Question for any tabletop war-game enthusiasts

Having recently got a copy of Ogre 6th Edition, I’m wanting to recreate the old GEV maps at the same scale. Yes I’m aware that SJG sells a set, but $60 plus shipping to Japan is a bit prohibitive. Heck while I’m at it I’d like to make my own maps as well.

If anyone has experience with making their own physical wargame maps, please share your resources & experience. Even pointers to where I could get blank map boards or durable large hex sheets in the 1.5" scale would be nice.

(ping @Stripes @shylocxs @garethb2 just in case)


Mostly it will be a matter of is the time + local printing cost for large format printing worth the hassle of just buying.

Your cheapest option will probably be blank game boards and print out stuff to put on that or printing on good cardstock at the local print shop.

Also I have played on vinyl play areas (basically banner sign material) for minis games that were professionally printed but those sell for what you are gonna pay yourself not counting the time and effort for designing the play area though if you want a blank for marking up with dry erase that may be cheap enough.

And there is this guys idea.


Actually that gives me what should have been an obvious idea about using foam core board for map backing. Easy to score and fold and thus to store.


Cheap and dirty ASCII art. Print it on a dot matrix printer for that classic touch.

  ___       ___       ___
 /   \     /   \     /   \
/     \___/     \___/     \
\     /   \     /   \     /
 \___/     \___/     \___/
 /   \     /   \     /   \
/     \___/     \___/     \
\     /   \     /   \     /
 \___/     \___/     \___/

For star maps like Traveler, slightly smaller.

 __    __    __    __    __
/  \__/  \__/  \__/  \__/  \
\__/  \__/*5\__/  \__/  \__/
/  \__/  \__/  \__/  \__/  \
\__/  \__/  \__/  \__/  \__/
/  \__/  \__/  \__/  \__/  \
\__/  \__/  \__/  \__/  \__/

Believe it or not thats exactly what we used to do back in the early 80s. This being 2018 and me not being a kid with lawn mowing money, I’m looking for a slightly nicer solution now.


I happen to have a printer that does something like 14”x24” prints, if you can find one you could do a little SVG hex map or the like and tape several together.

I don’t think 3D printing the individual hexes would work out cost effectively, although if you had a laser cutter wood hexes might work out…but not if you ALSO have to buy the cutter.

Oh! In the states Staples and other office supply shops will print “posters” from your source material. If you make a PDF of the map you could get some place like that to print the “poster” of the map. Some of the material can be very durable. Some places also “print” blankets or throw rugs. Any of that might work out at an OK price…

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One option I’m looking into is printing onto soft vinyl that can be rolled up as a game mat. The thing is I want to actually design a map not just blank hexes.

Oh! Somehow I thought you had a version of the map from warehouse 23 or some other place that sells PDFs.

You might check to see if you can get GEV maps for a “reasonable” price from them. If you can’t, but do have example of all the terrain types in your new Ogre v6 whatever set maybe you can scan them? Then reassemble a full map out of scanned tiles from the small map?

I have all the original maps from all the pocket size Ogre related games. I could scan and recreate those (not rescale) with Photoshop. I want to also make new scenario maps as well.

There seem to be places online offering software that would let you design your own map and print it out.

Here’s one:

Alternatively, designing a map would seem to be fairly straightforward given access to photoshop, etc.

There are only a fairly limited number of terrain colours and they could presumably be scanned in and used as a custom palette. Hex overlays are simple enough. Roads and rivers can be hand drawn.

There’s also a site here with some tips on how they converted satellite terrain photos into an Ogre compatible map which should work just as well for whatever map you designed:

The stuff about how the map was made is right down at the bottom.

Personally I would be inclined to go with printing your map on paper and laying over a clear plastic/vinyl protective sheet. Combines economy and attractiveness.

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Neat! I’ll put together a windows VM to run that. I can see that being fun for Classic Ogre. Reminds me of this

Thats what I’m hoping to avoid. And I could use as part of a Photoshop tool chain as well.

What I’m hoping someone knows about is something like the variety of hex mapping tools out there, some that run in browser like and What I can’t find is a dedicated tool that lets me have full control of hex sizes, thats part of what I hope someone here knows.

I think hexographer lets you set the hex size.

From the manual pdf

Hexagon Size Control
The width and height of a hexagon in the edit window is normally under the control of Hexographer.
These values change as the mapmaker zooms in and out. There are occasions, however, when the mapmaker may wish to take direct control over these dimensions.
For instance, if the map is changed from True Column to True Row (or vice versa), the hexagon dimensions (the aspect ratio) may need to be changed.
Uncheck the “Preserve Ratio” box to edit the individual dimensions. Neither the width nor height may be made less than 10.

Is it photoshop in particular you’re trying to avoid or just the general hassle of making your own tiles?

I had previously read the manual and have a question in to the developer. If it turns out that solves my desires then thats the way I’ll probably go.

The overall workflow of photoshop for this particular task seems far more of a chore than something like Hexographer or even hexgrid which let you import images for tiles and directly fill a hex plus the other map making features. I know I could do it in Photoshop, its more work.

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I’ve used Hexographer and it’ll certainly produce a nice looking map (subject to whether it’ll meet your needs in terms of scaling, etc. of course) and it’s easy to use.

I suspect you already know about this but just in case not:

is a rabbit hole of nice maps and advice threads.

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The time I spent looking there seems most gaming people are focused on RPGs rather than wargames. The two are just different enough to be almost incompatible.

Most - but they do have a forum for boardgames/hex and counter style wargames.

Mind you, a brief skim indicates the advice is either photoshop/open-source alternative or Hexographer :slight_smile:

As for the differences between RPG maps and wargaming ones, I wouldn’t get too hung up on them. It depends on the RPG.

You would presumably be looking more for advice on creating the old-school style world map in hexes (which after all directly came from wargaming).

I mean - presumably all you care about is that you can create hexes at the right scale and plunk terrain down onto your hex map as you choose?

Or you could just take any map that is at the right scale and pop a clear overlay with hexes printed on over the top. Each hex takes the terrain type that the majority of terrain covered by it consists of.

By the way, there appears to be a newer version of the OgreMap software:

(found via the forum at SJ Games)

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Essentially yes.

Worst comes to worst, I can spray mount secondly printed maps like done with the San Francisco scenario onto scored foam core boards and overlay a vinyl hex printed sheet as you say. I’ve already prepared a very large hex PDF for that eventuality (80x80cm) using Hexagonal.

Time to install crossover or something like that.

I bow to your search foo @L0ki! You have been most helpful!


For anyone interested, this seems to run under Wine using Winebottler to make it into an app. Even better it has both Classic and Designers Edition modes! I successfully exported a generic map as a PNG and measured a new in Photoshop and it looks to be correct.

Thank you @L0ki once again, I think I can consider my problem solved for now. Maybe someday I can get more fancy and customized but this will certainly hold me over!

I am a happy boy!

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