Saturday, December 30, 2023

A Reminder for Me...

A recent Bob Cordery posting concerning the use to be made of a spare piece of pasting board reminded me of something I've been walking on for well over a year, now.  

I have an interesting piece of carpet I picked up off the street a few years ago. Somebody has dumped it.  But the thing seemed to be in reasonable condition, so I did the civic-minded carpetatarian thing, and rescued it.  You know: before it rained. Or something.

What made it interesting...?

Salvaged carpet for war games?

Coloured a sort of  'sea green', the thing got trimmed off to 28"x70" (72cm x 180cm). It's lying on my bedroom floor (goes fairly well with the walls) as the most convenient (least inconvenient) storage location.

I've been thinking of cutting the thing in half to make, when reoriented, a 35" x 56" (90cm x 144cm) game surface. Conveniently,  I have some off cuts from this carpet, plus others of a rather lighter hue, that can form elevated ground. 

Off cuts for elevated ground.  The paler items I have had
 much longer, from some other source.

Were the playing surface divided into 6cm squares - the exactly right size for my Chromatic Wars armies - that would make a field of 15 x 24 squares.  The question is, though: do I really need yet another playing surface?  I seem to have plenty as it is...

An old hotel quilt thingy - great for deserts or possibly 
winterish - square grid. Salvaged from an earthquake site 
(over a year after the earthquake that wreck the hotel).


Memoir '44 game board - great for my mediaevals
and for Sengoku battles as well

An alternate Sengoku board... Made from ceiling tile
(I think). The grid cells are a whisker smaller than 
the Memoir '44.

10x10 square grid, used for the First Blacklands War.
Plywood surface that was intended for earthquake repairs.

A quilt I bought in 1976.  In 47 years it has 
faded some... Ungridded

Ungridded blanket I picket up somewhere about 40 years ago,
 specifically for its colour, to be used for War Gaming...

Artificial lawn - ungridded.  Good size for One Hour Wargames.

Probably my favorite: my hex board...
Another, larger, piece of plywood. Very versatile.

I didn't fully realise before I began this inventory just how many war games surfaces I have available. All this probably explains why, after two or three years, I never got around to doing anything with this piece of carpet.


  1. One seemingly obvious starting point is to check how well figures would sit on the carpet…ie how deep the nap is. (Some I’ve tried in the past seem to result in the figure bases skating around).

    1. Martin -
      The nap on the carpet is longer than I would prefer, but even individual figures stand up on it all right. But I suppose some kind of play test might be in order, come to think on it.

  2. Good find and as you well know you can never have to many war game surfaces!

    1. Donnie -
      I hope you're right about that! One consideration that comes to mind is how I'm to make profiles/ footprints for built up areas.

  3. For ease of storage, I have stuck with my old and venerable GW gaming mat that must be getting on for 20 years old now and still looks as good as new. I know the vogue for mats with different colours is still on trend as it were, but many are too big visually in terms of detail for my 10mm figures. Others I can't but help notice the satin surface and pixelated image! The other advantage of my mat is that all my basing flock etc pretty well matches it, which is good.

    1. Steve -
      I think one goes with what is convenient. I'm not quite sure why I have so many surfaces to play on. Possibly none of them are really convenient - space is a real concern - but all are at least adaptable to circumstances.

      Time was, I was aiming to get an 8 foot by 6 foot gaming table, or, if that didn't happen, a 9ft by 5ft table tennis table. Ideal war games size. Long ago, I realised that was never going to happen, as I have nowhere to set up a table that size. That realisation has led me down other paths - and interesting paths they are, too!

  4. Do gamers ever need more? Of course we do - even when the logic behind the decision is somewhat dodgy or skewed. Likewise, there’s always the tendency to want a bigger playing surface.
    “Well, if I used a 4cm grid then I could have ?? x ?? squares, but if I went with a 5cm grid then…” So many options. I suspect - although many of us would want to resist this - the best thing may well be to rationalise what we actually use and keep those, whilst disposing of the stuff we don’t use/have never used. That will free up space and make the house look tidier.
    FWIW I endeavour to have a 3:2 length/width ratio for my tabletop battlefield, but that’s not always achievable.

    1. Geoff -
      It is bally hard to contain one's acquisitive ambition, ain't it though? On the matter of table sizes - yes, size does matter (sort of) - my biggest is my 6' x 4' board. I have discovered I can field biggish battles on it, as witness my last battle of the 'Retreat from Smolensk' "campaign" from June last ye-- I mean 2022.
      If I want and even huger battle, I may have to pay one of my rare visits to the war games club!

      I have occasionally considered 'rationalising' my inventory, but my heart really isn't in it. Maybe this year I'll have a rethink about my Marlburian (WSS) and 30YW armies. They aren't getting much action...

      Something to thimk about maybe...