Semi Arid



Represents such as the Mesopotamian or Fertile Crescent river valleys.


  • This map has all the characteristics of Desert except that it is a better watered map, therefore greener, and it rains more frequently in summer to include infrequently in winter.
  • Usually better endowed with forest trees and animals and somewhat lesser endowed with stone, this map is very well endowed with ore making it a 'rich' land.
  • Nor will this map have a lot of cliffs and canyons on it but instead broad river courses running through semi-arid lands and much land that is amenable to farming for some distance from fresh water courses.
  • Note that the land “dries out” proceeding away from a river.
  • Also note that Semi-Arid biome maps are limited to elevations heights of mid-level and below, low-level about oases in the desert, or marshes, lakes and ponds that may appear at either side of a river course and not far from it.
  • If there are parallel rivers on the map there are no uplands in between.

Typical Semi-Arid type variations:

  • Fortress
  • Nomadic
  • Herocide

Elevation Meshes

  • Primary (Lowlands).
  • Secondary (Midlands).
  • Quaternary (Ocean Floor).

Semi-Arid Land types:

3.7.1. Cradle of Civilization

  • Characterized by 2 rivers running from the head of the Persian Gulf northward.
  • They then meander apart and then towards one another again approximately parallel to one another, dividing the map into 3 approximately equal parts.
  • Marshy near the end of the gulf where the 2 rivers come together with some shallows crossings, permitting access to either of the 3 landmasses.
  • Civilization divided to either side of the rivers with the land between the rivers leaving a 'no man's land' initially belonging to no one.
  • There can also be a few otherwise barren but ore-rich islands near the head of the Persian Gulf that are 'there for the taking' not being an integral part of any civ territory.

3.7.2. Syria

  • A plains and slightly rolling highlands map.
  • Randomly may or may not have a river with shallows running through it (if it doesn't, is a less defensible and faster map).
  • Sort of a cross between Green Arabia and Highland maps in Age of Kingdoms.
  • Well balanced in provincial resourcing in accordance with the overall specification for this map category.
  • Civilization Territories are divided proportionately on the map.

Semi-Arid Water types:

3.7.3. Fertile Crescent

  • Essentially the same map as Cradle of Civilization except that numerous canals branch off of the two rivers running in roughly parallel stems 'downriver' bringing even more land into that which is highly desirable for farming (pushing the desert frontier back further away from the rivers).
  • Sometimes they reconnect with the river of water source and sometimes not (though none connect the two rivers directly).
  • Though the main rivers are broad enough to support any ships maneuver the canals are narrow and only support the passage of the smallest ships, e.g., merchantman and bireme.
  • Some shallows permit crossing of the canals in places but there are no shallows on the main rivers themselves necessitating water transport over them.
  • Shallows do also exist crossing the marshlands at the lower portion of the map just at where the 2 rivers come together to open onto the northern end of the Persian Gulf.
  • There can also be a few otherwise barren but ore-rich islands near the head of the Persian Gulf that are 'there for the taking' not being an integral part of any civ territory.
  • Civilization territorially divided appropriately to the map on either side of and/or between the main river courses.