Adding Terrain to the Map

With the outline done, the next step is to fill in the terrain features of Valkae. To add terrain features to the map, I used drawing techniques from WASD20’s series on how to draw fantasy maps to draw the terrain features, and Tony Bath’s Setting Up a Wargames Campaign found in the book Tony Bath’s Ancient Wargaming.

The maps in Rally Round the King show each nation divided into two to five provinces or states. Prior to 1620, boundaries consisted of natural features such as rivers and mountain ranges. Years ago, for my own gaming purposes, I decided Asteria and Nycenae were separated by Valkae’s longest river, the Planetakore (the Wandering Maiden). Latona is separated by from both Asteria and Nycenae by an impassable mountain range, the Slumbering Dragons, which is among the highest in Talomir. These boundary features were added to the map.

In addition, there is a small mountain range in Nycenae, the famous Piathoe’s Peaks and a loose set of mountains in Asteria known as the Crone’s Teeth.

After placing all of these known landmarks on the map, the next step is to roll for the terrain of each hexagon using 2d6. Depending on the result, the terrain could be Open, Wooded Hills, Hills, Woods. If a double is rolled, you roll a second time and if the second result is also doubles, the terrain then becomes Mountains or Thick Forests.

Once terrain is drawn for each hexagon, the next step is to add rivers and adjust terrain features to make sense.

At this point, you have a geographic map. Now it’s time to add settlements. This time you roll 1d6 for each hexagon. If the result is 4, 5, or 6 for Open terrain; or a 5 or 6 for all other terrain features, then there is a settlement in that hexagon.

For each settlement, you roll another d6 to determine the size of the settlement – if the result is:

  • 6 – it’s a City
  • 5 – it’s a Town
  • 4 – it’s a Village
  • 3 – it’s a Hamlet
  • 2 – it’s a Castle or Fortress
  • 1 – it’s a Farmstead

The map is complete! Now, I have to “muster the troops,” that is I have to determine the number of units available in each settlement. If the settlement is on the coast, I have to determine the number ships available and which settlements have shipyards for repairing or building ships. This is where I turn to The Solor Wargaming Guide. William Silvester suggests each settlement type provide two types of units – regular regiments and militia companies. The regular regiments are those that are raised and sent forth to join other troops in forming a larger force. The militia is meant to serve a defensive purpose, to defend the settlement while the regulars are away. However, in dire straits, the militia can also be called out to join a larger force.

Silvester gives ranges of units depending on the settlement size, a class A settlement or city would have 2-5 regiments of regulars and 4 companies of militia. What I have done is to assign troop strengths on the social standing levels found in Warrior Heroes: Warbands. Here’s how that works:

TypeSocial LevelRegular FormationsNumber of UnitsMilitia
ACityHigh Level 2 or 32 Battles8 to 9 units per battle6 units
BTownHigh Level 1 or 21 Battle7 to 8 units per battle5 units
CVillageMiddle Level 2 or 32 Companies5 to 6 units per company4 units
DHamletMiddle Level 1 or 21 Company4 to 5 units per company3 units
EOutpostLow Level 2 or 32 Bands2 to 3 units per band2 units
FFarmsteadLow Level 1 or 21 Band1 to 2 units per band1 unit

Now realize, these are paper strengths and not what a settlement may provide when the army is called out.

My map has 185 settlements in all – 51 in Latona, 55 in Asteria, and 79 in Nycenae. Asteria has 3 large fleets to Nycenae’s 2. Latona does not have a fleet per se, but several small raiding vessels used for piracy and raids on the coasts of nations surrounding the Kimean Sea.

I’ve worked out a catalog of settlements, with the settlement’s name, size, number of regulars and militias. I named the settlements using the Amazon names found on the Fantasy Name Generators website. Amazon names were found in Greek, Persian, ancient Iranian, and Chinese sources.

With the map complete, the next step is to use the Solo Campaign Mobilization Rules to set the campaign into motion, but before I do that, I have to paint more Amazons and I have a convention coming up where I need to prepare the game I will run at the convention. So, it may be two or three weeks before I can turn my attention back to this campaign.

The Iron Queen Campaign Series:

There is certainly a lot of work in preparing for a map campaign. What are some of your experiences in playing campaigns? Your comments are always welcome, though I will only entertain offers of marriage if they are accompanied by certified financial statements!

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Adding Terrain to the Map post

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