|Troops prepare to cross an area of rough 'heavily cultivated' terrain|
I chose to represent this hotchpotch of agricultural ground with a wheat field bounded by a single hedge. Any troops within the field would count as in cover, in difficult terrain for movement and with a limited line of sight. It wouldn't matter where in the field they were standing as the field represented terrain that was much more dense than it looked on the table. This way of doing things works well. The area is clearly delineated, has a little hint of it's make up within the bounds of scale and, most importantly, is fairly easy to move the little lead men around in - it also stops troops packing arbitrary hedge lines to gain cover.
Previously I've used coir door mat to represent corn fields but I didn't have enough of the stuff to do what I wanted for the game. A few blogs I've recently visited have shown teddy bear fur used to represent cornfields. It looked pretty good in their photos and certainly looked practical. I did have a large piece of teddy bear fur, so I cut it up and laid it out on the table. It looked O.K., to be honest it looked like teddy bear fur. Next day I went to ebay, I bought a couple of rubber backed coir door mat off cuts (sold in meter lengths).
It arrived on Friday. Yesterday I cut it up and painted it with household emulsion and a 2" brush. I used diluted (1:1) Dulux wholemeal honey #1 as a base coat, then dry brushed it with neat Dulux golden umber #4. The whole job took about an hour with a couple of hours drying time between coats.
I cut the mat up into various sizes. I made ten of 6" x 5" pieces, two 12" x 5", two 12" x 12" sections and two 12" x 8" pieces. The reason why most of the sizes are not square has to do with the size of my field boundaries which are mostly in 6" and 12" lengths. Given that I want fields where the boundaries cross over at the corners, allowance must be made for this - most fields are based on the 12" x 10" not 12" x 12".
The game we are currently playing is ongoing so I exchanged the pieces I could. The problem with mat is, that unlike teddy bear fur, it will not 'mould' itself to any contours. As one of my fields was originally put on a hill (pics below, top left) I have not been able to replace it for this game. I've taken a few shots to show the difference. To my mind the mat looks a bit better.
So this was how the teddy fur looked.
This is how the mat looks.
Some of the new pieces, the left overs, next to my original paltry stock of very yellow 'wheat'. It doesn't really go with the rest, so I'll paint it verdant green, like the piece by the church in the shot above, at some point in the future.
Four 6" x 5" pieces making a 12" by 10". The open, un-hedged side, of the field is at the table edge but you can see how well the field fits within the boundary sizes I have.
So there it is. I now have plenty of wheat fields.
I bought two 1 meter lengths each 30 cm wide. Cutting to a chosen size rather, than the size of each mat, meant a little, acceptable waste, but the cost, including the paint, was only about £16 - bargain!