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  #337  
Old December 14th, 2021, 02:52 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Finals are tomorrow, so you know it's time for another long-winded, quasi-judicial post that goes far beyond what's necessary.

Origin, Common Ground, and Dry Season: There has been some discussion around the standard of review here. Some people believe that maps that use less terrain should be judged more leniently; that is, that I should include the amount of sets used as a factor when considering a map for induction (note that this would still only be one factor among many). Some believe that I should have judged maps like Fire Isles, Embattled Fen, and Fossil more leniently.

However, 1 MS + 1 Exp maps can be excellent. In fact, we already have three inducted (see: Remains of Clionesia, Ticalla Jungle, and Fulcrum). And I already upvoted perhaps the best 1 MS + 1 Exp map I've ever played (Aeon). It's perfectly clear that number of sets used is not indicative of a map's quality.

Admittedly, the sweet spot on number of sets used seems to be 3: either 2 MS + 1 Exp or 1 MS + 2 Exp. Maps with more terrain have a propensity to become unwieldy: everything and the kitchen sink is added, creating a beast of a map that simply doesn't work well in a tourney setting. Excellent pathing is imperative with a larger footprint. Maps like Wyrmwalk are the exception to the rule.

Maps with less sets need to be extremely economical with their terrain. They need to stretch the limits, with every tile used intentionally. In my opinion, this is the category with the most room for improvement in the future. I don't think we've seen the best version of almost any 1 MS + 1 Exp combination, partly because people tend to make maps with more sets, not less. But one category seems to be the exception to this exception: there are a fair number of 1 RotV maps on this site. I'd wager there are more 1 RotV maps in existence than any single 1 MS + 1 Exp combination, although I haven't actually run the numbers (nor is it necessary for this purpose).

Among all these 1 RotV maps, two have historically been highly regarded: Common Ground and Dry Season. Both have been used numerous times at GenCon. Both are similar in footprint and overall gameplay. It's been clear to me for some time that due to the similarity of the experiences they provide and my near-equal enjoyment of both, I will necessarily have to vote the same way on both maps (note that not all judges may feel the same way about this).

Enter the new-comer: Origin. It is the definition of economical. This is the single best 1 RotV map I've played. The aesthetic is beautiful (with the "sections" of terrain reminiscent of the style of a superfrog map). The center is near-perfect. The sides are balanced: there is more height to the left, but the right height is adjacent to the glyph. It's generally neither too easy, nor too powerful, to control these heights (which would be a major yours-and-mine problem). I've had numerous excellent, tactically-rewarding games on this map, and most of the map sees play every time.

So the question becomes, do Dry Season and Common Ground hold up? I think they do. They provide a unique, well-balanced experience (note that there have been comments about unique experiences as well- that is not really at issue here, so I won't waste more words stating why I don't think a unique experience warrants a lessening of an importance on balance).

All three of these maps serve to illustrate precisely why I don't include number of sets used as a factor when judging the quality of maps. Number of sets used is not dispositive of a map's quality, and I see no reason to factor it in when judging a map.

Common Ground: Yes to induct.
Dry Season: Yes to induct.
Origin: Yes to induct.

Last edited by OEAO; December 15th, 2021 at 12:38 AM.
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  #338  
Old December 17th, 2021, 12:02 AM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

It always makes me happy to see more maps making their way through!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
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Enter the new-comer: Origin. It is the definition of economical. This is the single best 1 RotV map I've played. The aesthetic is beautiful (with the "sections" of terrain reminiscent of the style of a superfrog map).
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I'd love to hear you expound on this a bit more, OEAO. Are these 'sections' defined by....using the same terrain type?

It's fun to think that individual mapmakers have signature styles.
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  #339  
Old December 17th, 2021, 12:28 AM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhon2222 View Post
It always makes me happy to see more maps making their way through!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
.
.
.
Enter the new-comer: Origin. It is the definition of economical. This is the single best 1 RotV map I've played. The aesthetic is beautiful (with the "sections" of terrain reminiscent of the style of a superfrog map).
.
.
.
I'd love to hear you expound on this a bit more, OEAO. Are these 'sections' defined by....using the same terrain type?

It's fun to think that individual mapmakers have signature styles.
Oh I definitely think the great mapmakers have their own signature styles- a Flash map is very different than a Dignan map, which is very different than a Gamebear map, which is very different than a Mad Wookiee map, which is very different than a Typhon map…

Although he needs to update his OP with about a dozen more maps, superfrog’s latest batch of maps have one thing in common: they look aesthetically excellent. The way he explained it was by thinking of the map in zones or sections, where all the rock will be here, all the sand will be here, etc. Doing this for non-functional terrain types (terrain that doesn’t have any special effects, like grass, rock, sand, normal snow, etc.) helps make maps look super polished and tile placements look intentional. One of the maps he has added to his OP, Wingspan, is an excellent example of this.
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  #340  
Old December 28th, 2021, 06:44 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Invasion is about to time out.

I have played a bunch of games on it over the past few months and donít really have complaints.

Itís not my favorite as far as dynamic play across the two hills during the game (it kinda frontloads this decision), but self-correcting is possible due to the low horizontal road.

I also find the aesthetics a bit stretched but not unbearable.

In general I am quite ambivalent and do not plan to vote at this time, especially since itís already a BoV map.

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  #341  
Old December 28th, 2021, 07:45 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
Oh I definitely think the great mapmakers have their own signature styles- a Flash map is very different than a Dignan map, which is very different than a Gamebear map, which is very different than a Mad Wookiee map, which is very different than a Typhon mapÖ

Although he needs to update his OP with about a dozen more maps, superfrogís latest batch of maps have one thing in common: they look aesthetically excellent. The way he explained it was by thinking of the map in zones or sections, where all the rock will be here, all the sand will be here, etc. Doing this for non-functional terrain types (terrain that doesnít have any special effects, like grass, rock, sand, normal snow, etc.) helps make maps look super polished and tile placements look intentional. One of the maps he has added to his OP, Wingspan, is an excellent example of this.
Fun to read. Thanks, @OEAO .
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  #342  
Old December 28th, 2021, 07:48 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by superfrog View Post
Invasion is about to time out.

I have played a bunch of games on it over the past few months and donít really have complaints.

Itís not my favorite as far as dynamic play across the two hills during the game (it kinda frontloads this decision), but self-correcting is possible due to the low horizontal road.

I also find the aesthetics a bit stretched but not unbearable.

In general I am quite ambivalent and do not plan to vote at this time, especially since itís already a BoV map.
Since the map already has four YES votes, I'm guessing that Superfrog's abstention here means that Invasion is guaranteed to be inducted?

If so, hooray for another map in the WoS!
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  #343  
Old December 28th, 2021, 11:05 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Yes. I guess we probably won't update until tomorrow, but Invasion is in.
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  #344  
Old December 28th, 2021, 11:36 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Ruins of Rennoc by Flash_19

Road plus lava field is the easiest terrain combo to use to make a solid competitive map. Between the two sets that give you road tiles, FotA is probably the easier one to use these days - since we allow uncapped columns there’s tons of flexibility on LoS blockers. And of the base terrain sets, RotV obviously gives you the most to work with. This is a long way of saying that Ruins of Rennoc is employing, IMO, the strongest 3-set terrain combo in the game. While I agree with OEAO that we shouldn’t grade on too much of a curve, I expect a lot when I see this combo - especially coming from Flash.

RoR is definitely a good map. It encourages development and allows for good flanking moves. Height changes are very judiciously chosen to avoid too many speed bumps while still giving lots of opportunity to grab height. It looks like it could have the 2-hill problem at first glance, but the unusual road layout makes side-to-side movement pretty easy.

That said, I don’t love some things about this map. The central Gerda has to be a strong glyph like that to justify getting it, but the position it’s in makes it pretty brutal to hold against ranged units that can shoot down from just about anywhere. The central road platforms themselves are pretty bad spots to hold against range, actually. And while the road layout does give you lateral movement that’s occasionally useful (and heads off some potential issues with the layout), generally speaking the road isn’t doing much in most games. I’d like to be able to use the road to advance on my opponent’s starzone, and I can’t do that here.

None of those are big issues, but I think there are significantly better maps that use this terrain set. In fact, I think there are better maps that use this terrain set by this map creator that are currently also nominated for WoS.

NO on Ruins of Rennoc.

Song of the Walrus by Typhon2222

Here’s the other end of the spectrum. Tundra+SotM is a really difficult terrain combo to work with. And it's pretty clear with one look at this map what issue this created: Song of the Walrus is narrow. This is one of those maps where a couple well-positioned squads of rats can almost completely wall things off.

And while that’s a big deal, if we set aside rat-swarms for a moment, I think the dynamics on this map are excellent. I’ve had a ton of memorable, interesting games on this map. It really encourages creative plays where you ignore your opponent in one position to strike them somewhere else, which keeps a potentially cloggy map from getting too bogged down most of the time. The height changes are very well-placed. The LoS blockers do a good job making life difficult for ranged armies.

Maybe someone will work some magic someday and make a map that has the same excellent dynamics as this one but is a little harder to clog up. But I don’t consider the deathreaver issue to be fatal here, and I think this is the best Tundra/Swamp map out there. YES to induct.
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  #345  
Old December 29th, 2021, 11:15 AM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

I would like to re-nominate the map The Borogoves by @Typhon2222 .



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  #346  
Old December 29th, 2021, 01:42 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Thanks for the nomination Chris, and congrats to Invasion!
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  #347  
Old December 30th, 2021, 10:52 AM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

Sorry, I've played a bunch of games and just haven't gotten around to posting any comments about the maps I've played. I'll be brief with my commentary here in an effort to help progress some of these.

Draugur by Mad Wookie

This one probably took the most time. We played a bunch of matches on this one. While I don't love the implementation of treasure glyphs here and would love to see power glyphs instead, the map itself is solid and fun to play on. There is a certain loss of pace without the power glyphs, but it does open up some interesting play styles. I vote YES on this one.

Dance of the Dryads by Typhon2222


This one has a few snags that I'm not in love with. The sunken shadow spaces in the middle seem to punitive to be enticing. I would like to see a little more incentive to move to them, but my biggest concern is the glyph placement. I see some pros and cons to the location, but in my gut, I feel like I can better control the glyph on the left. That one is generally easier to control and pressure. This is a solid map, but not best of the best IMO. I vote NO on this one.

Ruins of Rennoc by Flash_19

Cool looking map and I like the way the middle looks, but at the end of the day, this one just turned into a shooting gallery. Range was repeatedly able to murder melee and the defense glyph in the middle was a death sentence. I would have liked to have seen the road cross the map and give melee a fighting chance. NO on this one.

Battlefield 23 by Flash_19


This one was probably played on the second most over the past two months. I think this one is right on the edge of voting one way or the other. It's a pretty solid map and it works pretty well. I would have no problem using it at a tournament, but I don't think it's really great. The action veers so strongly to the edges that there just wasn't a ton of interesting play on the map. If the middle had an interesting element or height, I think the map would have really come together. As it is, I think it's good, just not great. NO on this one also.

Everglades and Evergreens by Rednax

I'm not a huge fan of the look of this one and the elevation variation just didn't open up enough interesting moves. The map works alright, but not super compelling. NO on this one.

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  #348  
Old December 31st, 2021, 08:06 PM
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Re: Wargrounds of Scape (WoS) - discussion thread

I'd like to nominate one of my maps that has been around for some time now. I've always had fun on this fast and furious map.

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