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View Full Version : How best to Battlemat large maps



Allyn
02-26-2009, 11:48 AM
I need some input from folks who use battlemats. I have a large map. The dimensions of the area are about 1000x700 feet. It's a palisaded enclosure. I've printed battlemats for the floorplans of the key buildings in the enclosure, but I'm unsure how to handle the overview map. If it is printed in 8x10 tiles with 1" = 5ft, that would be 20 tiles by 14 tiles. That's a lot of tiles and I don't see that being useful to folks who use battlemats.

How best should an area this large be handled to make it usable? Some of the possible solutions I've considered are:

1) Print to PDF this overview map 1" = 10 feet
2) Print one large PDF with a 5' grid on it so the GM can see the spatial relationships between the buildings, but he's not expected to actually print the map, and will only use the floorplan battlemats for the individual buildings.
3) Print it as it is and let folks decide whether they want to spend ink on 280 pages of map tiles.

torstan
02-26-2009, 11:55 AM
I'd suggest creating one relatively small map showing the distances and relations between areas. Then a GM can print out the individual locations where battles actually take place and if he's really keen, he can place them an accurate distance apart with a tape measure.

I'm sure that if you created a 280 page pdf that there would be people who would print it, but I think this is a very small minority. I think even the 70 page 10'=1 inch map is pushing it.

Midgardsormr
02-26-2009, 01:10 PM
I agree with torstan. 1000 X 700' is really too big for a reasonable tactical encounter. It would make a very nice two-page strategic map at 11" x 17", though. Key points could then be rendered at battlemat scale: Gates, a section of wall, and buildings where fighting is likely to occur.

Allyn
02-26-2009, 01:22 PM
So if I put a one square = 5 foot grid on it and then print it to 4 tiles (two by two 8x10 tiles) and call it a strategy map, folks that use battlemaps will be able to utilize it?

torstan
02-26-2009, 01:24 PM
As long as the squares are readable, I'd say yes.

ukgpublishing
03-03-2009, 04:57 PM
You'd be surprised what people will print.

The largest battlemap product I have out currently is a scifi product of a space station. The entire thing is just over 300 pages and is one of our best selling scifi plans. This is multiple decks of course, but even then the main deck is about 6 feet across printed.

The longest is a freighter which is about 10 feet long printed.

These are on 5' = 1" scale.

Of course I have a huge map in the pipeline (been in the pipeline about 2 years now) which is a shopping mall complex (clean and zombie version for Dawn of the Dead games) and this is currently looking at being about 20' qu printed. If I ever manage to finish is of course.

Laters

John

RPMiller
03-18-2009, 11:07 AM
Those types of maps really show the strength of a VTT. I can save on printing by simply dropping them into a VTT and playing on them that way. I can move around easily in the map and do not have to worry about table/floor space. I would be curious if people are actually printing the maps or are using them in a VTT.

That mall one sounds incredible!!! It could easily be used in any modern setting. I would likely use it in a Superhero game.

Redrobes
03-18-2009, 03:37 PM
Yeah use a VTT and just zoom to the area your battling in. One of the areas I find a VTT best for is for battles outdoors with bows. The range on a bow is very long but you can still do these no problem with spaced out minis. It really changes the dynamic when you have a large group of goblins with short bows off to one side giving cover to a the main force. You can try to close that 200' no mans land if you like...

I like playing rogues a lot so always liked the bow but often you don't get a chance to use it effectively cos the battles are set up so that your half closed into combat by the map the DM has for the encounter. There was another time I remember where in old D&DV2 one of the party had a monk with extremely fast move rate but it never came into play unless there was the space to work it.

I don't do modern stuff but I imagine that it would make even more of a difference with artillery and snipers.

RPMiller
03-18-2009, 03:41 PM
I don't do modern stuff but I imagine that it would make even more of a difference with artillery and snipers.

Or Super Speedsters and Energy Projectors. ;)

Ceraus
05-07-2009, 04:22 AM
Those types of maps really show the strength of a VTT. I can save on printing by simply dropping them into a VTT and playing on them that way. I can move around easily in the map and do not have to worry about table/floor space. I would be curious if people are actually printing the maps or are using them in a VTT.

That mall one sounds incredible!!! It could easily be used in any modern setting. I would likely use it in a Superhero game.

Agree with all of the above (including the mall). I figure people use printable material in their VVT and use VTT objects and tilesets to make printable maps.

The best part, though: no minis. I know they're beautiful to look at and fun to manipulate, but they're really limiting. They force you to use their scale and lose much worth when paired with minis that don't corrrespond to the creature they represent or just with things other than minis.

Over the years, I've seen in use minis, LEGO figures, LEGO blocks, coins, assorted junk and chess pieces.

Switching to VTT, you can just put a relevant border (I like blue for players, red for enemies) around an easily-editable image found on the internet. I use World of Warcraft icons for humanoids, representing them as their weapon of choice (very efficient). Monsters just get their picture framed.

RPMiller
05-07-2009, 11:01 AM
You might want to take a look at Token Tool from RPTools (see link in sig) if you haven't already. It can make pog style tokens uber fast and easy. They can be used in any VT as well, not just MapTool although if you use it with MapTool you can drag the created token right from TokenTool and drop it in MapTool instantly. Pretty sweet.