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How should i make a trench battlefield?
Old 29 Mar 2007, 05:00   #1 (permalink)
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Default How should i make a trench battlefield?

this summer i would like to get togather with some friends and make a big trench board. The cities of death games are getting old and besides cities, trenches are pretty much the only thing we like.

Does anyone have ideas on how to make a trench board. I was thinking a 6x4. I really like the trench level, (hold the line, i think it is) in DOW winter assault. Anyone have advise on how we should go about it. Has anyone done it before.
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Old 29 Mar 2007, 05:42   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How should i make a trench battlefield?

Get a 6ftx4ft piece of wood, a piece of foam 6ftx4ft x 3in.

When you make it, dig about an inch in and 2 inches wide and make one of those 2 inches be a fireing step. Like so:

Make zigzgs and you could also make deeper parts for mortors...
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Old 29 Mar 2007, 06:04   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How should i make a trench battlefield?

I suggest getting insulation foam, instead of a huge 6x4 piece get smaller blocks to make it sectional so you can move it around. Either 2' x 2' or 1' x 1' blocks would work best.
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Old 29 Mar 2007, 13:03   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How should i make a trench battlefield?

beowulf> (Sorry for this Uber post)

Trench tables are very cool, but there is some draw backs that you would need to think out. I have been looking at this for some time, here is what I have decided how to build my trench table.

First, a good battle field needs a good plan! By taking a piece of white paper out of your printer, and making a basic map. This is a rough sketch, I say this because you need to plan out the trench pattern.

Will your trenches allow tanks inside them? This sets the depth and the width. If your going for a ground forces only sort of trench, then you have more room to model or add throw-able terrain.

Other things to consider, the construction of the table:

Extruded foam: (Blue = Dow) (Pink =OwnesCorning) If you were to build a 6x4 table, you can also get this foam in 6x4 sheets. I would get a piece of FMD board (it runs for $7.00 a sheet at Lowes.)Build your table frame, and place this FMD board at the very bottom.

Land contours:

This is the big decision point that Execution is talking about.
Modular: You can make it Modular, where the pieces are in 2 foot x 2 foot sections. This adds the most versatility to your table, but it does take longer to make the pieces that will fit together. So there is some extra thought process that is needed when your going to plan out a modular table like this.

Fixed Table: This is the easiest route to take, this is where you build your table as a fixed battlefield. This draws into two possible problems. Its linear, thus it will aways have the same game play. The only variation is if you use structures, or add trees to block the line of site. This board will look better, but it will require a lot of time to give it the details.It's very important that your plans cover a fair table, one side should not have an advantage of another side.

Table setup long wise: You should also consider making use of the 4' Sides with the trenches on the end. Army's like the Tau would have the best use of the table, as the distance is now greater to close, but the trenches could now be bigger.

Once you settle in on the Modular or a Fixed table, I would start with a 2" piece of foam, (DO NOT GLUE IT DOWN YET) and start out with a black Sharpie marker, and draw out your trenches. Once your happy with the trenches, test fit some tanks or guns in the squares that you have planned out. Make sure there is enough room to have them in the gun emplacement positions.

Carve out your table (Level 1): Using a serrated bread knife, or even an old steak knife (even better a hot knife) start to cut your trenches out. It's not a big deal to break the corners, or the edges, your going to scuff it up even more later.

Once thats done:
Remove the 2" thick sections, and place them on top of a 1" Piece of foam. Now start on level 2 (add a 1" thick piece)With your black sharpie marker, trace out the trench pattern again with the marker,then remove the 2" foam, and place it back into the board.
You should now have a Negative design" of the trenches on your 1" thick piece of foam. Now decide where the terrain will be hight, and cut out a large swaths of the 1" board, and place them where the land is higher, you could also carve out steps here too, that run into the 2" thick part.

Continue along this same pattern, once each level is done, 3" is good but you can develop more complex heights if you want. Make sure you write numbers on the foam, to designate each level. It takes a bit, but if you think the process out, you can do it. Just work with one level at a time.

Glue it down" Starting with the 2" stuff, glue it to the FMD board, then start to glue down the 1" level, you can do this while its wet, as this will allow you to move the pieces down.

Foam assembly Tip: Get a packet of Bamboo skewers (usually found at supermarkets, for Shish kabobs, Use these Skewers to "staple" te foam chunks together. Leave the excess Shish kabob stick, sticking out. Once the glue is dry, You will later come by and remove or cut off the bamboo sticks with a pair of diagonal pliers.

Once the terrain is dry, or at least two layers are down, and completely glued, clip off the excess Shish kabob sticks, and then break out your sand paper.

Round the sharp corners, and break the sharp edges, fill in any large gaps. Now is the time to decide where (if any) impact craters will be modeled into the board.

Using the bread/steak knife, dish out impact craters, glue, and let them dry.

Using corrugated cardboard (rippled middle parts) have a friend cut strips in of 1" to 3" wide, and begin test fitting them for the wall supports along the trench walls. Find a good ground material, or uses small sticks (bulk Popsicle sticks) and build flooring structures, or leave them open; (its your call what the bottom of the trenches looks like.

Now glue down the cardboard wall supports. Use some spur bits to add some depth to be rails that are used to keep the trench walls in place. (again use PVC glue)

After all that drys: Spray watered down PVC glue down and begin to sand your board. (I use a Flower sifter), to evenly spread the sand around, and it keeps the big rocks out.

Once thats done, add your wooden flooring, and some more filler to your trenches, and add MORE sand. Fill in any gaps, use LOTS of watered down wood glue.

I usually sponge paint my sanded areas, this is optional, detail out your impact craters, with some black colors, and a tick or grey or white at the bottom. Other details along the way barbed wire lines, Pill bunkers, odd rock formations.

I have been planning this sort of table out. But I already have 2 tables in the works, so this will probably happen in October..

Good luck!
(I hope this helps. Then again I could just be fishing for Karma) >

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Old 29 Mar 2007, 13:52   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How should i make a trench battlefield?

thanks alot everyone. Especialy LordBlacksteel. i hadnt realy though about alot of those ideas and thats extremely helpful
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Old 29 Mar 2007, 14:19   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How should i make a trench battlefield?

Not sure if you have any references but you could check these websites out I very often check them out to get ideas:


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Old 29 Mar 2007, 15:17   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How should i make a trench battlefield?

Originally Posted by beowulf
thanks alot everyone. Especialy LordBlacksteel. i hadnt realy though about alot of those ideas and thats extremely helpful
I'm glad to help, much of this "technique" was discovered while building the "Hells Arch" table. Now, as we build more tables, more complex ideas are coming up!


So in an example of more complex table rules: We have a table under construction that is called "The Ice Flows table". This is sorta like a frozen river thats about 3 1/2 foot across in the center of the table. We have made foam ice bergs that will scatter randomly (the water currents are really wicked here) so one side or the other has to cross over the ice bergs.

These bergs move randomly at the start of each turn. * this is the tables special rules* so the table and the dice are yet another factor that can make what would be an easy victory, a bit harder.

Furthermore, Big guns, raining down artillery on the units which could be trapped on an ice flow, could get hit. Using the same scatter rules, if the unit is hit while it sits on the ice berg, it will then shatter. We have made duplicate shaped ice bergs that are broken up further, thus splitting the iceberg, smaller and smaller. We even developed a chart to roll a 2 d6 against to determine how the ice berg breaks up.

So we learned to have a table, become a 3rd player to the game, it really adds complexity, or we can turn off the table rules, and no ice could be destroyed. Thus it allows for variation, and to keep your game fun and ever changing!

As far as Hells Arch well, this is a fixed battle field, it "Looks Cool" But it's also linear, so the strategy of the table can be broken down only after a short period of time, while playing on a table. So think about your trench table, and its also not outside the box to develop "Table Rules" these would be written down if you ever discovered that your table has an exploitable rule with a particular army, it's surprising, but it can happen!

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Old 16 Apr 2007, 02:51   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How should i make a trench battlefield?

Id suggest making your board out of small blocks of foam with a section of trench in each block so that you can arrange the battlefied as you wish with a fully custom isable trench system so that your not stuck with the same trenches for every battle.
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Old 02 May 2007, 02:41   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How should i make a trench battlefield?

At GW they have a raised terrain piece with trenches built in

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Old 05 May 2007, 03:49   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How should i make a trench battlefield?

Ive seen that one, but its pretty small, i was thinking more of an entire board.
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