A Lesson in Geography – The Empire v. Chaos
Today I’d like to go over something which digs under my skin. As a geography nerd, one of the first things I did once I started playing WAR was explore the world and try to see every location, and then further delve outside of the Warhammer Online atlas and look at the actual maps. It was then that I noticed Mythic’s complete disregard for geography. Here is a map of the empire with the locations of the different tiers (the locations are based on the locations of the major land marks in those maps, mainly cities) –
For those with a vague concept of the Warhammer World’s geography, it is based on medieval Europe with the Empire being The Holy Roman Empire; Kislev being a combination of Poland/Lithuania/Russia; and Norsca is Scandinavia. With this in mind we tackle distances and common sense loctations.
- Tier 1 – Nordland and Norsca compose this pairing, a pair of maps everyone is familiar with. My main qualm here is how distance is trivialized. Traveling from Nordland to Norsca would require passing through Kislev and Troll Country, instead its just a hop and a skip from Nordland.
- Tier 2 – Now we move to Troll Country and Ostland, Ostland being Nordland’s neighbor so that makes sense but Troll Country is so far to the north, past all of Kislev that it seems very odd to jump past that entire Tsardom.
- Tier 3 – Talabecland is Ostland’s southern neighbor so again a logical step, sorta, but High Pass is so far from Talabecland that it makes little to no sense that these zones are paired together. You would have to cut through all of Kislev to reach its eastern border of High Pass. Additionally Bastion Stair is on the eastern side of High Pass so its location makes sense in regard to being off of High Pass but it is access via the T4 maps of Chaos Wastes and Praag, slight but reasonable stretches.
- Tier 4 – Now here is where the map falls apart.
- First of all The Inevitable City has no location in any army books I’ve read, and the Chaos Wastes is the entire northern chunk of the world, so I slapped the dots randomly on the top of the map. The point however is that if you are in Troll Country or High Pass, why would you go so far south to Ostland or Talabecland only to come back to CW later?
- Secondly Praag is located between Troll Country and High Pass, but why would you by pass Praag from tier 2 to tier 3 only to come back in the middle of tier 4?
- Lastly, Reikland is south of Altdorf, why would the invading chaos armies bypass Altdorf to take Reikland and then turn back north to hit Altdorf? Not only that but Reikland is eons away from Praag. You would have to walk through Talabecland on your way to Praag.
Looking at the Empire v. Chaos pairing on this map one has to ask what kind of general would ever drag his army in this muddling mess. The amount of backtracking is mind-boggling. ‘Lets go north almost at the doorstep of The Inevitable City, and then lets go ALL the way south again!’ It seems that justice would have been served better if the maps were larger to represent distance at least slightly better and if the pairings were reworked.
Lastly, in the hypothetical scenario that a t5 was introduce, the question is raised where in this mess would it go? Ideally in a t5 some of the existing zones would be bumped up to t5 to help even out the campaign. In truth there are large chunks of the eastern provinces of the Empire that could be utilized for a t5 but all things considered this map is a mess!