Canyonlands

This new defensive map represents the rugged canyon country of the American West, with teams separated by a deep canyon with only one crossi...

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This new defensive map represents the rugged canyon country of the American West, with teams separated by a deep canyon with only one crossing.

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Canyonlands
A random map script for AOE3
by RF_Gandalf

This new random map was created in response to a request by several forumers at AOE3Heaven for a defensive type map. This map represents the rugged canyon country of the American West, such as is found in Utah, Arizona and parts of northern Mexico. Each team starts on their own land area, surrounded in part by steep impassable cliffs, divided from the other team by a deep canyon with only one narrow connection. This connection is wallable but it is tricky to get the wall edges against a canyon edge or wall to ensure that the enemy is walled off. 

The map has adequate silver mines, forest, treasures, and a good number of pronghorn, bison and cows for food, all fairly placed. There is always one Native American village per player located within the team lands; these will be all either Comanche or Aztec. There is a single long trade route with 2 trade posts on each side of the map, on each side of the dividing canyon, for a two team game. For games with over 5 players there will be a third trade post on each trade route. However in a Free-For-All the trade route is disabled as it would end up cutting across canyons and disrupting the defensive possibilities of this map. Player start positions have some randomization for variety. This map is a little larger than standard ES land maps.

There are possible extra treasures and silver located in the central canyon, accessible only via the crossing point. And for a surprise, keep your eyes open for some desert bighorn sheep hiding in the heights. They were really added as eye-candy, but see if you can figure out how to hunt them (and a few may appear in the lower elevations randomly).

In my testing this map always produces fair, balanced maps for 2 team play. Effective play involves scouting the various resources, Native types, and of course, the enemy, as well as taking control of the crossing. 

This map supports FFA play well for 3 or 4 players. However, with larger player numbers, with each player on his own 'plateau' the player lands start to get a little narrower and not as defensible - it is harder to keep buildings away from the edges where enemy cannon are able to get to them. Also with larger player numbers in a FFA, the connections start to get more distorted and wider and the canyons more convoluted, making walling a little harder. Play a 5-or-more player FFA at your own discretion; it can still make a fun playable map but some players might not have
as great of a defensible position as others.

To play this map, the two files (Canyonlands.xs and Canyonlands.xml) must be placed in the folder: My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\RM. 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.

When ES gives us some help in knowing how to provide map descriptions in the startup screen I will edit the .xml file to allow that.

This is one of my favorite maps that I have ever made for any game, and I think one of the most visually striking. It has required a lot of trial and error to get the canyons, mesas, trade routes and connections all working appropriately and looking good. Thank you to ES for giving us the tools to do this! Hope you enjoy the map.

Feedback appreciated!

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RF_Gandalf


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Registered 22nd September 2005

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