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Representing Territories Game Board

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I'm designing a light wargame set in medieval times. Currently the board is divided into territories similar to what a Risk board looks like. I have been trying to think of an innovative way to represent territories on the board and also a new way armies will move from place to place.

Hexes probably wouldn't work in the game since it's more about people controlling fiefs (the territories) and less about controlling a certain hex. But I certainly wouldn't rule out hexes if it's innovative. I'm not really interested in terrain modifiers or anything else too fancy, as I'm trying to keep the combat mechanic as simple as possible.

If it helps, the combat mechanic is very simple as well. Each side has a bunch of armies and rolls dice. The highest roll will kill off some of the other side's army units. There are multiple rolls in each battle. Again, this is similar to Risk. I know this mechanic isn't very exciting, it's just that I'm designing this game for my family who like dice and simplicity.

Does anybody have any ideas about innovative ways to represent territories on a game board and also the movement of armies to and from those territories?

Many thanks!

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Representing Territories Game Board

I've traded ideas with the creator of the World of Kaomaris PBeM wargames about converting his system to a board game.

One idea I had was to have 2-sided counters representing the different types of units ... 1 side would have the unit type symbol on it, the other would have a number from 0 to 2 on it. When units are added to the game, the proper number of counters are added, plus an additional "0" counter. All counters are placed symbol-side up (number side down).

Movement between territories basically allowed a player to reorganize the counters of one particular unit type between 2 adjacent territories. With the numbers on the counters remaining hidden, after a player moves counters a couple of times, it would add some uncertainty to what was there.

Not sure if that would work for what you're doing or not, but thought I'd drop it on you.


Zzzzz's picture
Joined: 06/20/2008
Representing Territories Game Board

Well in keeping with simplicity, you might consider organizing the territories in such a way that say every single territory touches exactly 6 other territories.

In order to explain what I am saying, lets consider a hex (each territory is a hex). If we have a method for numbering the 6 sides of my hex, we could then roll a d6 to determine determine where I move, or where units are moved, etc.

You can do the same thing with any board layout that that has any shaped territories connected, but of course you would want exactly 6 territories to be connected to any one territory.

As a side note, this would result in a random movement mechanic, which might not be what you want. Might be fun though, since you never know where you might move, and maybe you would be forced to move into another opponents territory where they are "stronger" then the army you are moving into the territory. Thus making you an underdog in that territory (unless you can get more units there by some other means).

Not sure this helps, but it what I currently have in my head. :)

Hedge-o-Matic's picture
Joined: 07/30/2008
Representing Territories Game Board

The idea of having each territory have a set number of neighbors is a good one, if you want access to each to be uniform. You could distort the territory hexes however you wanted, and still be playing on a hidden hex board of a small size.

Another way to help movement between fiefs is to have symbols on the border. These symbols could allow ony certain unit types through. For example, a border could have two horse symbols, and a boot symbol. The player could cross two mounted units, and a single foot unit each turn. The player would set their units onto the border during their turn, and make their final move afterwards. This allows cross-border congestion, as units going back and forth use the same spots. Some spots could have dual use, such as horse or foot.

Along with this, other types of units could also require this sort of move. Trade caravans might use a horse space to cross. Or certain areas might have a short two-spot path between areas, requiring movement over multiple turns to cross the border.

Representing Territories Game Board

Thank you for all of the great input. I particularly like the idea of the counters where movement of those armies starts to create a fog of war. It's almost like a shell game. Could be very interesting. Also, the idea of counters restricting the movement of certain types of units sounds like a neat mechanic as well. Perhaps players would have to purchase these counters some how, which could make for good strategy as to what counters to buy, when to buy them, and where they should be placed.

I was watching First Knight the other day (with Sean Connery and Richard Gere) and saw that the evil knight (Madagan??) was attacking border towns. I thought that this would be pretty neat if it could be represented on a game board. I was thinking that maybe territories would have two to four bands. The interior band would be the main stronghold (it would actually be like a circle). Emanating from the stronghold would be bands. Each band would be harder to defend somehow. This could maybe represent border areas on the outward band. Any thoughts on how that could be done?

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