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"Need Your Help - First Terrain Setup " Topic

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TonyBravo05 Feb 2017 6:50 a.m. PST

Hello. I am looking at building my first WWII board. I need some help in designing, setting it up and what I should put on the board. I'm thinking I want the battles to be in France

I am currently using Italeri 20mm figures. To keep the game simple, one player will command a squad of US Infantry and the other will command a squad of German Infantry. I would like to be able to scale up to 2 squads per player at a later date

I would like to know what size you think I should make the board, the type of terrain I should use, buildings (should they be intact or ruined) etc?

Any help would be great!

MajorB05 Feb 2017 7:01 a.m. PST

I'm thinking I want the battles to be in France

Before or afer D Day?

I would like to know what size you think I should make the board, the type of terrain I should use, buildings (should they be intact or ruined) etc?

Mainly depends on what rules you are using. If you are only having one squad per side then it's a very small skirmish so you will need LOTS of terrain. An urban setting makes that easier. No need for many ruined buildings.

You could probably manage quite well on a table 4ft square or possibly even smaller.

TonyBravo05 Feb 2017 7:50 a.m. PST

Yes I forgot to mention the ruleset. I'll be using Nuts – Final Edition.

As for D-Day, I havent come to a firm decision yet.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2017 7:50 a.m. PST

I would have a mix of ruined and intact buildings depending on what you want to represent. Maybe start with a farmhouse, some hedgerows, and a few trees. You can add streams, more building, trees, etc. as you have time and/or funds.

Vintage Wargaming05 Feb 2017 8:11 a.m. PST

We're there US troops in France before D Day? That bit of history seems to have passed me by.

TonyBravo05 Feb 2017 8:24 a.m. PST

Vintage, with your comment, then yes it would have be after D-Day. I do stand to be corrected at all times and have noted the sarcasm in your response.

I'm more of a hobbiest/gamer and do not know all the details of WWII. Which is why I said i wasnt sure if I wanted to make my field pre/post D-Day

Please remember that not everyone may have your knowledge of the war.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2017 8:27 a.m. PST

If this is your first try at gaming with miniatures then you want to start with basic scenery items you can use repeatedly in different scenarios and periods. So I would recommend basic roads, trees, some hills, fences/hedges, streams, etc. A ruined building or two can be used in many different settings.

Just remember that this is your game, and it is just a game so whatever you do if it works for you and you have fun then that is the right way.

May your dice always roll high.

wrgmr105 Feb 2017 8:43 a.m. PST

I agree with posts above. Trees, hedges, country roads, buildings to represent a farmhouse or small village. A bag of lichen to scatter around for bushes and smaller hedges. A European field mat like Hotz mats has will add colour and depth to the base.

zoneofcontrol05 Feb 2017 12:21 p.m. PST

A few already mentioned items plus a few more:
Buildings (intact & damaged/rubbled), bocage, hedges, trees, orchards, low stone walls, hills, stream/creek, bridges and roads.

As a thought, you could take a look at Skirmish Campaigns scenario books. They usually list units as squads but you could substitute 1/2-squads/fireteams in their place. Each scenario also includes a nice grid map with terrain listed clearly. My recollection is that each grid square is 2 feet of table. You could shrink that down to accommodate the forces you are using.

Good luck.

ccmatty Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2017 12:22 p.m. PST

If you are adverse to building your own buildings, I highly recommend Total Battle Miniatures for awesome 20mm buildings – especially suited for France. They also make roads, fences, etc. Get some ready made trees. You are good to go.

100% agree with StoneMtn – it's your game, play it and have fun.

Vintage Wargaming – I believe the technical answer is, yes, there were US forces on the ground in France before D-Day if you count the pathfinders who led the way prior to the invasion.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Feb 2017 1:39 p.m. PST

If you are just starting, look at paper buildings. You can buy a shedload for $20 USD and print as many as you like. Plus they can be printed at any size you like, and you can put troops inside.

Invest in nice trees. They make a HUGE difference whether as a woods/copse or just lining the roads etc. You'll use them every game so don't skimp.

Fields are easy to make and go a long way to breaking up your terrain. Hedges and walls are also big.

Tekawiz05 Feb 2017 2:00 p.m. PST

I also game with 20mm figures.

I play on a 3'x3'board which I would say is the minimum for 1 squad each. You'll probably need to go bigger for more squads. The board I use is a plywood sheet from Home Depot for like 20.00 and spray painted green. It's on top of a folding card table – easy to take down if need to and portable.

For buildings check Ebay for HO scale buildings in lots. The cheap ones are the ones that are broken, which are perfect for destroyed buildings.

You can also purchase a ton of trees for real cheap on Ebay from China. You get them in less than 2 weeks.

If you want rivers, I got mine from Hotz Mats. They are felt and look good and if I recall less than 20.00 for quite a bit of river. The problem is that it takes about 3 months to receive.

For dirt roads I use cork sheets from Michaels and just cut them up.

Other than that, there is a lot out there for 20mm gaming, you just can't get it all at one time like you can with other scales.

For rules I use Nuts! from Two Hour Wargames. It's solo man to man combat with campaign rules. The Nuts! rules + supplements pretty much cover everything you would think of in man to man combat, even bar fights and meeting women.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2017 10:38 p.m. PST

Watch a couple war movies, To Hell and Back and The Longest Day. They will give your both scenario suggestions and terrain and building suggestions.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian07 Feb 2017 8:22 p.m. PST

I did a V-1 launch site in 20mm. I know there are V1 and V2 models in that scale with the entire launch setup. Grand Manner used to have a radar site as well. Just gives a unique setting to design scenarios around.

Mark 128 Feb 2017 2:49 p.m. PST

I do not game at 20mm scale, so my comments are fair game for criticism by those who game at this scale. At my scale (6mm, or 1/285 – 1/300) I follow an approach that is very low cost, very flexible, and still produces some very attractive gameboards.

I use a green cloth (or tan, for desert). I use corrugated cardboard cut in random shapes from the sides of otherwise discardable boxes (any box that comes into my home is prone to being sliced up), in multiple layers, to make elevations UNDER my cloth. I use a pack of 45 pastels bought at the craft store for $3 USD to draw my roads, my streams, my marshes, etc. I use mostly scraps of odd cloth, bought in the remnants bin at the local fabric store as fields of crops.

I would endorse the advice others have given about getting some trees from eBay. Add some lichen, collected from a random oak tree if you have access, bought at the local model Railroad or crafts hobby shop if not. Clumps of lichen glued to a painted popsicle stick or Starbucks stirring stick will get you very serviceable hedges.

I think some paper buildings would be a good way to go, although I have gone with model buildings.

Some game pics to illustrate how it all comes together:

Again, my scale is smaller, and I build larger boards (I want battlefields that have maneuver room of thousands of meters/yards, in scale.)

How big your board should be depends in large part on the ground scale of your rules (I don't know the ground scale of Nuts!). For a squad-level skirmish I would think a battlefield of a couple hundred meters/yards would be good enough. If the game's ground scale is true to the figures at 1/100 (1 inch = ~3 yards, 3 feet = 100 yards) that would be at least 6 feet. But the game's ground scale is probably much smaller than that, so 3 feet should probably be big enough.

Just some ideas …

(aka: Mk 1)

Lee49404 Mar 2017 9:56 p.m. PST

Well as usual I'm going to take an entirely different approach. I've gamed in 6mm, 15mm, 20mm and now 28mm. So I have two questions for you. First what is your budget? Second how important is the "look and feel" of your game table to you? I was very happy with 20mm or 1/72 plastic figures and some HO RR buildings when I started out. A squad plays nicely on a 3x3 or 4x4 table. Then I "discovered" 15s (actually my gaming buddies arm twisted me into playing FoW) and I'll have to admit that the scenics available and therefore the Look & Feel blow away anything I had in 20mm. But the cost for the Good Stuff, I like MBA, is much higher. Finally I've morphed to 28mm. Makes me sorry that I ever did any other scale. The minis and scenics are simply awesome. So is the cost with ONE platoon or tank or building easily setting you back $30 USD USD. So if Looks are important and you have the Budget I'd reconsider switching to 28mm on a 4x6 or even 4x8 table from the start before you invest too much into 20mm scale. If you're firmly set on 20mm I'd opt for more buildings and less trees. Think of the sets for Saving Private Ryan in Ramelle or even the old Combat TV Series which was almost always filmed in their backlot French Village. Consider picking up some Woodkand Scenics Rock & Wall molds and casting plaster. Cheap way to make fences, ruined walls, rubble. Enjoy! Cheers!

Tigerjlm08 Jun 2017 9:29 a.m. PST

Here's my latest board for 15mm WWII

Tigerjlm20 Jun 2017 9:07 a.m. PST

The previous photo got moved, here's the progression of the board I built over past 6 months


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