I'm a lover of maps (as many gamers are), and what better way to enjoy them than drawing them myself. I've been wanting to keep a better record of battles that I play as well as keeping a catalog of historical battles that would make good scenarios for games later on. So yesterday I bought a "computation book" from our university bookstore with numbered gridded pages printed on a buff color paper that seemed just right for the project. Here is my first page, a translation of the historical battle of Vimeiro 1808 into generic gaming terms a bit like C.S. Grant's "teasers".
I'm thinking the general approach will be to sketch out a battle based on the information I have in pencil, later to be updated as I uncover more accurate information, OBs or maps on that particular battle. I also translate the basic battle on to an 8 by 5 grid that would be able to be replicated on my table. You can see in this first example that I have yet to find the number of "maneuver units" for the French side...so it will give me something to search for when I have a few extra minutes to spend on the internet or my reading. Since I like to draw it gives me an excuse to break out the color pencils and do it up right! I've found that even if the battle map has a few inaccuracies it can still make a good game scenario.
In addition to recording the overall strengths of the opposing sides, I'm collecting information of the number of major "manuver units" (brigades, battalions, divisions, etc.) and noting that as well so that the battle can be translated into both another period as well as be adapted to the limits of my collection of figures.
I only wish I had done this systematically years ago...what a catalog I would have now!