Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/04/11/tabletop-review-battlemap-bowels-of-the-mountain/
This map set from Lord Zsezse Works is a layered map of a mountain in more ways than one. The PDFs have a grid layer that can be turned on and off and the map itself is broken into three parts: a base layer, an optional underground lake, and the mountaintop. The base map is 2′ square and the mountain top covers probably 75% of the map below it.
The download also includes 200 DPI .JPG files of these layers with and without maps that is good for use with virtual table-top programs. I’m always appreciative when a publisher takes the extra step in making their work available in multiple formats.
The only issues I had with this download was that I thought there was a little confusion with the instructions for assembling the map parts. Usually when I put something like this together I would glue the map tiles down to foam core and then laminate them. I couldn’t understand how the cave lake would fit seamlessly into this three-tiered map set. The answer is simple enough….it doesn’t. Because of this confusion on my part I decided to print the tiles up at home, cut them out, and do a dry fit before deciding if I was going to go ahead and finish them up.
There is nothing wrong with the map set with the exception that it appears to be made of of three levels and the instructions don’t do much to point out that the lake doesn’t really form another layer, it can just be laid over the cave base to turn the large cavern into a lake instead. My confusion was me trying to reconcile this disparity which I couldn’t see outright. If you like to mount your maps on foam core like I do, I would only mount the base cavern layer and the upper mountaintop layer. The lake I would just glue together on a thin piece of cardstock or use the lamination to merge the halves.
I wish that there was just a little bit more to the map. While the map does a great job of showing the inside of the mountain, it is a bit lacking when it comes to the cave/mine entrance. To get the entrance you really need to spend another $5 to get the Lumberman’s House battlemap.
Overall, a good map and something I do plan on using in my campaign.