Monday, July 7, 2008

The Map and Terrain Generation

I do have 3" hexes and other terrain I can use, but they are too heavy to haul around. So I generated and printed a 3" grass hex map that is the battlefield for my campaign game battles. It wound up to be a 40" x 48" map when I printed it. Click on the picture to get a better view of the hex grain.

For my terrain, I printed 20 woods and 20 hill templates on clear acetate that can be randomly generated by the players for the terrain setup of the battlefield. I also created two template card decks for the woods and hills templates so that they can be selected when that terrain appears on the map.

To standardize the setup of terrain and forces, I segmented the map into zones for the attacker and defender, as well as marked where the possible terrain points on the map are. In the picture, the setup zones are denoted by the yellow blocks. The green blocks are where woods can appear, and the gray blocks where hills can appear.

For randomizing the terrain, there are two terrain pools of markers- woods and hills. The composition of those terrain pools is a mixture of blanks and non-blanks that depends on the terrain in the strategic map battle hex. There are 8 woods points on the board and 8 hill points on board. Each side chooses 4 woods markers and 4 hill markers randomly from the appropriate pools.

They get to look at their markers and decide where to place them, alternating one at a time at the points on the board. If the marker is not a blank the player randomly picks a template card, then places the template on the card in on that map point in any way they desire, as long as the template ID printed on the template covers the terrain point on the board. A plus with using clear acetate is that the template can be turned over on its back and used, creating even more variety than otherwise possible.

Here is a picture of a randomly generated map using the above system. I've denoted the start areas for clarity (the defender is at bottom of the picture). It takes about 5 min to setup and create.

Here is a setup for this particular battle and how it looks with the templates and flocked figures. The white tower in the bottom left is a space holder for the defender's camp- I don't have any yet, but
I'm working on it !

Here is what the map looks like if I want to add my trees and 3D terrain hexes into the mix.

All in all, I am pleased with the results. I can easily and quickly generate terrain boards to handle the many, many battles Vini Vidi Vici will generate.

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