Sunday, 20 August 2017

Campaign Maps – Germany


First Map of Germany
My first attempt was to make as detailed and accurate a map as possible.   It covered an area from the north coast to Vienna, and from Warsaw to the river Rhine.   The grid was 15 miles square, which is one days march in the campaign or the size of a wargames table.   The white lines show the three campaign areas.

This map worked well on the computer, because I can zoom in and read all the detail.   I could also just copy sections for the area and even wargame maps.   But it does not work very well on the blog.   The map looks very “busy” and is difficult to “read”.   The blog is my diary of the campaign, and includes information about each phase plus battle reports.  So it is quite important that the maps also work on the blog.

The location of cities and towns is correct, as is the distance between them.  The location of rivers is also correct.   But the rest of the terrain is fictional.

AA Road Atlas
All of this information was taken from the road atlas.   This has the advantage that I can also use modern maps such as Google Maps and Google Earth.  But the road system is completely wrong for 1813. As is the size and importance of some towns and cities.   I found it very difficult to reconcile modern maps with historical ones.  I also found it very difficult to plot major terrain features.
New Map of Germany
The new map has a hex grid, rather than squares.   It is the same scale as the map of Europe, which is 60 miles per hex, or four times each square on the previous map.   Each hex is a campaign area, again the same as the new Europe map.  It has the same major borders shown.   Each city or town has a symbol showing either a city (with a church) or a town.   It also shows whether they are walled or not.

I used the previous map of Germany to plot the cities and towns shown on this map.   
I then put in a new road system of major roads (red) between cities and minor roads (yellow) between towns.  I kept the original more detailed borders and towns adjacent to a border were walled, others were not. I made a few exceptions when a walled town (such as Ratisbon or Dresden) had played an important part in an historical battle.  This information is not shown on this map, but it helps to explain why some towns are walled and some not.  Only major borders are shown on this map, but minor ones were used to determine which towns would be walled and which open.   I decided against any terrain features on this map in order to keep it simple. 

I like the simplistic look of this new map.   It is only used for planning, and for illustration on the blog.   Even on the blog it is easy to see where campaign objectives are, and to calculate how many phases you would have to fight to take a major objective.  For example three campaigns to take Munich from Vienna.   It is also useful to see which direction each army can move at the end of the current campaign phase.  For example from Erfurt the winner could move to Magdeburg, Halle or Zwickau.   None of this is obvious from the previous map of Germany.

The white lines show the army borders between north, central and southern Germany.   Next week I will deal with the regional maps.