Friday, April 20, 2012

Mapping Beyond the Flanaess: Ahmut's Legion and the Blasted Desert

Hot on the heels of my last map comes the next in the series, this time finishing up (completely) the lands of the Celestial Imperium and moving more into the territories of the Sundered Empire. I've also redone the last map somewhat, adding a number of petty states west of the mountains to fill in what are collectively known as the Disputed Regions, and the Celestial Sea also got a touch-up in the southwest corner, adding a couple of coastal towns. Here are the four maps that connect to one another; the newest one is in the lower-left.

As always, click to embiggen, and the full-sized version can be downloaded off to the right in the "Free Resources" section.

I anticipate that the new map will get some more touch-ups, especially in the large desert area, once the adjoining map gets done. Some notable features; the Kingdom of Prestoria, which I envision as having been founded by Pholtan zealots, refugees from the Pale, some two and a half centuries ago, and now a model Flannish nation in the midst of the lands of the heathen. The mysterious isolated city of Shemhamforash in the midst of the mountains known as the Spine of the World. The Duchy of Sitang is in a pickle, strategically speaking, because although it remains loyal to the central government of the Celestial Imperium, they were almost completely cut off when Shuyin declared its independence. And of course the motley assortment of petty states betwixt and between the major powers of the Sundered Empire; the maps above cover Ahmet's Legion (a vast army of undead associated with a cult of Nerull called the Red Scythes) and the demonic gnoll kingdom of Naresh.

Next up, I go west again, covering Ravilla and Mordengard.

I Blame the High Cost of Miniatures on Instability in the Mid-East

Back in the mid-1970's, the price of oil was so high because of the various OPEC embargoes that SPI actually had to stop including a tiny die with their games because plastic was too expensive. They included a little piece of paper in the game explaining why there was no die, and offering to send one to the gamer if they really wanted it, for the cost of postage. Eventually prices went down and dice started appearing in SPI games again.

I recall that story because there are two games in which I'm very interested, and for which I just saw some pricing details. Sweet Reason!

The first is A Call to Arms: Starfleet by Mongoose Publishing. It's a game set in the Starfleet Battles universe, and features some great looking classic Trek ship miniatures. The fleet boxes go for around $100 and sport 16 starships. That's $6.25 per ship. The squadron boxes are even more ruinous; $40 for 5 ships, or $8 each. And if you want to purchase ships individually, they run an incredible $15 each! Just to put that into perspective, you can buy a 1:2500 model kit of the Enterprise for less than that.

The second is the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game from Fantasy Flight Games. Now, I know that FFG is usually on the expensive side, because their components are top-notch, but their $40 core set comes with a measly 3 ships (or more than $13 each), and additional ships can be had for $15 each. And a set of 6 dice will set you back another $10.

Maybe I'm just spoiled by the miniatures I do buy; only metal, and usually in smaller scales like 15mm or 1:350/microarmor. But wowzers, those ship miniatures seem awfully expensive!