I think that the map most definitely achieves your criteria’s. I am not such a fan of the colors but they fit with what you want, and are simply a knee-jerk omg reaction that will dissipate. I like the de-cluttering of it thou, and it is definitely easy to see who starts where this way.
When you get a final version up I’d be tempted to print it out as a replacement board myself specially if you put up the PSD and allow us to make our own modifications if needed… Love modifying my boards!
I’m not aware of such a blank outline map existing. Your best option might be to cover the game map with several taped-together sheets of clear acetate (the kind used for purposes like overheard projection) and trace the borders with a felt pen to produce a blank outline. You’d then have various options for transfering this outline to the wood surface. A low-tech method would be to cover the wood surface with sheets of carbon paper (if you can still find any, since it’s gone out of style), place your acetate outline over the carbon paper, then trace over the borders with a hard pencil. Alternately, you could scan or digitally photograph your acetate outline and use that as the printing file you mentioned.
I’m going to probably print a large transparency map based on the board I’ve been designing based on satellite imagery that is in some serious high definition.
If you’ll be using satellite imagery as the basis for your map, will you be keeping the real-world proportions of the land masses and oceans? The Global 1940 game map, for practical game play purposes, distorts both the size and the shape of various geographic areas.
No, I’ve taken the satellite images and enlarged certain areas so that there is room in places like Europe for the large scale of battle that often takes place there. When I’m done with the map file, I’ll post it here if you’re interested