I'm drawing some mountain to be made into vector Icons. I can only work at home where I have a large screen and my new tablet. Anyway, learned some things doing this experiment. I think this is the style I'm going with except the mountains will be more of a Top View (will look for a such styled map as a reference). One of the things I learned is that I should fix the gradient because it made the mountains translucent. Will fix that. Will experiment in other methods of drawing the top view mountains.
So my smallest project right now is getting the icons right. I think I will draw the mountains like this, but will draw the forests like green clumps instead of individual trees. Again, focusing on the Top View look. I'll have to be really organized creating layers for Mountains, Forests, Elevation, Water, and Infrastructure.
I'll probably draw from harn Maps in how to draw villages and settlements. Love harn maps.
The maps I'm doing is for Tactical Purposes. The first map I'm going to make is based on Caithness. So people can make it Caithness or rename it for some generic wargame. Caithness fits in a portrait AI document; its currently in a A0 landscape map, so I can even fit megalos in a 16km hex map. The less work the better, so I'll move to the A1 portrait map then.
If I use the hexes to measure areas each hex being 56sqkm (being 16km across) that's about ~11 manors/knights per Day-Scale Hex. I can over simplify it to be 2d3+7 knight squads (1 Go Go HC; 1d+2 Ba In HI/BM) for ideal terrain. Partitioning out hexes for each Fief/castle, day hexes of territory is about 7 hexes (~77 knight squads; 1 center hex, 6 surrounding hexes) to 20 hexes (~220 knight squads).
I think I'll have to give named value for each hex, to simplify the number of Knight Squads called up. at 16km per hex, they can force march to 2 to 3 hexes; a hex more if mounted. That would be fun, tactical and exciting.
What determines Control of a hex in contestable areas will also be a fun part to play out. Land disputes is a common conflict even in times of peace; and are strong motives and rewards in times of war.
One more puzzle is how to elegantly deal with commanders/generals. Highly skilled and talented commanders are a big deal and rare resource. It should only be minorly influenced by chance, but greatly influence by RPing and Political Saviness of the Player.
Hexes are further subdivided among commanders. Can't have too many commanders. Definitely NPC material. Ideally drawn from a Pool generated by a GM with some declared assumptions and RPing and Tactical Notes. The GM partially uses chance to generate these. Players are allowed to generate but there is a greater influence of chance.
Found the style I'm looking for. Its going to be madugo (roughly translated as "bloody") to do by hand. I'm going to follow the FR map (forgotten Realms) map style. meaning I draw the spine, with branching lines of ribs. Its just going to be tiring, but a map like that of the FR really did take a while. Also it would allow me to be more accurate in tracing mountains.
If I were to draw this method, the path between mountains and barriers would be more visible. It will allow players to see the tactical bottlenecks and why certain traffic travel through mountains.