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Imperial Interstellar Scout Service Details of the worlds of the Imperium (and beyond).

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Old March 5th, 2015, 12:10 AM
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Default Maps for Traveller

Since the subject has come up recently, I thought that some ideas for ready-made maps for Traveller might be useful. Basically, you can look for three types, as a minimum, if you have any number of board games or computer games, along with Internet Access. This assumes that in most cases, you are not looking for a world map.

Board Games: I still have my original copy of Panzerblitz and Panzer Leader, with those nice geomorphic boards, along with Avalon Hill's Starship Troopers, with those boards. It is hard to beat them when it comes to needing a quick idea of what the terrain in the area of the players might look like. Outdoor Survival is also useful, albeit a single map and not geomorphic. For a large-scale world size map, I have the Eagle Games version of the world for their Civilization Board Game, which is sort of like a distorted version of Earth. Other maps can be used from my SPI game collection, and I even have a map of Middle Earth from their Lord of the Rings board game. Most of those are hex-gridded. The MERP series of modules from Iron Crown Enterprises have a great set of color and smaller scale maps of Middle Earth that could also be used, with caution. Those are too nice to mess up. Some of the lesser-known areas, such at the region around Umbar, and the Courts of Ardor module would keep players from guessing what the area looked like.

Computer Games: I have 4 computer games that I periodically play. All have map making capability to a greater or lesser degree. For a World Map, the best would Civilization III computer game, as making a world map is pretty much setting up the map generator with your parameters and a suitably random world seed number, and hitting the button. You are limited to worlds of 60%, 70%, and 80% water, but there are ways of getting around that. You do have diamond tiles to work with verses hexes, but it does work nicely.

For more local maps, I have Rise of Nations, Age of Empires 2, and Age of Empires 3, giving the ability to make a wide range of areas. Rise of Nations has the benefit of modern city graphics as well, along with nice air strips and naval bases. Age of Empires 2 has some nice castles and buildings, as does Age of Empires 3. The map editors are not that hard to use, and do allow for a very wide range of terrain.

The Internet: For maps, a quick starter is the US Army Green Book series for World War 2, and the US Marine Corps histories online. Yes, they are of Earth, but the more localized maps are what you are more apt to use. The Marine Corps histories are really good for island maps. Then you have all of the older atlases that have a wide range of maps which may or may not be correct to the current year. The question is what are you looking for? The odds are that you can find it somewhere on the Internet.

With a color printer and the computer games, you can have a lot of fun, while the online maps can be readily edited and printed off. Hopefully, this information is of help to someone looking for ideas as to how his or her planet looks.
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