ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay
It really does look well made. The terrain, particularly in the North, looks much more appropriately severe than in earlier works I've seen.
I'm curious about the technique, though. This is the second half-finished map I've seen posted like this, where the map maker fully completes each hex before moving to the next. My practice has always been to do a specific tile over the entire map before moving on to the next tile. So, I do all the coastline first, then all the cities, then all the rivers, etc. I just find it easier - but it may be six of one, half-a-dozen of another. I wonder what the breakdown of the whole map-making community would be on that?
I usually locate the points I want to be sure are on the map, and if likely to be the center of battles, well within its boundaries. I then lay in coastlines, of course. Thereafter (using your lat-long thing, thank you) I usually move in 'blobs' of seven hexes, using Google Earth.* I decide on the terrain for a given hex and its neighbors, move two hexes down, and do that hex and the five of its neighbors that weren't included in the previous blob, and so on. Naturally, one winds up making adjustments so that things are consistent between rows. One doesn't want a hex that actually has fewer trees to be light forest while its more heavily timbered neighbor is 'clear.'
Generally, I do all the terrain at once -- although often I follow rivers and wadis out a few hexes, and something like the Nile gets traced in its entirety all at once. Then too, I try to skip around to some extent, so that my criteria will at least be vaguely uniform. Whatever a 'hill' is, what's a 'hill' in Libya shouldn't be flat ground in Anatolia. This is actually kind of tricky, as in flat areas, one will tend to make really rather minor irregularities significant terrain, while in more rugged stretches, one starts saying 'well, it can't all be mountains.'
Just how rocky is 'rocky'? An area may well be sandy, but if the sand's only a few inches deep, is it militarily significant? Militarily significant enough to justify doubling the movement cost?
These and other profound questions trouble the map maker. Like, if one applies the same standards that one would use for most 'wadis' in the Western Desert, then you might as well use the 'fill' function when it comes to 'wadis' in parts of eastern Anatolia and western Iran. All hexes would be 'wadi' (and other things). Sometimes I ask myself 'what's militarily most important here?' If it's the swamp, then I'll just have to skip the rocks. The program won't let you put both in the hex at once. If we've got scattered hills that wouldn't actually impede movement but would offer excellent defensive positions then the question becomes 'are people going to be more likely to be moving through here without opposition or are they actually going to be fighting?' What's the impact of most of the hex for most of the people most of the time? A small town in a perfectly traversable plain is of problematical military significance -- anyone who tries to defend just that would be cut off and forced to surrender anyway. If that same town is a port, and amphibious landings are likely, then I'm more likely to make the terrain urban. Folks are going to have to fight their way into it.
So I evolve standards. Like, if it's not a sharp and continuous rise of at least 15 meters, it's not an escarpment. Of course, these standards are fairly arbitrary, and I evolved them as I went along, so I wind up being suspicious of what I mapped back at the beginning.
But ce la vie. If anyone's unhappy with my work, they're entitled to a full refund. Besides, I have yet to actually release a scenario, so it's academic.
*as a footnote on Google Earth, while the pictures can be very helpful, you can't trust them to be properly located. Apparently people just upload the photos and put in whatever coordinates they please. So you're at the mercy of their precision. I've been somewhere in the depths of the Sahara and clicked on a picture to see somebody's villa with swimming pool or the pyramids of Giza. There was once even a picture of what looked to be a forest river in British Columbia. Caveat Emptor.
< Message edited by ColinWright -- 4/24/2012 9:52:34 PM >
I am not Charlie Hebdo