Friday, February 13, 2009

Terrain

Hmf. Something of a quiet week in general terms, with a grand total of three (yes, three) horses painted. I blame the Royal Mail, somewhat at random, as my order of MDF bases hasn't arrived yet. :-(

Mind you, I've stayed reasonably active on the internet front. Il Desto Fante (there's a link on the sidebar, if you need it) had a good post about an early wargamer, which outlined an idea for 2D terrain - ie, all rivers, woods, etc. painted onto a flat surface. Bluebear Jeff suggested a cheap cloth like muslin in a comment, which just added to my feeling this could be a good way of getting easy and varied landscapes.

So, my thoughts have been on terrain quite a bit - the armies are growing after all, going from a typical unit frontage of 8cm to 12cm, so a decent set of terrain over a large area will need to follow. Still, these things have a way of snowballing in complexity. After all, to increase variety it'd be best to have several interlocking mats for modular terrain, wouldn't it? Thinking about all the possible iterations just led to headache.

Then, a trip out during the week to a nearby hobby store led to me finding that they sell green cloth in 3ft by 3ft squares, which got me thinking that another option is to buy three or four, connect them together (either by heavy tape along the edges, or just overlapping them) to get the necessary large area (potentially 6ft by 6ft!) Books etc. piled up underneath could also provide ready-made hills, I thought, so home-made buildings and woodland would be all I needed. Although possibly I'd need to at least draw streams on the surface, or on removable tiles, or some other method. In other words, the whole thing has become a murk of conflicting options - and the initial idea was so simple!

Thankfully, Il Desto also mentioned the site 'Wargaming Miscellany', which I'd missed before now. So, I've calmed myself down by reading it's enjoyable posts and admiring his terrain - plain green-coloured boards with no decoration, and a simple grid drawn on. Ahh, simpler really can mean better :-)

3 comments:

East Riding Militia said...

I've been looking at terrain as well, going for a very simple version for my 6mm SYW.
However I am very tempted by this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/36331979@N00/sets/72157610259987470/
as it looks very impressive. In the comments on the last picture is a link to it being used in a game and from there you can find a file on how they set up the table. All good stuff and worth a look.

A J said...

The New Buckenham gamers use a series of blue-foam based terrain tiles covered with grass matting as the basis for most games, but our cheapest and most effective option is a callico cloth.

One of our number bought a length of plain off-white material cheap from a market stall and attacked it with various spray paints. The result is quite effective. We can simply spread it over the tables, put various articles underneath to form hills, and when the game is over just tug it off and fold it up.

Bluebear Jeff said...

What I use for rivers is the blue "painter's masking tape" . . . which can be pulled up and tossed when you're done with it.

And I don't use the straight tape, I tear strips so that the water meanders a bit; and layer it so that some places are wider than others.


-- Jeff