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Vassals With Tassels (Design Map by Jackie Milton)
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Jackie Milton (01/10/2016 11:49pm):
The year is 1357. Rubble adorns both banks of a braided river. In the distance, on either
side, the smoke of campfires rise to the sky, and the clinking of iron echoes through the
trees. Two helmets of different brands lie beside each other in the sand. Their owners
have suffered the same fate, and only these garments remain. A horn blares and the sounds
of hooves begin to rumble...

For the last two centuries, the fiefdoms of Aragonor, led by Rollo the Green, and
Ponalden, fronted by Duncan the Yellow, have fought tirelessly over the River Tassel. The
exchange has lasted so long, it is unbeknownst to the current rulers why they began to
fight in the first place. Each has been nearly razed several times, but neither castle was
ever taken. Most of the men have died fighting, and there are few people left in either
land. These days, the women and children take up arms alongside the soldiers.

Word arises that a sorcerer lives near the mouth of a river, one who will fight for the
highest bidder. Other reports tell of vast riches and technology in the forested island to
the north. In one final attempt to take the other, each fiefdom is turns over its treasury
and salvages the remains of all previous battles. Which will take the River Tassel and
conquer, and which will break and topple?

(The "FO" stands for "Fog On")
Jackie Milton (01/11/2016 12:00am):
I should note that this is a submission for the asymmetrical map challenge.

(The "A" stands for "mmm... dat Asymptote (not that it applies here)")
Shadow Star (01/13/2016 02:00am):
Initial thoughts are that YC is only 6 spaces away from the island with 8K funds, and GE is 9 squares away. (GE however has a base that's closer to their port) I
don't know if I think that 19K funds is enough with the options for combat being chokepoints or lander drops. From what I can tell GE has a slightly better position.
GEs cities are initially closer than YC's, and while later on their property is more spread out, their property is set closer to a critical chokepoint (the northeastern
bridges.) THough each side has 4 bridge points across the river. YC has 1 connecting to GE's 2 farther away from the bases, and GE has 2 closer to the front that
heads to 3 of YCs. which should put them at a slight advantage for getting units across. I also note that GE's bases are at a better position for engaging against

I realize that it's asymmetrical, but, it doesn't really feel all that asymmetrical, most of the combat will take place after the vast majority of property has been
captured. and it's all congregating on chokepoints and the occasional lander party.
Xmo5 (01/13/2016 05:22pm):
Results are in:

Playability: 2.17
Balance: 2.83
Aesthetics: 2.83

Overall Average: 2.61

Individual category criticism:

Gameplay- The overall opinion was that the center was too chokey for a healthy battle to
form, though perhaps without the AWBW meta of infantry spam, this would have been less of
an issue. Aside from the center, the other land fronts were relatively bland. The chokey
center and critical northern island suggest that the map is meant to be heavy naval, but
there isn't enough funding for combat to fully develop. In summary: The match will likely
be slow going, with the victor decided by whoever captures the northern island.

Balance- Overall fairly balanced, though GE appears to have some advantages, most notably
at the center chokepoint where 3 different entries from YC's side exit on a single plains
tile, next to a mountain. Since these are the closest paths to the base, it gives GE a
much easier time defending any land assaults than YC. GE also seems to have slightly
better base/city positioning, resulting in more grouped infantry and a faster funding ramp
up after the first few cities are captured. Though minor, their tower is slightly closer
as well. On the other hand, YC's port is closer to the critical island, but it's uncertain
that this would be significant, considering GE's closer base proximity to their port and
previously mentioned slight fund advantage. In summary: Mostly balanced, but with some
flaws to address before scoring over a 3.

Aesthetics/Creativity- Mixed feedback, albeit mostly positive, on the aesthetics of the
map. The criticism was based on moderate terrain clumping and general lack of visual
appeal. Additionally, it was noted that, similar to the example map, this map still had
some components of symmetry and pseudo symmetry to it. With respect to creativity, the
panel was unanimous in that the attempt at encouraging naval combat in this way was
creative, but not overly so. In summary: Less terrain clumping and (pseudo)symmetry may
have increased this rating to the 3-4 range.

Thanks for participating (the first entry!) and we look forward to seeing more maps :)
Good luck!

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