From publisher blurb:
Those of you who have been downloading the New Georgia Maps are already aware that these smaller images are destined to (hopefully) make a single map of New Georgia for use in the Arrghh Bottom Sound RPG (or any other lessor fantasy RPG if you insist). As part of the project I intended to add some ‘art’ or map insets around the edges. This is the map inset for the Munda region. You will note that while it follows the larger map image there are several features on it that are not present on the Munda map with the ‘one mile per hex’ layout. This is intentional, the idea of the large map is to give a framework with cities and towns and general terrain but to leave room for the villages shown on the inset map as well as small, but significant, terrain features.
As to the inset map, the villages are named from local village names or terrain features, but the hills (aside from Bibilo and Gib) and the two named islands have what you may recognize as fairly normal American last names - why?
I have made no secret of the fact I am using WWII era maps and histories in designing this fantasy campaign, and this particular feature that I encountered in my research was something I could not ignore. The hills shown lie on the route from Zanana to Munda, the route the US Army advanced along in its effort to take Munda during the New Georgia Campaign. This campaign was mostly fought by American National Guard units, and between their inexperience and the in-depth Japanese defenses they suffered significant casualties, especially among their leaders. At a point they took to naming ‘hills’ – actually small humps of ground that the Japanese had fortified- for the officers who died taking them. To quote from the book, “Munda Trail” by Eric Hammel on the naming of one such hill;
Early in the morning of July 27, the 1st Battalion, 161st, (State of Washington National Guard) descended into the low-lying rain forest in front of O’Brien Hill toward the next hill, another nameless hump that would soon bear the name of another fallen Amercian. …… Second Lieutenant Louis Christian was taking a breather alone when he saw his platoon begin to pull back. As the surprised American riflemen tumbled to the rear to find safe positions from which they could beat off the counterthrust, Christian remained where he was to direct fire from supporting mortars. A short burst of machine-gun fire found him as he searched for targets, and he died in a pool of blood. The hill had a name. (page 193)
The terrain on the map named for the following who actually had hills and ridges named for them:
- Bartley Ridge- Second Lieutenant Martin Bartley
- Christian Hill- Second Lieutenant Louis Christian
- O’Brien Hill- First Lieutenant Robert O’Brien
- Kelly Hill- Second Lieutenant John Kelly
Terrain on the map named for guys who died bravely but didn’t get a hill named for them:
- Doyle Island- First Lieutenant Neil Doyle
- Allison Hill- Sergeant Earnest Allison
- Heitman Hill- Corporal Marvin Heitman
- Miller Hill- Corporal James Miller
- And finally Scott Island for First Lieutenant Robert Scott, who actually survived! He got separated from his unit and made a solitary advance onto a hill that the Japanese had (temporarily) retreated from, and as Mr. Hammel describes it;
The hill was American, but only Lieutenant Scott was there to claim it. And only Scott was there to stand off the counterattack that would have brought the hill back within the Empire of Japan. Scott cared less about the hill than he did about the future of Robert Scott. He could not retreat, the Japanese were coming his way firing rifles and hurling hand grenades, and all Scott could do was make his stand.(page 182)
He did and got the Medal of Honor for it.
For more information on the above events and people, please refer to “Munda Trail” by Eric Hammel, Orion Books, New York, NY, 1989
As to the RPG, the hills in the game will be memorializing warriors who died clearing them of an orc invasion with at least one or two potential adventures in the works on the background material for the island.