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Best map to use when designing Scenarios?

 
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Captain Nebula
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 13 Jun 2011
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:54 am    Post subject: Best map to use when designing Scenarios? Reply with quote

Does anyone know if there's a specific map requirement for designing scenarios? Or if there isn't, what would be the best map to use so anyone who reads the scenario knows if they need a bigger map or to download a map or something?

Say I want to place planets in a scenario that other people will read and play - do I use the map I have that came with FedCom: Academy with small hexes? Or do I need the larger hexed map that comes with Graduation or the Border sets (which I don't have)?

And is there certain nomenclature I need to use such as "Section C, Hex 3910".

I guess I'm just wondering how I have to explain it for someone who doesn't have the same size map I do. Like someone who just downloaded First Missions and only has the one-page map sheet that comes with that set.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "typical" map size is the small-hex map included in Academy. It is equivalent to six map panels laid together in "portrait" position three across and two high using the small hexes. That is the "default" map size. (Though some argue it is probably too small.) However, given the ability to swap the map panels over to the larger hexes and the ability to use more than just six panels, any scenario needs to be able to deal with that ambiguity.

Typically, the way that is done is by doing one of two things:
1. Specifying that you are using a 3x2 map (three panels wide; two panels high) and saying where the ships enter the map. So, for example, perhaps the Federation ships enter the map along the right map edge, and the Klingons enter along the left map edge. Or all ships have to be within three hexes of the top left corner. Or maybe the Federation enters from the top left corner and the Klingons have to be a minimum of 25 hexes away in direction "E" from the Federation ships. (Using the A-E direction key on one of the map panels, or on the paper map from Academy.)
2. Picking a central object/item/ship/base and saying where it is located, then basing everything else off of it. So, say you have a planet place in the general center of the map. The Federation ships must be within 2 hexes of the planet. The Klingons are approaching the planet from direction E and must start at least 25 hexes from the planet.

Those seem to be the basic ways in which starting conditions are usually explain in a Federation Commander scenario.
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Captain Nebula
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Joined: 13 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, that makes sense. Thanks!
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I *strongly* suggest reading the document, How to Write Scenarios for Federation Commander.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1836

PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should however be wary of saying 3 by 2 in small hexes and 4 by 3 in large hexes. This gives you 2 quite different map sizes (the larger hexes being noticeably smaller, and I'm one who thinks the 30*42 map in small hexes is already too small). That may affect balance of your scenario depending on what hexes you play it on. e.g. there may be no area outside the range of base Ph4s to regroup or prepare your assault on one map but not the other.

The more embarrassing problem though is that there have been scenarios in the past where if you put out the map as stated in large hexes then it is not possible to setup the ships as stated, or some scenario condition cannot be achieved because of the smaller size. At the very least it should be possible to setup the scenario as stated! If you have a planet in the middle and both sides either side of it 25 hexes away then make sure the map handles 50+ hexes in either hex size.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee has an excellent point: When defining the starting positions for the scenario, actually set it up in both hex sizes to make sure it will fit and make sense. Don't just assume it will work in the other size.

(Yes, I also admit that many published scenarios fail this test.)
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Captain Nebula
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, thanks everybody!
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