The Black Forest
is also a map setting in Age of Empires 2
. While most maps are designed as plains
with the occasional forest area, this map is built as a big forest with plains in it. You begin in one of the opening
s of the forest (there are as many openings as there are players). There are clear paths to where your allies
This has gotten the status of "newbie's level" for some very obvious reasons.
The fact that all movement between cities is made in small paths makes this map ridicolously easy to defend, and a game on this map will often go on and on far into the Imperial Age if the players are even close to being equally good. You only need 3-4 stone walls to have a very hard-to-beat defense in the Feudal Age. You can get one single castle (unless you happen to have two paths leading away from your country) in the Castle Age and nobody will be able to take you. In the Imperial Age you'll only need some fast ground troops to defend against trebuchets. Therefore, it also eliminates most of the stone mining aspect of the game (I always thought that was hard - stone is hard to get, generally, and it's near impossible to build up a good defense without it (YMMV)).
It will render you immune to rushing. Nobody's going to gamble away his production just to make a rush when it's so easily defended against. I.e. you don't have to be fast to stand a chance. Speed is, generally, the hardest thing to get right when you start playing ANY RTS.
Still, it's not as bad as most veteran players make it out. It can be good for some fun - Siege Onager duels in a Black Forest are really fun. The really epic battles you'll many times end up having are a lot more fun and varied than the endless feudal rushes you see on other maps. And it IS a good learning level.