Village of Albridge - First City Designer Project

This is my second crack at using CC3, this time with the City Designer set. Overall I'm reasonably happy with it, but now I need some input.

This map is an expansion of an existing map found in the D&D Adventure [I]"Reavers of Harkenwold" [/I] found in the Dungeon Master's Kit in their essentials line. As part of the adventure, and hopefully without too many spoilers, the heroes participate in the "Battle of Albridge" which is a series of three encounters set just to the south of the village. However, in advance of the battle, the characters are supposed to help the raised militia of the town in planning the defense of the town. As such, I know that my crew will want to have much more than just the close-in village map, but rather a larger map that includes the surrounding area, but is still close-enough in to see the various buildings, fields, hedgerows etc... So I started building this map, but am now at a point where I need some critique and input.

Here's what I have so far:

If you want a much larger version go here:

The central part of the village is developed directly from the map from the adventure itself. I imported a bitmap of the town map, and simply drew over top of it. The original map went from just below the dirt road at the top of the picture, to just south of the river with the buildings and fields that hug the shoreline. The width of the map is determined by the inner part of the two forested areas on either side of the town north of the river. Outside of that, the design part is mine, including the hedge-lined fields south of the river.

The scale marker in the lower left corner indicateds 500 feet... so this map is approximately 1 mile x 1 mile in terms of area. The battle in question will involve approximately 200 soldiers on either side, so this is not an unrealistic size for that kind of a fight.

What I want to do is flesh out the map well, but provide some stuff of tactical interest. I'm trying to build in a steep-ish forested ravine in the darker areas on the west side of the stone road so that it gives some focus as to where the battle is most likely to take place (southeast). However, I want the whole map fleshed out, rather than me looking lazy the further out from the center I get.

I'd appreciate any input you might have for me. :)


  • Hi Agatheron,

    this is an amazing map! It's great how much detail you already added for this map scale (e.g. the structured fills of some fields and the fenced areas).

    As for tactical delicacies: One major factor is always movement of troops. You could add some features that help or prevent such movement, like forested areas, hills, ravines, lakes, roads or more bridges or fords. (By placing troops or obstacles accordingly, these can also be used to force an enemy to move along a certain route.)

    Another item is command and control. Even with wireless radio (which is not available here, I guess) it's difficult for a leader to get a clear view of the battle. The location of hills from where you can have a good look might influence from where a general might want to lead his troops. He'll need mounted soliders or soldiers on foot to transmit his messages to the sub-leaders, but that might not be played out in much detail. Lastly, one or more sides (if their headquarters are not directly in the village) may need to commadeer one of the outlying farms as their HQ, where reserve troops might be hidden. Camps can also be located in open areas, if available.

    Is logistics a topic for this battle? Supplies are transported via roads, so the more vulnerable a road is (steep slopes at the sides are perfect for an ambush), the more troops are needed to protect the carts. On the other hand, the more side roads are available, the more difficult it will be for an ambusher to determine where to set up the ambush.

    So... was that in any way helpful? :-)

  • edited November 2012
    The dark area in the south and slightly west part of the map is intended to be a ravine. I'm expecting much of the troops from the invading force to focus on the farms to the southeast. The presence of a steep ravine would definitely give a visual clue as to why they would do so. In terms of vantage points, there is a ruined watchtower near the river that can provide sight lines. Otherwise, the village is only slightly lower than the surrounding countryside. I would expect the invading force would establish themselves on the hill opposite the farms for similar reasons for the tower.

    Supply lines are less a concern in terms of the actual battle. There's some stuff in the lead-up to this fight that handles that, and it does impact the actual outcome of the fight. In this case, I'm more looking at a tactical skirmish that might involve 200 soldiers on each side, the vast majority of whom are on foot. Neither side has cavalry at its disposal. What horses are available are primarily use for command and control.

    Thanks for your input so far. It's great will be very helpful as I flesh out the map.
  • I am impressed. A very fine map.
    Especially like the way you did the fileds with the brown edge. Is that an outer glow effect?

    Since the town is near a river I would have expected something like docks and a few boats.
    And since there seem to be bit of forest near the town I would expect more trees further out.
    Like the way you did thoos trees btw. A very natural look.

    More trees would certainly give your heroes a few tactical opportunities.
  • The fields were done in two sheets. I created a "Field Dirt" sheet that sits just under the "Fields" sheet, so I could control the sheet effects for each layer independently. I did the dirt first, and the field content second.

    Here's an update on where it is now:

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

    A larger version here:

    While they were not part of the original map, I will be adding moorings and a small wharf for transport fairly close to the north side of the bridge.

    I'm torn between forest and field. The larger regional map is fairly open with a few copses of trees. I'd like to have some pastureland, but am not sure how to best represent it.
  • Hi,

    really nice how this map is developing! I like the small river and lake in the ravine.

    I have no idea about the campaign background and whether you have any preferred battle plotline - do the PCs know that the invading forces arrive from the south? If so, I would expect them to set up some scouts on the southern hill and to the west of the ravine.

    As for the invading force, I expect of course they will try to take over the farms south of the river, while at the same time to gain control over the only bridge (sneak attack through the ravine with a small squad?)? Maybe some individual buildings on the green road to the south might give some nice intermediate targets.

    Do you plan to create some smaller scale maps for individual fights?

  • Think you did a great job.
    Would leave this map as it is right now.
    Will make a fine map for the heroes to discuss tactics.
  • There still needs to be a bit of dressing around the farm on the northwest side. I suspect that I will have that more as a sheep farm with lots of grazing pasture, and less in the way of fences. I will do some small earthworks to represent older ruins of nearly-forgotten farm steadiness. This is getting close to being finished. I expect by tomorrow it should be done save for some tweaks.

    @Nils: the players will know the invading force will come from the south. The group will be overconfident, plus Albridge is the only bridge across the river in the region, and it is very likely that the two ferries will be pulled over to the north side, inaccessible to the mercenaries... So the only way to cross into the north side of Harkenwold is by way of the bridge on this map.

    As for close-in tactical maps, I already have one supplied with the adventure. Some of the farms on the south side, particularly around the houses are modelled after those maps.

    Anyway, thanks for all the suggestions. I'd appreciate whatever other input you might have. :)
  • Right. Update time. This is nearly finished, except for the labels:

    That having been said, after I rendered this, I noticed that the wells throughout the map were on the wrong layer, and so cast a shadow as if they were much taller than everything else. Please ignore that flaw, I've fixed that now :)

    Here's a bigger map:

    Anyway, any pieces of input to add? I can almost call this one done :)
  • ClerconClercon Betatester Traveler
    This is a really great map! I like that you show so much of the surroundings. Gives it a very authentic feeling. After reading your story of the attack I started to think about how I would defend the village, which wont be a very easy task. A lot of forest to sneak up in. The best thing to do, depending on your numbers would probably be to build a strong defense at the bridge and leave the south side completely. Great idea for an adventure as well.
  • Thanks... It's done now. All labelled and ready to go :)


    And the link to the bigger one is here:

    I had fun with this.
  • RalfRalf Administrator, ProFantasy 🖼️ 18 images Mapmaker
    Excellent! The end result is really beautiful.
  • Great map. Makes me want to make a holiday trip to the country side. And I see quite a few interesting areas for the battle.
  • Those who know the adventure well might recognise some of the farms in the south part of the map to be in the same shape as the battle map that is provided by the adventure itself. It achieves is by having a large map that can be folded in half depicting different locations. In this case, three of the farms on the south end represents those different locations in roughly the same shape. It makes the supplied maps feel less "generic" :)
  • These turned out so well, Gratz.

    And like I said before, really love the way you did the woods.
  • Fantastic map! The trees seem a bit large compared to the houses, but the overall effect is beautiful.
  • 1 year later
  • Sorry to probably be asking a very obvious question but I am trying to create forests much like the ones above. Does anyone have any advice on how the creator of the map above did it and maybe how I should go about it.

    I have CC3, CD3 and DD3 along with the 2011 and 2012 annuals.

    My current project is a city map using Jon Roberts style.

    I found it difficult to create the forest using the tree provided in that style.
  • Well in the misc symbols pack for Jon Roberts there is an overhead tree. Just use it and rescale it to get the variety of tree sizes. Unfortunately you will have to do one at a time unless you are able to create tree clumps to make the process go faster. Its not a hard thing to do, but you will need GIMP or Photoshop to open the High Resolution png. Then make several copies at various sizes and composite them into one symbol AND THEN import it back to CC3. I just started doing this with some other symbols sets and it is not as hard as it sounds.
  • Blather thank you. That might be a solution.

    I am wondering if any of the other master mappers out there can tell whether the forests were done using a filler or did the map maker here do it manually?
  • very nice town i like it!
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