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Architects of the Realms of Valhalla Discussion and presentation of the maps approved by the ARV.


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Old September 8th, 2017, 04:56 PM
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The Scroll of Bountiful Grove

COMPETITIVE MAP
By Robber



Download, Online Game Link
Required sets:RotV, TJ


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Map Bio -
A glistening wellspring obscured by dense foliage. Although the grove had not been touched by civilization before its discovery, it will surely be the site of many battles to come.


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Reviews-
Tiranx
Bountiful Grove a lot of things that I look for in a tournament map: Good size, ability to close ranks quickly due pathing and spacing, tactical choices, and balanced height. As a bonus it is also very aesthetically pleasing.

One of the first things I always check is distance from start zones and glyphs. Bountiful Groves pushes the limits on this. Some units have the ability to hit the other start zone on turn one. Most of those units are dragon or really fast range units. To do that though, a player must overextend their own units making them vulnerable to a counter attack. I enjoy the tactics of this and the decision making that it creates. It also causes the game to start at set up. When I see that my opponent has Zelrig and can hit my start zone, I need to set up my start zone a little differently.

I especially love the strategic choice of taking height or taking the defense glyph. Range will definitely go for height while melee would probably go for the glyph. With the tight quarters of this map though, neither one has an advantage over the other. This creates a situation where skill and the dice decide the victor!

Sir Heroscape
My concerns were turn 1 attacks on the startzone with range...BUT that is less of a concern because of the disadvantage it can put the army at. If you extend that far into the center to take early shots, you may make your units susceptible to early engagements. The middle ground is low enough that an opponent can counter a range strike with a fairly fast melee charge. That, and the jungle is placed well enough for units to hug up against before charging to counter the position of range. I also like the height on the edges. While providing good height for range units, it's easily contestable, and again jungle is near enough for units to hug against and then charge the hill. I think the size of this map also helps melee in keep range limited to their ability to just run and gun the whole time. I also think that a smart player may just need to place their startzone correctly to avoid turn 1 attacks and then the issue is resolved. So, as I stated in my previous review, I love this map. It's easy to build, looks great and I've always had a lot of fun playing on it. My concern was early range attacks....but I'm seeing that it isn't as much of a concern and actually quite balanced.

Biggabullfrog
The first thing to note for this map is the visual appeal. Aesthetically, it looks great. Strategically, your mind jumps into action as you consider different ways to play on the map. It's a great size. It just looks like a competitive map.

As far as gameplay goes, it's pretty quick. Troops get into the action quickly, the pathing is smooth, and decisions are forced as you determine whether it's better to claim the middle with the glyph or take height on either side. Jungle helps as you skirt the edges and bring up troops, and the action feels smooth.

Personally, my only concerns with the map is that the middle area can get a little clogged up when melee troops try to cross it and are being tied down, especially by Rats, but Rats can clog up most anything, and while it takes a little longer, the edge hills can be used as paths as well (which often has to happen to get enemy units off of it). I also had worries about the East/West movement from one side of of the map to the other, as the only way through is through the central water area unless you skirt around the low ground near either start zone. But in practice, the glyph/jungle helps enough in that area that it feels even when the late-game units are chasing each other around.

After Sir H's concerns about range being able to blitz start zones too easily, I did several rigorous tests of melee vs range, and personally I found that while ranged armies can seem to have an early game advantage, melee is able to catch up to the range quickly enough, or force range to settle for terrible positions. Not that melee won every time, but it consistently felt fair without a blowout either way.

Last edited by Sir Heroscape; August 22nd, 2019 at 12:01 AM.
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Old September 11th, 2017, 02:38 AM
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Re: The Scroll of Bountiful Grove

Congratulations, Robber! This map looks great. I do have one question, though. Does this map accommodate the Marro Hive? It seems like the ruins in the start zone wouldn't let the Hive be placed. It wouldn't be too hard to fix it, if you wanted. Either move the ruins over a bit, or add one extra hex in the back of the start zone like Highways and Dieways or Fire Isles did. Other than that, really solid map!
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Old September 11th, 2017, 01:14 PM
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Re: The Scroll of Bountiful Grove

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Originally Posted by rednax View Post
Congratulations, Robber! This map looks great. I do have one question, though. Does this map accommodate the Marro Hive? It seems like the ruins in the start zone wouldn't let the Hive be placed. It wouldn't be too hard to fix it, if you wanted. Either move the ruins over a bit, or add one extra hex in the back of the start zone like Highways and Dieways or Fire Isles did. Other than that, really solid map!
Thank you! I actually never thought about the Marro Hive - I guess it doesn't fit in the start zone. I'll release a new version with that fixed.
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Old September 11th, 2017, 02:48 PM
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Re: The Scroll of Bountiful Grove

Technically I think it would fit cause you could just bump it up against the ruin a bit, but if you are looking for a cleaner fit, it wouldn't be much to just move the Ruin over by a hex.
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Old September 11th, 2017, 03:18 PM
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Re: The Scroll of Bountiful Grove

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Originally Posted by Sir Heroscape View Post
Technically I think it would fit cause you could just bump it up against the ruin a bit, but if you are looking for a cleaner fit, it wouldn't be much to just move the Ruin over by a hex.
Looking at it just from the picture, and without the physical map in front of me, moving the large ruin in anyway that doesn't make it bump against higher levels of terrain, effects pathing quite a bit. If the 2 hex touching the middle of the start zone was moved, then the ruin could be moved to the edge of the start zone. This would still effect pathing, but less so than if you didn't move the 2 hex. It looks like the small ruin could be moved without changing anything. Large ruins can be annoying. Again this is just from looking at the picture, I might not be seeing something because of that.
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Old September 11th, 2017, 04:43 PM
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Re: The Scroll of Bountiful Grove

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Originally Posted by Leaf_It View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Heroscape View Post
Technically I think it would fit cause you could just bump it up against the ruin a bit, but if you are looking for a cleaner fit, it wouldn't be much to just move the Ruin over by a hex.
Looking at it just from the picture, and without the physical map in front of me, moving the large ruin in anyway that doesn't make it bump against higher levels of terrain, effects pathing quite a bit. If the 2 hex touching the middle of the start zone was moved, then the ruin could be moved to the edge of the start zone. This would still effect pathing, but less so than if you didn't move the 2 hex. It looks like the small ruin could be moved without changing anything. Large ruins can be annoying. Again this is just from looking at the picture, I might not be seeing something because of that.
I would rather not move the ruins - I'll probably add an extra grass tile in the back of each starting zone.
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Old September 11th, 2017, 05:05 PM
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Re: The Scroll of Bountiful Grove

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robber View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf_It View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Heroscape View Post
Technically I think it would fit cause you could just bump it up against the ruin a bit, but if you are looking for a cleaner fit, it wouldn't be much to just move the Ruin over by a hex.
Looking at it just from the picture, and without the physical map in front of me, moving the large ruin in anyway that doesn't make it bump against higher levels of terrain, effects pathing quite a bit. If the 2 hex touching the middle of the start zone was moved, then the ruin could be moved to the edge of the start zone. This would still effect pathing, but less so than if you didn't move the 2 hex. It looks like the small ruin could be moved without changing anything. Large ruins can be annoying. Again this is just from looking at the picture, I might not be seeing something because of that.
I would rather not move the ruins - I'll probably add an extra grass tile in the back of each starting zone.
That's what I would do too...I just wasn't sure if you'd used them up already in the build instructions...but yes that's the best option. Just make sure you link the updated pdf in this thread so I can update the link in the OP. Also make sure to adjust the Startzone placement colors to indicate the change.
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Old September 12th, 2017, 03:03 PM
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Re: The Scroll of Bountiful Grove

Quote:
Originally Posted by rednax View Post
Congratulations, Robber! This map looks great. I do have one question, though. Does this map accommodate the Marro Hive? It seems like the ruins in the start zone wouldn't let the Hive be placed. It wouldn't be too hard to fix it, if you wanted. Either move the ruins over a bit, or add one extra hex in the back of the start zone like Highways and Dieways or Fire Isles did. Other than that, really solid map!
That is something I never considered. Thanks for bringing this up. In the case of this map I would just put the Hive right up next to the ruins, but it may take some errata on the map build to accommodate. I will have to test this out with the map.

Last edited by Tiranx; September 12th, 2017 at 03:48 PM.
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