I’ve recently been working on a smaller gaming area in for my 6mm games. This is really part of an effort to play more games and reduce any barriers to playing games (especially in 6mm). With Covid and less opponents who are interested in the same rules/period as me, I find I am playing less games (or at least at what interests me currently).
So to achieve the goal of more games I need some armies, rules (which are solo friendly) and a playing surface. While I still enjoy larger games on 8×6 or 6×4 tables I don’t have space in my house for those, so I have been looking for ideas on how other wargamers solve this issue. There are some great examples of smaller games and some great solo ideas out there which have inspired me (yes I should link to them!)
I started by making a 2×2 foot square mat for smaller 6mm games and it can also double as a DBA mat. The mat is made from a latex infused painters drop cloth, which is covered in caulk, fine sand and stones and then flocked. I knocked this out over a few days and a lot of the time was waiting for the watered down spraycoat of Modge Podge to dry.
Next I wanted to add a backdrop to improve the look of my games and make any photo editing of the games much easier. I used the materials I had lying around which was a slightly tattered sheet of light blue card glued to a coreflute sign. I watched a few youtube videos and added some simple clouds. I plan to add rolling hills and a few tress, but the idea is to keep it pretty simple
So here is the first attempt at a setup (although the backdrop still needs finishing, its pretty good). As I experimented with some of my terrain I realised that a lot of it is not suitable for a smaller tables. The roads were for a Waterloo game on a massive 10×6 table and are quite wide, and the rest of my terrain features were designed to fill 8×6 tables. On a 2×2 table they take up a lot of space so it is either very cramped, or I end with only a few terrain features.
Another issue I found was that the buildings I painted recently for Normandy look nice but they would really benefit from having a base to help define an area eg a village or farm. Just plonking them on the table doesnt really work for me. That could be partly because I used quite bright flock so the buildings don’t look great on the bright green flock.
A solution I have been mulling over for a while is a idea similar to Total Battle Miniatures bases them make for their buildings.Their system works very well although I’m not a fan of the thick bases they use. I can make thinner bases but a different challenge is that all my buildings have different footprints, so how can they fit onto a town base with some flexibility. TBM designed their buildings to have standard base sizes which is a nice smart modular solution. For me I think it comes down to how the open spaces are defined, but I want to avoid making something too bland.