Desert Trader is a new random map for SWBG with a central stream and marshy area surrounded by a desert highlands. The teams are always separated by the stream and marsh. There are also large oases in two opposite corners of the map, and a few smaller oases scattered in the desert. Forest layout is a little unusual, with many small clumps of trees all across the desert highlands. A roadway connects teammates in this map. This map looks nothing like any other you have seen in Star Wars!
This map is designed to force players to trade and collect the holocrons to obtain nova, as there is very little nova on the map (each player has 2 units only near his CC). To compensate, you start with a Spaceport and 2 Cargo Hovercraft to help gain the needed nova. There is also a singe Prefab Shelter for each player to prevent them from from being 'housed' at the start. Resources are otherwise pretty standard, with random amounts of food, except that ore is scarce near the starting CCs and is scattered a bit differently, with most of the extra ore on islands in the marsh or in the corner oases. There is also a fair amount of fish in pockets of water in the marshlands. The holocrons are always placed on various islands in the marsh also. This map, because of the geographic layout, plays a little differently than most other maps and has proven great fun in testing. With swamp in the center of the map, there is little to block any land-based attack. Land and water units can mix for a free-for-all in the marsh areas, where there are pockets of land, water and marsh randomly mixed. In addition, the way the desert is elevated above the rest of the map allows for strategic placement of troops or defensive buildings to maximize their firepower against attacks from across the marshlands. Raids on trade routes are a vital part of strategy. The need to coordinate protection of and attacks on trade routes makes this map really shine for players who can work as a team.
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