The Warmaster Battlefield

 You can play Warmaster on any flat surface – ideally a sheet of mdf board or similar material placed on a table – though the floor with serve at a push. The armies generally begin a fixed distance apart – usually 80cm in Fantasy and 90cm in Ancients – so you will need a table at least this wide and preferably a good bit wider. In the UK we mostly play Warmaster on battlefields that are 4 feet wide and either 6 or 8 feet wide – because this is the standard size for sheet materials such as chipboard or mdf board.

 A flat surface is a bit boring - after all our intention was to fight over a whole landscape replete with hills and valleys, rivers, woodlands, farms, villages and – in the case of Warmaster Fantasy at least – unearthly volcanoes and hellish fire pits! Most players like to create a scene to fight over using model railway or similar terrain – and you can buy model trees and even buildings and other terrain items that are suitable. Warmaster models are about the same size as ‘N’ gauge model railways so anything made to fit ‘N’ gauge will pretty much do the job. For hills, valleys and similar undulating terrain you can either make your own features using material such as polystyrene boards or you can buy pre-made terrain such as the Games Workshop plastic hills. For historic buildings to match with your army you can either make your own from card if you are suitably skilled or you can buy models from any number of suppliers who make models specifically for wargames – see the links section for more about those.

 If you enjoy making the scenery – and if you have the space to store your creations – then you might want to go for purpose built set-up using sculpted terrain boards. This is a rather advanced option – but it does look good. Using this kind of system the battlefield is made up of individual blocks which fit together to represent rolling terrain with hills and valleys all sculpted in place. Most players will go for something simpler – but it’s worth while taking a look at a rolling terrain battlefield because the greater realism gives us a better idea of what we’re trying to represent even when using simpler solutions.

Most players go for the practical solution of a flat table with individual pieces of terrain that they can place on top to give a good impression of the topography. So a wood is represented by a piece or card or board about the size of a dinner plate with model trees places on it: because troops will want to move through the wood it’s a good idea to place the trees loosely so they can be moved or removed to permit troop movement. Similarly, a village can be represented by a similar piece of card or board with model buildings place loosely on top. All of these are practical solutions that can still look good with a bit of effort.