Home Forums Ancients Ancient Wargaming and Terrain (or lack of it)

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  • #4572

    For years, I used the 2 x 2 foot static grass tiles by TSS for my base board. There was the static grassed green side, of course, but I painted and stippled the blank side in household emulsion to do a ‘desert arid terrain’.

    Works just fine. You can see both sides of the tiles in the pic below. It also shows the green side squexed for Commands and Colors. These days, I use a big green rattle can sprayed snooker baize for my ‘normal’ green table because it makes doing big hills easier.

     

     

    My whoring and daubing:
    http://olicanalad.blogspot.co.uk/

    #4574
    Simon Miller
    Participant

    I have a set of green flocked boards that I use for Northern Europe and another set of dusty grey-brown boards (my Zama boards) that I use for the south.   The minis are on grey brown bases with clumps of grass and look OK with both.

    re Trebian above, I was taking pics today of the Lake Trasimene area with a future game in mind.   by the lake, there were many more Italian girls in bikinis than I had expected to see from accounts of the battle.  ;-).   Also far more trees on the hills.  Unless the terrain has changed (always possible) it would have been very easy to conceal a dozen Carthaginian armies in the area, and very easy for them to approach the road under cover.  There would also have been a substantial marshy shoreline with reed banks behind the Romans.  A terrain-rich battlefield!

    #4587
    Steve Burt
    Participant

    Bruneval raid

    Bruneval raid, showing how the grass tiles can be used to form a depression and a coast area

    Safi

    Desert terrain (in this case, Safi, 1942), again with coast line

    Vaagso

    And finally winter terrain (Vaagso raid).

     

    The flat tiles and edge pieces are pretty versatile

    #4592
    Trebian
    Participant

    Simon,

    Understand your problems. Did anyone object to you photographing their girlfriend?

    As for the masses of terrain, – it’s exactly the sort of place a smart general would not chose to fight against a good opponent, – unless he’s laying the ambush!

    Trebian

     

     

     

    #4596
    Patrice
    Participant

    the cats took it as an invitation for one to go under the cloth while the other pounced from the top. This is not so good for the terrain

    Obviously. Cats are not so good for the terrain.

    So I did try another idea:

    …use the cats for terrain.

    But then you get another problem: it’s not so good for the miniatures.

    “AAaaargh, an earthquake!”

     

     

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #4602
    Frog
    Participant

    Good one, Patrice!

     

    I can’t even begin to count the number of miniatures I have with a cat hair permanently varnished onto them.

    Bunch of monkeys on your ceiling, sir!

    #4640
    Howard Whitehouse
    Participant

    Bravo!  Kudos!

    I do all my own stunts.

    #4642
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Ah cats….My cat Fred has no interest in my figures but does like to sleep on my hills if I leave them out…

    #4649
    Frog
    Participant

    My cat Lucky (my avatar) likes to chew the bristles off of paint brushes.

    Bunch of monkeys on your ceiling, sir!

    #164804
    Kitty Hay-Whitton
    Participant

    Offhand…the Sambre, Trasimene, the Jaxartes, the Hydaspes, Thermopylae, Granicus, Heaven knows how many hill and valley actions in the retreat of the Ten Thousand, Ilipa, Baecula…certainly many armies loved an open field (my wife asks nothing more than a light cavalry force and an open plain), but there were a few exceptions over the millennia.

    #164806
    Sane Max
    Participant

    ‘Holy Thread Necromancy Batman!’

    I don’t like TOO Much terrain, my old head always struggles remembering ‘Do AUX move normally in woods? Can those cavalry even ENTER the wood?’ but that’s largely ’cause I play too many different systems I think.

    #164807
    ian pillay
    Participant

    Teutoberger Wald had a few trees scattered about if memory serves.  ; )

    😂 I was thinking the same thing.

    Tally-Ho!

    #164829
    Tony S
    Participant

    Many years ago, due to a horrible lack of opponents (as in, none) I would enter DBA tournaments just to face a real human.   It was first edition, and if I recall correctly the terrain rules were very loose and relied somewhat on both players being gentlemen or women.  You’d think Barker would have thought that assumption through a bit more, having done WRG Ancients since time immemorial.

    I found it interesting when I placed lots of terrain, especially in the middle of the board, because I like that in a wargame.  I found that players didn’t know how to handle such complications.  Seems most of the tournament players like open spaces, where their maximized armies (admittedly more difficult in DBA given the lack of points to exploit) could function.  Woods and bad going would usually be in the corners.

    I quite like the challenge that terrain brings to a battle – gives it character!

    #164863
    Cyrus
    Participant

    Terrain that looks good does make a game more interesting but a lot of tournaments suffer from the dreaded green felt or lurid green boards!

    #164891
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Wow, this is an old thread! Terrain is often viewed as an impediment to smooth gaming in ancient battles. I like challenging games where terrain shapes the battlefield. It’s a great equaliser for armies which have lighter and more irregular troops dominating their forces. I like having significant terrain features in some part of the central space of a wargames table. It gives my Elamites a fighting chance against my Assyrians, Babylonians and Skythians. It gives my Iberian Spanish a chance against my Polybian Romans. Terrain is good.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

     

    #164899
    Kitty Hay-Whitton
    Participant

    I find Iberians need little help from terrain against republican Romans!

    #164952
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    I find Iberians need little help from terrain against republican Romans!

    Kitty Hay-Whitton:

    This I have not found, at least using DBx style rules. Spanish Auxillia and Psiloi do not fair well in open ground against Roman Legionaries and their allies, in my experience. What is your “secret sauce” for success/survival with the Iberian Spaniards in open ground?

    Cheers, be well and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    #164954
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    Terrain density and specific rules also are closely linked. Most rulesets are written with the assumption that there will be a certain terrain density, although this is rarely mentioned explicitly.

    Ancients wargaming – apart from the historical context – is/was heavily influenced by DBx, which regulated terrain (at least in the tournament format) very strictly.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #164957
    Kitty Hay-Whitton
    Participant

    It’s been my experience that the cavalry outnumber the Roman stuff, so flanks are usually menaced, skirmisher foot evade legionaries and carve up Roman light foot, and the scutarii are in with a pretty good chance of breaking through. When the Romans win, and it does happen, it’s about using terrain themselves to receive charges while on higher ground or with flanks resting on a village or stream, and their better responses to commands. But I don’t play any of the DBx family any more, and haven’t for years, so that may be relevant.

    What the Hell, they’re both armies you can love even when they lose.

    #164963
    Tony S
    Participant

    Ancients wargaming – apart from the historical context – is/was heavily influenced by DBx, which regulated terrain (at least in the tournament format) very strictly.

    Can’t argue with that, although I’d suggest that it goes back further, and that all the WRG Ancients rules influenced a lot of their contemporary rulesets.

    But I’d say that DBA (except for the first edition) and DBR actually create more realistic tables than most, because of their random placements.  Again, historical refights excepted, I’ve noticed over the years that where players simply put a table together, it usually ends up symmetrical and “fair” because neither player wishes to take advantage.

    The  Phil Barker sets can produce some really interesting terrain, which can heavily influence both the initial deployments and the battles themselves.  I’ve sometimes simply used the DBA terrain rules to create a table for use in other games.

    #164964
    MartinR
    Participant

    I mainly play CnC Ancients, Lost Battles, or scenarios using the OBs and terrain from Lost Battles.

    Plenty of terrain in those scenarios, depending, and where there isn’t, a bit of scatter terrain goes a long way.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #165109
    Paul Howard
    Participant

    Does anybody know where to get 25mm scale bamboo forests? I understand that both India and Russia, as well as China and Japan have lots of bamboo, and my Han, Mongols, Scythians, Ninjas, and Revolting Peasants would all appreciate being able to maneuver and ambush with them.  Also, since bamboo, rice straw, and gourd fields were important for other reasons.

     

    #165110
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Does anybody know where to get 25mm scale bamboo forests?

    Is this article any good?

    LINK

    #165120
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    What the Hell, they’re both armies you can love even when they lose.

    Kitty Hay-Whitton:

    You are so right there!

    Cheers, be well and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    #165121
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Does anybody know where to get 25mm scale bamboo forests? I understand that both India and Russia, as well as China and Japan have lots of bamboo, and my Han, Mongols, Scythians, Ninjas, and Revolting Peasants would all appreciate being able to maneuver and ambush with them. Also, since bamboo, rice straw, and gourd fields were important for other reasons.

    Paul H.:

    Each bamboo shoot is about 6 cm long and you get 120 shoots per package.

    Cheers, be well and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    #165122
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Ahh, the link above is not to the page I wanted. This shows 8-12 cm bamboo shoots. I dunno what happened.

    #165269
    Kitty Hay-Whitton
    Participant

    Pretty bamboos, but I don’t see them on the steppes for the Scythians.

    Modellers may like to know that the stems can be the familiar slightly ochre-tinted yellow, or a strong green.

    #165350
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I need the bamboo for Viet Nam…and WW2.

    #165352
    Kitty Hay-Whitton
    Participant

    You stupid woman! Can you not see zat ze bamboos are to ‘ide from ze Gestapo officers? Michelle and I were just testing zem!

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