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"Maps for 2mm/3mm Wargames" Topic

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743 hits since 4 Oct 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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forwardmarchstudios Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2017 8:44 p.m. PST

Hi all,

I've been off of here recently as I'm super busy with the current semester. Anyway, today during class I suddenly had an idea dawn on me for making modular maps. I was looking at Cleburne1863's post on his new scenario books here:

TMP link

. . . when suddenly I had one of those finger snapping moments. So, as soon as class was over for the day I stopped off at a Blick's art supply, bought $13 USD worth of raw canvas and some nice construction paper, went home and started messing around with it. I came up with this:


The fields, BUAs and woods are all under-glass. The roads, rivers and elevation lines are drawn on with marker. This is not different in concept from how I had been doing it previously, it just looks much, much nicer I feel. It dawned one today that by using a raw canvas backdrop instead of solid green, I could capture/invoke the look of a real map from the Horse and Musket period.

After receiving a reply from Cleburne about how he uses topographic relief on his maps, I decided to avoid using set contours and instead show only tactically significant features; elevation changes that would serve a defining points on a corps or army sized engagement. This really makes the map easier to use; too many top lines don't do you any favors. Lesson learned.

Here's a shot with some of my kriegspiel blocks on it.


I've removed the 2mm buildings from this shot, but you an see how it would look.

The blocks on here can be used by themselves, or in conjunction with 3mm or 6mm figures. I'm currently re-basing my 3mm stuff for use with my 2mm kriegspiel blocks. Basically, every block will have a stand of 3mm Oddzial Osmy figures that goes in front of it; the block is a hit tracker that you rotate to show progressive casualties (like a "real" kriegspiel block). The blocks will add a lot of color to the maps. Here's a shot of the French cavalry corps' blocks. Each block represents a regiment in the corps, with the facings and coat color. The Austrian blocks include their regimental facing color.


You'll notice that every cavalry block has a base of my 2mm cavalry along with it; that's how I'm going to set up my 3mm army.

The blocks also contain a simple three color system for identifying what formation each battalion in the army belongs to.


The above slide is for a project I'm working on that explains how to set up a game using the organization method I'm using, as well as my map system. This system makes it very easy to quickly organize a huge, complicated OOB, even if you start by dumping the blocks on out the table; all you have to do is match up all the colors, from left to right until you're out of left-overs. In the slide above, there are 12 battalions represented from Red Division of III Corps; six in red brigade and six in yellow brigade. Each brigade also has a red and a yellow regiment, and each regiment has three identically marked battalions in it.

I'm going to be rebasing my 3mm figures soon to work with my kriegspiel blocks. In other words, my 3mm Wagram project is no longer on the back-burner. I did take a rather long break from it, but I'm excited to finally knock it out now. The figures are actually all painted already, which helps. I just need to rebase and finish the kriegspiel blocks. The project will be very different from the original conception; instead of 3d terrain I'll be using maps like the ones above, and instead of multi-base battalions I'll be using SBUs (the SBU guys convinced me this was the better way to go). I think the blocks will add a lot to the final project, as solve a lot of nagging issues that go along with trying to put together a gigantic OOB.

To make the maps even nice I'm going to print out some nice looking name labels and fix them onto some of the terrain, like the woods and the BUAs. If anyone has any other ideas for something that would add some flare to the set-up, let me know!

I'd also add that all of the buildings you see here are available for sale at my Shapeways store: link

They work great with 3mm, btw : )

Stryderg05 Oct 2017 6:22 a.m. PST

I am stealing that color scheme idea. With two colors, it's just binary and you can get 8 combinations with three stripes. Can't believe I didn't think of it before.
Oh, yeah…nice maps, too.

McKinstry Fezian05 Oct 2017 7:08 a.m. PST

Really clever system and the table looks wonderful.

forwardmarchstudios Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2017 12:24 p.m. PST

Thanks! I'm glad you guys like them. The organization technique is really useful for doing very large historic OOBs where you have dozens or hundreds of units that all need to be in the right place. I might add that the ID/ kriegspiel blocks have plenty of left over room to add regimental numbers or roster numbers, if you want to get more specific. I'll be doing a post soon on my blog detailing how I do all of this. Its all part of a series of mids for Black Powder that I'm working on.

Glad you like the map- after years of working on mats and such this is the first time I've really come up with something that checks all the boxes for me. I'm excited to put together some historic battlefields using this method. I'm working on a how-to for this as well. Once done I'll post it. There's not much in the way of technique tho. That's the beauty of it. It's simple, cheap and portable.

le Grande Quartier General Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2017 12:39 p.m. PST

Everything about this is wonderful- the table is delightful. Think however, how much cleaner it would be without the dice. Wouldn't computer rules be, perfect in this regard?

Dynaman878905 Oct 2017 5:50 p.m. PST

I hate you guys with talent! Just a few easily gotten supplies and you make something that looks terrific…

forwardmarchstudios Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2017 9:03 p.m. PST

le Grande Quartier General-

It sort of looks like a computer screen, huh? I guess that was what I was going for all along. The dice make a nice sound on the glass though, so it'd be a shame not have any on there. The coolest thing about this is being able to use a little croupiers hook I made to scoot the blocks around. It's like being a real general. It would go over well at a convention too, I'm sure.


Thanks! I had to do a lot of trial and error to get to this point though . . .

daler240D Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 12:44 p.m. PST

really nice. thanks for sharing this. I want to get a kriegspiel going very similar to this.

forwardmarchstudios Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 4:23 p.m. PST

Here are some shots of I Korps and III Corps set up on my new map. This is the final product of my kriegspiel-style army.


This doesn't look like a game of Black Powder, but that's what it is.

I really like this scale, played with SBUs and using battalions. You can really see how much larger III Corps is compared to I Korps, at a level you couldn't if using brigades.

Using SBUs leads to a much cleaner presentation. A complaint with SBUs is that you can't show the difference between columns and lines; with blocks however, you can show the formation difference by turning the blocks on end. You'll notice a few regiments on the board are deployed that way. It's a pretty cool ability, although the logic behind SBUs don't exactly require it.

Here's a shot from behind the French. You can see exactly how my organizing system works on eh table top:


Here's the Austrians:


Setting up this map, and both armies, from the little box I keep them in (where they are all jumbled up), took about 15 minutes. The three color organization technique saves a lot of time. It's much faster than separating chits, that's for sure.

This table top is 4' x 3'. For all of Wagram I would need probably four times this much space, on a dog-legged table. Most battles would fit on less. At any rate, two full sized armies done in this manner would be a lot of fun; playing Black Powder with forces that large would require more than two players though. It's a lot of figures to move around each turn!

forwardmarchstudios Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 11:52 a.m. PST

An update to my HQ and artillery units:


Gudin and Davout still don't have their guns, because I have to leave town in a few minutes for the rest of the weekend; but they're coming!

Much nicer I think. The officers and artillery units are painted and inked onto GF9 bases. Devout's base is the only Litko. I don't know if I like the wood grain on the Litko base. Does anyone know of anyone still selling MDF bases??


Best advantage of the battery bases instead of the models is that I can draw the exact number of guns onto the base itself. This is nicer than writing the number of guns, I think. Also, I have a means of identifying what division and brigade the units belong to with the bottom strip. Same thing with the officers; with them, the other issue with the rectangular name tags was that they looked too much like the battalions, which as problematic. This also adds a lot of color to the table. Just better over all.

forwardmarchstudios Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2017 8:12 p.m. PST

III Corps cavalry ready for action…


All of these blocks are 40mm across, and represent regiments on a 200m frontage. This is obviously a bit abstracted.

The round officer bases are much superior to the rectangular name plaques, as are the new artillery bases. My first order of Litko bases in years is on its way to my house as I type this, destined to become artillery and officer bases.

I can't wait to get the next few infantry corps knocked out. This should look epic once it's all on one table…

laretenue11 Oct 2017 2:43 a.m. PST

[OFF-TOPIC] Finally got your 2mm stone and trestle bridges. God bless you, sir – they answer a real need and more than exceed my hopes. They are a perfect match for my 3mm terrain pieces, and are just wide enough for my 6mm troops. Well done!

forwardmarchstudios Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2017 9:41 a.m. PST

Glad you like them!
I want to do some really tiny ones now to go with these new maps I'm working on. The little houses work really well for this project as well.

laretenue11 Oct 2017 10:40 a.m. PST

Your existing bridges span *rivers* wonderfully. Much smaller ones that cross streams need scarcely rise above road level, but just show a little bit of of pier beneath the stone or wood parapet. Just my thoughts.

forwardmarchstudios Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2017 9:20 p.m. PST

I Korps and II Korps done and dusted:


When fully deployed these two corps take up almost 5 feet of table space, in a rather cramped footprint.

Now that I have my technique down I can really fly through these corps.
The question now is, how to integrate my 3mm figures with this ID framework?



Some rebasing is going to be needed, erg…

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forwardmarchstudios Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2017 1:59 p.m. PST

I Korps, II Korps, III Korps and IV Korps done- ish…


I still need the artillery for the latter two corps, but the gist is there. I'm still waiting on my Litko bases to arrive. The army is only about half-way done. I'm becoming such an expert on knocking out these units that it only takes me about fifteen minutes to do an entire corps. For that matter, with my color coded system, it only took me about fifteen minutes to set up all of these units in their correct positions in the OOB. Faster than a chit-army : )

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