Isthmus is a novel random map design which creates new playing strategies. Players start on opposing land masses, placed by teams, and separated by water. There is a central isthmus which connects all teams and divides the sea. The seas are harder for one team or player to dominate since they are divided. The isthmus is the scene for battles as the only land connection between the players. There is random variation of terrain types on this map (but no snow terrains). This is a 'translation' to SWBG of a popular map previously released by me for AOK.
Resources are fairly standard, using randomized food resources, and with 2 extra nova, 2 extra ore (and 2 extra forage patches most of the time) on the isthmus. Fish are increased slightly over the LA norm. The computer AI handles this map fairly well, frequently walling off the isthmus, and often but not always building a 'two ocean navy'.
I suggest you play this map at a size at least appropriate for the number of players so that the isthmus will place properly, and it is better to use the Huge or Gigantic size map for 6 players and the Gigantic size 8 players, or else rarely an extra land bridge between the teams can occur(still playable but not what is intended). Note that the script can handle any number of players on a 2 team game, and can handle a 3 team game well if 1x1x1 or 2x2x2. If a 3 team game, there are 3 seas divided by 3 bands of land joining at the center. Four team games (either 1x1x1x1 or 2x2x2x2) don't always have a fair or balanced start.
Strategies for this map include going all out for an early land rush (but knowing that the opponent could wall you off), boat booming, naval attacks, air or naval transport, turtling, and others. This is an especially great map for team play. An important strategy decision is whether to have the whole team try to control one of the seas, assuring control, or to try to control both of them with the risk of not controlling either. Civs without advanced cruiser are at a disadvantage in the later stages of the game, since these ships help to control the isthmus, but such civs could do well as part of a team that splits responsibility.
Updated 4/28/02 to eliminate the 'Gungan bug' which could place very large fish on the Gungan CCs.
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