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Designer Al Brown noted that one of his disappointments with the published version of Java Man was that the mapsheet had to be down-sized due to cost constraints:

"...the final map is about half the size of the original design, due to production costs compared to funds available, and this rewards murderously aggressive players, which was not the intent of the game."

"...the TRULY original map, used in play test and since lost, was about twice the size of the published version in lateral dimensions, that is about 16 inches by 22, for roughly four times the area." -- Al Brown, August and October 2004

One of the goals for the remastered rules and components is to remedy this by reimagining the original playtest map to help restore some of the original spirit of the game, particularly in multi-player play.

Take a look below for my schematic/draft version of such a map.

Please share any comments you might have regarding this layout, particularly if you give it a playtest!

Note that this map will use different rules for selecting the starting location of your tribe. On the original mapsheet you are able to start your tribe in any hex. On this larger map, your tribe must start within three (or four?) hexes of a map edge (inclusive of the edge hex) but not on a desert, mountain, or river hex.




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Martin Gallo
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Re: A better map for Java Man? [Remastered Edition preview]
If I ever get to play this I might just update that map with more modern graphics.

Thanks for keeping the dream alive!
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I decided to cobble together a version of my larger map using the graphics from Java Man's original mapsheet -- see below for the result. (UPDATE: You can now download this mapsheet and rules addendum from the files section.)

I think this is definitely more presentable than my schematic version (above), and I think my so-so graphic skills fit nicely with the late-seventies small-press style of the original map. ;-) Still, Java Man designer Al Brown is definitely a better graphic designer than I am...

I tried to give this re-imagining the feel of a "used" playtest mapsheet, but you can judge whether or not that attempt was successful. I did not go so far as to add pizza and soda stains!




Hopefully there will be one or two forthcoming versions of this mapsheet with remastered graphics. On account of this, I am referring to this one as the "OG version" -- for "original graphics" . . . or old grognards . . . or whatever!


When playing with this larger mapsheet, use the following special rules:

The Java Man special-rules writer wrote:
SPECIAL RULES ADDENDUM FOR THIS MAPSHEET

This mapsheet is compatible with both the original rules and the Remastered Edition rules. Per designer Al Brown, a mapsheet of this size should readily support up to ten players.

When this mapsheet is being used, the initial placement of tribes is subject to the following restrictions:

A tribe’s starting hex must be within four hexes (inclusive of the edge hex) of any map edge. A tribe may not start in a desert, mountain, or river hex.

(This modifies rule 15.00 of the original rules and rule 1.20 of the Remastered Edition rules.)
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Re: A bigger map for Java Man!
While I shared some snippets of Al's comments in the original post of the thread, I have gone back and collected all of the comments he shared regarding the larger playtest mapsheet, and the deficiencies he felt were introduced by the smaller published mapsheet:


In August 2004, Java Man designer Al Brown wrote:
. . . but there are certain problems with the final product that I must admit . . . the final map is about half the size of the original design, again due to production costs compared to funds available, and this rewards murderously aggressive players, which was not the intent of the game.


In October 2004, Java Man designer Al Brown wrote:
As for size, the TRULY original map, used in play test and since lost, was about twice the size of the published version (a single 8 1/2 by 11 sheet) in lateral dimensions, that is about 16 inches by 22, for roughly four times the area.

It had a confluence of two great rivers, resulting in a vast swamp. The two rivers, before joining, flanked a sort of central highlands, an open plain ringed with barrier mountains. Forests grew along the rivers, and outside the terrain deteriorated rapidly to desert.

With this map, getting the tribe under some sort of movement control, early, allowed the player to move it into the central highlands, there to be safe from random encounters. Meanwhile, other tribes would move methodically along the riverside forests, conducting organized hunts and intensive forage ("Yum yum! Oak leaves!"), while tribes moving randomly ran into obstacle after obstacle, and soon faced extinction.

Also, with the larger map, pre-meditated warfare and genocide was much more difficult, and it was far more obvious that one tribe was actively in pursuit of another.

For a possible future edition, with more advanced rules, we would add special terrain types or hexes, such as "Tar Pit" on the one hand and "GED" (Garden of Earthly Delights) on the other.
 
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