Monday, April 9, 2012

Modular Terrain

What is it? Might be a question that you ask yourself. We have all played on table tops that are either solid flocked, has some sort of felt on it, or just a roll out mat that we play our favorite wargame on. We then make small things like bunkers, hedges, fences, and other pieces of terrain to spice up the game field. This leaves you somewhat limited on what you can accomplish.

The next step up from this are the large game boards people create from some sort of foam board. This is usually done with sheets of foam insulation 2 inches thick and stacking them. This allows you to create deep crevaices, trenches, rivers, and an entire variety of other terrain features not really possible on your standard flat game table. However once you have built one of these game boards you are pretty much stuck with that layout.

Modular Terrain to the rescue!!! In order to make the terrain modular you essential take that large game board and cut it up into squares or grids. So lets take a simple battle field with a large crevice running length wise in the middle. That looks pretty cool. Now lets divide it up... We will split the crevice down the middle length wise and then make 2 more cuts width wise dividing the table into 3rds or maybe quarters depending on the table size. Now we have 6 board pieces. I can take those boards and rotate them all 180 degrees. Now instead of having a crevice in the middle of the field I have a giant plataue. Now lets make 2 more generic flat boards at the same height as the top of the crevice.

I can no take and put those 2 boards in the middle and have a plateu that runs width wise as opposed to length. I can put those normal height boards along one side and create a crevice that runs width wise. I can create a plataue and a crevice that run width wise. If I now add a couple boards that are at the lower height of the crevice I can create a ridge line that runs the width of the board with half of the ground being tall and half of it being low. Now think about the posibilities if I added bends in the cliff faces. The possibilities and combinations grow with each additional board.

Some typical board sizes are 2' x 2', 2' x 1', and 1' x 1'. This allows you to get very creative with the terrain you are creating. If you do not want to create your own, TerranScapes has some good sets that will run you about $1k. Certainly not cheap but most of the sets contain at least 18 boards to play on with countless configurations of those boards.

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