Maps – terribly useful things for getting from one place to another. Unless this wargames campaign is to consist of a lot of bored officers sitting about in barracks, we’ll need to get some means of going from one place to another.
(As an aside, I don’t think that’s too much of an exaggeration. From reading Duffy’s books and his coverage of officers, it seems that if you joined a regiment in the 18th century you faced a life of crippling boredom with only alcohol, gambling, potentially lethal feuds and (also potentially lethal) prostitutes. War, even with it's risks, must have seemed like a genuine release.)
So, to Aschenbach and Luftberg. I’m sure that I could do this on MS Paint or something similar, but trying to draw with a mouse sends me round the bend. Here’s the scanned version, drawn with a pen and then scanned (hopefully large enough to make out, but I'll retry if it's not.)
I’m generally happy with it, although I think I might have gone a bit too far with the stylised cities looking too ‘vertical’ - stacked like a layer cake. Oh well… The two states are divided by the main river (an overlooked stretch of the Rhine, we’ll say) with Aschenbach to the west & south and Luftberg in the east & north. The areas to the north and south are semi-autonomous provinces, to give us some detachable chunks that each side can barter with in peace negotiations.
In Aschenbach’s case, the family of v. Kleintrink’s hereditary lands are the southern quarter – excluding the free city (Freistadt, in my pidgin-German) of Krumper, which as the name suggests will be treated as integral to Aschenbach’s ruling house. As geographical integrity never slowed down historical land-grabbing and province-collecting, this is no big headache for anybody other than Aschenbach’s customs and excise men.
The family v. Zaub are located almost in the exact centre of the map, around the town of Flussburg near the Rhine’s western bank. This puts them square in the middle (like the filling in a sandwich made with two slices of angry bread, if you like surreal metaphors.) All this should guarantee that nobody has a quiet little corner where they can sit our wars untouched – exactly as we want.
To take an overview, each nation has a capital city (Hirschburg for Aschenbach), two secondary cities, a fortress, and six towns. I was originally intending to make the map a straight ‘nodal’ affair, similar to the campaign system detailed in the excellent DBA rules set. However, every time I try to draw a nodal map it goes wrong – I keep on joining points up with roads to their nearest neighbours, so the whole thing turns into a web of triangles and becomes unusable. As none of my campaigns have ever been set in countries with well-integrated transport networks, it’s a bit of a weakness. However, there’s never a reason to turn away a good idea, and the DBA campaign rules have a lot to recommend them. There’s virtually no book-keeping, and they’re intended for use with small-scale armies.
I’ll leave the details of recruitment for my next post, along with the rest I’ve promised (the Luftberger army, some details on battle rules, figures details, etc.) To all those who have left kind comments, can I just say – thank you! I do read them all, and shall try to respond with articles to any queries.