Sunday, April 22, 2012

Terrain cloth for 28mm

I've intended to do a terrain cloth for my 28mm games for some time, but haven't gotten around to it.  The cloth I desired was modeled after an approach Jeff Knudsen uses, and Elliot James has also used.  I've played on these clothes in many ATF (alcohol, tobacco and firearms) games, and they are wonderful.  These games are played with 10mm or 15mm figures, and I wondered if this mehod would transfer to 28mm well.  I highly recommend it for the smaller scales, it looks great!

A thread on TMP ( started with an excellent tutorial helped me decide to try this method to make a cloth for my upcoming Little Wars game.

The method is to spread flexible caulk over a canvas sheet, and then color with flock.  The Lion of the North's tutorial on the method is here (, and I recommend it.  Elliot's tutorial is also useful (  Finally, Jeff's games can be seen here (

My cloth was a learning experience, but I am pleased with it.  I made a 6' by 9' peice, with a river along the portion of one edge.  There is a road intersection, with clearly cultivated areas then other areas.  It  was a weekend project.

Working on the first section in -- you can see a line of lose flocking in the foreground
In the process of removing all the lose flocking before moving on to the next strip.

Same section, with all the lose flocking removed.

Overview of the table, set up for the Viking - Irish game.

Close up of part of the battle.
I used the following materials.  A 6x10' painting canvas cloth, medium weight; ten or twelve DAP dynaflex 230 brown premium indoor / outdoor sealant; and lots of assorted flock.  After I applied the flock, I covered the new area with wax paper and went over it with a rolling pin.  I do not have a comparison to this method, but the flock is certainly integrated with the caulk.  I was suprised at the amount of flocking material required!  So this was not cheap, but certainly different than a standard cloth.

What I like about it is the clarity of the ground -- terrain features are clearly delineated with a minimum of effort, and the way my bases go with it.  Since I used flock on both the game matt and my figures bases they are better integrated than with my standard green gaming matt.

I am looking forward to using it in convention games, and comparing it to other matts used.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Little Wars, April 27 - 29

Little Wars is coming up quick, and for me, Impetus is it's name!!

I'm  looking forward to running a Vikings invading Ireland scenario Friday morning.  A lot of effort went into balancing out what is a tough match-up for the Irish in a straight tournament game.  Here are some teaser shots --

Vikings move in on the Irish village

But find their flank "a hangin' in the breeze"

There will also be two other Impetus games run, each by a different group.  So three groups are running games this year.  There will be a game of Adrianople, and one set in Japan.

I'm runninng an Impetus Open Saturday night, and continuing open gaming Sunday. I reserved space for the Open Saturday evening from 6 pm until 2 am. Several friends have commented on the hours, so I want to clarify this.

These open gaming times are to encourage regional players to meet each other and have fun gaming some small games. The Saturday Open will include awards for the best painted army and the best player. These awards will be presented between 10:30 and 11. I trust a couple of games will have been played by everyone interested by then.

I reserved this time so that interested people could play until they closed the doors on 'em. There was never any intention that you had to play the entire 8 hours!! But for the die-hard enthusiasts, you can.

Gunthar, painted by Jim Smiley, St. Paul Irregulars

Victory, painted by Jack Ladd, St. Paul Irregulars

Sunday will be very relaxed -- we have space for the day and can do whatever seems appropriate for the people around.  Replay some of the earlier games, play a group game, have some learning games, or matches against other Impetus fans!  If you're curious about Impetus, you have lots of opportunities to learn more.

I'm looking forward to Little Wars, which is the regional gamers mixer.  There will be friends from all over the region there, and I'm sure that I will make new friends this year.