I enjoy playing Air Baron a lot, however, the map can settle into a few patterns. Namely, the mountain west (especially Phoenix and Denver) can turn into into a No-Man's Land with a lot of flux since there are no foreign routes to provide defensive benefit. So, in order to change things up back in the late-90's I made a (hand-drawn) variant map of Europe, and I finally got around to making a presentable computer version, which I have now uploaded. (I'm not a graphic designer however, so although I like the end product overall, there are some parts I dislike--particularly the arrows--maybe someone else will take the idea and do a better job.) I also made a counter sheet, which I will upload as a file (as suggested by the image modders who didn't like it as an image).
The statistics between the original map and this one are the same, by which I mean that as there are two 9-value spokes in the original, there are two 9-values spokes in this version (etc., similarly with market shares and jumbo limits). However, everything has been scrambled (in an educated guess manner using my assumptions of european airports).
One consequence is that the many low-value spokes are clustered on the eastern edge of the board, where there are foreign routes. So, I think that playing a low-purchase-cost/high-volume strategy is a more viable on this map than on the original. I played on this map quite a lot in high school and have enjoyed it, and from that limited experience it seems to be balanced. Hopefully you enjoy it as well.
Interesting design; thanks very much. I'm surprised you decided to use the approach of a similar number of hubs and spokes; I would have gone for less hubs and more spokes myself, causing a greater spread of market share.
It would be interesting to see what would happen if the map was modelled directly onto the main/secondary airports of Europe.
I experimented with a world wide variant, using company owned hotels in replacement for the forgien spoke bonuses. But the work on it ended when I moved and lost my play group.
This European Variant looks beautiful!
I do agree with using the same number of spokes and hubs as the origional. With the exception of the Western Empire issue, the original game did have a good balance of hubs and spokes.
In the world wide concept I only added one hub with three spokes and balanced victory market share accordingly. To many more hubs and there is to much money flying through the players hands and hastens the end of the game. To few hubs and it could make infighting very expensive and when one person takes control of one hub, the rest of the board would fall to their bonuses to quickly.
Its only my opinion, but I feel the number of spokes and hubs is pretty good. Its the set up of how many are adjacent to eachother and the patterning of the players that is the real crux of the entire thing.