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map making for wargames

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  • map making for wargames

    Hi, can anyone suggest some source like books, websites etc. with advices on designing good maps for wargames? I'm not talking about the software to create a map, I'm talking about how to create a challenging good map for players.

    Basically I need some advice on where to place different terrain types that create physical contraints to the movements of troops e.g. how many mountains or forests should I place? where should I place the landing beaches? should my rivers have a lot of bridges?

    All of this both from a strategic and operational point of view (although I think from a strategic point of view the thing that matters most is the distribution of wealth among the players, the long-term purchasing power of new units).

    I know this is more an art than a science, but if you have any advice is welcome.
    Thanks
    M

  • #2
    Fictional? Real world battle scenarios? How large a campaign? How long for the campaign? Board game, or computer simulation? Modern world, future warfare, or old world? Brush wars or major conflict?

    Depending on the map size, you would want to place several locations suitable for say beach landings. There should also be good routes for moving troops to the objectives. In addition, choke points and places where ambushes can be set up should be included. That could be water and swamp obstacles - restricts movement of all forces, heavy woods - forces invading forces to leave behind heavy equipment while providing cover for ambushes, urban areas - civilians in the way as well as numerous places to ambush, mountainous areas to block unit movements, etc...

    With several locations for landing and moving forces, this makes the job of the defender to depend on the intelligence to locate where an invasion does take place so his forces can be set up for defense and counter attacking. It allows the attacker to plan routes for invasion and attack dependent on his intelligence of where the defending forces are expected to be located.
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    • #3
      It's for a computer game, definitely mondern/future world. My main interest in this moment are fictional maps but I think that even in real world scenario the map maker has a degree of freedom to make the map more interesting.
      Choke points! I had exactly those in mind but I could not properly define them. I think that a good scenario must have some of them, while also have good routes as you wrote.
      My problem is how to balance all those requirements. That's why I was looking for some example.

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      • #4
        If you are patient and a bit artistic, this software can make just about anything:

        http://www.profantasy.com/products/cc3.asp

        In its forums are a lot of skilled people who probably would work for a commission.

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        • #5
          I know it, but in the end I opted for world builder, it has more realistic output.
          Anyway the software is not an issue, it's really the art of making a map which I miss. Anyway I'll keep looking around.

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          • #6
            Have you tried the website Cartographer's Guild? That's where I go when I want to hire someone to make a map for me.

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            • #7
              Interesting site, I'll post the question there thanks.

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              • #8
                The mobility of your units is the big question. Terrain is only as inhibiting as the units allow it to be.
                If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Freightshaker View Post
                  The mobility of your units is the big question. Terrain is only as inhibiting as the units allow it to be.
                  Sure, but I was thinking about creating a game with mixed units and many specialties, e.g. in the same scenario you could have alpine troops and marines, they clearly would have no penalties in mountains and in beaches respectively.
                  Consider that I'm in the early stages of this project, I feel I'll need some decent maps to test how the engine works in all the possible scenarios.
                  I think that either a cluttered map (fully loaded with every sort of obstacle) and a poor map (with broad areas of well defined terrain types) would distort my judgement and my ideas in the development and fine tuning phases, I definitely need a good inspiration.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                    If you are patient and a bit artistic, this software can make just about anything:

                    http://www.profantasy.com/products/cc3.asp

                    In its forums are a lot of skilled people who probably would work for a commission.
                    Great site! Thanks!
                    http://www.ebay.com/usr/froglevelzcool

                    “The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." - George S. Patton

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                      If you are patient and a bit artistic, this software can make just about anything:

                      http://www.profantasy.com/products/cc3.asp

                      In its forums are a lot of skilled people who probably would work for a commission.
                      Agreed; this is the software Legatus Augusti, TacCovert4 and I have used in the past for our forum games although I would hesitate to claim anything like the experience of expertise shown by the artists on that forum!

                      EDIT: Re-read the OP; in an ideal world, most regions or pieces of ground have a certain integral value that makes them desirable... perhaps this bit of ground gives raw materials while this area down the road helps to refine them and make them more valuable (depends how you're tracking this, doesn't have to have a direct impact on the game - victory or prestige points?) - but holding them both opens up the area to a wide array of threats. So then you have this choke point over there which if taken, will control that side of the player's position and stop any sizable leakage (like a river crossing).

                      Except that's under the shadow of a hill over there, so then there's a reason to seize the hill to secure your previous position and the whole dance begins again.

                      Try to avoid giving 'perfect' positions; if it's valuable economically make sure it isn't too valuable militarily, and if you want a fluid game then try to avoid any 'perfect' defence lines; there's always a way to crack the position if you come at it through certain critical locations.
                      Last edited by Khryses; 12 Mar 14, 02:37.
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                      • #12
                        I'll second the cartographer's guild recommendation.

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