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the CIG map pool

Steamhammer 1.4.5 is submitted to CIG. Because of an obscure CIG rule, the version for SSCAIT will be slightly different (the rules curiously require Steamhammer to comment out a couple of minor configuration features, which is not how I want to distribute it). But in any case, it’s done. Working right up to the deadline (around midday tomorrow in my time zone) is an algorithm for causing more problems than it solves.

CIG rules also say that they will choose 5 maps pseudo-randomly (one 2-player, two 3-player, two 4-player) from a pool of 20. Since starting out on CIG work, I’ve been playing test games exclusively on CIG maps. The SSCAIT maps have been feeling stale, so it was a welcome break. Here are my thoughts on the CIG map pool.

7 maps are familiar from SSCAIT. SSCAIT doesn’t include version numbers in its map names (except La Mancha for some reason), so I’m not sure which of these are the exact same version. In any case, they are all close.

(2)Destination1.1.scx
(2)NeoHeartbreakerRidge.scx (Heartbreak Ridge)
(3)TauCross1.1.scx
(4)Andromeda1.0.scx
(4)CircuitBreakers1.0.scx
(4)FightingSpirit1.3.scx
(4)Python1.3.scx

9 maps are different from SSCAIT maps but provide no special features that challenge bots (at least not that I noticed). I enjoyed all these maps. My favorites are Chupung Ryeong and Arcadia II.

(2)MatchPoint1.3.scx. Sometimes compared to Benzine, because the main bases and expansions are laid out similarly. But the middle is not nearly so open.

(2)NeoChupungRyeong2.1.scx. Multiple narrow paths between bases. Played properly, I think the map leads to complicated and interesting games.

(2)RideofValkyries1.0.scx. The main bases are across from each other, relatively close with the naturals pointing toward each other, and expansions beyond the natural are away from the direct path.

(3)GreatBarrierReef1.0.scx (originally named El Niño, then revised). The map has blocking mineral lines in between bases. Humans can push units through the minerals, or drop behind them if you dare to mine them. Since the blocking mineral paths run around the edge of the map, all bots that I have tried ignore them, and they don’t cause a problem.

(3)NeoAztec2.1.scx. Low ground main and high ground natural (compare Jade). Bases beyond the natural are a little farther away than on some maps.

(3)Pathfinder1.0.scx. The looping layout of the bases seems intuitive when I look at the picture, but for some reason in following games I can’t get my head around it. Bots ought to pay more attention to attacking around the back way.

(4)ArcadiaII2.02.scx. The natural base and mineral-only are near each other, both inside the natural entrance. Compare Andromeda, where the mineral-only is above the ramp but can be attacked from outside.

(4)LunaTheFinal2.3.scx. A classic macro map, sometimes accused of making the game boring.

(4)NeoSniperRidge2.0.scx. Ridges all through the center of the map, somewhat like Heartbreak Ridge. Bots don’t really understand how to use the ridges, except that I think Locutus is starting to get the idea.

The remaining 4 maps have features that bots struggle with. I didn’t enjoy them as much. I vividly remember the struggle to play on Sparkle, and I did not adapt Steamhammer to play on any of these maps. Since they’re selecting 5 of the 20 maps, any given map is unlikely to end up in the tournament. I thought effort was best spent elsewhere.

(2)BlueStorm1.2.scx. The closest exit to the center is a narrow one that larger units can’t fit through. Steamhammer gets lurkers and ultralisks trapped behind it, not realizing it could take a longer path to the center. Iron breaks down severely, because vultures can’t fit through.

(2)Hitchhiker1.1.SCX. This map has a narrow direct path between the 2 mains, a ravine. It also has numerous destructible neutral buildings that open other paths. Steamhammer sometimes plays OK on this map, and sometimes gets a large army stuck trying to pass through neutral buildings.

(3)Alchemist1.0.scm. Each base has 2 entrances, and map is laid out in a loop so that the enemy might approach from either direction. Many bots cannot cope. Also, the map is poorly made and looks ugly.

(3)Plasma1.0.scx. An awesomely difficult map. The main bases are small, so not many buildings fit. The ramp down from each is narrow, so not all units can pass. The map is divided into sections which are separated by blocks of neutral zerg eggs. Workers can mineral walk through the eggs in either direction using handy minerals placed just beyond. Other units can be pushed through one at a time; otherwise, you have to destroy enough eggs to open a path. For the icing on the cake, the left-side egg block between the 2 left bases leaves an open path 1 walk tile wide, not wide enough for any unit to pass, but wide enough for Steamhammer to conclude that the bases are reachable from each other. “Oh, hey, this is not an island map!” it thinks. My hope is that Steamhammer will learn to go air and opponents will be even less able than it to come to grips with the map.

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MicroDK on :

Ahh yah Plasma... a lot of bots will struggle here. Just like Third World, BWTA thinks there is no path between the main and the natural and the code will not initialize a natural base. :(

Antiga / Iruian on :

Congrats on getting it in! , it'll be fun to see which map rolls.

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