Baja California is an RMS created with 2 goals: 1.) to make a representation of a geographic area not included by ES in the original map set, and 2.) to create an interesting, variable map with new options and strategies for gameplay. This map is simply an update of the map I made for the original game, with natives updated for TWC to Navajo, Apache, Maya or Zapotec.
The map is characterized by a long peninsula with a central mountain highlands. This map is rectangular, not round, to better fit in the length of the peninsula. There is a single central trade route with randomly 3 or 4 trade posts running the length of the peninsula. Each player starts with 2 nearby silver mines, a nearby herd of huntable animals and a second herd a little farther off, and 3-4 scattered pairs of sheep or cows. There are no berries in this arid region, and there are only a few other scattered animals to hunt. The best source of additional food is the the abundant fish in the surrounding seas. Additional sources of coin include a few more mines in the central highlands or in the northern part of the map, or the whales which are most abundant in the sea off the southern tip of the peninsula. Note that the mines in the central mountains are different - they are gold mines instead of silver mines, and are worth 5000 instead of 2000 coin.
Since none of the Native American tribes incuded in AOE3 or TWC are truely native to this region, I have chosen the Navajo, Apache, Maya and/or Zapotec, as the possible natives for this map. There will always be 1 or 2 types of natives per map, who will be located at the northern and southern ends of the peninsula or along the central mountain highlands. Each map will have a total of 3 to 5 NA villages (2-5 for 2 player games).
Teams (or random players in FFA) are lined up on opposite sides of the central highlands, just inland from the coast. The ridge is interrupted by multiple small breaks in the cliffs to allow passageway to the top and other side, and the range ends well short of the map edge in the north and the southern tip of the peninsula. It is possible to wall off your side of the map, but not easily, given the number of gaps and the ridge ends, and the length of the ridge. Scouting is extremely important on this map to be sure you know the location of distant resources and all of the passageways thru the mountains. The relative amount of resources in the sea can lead players to a naval strategy, although that is not necessary. The unique shape of the map leads to the possibility of naval conflict in any game.
Player position and location will vary a little randomly. There is full support for the Free-For-All play with any player number.
To play this map, the two files (Baja California TWC.xs and Baja California TWC.xml) must be placed in the folder: My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\RM2. Please do not place them in the game's install folder - that will not work. When you start up a skirmish game in Single-player or Multiplayer, use the small blue 'Custom Map' button, which allows you to then select one the random maps in that My Games folder from the drop-down window. ES has finally given us the ability to provide map descriptions in the startup screen, and I have included this feature. Note this version should not be played in the original AOE3, as it will give problems with the natives not placing properly most of the time.
Note that the original AI of the game does not always play the seas well; I recommend using the Draugur AI made by Felix Hermansson available in the AI Download section. It plays as the European civs much better than the original AI, but am not sure how well it plays the new native civs in TWC.
I have enjoyed making this very different random map script. Thank you to ES for giving us the tools to do this! Hope you enjoy the map.
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