On our recent View from the Veranda episode, one of the subjects that Henry and I discussed was the issue of the ‘game in a box’, and the particular challenge that terrain offered to this concept.
One solution is to use ‘top-down’ 2D terrain, and there is currently a Kickstarter project running that covers this: the Battlehex: Modular Hexagon Terrain System
This project offers full colour printed terrain, which is ideal as a starting point for many battlefields. It means that you don’t have to invest in a lot of terrain in order to put together a number of interesting battlefields – everything is contained in a single box, and at a reasonable price (the KS has one box for $64, or approx £42), with free shipping included in both the US and the UK.
The hexes are 9″ across, and so a 9 x 7 grid will cover the average 6′ x 4′ wargames table. It’s all stored in a single box, which means that those for whom space is a premium could benefit from this.
There are a couple of disadvantages that I can see with this:
- The terrain is printed colour card, so by definition it’s 2D. It’s nice, but has a very ‘boardgame’ look and feel.
- You would probably need at least two boxes of terrain, as currently the distribution of terrain tiles would mean that you would need to use almost every tile in the box to cover a 6 x 4 area – you may not want to use all these tiles every time (i.e. every type of terrain), so a single box is perhaps more limiting that what you may think. (Although one of the stretch goals is to make the hexes double-sided, which should solve much of this issue)
- A specific objection: I would normally consider using a hex-terrain system to play a ‘Commands & Colors’ type game with miniatures. However, C&C uses, as a minimum, a 9 x 13 grid. This hex system’s 9″ hexes are simply to large to accommodate this on a ‘standard’ table.
That said, I think this is a really interesting idea and well worth a look – it might be the budget scenery solution you have been looking for.
The project is due to complete on the 26th of January, and at time of writing has reached 75% of it’s $25.000 funding goal.