Monday, 2 February 2015


One thing I did notice at Vapnartak and from following blogs and lurking on forums is how important terrain has now become and how spoiled we are for choice. Once it was a social faux pas to present an army on the table which was primed only, or had bases obviously cut from beer mats, as a quick look urged you to buy a pint of Newton and Ridley Pale Ale, or different periods were mixed together as that was as near to the Teutonic Knights of 1300AD as you could get back then. Now the eyes go up if you put a piece of sculpted foam, sprayed green and stepped, on your flank and declare it a large hill. I also do not doubt that that guy who ignores all the efforts put into a display and zeroes in on the fact that the sergeant, fourth from the back of the sixty man unit, has the wrong colour of buttons, will soon be able to point out that that style of architecture did not come in until after the Napoleonic Wars. Wargamers have at last learned to put as much effort into their layouts as the Railway Children and the suppliers of laser cut MDF are to be commended for the breadth and sheer genius of their products.

Helping this along I believe is the popularity of the skirmish type game where you only require a small amount of figures and can therefore go to town on the ambience of your background, and of course this has a more than pleasant fallout effect on the larger games.

I have a large collection of Geo-Hex for my ACW games, one of which you can see in the blog header and I am slowly improving my ‘throw down’ collection of 28mm hills, villages, marshes, woods etc. so that eventually I hope they will all go seamlessly together while remaining mobile. I have a collection of wonderful, painted MDF buildings for my foray into Western Gunfights.
Henry House Hill, First Bull Run.
 I was given an interview by the local paper last year, and received a phone call that the photographer was coming around in an hour and could I ‘throw something together’, no I couldn’t was my retort, didn’t they know that putting a decent table on required planning on the scale of D-Day. I got 24 hours and even then chickened out and put up my cowboy town (Carefree Arizona, where the only thing that flies is bullets! ©) You can see the result below, I was then asked to grin sheepishly and crouch as though I had left my legs in the house.

Words fail me.

Hopefully a better picture.
The mat has since been worked on and does not look as clean, nor is it a nice neat rectangle, see what I mean about improving things.


  1. I think you're spot on about terrain. Poor examples annoy me (which probably tells you more about me than anything else). Some of the displays I've seen at shows in the past few years wouldn't look out of place in a museum display.

    Would be interested in seeing the newspaper article if you had a link/scan. Always nice to see a positive report of the hobby in the media.

    1. Warton Wargamers was me, with occasional visits from a friend in Southport and my son from Northumberland. I tried all sorts to get someone interested locally to no avail, even being economical with the truth for the village website. The website led to the newspaper article but not to any interest sadly.