Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Problem of Hills - a Review of Cigar Box Battle Mats and Kallistra Non-Hex Hills

When I started miniature wargaming in 1994, I was spoiled.  My local gaming store and the group I played DBM with twice a week at Ft. Hood were both equipped with Geo Hex terrain.  It was beautiful, and the you could create great looking contours easily. The slopes of the hills looked nice and were not too steep to put troops on without sliding off.

Fast forward 20-ish years, and I have struggled with the problem pf playing surface and contours ever since.  I have tried blue board with a hot wire cutter, plywood, neoprene rubber,and who knows what else.  I need something that looks decent, is storable, lightweight and durable.  Well... I may have cracked it finally.  

I am combining two great products:
I just received the hexes in the mail today, here are my first impressions.  Click photos to enlarge.



Here are the hills when I first pulled them out of the box.  This is two sets of hills, six total, and as you can see, they nest inside each other nicely.



And unstacked.  I ordered two sets, so I have 2 sma, 2 medium, and 2 large hills.

What is this?  A plush blanket?, No, it is a plush Cigar Box battle mat!  They are now offering the option for plush mats which have a bit more texture, but it reminds me of the micro-fleece blanket my wife uses when I am too cheap to run the heat. 

But when spread out it looks like anything but a blanket!  I really like the colors, this picture is not that great (I must get better lights) and it looks better in person.  The colors look exactly like the website depicts them

Here is a closeup of the plush texture.


Here are some 1/600 scale West German Leopard 2's maneuvering among the hills.  The road is cut out from their cut out roads and rivers mat. (Forests are homemade sponge and floor matt forests)


To give you an idea of the size of the hills, here is a comparison shot of each with 6mm and 28mm figures at the top, on the slope, and at the base of the hill.  The 6mm figures are Baccus on 60mm wide bases, the 28mm figures are a Gripping Beast Viking, a Wargames Factory Viking, and a Conquest Miniatures Norman

Small Hill:


Medium Hill:



Large Hill:



All in all, I think I am going to be very happy with this combination of products.  The Cigar Box Battle Mat is amazing.  It drapes nicely over the hills, and my pictures do not do the colors justice.  I really need to get more light in the game room.  I will be buying more of these.

The Kallistra hills are highly recommended as well. Even if you don't put hills underneath a ground cloth, they would terrain up nicely.  They are very rugged, won't chip like foam hills, and save the hassle of trying t get the angles just right with a hot wire cutter.  They are pretty affordable too, I ordered them and it took me only a week and a half to get them in the US from the UK.

Happy gaming!





1 comment:

  1. Thanks for showing, two really nice products. I am already a Kallistra customer and they are a great outfit, but I really like the look of that fleece.

    ReplyDelete