Well I challenged our mappers to "make an Ash map that will make Queen Kerrigan proud enough of you to kill you last" and many of them rose to the challenge. flothefreak, SynDroMe, LostTampon, PsychoTemplar, Nureru, Crackling, Grief_Stricken, SiaBBo, Testbug, someone09, SauruS and ProTosS4EveR each uploaded their best shot at vying for more time alive with the Queen of Blades and after the votes were tallied the winner with a whopping 30 points was.........................................
Testbug with his map "The Great Phase"!
With this map Testbug certainly will become the favorite pet of her majesty, at least for a while until, of course, he eventually is killed. This map whose design testbug pimped from Tuy is reminiscent of the map Python with respect to its base layout, high-ground corner expos accessible by a large ramp and low-ground island expos between the mains. This basic map design alone is very exciting as it creates a lot of strategical and tactical possibilities depending on the starting locations of the players. What makes a big difference in this map however, is the fact that the center is a high ground plateau connected to the adjacent low ground by 2 large ramps on each side. This introduces a new dimension of possibilities to the gameplay due to the narrowness of the terrain in the diagonal matchups and the strategical value of the control of the high ground next to the ramps in these and other matchups. Finally with 12 gas and 2 minonlies there are enough resources to keep your macro going for a long time, if you survive. This map is indeed a interesting place to die!
To be messily slaughtered by the zerg queen before testbug is Crackling the author of the map that ended in second place with 18 points "Burning Love".
The defining feature of this map is the 5 central plateaus that create a maze of corridors throughout the map. By this token the map would be considered "tight" if it weren't for the fact that each plateau has several wide ramps leading in various directions which provides the important flanking space and creates myriad of tactical and strategical possibilities making total control of any piece of high ground difficult. However, the large wide ramp right next to the nat may prove a challenge to some players but even then there is a second exit from the nat for smaller units that can relieve some of the pressure resulting from the enemy controlling the high ground. Ten gas and 4 minonlies should encourage a macro style of gameplay and help you give your enemy some of that burning love that feels sooooooo good!
And finally, scheduled to taste the steel of the queen bitch of the universe slightly before Crackling, is ProTosS4EveR with his map Citlaltepetl that received 17 points for a very close third place.
Inspired by a volcano in Mexico this map presents the players with various possibilities and challenges. Due to the proximity of the nat exits to the important nearby third gas, vertical matchups should prove more of a challenge than horizontal or diagonal ones. This is compounded by the fact that when leaving the nats the immediate access to the high ground is through 2 large ramps. But should the enemy concentrate on taking control of the high ground next to the ramps there is still a low ground route by the central borders that can allow you to circle and emerge behind your opponent. This makes the map very fluid, there is more than one way to get from one place to another. Although a bit spread apart there are abundant resources, 10 gas and 6 minonlies plus there may even be some virgins lying around for you to toss into the central crater to gain the favoritism of the Gods that undoubtedly dwell there, so keep your eyes open when you play here!
Of course way before ProTosS4EveR exhales his last breath the rest of our participants will have been thoroughly exsanguinated, diced and fed to hungry larvae by her majesty and her minions with the possible exception of PsychoTemplar who wins the honorable mention of best map theme/description and gets to live a few seconds longer in horrible pain.
As a map description for his map "Tsatine", PsychoTemplar wrote a fragment from the song "Blood" by the group "Abandoned pools":
Staring into the Sun, We eat our young, This can't be what you're waiting for!
A sobering thought for anyone that is naive enough to expect anything but the worst when entering the convoluted realm of the zerg in Tsatine!
And that is all folks, congratulations to the winners and thanks to those of you who participated and voted regardless of whether by now you are dead or alive.
Good God! This competition must have wiped out half of our mappers!
I will try to see if we can make the next ash map competition less bloody, just let me talk to.....huh?.......yes your highness?....why....why are you looking at me that way? what?....me?.....no your majesty, you don't understand I did not participate in the competition, I just organized it, you see I am Lancet, I am one of the admins here I.....please your majesty.....no.....no......put that blade away.......Sarah calm yourself down, please, no, please, no, noooooooo, aaaaaaaaaaah! blurp.....gurgle.....splat....drip....drip....drip....
Testbug, you still alive? good. As to the map I did download it and watched the replays but I totally missed that the minerals were only about half of "normal", sorry for that, my bad. That does change the game dynamics, you are going to need to expo more often. Thanks for the correction.