Monday, December 20, 2010

The Grand Theory of Terrain Unification

I am slowly making preparations for the Christmas battle as mentioned in the last blog and I've been looking at my terrain and I believe it's time for a terrain redo.

Over the years I've made different types of terrain for various scales. I've had a 4' by 8' board with the standard hills. I've had a board painted with chalk board paint on which we drew  rivers in blue, roads in brown etc. and then placed hills on the board. This was mainly for micro armor. I've had 2' by 1' by 1" thick modular terrain on which I modeled the towns, rivers and roads again for micro armor. I made a bunch of 1" thick foam hexes to fit together forming rivers, hills etc.

Currently I am gaming on 2' by 2' sections with some depressions modeled into the 1" foam and then I place hills, trees and use felt of various colors for area terrain. This works well enough and I've stayed away from modeling anything scale specific. But looking at my collection of hills and trees I have noticed a problem. Over the years I've gamed in 6mm to 40mm and some of this shows in the terrain. Now I game almost exclusively in 28mm(WWII, 40k, Warhammer, Lord of the Rings, Malifaux) with some 15mm thrown in(Flames of War, Napoleonic) and once in along time 6mm(Epic Armageddon). Most noticeable my hills are made from 1' foam which is not high enough to block LOS for modern 28mm figures and then just other niggly stuff that bothers me.

So once again I've decided on a plan, "The Grand Theory of Terrain Unification" mark 4.12
-I am going to make maybe a half dozen hills with 1.5" foam
-I am going to make forests out of thin board which I will texture and place the trees on. In this way I can use the trees individually or on the board as area terrain. Without the trees on the texture board these areas can represent rough terrain.
-I will make river sections about 6" wide. I can then make different bridges to match the game scale.

I have some other ideas like roads and I can still use my fences and walls for the appropriate scale but  I really want to stay away from scenario specific terrain. Sure it looks cool and then it sits in the basement for years. What I am aiming at is a collection of terrain that I can use over and over and will not be so big that it will be hard to store. Sure I am going to have a box for stuff that will just be for 40k or WWII but if all goes according to the grand plan I will go to the generic terrain and set up all the natural stuff and then haul out the 40k box for some specific pieces which will make the board look different to say the Lord of the Rings battle I just had 2 weeks ago or something like that anyways.

I am going to try to get the first batch ready for the Christmas battle and that will consist of the new hills and forests and I will post pictures up with the battle report.

The battle is scheduled between Christmas and New Years so I had better get a move on but it really shouldn't take that long just for some hills and forests.

I hope everyone has a good Christmas and I will return in the new year.

Good Gaming everyone.


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