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Old 12-23-2019, 03:41 PM   #1
BobP
 
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Default Practical Mapmaking

Hi! Over in the "How Big is a Hex?" thread, we've solved the major issues of the day and the common cold into the bargain. But that leads me to the next question.

We're given a bunch of scales per hex. Which ones are actually useful to make maps with?

Combat scale, obviously. Labyrinth scale, too. The 5 mile-per-hex scale is what the Travel Time rules are written for, so that one's important. The 10-yard-per-hex Village scale is consistent enough for jazz and besides I'd hate to invalidate the pretty Bendwyn map.

What scales in-between 10 yards and 5 miles are actually easy to work with to zoom in or zoom out without having to deal with funkies of rotation (the way Combat and Labyrinth do)?

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Old 12-23-2019, 04:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Practical Mapmaking

Is Labyrinth scale actually useful or is the fuzziness of figuring out actual hex placement each time more trouble than it's worth?
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:40 PM   #3
BobP
 
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Default Re: Practical Mapmaking

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Is Labyrinth scale actually useful or is the fuzziness of figuring out actual hex placement each time more trouble than it's worth?
Labyrinth scale now seems to be more about "instructions for placing MegaHex Tile Bits" than for writing maps. But I'm willing to adapt. It might be easier to draw with megahexes on the 1/4" grid. Plus it's a very Legacy feature.

(I'm adapting for everything anyway, since I'm still on PocketBox scale.)
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Practical Mapmaking

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Originally Posted by BobP View Post
What scales in-between 10 yards and 5 miles are actually easy to work with to zoom in or zoom out without having to deal with funkies of rotation (the way Combat and Labyrinth do)?
Note to myself, mostly: The Character & Reference Sheet packet includes a "Town" sheet. Not sure if I can claim that for usefulness or not. And it's easy to relabel anyway.
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Old 12-23-2019, 06:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Practical Mapmaking

I use hex paper for labyrinth-scale (one hex=1megahex) and hex-by-hex maps. For anything larger, I find it easier to use plain paper with a legend showing the cm=X or inch=X scale.
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Old 12-24-2019, 12:31 AM   #6
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Practical Mapmaking

I find that a scale of hexes approximately 1/4 the size of the regional maps (what Legacy ITL calls "province" scale, is useful if you want to track travel movement accurately, even if your map is at that scale.

That's because at that scale, arranged the way I do it, you get a hex for the center of each hex, and a hex for all the corners and hexsides, and a hex for the space between the centers and the hexlines/corners of the regional-scale hex.

And THAT, allows you to do things like:

* Keep track of where the party is after one day of travel in terrain that is at one hex per two days (e.g. mountains, swamp).

* Have easy ways to mark where the party is after a half-day or quarter-day of travel.

* Be able to have them drift off course by less than an entire regional map hex, and still accurately track where they are.

* Have clear ways to move the party north, south, east or west, or several other directions, even if that doesn't match your regional map's hex grain.
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Old 12-24-2019, 03:17 AM   #7
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: Practical Mapmaking

For mapping at labyrinth scale (what I'm more used to calling melee or combat scale) I use standard graph paper -- that just ends a lot of headaches. Each square on the map corresponds to one tile in my homemade tile kit. Each tile has hexes on it, equivalent to a "square megahex", and the tiles tesselate so the hexgrid continues from tile to tile when they are joined at right angles, top to bottom or side to side. Any maze I can draw on graph paper can be laid out as tiles on the table in just seconds.

For large regions, I've used a large piece of hex paper scaled to one day's travel per hex (depending on terrain). A counter labeled "The Party" moves on the map, with encounters or side adventures planned for and triggered when they enter certain hexes.

Once for a large battle (the siege of one of our city-states) we used a large piece of hex paper at I think 100 yards per hex. Counters represented army units and we borrowed the combat rules from another wargame.
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:03 AM   #8
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Practical Mapmaking

I use a 'factor of 3' set of nested scales (where the smallest begins with the official 3'), rounded off once things get big, and just pick the one that is best suited to the area I'm trying to map. The scales and some example areas are:

4': Official combat scale
12': Official 'labyrinth' scale
30': Castles, most villages, towns and cities, some detailed landscapes
100': Big cities; most detailed landscapes
300': very 'granular' travel map
1000': moderately granular travel map
1 mile: barony
3 miles: county
10 miles: nation
30 miles: the biggest scale at which I normally map for campaigns
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Old 12-24-2019, 11:02 AM   #9
BobP
 
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Default Re: Practical Mapmaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
I use hex paper for labyrinth-scale (one hex=1megahex) and hex-by-hex maps. For anything larger, I find it easier to use plain paper with a legend showing the cm=X or inch=X scale.
That's probably a sensible approach ... leave 5 mi/hex for a master area map, but just plug in what you need as a scale that looks nice/useful without worrying about hexes for smaller areas.
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Old 12-25-2019, 04:26 AM   #10
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: Practical Mapmaking

For those using many different scales, how do you decide on turn length and movement allowance on those different maps? (I haven't looked too closely at that part of the new ITL but I suppose it gave some guidelines?)

A million years ago I wrote a utility program (this was is in MS QuickBasic under DOS it's so old) that calculates MA based on any hex size and turn length you tell it. It also gives sizes for various urban areas, from hamlet to imperial capitol, expressed as hexes for the scale being used, and the range in hexes for arrow fire, both arced and LOS, at the chosen scale. I sourced the underlying stats from a few books on medieval warfare, but I no longer remember which ones. If anyone wants to play with it I could e-mail a copy. I guess I should find a place to post that!
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