Empires and New Empires Maps

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Empires and New Empires Maps

Postby SwordlordRoy on Tue 26 May 2020 15:35

I will freely admit that I am something of a young 'un here (1st edition came out when my dad was in College and my mom was still in high school), but I did discover the PDFs on Wargames Vault and am contemplating starting a solo game of Starfire III: Empires.

The problem I'm finding (aside from needing to get counters and a map, which I have solutions to) is the absence of the System Map for Starfire III. I did fortunately find a review which included the maps and it does look as if my stopgap solution of using a Traveller sub-sector map with the occasional world pencilled in should work and arguably be infinitely expandable. Still, I'd like to get some input on what the more experienced Star Lords would do for not only Empires, but New Empires as well.
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Re: Empires and New Empires Maps

Postby Skarn on Wed 27 May 2020 12:06

I've used MapTool to create system maps for both 1E and 2E, along with ships from the token font that aramis posted elsewhere on the forums.

Although progress has stalled (my fault, not SDS), I'm hoping to eventually get my MapTool frameworks, and the PNG tokens I created from aramis' font posted to the download forum.
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Re: Empires and New Empires Maps

Postby Cralis on Thu 28 May 2020 03:40

Most players I know just map them out by hand. Part of the problem is that if you do random warp point linking then there is no way to guarantee you aren't going to have warp links that double-back across each other.

That said, I recently picked up Profantasy mapping software through Humble Bundle. They have a program to create fancy star maps and planetary maps and I'm thinking about picking it up to try it.
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Re: Empires and New Empires Maps

Postby TLR on Sat 25 Jul 2020 12:05

Profantasy's mapping tools are great, but generally not trivial to use.
On the other hand, they are basically a suite of macros laid atop a CAD program, and you can write/add your own macros. For somebody willing to RTFM and do a little light programming, you can draw almost anything - and hex overlay-grids are built in.
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Re: Empires and New Empires Maps

Postby PracticalM on Sun 26 Jul 2020 21:11

For mapping the galaxy I found OmniGraffle to be really effective as you can build the map using the output of the universe generation tool I built.

Graphviz is a free version that also works. There maybe newer free systems.

The system I use is a link list where you have system numbers with an arrow to another system number.
e.g
1 -> 3
1 -> 5
2 -> 35
2 -> 4

If you have all the links mapped like this you can build a map. There are ways to code the links too that I never got around to doing so you can know if it is an open, closed, hidden, etc wp
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Re: Empires and New Empires Maps

Postby aramis on Fri 01 Apr 2022 02:48

Note that the hex locations in SF III Empires are merely labels. Where a WP leads is TOTALLY random.

So, in practice, you can just ignore the map.
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Re: Empires and New Empires Maps

Postby krenshala on Tue 05 Apr 2022 13:10

And I recently discovered that graphviz.org has a recent version available, for multiple operating systems. :) Nice having a version that works well in Windows (not that I minded the DOS/command line version I used to use a few years, and three OS installs, ago.
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Re: Empires and New Empires Maps

Postby aramis on Sat 14 May 2022 05:19

SwordlordRoy wrote:I will freely admit that I am something of a young 'un here (1st edition came out when my dad was in College and my mom was still in high school), but I did discover the PDFs on Wargames Vault and am contemplating starting a solo game of Starfire III: Empires.

The problem I'm finding (aside from needing to get counters and a map, which I have solutions to) is the absence of the System Map for Starfire III. I did fortunately find a review which included the maps and it does look as if my stopgap solution of using a Traveller sub-sector map with the occasional world pencilled in should work and arguably be infinitely expandable. Still, I'd like to get some input on what the more experienced Star Lords would do for not only Empires, but New Empires as well.

Ok, I got to thinking, and reread your post...

A few things about SF III: Empires
1: There are two scales: The empire, and tactical.
2: the standard tactical map for the day was the blue TFG map. 28 columns, 34 rows, vertical grain, odd collumns high, even only 33 rows of full hexes.
3: the empire map is, as noted above, totally a gimmick. Included because wargamers expected it.
4: The system layouts are done on a standard tactical map. Yeah, it makes systems very defensible... a BS4 with mostly G can hit almost anything in system.
5: the cover rule wasn't yet in existence, so only the star blocks LOS...

Given all that, some players decided that the system map should be a separate scale; when so doing, the tactical is on one such map and the system another; any ships entering the same hex in a given impulse resolve their battle before the next (vaguely defined) system impulse happens. Set them up in opposite corners of a separate tactical map, play it out, survivors return to the system map.

2E boxed sets are kind of hit or miss... some had the blue map, others had the newer and larger TFG black map. (Still available from Starfleetgames.com - hit Starfleet Battles, go into Spare Parts -- other, should see it.)

New Empires can use the same maps as Imperial Starfire & newer.
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