Age of Wonders II Heaven Julia with Gameplay background
Downloads Home
Review Guidelines
Main site
Code of Conduct

Advanced Search
New Releases
New Reviews
New Comments

Submit File
Browse Categories
New Files

Downloads Home » Scenarios » BNW 3.2 Blood Isles

Download File Post Review Post Comment

BNW 3.2 Blood Isles

Author File Description
Roger the Rampant
File Details
Ruleset: AoW: SM - Unofficial Patch 1.4
Map Size: S
Levels: 3
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: Yes
PBEM/Hotseat?: Yes
Multiplayer Online?: Yes
# of Wizards: 3
# of players: 3
Skill Level: Any (depends on AI difficulty setting)
Password Protected: No
To play this map you need to have BNW3.2 (Brave New World mod) and Upatch 1.4 installed, and have selected BNW3.2 in AoWSMSetup. It is set up for you to play as the Zulians against the Shadow Demons and the Undead, but all three races are playable. Obviously ships and water aren't strong points of the AI in this game, so I've given the AI a bit of a helping hand with a series of teleporters. My apologies if this affects how realistic the scenario appears at times, but I strongly believe that gameplay is what matters most in a map, and if the AI presents no challenge at all then it probably isn't going to be a fun map to play. Also BNW needs a lot of battles to be played with Tactical Combat, due to the importance of levelling up heroes, so I've given all wizards the Conqueror ability. You might find that if you use Fast Combat against some units, especially those guarding teleporters, that your army is completely obliterated. If that happens you will often find that Tactical Combat gives you a significantly better outcome. Anyway, here's the story:

Living in this particular shire was hard, in fact it wouldn't be unreasonable to say that it was extremely tough indeed, due to a complete and utter lack of natural resources. The original pioneers had built up an economy based on an enormous amount of hard work and determination, scraping together what little there was to make rudimentary shelters, somehow making ramshackle boats out of next to nothing. It was fishing that had originally attracted the vagabonds and villains of various races, as well as the fact that it was a long way away from the long arm of the law, which in many cases was probably the over-riding consideration.

My grandfather was one of those original pioneers, his name was Maximus Rattus Norvegicus, and nobody really understood why my grandmother had gone with him. She was a pretty little thing called Minimus Mus Musculus, and it was widely known that he beat her on a regular basis, but nobody was really brave enough to challenge him about it. It was gun law in this part of the shire, and most people tended to keep themselves to themselves. The region consisted mainly of small islands, and often the only way to reach those islands was a long and uncomfortable boat journey.

Somehow he had managed to build what he rather gradiosely referred to as a "log cabin", but most people nowadays would call it a hut. He had also crafted a coracle out of some twigs and pieces of leather, admittedly it looked rather like a patchwork quilt and leaked like mad, but it served the purpose of a makeshift fishing boat. When he first took me out in it I was about four, and was scared half to death by the amount of water coming into the craft. "Just stop panicking and concentrate on baling" I remember him growling at me, as he pulled in another large lobster pot full of strange looking wriggly creatures. "This brave new world sure does have some amazing creatures in it" he muttered, as he struggled to pull so much weight over the side without completely capsizing us, "but fortunately most of them seem to be edible! We're all really glad that Kirky Picardo found this place, and let us all into his secret little world".

Those days seem a lifetime ago to me now, although in reailty not an enormous amount of time has actually passed since my grandfather took me out in his coracle. I now have my own children, but the thing that weighs most on my mind at the current time is whether they can survive for their own lifetime without migrating. Fishing no longer produces a living for most people, and fishing was the main thing that convinced a lot of us to come to this godforsaken place in the first instance. A couple of people have built water mills and farms, but without the fishermen having the money to buy their products more and more of them are having to close down their businesses and move elsewhere. Nowadays we have trained turtles to carry us around, which is somewhat more reassuring than my grandfather's coracle, but without the seas teeming with wildlife our boats are of little significance anyway, and many of them lie scuttled and derelict. Some fishermen have gone back to the less-than-godly ways of their forefathers and become pirates, but most of us prefer to be hard-working and poor, given the choice.

The caverns are fully explored now, whereas the surafce world is relatively unknown, but appears to be ruled by necromancy, feasting off the demise of the human population, who in their thirst for weaponry successfully managed to obliterate their own species from the face of the planet. There is the shadow world below us, of course, but the creatures there are even more ugly and loathsome than those that we have been eating here for the last two generations.

If we are to survive, however, it is inevitable that we must expand, either upwards or downwards, and needless to say that will not be popular with the residents of the other areas of the shire that we migrate to. The undead are not exactly renowned for their willingness to negotiate, and none of our kind can even speak the language of the shadow creatures.

Ideally we could do with a strong and insightful leader, or a talented statesman that could negotiate effectively with the other races, but in the absence of that possibility from the current generation I seem to have been voted into the position of Head Honcho, mainly because I have dabbled with magic and speak a few foreign languages. In theory I should sit in my magical tower to concentrate my magical influence, but in reality I spend my time roaming around the shire on the back of a turtle, searching for alternative sources of revenue. These will indeed be trying times ahead!

MAPMAKING NOTES: probably my favourite bit of this map is Four Seasons Island, a volcanic island running down the eastern side of the surface, hence it has been given seeing waters so that you can watch it changing as the days go by. It starts off bathed in flames and toxic clouds and a couple of sad moose run around forlornly, then as the days go by various of the fires go out and one of the toxic clouds floats off across the oceans. Then later in the game a unit with path of life might be spawned there, as that runs around the wasteland will turn to grassland, and later still a unit with path of frost spawns, so eventually the island might turn white. Sometimes it might spawn an undead poltergeist instead, or a dryad, which will cheerfully whizz around the map razing all your towns and watchtowers! Sometimes a shade will cover it with darkness, so it will shade over again (please forgive the pun) on the global map.

Although the initial gold incomes appear to be unbalanced this has been playtested extensively, and things are not quite as unfair as they initially appear. Firstly the undead have a friendly town near their capital which they will quickly capture, whereas the other two races have to kill some tough guards off before they can reach any of the nearby towns. Secondly there is gold and mana on every watchtower that is captured, but the undead have fewer watchtowers available in their territory. The shadow demons are in the shadow world and the AI is not brilliant at dealing with shadow sickness, in most games I've played the shadow demons are killed off first, so their apparent initial advantage can be somewhat deceptive.

My favourite BNW unit is the murloc, so of course they appear in various locations around the map, often they will just stare at you as you pass but occasionally they might attack you. Their bright colours are great for livening up darker areas of the map.

I have tried to use some BNW units in this map that I haven't used previously in my maps, most notably in the magical washing bowl that is located in the southeast corner of the surface, but there are so many creatures in BNW that it's hard to include all of them! I've tried to use a few more water-dwellers, too, so you'll find mermaids, sea monsters and sharks wandering around.

If there's any particular unit that you would like to see used in my maps, or any particular ideas for events that interest you, feel free to drop me an email. Please ensure that you put AoW in the title of your email, and of course there's no guarantee that your idea will be used, but I'm always happy to receive your suggestions.

Please feel free to post comments about any of my maps that you've played in the download section at AoW2Heaven, then at least I know what people think about them, be it good or bad.

Thanks again to Kirky Picardo for making such a brilliant mod. Have fun! :-)
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design5.0
Playability: 5
A fun and interesting map.

Balance: 4
AIs have enough advantages to be somewhat interesting.

Creativity: 5
Some of the creative linking of levels I've seen.

Map Design: 5
Pretty and interesting. Uniqueness at levels of resource aquisition, etc.

Story/Instructions: 4
More developed then most.

Additional Comments: Mid to late game the heros become so powerful they can handle large stacks of the most powerful enemies. Kinda of fun the first few times, but loses luster after while. (Means I should have proably won by then, but I was busy exploring the map).

Post Review Post Comment

HGDL v0.8.0

Forum Username:


Create a new account
Forgot password?
Map Design5.0
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:143.82 KB