I've seen many TV documentaries on historical conflicts where actors representing the leaders would gravely look at a map with tokens for military units, reminiscent of WWII air defense situation rooms, while there was a voiceover from the narrator. The same visual trope is used in fiction, as in these two examples from Game of Thrones, but my question is about the use in documentaries.
- It seems that by the 17th century, tactical plans with unit symbols were written like this one on Marston Moor, 1644, but those were plans before battle and not situation maps.
- Likewise, maps were created after the fact like this one for Nieupoort, 1600.
- To me, maps from the late middle ages would appear unsuitable for tactical visualizations, but that could be a gap in my knowledge. Renaissance maps were probably good enough, at least for the defender, but not everything that could have been done was done.
So the question is, when did military leaders in the field start to put units or ships as tokens onto a map and to move them around?