Free e-Books on Terrain

Two free e-books on terrain.

A.  I made an e-book on making Flexible wargame terrain for Civil War battles — although the same concepts can be used for World War II and other eras. Click MakingWargameTerrainEbook,_small for a free eBook (725kbs) or instead click for larger version MakingWargameTerrainEbook (print-ready version 6mbs in size).

The purpose of this terrain technique is to balance several factors:

  1. Flexibility, to recreate historic maps more fluidly (a lot of purpose-built terrain can be limiting being less useful in unique situations).
  2. Lower cost. Although there can be a bit of waste in that not all the roads/river material can be recycled (especially if you don’t have a Dustbuster to vacuum each up separately).
  3. Looks. The goal is to have smooth transitions between contours but well-defined for game purposes …and unique shaped rivers and forests.
I made the roads a bit sloppy but viewed from the air, roads are not perfect.

Trade-offs: this sort of sprinkled terrain is best in a home or permanent club location as opposed to being as easily take on the road. Then, at a “convention” or other situation where you must set up and take down, you might want to revert to masking tape roads and rivers made of cut-up blue “sheet protectors”.

B. If you want to learn how to be master craftsmen andd make beautiful Unique terrain tables, for another free e-book click BrucesTerrainBuildingArticle (2.2mbs) for spectacular examples and a “How To”. Featured are the incredibly beautiful tables made by Bruce Weigel. Here’s an example:

Bruce Weigel’s tables are beautiful.

For a look of the diversity of tables Bruce has made, click here for my page on his tables.

Trade-offs: one has to have a lot of storage room, the terrain is for only one game (or in a pinch can be used for other scenarios perhaps), and the time it takes to make versus playing on it. So ones wargame hobby has morphed from playing games to terrain modelling.

PS A half way step between both above approaches is “geomorphic” like GHQ’s 3″ Terrain Maker hexes or 12″ square tiles. Each could be like a little diorama. The problem to me is the amount of time it takes to make up a enough diverse terrain and the “stiffness” of how the road and river networks must follow what you have built already. And again, a gaming hobby becomes more about terrain craft than playing uniquely modeled and set-up games “on the fly”. To each his own!

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