Icefield A random map script for AOE3 by RF_Gandalf
Icefield is a new random map for Single-player or Multiplayer use. This is a map best for 2 team play - but FFA play has been enabled. The map is rectangular, with players starting along the more distant ends of the longer dimension, which is 1.5x the shorter dimension (and size varies by player number). This map is slightly larger than most standard ES maps, and smaller than the ES 'large' series. Players each start on a separate mountaintop protruding from a vast ice sheet. On each player's starting area are the usual starting resources - one silver mine, 2 small clumps of trees, a herd of bighorn sheep, and 2 low-level treasures. All other resources are different than usual - all forest, most of the other treasures and most of the fauna are located on the slender rim of land around the ice sheet. All extra mines (gold, not silver - each worth 2.5 times the coin found in a silver mine), and the largest treasures are located on other exposed mountain tops. There is one trade route down the length of each side of the map, and there are a few Nootka villages (dependant on player number) on mountains within the icefield as well.
Treasues or nuggets are placed as a total of 5 per player per map - 2 of the easy ones nearby, and 3 of increased difficulty further off, plus a couple of hard nuggets on the icefield mountain tops.
There is random variation in the lighting feature for a little variety, and some of the huntable animal herds will vary between bighorn sheep, elk and caribou . There are no domestic animals on this map.
This map produces fair, balanced maps for 2 team play. The distance to some the gold mines in the icefield is equal for each team, with some others placed a little randomly; the distance to the Nootka villages can vary a little, but in general the maps are balanced.
Gameplay differs in that it is harder to forward-build than usual due to the presence of the sheet of ice, a terrain which limits building. You either have to build on the edges of the map or hope to cram in a couple military buildings on the exposed mountain tops - and it is not always possible on every mountain to build up the size of forward base you might be used to. Because of the limited mines in each player's start area, control of the icefield gold mines is crucial. Most players will tower these resources as soon as they can afford to. Other resource gathering is also different on this map due to the position of the forests on the periphery, and the need to expand a little further away from your home base sooner than usual. Around the icefield is an intermittant cliff edge which might afford you a little bit of a defensive position for your resource gatherers, if you choose to utilize it.
To play this map, the two files (Icefield.xs and Icefield.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 of the random maps in that My Games folder from the drop-down window. The files will transfer in Multiplayer if your allies or opponents have not downloaded the files. Please do not edit the files or you will have compatability problems in Multiplayer. Thanks to ES for making this map possible! Enjoy! Feedback appreciated!
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