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Recommendations to create a pacific war game fictional map

8 replies [Last post]
larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

I have an idea in my mind for a pacific war game for the whole theater. Since playing on the same map could be repetitive and have dominant strategies after many plays. I thought it could be cool to have an alternate map on the flip side of the board.

It would also be a more symmetrical game giving as much chances to win for each player. As an historical map, the japanese are generally at disadvantage and is normally played by the most experienced player. With a symmetical map and setup, both players will have a chance to win.

Now, my question is: how this fictional map should be designed to have the same look and feel as a pacific war.

I think the idea would be to have a mixture of land contients and islands. Allowing certain warfare over land and naval expansion using navy. Continents are more likely to have resources than islands.

The map is rectangular, I though of various options:

Land on each side, island in the middle: Each edge of the board is a piece of continent and to reach the opposing side, you must pass through the islands. The continent could be at the top/bottom or at the left right. Still, it could create a situation where there is little land battles and once you land on the opponent's continent, the game is almost over.

L shaped continents in corners: Each player has an L shaped continent on opposing corners of the board. Giving you 2 path, land soon and conquer with your army. Or stick the islands all the time. I Could also split the continent in 2 parts.

Continent in the center: Give and important contient in the center and islands on the side. The players home country is on a large island.

Any other suggesitons

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
How about the Philippines as the center followed by...

India, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

Of course you only get a bit of each location, as if it were only part of the map. Malaysia and the Philippines could be in the center, making for most of the action on the islands (as desired).

My 5 cents...

lewpuls's picture
Joined: 04/04/2009
Perhaps look at small-scale

Perhaps look at small-scale maps and expand to Pacific size. This can be interesting.

So can looking at maps of the earth from millions of years ago.

RadarLockGames's picture
Joined: 12/31/2015
what I have done.

Good Morning Larienne (and the rest)!
I have been working/playing my navel game for a while now and once I had the open ocean combat concept/mechanics down, I moved on to land masses and islands. My game board is a 3'X 4' blue laminated sheet with 1/2" squares. I originally came up with laminated islands and pieces of land of Wake, Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal etc and just threw them on the board. I found through game play that the islands/land "move". my solution was a large of glass (3x4) that I would place over the game board after I arranged the islands/land the way that I wanted. I think I picked up the glass at a second-hand store for like $10. Once I had islands/land "secure" then that opened up a whole new facet of game play of landing craft, shore guns, airfields etc. Obvious problems I have run into, if I ever want to go from hobby to commercial production then I will have to address the map size and the glass :)
Be Safe, Stay Healthy and Stay Sane
Radar Lock Games

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I don't want to use smaller

I don't want to use smaller scale maps. I could do it for another game in the future (ex: Like field commander napoleon in the pacific). But for now, it is a more abstract large scale game.


Another idea was to use an S shaped land distribution: 2 L corners and a small continent in the center. You could rush for the center to access more ressources or expand on land. Or you cold cut through directly towards ennemy territory with the islands.

So it seems to be the idea of 2 strategic path:

Slow progress, lot of resources
Fast progress, little resources

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Many combinations

For starters, might I suggest that you can have 4 different boards with just 2 sides.

Simply fold the big field into half. The "distance" to cross will probably be 70% for the small, compared to 100% for the big.

If you have a "small" map that is rotating symmetrically.
Then have an exact mirror of that small map. You can have several different kind of maps already.

But at least 4 symetrical ones in total.


Have one corner be a small patch of land. The other one to be a larger patch of land that extends to the middle on the long side.
On the other long side, of course the same that is rotating symmetrically.
Players can both start on the small or both on the large patches. Key here is that they start in the corners diagonally of each other, if you designed it right.

This will be a relative open water map, but you could put a small island in the middle as well.

Now, if you put the mirror version of this map together. You can have 2 versions:
- Version 1 is where the players start on the small patches in the corners. This time, it will be on the same side. But the large patch will be splitting the map in half. And the players need to go around this large patch.
- Version 2 is where the players start on the large patches in the corners. Again on the same side. The map will not be split in half, so players can reach each other in an easier way. The other half of the map is hardly used. Unless you have some special functions for the land. Like extra resources or something.
- In both versions, there will be 2 small islands as well if you added them. They might offer leverage for special ship designs to go around. I did the same with my board game. For units to hide behind a small obstacle further into the map. They got 2 to go around, a longer path if you will. But more coverage, so a better benefit.

Now, the other map will simply be a big island in the middle. But 2 of these maps patched together will create a big island with a canal in the middle.

The big island and the 4 corners maps can't be put together. Unless you design them in a special way. Like for example, having the 4 corners on the big island map.

I wished I could show some examples. Map design can be fun for a designer as well.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
if I mapped correcly, it

if I mapped correcly, it should look like this


That could be interesting, there would be 2 start up option. It creates a another kind of S shaped map.

It could have a dynamic of rushing toward the center, or securing a nearby continent and losing the center.

Looks better than my idea, I'll add it to the list.

pelle's picture
Joined: 08/11/2008
Look at Victory ("Blocks of

Look at Victory ("Blocks of War") for some ideas?

Your assumption about how victory conditions in wargames work are wrong though. Every asymmetrical game or scenario I ever played also had asymmetrical victory conditions. You do not expect Japan to win the war, but the player playing that side can still win the game.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Well the idea is to give a

Well the idea is to give a different look and feel, have the same objective on both side and avoid dominant and most of the time historical strategies by adding variation to the map.

Also USA have all resources inland while japan has all its resources outside it homeland making it easier to hinder Japan income than USA.

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