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Good Battle Maps

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Good Battle Maps

Post  Blanci on Thu May 29, 2014 8:45 am

There are a few things that can help to make decent fair maps.
Of course FTA countering is important, and usually fairly easy to implement approximately.
   The basic ideas of FTA counters are in the AWBW "new" wiki Beginners Guide and so even beginners should be aware and either implement counters or they can ask in this forum for help if in doubt.

Apart from fta countering there is another important issue which is the playability or perhaps better said,  the "winnability of maps".  
Quite a few maps tend to result in steady build up of forces with  a stand-off stalemate situation, with either side unable to advance without suffering loss. Walker and others have pointed out many such examples in high level games between similar strength opponents.

This thread is to debate this issue and which kinds of maps or map-features promote or avoid this.

To set the balls rolling I give a few ideas below. Certainly much of these points are incorporated accidentally or purposely into various maps already around awbw,  but i dont think these ideas were explicitly written out in the old forum or anywhere.

1. The length or the number of battlefronts.
More battlefront and lots of fronts are all better for dynamic play and to avoid stalemates. With more choices where to push. Ok i push here and you can push there. I think my choice is better , lets see.
This can be acheived with maps which are wide , rather than narrow. And short maps are fine too. Long maps are effectively narrow.
Diagonal battlefront also is great , maximises length.

2. Mixed up bases generally has masses of fronts like froth or foam bubbles and so is great for playability and winnability. I never saw a standoff on mixed up bases map. Not everyone likes mixed up bases but its a fine map type and we should have SOME mixed up base maps in  any serious competition.  Yeah , the  usual tier list will be compromised. But it will be worth it.

3. Lots of contested or near contested properties on battlefront encourages battle. A few contested properties might be like a race .. Not much fun... but plenty of them should be fine. In particular having one special central property can make the map into a race, first who gets it wins.  An occasional racey map might be okay but i think we dont want too many.

4 .  Having desirable terrain such as forest or mountain on or near the battlefront encourages players to push on, whereas bare centres discourage players from advancing and promote standoff.

I am not trying to give a definitive guide here, these points are posted to encourage debate and raising of related issues.

(Also it can be that all map types are "valid" in some sense. Even standoffish maps can be interesting sometimes, and in such cases CO powers can often break stand-offs too.)

I am also a bit of a fan of realistic type maps without symmetry and with natural random placements of terrain and property. If a map is big enough then averaging should finally help make the map fair. This type of map has the interesting characteristic that players will not develop symmetrically and there will be no element of copying in opening capture phase.

Last edited by Blanci on Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:01 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Re: Good Battle Maps

Post  Blanci on Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:34 pm

Xmo5 states some features of good maps for the 4 player tourney.... ( copied to here)
Absolutely! Keep in mind that for the sake of balance (it is a tournament) I'd really only consider maps that have:
   No silos (very rare cases that I would consider them appropriate)
   No important properties midway between opposing players (or otherwise highly contested)
   No pre-deployed units (except FTA counter as needed)
   2 or fewer towers per player (preferably 1 or 0)
   And the obvious fact that it must be a balanced, 4 player map
Some preferable characteristics would be:

   Well balanced/varied terrain for both direct/indirect unit strengths/weaknesses
   Playable by a wide range of COs
   Limited viability of infantry/mech spam
   Multiple fronts with contested properties that draw the battle to wider ranges of the map


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