||The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=26494.
Do not be fooled by the cover, Star Map is not just a great looking tabletop for your outer-space miniatures war game. For with every RPG system or setting that embraces space exploration and travel, it is inevitable that combat will ensue. Ship-to-ship combat is difficult to picture when thinking in terms of distances. Ships are so far apart that scale is key. To make it visually easier to run that combat, a battlemap such as Star Map is a great tool to use. Whether its a miniatures war game, such as Noble Armada or Firestorm Armada, or whether you are playing an RPG that includes space combat, such as Fading Suns, Traveller, Rogue Trader, and some Savage Worlds settings, this set of maps allows the minds eye to better picture what is going on.
For what its designed for, Star Map is a beautiful representation of near space for the purpose of having a good looking map during outer-space, ship-to-ship combat. In addition, you can use the Virtual Tabletop JPGs as a backdrop to help set the mood in any spacefaring game.
Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
Space combat with miniatures typically utilizes a hex grid. DramaScape stuck with the hex grid demonstrating the purpose of the map in addition to the gridless JPGs that are included. The three versions depicting just outer-space, a nearby planet, and a space station allow for quick options when you decide to place this on the tabletop. These versions also mean that you’re not just fighting in the middle of nowhere, your combat is bringing you precariously close to something you either aim to protect or destroy.
Visual Appeal: 9 out of 10
Depicting a realistic outer-space is difficult enough. Star Map includes what is probably thousands of star depictions making feel as though you are actually in outer-space. The colorful nebulae make it that much better. It truly is a beautiful depiction of what you would see should you find yourself in a spaceship in outer-space. The space station looks great, although it could use a few detail additions, and the planet looks pretty good, albeit a bit fuzzy next to the outer-space design.
Desire to Use: 8 out of 10
Star Map does a great job of doing what it’s setting out to do. I would like to have seen it be bigger from a use on the tabletop stand-point for larger ship-to-ship combats, but as-is the size works well for RPGs and smaller battles.
Overall: 9 out of 10
I like the Star Map and think it can make a great centerpiece for any ship-to-ship combat. It could make a great exploration map and really has an appeal for space combat miniatures war games or RPGs with a good chance of experiencing space combat. The colors of the actual space map is incredible and the detail is second-to-none. An awful lot of time was spent putting those stars together…
[5 of 5 Stars!]