So, these region maps I’ve been working on for ancient Greece. I’ve actually been trying to figure out water for quite a while. I came up with a mapping method that uses hexagons in the Settlers of Catan as units of measurement, and I’ve been trying to figure out whether I need to somehow incorporate Seafarers to make it work.

One of the problems is, I don’t own Seafarers of Catan.

I’ve been trying to come up with a workaround. Incidentally, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make the “Rivers of Catan” variant (from Traders and Barbarians) work, and I keep editing out the rivers because they dictate too much of the map’s structure. I always go back to the standard setup with four pastures, four fields, et cetera.

To do all this, I’ve been printing out tons of hexagon graph paper on which to draw my maps. I came up with some simple iconography to represent different terrain types, which uses a little sheep for the pastures, horizontal lines for the fields, triangles for mountains, and so forth. I had an idea this morning, thanks to that.

See, those boring horizontal lines made me think of the element symbols from The Fifth Element, mostly because I represent each field with three horizontal lines. I wondered how hard it would be to use wavy lines instead, and I thought I might use them for water. The problem was that I’d still only have the four.

But then it occurred to me that I could replace sheep with fish. The fishing industry along the coast basically takes the place of sheep, even if they don’t directly correspond. They have different byproducts, with sheep additionally producing milk and wool, and with fish producing oil and, uh, other stuff that comes from fish.

I realized that I could change almost any of the terrain tiles for a similar “water terrain” hex. Let’s say forests become reefs, and mountains become “undersea trenches,” or more conventional islands. I don’t know how roads would work out, but since I’m not really incorporating roads – well, the settlements don’t really belong to sides, at that.

I’m going to give it a shot, and see if I can work out a basic map of Megaris and Corinthos. I don’t know yet if I’m going to be able to fit all of Argolis in as well, but now that I have a madness to my method, I may be able to make Megaris its own region (the peninsula is rather large, after all, as is the island of Salamis).