Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: Arsenale Shipworks Maps

Sometimes we fail to see the elegance in something simple. We don't always see the possibilities in the functional and gravitate toward visually stunning. I have to admit when I first viewed the Arsenale Shipworks maps I almost passed them over for this reason.

These fantasy maps are black and white, one to a pdf, and lack eye catching graphics. As it turns out, this is by design. The maps won't eat your print cartridge, have a 1" grid suitable for 25mm miniatures, and print on 8.5x11" paper.

At last count, Arsenale Shipworks has 12 maps available for about $0.75 per printed page. Each purchase includes the map with and without descriptive text. Most maps are a single printed page but two of the maps reviewed required two pages to print.

For you Virtual Tabletop users, the graphics are easily imported into an image editor like GIMP and saved as jpgs or pngs. The resolutions is 100 ppi and the line up nicely inside Maptool. The added benefit to the black and white color scheme is a small memory footprint inside a VTT.

I had two issues with the maps. The map's description exists only on the retailer's product page and each map is duplicated (one with text and one without) in a separate file which leads to disk clutter. I recommend placing a description on a title page and putting both versions in one file, possibly with a text layer than can be turned off for printing.

Overall the maps are a nice offering and well worth the price.

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