- Its small and fiddly to deal with, especially with the dinky game cubes
- It is nearly devoid of color - the small colors are VERY small shapes in the corner of each hex.
- The numeric codes in each hex are not intuitive in the least.
So, I'm working on a new map. I started out with hexes the size of AoS hexes. I plan to use Age of Mythology cubes, which are a lot bigger than the AoS sized good cubes, so bigger hexes is a must if for no other reason than this. I decided to try and stick to the basic color scheme - yellow=farm, green=timber, blue=mine, brown=industrial. I used Paint Shop Pro's textures to fill the hexes with color, without "filling" the hex. I even tried for textures that were related - yellow/farm/grass, green/timeber/wood grain, blue/mine/stone, brown/industrial/bricks. I also found images and made smaller hexes for inside the hexes so that the colors were more like secondary indicators to the pictures of a farm, stack of logs, coal train, factory silhouette and city hall (for cities). For the starting hexes, I found logos from the original companies and re-did the colors a bit (rather than using the ones JB did for his map, as I didn't want to be accused of using any of "his" graphics.
Most importantly, I've clarified the meaning of the numbers (well, at least to my mind). The cost of the hex is clearly shown in the hex itself. For the cities, I've added two "plus" numbers the first is the amount you add to the company's value when you build there. The second is the amount you add when you industrialize the city. So rather than the obtuse 2/2/3 for Ashland, you have a 2 in the hex, and +2 +1. Why in God's name anyone thought that the code should be 2/2/3 not 2/2/1 is beyond me. Did they think it sped things up to do the math for you in case you were the second line to build into an industrialized city?
Anyway, this is a sample of what I have so far. I had originally thought I'd do each hex as the picture, but it was WAY too busy and I couldn't get the numbers (for cities) to stand out in a meaningful way. I will likely end up shrinking this a bit, as I'd really like to get the scoring and action piece onto the board, rather than having them as a separate entity. I'm not nearly done, so I'm certainly open to comments / criticisms.