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Thread: The Great War Map (WIP)

  1. #11
      ravells is offline
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    Following on from what Gidde and Ascension were saying, I'm with the 'too dominant coastlines' school. I think the usual convention for rail lines is that they are black (with or without little cross lines), but it's just a convention. Would it make any sense (any relevance?) to capitalise the lettering for capital cities? Or maybe distinguish the dot in some way (e.g. make it a square?). If capital cities have no 'in game' relevance, then I guess not.

  2. #12
      jetfx is offline
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    Here's another version of the map. The coastlines were definitely too dominant, so I toned down the line weight of the contour effect to match that of the lakes. I pumped up the contrast on the relief to make it stand out better. I figured out how to make my country outlines fade away from the borders to completely transparent, so the effect on the borders makes them easier to see, while not obscuring the underlying terrain within countries. Before, I could only get the colour to fade to white and I applied a partial transparency on the whole thing, which was not ideal. I changed the desert colour, but I'm not sure I'm happy with it. And there were some other minor changes like toning down sea zone lines and altering forest colour slightly.

    I didn't change the railroads at all in the end, and I realize that they are not the usual cartographic standard, but considering there is going to be a lot of text placement, and other symbology (cities, industry, resources, forts, naval bases), making them black with cross ties I think would add to the clutter, and harder to see.

    The cities and associated text you saw in the screen grab of the coastlines are not yet final. After getting these base map elements done, that's my next step. Cities will have a symbol more evocative of an urban area, its size, industrial capacity, etc. Capitals will have have their names entirely in uppercase, while I'm undecided if I will use a text hierarchy for other classes of cities yet, as I have a lot of text to place correctly.

    Looks fantastic but that's a LOT of hexes!!! Have you played 'Paths of Glory' by GMT games? Best WWI wargame I've ever played.
    A huge number of hexes was what I was aiming for, to give players a lot of room for maneuver. This won't be a game you can play in an afternoon or evening, and is aimed at play by email, partly because the group I used to play board games with moved away to all different places, partly so I can play new people, and partly because the pace of email games allows for a much greater degree of complexity. It's not just the military aspect of WWI, but in includes economics, diplomacy, espionage, technological development, politics, and if things go badly for your country, revolution. Every player will have to keep track of a few record sheets for their country, but it will be a bit more fun than doing your taxes, and no strain on your finances, as I intend to offer the game for free.

    I haven't actually played 'Paths of Glory', but have heard good things about it. I have played 'Storm of Steel' by Decision Games, which my board game started as attempt to rework some of the rules and fix what I felt were flaws in the system (most especially naval warfare). Now however, it's a very different game which shares some core ideas, but radically differs in the details.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The Great War Map (WIP)-europe2.jpg  

  3. #13
      Gidde is offline
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    Ah, yes, the coastlines look MUCH better now. And the railroads really look fine, as long as you've got a legend that explains the red line = a railroad. They're visible without being overpowering.

  4. #14
      timallen is offline
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    Impressive!

    Just one thing: by creating such a detailed map, you might end up with problems with where exactly things are. For instance, in the blown up portion, the city dot for Antwerp is right on the corner of three hexes. Which hex is it considered to be in? Or would it be in all three? Same question with rivers, mountains, or borders. If a border goes through a hex (rather than along the edge) does that mean that you can have multiple armies in the same hex? I"m not trying to downplay the time and effort you have put into this amazing map; I"m just thinking out loud, so-to-speak, as an old hex-and-counter wargamer.

    OK after re-reading all the post, I will assume you have taken these things into account.

    BTW, You really should think about giving Paths of Glory a try; I heartily concur- its one of the best wargames I have ever played.

    So, if you are planning on making this a email-able game, may I ask if you are going to use one of the computer-assistance programs specifically made for emailing turn based games, like VASSAL, Cyberboard, or Zun Tzu?
    Last edited by timallen; 01-12-2011 at 02:45 PM.

  5. #15
      ravells is offline
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    It's great to see more contributions to the boardgame side of guild. Tim has been pretty much holding up this sub-forum on his own!

  6. #16
      jetfx is offline
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    Here's a semi update of the map. I've started work on placing names and adding the city symbols. So far the British Isles, the Low Countries and Northern France are done. The city symbol comes in three different sizes to represent the relative populations of cities at the time. I'm aiming for a good degree of historical accuracy for city size, so if something looks out of place tell me. I've been moving cities and railroads clearly into a single hex to prevent confusion playing the game, so in some circumstances, cities aren't exactly where they should be. At some point, I'm going to have to do this to the rivers, putting them on hex edges so they can be properly used as defensive bonuses.

    Currently, I'm getting the text placed so that it is at least clear to read, but I'll have to make another pass later to make it more elegant. If anyone isn't clear which feature a piece of text is labeling, tell me please.

    So, if you are planning on making this a email-able game, may I ask if you are going to use one of the computer-assistance programs specifically made for emailing turn based games, like VASSAL, Cyberboard, or Zun Tzu?
    I've looked into it a little before, but I'm not quite sure about where to start with those programs. At this point, I'm aiming at getting the map and rules done, and then I'll look closer at the software. I just hope I'm not setting myself up for a lot more work by not planning them in from the start.

    If anyone is curious, my city symbol is roughly traced off of a 1933 Ordnance Survey map of Cheltenham in the UK.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The Great War Map (WIP)-uk_names.jpg   The Great War Map (WIP)-uk_names2.jpg  
    Last edited by jetfx; 01-13-2011 at 10:12 PM. Reason: Ugh, that first jpeg does no justice to the detail of the city symbols.

  7. #17
      Gidde is offline
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    I see what you mean with the rivers, but I like the text placement fonts/placement so far, and the cities look natural even if they aren't quite where they'd otherwise be. Can't wait to see this finished, it's a huge undertaking!

  8. #18
      Meridius is offline
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    This is certainly a lovely map, but as a Dutch person I have a slight problem with it, or rather, several problems.

    You commented on how many lakes are 'manmade' and did not exist in 1914-1918. Us Dutchies have always wanted to be 'different' and did things the other way around; you may or may not know us for our sometimes ridiculous feats of land reclamation. A famous Asian (Hong Kong) airport was built on Dutch land-reclamation technology, and those famous land-reclamation resorts in Dubai are also a result of Dutch engineers at work.

    However, we (as in: our nation) did NOT get this handy with land reclamation by just standing here, and building a few dikes. The word 'land reclamation' already says it: (re-)claiming land from the sea. But as mentioned our engineers did not get this good at it from nothing. However, the truly impressive projects where sparked by a flood in 1916... World War I was halfway by then (though the Netherlands where neutral).

    This took some planning... The first project was the diking of the 'Wieringermeerpolder' construction started, in 1927... (it is the most North-west red shaded area). At the same time, construction started on the 'Afsluitdijk' (Enclosure dike), which is the dike I shaded out. The dike/dam (32 km long, and 90 meters wide) was finished in 1933, and the land in the Wieringermeerpolder became usable in 1934.

    In 1937, the reclamation of the 'Noordoostpolder' (North-east polder), directly south of Leeuwarden, started. The largest area (most south) is actually the largest artificial island in the world (it is separated from the coast by a narrow strip of water), and construction did not start until 1957 for the first part and 1968 for the second part. Flevoland became a separate province in 1986. It's total area is 1419 square kilometres... all reclaimed land.

    However, these dates imply that this rather large patch of land, and this long dike should not be on your World War I map. But you're not the worst offender BY FAR... I've seen these structures even on supposedly medieval maps

    I'm certain you can find more accurate maps than the rough crossing I did, and you may even choose not to include this as The Netherlands did not really participate in WW I, but I wanted to get it out anyway ^_^

    The Great War Map (WIP)-attachment.jpg

    edit: There are MANY more polders in the Netherlands which where not yet reclaimed at the time of WW1, but these are the most major, and probably the only ones really standing out on your scale, though there are several projects about the size of the Wieringermeerpolder or only a little smaller.
    Last edited by Meridius; 02-21-2011 at 06:05 AM.

  9. #19
      jetfx is offline
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    Sorry about the belated reply. I've been busy with school, and not really been paying attention to the community here.

    Embarrassingly, I had kind of forgotten about the possible impact of Dutch land reclamation on their coastline. So thanks for the heads up, because now I can alter it, based on this map of Western Europe from 1922. I'll have to check for other areas in Europe and the Middle East for land reclamation, although I don't think it would be as extensive as the Netherlands.

    While the Netherlands was neutral historically, the game does allow players to change that. For example, earlier versions of the German war plan, the Schlieffen Plan involved invading the Netherlands, so it is plausible that players could do something similar.

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