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Whiterook
01-21-2009, 05:49 PM
Hi all!

I just found this site the other night, when I found a link to the site to a thread on Axis & ALlies Miniatures maps. I was immediately intrigued by this great site! In truth, I have always loved anything to do with maps/cartography...and can be lost in a map or atlas for hours on end. Just something about them do it for me. I used to be a Draftsman....board, and later CAD....so I am sure that has a tie in.

I am a Fine Artist, and that would be another tie in. I think maps are wonderful works of art in their own right, in my humble opinion. I love to draw, but am a painter, primarily. I am also an avid Gamer, board and miniatures, and have always wanted to design and produce my own game maps...perhaps my own games some day as well! I am a Moderator of a game section on a WWII site, designing the section from scratch, and one of the things we do there is play games online, where the Gamemaster recieves orders from the gamers via PM, and takes photos of the action and posts a running SitRep for the community to follow along. I mention this because, I started my own Axis & Allies Miniatures game, and one of the tools I gave the gamers was to post a diorama game map of the battlefield they are playing on, using a graphics program called HexDraw. I've only started using HexDraw, so it's nothing fancy; but it is certainly more than I ever thought possible, for my limited knowledge of game board design. It was so much fun! I am hooked on designing maps!!!

I realize there may be much better programs or methods out there...or perhaps not. That's what I am here for...to learn from your experiences (beginners or masters), maybe share some of my experiences for those that can tolerate my "newbieness", and plain have fun reading along.

I look forward to exploring more of the site, and meeting many of you. :)

Ascension
01-21-2009, 06:04 PM
Welcome...we'd certainly like to see some of those maps and many of us would like to know more about HexDraw (as it's not one of the more common things we usually use). The A & A game we play on is from like 1986 (when we first started playing) so it has all of the lil plastic tanks and planes and ships...didn't know there were minis nowadays.

Steel General
01-21-2009, 06:22 PM
Welcome Aboard!

Whiterook
01-21-2009, 06:35 PM
WOW...that was quick! Thanks so much for the welcome...I appreciate it!

Being new here, I haven't yet got a handle on each of the sub-forums here, so: I assume Software Discussion would be the appropriate area to post a thead on HexDraw? And I'd love to share pics of my diorama wih the HexDraw map...just be kind, as it's probably pretty lightweight, compared to what you all post, ha haaa! ;)


Yeah, Axis & Alles Miniatures is put out by Wizards of the Coast, which is a subsidiary of Hasbro. The miniatures are 15mm in scale so, a typical tank can be anywhere from an inch to larger. They are pre-painted, and made of plastic. The game itself is played on maps with a hex grid superimposed on it; but the game I am hosting is on a diorama I built....I pen & ink sketched it initially, and then bought HexDraw about the same time I was developing the scenario, and used the HexDraw map to build the diorama, and as an aid to players to get a "lay of the land", as well as figure out rough distances, as each hex equals three inches.

ravells
01-21-2009, 07:08 PM
Welcome to the Guild....when you get bored of A&A give Advanced Squad Leader a try ;)

Great to have you here, Whiterook, and, well with your fine art/drafting background (how much more perfect training can you get for fantasy cartography?), I think you'll be teaching all of us a thing or two from the get go!

RobA
01-21-2009, 08:10 PM
Hia Whiterook!

Hexdraw looks like a nice little tool! It seems similar to Heavy Metal Map (http://www.heavymetalpro.com/HMMap_Features.htm).

Feel free to write a a bit and post a sample map or two, and add it to the List of Mapping Software thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1407).

-Rob A>

Steel General
01-21-2009, 09:12 PM
Would love to see a pic of your diorama.

Hoel
01-22-2009, 05:51 AM
Welcome. Nice to see a fellow wwii gamer here. I play micro, ASL and a bunch of the old numbered confetti type strategy games but have thought about A&A minis for a while.

Whiterook
01-22-2009, 05:51 PM
Thanks everyone!!! What a great welcome...the sign of a great web forum! :)

I certainly will post some pictures of my diorama and HexDraw map next time I'm on my desktop computer...I'm on my laptop at the moment. And I will also contribute what I can about HexDraw....I'm new to that particular software, but it's very user friendly. Heavy Metal Map looks very interesting! Looks like it has a lot more options available right off the bat than HexDraw does, though with HexDraw, you can build your own "Library" of graphics that you design and import in. To me, HexDraw maps are very similar to Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) style maps...or at least the level of Squad Leader.

Oooooooh yeah, quite familiar with ASL! Own all but 2 of the modules (Code of Bushido eludes my purchase, and one other I can't remember at the moment. I own a copy of the original ASLRB (rule book), and a new 2nd edition still in cello. I slog through it, and will be slogging through it for life, probably :D One of those things that you never read through and get it all first go! INcidently, for those Red Sox Nation folks out there...the Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is a HUGE ASL fan and player, and took the ASLRB on the road with him, purportedly even tagging along to the Bull Pen! He attends many tourneys, in fact! He loves the system so much that when Avalon Hill went under, and the future of ASL was in doubt, he founded Multi Man Publishing, which has carried on the title, and he still plays a major in the development or the game.

I can't recommend Axis & Allies Miniatures enough to folks. There is, as with anything, a best strategy for purchasing your units, but either way you go about it, I don't think you can go wrong....especially if you never played miniatures! Just my humble opinion.

NeonKnight
01-23-2009, 01:02 PM
Welcome to the Guild.

I tried the A&A miniature game. It was fun.