I think the theme is quite good, I actually got two in my opinion decent ideas for it:
First idea- a medieval village with a few destroyed medieval houses and a river. The theme here lies in the fact, that in the water reflection all the houses are intact as they were years before destruction.
The second idea was a bit more simple- a damaged clock-tower, where trough the cracks and missing bricks you can see the inside. And in there, rather than just gears, you see a desert with gears stuck in the "sands of time"
Both ideas require a little imagination to get them work, but it's possible and if done properly they would look awesome. Ironically, due to my mod work as well as university I don't have the actual time or desire to participate in map battles..
The point I tried to make here, is that anyone can make something for any theme, the problem is whether people have time or motivation to participate.
So, if you want for map battles to be popular, you should think more on how to motivate people to want to participate (rewards, rankings, a spotlight on the front page or stuff like that).
At least that's what I think about this