Regional and Campaign Maps

I was messing around with Paint and Hexographer, and got to overlaying the 720x720 mile regional map (40x30 hexes, with 30 in the “true” direction, since the non-true direction has a 25% loss if your hexes are symmetrical) over a map of Europe, and it’s just so gosh-darn perfect. You can fit all of Spain, plus France up to Bordeaux, and Barat and Casablanca and Algiers, into it. Or you can fit all of the British Isles, from Orkney almost to Paris, from Ireland east all the way to Luxembourg. You can fit two variants of a great larger region for a Viking campaign: either Denmark, the coasts of Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, plus southern Norway and Sweden (with the heavy population) and southwest Finland; or southern Norway and southwest Sweden, Denmark, northern Germany, the Netherlands, and the east half of England and Scotland (the coasts you raid!). You can fit in Italy from the Alps down to Sicily, including Corsica and Sardinia, plus the Balkan coast of the Adriatic Sea, plus Carthago/Tunis. You can fit in Greece and Macedonia and western Turkey.

It’s just about perfect.

The 180-mile map (30x40 6-mile hexes) is pretty great, too; notably, you can fit in the Peloponnese plus Athens. Or Denmark (almost entirely). You can fit in Essex, Sussex, Kent, Hwicce, East Anglia, and Middle Anglia. Ireland is a bit too big, and Iceland would take three maps, but that’s not too bad.

This experimentation has, I think, helped me contextualize the scales of the maps. A 180-mile map is “pretty small,” and a 720-mile map is bigger but still modest. A 720-mile map can actually cover entire “larger entities” (like the British Isles or Spain), but isn’t even close to continents. This sort of context is probably not that intuitive to a lot of people, so it’s useful to mess around with scales and maps.

Thanks for sharing this!

The Auran Empire Campaign setting uses 4 720x720 maps to cover a region about the size of the Mediterranean so the sizing you are describing above sounds just right.

Would you be interested in sharing these maps with the community? I’m sure you’re not the only one who has thought about ACKS-in-Europe…

I can try to whip up something that doesn’t use probably-copyrighted maps yanked off the Internet… they’re nothing spectacular right now, just rough 720- and 180-mile squares over a map of Europe. I already did the process on two separate maps, so finding one that’s definitely free (and has a scale) is the main thing I need to do.

I actually got around to this because I was working on my Viking fantasy campaign and wanted some comparisons with the real world to figure out the general outline for my map. I think next up will be doing the same in the Middle East, to help with mapping my Ancient Mesopotamia campaign setting idea. I already have maps for both settings, but I don’t like either (mostly because the scales felt wrong).

In both of the above cases, I’ve got some conflicting interests. On one hand, I want the Viking campaign to have a basic set-up that facilitates play based on the Viking raids on England; but on the other, I like the idea that the general “cosmology” involves a circular sea, with Midgård (the mortal realm) in the center and Alfheimr, Asgardr, Vanaheimr, and Jotunheimr on the outer edges (although, on the other hand, I like the idea of the World Ash being the only connection between the different world-parts). Somewhat similarly, the major elements of the Ancient Mesopotamia setting are the “Land of Kings” (the main play area), the endless Cedar Forest, and the flaming mountains of Kur - all essentially mythic vistas.

A while back, I ran into a very Hexographer nice map at, with Europe circa 1100 CE done in a 50 kilometer per hex scale (around 31 miles per hex). It checks in at 110x72 hexes.

Okay, after some googling, it looks like the map I did most of the work on was already public domain. I’ve uploaded the scribbled-on version here (and if it is indeed public domain, as the source indicates, anybody’s free to do anything they like to or with it).

It mostly just gives an idea of the scales of the regional and campaign maps when put in the real world, but I suppose it can also serve to inspire campaign ideas (Roman campaigns set on the peninsula, Greek campaigns, Viking campaigns, British Isles campaigns, an Iron Age Finland/Kalevala campaign, a Reconquista campaign…).

I guess a version based on the Americas might be useful for a lot of people - maybe I’ll do one of those, too.