Arabia, the bread and butter of competitive Age Of Empires sets the standard for challenging maps, with its open nature and random hills scattered across the map. You can expect a lot of aggression throughout 1v1’s and team games as players dance among the Deserts of Arabia.
Bedouins, the only nomadic start of the middle-east is a classic. Players need to expand and utilize the available shore fish located in the abundant ponds, testing their ability to expand and capture the fastest normal food source. Most of the wood is located at the edge of the map, with limited wood available by the ponds. Without a scout, locating sheep is essential for the early stages of the match, sheep scouting lays the ground works for players to decide whether to use the fastest natural food source in the game to rush, or to accelerate them into a powerful castle age.
Players start around the large palm forest with an Oasis in the center. This large forest contains the most of the wood on the map and is often walled from to the edge of the map creating two relatively large choke points. Oasis presents the question of rushing or walling in the early game. Will players risk failing their walls in feudal or will they ramp up the pressure and fight their opponents on the surrounding deserts.
Dry River follows a similar concept to Valley with a dried riverbed cutting the map in half. But instead of deer we see dozens of ponds filled to the brim with shore fish. They make up for the lack of deer and berries, and give players an incentive to move closer, leading to early skirmishes over the fastest natural food source. On this map by our second place map contest winner Teutonic_Tanks, will players prioritize an aggressive strategy, taking advantage of the shore fish in the riverbed with the risk of being punished, or will they take a safe approach by staying on the riverside?
Mediterranean is the only standard water map in the Middle East. Players and teams spawn opposite to one another, separated by a large body of water in the center of the map, which is enclosed by moderate strips of land. The water is the main focus thanks to its deep sea fish, and the ability to pressure the land with a large navy. Will players build such a large navy or will they attempt to transport or sneak their way to victory?
On Hideout, players spawn in a square cutout of a single big forest in the center of the map. Palisades protect them from the flat desert surrounding the big forest. Walls can be built from it to the edge of the map, securing a vast area. Will players boom behind their walls, or will they pile on the pressure and break through the defenses of their opponents?
Created by Chrazini, Sunburn is the winner of the Middle East Map Competition. Sunburn presents players with a unique spawn pattern: They all spawn in a straight diagonal line across the map, with palm forests filling the space between them. Large groups of elephants can be found away from the palm forests, and there are many close berries to help players make up for their single close elephant. There’s also multiple tiers of pocket positions in the larger team games. How will players adapt to this unique map, will they boom up behind their teammates using the elephants, or will players use the the extra elephants and player spawn distances to pressure their opponents?