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My Mapmaking Odyssey
Mark Mahaffey
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Columbia
South Carolina
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EDIT: Part II of the odyssey (professional work) is online here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/14844

EDIT:List is roughly in reverse chronological order.

A continuing look at the maps I have had the pleasure to redesign in some manner. I have always done game maps ever since I created my own map for AH's 1964 Gettysburg, and as a kid even created many of my own games from scratch as The Mahaffey Game Company. No, you may not see any of them. They will remained locked in the vault of my closet forever!!

Okay, sorry. The point is that I have been on a craze of mapmaking over the past few sleepless nights, and I want to keep track of all these projects as I go. It all began last year when I designed my first truly production-quality map for a friend's game "Alexander's Triumph" - on the siege of Tyre. And I've had the bug ever since.

Also, give me suggestions of a bad map for a good game you'd like to see redone - either functionally or aesthetically. So here we go - the work so far:

You can also make an "official" suggestion of maps for me to redux here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/15561
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1. Board Game: Hammer of the Scots [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:244]
Mark Mahaffey
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Here's my custom map for Hammer of the Scots. Been (finally) finishing up the map for Jerry Taylor's next, Richard III: The Wars of the Roses, and wanted a Hammer map that would match that. Basic schema is similar, but of course added some tartan seas! This tartan is an anachronistic district tartan for Ayrshire, perhaps my favorite. First came across it here: http://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Album-Boston-Pops-Orchestra/dp/...

Columbia Games is actually hosting a redesign contest for the mapboard, if you want to do a custom map, it could be accepted for publication: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/413649

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2. Board Game: The God Kings: Warfare at the Dawn of Civilization, 1500 – 1260BC [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:4742]
Mark Mahaffey
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A map for Julien Bonnard's new CDG on ancient warfare in the ancient Near East. We put together a nice cuneiform on stone tablet feel here... a little unconventional to use grayscale like that for the undermap, but think it works quite well!
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3. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:262]
Mark Mahaffey
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Here is the map for our near-complete 18-player expansion for FFG's superb game of Martin's novels. You may recall we did a 9-player map a couple years ago that worked quite well, and we've been working on this next expansion off-and-on ever since. The board is about 45x67 inches, and my favorite part in this redux is the calligraphy-ishness of the borders.
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4. Board Game: Manoeuvre [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:561]
Mark Mahaffey
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An alternate set of board tiles that I made for Manoeuvre.
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5. Board Game: We the People [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:871]
Mark Mahaffey
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Been wanting to do something with the Revolution, and this classic seems the logical choice. Hand-vectored the script for the title. Like how the winter quarters spaces and the simple port graphics worked. Turned out a little more modern than originally expected, but I like the effect.

Original board: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/124585
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6. Board Game: Here I Stand [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:128]
Mark Mahaffey
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Been awhile since I did a redux. Had the pleasure of meeting Ed Beach at WBC this year and learning Here I stand from him. Kept most of the functional design, but added my period flavor to this map for a truly wonderful game. Few little experiments here, like using variable fonts for each language zone. Particularly like the addition of power names around the edges, including signatures of each power's primary leader. Hope you like!

Original board: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/106938
EDIT: Print now available!: http://www.west2productions.com/Mapology/_NEW/Prints.html
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7. Board Game: Advanced Civilization [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
Mark Mahaffey
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Have been meaning do do this for some time, and finally managed to get around to it this past week. This is an aesthetic redux of John Rodriguez and Martin Broden's work on their 18-player expansion map. (http://www.civproject.net) The only content change I made was removing the area names, which are unnecessary except for PBEM anyway. For a PBEM version, they could be added back on rather easily.

I don't have the guts to change the iconic design from the AH gameboard much, so I've kept the basic design. Anyway, hope you like!
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8. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.36 Overall Rank:3]
Mark Mahaffey
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Talk about a good game in need of a good map - this time period is packed with flavor. The Cold War and the battle against communism evoke a lot of imagery, as does Kennedy's speech from which the title is drawn. To my mind, the artwork didn't do a very good job of conveying any of this, so just for fun put on the reduxing hat. A big thanks to my friend Daniel McGinty (http://www.myspace.com/logicalleapdesign) for contributing his wonderful logo and box design to this.

Original board: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/99683
Original box: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/106853


Also, check out the video trailer I made for this: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/155385

EDIT: Print now available! http://www.west2productions.com/Mapology/_NEW/Prints.html
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9. Board Game: Richard III: The Wars of the Roses [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:1035]
Mark Mahaffey
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When I saw the playtest map for Jerry Taylor's upcoming game on the Wars of the Roses, I couldn't resist. Maybe they'll pick this one up for the game, that'd be nice. At any rate, gave it the old-map treatment. Put together all the heraldry from scratch, which was a challenge: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/144203 Think it turned out great!

Preorder the game here: http://www.columbiagames.com/cgi-bin/query/cfg/zoom.cfg?prod...
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10. Board Game: Borderlands [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:3337]
Mark Mahaffey
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A departure for me to a board where the theme is as/more important than the map itself. Borderlands I understood to be comprised of '80s punk/urban elves (oddly enough) and I hope I captured the flavor here...

Characters:
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/20600891/ (flux7)
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/738500/ (zekiesan)

Original board: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/49650

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11. Board Game: Spice Merchants [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Mark Mahaffey
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Found this game through some random geeklist and know nothing about it - apparently no one else does either - but I did this map tonight while I should have been doing real work. I'm a dork.
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12. Board Game: Vinci [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:508]
Mark Mahaffey
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A quick redo of the Vinci map...
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13. Board Game: For the People [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:613]
Mark Mahaffey
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And here is my custom "For the People" map. This is probably the most complex I've done by a good measure - took a while. I think it turned out wonderfully, and look forward to playing on it. Hope you like it too!

EDIT: Print now available!:
http://www.west2productions.com/Mapology/_NEW/Prints.html
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14. Board Game: Alexander's Triumph [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Mark Mahaffey
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And just for fun, here's that Alexander's Triumph map I made long ago...
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15. Board Game: Free At Last [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Mark Mahaffey
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Here's a map I just finished for Ted Torgerson's web-published game of the American Civil Rights movement. Stole the map look from my upcomin FtP map
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16. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:107]
Mark Mahaffey
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A new map for Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage I just finished. Well over forty hours over the last three days creating this. I wanted something a little lighter, and loved recreating the best aspects of the map.

I found the original design a little crowded, but as I worked through making my own I was unable to reduce that. I even went to the point of drawing in the picture of Hannibal crossing the Alps from the cover of the game. I haven't printed this one yet, and I may pull back or remove some of these elements before doing so - but they just look cool!

I love this map, and it has easily been the most challenging and rewarding to make so far. And I learned a good deal about the 2nd Punic War on top of it. My favorite part of this is easily the Carthaginian general track. That red sunburst splash is one of my favorite symbols in history, and it looks great on that shield.

Original board:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/89717


A special thanks to Kallen McInerney (Oiler) for pointing me to UNC's Ancient World Mapping Center for a base map.

Hannibal ad portas...

EDIT: This has received another facelift: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/150687
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17. Board Game: Crusader Rex [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:1031]
Mark Mahaffey
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Crusader Rex suffers from the same atrocities of map design as Hammer of the Scots. Apologies to whoever drew these - they are simply not my cup of tea, though some people seem to like them fine. (What could you be thinking?)

I hammered this map out in less than a day earlier this week, and I love it. My favorite part is easily the focal point created by the seal, title, and turn track. The eastern orientation is the traditional Holy Land viewpoint. My cartography addiction continued over the last couple days with my monstrous project to create...

Original board: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/87541
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18. Board Game: Hammer of the Scots [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:244]
Mark Mahaffey
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Matt's redesign of the Hammer of the Scots did a great service to that game. I think this series represents the quintessential spread between game quality and map style. A great game with a truly ugly map.

I couldn't resist adding some Clan Macfie touches to his design, and tightening it up a little to my own taste. This brief work inspired me to turn out another Columbia blockgame map, at astroglide's suggestion...

[i]f00k's board: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/118551
Original board: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/10212[/i
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19. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:933]
Mark Mahaffey
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The mapboard for Axis & Allies is entirely too small. The pieces don't come close to fitting well onto the board, especially in Germany. So, I thought to myself: time to make a bigger board. Then I realized it was just plain ugly and my stylistic side kicked in to create this map by morphing NASA satellite mosaics to fit the purpose.

I'm not going to admit how much time I spent on this one, and it's definitely a case of a project not finished but abandoned. But I love it - and it got me poking around to see what other stylistic redesigns people have done, and I quickly found a kindred spirit in Matt Harvey (f00k)...

Original board: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/42540
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20. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:262]
Mark Mahaffey
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Last October, we got it into our heads to make a 9-player expansion for Christian Petersen's A Game of Thrones. Which we did.

This required a massive redesign of the board to significantly alter the playing field. This was before I got it into my head to make stylistic map alterations. That came when I got my hands on the 2004 edition of Axis and Allies...

Original board: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/63434
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