Saturday, 28 March 2009

Campaign Strategic maps

having read my previous post, I realise how complicated it all sounds. Actually its quite simple, and I thought a step by step guide, with illustrations, might help.
Step One - Get a Road Map
The larger the campaign area, the more work involved. But the principle involved is the same for one small country or the whole world! I wanted to cover the whole of Europe for my Campaign area. It should include France, modern Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Portugal. So the ideal basic Road Map for me was a copy of the AA Road Atlas of Europe.
The only problem with a modern road map is that it provides too much information. Its main aim is to show the current road system. However it also shows major rivers and is shaded to show mountain ranges. Each page shows the adjoining pages, making it easy to create a single map of the whole of Europe. The only thing I changed at this stage was to highlight rivers, as they do not stand out very well.

Step Two - Make Photocopies of the area required
There are three reasons for this. First I wanted to make A4 size pages of the maps. Second I wanted to highlight the roads, rivers, national boundaries, mountain ranges and important cities and towns. Third I wanted to impose a new grid so to make it easy to find adjacent pages. I decided to use the modern motorway system as my major road system. Minor roads would play no part in the campaign.

Step Three - Create a hand drawn map of each road map page
This is the most time consuming part of the process. But once done it provides a basic, uncluttered map of your campaign area. This map has the same grid reference as the previous map. This is so that you can refer to the detailed road map for each square when required. If you require further information you could also find the area on Google Earth.

Step Four - Create a hand drawn map of the actual campaign area
It is likely that to cover the required campaign area, say from Berlin to Hamburg, a number of the previous maps would be required. So I make a special map for each campaign area. Again it is A4 size, and covers an area of 280 x 200 miles. Each square on this map is 20 x 20 miles, and I use this as one days march for campaign purposes. I realise that this is rather slow movement, but allows for rest days etc. The grid is the same as for previous maps, but in addition the top line is marked A to N, this is so that the grid reference for each square is a letter and a number, for example Berlin would be N7. All corps and army movement is done on this map.

In my next post I will explain how the action is transferred from the Strategic Map to the Tactical Map, which shows the actual wargame tables.

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