Tuesday, November 09, 2010

this blessed plot

When I close my eyes and imagine an overhead view of Britain in my head, this is what I see:

Britannia is a fun game, but the detail is a bit lacking as a basis for a campaign map.  So I went over to boardgamegeek.com and did some judicious searching.  Turns out issue #11 of Wargamer Magazine included a game about Simon de Montfort and the unpleasantness between him and Henry III.  Someone was kind enough to scan in the map, which cropped to the area I care about ends up looking more like this:

Click to get a better view.  There's a little more Wales than I wanted on this map, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  I wouldn't have minded a large area that incorporated more of the English Channel, the Channel Islands, a little Normandy and the Isles of Scilly but there absolutely nothing preventing the occasional venture off-map.  Sea travel should be mysterious and perilous anyway.

Things I have yet to do to get this map fully operational:
  • Finish re-labeling stuff to fit Thomas Hardy's Wessex stories and/or new made-up names.
  • Figure out a labeling scheme for the hexes.  I'm thinking the bottom left hex is N1 and the upper right partial hex is A20.
  • Stock hexes.  Given that they're obviously bigger than 5 miles across I may have to develop a new format.
  • Figure out what the crap the scale is.


  1. The lower map is about 250 miles across, with eighteen hexes, so each hex is about 14 miles across. That's a very rough estimate, but enough to be getting on with.

  2. Love those wargame maps. This one has some nice period feel much like Kingmaker's.

    I know you want to play a relatively straight historical-ish game, but I always thought that SPI's troll vs. fairies wargame Albion would make for a slick campaign map: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/521587/albion-land-of-faerie

  3. Being a fan of Thomas Hardy, and growing up only a few miles from Casterbridge, I can't wait to see how this turns out.

  4. Your blog post reminded me of the hilarious expression "lie back and think of England," which is about something entirely different than gaming.

  5. It's a slightly odd map but as far as I can see you could call it 1hex=15m and not have any issues. That would leave you with three five mile hexes per map hex.

    Don't forget that you can save screen shots in GoogleEarth.

  6. Anonymous11:28 AM

    Just wanted to say Jeff that this is a brilliant idea - the combination of having a definite historical period in which to place the game, while at the same time placing the whole in "Wessex", which gives the DM the freedom to invent as necessary. Just visionary.

    And keep in mind that the First Crusade took place about 40 years before the events of the Anarchy - if I were to run this setting, I could easily visualise having say the Cup and Talisman of Al Akbar hidden away in some dungeon beneath Exonbury.

    Just one question: why drop the cleric? In many ways, the world of a Surfeit of Lampreys seems better designed for the standard D&D Cleric than most role playing worlds.

  7. I have to say that im my AD1200 England game the AD&D cleric worked better than I have ever seen it.

  8. My mental image of Britain will always be the Kingmaker board. (Haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Britannia yet.)

    Oh...and I like the idea of taking a Google Earth screen shot and overlaying a hex grid on it. Thanks, Nagora.