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850 hits since 21 Sep 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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ODGW Kenny Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Sep 2017 8:37 a.m. PST

…. Can I use to create 2D terrain and maps.

Thanks in advance.

forwardmarchstudios22 Sep 2017 8:46 a.m. PST

Do you intend to print them out afterwards? Or use them only on a computer? Also, how realistic do you want the map to be? I'm working on a way to do this for a set of Napoleonic rules.


The first two maps were made with paper squares beneath plexiglas, with contour lines drawn on with markers on the glass.

ODGW Kenny Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Sep 2017 9:17 a.m. PST

Yes, I intend to print them at a professional printer. The more realistic the better.


Skarper22 Sep 2017 9:22 a.m. PST

Any good drawing package will do. Photoshop is the best known but expensive. There are many free ones too. I use Seashore but is is out of date and not supported any more. Still works though.

Once you have an app you can get along with, make sure you use layers and save your basic files. If you want to move a river or add some trees it will be easier if you have saved the layers. May be an obvious point but I didn't at first and it was a right pain trying to fix it later.

emckinney22 Sep 2017 9:54 a.m. PST

If you're asking this question, the needed skills will take a long, long time to learn.

Check out the Board Games Maps topic on CSW link or look for similar topics on BGG.

forwardmarchstudios22 Sep 2017 6:21 p.m. PST

You can also make maps pretty easily by using poster frames and permanent markers. I made this map board in about ten minutes.


As you can see, there is a plethora of very complex terrain on there. I didn't even have to plan it out; that's the beauty of doing maps by hand. You just add contour lines until it feels right, then figure out all the subtleties during game play. Of course, you need to be able to figure out LOS on a map like this. It's easy enough once you learn how to do it. The simple stuff can be figured out with an easy on-board test, and really complicated questions can be determined with a piece of graph paper in a minute or two. Maybe less. If you're practiced.

UshCha23 Sep 2017 12:38 a.m. PST

emckinney has it, digital drawing is a skill like scratch building. CADDS wise I think you can get Turdocad 3 or similar which allows precise 2D drawings but is not a painting package and ist free.

Personal logo timurilank Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2017 5:39 a.m. PST


Excellent references at that link.
I liked the options offered at the University of Paris.


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Sep 2017 8:59 p.m. PST

Campaign Cartographer is one.

Russ Lockwood24 Sep 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

I'd recommend Hexographer. Upside: Easy to use 2D program. Downside: graphics fill hexes and icons are like old SPI from 70s and 80s. Still $32 USD, if I recall right. I *recall* (dangerous) an online version for free testing.

Note: He has a new version with much, much, much better graphics in beta. Can't wait for a 1.0 version!

You can print with or without hexgrids. I am not sure how large you can go -- question better asked of the programmer.

I also own his Cityographer and Dungeonographer.

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