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"Standard terrain sizes for 15mm wargaming" Topic

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2,757 hits since 30 Nov 2011
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BrotherSevej30 Nov 2011 8:09 p.m. PST

Hello guys,

I'm starting 15mm sci-fi, specifically post apoc. I've got terminators, gangs, survivors, and military type guys (will add zombies and power armor in the future).

I'm looking for information about terrain sizes, especially road width, building height, etc. While it's best that terrain is correct scale-wise, I'm willing to compromise for playability. Also, the building needs to be modular to each other, so I'l probably have the same story height across multiple building types and having building width and depth in certain increment (say, 1.5").

I'll be creating the following paper buildings: roads, shanty huts, post-apoc city buildings. Some foam canyons… Also probably highways and canals.


artbraune30 Nov 2011 8:19 p.m. PST

1/100 is right on target – but HO (1/87) works absolutely fine.

Battle Miniatures Emporium Inactive Member30 Nov 2011 8:38 p.m. PST

HO is great for this man, if you are willing to buy a few of the train kits you can get some great looking stuff on the table.

BrotherSevej30 Nov 2011 8:48 p.m. PST

I live in a country where rail-road modelling is non-existent. So everything will have to be from really major manufacturer (GW), or scratch built… one way or another.

(in case you're asking why location in my profile is unknown… because it's not on the dropdown list).

artbraune30 Nov 2011 8:49 p.m. PST

Where are you located? I ask because there are some amazing model railroad mail order sites…

DyeHard30 Nov 2011 8:54 p.m. PST

All model buildings and terrain features are distorted to smaller then true scale, otherwise they would be difficult to play around. Real trees are often 70 feet high, that would be 8.5 inches for a 15mm figure. A road would be over 5" wide. The standard block in Manhattan is about 264 by 900 feet (i.e. 31.7 by 108 inches in 15mm).

So, I suggest you let playability rule with what looks good next. The true scale will look way out of whack.

BrotherSevej30 Nov 2011 9:26 p.m. PST

Indonesia :D

What about table size? I want it to be as small as possible while having enough room for maneuvering.

I haven't decided what rule I'd play with.

Also I base my minis with 20mm bases. It's a little too large for some people, but I love the impact.

inrepose01 Dec 2011 2:50 a.m. PST

You could get away with 3ft by 3ft for small skirmishes. My large board is 6ft by 4ft but you don't need the large space if you want a close up engagement.

This link includes a video of my terrain where you can see a 6ft x 4ft board designed for 15mm gaming. I think you will see that it is pretty big for the scale and you could reduce things down to 4ft x 4ft for smaller games. However I wanted to support fast moving grav bikes which in Gruntz can move up to about 24inches in flank speed. So given the long movement of grav bikes the terrain gives them some room to manoeuvre which worked well for the scenario played.

Details and video here:


Hybrid Inactive Member01 Dec 2011 3:43 a.m. PST

If you set your games in an environment with lots of scenery you can easily get away with a 24 x 24 inch table. I'd go for an urban or industrial table with lots of scenery. Make sure that you have lots of walls and fences breaking line of sight. Having overhead walkways also makes for a really interesting battlefield. Also having access to the interior of buildings helps to make a small table more challenging.

I base my 15mm figures on 20mm plastic slotta bases. I find that I can get away with terrain that is made for 20mm sized figures because of this. At 15mm I'm not that bothered about the actual size of the terrain and I tend to go with what looks passable to me. I make my roads 4 inches wide for 15mm. But I also have an 8inch wide four lane road section and some 2inch one way sections.

Here are a few useful links to some paper terrain.

Worldworks Games makes some excellent paper scenery that can easily be use with 15mm.

Tommygun over on Warseer has made some excellent free paper terrain for 28mm that could easily be rescaled for 15mm.


He's also got his own website, but the thread on Warseer has more stuff on it.


Toposolitario also has some great free stuff.




McWong7301 Dec 2011 4:48 a.m. PST

Try eBay for HO scale stuff sent from Hong Kong – it should get to Indonesia fine.

3x3ft, use Tomorrow's War rules – you can't go wrong.

SirFjodin Inactive Member01 Dec 2011 5:03 a.m. PST

Use Gruntz 15mm rules!!!!!!!!!!! Best 15mm sci-fi rules!

Dropzonetoe Fezian Inactive Member01 Dec 2011 10:23 a.m. PST

Best rules aside the OP asked for terrain advice. World work games is the route I would suggest. Great looking stuff, and you can easily change it to 15mm


Since your looking to to post apoc, I'd almost suggest just making your own.

A simple search throws up piles of good ideas.

I'd suggest 4x4 as a base size to shoot for.

Good luck and please post pics when your done!

charlest Inactive Member01 Dec 2011 5:17 p.m. PST

I made 30 jungle stands for a triple canopy Vietnam jungle in 20mm and they are somewhat realistically sized.

They look enormously tall (although pretty cool with a thick canopy) and definitely get in the way if you don't maneuver carefully.

I'm using them with 15mm (hey, whose to say how tall the trees get in on a fictional planet?) and they're quite enormous.

I'm kind of bummed after putting all that work into them and not thinking about the tall trees blocking your arms while reaching on the table but I guess I'll live with it. They'd be about 70-80 feet tall in 15mm scale.

BrotherSevej01 Dec 2011 10:02 p.m. PST

Wow, lots of interesting stuff here. I think I'll be aiming for 3' x 3' first.

About World Works Games… well… what make me hesitate is that I'd need a lot of kits from them. For example, for a modern table, I'll need the streets, the downtown, the apartments, etc… The only WWG kit that interests me is the Mars Station kit, since it's a complete kit. Also, their new TLX systems need a lot of work from my side. Sure, I could use the texture… but I'll be needing multiple kits.

So I'll make my own stuff. It'll be nowhere as good as WWG's stuff… but at least it's cheap and I can suit it for my own needs.

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