

The size of the map also encouraged more dynamic play. Between LOS blockers, uneven height gains, and its sheer size, the map kept play active and interesting.

I found us playing left or right, based more on which glyphs were there and what kinds of armies we were playing (which, to me, is the right reason--not the terrain itself).

While I disagree with superfrog that this map is super pretty (sorry), I do agree that it evokes its theme and, most important, that it plays well. For now, this is the best Marvel map I've played on. It does take up a lot of sets and that will limit its use, but I given how rarely I use my Marvel sets, I'm glad to see a map that develops them in a way that results in strong game play.

I suppose it's already clear that I'm voting YES to induct Apocalypse Now
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  #695  
Old October 26th, 2023, 06:33 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Apocalypse Now


I've played both a previous version and the current version of this map. Typhon made some edits that slightly improved the issue I had with the previous version, but the changes are not enough to rectify the issue in my opinion.

Going left is simply too strong. The left side gets everything: a jungle bush; a level 3 2-hex perch; 2-hex wide chokepoints; chokepoint spots that don't give up height; a shadow tile on one of the best places for a screening figure; and control of the glyph.



I've now built pretty unbreakable positions with both Q9 Rats Raelin and Romans MBS Raelin. The same positions can be built by Nilf Greenscales Raelin; Chasers MBS Raelin; and Glad Blast Raelin.

It's a two round setup for Q9 Rats Raelin, and a 1 round setup for all the others. Based on my extremely limited knowledge of modern Yu-Gi-Oh, this seems very similar to that: I'm going to build a near-unbreakable board, and if you're playing melee, then you probably can't beat it.

I played 4x Knights Gilbert vs 3x Rats Q9 Raelin today on it. Normally this is a pretty even matchup, but on this map, the 2-hex chokepoints were just killer for the Rats. And the Rats can completely seal off the back of the left side, preventing any dispatch disengage shenanigans. The map turns this matchup into a pure dicefest- unless you hit a crazy dispatch or two early enough in the game to disrupt the setup.

I don't like the warehouse tiles being on level 3. It makes it more difficult to cross the middle than it should be.

I don't like the 3-hex outcrops. The chokepoints they create do far more harm than good to melee, as the range figures will have ample targets when you're forced to crash into the 5/6/7-defense screen.

I don't like the shadow tile that aids in the difficulty of getting kills on the screening figures.

Some suggestions: lower the center (probably max this map out at level 3); shrink the outcrops; move/remove the 2-hex perch; and move some jungle to compensate for the other changes.

I like the central theme of the ruined building- it's really cool! And admittedly, I haven't played the map outside of these few problematic games, so I can't speak for how the map plays in other situations- I trust my fellow judges' reviews (they've played the map more than me).

But the map needs some work to make sure it plays well in the melee vs range + screen matchup. I truly think that the current build subtracts probably 25-30% from the melee player's chance to win, which is simply too much for a balanced map in the double-blind setting.

No to induct.
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  #696  
Old October 27th, 2023, 02:03 AM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Apocalypse Now by @Typhon2222


Sneaking this vote in in the final moments...

I've wavered back and forth on this map but am going to join OEAO in voting down as well.

My experiences with the map have been largely good, and I think the map is a good choice for any kind of monthly local tournament because of that, but unfortunately, I think some of its weaknesses can be abused too much at the highest levels of play.

I think OEAO nailed my biggest complaints with the map. The combination of the level 3 double hex on the outside left; the narrow lanes along the sides, the difficulty of lateral movement through the center; the power of going left in establishing control over the glyph; and the placement of terrain pieces like shadow, jungle, and rock outcrops all can create a bad experience in some matchups. Taken as a whole, these smaller issues seem to compound upon each other in a way that causes me to lean towards no.

I'd like to see it reworked - I think it has some good stuff going for it.





Typhon,

This review was brief and I apologize for that. I'm happy to offer more thoughts for improvement in the future. I just wanted to make sure my vote got in despite not having as much time as I thought I would have to write it.

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