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Old May 18th, 2009, 11:43 AM
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Mmirg's Moderately Marvelous Maps - updated 1/6/10

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Spoiler Alert!


My Map-Making Philosophy:

I generally try to find a challenge or a group of sets that aren't often used. That's what catapults me into making a new map, 95% of the time. Can I make a strong tourney-able map with just 1 MS and 1 Exp? Can I make a strong tourney map that only uses 1 BftU, and no other MS? These are the questions that get me started and interested.

The other 5% are generally riffing off of something that I like and trying it a new way. How would this map work as a Snow map? What happens if I add Jungle to this already great map?

--

All comments are welcome. I've played hundreds of games, organized tournaments, done reasonably well at tourneys and game days, made scores of maps, etc. but I know how much value another set of eyes can have. Please share with me your experiences and thoughts!

New 1/23/13: High Ways or the Highway, Jungle Edition! (RotV + FotA + TJ)



New 7/25/12: High Ways or the Highway (RotV + FotA)



Challenge: Using just 1 MS and 1 Exp to make a tourney map.


New 3/9/12: Icy Cavern 2 (minor revisions from first)



Challenge: Making a tourney map that only uses 1 BftU and no other Master Set.



New 4/16/10: Underground Iceways (minor revision)


(Thanks to input from Gamebear, I have made a very minor (but significant) change to this map. I've adjusted some unseen tiles to be able to raise the out ice pieces (near the glyphs) up one space above table level. This makes those paths more viable. Thanks, Gamebear for the suggestion!)

Challenge: Making a tourney map that only uses 1 BftU and no other Master Set.



New 1/6/10: Flooded Temple II (revised)


A new look at my old favorite. More options, more paths, more access for 2-hex units, etc. Don't forget to check the caves for lurking spiders...

Challenge: Make a tourney map using the castle walls from FotA. (This one comes awfully close, imo, but is best with some other maps in the pool that are not AE friendly.)


New 5/20: Flooded Temple II

Tell me what you think? (It uses one more set, so not for R˙chean's contest, but I really like the extra road and access to the map. Double-spaced units have a better time now with this map as well.) All comments and ideas are welcome!


New 5/20: Volcarren Fountain II

Small changes--mostly to allow melee units one more avenue of getting across the map. (Thanks to GameBear for his thoughts and help.)

Volcarren Fountain--a loose remake of Velenne's Feylund Fountain, but with lava on the heights (and, of course, now no trees). It is similar to other lava/RotV maps, but I think it is a fun version. The central glyph (on lava) adds some fun options (some hearkenings here to Molten Fortress by Dignan). If you don't like that effect, there is a second optional glyph placement available.



Second Option:

(I could have brought the glyphs closer together--the centers of the 7-hex lava fields--I just wasn't sure if being that close to each other was a benefit or a drawback. What do you think?)

Flooded Temple:



The Temple of Shaajad is thought to house an amulet of great power buried amidst its mammoth foundational pillars--all that remains of the ancient temple today.

I have long wanted to try to press the limits of what a castle and RotV map could do. Specifically, I wanted to play with actually using the castle pillars, so often problematic in maps. The map is tall, but the castlewalk, glyphs, ladders, and land bridge in the middle, allow for pretty good access to the height. Even my Knights can enjoy this one (though, honestly, not quite as much as my Sentinels).

I have been tinkering with this for a while and hope that others will find something worthwhile in it. It is a fun map that presses play in interesting ways. I welcome any comments (PMs are likely best).

[I plan to add a version of this with RttFF as well, just to help increase the play speed, viability of melee and double-hex units, etc. Stay tuned.]

A few older maps/ideas (just pictures):

I love Dignan's Can't Take the Heat, but we play with 2v2 a lot, so I remade it--just basically added a second one on to the original. This was a fun map--and the first I played with central glyphs on 7-hex lava fields. Good times!


In a similar vein, we tried a variation of the Castle of Aaryglynn (a Hasbro official scenario), with snow added all over the map. Really was fun. One trick we tried, was starting the defending player on the ground level behind the tallest part of the castle. Having to rush up to the tall battlements to defend the castle was a really fun variation on the traditional "defend the castle" game.


More to come.

Last edited by 1Mmirg; January 23rd, 2013 at 03:26 PM.
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  #2  
Old May 18th, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Re: Mmirg's Moderately Marvellous Maps

These are two of my favorite submissions. They're on my top 3 list among VW and FotA entries, respectively.

I haven't thought too carefully about it, but I think Volcarren Fountain might be improved by spreading out the startzone a bit - taking out some of the front hexes and having the start zone spread out along the sides. You lose the simplicity of rock = start zone, but you make the map a bit less Zelrig-friendly and you make the initial positioning a bit more tactically interesting.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 01:16 PM
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Re: Mmirg's Moderately Marvellous Maps

I really like the flooded temple. Ill have to try it out one time. Right after 30 more maps I said I would try.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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Re: Mmirg's Moderately Marvellous Maps

Thanks for the kind words and compliments. I've had a lot of fun making (and playing with) these. I've been through dozens of "this is exactly right" moments with both, but I've still got little things here or there on both of them that I'm not 100% on. (Yes, I am OCD, why do you ask?)

@dok: Zelrig is just plain difficult on small maps, as you know from the other threads--probably better than anyone. I wanted to try to recreate Feylund Fountain, which is loaded with Z issues. I tried to fix a few issues (like not have a perfect center 2-space with a moat of watery protection for the big Z), but in the end I'm afraid the basic 14" footprint of this idea just doesn't work with Z--at least not that I've found. I'd have to stretch the map out further, I think.

I played with starting zones, but there just isn't anywhere further back to really go. If I back out of the middle section, then I have units starting even closer to the corner heights. I kept going round in circles and ended here.

Do you have any thoughts on where you see start zones working better? (I can easily swap a hidden green 24 with a rock 24 and avoid that confusion; I just couldn't find any place to put the start zones that seemed significantly better...)

@Creationist: I love the temple--a really fun map, with lots of moving--hopping pillar to pillar, swinging around for glyphs, castle walk and ladders in play. Good times.

I will say, though, that it is not so good with a team of mostly Deathstalkers . I couldn't convince my 4-yr-old to try a different army and it was a brutal massacre--good thing he came right back and stomped me out of existence on the Volcarren Fountain with a Tor-Kul-Na army. He ended the day happy--and I was glad to see a TNA army could play that map fairly well.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 04:12 PM
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Re: Mmirg's Moderately Marvelous Maps

Well, here is my first new entry that isn't for R˙chean's contest. I liked my Flooded Temple idea, but it just didn't have quite as many road pieces as I envisioned it with in my head. So, I have created a second version using the RttFF set.

I really like this option. What do you think?


Flooded Temple II
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Old January 6th, 2010, 10:24 AM
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Re: Mmirg's Moderately Marvelous Maps - updated 5/20

Well, I couldn't help but tinker with this more. I wanted to increase the ability of double-spaced units to access the fallen temple and I wanted to reconsider the distance from start zone to the temple (to be a little less flier friendly).

Here is my (final?) revision of the Flooded Temple:



Flooded Temple II (revised)

I recommend using two strong glyphs or the Wound Glyph and a Brandar to represent my Glyph of Mimicry.

Glyph of Mimicry: This glyph performs exactly like one other chosen glyph on the map field. However, if both this glyph and the other chosen glyph are occupied, both glyphs are negated and neither has any effect (until one is vacated again).

As I mentioned above, my goal was to create a map that actually uses the Castle set to have real height, while still be a relatively compact map and fair for melee units. Not easy, but I think this map fills the role.

I've seen Dwarves beat an Airborne Elite army and Orcs beat a Blasts/Glad army. The map has always been active and volatile. The Glyph of Mimicry adds unique field choices and helps a lower army have an increased chance of dislodging the upper army. The ladders and multiple paths to the top have allowed my Dwarves or Gladiators enough options to dislodge AE or KMA up on top. All in all, good times!

A few interesting features:

* The start zones are simply all the grass areas on the lowest level.
* All height have an adjacent water space below for a quick exit.
* I love the little spider caves by the glyphs.
* Exiting out of either side of your start zone can be effective. One side looks more obvious, but both are critical to map control, I've found.

Enjoy!
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Old January 18th, 2010, 05:51 PM
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Re: Mmirg's Moderately Marvelous Maps - updated 1/6/10

Flooded Temple II looks great. I like the glyph you designed too. Interesting way to build in a self-balancing system.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 06:01 PM
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Re: Mmirg's Moderately Marvelous Maps - updated 1/6/10

Thanks. I've wanted a map that actually uses the pillars/walls of the Castle set, without being too unbalanced in a non-draft situation. The start zones are far enough back to limit flyers from dominating the map. There are enough different paths that it is hard to lock the map/height down completely. The wound glyph (plus, mimic) allows double-spaced and melee units yet another way to combat against those on heights.

If you want to try a King of the Mountain map that doesn't just play like a "I got it; I win" game, this one has worked for us. Holding the height is tough, we found.

The middle is wide and diverse enough (incl. the glyphs below) that while there is one clear area to be in, that area supports a lot of units, approaches, and tactics. Hope you enjoy it.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 12:47 PM
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Re: Mmirg's Moderately Marvelous Maps - updated 1/6/10

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Mmirg View Post
Thanks. I've wanted a map that actually uses the pillars/walls of the Castle set, without being too unbalanced in a non-draft situation.
With the increased availability of castle terrain, there's actually been a bit of an explosion in maps built along those lines lately. I've attempted to run through a bunch of them in my symmetric tournament castle maps survey. I would include this map if you're OK with me just representing it as two random glyphs (i.e. a BoV-eligible version).

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Mmirg View Post
The start zones are far enough back to limit flyers from dominating the map. There are enough different paths that it is hard to lock the map/height down completely. The wound glyph (plus, mimic) allows double-spaced and melee units yet another way to combat against those on heights.

If you want to try a King of the Mountain map that doesn't just play like a "I got it; I win" game, this one has worked for us. Holding the height is tough, we found.

The middle is wide and diverse enough (incl. the glyphs below) that while there is one clear area to be in, that area supports a lot of units, approaches, and tactics. Hope you enjoy it.
Some of the other techniques that have been used on maps that use similar sets of terrain are employing fixed glyphs (particularly Astrid, Rannveig, and Valda) and using LoS blockers (or the platforms themselves) to ensure that figures on the height cannot attack the glyph holders. This tends to mitigate the "race for the top" effect, and puts more of the map in play.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 05:39 PM
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Re: Mmirg's Moderately Marvelous Maps - updated 1/6/10

Yes, I noticed that explosion as well. This map was begun last spring and there have been many great new maps since then using the Castle. (I've played on your Swamp Helix and several of the others in your castle thread--good stuff .)

I love castle maps and am sad to see so few in the BOV (though I understand the reasons). This map was my meager attempt to create a BOV-style map that used the castle set for more than just extra roads and battlements. I'm not saying it's BOV-quality, but it is made with that kind of play in mind. (And, honestly, I think it does well, but I'll let other decide that.)

I've ran the map with a number of the heavy-hitting tourney traditional armies and they've all done well. You'll notice my revisions continued to increase the amount of road available and the number of places a 2-hex unit could occupy. At the same time, I avoided a dragon perch, just because that seems particularly deadly.

My goal was to create a King of Hill map that allows for frequent changes of power (like King of the Hill is meant to encourage). It isn't perfect, but it is the most fun of that genre that I've played.

I would love to be part of your thread, btw. Thanks for suggesting it. Much appreciated.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Re: Mmirg's Moderately Marvelous Maps - updated 1/6/10

I've been messing with this map since the BftU came out. I wanted to see what a single D&D Master Set could do, so I added one each of the two largest expansions, Tundra and the Fortress.

I have to say that I really like the results and I do feel that a single BftU can go a long ways with a couple of good expansions.

Here is the map, Underground Iceways, made with a nod toward one of the truly preeminent tourney maps, Highways and Dieways, as well as borrowing from Gamebear's Embattled Fen and Longheroscaper's Invasion.



What do you think?


EDIT: A few more notes--and a thank you to dok--for this map:

I like it with normal snow/ice. I just dislike the melee handicap that comes with heavy/slippery terrain.

You'll notice that the shadow tiles are placed so as to be adjacent to most of the highest points on the whole map. I like the effect of allowing someone aggressing having a slightly better chance of lasting an extra turn in the attempt to topple the current king of the hill.

Features:
* The map forces some hard choices, but also gives lots of different ways of getting most everywhere.
* The glyphs are mostly covered from the center.
* Battlements impede easy first turn height.
* I had a perfectly "oval" map, but then realized that I had a complete choke point right next to each glyph, so I stole an unneeded ice tile from between the stalagmite and start zone and added it to the table level. Now there is pretty much a two-hex wide (not even though, of course) path pretty much everywhere on the map. [I have edited these added ice tiles, with Gamebear's help, to be one space higher and thus a more useful path to getting to the glyphs.]
* The ice/stalagmites almost balance out, so that neither side would have any really significant advantage if they were playing a horde of Dzu-Teh on the map.

I've had good success running Knights and Dwarves on this, even against AE, Krav, Braxas, Rats, etc. And I'd still love to hear what you think. Thanks to everyone who contributes to this thread.

[We used this map at our recent event here in South Florida and it was well received. rudyvalentine's Heavies took out my Blasts/Glads, so it does retain strong playability for melee armies.]

Last edited by 1Mmirg; April 16th, 2010 at 08:44 AM.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 01:26 PM
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Re: Mmirg's Moderately Marvelous Maps - updated 1/6/10

Can I assume heavy snow/normal ice?
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