BackgroundFor years, I have been attracted to the allure of 6mm figures. Early on, I was convinced by the prophet of 6, Peter Berry of Baccus Miniatures. So much so, I sold all of my 15mm ancients armies 10 years ago after losing interest in playing DBM tournaments (I kept bringing Gauls, which while impressive looking on the table, are not terribly competitive against armored knights from 1500 years in the future.)
His excellent article outlining his philosophy can be found here, if you are unfamiliar.
About 5 years ago, I developed an itch to get into some sort of horse and musket period, and commissioned French and Austrians for the 1809 campaign from a figure painting outfit. Why those? I had never been a Napoleonics buff, but knew that 1809 was the first time Napoleon suffered a defeat on the battlefield personally, and the armies seemed semi-balanced. Plus, everyone in the world seems to do the Peninsula. So many dollars later, I found myself the proud owner of two decently sized forces. And they proceeded to sit in boxes for the next 5 years...
Anyway, with various life upheavals, I have never come close to bringing a 6mm project to completion... until now.
I finally pulled them out, based them up, and began to work on terrain for them. I will show off the troops and talk rules in future posts, but for now I would like to walk you through my terrain build.
The PlanI am very fortunate that Mrs. Tin Man is very supportive of the hobby and we have a dedicated game room at the front of the house. Also, when we moved, I inherited our old kitchen table, which is 4 feet by 4 feet and counter height with nice bar stools. I have played skirmish games on it in 28mm, and I probably could set a 6 x 4 foot top on the table, but frankly, I don't want to. It would significantly intrude in to the room, and I'd like to be able to sit down at my nice table, with room for quick reference sheets, a drink, plaec for my elbows, and dice towers so dice don't go tumbling all over the place.
Then inspiration struck via the excellent Battlefields and Warriors blog. I have been following Norm's pin board gaming project, and it inspired me to try something similar myself.
A quick read through my copy of Black Powder finally locked my plan in place. "Standard" infantry frontage is 240mm. My 6mm armies are based with four x 20mm square stands per unit, for a total frontage of 80mm. Scaling Black Powder down to 1/3 scale is my perfect solution!!!! Unit movement rates will still be easy enough, with infantry moving 4 inches per move. And best of all, a 2' x 4' gaming board would equate to a 6' x 12', just like the Perry's play on! I could put it on my table and still have room for elbows, sheets, etc. and game sitting down in comfort, with enough room to maneuver 32 figure battalions!
I began to gather materials, and here is how it worked out...
(Click photos below to enlarge)
ExecutionFirst, there was a visit to my local lumber store for a 2' x 4', 1/2" thick oak project panel. I also bought the same thing in 2' x 2' to use for hills, more later.
I also went down to my local train shop and bought a Woodland Scenics grass mat. I purchased the "Grass Green" version, next time, I will go with "Summer Grass," as it does not quit look so much like a golf course. this is a neat product, basically a flocked, vinyl mat.
jig saw, I cut out hill shapes with a 45 degree slant. Fully contoured hills look amazing, but I am looking for practical and would like to be able to indicate substantial elevation changes on my table if I want to. The raw results look like this, with a lone 6mm battalion wandering the field.
I started out making tree based from some black foamcore I had laying around, beveling the edges with an exacto knife, gluing small pieces of the grass mat to the top, and painting the edges green.
Here is a closeup of some of the French.
So there it is, my gaming table. I intend to do a desert version for the Sudan, and both will work for the 6mm Sci-Fi skirmish stuff I want to do. Just goes to show you, you don't need a huge area to have an enjoyable, pretty game!