Age of Empires
Players start on at least one peninsula; as the players' numbers are increased, so are the penisulae, with players scattered among three penisulae not being uncommon. These penisulae may be often connected with shallows.
As the map tends to be composed of more land than sea, it is recommended to invest more in early ground rushes, though it is also advised to build decent numbers of Fishing Boats, to exploit the Fish in the map. Do not over-rely on fishing however; Villagers should compose at least 50% of the food gatherers, by hunting the local Gazelles and Elephants, and farming.
Age of Empires II
Coastal is, on average, half-water and half-land. Generally speaking, there is a surrounding sea with a central land area, but sometimes gulfs, lakes, or even a sea are generated on the central areas of this map; sometimes a player appears separated on an island that connects to the rest of the land through shallow terrain; sometimes a player is on a big peninsula; and sometimes a side of the "continent" borders the end of map and not part of the sea. Wood is usually plentiful and appears in pocket forests, and Gold and Stone Mines are average. Some extra Berry Bushes can be found far from the initial player locations.
The start-up resources at the initial locations, as in most maps, are the standard ones (3-4 passive huntables, 6 Berry Bushes, 2 aggressive huntables, 6 Cows or 8 small herdables, normal piles of gold and stone).
Wild predators are present and are scattered all around the map and in similar numbers as an Arabia map. Relics are the standard 5, independently the size of the map, except in 7-8 player setting, where there are usually 7.
Standard early rush tactics with any set of units can work well in Coastal, except in the case the target opponent starts on a peninsula or on an island connected by shallows, as they can wall up easily and perform an early turtle; this is because aside from the water, Coastal is usually a very open map with few natural obstacles the players can use to defend and wall themselves. In addition to this, Galley rushes and land-to-rush strategies can complement early aggressions nicely.
With resources on land reduced, the player should try to build Fishing Ships and Galleys to control the sea for their own uses. Control of the sea means a steady supply of food and the ability to go on coastal raids. If a player loses out on the water early, they should attempt a series of late Feudal and early Castle Age rushes aimed at critical resources depots of the enemy.
On a team, the player closest to the ocean should try to annex it quickly, whereas the land based civilization should try and defeat the other player going for the ocean to create a two-on-one situation in which the two people control almost all of the map.
Civilizations with advantages here include:
- Civilizations with good navy: Vikings, Spanish, Byzantines, Malay, Italians, Portuguese, Persians, Koreans, Japanese, etc.
- Civilizations with good early aggression bonuses: Goths, Aztecs, Huns, Celts, Vikings, Japanese, Mongols, Magyars, Malians, Malay, Bulgarians etc.