Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Long Search

I've been gaming since I was 12 years old.   Since the beginning, I've tried many many different terrain techniques and methods.   Starting at the beginning and working through the list:

Painted green pingpong table with lichen/twig trees, fabric roads, ceiling tile hills   (UGLY)

Felt covering (UGLY)

Ceiling Tile modular squares for 1/285th armor (Brittle, limited set up)

Styrofoam modular squares (Messy to make, easily damaged.  Blch)

Particle board hexes (about 8" across, all cut by hand on power mitre box.   Great flexibility, even being very particular, there were inevitably large gaps on the board.   Almost impossible to have exactly the "right" piece when coming up with layouts.   I still have several large boxes of these...can't bear to throw them away).

Flocked indoor/outdoor carpet (very durable, but I learned to detest "plop on" rivers and roads.   I just can't stand seeing rivers and roads sliding all over during the course of game play).

Felt over hills, loose flock (VERY messy.   Had too much of a skirmish game feel to me - in my opinion, everything else in a miniature wargame is scaled down, and this terrain was too much 1:1 type scale.   Flock got EVERYWHERE.  This one was short lived!)

And finally - my ultimate system - 12" squares made from 1/8" thick floor tiles.   This stuff is really great to use - you cut it by scoring and snapping, it doesn't warp.   With the finish technique that I developed, its very hard wearing and durable.   I'll start posting "how I did it" posts this week.  It gives me the flexibility to do virtually any terrain combination or arrangement that I want.   I'll post how I make the basic squares, hill sections, river and road sections.

With that said - here's some more photos of the last game we played:


  1. Please let us know how the floor tiles are done since they look great (hopefully you will be able to name soms kind of brand on the tiles even though I doubt they will be abel for sale in The Netherlands


  2. You're not talking about vinyl floor tiles, are you (not the thin stick-on type but the thicker glue down type)? I've made some forest bases out of them and they do bend\warp. Of course, you can bend them back into shape or just let gravity do it's job but it takes time for them to flatten out - I brought some to a convention game and I had to bend them back down to get them to lie flat. Of course, with 12" tiles you can stack them all flat for storage but for irregular woods shapes some edges may be pushed up during storage.

  3. Yup - the 1/8" thick vinyl floor tiles. I use them for terrain because they lay absolutely flat with no warping. BUT - if you don't store them flat, it may take a bit for them to settle back to laying flat. They don't permanently warp or take a set, but they do "droop" if unsupported. Definitely can't store them on an edge. I've gone away from marking woods edges or areas. I use the terrain grid and areas of other terrain to constrain the wooded areas (by definition). It works for me, and in my eyes gives a more natural appearance.

  4. Brent,I am looking forward to your article on how you do this. I need some terrain,and this looks like it could be easily stored which is what I need.