Building an army seems a bit pointless to start with, as I can’t play in lockdown. So I’m going to start with with terrain. I know the overall style (i.e. 6mm Northern Italy-ish), what pieces do I source/build, in what order, and what size should each part be?

Well, I’m starting with this Javis Field Zone Battle Mat. It’s 1200mm X 600mm, so I can cut that in half and have a base at least.

But then what? This is where Dick Bryant’s Six Small 2’x2′ Crossfire Scenarios come in. He provides six maps, which cover a lot of the major building blocks I want to use. Looking at them, I can build up my terrain in this kind of order:

  • The Woods (just woods)
  • The Hill (+ a hill)
  • The Farm (+ a farm building, fields, road and wall)
  • The River (+ a river, bridge, another building, bunker, and crest)
  • The Crossroads (+ more roads, more crests, an orchard and hedges)
  • The Town (+ more buildings and walls)

And also keeping an eye on making as much of this compatible with DBA terrain piece size limits (which can be thought of as needlessly complicated), but boil down to:

Min Size: 120x60mm (effectively; one piece can be as small as 40x40mm)
Max Square Size: 180x180mm
Max Rectangle Size: 240x120mm

And, for linear obstacles, a road must be ~20mm wide, and a river cannot be more than 40mm wide to remain compatible with DBA.

One small change from that is that I’m going to base my buildings on 75x75mm bases, which is standard for the Spearhead rules, and then require a single DBA “Built Up Area” to typically be made up of two bases next to each other which would make it 150x75mm. (Although technically a single base of that size would also be valid if there were no other small terrain items on the table.)

Woods

Although the maps suggest to build woods out of hexes, as I previously said, I don’t want the look of a few lonely trees on a felt shape to represent woodland. (And I also don’t want to buy hundreds of individual trees).

But I found this way of making forests out of foamboard, cocktail sticks and clump foliage, which looks great and easy enough to build. So my first job will be to make (inspired by the map, but also keeping within the DBA limits)

3x Big Woods (~180mm diameter)
6x Medium Woods (~120mm diameter)
1x Small Wood (~120x60mm)
and 1x ‘Curved’ Wood (Kinda ~150x120mm ish)

Looking at Google Maps again, it seems that most tree canopies are mid-to-light green in Northern Italy, but not too far from those you see in the aerial shots of the UK or elsewhere. So I’ve also ordered some Medium & Light green clump Foliage from Woodland Scenics.

And then, to the glue gun…!