I have essentially already done that
Buying a Very Large World Map
Just like the title says, I would like to buy a very large, fold-out world map to try some variations for Axis & Allies.
After browsing the Internet for similar ventures, I found that a fair number of designers have gone this route, purchasing detailed maps and inking their own borders in heavy felt-tipped marker.
The trick is that I can’t seem to find a seller. Barnes & Noble sells road atlases that are much too small, while gas stations sell only regional and not world maps. Online, very large maps mostly consist of wallpaper or wall-hangings. Any ideas?
Before you spend a lot of money on a large world map, I think it would be prudent for you to start with a small map and to test your planned modifications on it as a proof-of-concept. You may find that the geography of the real world is too problematic for direct use in an A&A game. To pick just two examples: Europe, a major battlefield of WWII, is actually quite tiny in real-world size, so it may turn out to be impossibly tight in terms of working space; and the Pacific Ocean – which consists mostly of empty space – occupies a disproportionately large area of the world (about one-third of its surface, as I recall) and thus eats up map space that could more usefully be allocated to other areas (like Europe) by adopting a less accurate but more practical map layout.
Nowhere Man last edited by
What Marc says… most of WWII takes place in Europe, and that’s a proportionately small space on any map of the world. So much of your map real-estate will be taken up by places that rarely if ever see combat… most of Africa, a ton of central Asia, the Indian and Pacific Ocean, and of course the entire Western Hemisphere… most of those places that dont see combat (especially the new world) are shrunk-down on AA maps, while Europe is enlarged, precisely for this reason.
And on a related point: if you look at an online map of the world and place a rectangular sheet of paper on it so that one of its long edges lies on the equator (alternately covering, for purposes of comparison, the bottom half and the top half), you’ll notice that most of the world’s land masses are in the northern hemisphere. All of North America, all of Europe, virtually all of Asia, and much of Africa are located there. The main land masses in the southern hemisphere are South America, the lower part of Africa, Australia, and Antarctica; the rest of the southern hemisphere is mainly water, which means that for A&A map purposes it’s mostly wasted space. Oceania, a.k.a. the Pacific Islands, including Australia and New Zealand, did see significant action in WWII, so its inclusion on an A&A map is quite relavant…but by the same token Antarctica is a land mass that’s traditionally (and with good reason) omitted from A&A maps.