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Hills for the Fulda Gap

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d88mm1940 writes:

Those M1 tanks blend right in! (Sorry, I couldn't resist any longer;)

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6 October 2017page first published

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

For my Team Yankee project, I've been thinking about the Fulda Gap, as that is the area where the Team Yankee novel is set. It's a hilly place, I understand.

Hills are always a tough subject in wargaming. In games, we often think of the ground scale – how much 'real' distance each inch or centimeter takes on the tabletop. We speak less often about the height or vertical scale, how much height each level of altitude/hill represents.

Specific to Team Yankee, there is no stated ground or height scale. Taking a look through the various Team Yankee rulebooks, however, you can see that a 'hill' is typically represented by a single layer of elevation. Since the game is played as 'what you see is what you get', this can sometimes lead to silliness where buildings are taller than hills, but any game will have inherent conflicts between ground scale, height scale, and model scale.

Another factor to consider is the two types of wargaming hills: sloped and wedding cake. In 'wedding cake' style terrain, each elevation has a vertical edge, like the layers on a wedding cake; whereas 'sloped' hills have, well, sloped edges. Sloped edges look more realistic, but figures may tip or slip on the slopes; 'wedding cake' terrain is more practical for wargaming.

Hills for Fulda Gap

The hills I've chosen to use are ¾" in height, with the outer 1½" sloped. Above, you can see Bannon's Boys ready to defend.

Hills for Fulda Gap

This is the potential view from the Soviet side of the table. Most if not all of these hills are probably from War Zone Gaming Terrain Systems, but they have no manufacturer markings. Their Scale 04 hills are described as:

With a more gradual slope it will be suitable for 'any' miniature scale from 6mm Historical and Micro Armor to the 40mm+ oversize figs. It will also mix and match well with 02 Scale GTS products.
Hills for Fulda Gap

I like these multi-part hills as they are easier to store – you can see the curving seam between the end and center portions of the bottom hill level. (There's probably another matching 'hill end' piece in my collection somewhere…)

Hills for Fulda Gap

Here I've made a four-level hill out of five parts. One level doesn't quite match the others – I'm not sure if it's a different brand or just had too much sun over the years!

Hills for Fulda Gap

Small two-level hills help break up the tabletop.

Hills for Fulda Gap

Another view of Bannon's Boys. The helicopters will have a hard time hiding behind these hills, unfortunately!

Hills for Fulda Gap

A better view of the 4' x 6' table. What do you think? Is this enough hills, or too much?

Hills for Fulda Gap

With the hills in place, the defenders now have the challenge of how best to deploy their meager forces.

Hills for Fulda Gap

Waiting… where are the Soviets? (Actually, they're getting painted right now in Sri Lanka!)

Next Time – Roads!