Over the summer we put on a large multi-player game, bigger than what can usually be accommodated in an afternoon of play. Gaming over two days at a rented hall, we still only partially completed Mark Davies' Battlefront WWII scenario, The Pompadour's Revenge. More frustratingly, it didn't conclude decisively (in fact, just as things were getting interesting) and ever since then I and the other principal, Phong Nguyen-Ho, have been itching to give it another crack, picking up where we left off.We will be doing just that this weekend. But as it is now pretty obvious on which part of the terrain the battle will be fought I have been able to recreate a smaller 6.5' X 5' playing area in my studio. Better, having all week to create this undulating and densely terrained board, I've been able to more closely match Mark's original map, largely due to a new grid technique that I'm employing.
Not being a fan of permanent terrain, or to be more precise, finding that it doesn't work well for me mostly because it is pretty inflexible as far as storage goes and I'm interested in recreating historic battlefields, this entire board is modular. It took quite a while to set up but I find that is part of the pleasure of gaming. So I have decided to document it, just in case others are interested in at least one way of recreating an historical battlefield from a map.
|Here is the section of the map I reproduced from the game. I've flipped it as this is the orientation I used to set up and photograph the table. I have strengthened the grid and terrain lines in Photoshop so they are easily recognizable.|
|I start by building my table top with a series of 2'X4' pieces of masonite. I have about a dozen of these on hand. The boards are supported by two tables. I use a bit of packing tape to keep them from shifting.|
|Here is the grid in use with some of the first level terrain roughed in. Below is the section of map being recreated (lower left black terrain line).|
|This picture shows a cross section of the table (and my junk underneath!) with its stacked layers.|
|And here are the completed levels.|
|The building on the left shows one of my more recent solutions for building on sloping terrin. I created about a half dozen or more wedge shaped bases that I can set my houses on, as I hate seeing buildings at a 45 degree angle on a hillside.|
|A few details. Here is an orchard with another building resting on the wedge-shaped base that allows me to place buildings on slopes.|
|The chateau just south of Tilley. I built this building specifically for this scenario, roughly basing it on the actual structure which still stands today, but at a size and proportions that can cover the correct footprint.|
|Marcel, the hamlet located in the dip down to the stream, with its two bridges.|
|The view from the high ground, showing the undulating terrain down to the Pont-Esprit stream. In the foreground you can see some of the velcro strips with foliage that I use, thick ones for hedgerows and skinny ones for verges.|
|View from the area near Buceels, the British-held side of the board, with Tilly in the background and the high ground in the top center.|