Colonial Line Wars is a tug-of-war style map made by Lithe.585 (NA). The basic concept should be familiar to anyone who's played Nexus Wars, Desert Strike, etc. However, Colonial Line Wars sets itself apart from the pack with its focus on creating a balanced competitive environment and on smaller scale engagements that focus on carefully planned unit composition and positioning rather than massive numbers.
Colonial Line Wars is a 3v3 map with 3 lanes. Each lane has 3 beacons which are controlled by whichever team's units passed over it last. Income is given automatically each spawn, and players can invest to gain additional income based on how many beacons in a specific lane their team holds. Investing in beacon income is critical to win the game in virtually every match, but spending your resources on income too soon can leave you with not enough units to hold the lane, which prevents you from reaping the rewards of that investment. This forms the strategic basis for the whole map, as both teams vie to control the lanes they've invested to gain income in while trying to push back the lanes their opponents are gaining income from.
Units are organized into tiers. At the start of the game, players can only build zerglings or marines. Each new unit must be unlocked by researching a specific upgrade. While a few other units (Reapers, Hydralisks and Zealots) can be researched right off the bat, most units require the player to first research a Tier Upgrade, a costly upgrade which does not unlock any new units directly, but unlocks a new series of upgrades to acquire new units. Teching takes both time and money, and while teching, a player cannot buy additional income, so deciding when to tech is another important part of the game's strategy.
The units themselves each have modified stats and cost and are carefully balanced to have a variety of hard and soft counters to different unit compositions. In addition to deciding what units to make, it is important to position your buildings carefully, as the units will spawn in the same formation. This leads to a variety of interesting tactics, and clever unit positioning can make up for disadvantages in income or unit composition in some cases. The developer is very active with patching and very attentive to the community's balance discussions, and the map has evolved to a truly impressive level of balance, with no single strategy being dominant and a growing circle of regular, competitive players.
The map can be pretty intimidating for new players unless they're willing to spend a lot of time reading the forums and help menu before expecting to win matches. Recent patches have focused largely on improving newbie-friendliness, with an extensive series of tips in the help menu explaining the game's mechanics, and the game's forums are very active with strategy discussion and many helpful veterans who are happy to answer questions, but none of that is likely to stop you from getting face crushed on your first couple matches (assuming your opponents are not also new). Another important thing to note is that the units have custom stats and don't all fit in the same general role as they do in the melee game. If you've never played before, it can be really hard to predict which units will counter or be countered by which other units. That's one area where the in-game help system could definitely use some refinement, as there is no organized unit guide to display the stats of all the new units, nor is there info about which units counter which.
If you enjoy the tug-of-war genre or are looking for a custom map that you can really sink your teeth into and work to become skilled at, you owe it to yourself to give CLW a try. It generally hovers around the bottom of page one / top of page two on the popularity list, and games rarely take more than a minute or two to fill up except in the absolute slowest of off hour times.
My favorite thing about CLW is how it differs from the two giants of the tug-of-war genre, Nexus Wars and Desert Strike. I don't want anyone to take this as an attack on those maps' authors - they are fun maps and I enjoy playing both of them from time to time - but they really highlight a difference of philosophy that makes CLW great. In both Nexus Wars and Desert Strike, the following two things are true:
1. "Wave stacking" (where the next wave arrives before the previous waves finished fighting) occurs frequently from the very early stages of the game, and the team that's ahead tends to build up momentum until the other side has no chance except to use some sort of 'kill everything' skill.
2. If a match goes to the late game, both sides have absurd numbers of units.
As for #1, it has its place in those other maps and creates a different kind of strategy, but CLW is a refreshing change of pace. The static defenses are pretty robust, and the wave timing is such that waves rarely stack together. If you're way ahead in your lane, you will hold all 3 beacons (allowing you to pump income comfortably) and begin to wear down on the static defenses, but not until at least midgame or so do you have much chance of actually killing their defenses and winning outright. This puts more focus on team strategy and the income war, and creates a lot more possibilities for clever responses to lead to a team that way fairly far behind early on coming back and taking the lead. It has some other effects which are related to point 2:
The smaller army numbers even into late game has a number of advantages. Obviously, it reduces the lag that plagues other maps in this genre (honestly, has anyone ever had a final battle in Desert Strike that *didn't* lag like crazy?), but that's just a side bonus. It means that every decision you make as to what units to build, when and where is important. Even 30 minutes into a match, you can look at what your opponent is doing and decide to try to go for a hard counter, or hedge your bets with a more flexible soft counter, or try a really diverse unit mix to limit the effectiveness of hard counters on both sides. Massing tons of anything is generally a bad idea.
I could go on for hours about all the intricacies of the game; suffice it to say, it's very competitive and very balanced. While it's not at all micro intensive, it doesn't feel like you could play it while asleep or replace the whole user interface with 3 or 4 buttons/sliders. It makes excellent use of conventional RTS concepts like timing, positioning and resource management, while staying true to the tug-of-war genre and all that makes it appealing.
CLW has a [url=http://clw.46.forumer.com/index.php?noportal=1]discussion forum[/url], which the creator uses to discuss ideas with the community. If you try the map out and enjoy it, you should definitely register on the forums and read some threads. I haven't enjoyed a custom map this much since the WC3 days, and it's the first custom map that has me obsessing over strategy, theorycrafting in forums when I'm not playing, and generally doing all the things I do to obsess over ladder! If Day did dailies about CLW, I'd be in heaven.
tl;dr: CLW is an amazing competitive tug-of-war map. You should play it right now, and then you should sign up on the forum and join our growing community!
I agree, one things i dislike about this tug of war is if even one of your players are worse than their opponent, you lose. Mainly because you usually have to use all your money just to keep your lane in check, having to build in someone else's lane will generally result in you falling behind in your own lane and then losing anyways. Which is why I stopped playing this tug.
That depends on the skill level of the opponent. Most of the time, if you have new players on your team against skilled players you will lose for a various amount of reason, including units to send and investments. It has nothing to do with the game itself. I've held a lane before when two double teamed me.
We set up a forums for a reason, there are strategy guides as well as videos of gameplay. New players are welcomed to join to get an edge on the game.
Conclusively, if you think you are a good player, join the CLW channel on the US servers and you'll find decent players as well as some pros waiting for a in house group.
but have u guys tryed COL wars SL!!!?? very very fun to play with friends , more then the original. BUT!!!!! it has a shit loads of bugs , like the THOR that attacs ground as a prioraty insted of AIR! , lol . but much better .
The thor was designed that way, it's not a bug. The air attack is a ability with a cooldown on it with a larger than normal AoE. The SL version is simply newer and is in the process of balancing and such.
Colonial Line Wars is the map I've spent the most time playing so far. I enjoy it a lot, but it did have its share of problems a few months ago. Remember when you could build an infinite amount of Wraiths and you could create a stalemate?
I was going to make a review of Colonial Line wars however this review pretty much says everything :). I agree with solistus in this review and its really fun.
It sucks compared to the old one, I might actually create a new one soon :P dunno yet though, it would be pretty simple to do, but if I create one its going to be like the classic civ wars. I am considering it as 1 of 3 possibilities, if I remake civwars, though I will need a dedicated triggerer.