Apr 032012

Seaward March 1 Day Campaign map created with Hexographer by Inkwell Ideas

I’ve wanted to run a campaign for a decade or more. That never happened because, as we may all know, of the heavy work-load to create a campaign. The campaign creator needs to do a TON of work behind the scenes to get the campaign started, keep it running, and reach a conclusion. The players have to dedicate themselves to gaming on a regular schedule, which inevitably becomes interrupted as a result of real world commitments. Further, it can be difficult to create a campaign map.

My skills in the visual graphics arena are subpar at best. For years I’ve searched for an easy to use program that would allow me to easily create a gaming map. My frustration increased whenever I read early Battlegames issues where Henry Hyde detailed his amazing maps for the Wars of the Faltenian Succession. Seeing stunning maps, of that ilk, in other gaming magazines and on the web has brought my frustration to a boiling point. More recently I sat down and created a list of what I need of a map making program. It needs to:

  • Work on Mac OS X (whatever incarnation I’m on at the time, Lion currently)
  • Be intuititive and easy to use for a n00b like myself
  • Create square or hex maps with user chosen terrain types and features such as roads, hills, cities, towns, rivers, etc.
  • Export the maps into a common image format (for inserting into the blog, printing out, etc).
  • Be affordable

Finally, I’ve found a program that fits each of those requirement. Hexographer, by Inkwell Ideas, is a cross-platform program that works on OS X and Windows. It has a free version, with some features removed, and a paid version. The program allows you to create a map of varied dimensions and then populate it with terrain features, national boundaries, population centers, place names, ports, roads, and more.

The campaign bug never fully left me. It burst to the top of my list when I read an article in Wargames Illustrated discussing how to run a one day campaign. I knew that could be a blast…if only I had a map. That’s where Hexographer comes in. I can’t say much more without giving anything away. It would be cruel, however, to leave you completely hanging. Below you will find the map I made for the campaign. Releasing it is probably a mistake. After all, participants might look at it and formulate plans. Then again, maybe this map is a ruse to throw them off the scent. Whatever the case may be, I can assure you that I made it in less than one hour using the Hexographer program.

About Jonathan J. Reinhart

Jonathan J. Reinhart is an editor of Troll in the Corner where he writes about wargaming. Jonathan also is the owner of the Wargaming Recon podcast. He has been gaming with miniatures since 2000 and playing board games from a young age. He's played a myriad of games such as: Warhammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasy, Warmachine, Starship Troopers, Axis & Allies: War at Sea, Flames of War and Warlord Games' Black Powder rules. War at Sea and the Black Powder rules are his current go-to games. Jonathan enjoys casual, fast, fun, and group board games. Sitting Ducks Gallery, Zombie Dice, Guillotine, Pandemic, and Carcassonne rank high on his list. He is a retired local politician with a B.A. in Politics & History, which provides a useful background for historical gaming. A casual World of Warcraft player, he became a Kingslayer as Viktrious the Blood Elf on 4/23/11 and followed that up by slaying Deathwing on 5/9/12.

  One Response to “Need a Wargaming Map?”

  1. […] in the Corner also has a Hexographer review.  Here’s one section:  More recently I sat down and created a list of what I need of a map […]

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