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AotP General Discussion General discussions of packaging, terrain, components, etc. If it doesn't fit in any other official category, put it here.


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Old August 19th, 2016, 11:32 PM
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AotP maps: how do the rules change?

I was poking around the site earlier today looking for some four player ffa maps to use for AotP using actual terrain as opposed to the cardboard mats.There were a few things I noticed in common across the existing maps I looked at:
  • First, they were too big; 96 start zone spaces, and sufficient board space to give armies of that size the breathing room they need it totally overboard for an AotP map (and frankly that's just a lot of table space).
  • Second: the terrain requirements were very high. Personally, I have what I feel to be a terrain collection that's just beyond the large end of reasonable, and even i can't build some of these four player maps I'm seeing.
  • Third: "Marvelscape" maps, being smaller and generally more dynamic appear to be more appropriate for the smaller AotP armies. (Though I have read a bit about height advantage being far more decisive in AotP games.)
So how do these affect how a map should be built? In a normal heroscape map, generally speaking you would want to make sure that ranged units can't take uncontestable height in one turn, that melee squads have avenues of attack, avoid Raelin perches, mirroring the battlefield through the start zones is generally more interesting that mirroring between them. But these general rules don't necessarily apply when you're looking at AotP scale games.

Has anyone played enough AotP games with custom maps to have a sense of how one wants to go about building an AotP map? I played around a bit at trying a couple of my own this evening, but I'm not sure if I'm on the right track here.

Prototype 1: dungeon

This is my first attempt at an AotP map. I intended the red start zone spaces to be additional spaces for a sort of . . . advanced or chaos mode. Ultimately I realized that starting the Red Planeswalkers that close to the oppenent can lead to some very early kills which are, undesirable.

Prototype 2: swamp

I like this map much better, but it doesn't feel quite right (that and there are way too many sets involved).

Does anyone have any experience in building these sorts of maps? Does anyone have any tips, tricks, or general rules they've found useful that they would be willing to share?

*As a quick note, I personally haven't played much AotP yet. I got a few games in shortly after release, but the base set fell very flat. I feel like there are enough units and spells out now to make the game . . . playable. And I'd like to give it a fair shake now that there's some substance to it.

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Old August 20th, 2016, 01:14 AM
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Re: AotP maps: how do the rules change?

Hi XNFM,

I have a bit of experience building maps for Arena out of heroscape tiles.

Here are a selection of maps I made for Arena (My maps are pretty much what you say you want to avoid )

I want to bring to your attention the 'Pyroclastic Vents', 'Overgrown Tomb', 'Ice Age', and 'Ashen Glacier' maps in particular. They have proven over the course of a year to be decent designs for the game if one can manage to get the terrain. The rest are just okay changes of pace.
The first two are smaller (16x16 hex), but still a bit bigger than the usual heroscape maps I've seen run at tourneys. The last two I reserve for 750+ point games (16x24 hex). I honestly view 16x12 hex to be the minimum size it should be played on.

The general rules are about the same as normal heroscape maps (see below). I wouldnt worry too much about hindering or helping ranged units since they do not play as much of a major role as they do in heroscape.

The big difference is that you kind of do need a fairly large area. This is because of summoning radius.
It buggers up the usual tried and true map building mindset folks have used for so long.

A summoning diameter of 11 hexes is a lot, and every Planeswalker has that. You can get a squad summoned on an enemy planeswalkers start space in less than three turns with that radius on the typical small heroscape boards.

Huge boards arent necessary, but bigger than normal heroscape boards arent bad either in higher point Arena games. 500 point games you can almost get away with the smaller heroscape boards to play on.

In case you might not have read this before, this post by Mad Wookie should be considered compulsory reading on the topic.

And specifically, his post on "Set the Goal".
It's that post alone which most who poo-poo Arena's lack of terrain should read to understand that you don't NEED a board full of terrain. Less terrain can have a positive impact on the map. Hasbro certainly took that to heart.
A succinct quote:
Quote:
imagine a map that is completely flat, with a single hex at level 2 somewhere in the middle. That single hex would be the most sought-after piece of real estate on the table, and everyone would know it. That hex, and the area around it, would become a killing ground.
I use that quote often when the wailing, gnashing of teeth, and rending of cloth happen during discussions about Arena's lack of plastic hex lovin' from Hasbro.

Personally, I find line of sight blocking terrain, and undulating terrain (going up and down hexes a lot in a short span of area) to be really important. This allows more tactics, and counting out spaces isnt just a matter of glancing at the board and running across a flat for more than a single turn. You explore while you play. Flyers are not common in Arena, so while they do gain advantage on such maps, its not fleets of them as you can find in heroscape.

It may seem hypocritical of me to extoll the virtues of "less is more" after seeing my maps, but that's merely my design preference. I recognize the virtue and keep that as a stabilizer in the back of my mind when I jump into virtualscape.

I like your swamp map. But I think that has to do with more line of sight blocking terrain. So thats predictable from me.

I hope that helps. If any of that is knowledge you already have thought of, I apologize for the redundancy.

Last edited by Colorcrayons; August 20th, 2016 at 01:59 AM.
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 08:23 PM
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Re: AotP maps: how do the rules change?

Excellent. I should have some time to go over all this a little more in depth tonight.

thanks Colorcrayons.

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Old August 23rd, 2016, 08:58 PM
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Re: AotP maps: how do the rules change?

From LeftOn4ya's Maps & Philosophy of Heroscape Cartography
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefton4ya View Post
See my Quick Set-Up & Build Map Contest with almost 20 submissions of maps made in 7 minutes or less and with 36 pieces or less.

Also see my compilation of Official Maps & Scenarios with every Hasbro/WotC/Design team map in one PDF, as well as my Ultimate Battlefield Key.

My Philosophy of Competitive Heroscape Cartography:
  • Maps should be balanced, fun to play on, and each one different.
  • From the start zone, you should have 2-3 different options on paths to go, regardless of whether you have melee, ranged, or flying armies
  • There should either be a very small highest terrain on one or two hills (1-4 spaces) or large amount of places to get general height (12+ spaces)
  • It should take either 2 or 3 turns for the closest non-flying move 6 range 6 character to move from the start zone and be able to do a ranged attack on an opponent's start zone.
  • It should take either 3 or 4 turns for the closest non-flying move 6 melee character to move from the start zone and be able to do be engaged for an attack on an opponent's start zone.
  • The closest glyph to each start zone should be equidistant, and for normal (non-treasure) glyphs it shuold take a move 5 and move 6 character the same amount of turns to reach. Central/middle glyphs should be equidistant to all start zones.
  • There should be LOS blockers for people to hide from range from the highest points.
  • Symmetry is preferred but not required as long as thee is relatively equal blocks to line of sight and the same number of moves (not necessarily spaces) for all players is required to get to: the closest glyph, an opponent's start zone, and the closest high point on the map.
  • # of sets & pieces should not matter, but the more likely the required sets are in someone's collection, the better.
Here are are a couple of maps from that that could be good for AotP (I can change Lexan to the AotP mats) - including one that exactly matches @mad_wookiee 's quote @Colorcrayons
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefton4ya View Post
Here is my newest lexan map I have virtualized. I really like the idea of a base layer of shadow, as it helps melee or slow figures in general. I attempted to be roughly unbiased for melee & range, 4/5/6 move, double-spaced, & flying units. 2 Version - one with Cav's Lexan mat and another with Auggie's new dungeon/shadow map.
Mountain Over the Shadow - 1 BftU Master Set 3 & 1 Lexan/Vinyl shadow mat (11x15 & 20x15 hexes), 2 random Treasure & 2 random Power glyphs



...
This is a simple grass map that is the ultimate test of who is a better player (or who has better luck).
Lexan Grass Map + - 1 Lexan Mat, 3 Rock Outcrops, 8 Shadow Tiles, 2 7-hex tiles.



QuickMap - Water Under the Bridge - 3 Versions
Version 1 is an example for Quick Set-Up & Build Map Contest
1 ROTV, 2 RttFF (only 36 total peices, 33 if you count water as 2 for one)
2 Players - 24 Spaces starting zone each
Kelda (Healer), Dagmar (Initiative) & 2 Random Glyphs (Normal or Treasure).


QuickMap - Water Under the Bridge Version 2 & 3 are for Raids of Vahalla with version 2 made with 1 ROTV & 1 RttFF and version 3 made with 1 SotM & 1 FotA. Both are:
2 Players - 16 Spaces starting zone each
Kelda (Healer), Dagmar (Initiative) & 2 Random Glyphs (Normal or Treasure)

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Old November 25th, 2016, 05:43 PM
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Re: AotP maps: how do the rules change?

Mmmmm..... I've just taken the plunge into AotP.

And of course, being me, first thing I've done is sought out others' thoughts on making maps for it.

Very helpful musings here. Thanks gents!
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Old January 23rd, 2017, 02:28 PM
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Re: AotP maps: how do the rules change?

Chiming in to remind water spaces on paper boards of AotP indeed are lower elevation.

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