Eisenbach Phase Tactical Map
The tactical map is the most important, because it dictates what scenery will appear on the wargames table. I have used maps similar to the above for about ten years, and they have provided hundreds of wargames.
There are 108 squares. Top left in each square is the campaign reference number. Top right is the number of the scenic square which makes up the wargames table. When a battle is decided in the campaign the wargames table is set up consisting of nine squares, three wide and three deep. The centre square is normally the point of impact, and consequently the centre of the table.
Squares are repeated, but never within a nine square grid. Therefore a wargames table can be constructed using any nine square grid on the tactical map.
The only disadvantage of this map is that towns are always three squares apart. This was done to make campaign resupply easier, and also because I quite liked having a town in each battle in order to make maximum use of my wargame buildings. However it does result in a lot of town fighting and puts the attacker at a distinct disadvantage.
So I have decided to have more squares between towns and cities.
But at the same time I have decided to reorganise all of the wargames scenery.
In order to understand how the map is designed you need to understand how many different squares there are available.
There are 7 hill squares. Three circular hills, two with road running between and two with hill to one side of road. This does not seem a lot of hills, but I have found to be quite sufficient. I have never used all 7 at once, but have often had tables which seemed to have very restricted movement due to the hills. Because of their construction only one side of a hill square can be used. All other squares are flat, and have different terrain on each side.
There also 7 river squares. Three have roads crossing them, two are straight sections and two are curved. Again I have never felt the need of more river sections. Granted that the bends are a little severe, but I can live with that.
Road and blank squares
There 12 road sections and 10 blank sections. One crossroads, always used for a city or town. Four T junctions and two bends. Five straight sections. In retrospect I could have done with one more T junction, and may even get around to making it someday. However I can always replace a T junction with a woods or broken ground instead.
Ten blank sections are only just enough. Strangely they are the most versatile square, because they are decorated with farms, villages, woods, marsh and very rarely just left blank.
In total there are 21 squares, but using both sides gives me 36 different options.
I created these scenic squares when we moved to Spain, almost eleven years ago. I considered different types of wargame table including professional covers such as hair or felt. But I decided on squares because they gave me the most options and variety. My previous table also used squares, but they were covered in filler and had sunken roads and rivers. They needed constant repair and painting, because the paint would flake off the filler. Jan persuaded me to use flat surface, and this would allow me to use both sides except for the hill squares.
I did a very quick plan of what types and number of squares I would need. I was restricted to 21 squares because that was the maximum I could have either on or under the table. I have a wargames room, but 21 2x2 foot squares take up a lot of space.
I have 21 small cards representing each scenic square. When I plan a new campaign map I use them to make sure that I have sufficient squares to make any combination of table. The general type of scenery is decided by the strategic map. Hills and rivers are similar in size and direction on the tactical map. Major roads follow the same pattern, but I also use a lot of tracks not shown on the strategic map. This is to ensure that the tactical map makes sense.
So the basis scenery squares will remain the same, though the new tactical map will be a little larger. However the buildings will be reorganised in order to make better use of those available. I will explain that next time.