Sunday, September 3, 2017

ImagiNations - Working on a Gazetteer and problems due to (current) map scale

Hexographer, and its eventual successor (currently in beta), Worldographer, have the ability to create child maps from the main map created. In Worldographer, this is far more easily done, but apparently, it cannot be reversed once completed.

Worldographer actually has three levels of map, which will automatically generate, one at a time, if you desire. Hexographer can do it as well, but it's a more tedious process in that you select the area and create a child map of that. Each has their uses, and I'd like to see a feature where I can click on the hexes I want to "zoom in" on, but maybe I can get lucky down the road. In the case of Worldographer, a standad map of roughly 100 hexes by 100 hexes takes a while to load, when all three levels are created. If you use that program, I do suggest making three different saved versions of a map, each with an additional layer of zoom. This will really save you time when working on the zoomed out maps.

In creating a gazetteer, I need several pieces of information about each nation, including geography, population, resources, religion, government type, etc.

One key item is the area, generally given in square miles or square kilometers, depending.

My map assumes 18 miles (the current working number) distance from flat to flat, for each hex at the world view. One level of zoom easily resolves to 3 miles flat to flat, and a further and more detailed level of zoom brings us to one half mile flat to flat.

How does one calculate the square miles of a country divided into hexes? Easy.

The formula is W (width of shortest distance between two flat sides) x .866. The result is not an exact number, but pretty darn close.

In the case of my map, this is equal to 15.588 square miles of area for a hex measuring 18 miles flat to flat.

Generating population is far more tricky and greatly depends on other variables that one must either randomly or purposely define, or just simply come up with a number that "sounds good."

I found this little gem of a tool via another blog that has not been updated in seven years, and I believe I will be using it soon.

It is intended for fantasy games with an equivalent medieval setting, but with some handy redefining of terms, it should work fine for Renaissance and Horse & Musket eras.

Of course, this would put the Grand Duchy of Khornwallistein at approximately 1294 square miles, which is larger than Rhode Island, but about 6 percent of the land area of Hesse.

I may need to rethink my map hex sizes, should I want my "nations" to field something larger than 200 to 1000 men in their "armies." The next obvious size would be 36 mile hexes, zooming in to 6 mile hexes and then again to 1 mile hexes, but even then, I've only roughly doubled the area. If I then go with 72 mile hexes, zoomed to 12 mile hexes and zoomed again to 2 mile hexes, then the area is about  5200 square miles.

The problem with this is, if one is using a movement system by hexes, then a single 12 mile hex per day would be sensible, if a bit fast for most armies of 1650-1750. However, this increases the work necessary to generate sufficient maps for running each of the nations, especially if players get involved.

I think it is reasonable to have the armies for an average nation be roughly equal to 1000 men, with recruitment and training easily able to maintain that number year to year.  However, if I were to apply this number as though it were the base points value of an army built using the Maurice rules, it would be tiny. So, I'd have assume that each point in Maurice was equal to 10 men, to reach 1000, being that an army in that game is 100 points.

A Maurice army could easily be 8 infantry battalions, 4 cavalry squadrons/regiments, and 4 guns/batteries. If the infantry have 3 to 4 times the number of men that a cavalry unit does, which is also a reasonable expectation, and say the 4 units of artillery are equal to an infantry unit, in numbers of men, then we've some problems.

If the infantry battalions were a paltry 100 men each, leaving the cavalry at 25 men a piece, and the 4 units of artillery at 100 men total, then we've got our 1000 man army. This is quite a pathetic little force.

At the minimum, I'd say a typical force should be at least 5,000 men, but I'd prefer an army of about 10,000 men; 32,000 Prussians were at Kolin, by way of comparison.  This should hold true, in my little ImagiNations world, of the average military strength across the region represented on the map I posted earlier.

Going with the ratios from above, an army at 10,000 men would mean 1000 man infantry battalions, 250 man cavalry regiments squadrons, and the artillery. Yes, the units would be smaller than this, with the battalions about 600-750 men, and even smaller on campaign, but I am trying to keep the math simple. I think this "sounds" and "feels" about right, and requires one to equate each point of army building in Maurice to equal approximately 100 men.

Now, Saxony had an army of roughly 17,000 men in 1749, after getting thrashed by Prussia and being forced to muster out a good portion of its army. I think the major powers thus far revealed should be modeled off of what the Saxons could field.

This means that 18 miles hexes are way too small and 72 mile hexes are still not big enough.

Rethinking in process...

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