Did you ever finish your map?
If so, can you share with community?
I am in process of selecting a map to print, and yours embodies much of what I am looking for in a map.
Confucius said “Too far is no better than not far enough.”
I’ve been seeing a lot of 4 X 8 maps out there. These obviously look impressive, but how do you practically play on them? How do you resolve the problem of not being able to reach across a 4 foot map? Where do you put all of your reference cards, battleboards, dice rollers, IPCs, and unit trays?
I can see a single guy or two doing this, spinning around to use additional tables for play aids and moving around the table, but what if you have six guys? Don’t you end up crashing into each other to get to distant parts of the map, charts, etc?
Here’s my 12x5 table with 8x4 map. Ain’t ever gonna go smaller unless. Have 2 of theses.
Allows 3 people to sit on each side and 1 on each end if need be.
You can see more of what’s going on on other side of map.
Things stand out more.
For guys like me that can’t see lol
Depends on how many pieces in your game.
Mine over 600
I suppose it could be argued that a big table gives the players more maneuvering room, and creates less opportunity for collisions than if they were crammed around a small one. The greatest potential for players to keep crashing into each other would actually be if they were all following the advice of that other Chinese sage, Sun Tse: “When we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”
Reaching across a big table is admittedly awkward, but a few techniques can help:
- Have a good supply of long-handled croupier sticks, a.k.a. war rakes, to help you reach across the table as needed. See here and here for inspiration:
Have a good snack table on the other side of the room. That will give people an alternate place to congregate, away from the gaming table.
A similar trick is to put together a big slideshow of WWII photos and videos and run them on a continuous loop on a computer near the snack table.
Here’s a deluxe concept that technically would require a split-level room, but which perhaps could be improvised on a more modest scale. The RAF’s plotting rooms had observation galleries…
…which gave analysts an elevated view of the plotting tables. Combining that concept with the simpler method of providing an array of chairs (as in the other photo above), what could perhaps be done – given a large enough gaming room – is to get a bunch of sturdy second-hand empty wooden boxes of some sort and use them to set up an improvised slightly elevated observation platform on which observer chairs could be lined up. That might get a few players away from the table itself. The boxes could be removed and stacked in a corner, or a garage, afterwards, to free up the floor space between games.
The only country that has to reach to the other side is Japan. Most Japan players will sit on
other side of map to study the map whether it’s 4f or 3f.
I don’t get it. The UK, Russia, and Japan would logically be sitting at the top of your map closest to their capitals. But that would mean Germany could not even reach their own capital from their chair on the other side. I guess I would have to visit somebody with a big map to see it.
This is are setup. Ill try this in a pattern.
Won’t line up correct on page here
It be one side
Ger ussr japan
Italy FEC Anzac
UK USA on Europe side end
USA China on pacific side end
Another thing is we have both sides going at the same time
with dice boxes and casualty boards on each end.
This allows each player to sit at there country based on room. I’ve seen to many games
where Germany plays on Italy’s side.
When we play again Ill send you link to when we live stream games if you want.
More than welcome to come see the setup.
Maybe big map not your choice.
@CWO-Marc Thank you for these insights and links - very helpful!
@CWO-Marc Thank you for these insights and links - very helpful!
My pleasure. I’ve had a fondness for big military plotting tables ever since I saw the original 1970s movie Midway, which actually has two such tables: a relatively small one on Yamamoto’s flagship, and a huge one filling a whole room in Nimitz’s headquarters in Hawaii. Both tables use neat little ship-shaped labeled blocks to denote the position of vessels, and flat markers to depict aircraft. There are some funny continuity errors, if you look carefully, where the positions of the ships change from shot to shot within the same scene. My favourite one is the scene where Nimitz asks Spruance – who’s just placed the three American carrier markers near Hawaii – how he plans to position his forces at Midway; as Spruance thinks, the film cuts to a close-up of the three markers, which aren’t in the same configuration as we saw in the long shot. I credit that movie as the source of my eventual interest in A&A maps and sculpts.
“Sink the Bismark” also has a nice plotting table and makes good use of it. Both movies might be worth your looking at as reference sources for table design. Midway’s big table takes the interesting approach of not having fully straight sides; it’s indented in the areas where there’s empty ocean with no nearby land, to allow easier access to the other parts without having to reach over lots of empty space. That’s a bit radical for an A&A map, but in principle some of the southernmost sea zones of the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic could be deleted to make room for table indentations.
Here’s a follow-up thought about table indentations. I note that General Manstein’s table has accessories trays along both the north and south edges of his table, which is convenient but adds to the amount of space over which players need to reach. I have no woodworking skills whatsoever, so I don’t know if this is doable or practical, but I’m wondering: could these types of trays be attached to a hinge of some sort, so that each one could be swung outward temporarily to give room to a player who needs to reach for an awkward area of the map? It could then be swung back into position along the table edge once the sculpt moves have been completed.
Possible. I would perfer a slide out drawer of some sort. Then push back in under the dice box. You can make dice box smaller too and have same roll out drawer for sides.
You would need to raise height of table for this but this would help with reach based on sides smaller