I was recently working on painting some starfighter miniatures for a quick combat game, and started getting a few things together prior to play. I found the old rules, the ship status sheets, and entirely too many unpainted minis. What I didn't find was a nice looking map. (Mine were just plain black with white hexes, and after too many years folded up in a closet, the crease lines weren't doing them any favors.)
So, I looked into buying a nice felt map that was big enough to cover my table, and discovered that they were, well, kind of expensive. Kind of prohibitively expensive for my purposes.
That led to me poking around the web for a cheaper solution. I found something that would work well enough for the short term, but I wanted something better. So, I decided to go ahead and spend the time to design my own map. The Universal Space Combat Battlemap
was the result. I designed the PDF so that it could be printed with 1-inch hexes, 1.5-inch hexes, or 2-inch squares. For games that don't use a grid, it can also be printed blank. I grabbed a nice looking picture of the Tarantula Nebula, and used that as a background.
Yes, it takes 42 pages to print it. There's a fair bit of a cutting and glue-sticking involved in the procedure. But, in the end, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Here's a quick look-see at how the pages fit together.