I played through some of them(hardest, top50 RM player), a few general notions:
-The objectives are hard to distinquish on most maps. It might say bring something to marked area but the area is not clearly marked or there are multiple areas marked. A more clear objective would be better. Like in shang map two, just put four flags around the area to bring the villagers to. I had villagers who were past the area and didn’t count. Similarly in phoenician map it says to bring chests to marked area and to make temple/TC in marked area but all there are is two flags on the map in different places. You can guess which is which, but you shouldn’t have to. Similarly Egypt moses map says capture temple and kill barracks, but there are multiples of both on the map. You’ll eventually find the ones you assume it means, but it’s not clear cut. Neither is where you have to go with the hero. The vision from the start and clearly marked areas with flags in all corners like in the original campaign is the way to go here.
-The layout of wood on most maps is annoying. A lot of the time you end up having to gather stragglers from here and there as there are no proper forests. If it’s a desert, fine. But for other terrains this is just an inconvenience having to micro your villagers to new areas constantly to avoid traffic jamps because there’s 20 trees but only one of them is accessible through the cliffs.
-The way the half combat/half normal maps start with a large army and no houses causes you to be pop locked for a long while and messes up your whole early economy. Having to build houses for the first couple minutes means you’re massively behind in economy since you can’t make villagers. This really hurts on some maps and makes the starts a lot more tedius than they should be. Giving a few houses in the starting location for maps like this would reduce this a lot.
-These maps have different pop caps so please start map descriptions with population limit. It is not good to make houses and realise you’re pop capped at 50/75 when you planned for 100.
-Your map drawing is fantastic. Love being able to tell units go there. I know there’s cyprus there. Or don’t bother looking more wood in there, that’s just desert, based on real world geography.
Phoenician Dawn both good and bad
-Brown completely ignores red at the start and goes straight at your base. Something wrong with the AI here. Red literally makes no army and just irons while brown keeps walking through the base straight to you.
-More pop cap needed. I was at 25 elephants and there’s a gigantic map to play…
…which pretty much breaks the whole map. I’m at armoured elephants, pop capped and there’s all these objectives to do but that just means waiting for two hours for my elephants to walk to all these places one by one and my 20 vils and 5 trade boats to gather enough resources for the win. No AI has an army to contest 25 elephants because they’re far more pop efficient than anything else so this is pointless. Just give more pop cap so you can play the map out.
-The way orange is positioned to give you free boom at sea at first and then deny your whole homeland if you let him make navy is brilliant. I know from experience that the AI has changed a lot in this time since my own campaign is completely broken so I don’t know if that’s luck or placement but it’s still great nonetheless.
-Lovely geographic map of asia minor/eastern mediterranean
Moses(the single map) was frustrating
You don’t see the blind priest so you sail up and forth the river a few times. Once you find the vil you go convert it and your priest dies. Restart. Priest dies again. Restart. Okay you convert the vil, find hero. Hero kills the first swordsman and agroes the hoplite north of him by shooting at him. Pulling in hoplite and another swordsman into the dead-end. You have to run left to have space to micro, aggro another swordsman and hoplite on the way, find the second blind priest, aggro another swordsman as you continue your ring around the rosie and kill the units. The ones lagging behind kill the blind priest. You get out of the city, find archers in the desert die. Restart. Priest dies against villager again. Restart. Prevent hero from aggroing the far away hoplite. Do the ring around the rosie, prevent aggro from hitting blind priest. Kill stuff in desert. Get bored out of your mind building CA. Walk up a mountain. Turns out it’s populated by BABYLONIAN towers. Be concerned about gold, don’t build a stone thrower, be bored out of your mind watching CA kill towers for ages. Kill a barracks, it’s not the right barracks. Find temple, Iron, get all the priest upgrades relevant and the priests needed. Turns out in this time you can easily kill everything from the map with CA. Ally with teal to not have to restart at the end of the map(because that’s a real possibility.) Nice guy teal allies you back ?!?!?! o_O O_o
The amount of punishment for half-a-second lapse in concentration and just pure bad luck in this map is too high.
-The blind priest part in the start is unnecessarily luck dependent and should go.
-The hoplite positioned to be auto-attacked by the hero should be moved north out of range to prevent this.
-The blind priest in town should be somehow protected from melee, maybe walls around him. Player can delete the wall after he is safe.
-There should be an active enemy in the mountains to make fighting up mountain/life in the desert interesting.
-The babylon choice for brown should be questioned, the towers are unnecessarily tanky.
-There should be more temples up on the mountain to shorten wait time on priests/upgrades.
-Teal shouldn’t ally you back!
Shang barbarian campaign was okay:
-First map having only one catapult slows it down unnecessarily. Half of the map time is spent watching towers die. The ballista you get doesn’t outrange the towers and is thus useless in this role. Give another catapult.
-Second map is good but the start is confusing. I don’t see any need for a priest start here as you can’t sneak your way to convert the general without killing stuff in the way anyhow.
-Third map is too easy, I just walked to the river, built five TCs and a dock and ferried over fast, map lasts like three minutes. Disable ability to build TCs in this map.
After the flood Sumer-, err Babylonian???
-Why is this babylonian? All texts speak of sumer.
-A priest start again? Just why? Nice idea on giving the temple at the start. But I really don’t see a need to start at 40 food, just because though.
-What are these objectives? You make yourself safe and boom and then you look at what you need to do and it’s like, err. I have to go build a wonder and go hunt random buildings around the map? Which buildings, where? I guess I’ll just click scythe and A-move them to all corners of the map until those tickboxes go away. The challenge of the map is to stay alive until that point and that’s interesting. It’s not interesting hunting over the map for random buildings when all enemies can muster are a few compies. Wouldn’t just building the wonder do? Or at least mark the buildings you have to kill so you don’t stumble in the dark.
-Again, a lovely geographical map.
Dawn of Carthage was great
-Excellent map layout again
-Enemies nicely balanced, staggered attacks. I did the Cyprus, Turkey start since you need to win water on that map eventually anyways and that was nice constant fighting with the greeks until they died, at which point the Etruscans were bronze and fielding their navy. The only downside as that I never built any land army. You can take all the ruins with just navy and a few villagers.
Full Exodus campaign hit and miss
-The first map was boring, just waiting for resources. I microed down the three alligators nearby and the bandits protecting the gold on the right but after that it was just waiting till the resources are full. The map felt good and the timer was nicely set but actual attacks from bandits would have been nice to feel some pressure and have more to do.
-For second map see above for the single map campaign.
-I killed red egypt that attacks you on minute 10 on the trip to the desert map by just making compies. They should be stronger so this doesn’t happen. Give them a bunch of ballista towers or something.
-There is nothing out in the desert to find as far as buildings go. You can spend all your wood and then not be able to build a storage pit/TC to rebuild in the desert, unless you realise you need to save wood for this. Just add one gaia storage pit next to the waterfall to prevent this.
-Again, the desert civilisation is babylonian and looooves spamming towers. It takes forever to kill them with compies out of range, you don’t even get a siege workshop. Just switch them to a different civ.
-Last map was great. Again alternative routes, took the desert one since the amount of red in the way was much less and no uphill fighting. End result is pretty challenging unless you spam towers on the hills like I did.
Alexander in India undecided
-Second map you get the storage pits to upgrade your units but since you find a lot of gaia units, they don’t benefit from these upgrades, it’s pretty pointless to upgrade. What the vils and wood is much more useful for is repairing ships. A little too useful. You can take down everything on the map with the ships by just repairing them.
-The last map again didn’t have a clear indication of where to bring the ships to win. Just sail randomly until you hit the right spot.
-It was also nicely challenging. I think it might be beneficial to put more weight in the description on crippling one of the enemies early. In my case I crushed brown so I could build without worrying about navy(far enough away from sea) but the opposite is also possible. To crush yellow and only build navy.
Alexander in Bactria
-First map is pretty straightforward, nothing to it. The only thing of note is that it is very easy to trigger the camp early when chasing enemy up the hills and the hoplites are likely to kill some of the houses before your army can get there. Not sure if intentional or not.
-Second map is the hardest map of all these campaigns. Here it’s pretty clear that you have the army to wipe out one of the enemies at the start(no wood in your starting/landing area and a massively oversized army for just clearing the LZ) and failure to do so makes the map very hard to beat because they love to dive on your villagers with horse archer/cavalry.
-You can trigger the villagers up on the cliff on the west at the start. This is probably unintentional? This makes the map a walk in the park if you use them since you can start your military infrastructure and wood collection on the mainlaind straight away.
-Again an annoyance with requiring tons of houses at the start to make villagers though.
-Third map was pretty uneventful all in all. You start on iron age so you have the range to outrange towers with compies/HA. Not sure if intentional.
Hanno the African voyage
-Cool map layout design
-What the point of this map exactly? We can make a TC and just play it like a normal map while the enemies can’t and it’s extremely easy because of that. Perhaps a very small population limit or a time limit could be beneficial.
-Some of the docks in the niger river are untradeable. The trade boats get stuck because they think the easiest way home is through the saharan desert…