Monday, 15 August 2011

Mapping Aegyptus with Campaign Cartographer 3

I have been considering putting together a Wargods of Aegyptus mini-campaign recently. It would be the first episode in a series that ideally would see the harbingers rise from lowly Ka1 wannabes all the way to Ka10 and possibly one of them becoming Pharaoh or restoring Osiris to the throne. The basic campaign idea is a simple one. The Harbingers must find the clues, which are located at significant named spots. Once all the clues have been found there is a climactic big battle. Each clue will add a bonus to the warband that finds it, so finding lots of clues will give an advantage to the warband that does this. So, I wanted it to be a map campaign and had drawn up a simple grid on paper. Then yesterday I weakened and bought Campaign Cartographer 3, primarily for mapping my Labyrinth Lord campaign but I produced an Aegyptus map first. This is the result, my first warts and all CC3 map using the basic package and no add-ons.

I was very surprised at how easy it was to produce this map. A quick whizz through the basic tutorial followed by a quick run through the CC3 Essentials pdf manual. A trip to the forum yielded a couple of clues about approaches and techniques too, as I read a few posts by first-timers getting their own work checked out, followed by looking up the topics in the main manual. So, that was Sunday afternoon filled up. I then spent an hour knocking this map together in the evening. I've tinkered with the settings a bit more today, in between running errands for my wife, but a small investment of time has yielded a perfectly usable map. It's not brilliant but I am quite pleased with it as a first effort. My next task is to try the same map using a different basic map type and see how that works. The range of icons available in the standard Vector style map is not as great as in the standard bitmap fill map, so let's see what I can do with the latter.

Overall I am very pleased with the basic CC3 package and how easy it is to use. I am not a great digital artist and have only sporadically used CAD packages in the past, so I am not an expert there. I use Photoshop Elements a bit, but this is not the same style of package and I am no great digital artist with PSE either, but I reckon that with a little bit more practice and thought I could be churning out competent maps for my games quite happily using CC3. I also suspect that I shall be spending a small fortune on the add-on packages too once I really get going!

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