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"Fort Leavenworth 1/285th Microarmor Wargame Table Pics?" Topic

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Mako1107 Feb 2014 8:18 p.m. PST

Just curious to see if anyone has any pics of their wargaming table, or those from any other military training colleges, with terrain for West Germany?

I seem to recall seeing a few, very nice, black and white pics, in Wargamer's Digest, decades ago, but didn't see anything in Google images.

I'm looking for some good inspiration of rolling terrain, for West Germany, during the height of the Cold War, and suspect they, and/or others may have some photos stashed, somewhere.

I think the pic was of a meeting engagement of miniatures produced by GHQ, and it depicted a US Armored Cav, or other scout unit encountering some Soviet/Warpac armor in a meeting engagement, along a roadway, on a hillside.

Of course, I'd be happy to look at links of other West German/European terrain, in scales from 1/300th 1/72nd scale, as well, for inspiration.

Thought I might try Google, or Yahoo maps, for some nice images, and maps of rolling terrain, and small towns and wooded areas to fight some battles over.

Any other ideas?

SteelVictory07 Feb 2014 10:42 p.m. PST

The tables I've used for training Lt's and NCO's were very basic. IIRC they were made of formed plastic moulds, I think in four sections, with painted on roads and woods. The terrain was a gentle rolling type with maybe one or two prominent hills and a ridge line. A few painted villages and a rail line too IIRC.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2014 1:07 a.m. PST

Hi, Mako11. I am in Stuttgart and what SteelVictory describes is very much like the terrain further north towards Fulda. and east of Ulm (The Bleinhiem battlefiled)

Around here, go just a few miles and you are in what we call the Swabian Alps. Not mountains but steep sloped hills with communication roads and towns in the valleys. (Good wine country.)

Suggest going to the library or good bookstore and check out the travel section and look for books like "The Most Beautiful Villages in ….(fill in the blank) series. These are wonderful sources of inspiration as they not only give views of the countryside but also details of buildings, street views and local history.

I am currently working on the same project using the derth of scenery products available over here. One thing I immediately noticed here was the bright green the grass gets here. Not the medium green of a Kentucky variety, but a very bright hue. Not everywhere, but darned near! (The books mentioned above will better illustrate this) I bought a battery powered static grass applicator and several puff bottles (like from Heki) and mix the static grass colors much like mixing paints, with exciting results! (Think blending like an airbrush here.) Of course, the ancient stone walls and paths that divide the fields makes for a clean break between colors, too.

I highly recommend you try to get a hold of "Mittlelaterliche Kleinstadt", 1/300 CITY from . It contains about 40 card buildings of a walled city (perhaps Nordlingen) that is representative of thousands of old buildings that still exist today, all over Germany, and Europe. If you are doing ANYTHING in 1/300th, this set is a must!

Good luck with your project. Email me at tomdye14 AT yahoo dot com if you'd like some pictures I have taken while being here for 4 years.


Major Mike08 Feb 2014 7:06 a.m. PST

I'd contact Gary Mills from the Manhattan Maneuver Group. As this link has a single picture of some of their terrain. I believe Gary lives in the Leavenworth area.


Major Mike08 Feb 2014 7:08 a.m. PST

Oh, the gallery link at the site has some up close pictures of a small game that was played out on the terrain.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2014 8:10 a.m. PST

When I was at Levenworth for CAS3 in '85 … all we did was stay up all night writting every form of OPLAN, OPORD, how to brief Generals on every subject our Instuctor could think of and make it a "Dog & Pony show" only rivaled by what the Russians did last night at the opening of the Olympics at Sochi … That being said, I did learn things … And when I went to my next assignment in a Mech Bn, got looks from my fellow officers everytime I did a briefing CAS3 style … like "what is this mutha Bleeped text Bleeped text Bleeped text is doing" … huh?

11th ACR08 Feb 2014 11:13 a.m. PST

More pictures from the "THREAT" rules site.

I also gamed at Simulations Center at Fort Riley.
This was 82-84. Those tables were great. They were located at the Old Hospital Annex at Fort Riley. So you had large hospital wards to set up the tables in.

I'm going off of 30 year old memory's so I may be off on some of the measurements.

They were of the 1st Infantry Divisions deployment area in West Germany set at a 1/285th – 1/300th scale.

They were all about 4 feet height and on rollers so they could be moved around. There were at least 20 of these tables.

The table was 4 feet x 8 feet. And if it was on a 1 over 50,000 scale map it was on the gaming table. Every building every tree and all of the little roads (spider trails) you name it was there. And the tables had all of the rise and lowering of the terrain that the maps showed from the contours.

I ran a game one weekend of France 1940 of the Germans coming threw the Ardennes. It was very realistic.

Not sure whatever became of the tables?

They were the best.

Bob Henry
Scout Plt, CSC, 1/18 Inf, 82-83
3rd Plt, B Troop, 1/4th Cav, 83-84

Major Mike08 Feb 2014 1:47 p.m. PST

I was at Riley from 85 to 88 and the Simulation Center had been moved to Camp Funston and was located in the old Gym. The terrain boards were based upon an area near Wurzburg so actual maps of the area could be used. We did learn that the terrain could scroll north and south as the boards were made such that the north edge would line up and match the southern edge.
The biggest game we played was a large WWII Russian front battle using modified Tractics for rules(IIRC). It was a Russian Tank Army (or more) vs a weakened German Panzer Division. I managed to lose 70+ AFV's on my front to 5 knocked out Germans (1 Tiger, 3 Panthers and one Mk IV).

We also did a large Cold War battle of a Russian approach to sieze a crossing site on a major river. As the Russians we inserted a battalion of infantry on the far side of the river in a large air mobile op that included using MI-6 Hook's to bring in a platoon of BRDM-2 w/AT-5 and a platoon of AT guns. The airmobile went in almost on top of a deployed artillery battery. We fought it all out one weekend using Threat rules.

SteelVictory08 Feb 2014 4:00 p.m. PST

Mako, are you needing examples of the actual tables or of terrain in Germany?

Mobius08 Feb 2014 7:17 p.m. PST

I made some:



LORDGHEE08 Feb 2014 9:33 p.m. PST

Wow I game with Gary and Mike in DC and now with Mike in El Paso. Threat is a great system.

The Board use at orgins in 81 was 6 ft by 22 (depth) with two armored Div attacking and 3 Nato Brigades defending.

Wish I could find my pictures.

Mako1109 Feb 2014 12:29 a.m. PST

Thanks for the links, ideas, and photos posted.

"Mako, are you needing examples of the actual tables or of terrain in Germany?".

Actually, both would be useful, but especially any tabletops people have built.

I suspect I can look for photos of the German countryside as well, on Google and Yahoo. Looking for some good inspiration and interesting terrain for armored units to fight over, and/or to defend, when trying to recreate a bit of it on the tabletop, and want to avoid the plain, flat, ping-pong table effect, if possible.

What's been posted so far has been great, but I'm always interested in more.

I'd love to make some dedicated foam table terrain, but really don't have a good way to store, or transport it currently, so am considering fabric and/or felt, over, or underneath contoured foam hills. That way I can break it down easily for transport, and change the terrain layout endlessly as well.

I suspect the most challenging thing will be to come up with decent roadways that can both lay flat, and yet be flexible enough to go up over, and/or around hills, etc. Sculpting those into foam would look much nicer, so may need to consider some terrain pieces to go on the top of the fabric to permit that.

Also, defiles for streams and rivers are a bit challenging with fabric tabletops too, but hopefully not too insurmountable.

That's a great looking autobahn, Mobius! Thanks for sharing your pics.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2014 8:26 a.m. PST

Very nice board !

SteelVictory09 Feb 2014 9:02 a.m. PST

For West Germany the terrain is so varied that almost anything you come up with will work. Unless you want a specific location you can just make a table that suits your taste (easy/challenging).

If you need help visualizing 3D terrain here is an idea, checkout a free Cold War video game, ArmoredBrigade (fast download and install). You select a small battle area from a larger military topo map and the game creates a 3D shaded relief map for you. IIRC the default map is of the Fulda Gap, so you can get rough heavy woods, open hills, valleys, urban.

can't seem to post a link, search for:

Mako1109 Feb 2014 2:18 p.m. PST

I was thinking primarily about some nice, rolling hill terrain (not too rolling, but enough to provide some tactical hiding positions), with a mix of trees, forests, and small villages.

Battles in valleys, bounded by hills, and/or low mountains on the sides would be interesting too, especially for games where operational level movement comes in, and defenders/attackers get to pick different areas to defend, and/or advance through.

Making recon on the ground work, could be fun, for both sides, I suspect, right up until you discover a much larger opponent with your small recce force.

I'll check out the link, SteelVictory. Thanks for providing it.

11th ACR10 Mar 2014 10:37 p.m. PST

What you may want to do Mako is, look for 1:50 000 scale maps of Germany. I kept all of the ones I had on my Vehicle in the 11th ACR. They come in handy.

Try this site they have some Maps.




Here are some I found on the internet.

An Idea of what it looks like. God I miss it!


Mako1110 Mar 2014 11:01 p.m. PST

Thanks for the tips, and links.

I'll check them out.

It certainly does look like beautiful country, when you don't have to worry about getting shot at by the enemy.

msandro19 May 2014 12:20 p.m. PST

I purchased from Gary Mills the terrain boards discussed above that are featured on The Threat site. Gary was unsure exactly which location in Germany the boards modeled – can anyone help? Here are two pictures, the first is an overhead view of the 8 boards put together, and below it is a map Gary had of the region of German the boards represent. Any ideas? I've looked through Google Earth so far but without much success.

dsfrank21 Apr 2015 8:03 a.m. PST

If I recall from my games with Gary – the boards he built weren't any specific place in Germany but more representative of the general Fulda Gap area.

dsfrank23 Apr 2015 7:07 a.m. PST

@ Major Mike – I'm pretty sure I played in that same game on the American side – gained an entirely new level of respect for the M901 ITV in hull defilade – popping Russian tanks at 3,500m with them not even able to see me

dsfrank23 Apr 2015 7:31 a.m. PST


this link has some old school army terrain board pics – so far haven't found much else

ScottS23 Apr 2015 7:45 a.m. PST

If you look up "Tac War" you can probably find some photos of the USMC's wargame tables from the 80's – 90's.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP23 Apr 2015 8:40 a.m. PST

Those maps look familiar … grin

CavScout8thCav28 Jul 2015 6:54 a.m. PST

Brings back great memories.. Myself and another NCO were tagged to run these since him and I were into micro armor and had a lot if them plus a couple of rule sets. I remember the boards and thought they were awesome. One has to wonder what happened to them. Also did a 2 day exercise using computers. I along with my squad leader were tasked to run the Scout Plt. There was a computer station for every platoon all connected via TA-1 phones to use as radios. Talk about detailed, we had a Bradley toss a track and another blow its pack.

Marshal Amherst28 Jul 2015 10:38 a.m. PST

That link is great, thanks dsfrank.

DaleWill Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2015 5:27 p.m. PST

Back in the early 80's some of us local gamers had a chance to play at Fort Drum on their board. I was only 18 at the time. This was pre-10th mountain division. Really nice setup. I don't remember too much from the game except our soviets ran over their U.S. Forces.

Cold Steel23 Aug 2015 6:03 a.m. PST

I played on the same terrain boards at the Riley Sim Center in the old hospital in 80-82. I used to have the maps, rules, etc., but they disappeared on a PCS a LONG time ago. There was also a group who played there on weekends.

chrisswim14 Sep 2015 6:06 p.m. PST

It would be fun to play on those, to utilize that terrain for fun.

wballard22 Oct 2015 11:38 p.m. PST

1976-77 III Corps at Ft Hood had a Battle Simulation Center with terrain boards that we made from maneuver area maps at 1":50m horizontal scale, covering roughly 5 by 20 Km. I don't remember if I ever knew the vertical scale. We gamed maneuvers using a slightly modified version of the Armor and Infantry rules by WRG.

As an OpFor (Warsaw pact) battalion force commander I considered it a good day if I was able to actually engage the US forces in direct fire. I did occasionally get some interesting looks when the end of session brief described that the 6 hour game session represented roughly 10 minutes of combat; that the US was out of ATGM's; were about to have to move out of their prepared positions and try to move across about 2Km of relatively open/flat terrain that was about to be covered by about half the original OpFor force.

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