I’ve uploaded the 128×128 unit tiles for naval units. This contains the largest set of unique icons I have made to-date. The main challenge is in finding a silhouette that was different enough to identify the ship when zoomed far away. As you will see if you try it yourself, this wasn’t exactly achieved. However, I found after play testing a couple of games, the subtle differences were easier to find and I began to prefer it.
If there has been an ongoing theme on my artwork, I’ve erred toward realism whenever I’ve been forced to decide between play-ability and realistic recreation. In fact, the challenges in identifying naval vessels are present in real life. In World War 2, the Office of Naval Intelligence regularly reported identification manuals to spotters to help them identify combatants. Ship identification was even a part of the navy’s training manual such as ONI223 and others.
Also, one of the classic cases of misidentification came during the Battle of Denmark Straight. During the battle, nearly every ship was initially misidentified with shots being made at the wrong target. This eventually led to a battle cruiser being hit with plunging fire and sunk, and the German ships reporting the wrong battleship fleeing in the end.
So there you have it. I decided to lump the remaining two unit types, bases and space, into one group and will release them in a day or two. Note that bases will follow the standard I set on my city tiles rather than make them look like unique units.