Monopoluxy: map review

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Blind Willie
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Monopoluxy: map review

Post by Blind Willie » Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:51 pm

Reviewer: Blind Willie
Review Date: August 10, 2006

MAP DETAILS
Map: Monopoluxy (link to map details page)
Author: Rick Godman
Version: 1.2

RATING (out of 10)
First Impressions:5
Graphics: 7
Gameplay: 9
Scenario: (see comments)
Overall: 8

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Ok, this game almost lost me when I first downloaded it and fired it up. First impression? What the hell is that picture in the middle of the board? Seriously. What does a blurry Jed Clampett have to do with Lux or Monopoly? I still don't get it.

Aside from that, my first thoughts were that this would be a fairly boring, "kill everything in a straight line" board. Turns out I was wrong.

GRAPHICS
Most of the board looks really nice. All of the territories have cool cartoony graphics that relate directly to their names (Golden Gate Bridge for San Francisco, Sydney Opera House for Sydney, etc). The territories all manage to be unique and interesting to look at without being cluttered. Nice balance.

Using the No Chance and War Chest cards to display map rules is a clever touch. I thought it was a neat improvement over the sidewall of text that a lot of mapmakers use.

But the out of focus hillbilly still freaks me out.


GAMEPLAY
The two rules displayed state that bonuses aren't always positive, and that airports connect to all other airports. These two things combine to make a truly unique board.

Every multiple territory continent has a negative bonus territory in the middle of it, which makes for some interesting strategies. Take only positive territories and leave one of your opponents surrounded by your continent, or suck it up and take the negative bonus and eliminate someone who would eventually be a threat? I don't know that I've ever played a map with this sort of layout, and it's been fascinating playing it with different settings and bots.

Having all the airports connect saves this map from being just a straight line where you can only kill your immediate neighbors. If you can hold one airport you suddenly have access to all four quadrants of the board. Essential if you are playing high cards and trying to line up a kill. A nice touch is that they have no bonus attached to them, so you have to decide if it's worth your armies to hold a territory with no bonus just to keep your movement options more open.

SCENARIO
OK, I know I suggested this as a category for the map review template, but I'm not sure why. I've never played a scenario I liked. I'm just a random placement kind of guy. I'm sure this scenario is fine if you're into that thing, but I'm not, so no rating here.

OVERALL
Cool map. Definitely one of the more interesting maps I've played in a while. I admit I'm a sucker for maps with negative bonuses, and I used to be a huge Monopoly fan as a kid, so keep that in mind. It's fun with all of the card settings I've tried, and some of the bots can actually give me a challenge on it.

:smt023

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SnyperEye
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Post by SnyperEye » Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:23 pm

I have to say......


NO SIR! I DIDNT LIKE IT.

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Ricklionhart
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Post by Ricklionhart » Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:23 am

I guess being Americans you don't think outside your own country so I forgive you. Anybody else in the world would instantly recognise that 'out of focus hillbilly' (as you put it) as an Australian soldier (never heard of Anzacs?). Look closer and you'll also see a Submarine Spitfire MK5 (plane) on his left and HMAS Canberra (destroyer) on his right.

A few notes on the history of the map: as originally drafted it had a double set of countries, one for the picture block and one for the coloured bar. This proved unworkable, and the play was a lot more linear than the final version you see now. A lot of the changes came about because of suggestions from the MapLab tester, so believe me they are useful guys.

As to the theme in general, this was only my second or third map. I bought Lux and was disappointed that not many maps were submitted compared to the number of players out there. With 20 years in-trade graphic design behind me, I wanted to show people that you can take an idea from somewhere but completely re-work it so that copyright isn't an issue, into a whole new work which suggests the conceptual roots of the idea without ripping off the actual artwork. In this I think I succeeded pretty well, and hope it encouraged a few more players to become mapmakers.

And if that didn't, my 'Islands in the Stream' tutorial, due out next week, has grown from an idea for a few pages into quite a tome. I expect many, many new mapmakers when it's released.

Cheers all, and thanks for encouraging me to keep making more by voting for my maps.

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dustin
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Post by dustin » Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:45 am

I second BW's gameplay comments, the board layout makes for some interesting play techniques. Also, I really like the art style and using Monopoly, but in a non-infringing way.

I really like this map. It's queued up to be MOTW after Hungary.

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blackj3sus
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Post by blackj3sus » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:01 am

I guess being Americans you don't think outside your own country so I forgive you. Anybody else in the world would instantly recognise that 'out of focus hillbilly' (as you put it) as an Australian soldier (never heard of Anzacs?). Look closer and you'll also see a Submarine Spitfire MK5 (plane) on his left and HMAS Canberra (destroyer) on his right.
ok lets's ask some zulu tribes men who the 'out of focus hillbilly' is on the monpoluxy map....
bj: mumamba zu lala que bata de lux?
zulu tribesman: akalawa zalaka lux?
bj: lux tumbasa colakz! MONOPOLUXY!
zulu tribesman: MUMBASA!?

bj: he says he don't know what the hell lux is.

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Blind Willie
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Post by Blind Willie » Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:38 pm

Come on, tell me that guy doesn't look like Jed Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies:

Image


But seriously, thanks for the explanation. That image has been confusing me since I downloaded the map.

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Ricklionhart
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Post by Ricklionhart » Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:44 pm

Blind Willie wrote:That image has been confusing me since I downloaded the map.
Well ah aint never hearda this Beverley Hillbillies place y'all bin talkin' about but this here Jed Clampett shore do look a lot like the Commander-in Chief of the Australian Armed Forces in full dress uniform. Mayhaps this well-known war song that I jes now made up will help y'all out:

Now this is the story of a man named Blue,
Poor gold miner, barely owned his private zoo.
Then one day he was shootin' at some nuns,
And up from the town came a-running some Huns.

Jerries, that is.
Berlin Boyz.

Well next thing ya know old Blue's a medallionaire,
King pins on his chest a bloody huge thing to wear.
Says “Canberra's the place you oughta stay”
So he got royally f%ed and got moved to DVA.

Department of Veteran Affairs, that is.
Nowheresville.

Pen-pushing… Mindless… Bureaucratic… Overbearing
Jumped-up… Little…
Hitlers

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Ricklionhart
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Post by Ricklionhart » Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:05 pm

SnyperEye wrote:I have to say... NO SIR! I DIDNT LIKE IT.
Actually I agree with you, I put a lot of work into into but after all it was my 3rd or 4th map, and ultimately, I think it plays too easily.

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blackj3sus
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Post by blackj3sus » Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:14 pm

i play it iliked it - MAKE SOME MORE!!!!!!!!!

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Kurtz
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Re: Monopoluxy: map review

Post by Kurtz » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:55 pm

Blind Willie wrote:Ok, this game almost lost me when I first downloaded it and fired it up. First impression? What the hell is that picture in the middle of the board? Seriously. What does a blurry Jed Clampett have to do with Lux or Monopoly? I still don't get it.
Hmmm...Looks a bit like a cross between Glenn Ford and Hunter S. Thompson

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