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Moats is a custom map in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings.
Description[edit | edit source]
Moats is a decently forested map with the standard startup resources available to each player, standard number of Relics, modest hunting packs, and average gold and stone deposits. Higher elevations are present, but not prevalent.
This map situates each players' Town Center in the middle of a roughly circling "moat" of deep water, with a single break to act as an entrance/exit. These "moats" do not contain any fish, so the main idea is for the moats to act as buffers against invasions from land. Besides this, the moats have no other purpose other than to get in the way of raiders, and forcing them to bunch together at the entrance of the defender's moat to invade.
Viable tactics[edit | edit source]
Moats is a map suitable for turtling strategies, given that the only way in or out of each player's camp is through the entrance of their moat. Therefore, raids are slowed down by the difficulty, while wall and tower defenses are bolstered. Also, given how the moats are solely made from deep water, there is no conceivable way to cheat the moats by building Docks on them for Transport Ships to carry units across -- even if the moats were to be wide enough to plant a dock somewhere, there's generally no economic reason to do so for lack of fish, and the deep water just won't allow docks to be placed there anyway, since Docks can only be put on shallow water. So this map is perfect for bottlenecking the enemy by forcing them to a specific location in order to invade -- a location that the defender can fortify to their heart's content.
The greater issue stemming from turtling is that there are generally more resources outside of the moat than in. The moated area of each player's base is a safe space, but sooner or later someone will have to leave home to get more resources. So most combat won't really be in another player's base, but instead outside of it, where raiding is easier.
Civilizations that excel in turtling or rushing have the advantage in this map, which includes the Teutons, Goths, Byzantines, and Vikings. Booming civilizations (like the Persians, Indians, or Italians) will have a slightly harder time here.