I’ve been chatting with a couple of players in game about trying some maps that place players into small groups of 3-6, with groups separated by reasonable distances. This forces you to collaborate with (or dominate) your neighbours before exploring the other clusters.
After trying a number of combinations these are a couple that I have come up with. This is not reinventing the wheel, but I thought it worthwhile to post the star coordinates here if anyone would like to try them.
120deg Radial Clusters
Most home stars in a cluster are Range7 away from two other home stars. Each cluster requires Range13 to jump to two other clusters. This map is set up for 15 players, and works best with symmetrical star spread.
This is very similar to thegrainger’s posted map (1), just with larger distances.
Home stars are Range10 apart from two other home stars. Clusters require Range13 to travel between. This map also works best with a symmetrical star spread.