Spotlight on Design 14 – Towns and Cities
Not present in every map, towns and cities can show an understanding of the economic and social realities of medieval life. In this week’s Spotlight on Design, Stratego looks at some great examples.
The talented map designer jdodders88 created an impressive model of an oriental city in his Crusader map Tol Amnieroth. This urban detail shows us an exemplary typical architectural style of oriental housing estates. Here you see the characteristic, partially cramped arrangement of buildings and a multitude of alleys and places, reflecting the impression of a labyrinth.
In this special case, the story tells us of a city shaken up awfully by war. Nobody knows if the population succeeded to escape or if it has been killed. Everywhere you find (and feel) the tracks of war and destruction. The city itself is under enemy’s control and you meet several small groups of hostile soldiers patrolling in the streets.
Map designer firewrks tried to copy a historic model of an ancient city and he succeeded to create an extraordinary masterpiece. This second example shows an interesting detail of the French city of Carcassonne, located in the south of France. In our times, Carcassonne is the capital city in the province of Aude.
The author portrays the pure image of a well-fortified city surrounded by two rings of stony walls. In its heyday, Carcassonne counted 52 towers and 5 bastions! It had also been a clerical centre in those days, and the cathedral dates back to the 13th century.
The systematic (checker-like) arrangement of “upgraded” hovels represents those half-timbered houses in a remarkable way.
This next tremendous example, Scourge of Darkness, chapter 2, by Warlord Designs is marking a milestone of time-consuming filigree and precision work. This detail shows us the lovingly transformed idea of a seaport impressing with its individual charm. The typical dock area is representing an excellent concept of various workshops and nice hovels. You feel this relaxed but also vivid atmosphere if you’re watching the women going for a walk along the pier. The characteristic moles and landing places are extremely impressive to say nothing of the trading vessels or warships. Two mighty towers protect the harbor entrance against “unasked” invaders like pirates or the enemy.
These last two pictures demonstrate a very individual interpretation by Duke of York. In his great map Urban Warfare II – The City you can see a partially large-scale town planning of a medieval city. Everywhere you’ll find lots of pleasant things increasing the city dwellers’ quality of life, for example promenades, fountains, gardens or ponds.
This well-thought-out concept of a canalization running through the entire municipal area is another remarkable highlight. You will also notice different areas of industrial or agricultural activities completely integrated into the whole complex of a varied townscape. Very nice, this “intelligent” arrangement of several stockpiles representing a kind of a mole at the sea with all the goods being ready for trading.