Friday 7 September 2012

Land(Hero)scape Gardening

Not the set I have but you can see the obvious potential

A couple of years ago I inherited a great box full of Heroscape plastic hex tiles – all of which had been painted and flocked by none other than Bob Cordery. The tiles were the base green versions with none of the grey mountain types or the blue water version.There is however, rather a lot of them. Since taking collection of them they have sat forlornly in the box they arrived in under my painting table in the man cave, unloved and with scarcely a thought as to what to do with them. I briefly flirted with the idea of offloading them but never pursued the intention. It was strange in that the collection definitely fell into the realms of being a good idea to have - once I had found out exactly what the good idea actually was that is....;-)

Well, I think it might just have landed, the good idea that is, and so I am going to look at using them for a mini-me version of my Hexon collection. I am really excited about this for a number of reasons as follows:

  • I have more than sufficient tiles to cover a number of 13 x 9 hex playing areas
  • There is sufficient small tiles to allow for hills and ridges – and I will be able to model rivers and roads easily enough, either with felt or actually sculpturing the tiles (that is by far my preferred option)
  • I can repaint a set into desert sand – they are currently overall green.        

The size of hexes is roughly 45mms across the flat sides so a 13 x 9 hex Command and Colours playing area would be quite compact and above all both easy to set up and readily portable. I am thinking that a purpose built tray to carry a set up battlefield and the associated terrain and armies and usual gaming paraphernalia would be a good idea and in my own house would be able to be easily stored downstairs. Using my block armies would be an obvious choice but a single hex would only really take a single block of the size I use. I pondered the problem of how to represent hits on units and reckon that the system employed in the WW2 rules Command Decision may be a good solution. With these rules different coloured counters represented hits depending on the quality of the unit. Since the quality aspect is very simply handled in Memoir of Battle by the addition or subtraction of a block/figure from the unit in question I reckon that the following would work quite readily:

When a unit takes a hit that reduces its strength to 4 it carries a white marker, when at 3 it takes a green marker, at 2 a yellow marker and when at 1, a red. Units at full strength of course do not carry any markers, only when they lose a strength point and only ever one counter at a time. Failing that, hits could be recorded on a roster.

Many of my smaller terrain pieces would fit happily onto one of these smaller hexes so in effect I would be replicating a normal Command and Colours based game in 3D – which is essentially what I am doing with my larger Hexon in any event.


Jim Duncan Wargamer said...

Hi David

There are probably lots of good ideas just waiting to be discovered by the owner of a Heroscape collection.

My best idea so far with my Heroscape collection can be seen at:

I'm sure I will have a few more in the not too distant future.


David Crook said...

Hi Jim,

I shall be heading over to the link you supplied asap!

I had almost forgotten about this box of goodies that Bob had passed on to me but I am very glad I found them again!

All the best,


Paul O'G said...

Could you paint the reverse side all blue and use them for naval gaming too perhaps?

David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

Good idea but when turned upside down they have a large 'wall' around the outside of the hex. It is the same with Hexon although that is not a problem as I have enough to cover a 6 x 4ft table anyway.

All the best,