Terrain Board research

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Ecarots
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Terrain Board research

Postby Ecarots » Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:29 am

Hello one and all.

I need to pick your brains.

I am creating a generic terrain board for wargamers but I would like feedback on what you would like to see.

This board is cloth using commercial high quality imaging/printing technology.

My questions that I would like answered is the following:

Should it have hexes printed on it or just be with the terrain images?

Size: The options are (in inches)19 x 23., 24x36, or 59x 79?

These will be generic land terrain, the ocean version will be coming soon after.

I am using this tech in one of my non wargames that is wrapping up development, if you wish to see a video on this for reference here is the youtube link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx6PGFoMU1Y
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Hagen
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Re: Terrain Board research

Postby Hagen » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:40 pm

Very neat board and video! I personally like hexes and think they would really be necessary on featureless terrain as your ocean board would be. But that's just my thinking.
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Re: Terrain Board research

Postby Frank » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:56 am

Great idea. Our club uses some of the Hotz mats mainly for space games, some are hexed, some not.

The problem is that if games don`t need hexes then they can look wrong

Are your mats double sided or is the pattern just on the one side, if double sided then you could possibly put hexs on just one side or would that be too involved or expensive? The Hotz mats can be ordered with and without hexes, and with the hexes in different sizes, would that be a problem?
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Re: Terrain Board research

Postby Ecarots » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:14 pm

The boards could be double sided but the finishes are different on each side. I use the side that is a jersey finish like a sweat shirt. This gives more durability to the play surface and better resolution of the playsurface images.
I had considered land on one side and water on the other, so I could go plain on one side and hex on the hard finish side. It would just raise the cost by about 50%. I could have them made with or without hex but right now I am looking for any feedback for the initial run as I need to order a minimum of 100 to get a decent rice on them.
Which of the sizes that I mentioned would be the most useful to you?
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Re: Terrain Board research

Postby Hagen » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:07 pm

Size wise for me would be 19×23, I don't have much room for setup. :D

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Re: Terrain Board research

Postby Whiterook » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:03 pm

As mentioned above, I too like the map you show on the YouTube vid!! :D Neat game...I'd like to try it out sometime....looks like fun!!!

On you questions...

Well, for me it depends on what the depiction is, and what it's used for. For example...land, sea, and space combat; and size of forces used; squad/platoon, battalion, corps.

About the best factoring I've ever seen on the subject is found here....
http://www.simmonsgames.com/design/LineOfSight.html

For my money:

  • I say definitely hex overlay for land maps for squad-level infantry and small tank platoons that depict roads, forests, streams, individual buildings, etc...and at 24 X 36. Hexes typically represent 40-50 metres, viewed from a height of maybe 24 metres
  • Hex overlay for big land battles at Corps-level, sea, and space combat...at 59 X 79
  • The only time I'd use a not-hex overlay map would be: For aircraft battle games (e.g., Wings of Glory) that use plotting via cards; sail games.

I wouldn't do double sided, given your description of surface texture differences.
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Re: Terrain Board research

Postby Ecarots » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:28 pm

That brings another question to mind. Would you want details such as hills, trees, etc on the board or is that something the player should be allowed to create on their own so they can customize it for each battle?
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Re: Terrain Board research

Postby Frank » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:28 am

I do 95% of my gaming at a local club and we mainly just use a 4` x 6` table so the 59" x 76" would be the best size for our use. We do very little hex based gaming, just using mats for a background, a couple of space ones for X Wing or Babylon 5, a fairly basic fields and rivers mat for Wings of War, a desert mat with streets marked on for our Dead Mans Hand. These are all orderable in various size hexes or not which is an advantage the bigger companies have, if you have to pre order a specific design then that really cuts down your versatlity.

I don`t think I can add anything more as the only time I have used a surface where the hexes were actually needed was a try at doing Command and Colours using real minis a few years ago.
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Re: Terrain Board research

Postby Whiterook » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:49 pm

I know a company (Chessex) used to sell vinyl mats with a hex grid on plain-beige background. I think the thought there was you could use markers to design your own terrain. Avalon Hill also sold paper maps, plain white with a hex grid...same principle, though you could also ink or color...

But I doubt there's much of a market for that anymore, now that there are several computer programs that you can design your own and print.

That said, I think if you sell a land map with no trees, hills, roads, etc....it's going to severely limit use. Sea and space is different. Since your maps are cloth, outside of fabric paint, there's not a lot that the buyer can do for designing terrain? ...other than making their own terrain tiles?

On the other hand, just one map with terrain limits gaming. If you sold say, 5-10 maps with different terrain, you may have something! :D
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Re: Terrain Board research

Postby 50th » Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:27 am

I have two of the vinyl chessex mats with hexes on black for my Star Trek starship game. They are very nice! I used to have one that was gray that I used for wargames, but in all my moves, that one got away from me.
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