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"Vimy Ridge Project 2017" Topic

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wrgmr116 Jan 2017 12:18 p.m. PST

As this is the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge, I have decided to do a game recreating part of this famous Canadian battle.

It will be the 87th battalion's, The Canadian Grenadier Guards attack on hill 145. This was one of the toughest sections to attack.

My plan is using 1.5 inch foam, cut out trenches and glue to hard board. There will be 9 – 2'x 2' sections to build a 6'x8' table. I've looked at various other gamers trenches and what I found on the net to create an accurate table of the battlefield.

Comments, tips and modelling techniques are welcome.

The map I used to create the trenches/table.



I drew this map to trace onto the foam boards.



Using a sharpie I traced the trenches onto the foam for cutting. I put in a 2.5" trench with a 1.5" fire step to accommodate the figure bases of 45mm square.



Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2017 12:35 p.m. PST

May I suggest downloading a copy of "Infantry in Battle" ISBN 0-940328-3, printed by the Marine Corps Association Printing Service, but can be found on-line for free. It deals exclusively with WWI actions and I think you will find at least 50 scenarios that could be played on your terrain. The topics covered would have /could be applied to the units involved in the battle.

Please keep us informed as to your progress. Sounds exciting to me.


Terry L16 Jan 2017 2:29 p.m. PST

I created my trenches by carving them out of the pink foam board. I used a router bit on a drill press. It worked really well. For sand bags I used self hardening modeling clay. I rolled it into long tube lengths then gently flattened the tube and then pinched the bags with dull edged tool. This created the lengths of sandbags I needed. Then I placed them in the shape I needed. Once dry the next day I glued them in place. You can see some photos of my end product here:

boy wundyr x Inactive Member16 Jan 2017 3:39 p.m. PST

Shawn Taylor, author of GWSH II, and another fellow are putting together Vimy Ridge for the 100th anniversary weekend this April at the Canadian War Museum. I've volunteered to help at that, so I'm looking forward to seeing their display and yours as well.

wrgmr116 Jan 2017 3:57 p.m. PST

Terry L – thanks for your blog and tips.

boy wundyr x – I'm still trying to find information regarding the style and condition of the German trenches in this area. If you are in contact with Shawn, I would like to contact him for any information he may have?

idontbelieveit Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2017 5:48 p.m. PST

Nice! What scale?

wrgmr116 Jan 2017 5:50 p.m. PST

This will be 25/28 mm figs all from Old Glory.

Vimy Ridge18 Jan 2017 6:06 a.m. PST

wrgmr1 – contact me at
I will try and answer your questions.


wrgmr118 Jan 2017 9:17 a.m. PST

Thanks Shawn!

Personal logo Condotta Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2017 1:39 p.m. PST

Think about the reach and backs of your players. I see 6' tables being a 'reach too far' if most of the action is in the centre of the board. The board can be designed to focus upon the point of friction – where the troops come into contact – allowing the board to be 5x8'. Also, plan for players to lean on the board and create 'knuckle craters'. If you don't want this, harden the long edges of the board, or create terrain that allows players to lean on the board without damage. Great project, let us see how you get along.

wrgmr118 Jan 2017 3:25 p.m. PST

Thanks Condotta.
Our group regularly uses 6' wide tables, it hasn't been a problem. My plan is to mix sand, white glue and paint to cover the entire surface, hands should not make a dent. The foam is glued to 1/4" hardboard. Although some TMP's have warned about warping and advised to put boards on the side. As there are a lot of gaps because of trenches, and thicker board I will try one 2'x2' section and see if it does warp.
Any suggestions on trench supports, boards, duckboards etc, would be helpful.

idontbelieveit Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2017 7:18 p.m. PST

We use 6' tables too and in general it isn't a problem, but some of us are more vertically challenged and one of the guys bought some 6" step stools at the dollar store and it made it perfect for them.

I think the challenge of people leaning on the table and distorting the boards is independent of table depth but I could be wrong about that. I know of a lot of bent camps from the midlife overlap that many gamers have :-).

So, wrgmr1, are you going to do cool Canadian battalion insignia on the shoulders?

wrgmr118 Jan 2017 10:22 p.m. PST

idontbelieveit – I have divisional patches but not battalion insignia. If I can get the trenches done in time, maybe I'll paint some on. Thanks for the suggestion.

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