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"Campaign Maps (In The Manner Of A Board Game)" Topic

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Gallocelt28 Oct 2019 8:57 p.m. PST

I like the idea of using a map as a generator for war games. Of course, this means a campaign as the rival forces maneuver towards one another. I always liked the Avalon Hill style of maps. Brings back fond memories. Wanting do do something with the wars of Louis XIV I decide to map the most contested areas of the "Spanish Netherlands" as well as some of Northern France. I plan to print this up in full color and paste (Mod Podge) this to a two wooden sheets of ply.

Anyone else attempt something like this? Any suggestions, dos and don'ts?

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2019 5:20 a.m. PST

Tried it once a long time ago. Keeping it as hexes got into arguments as to what was hills, forests, forested hills… Turned it into an area movement game, like the old SPI Borodino. That worked.

Gallocelt29 Oct 2019 7:09 a.m. PST

Interesting. I happen to have the old SPI game Borodino. :)

Yes, I would use the theater map for more strategic movement and then make an area map for the actual battles.

The hexes I would make as an overlay – a layer in Photoshop. I could convert to a square grid instead. Not sure which is best. Any thoughts on this?

I plan to use 15mm Khurasan WSS miniatures on special bases for my map counters.

parrskool29 Oct 2019 9:18 a.m. PST

have you had a look at Realtimes wargames website? They do a WSS campaign I think with maps , etc.

Gallocelt29 Oct 2019 10:22 a.m. PST

Hi parrskool. I'm not familiar with that website and unfortunately, I couldn't find it online. Is it the same as "Wargame Vault"?

Dodgyknees the Greek29 Oct 2019 4:32 p.m. PST

They are on Wargames Vault.


mghFond29 Oct 2019 10:00 p.m. PST

Lots of interesting rules available. Would love to know if anyone has tried them and actually finished a campaign?

parrskool30 Oct 2019 7:30 a.m. PST

.. Yes. That's the one!

They are on Wargames Vault.

link link

Walking Sailor30 Oct 2019 7:32 a.m. PST

So I clicked that link. Talk about a way not to do a line up! Icons too small to read and the text underneath that is not a definitive description (e.g. period, or year numbers). If I need to click and unclick my way through that line to determine which rules are which period… well I didn't… so no sale there. The publisher should have checked his add copy.

Interestingly, he does have the information on his web site. link

Gallocelt30 Oct 2019 8:42 a.m. PST

I had about the same experience, Walking Sailor. I also checked the link you provided. It certainly gave me more info but I didn't see much about maps. The WSS campaign seems to be done with cards.

I'll continue working on my map. I think I'll be using hexes although they are a lot harder to place number/letter coordinates. In my next post I should be able to post a small section of my map.

Gallocelt31 Oct 2019 7:27 a.m. PST

So here's a small part of the map:


When opposing forces come into contact a tabletop setting will be made based on more detailed maps of the area.



Gallocelt22 Nov 2019 7:11 a.m. PST

Going through some boxes of things from my distant past, I discovered some old Les Higgins Marlburian miniatures. It occurred to me that since I had never put those figures to any use, they would make interesting game pieces, counters to be moved about on my campaign map. They are 20mm, so a nice size to work with.



edmuel200013 Dec 2019 7:47 a.m. PST

You can get the the Columbia "Napoleon" map which would provide a good point-to-point/road campaign map of the same general area:


Go to the following page to where you find the jpg which you can expand and save. I'm assuming that since this is a Columbia Games website that they are okay with sharing this material:


Gallocelt14 Dec 2019 11:09 p.m. PST

Hi Ed,

That is a nice map. I've about finished mine and I will certainly compare the two. Eventually I plan to make maps of various parts of Europe. Thank you for the link.



Rawdon02 Jan 2020 8:33 a.m. PST

Galloceit, can you be more specific about how you are generating your hex-based map?

Gallocelt03 Jan 2020 11:13 a.m. PST

Hi Rawdon,

Yes, I can certainly tell you more about my map. I'm not sure what I'm doing is the best but I think it will serve my purposes. I'm still experimenting . . .

I use several maps including Google satellite maps to get things fairly correct. I also try to find topographical maps of the area. I make the actual map in Photoshop, a different layer for roads, rivers, hills, etc. The hexes were generated in Adobe Illustrator and imported into Photoshop. I think one can do this in Photoshop as there is a polygon tool in that program. Since my map is for a specific time period I research each town or city to make sure it is there at the time my map depicts. In several cases I discovered certain towns didn't exist till after the Napoleonic Wars, so they could not be included on my map. I'm hoping my map will be good for the Thirty Years War, the Eighty Years War, and the Wars of Louis XIV (War of Devolution, Franco-Dutch War, LOA and WSS).

Hope this helps . . .



thehawk04 Feb 2020 10:42 p.m. PST

Red Sash Games' games have maps for the 18th century. Digital downloads are available. The artwork is a bit weird for my tastes but the maps could be redrawn.

Gallocelt08 Mar 2020 10:17 a.m. PST

I've just finished waterproofing my campaign map so it's ready to be used (and photographed.) My markers that represent army groups are painted but still need to be based.

Here we see a British army group north of the Lys River in the Spanish Netherlands. French and Spanish are also present. Note the marker number in the base of the Spaniard marker near Tournai. He represents the 3rd Spanish army group. The gamer decides which infantry battalions, cavalry squadrons and artillery will travel in each numbered army group.


Next, a closeup of the British north of the Lys (British army group #1.)


Finally, we have two Austrian army groups (#1 & #2) north of the Meuse River. A Bavarian army group awaits at Phillippeville.




Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP09 Mar 2020 8:11 a.m. PST

I've thought about this approach, for my fantasy mass battles games, back in the late 1990's. I decided that running a board game, would lead to players making decisions would lead to long delays (likely taking too long -- I had a very indecisive group of players…), plus they would make decisions I would feel unrealistic for the powers involved. They would want information on resources available, which is fair, but it would amplify the complexity, very quickly.

In the end, I decided that I could use the map system, like your proposed scheme, to generate tabletop battles myself, according to what I believed would be proper. I realized that my end goal was to generate tabletop battles, allowing players to husband their forces from battle to battle, with periodic reinforcements becoming available (losses would reduce the number of figures for each Unit, from game to game). I realized that the whole was too big, too complex, to entrust to the players. It would also require too much effort on my part, to manage the resources for so many groups, in a believable manner.

My solution was to hand-wave all of that behind-the-scenes stuff, which would not be appreciated, or managed in a timely manner, by my players. It would become too complex, too cumbersome, and it would lead to a complete failure, within a few months, if that long.

Your mileage may vary, as each group is unique. I would, however, suggest you run it through your mind, in totality of scope, and honestly evaluate how deep you wish to go into the weeds for your desired goal of creating tabletop scenarios.

By the way, I love your maps, and your markers. I love the concept, but the scope creep on this approach, may get out of control, quickly. Plan and evaluate, carefully, first. Cheers!

Gallocelt09 Mar 2020 8:25 p.m. PST

I think my maps will reflect a certain nostalgia for Avalon Hill games that I played in my youth. They also help me better visualize the geography of the theatre of operations. I haven't worked out mechanics to any great extent. I don't plan to get too bogged down in the details. My biggest problem will be to simulate "fog of war." I was thinking a player could present an inaccurate list of each army group to the enemy, or no list at all if the groups are far enough away. My main goal was to finish the map and markers (figures) and see if this would be a visually pleasing manner of campaigning. My next map will be of the Rhine River area. I would like it to represent the time period between the Thirty Years War and the Napoleonic Wars.



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