How does my Burmese battlefield look?

I am always impressed by Brett Simpson’s Pacific War tables for Crossfire. He inspired me to improve my jungle terrain. More jungle will be useful for Burma, Portuguese Colonial Africa, and Vietnam. I made some steps before we played the Pick up game in Burma, but I wanted to make my tables even better. So I’ve been bolstering my crossfire terrain and now have Pagodas, rice paddies, Bamboo groves, boulder fields, rock fields, palm trees, ravines, depressions, Burmese houses, jungle undergrowth (not featured here), crests (not featured here) and cliffs (not featured here). Some of these I’ve posted about previously, and some are yet to come. Now, after all that effort, I wanted to know two things. Do I have enough jungle terrain to fill a table? Does my jungle terrain look good enough? So I got it all out and threw it on a 6’x4′ table. I can definitely fill a table. And I reckon the table looks good enough, not perfect, but good enough.

Burma 2798 Ravine - Palms - Bamboo - Rice Paddies - Houses - Rocky Hill - Watch Tower
Burma 2798 Ravine – Palms – Bamboo – Rice Paddies – Houses – Rocky Hill – Watch Tower

Table

Here are a few top views. you should be able to spot the ravines, bamboo groves, houses, pagodas, watch tower, palms, boulder fields, rocky fields, rice paddies, rough ground, and hills (including rocky and wooded options).

Burma 2785 Table
Burma 2785 Table
Burma 2786 Table
Burma 2786 Table
Burma 2787 Table
Burma 2787 Table
Burma 2788 Table
Burma 2788 Table

Depressions

I’ve had a go at gullies and depressions before. But they look too much like hills. So I decided to have another go modelling just the edge of the depression.

Burma 2795 Depressions - Rough ground - Bamboo - Palms - Wooded Hill
Burma 2795 Depressions – Rough ground – Bamboo – Palms – Wooded Hill

Ravine

Ravines are a new concept for me in my Crossfire games. Because I am building up forces for the Italian Campaign I had a look at some of the Hit the Dirt scenarios. And some of them feature ravines. Kind of like long depressions. So I made some. You can see a long ravine in the next photo, starting at the pond.

Burma 2791 Ravine starting at the pond
Burma 2791 Ravine starting at the pond

From a slightly higher point of view you can see the big ravine stretching across the table and branching at the further end. You also get to see some smaller ravines and depressions.

Burma 2789 Ravine stretches across the table
Burma 2789 Ravine stretches across the table

You can see that my ravines have area terrain templates inside them. These area terrain templates are integral to the ravine model but are treated as separate terrain features in Crossfire. They give the model structural integrity and make set up much faster. The area terrain inside a ravine can be any of the normal options: wood, rough ground, boulder field, rock field. The example has a bamboo grove (nearly impassable wood), palm grove (wood), and a couple of rough ground features.

Burma 2796 Rocky Hills - Wooded Hills - Bamboo - Palms - Boulder Fields - Ravine - Rough Ground - Rice Paddies
Burma 2796 Rocky Hills – Wooded Hills – Bamboo – Palms – Boulder Fields – Ravine – Rough Ground – Rice Paddies

Here is another view of the main ravine snaking away into the distance.

Burma 2797 Ravine - Palms - Bamboo - Rice Paddies - Houses - Rocky Hill - Watch Tower
Burma 2797 Ravine – Palms – Bamboo – Rice Paddies – Houses – Rocky Hill – Watch Tower

I did lots of ravine pieces. One of them is a pond. The idea being that either the start or the end of a ravine might be a pool of water.

Burma 2800 Ravine - Palms - Bamboo - Rough Ground - Rice Paddies - Pond - Boulder Fields - Houses - Rocky Hill - Watch Tower
Burma 2800 Ravine – Palms – Bamboo – Rough Ground – Rice Paddies – Pond – Boulder Fields – Houses – Rocky Hill – Watch Tower
Burma 2808 Rice Paddies - House - Pond - Ravine - Palms - Bamboo - Boulder Field - Wooded Hill
Burma 2808 Rice Paddies – House – Pond – Ravine – Palms – Bamboo – Boulder Field – Wooded Hill

I like the way the ravine has bends and curves.

Burma 2804 Ravine
Burma 2804 Ravine

Rice Paddies

You have seen my rice paddies before. I’m pleased with them but I think I will add a bit more vegetation i.e. rice sprouts.

Burma 2799 Ravine - Palms - Bamboo - Rough Ground - Rice Paddies - Pond - Boulder Fields - Houses - Rocky Hill - Watch Tower
Burma 2799 Ravine – Palms – Bamboo – Rough Ground – Rice Paddies – Pond – Boulder Fields – Houses – Rocky Hill – Watch Tower
Burma 2794 Pond - Ravine - Rice Paddies - Bamboo - Houses - Palms - Rough Ground
Burma 2794 Pond – Ravine – Rice Paddies – Bamboo – Houses – Palms – Rough Ground
Burma 2801 Ravine - Palms - Bamboo - Rough Ground - Rice Paddies - Pond - Boulder Fields - Houses - Pagodas - Rocky Hill - Watch Tower
Burma 2801 Ravine – Palms – Bamboo – Rough Ground – Rice Paddies – Pond – Boulder Fields – Houses – Pagodas – Rocky Hill – Watch Tower
Burma 2802 Ravine - Pond - Palms - Bamboo - Rough Ground - Rice Paddies - Boulder Fields - Houses - Pagodas - Rocky Hill - Watch Tower
Burma 2802 Ravine – Pond – Palms – Bamboo – Rough Ground – Rice Paddies – Boulder Fields – Houses – Pagodas – Rocky Hill – Watch Tower

Palms

My palm tree collection is growing. I probably have enough now. The thing that bugs me is not all trees in a jungle are palms. In fact palms form a minority of jungle vegetation. I lack other kinds of trees – something to work on.

Burma 2792 Ravine - Depressions - Bamboo - Palms - Rough Ground - Boulder Field - Wooded Hill - Houses - Watch Tower
Burma 2792 Ravine – Depressions – Bamboo – Palms – Rough Ground – Boulder Field – Wooded Hill – Houses – Watch Tower

Bamboo Groves

My Bamboo groves appear in many of these photos, but I didn’t feature them specifically. Here’s one photo that includes a few clumps of bamboo.

Burma 2790 Pond - Ravine - Bamboo - Palms - Rough Ground - Rice Paddies - Houses - Watch Tower
Burma 2790 Pond – Ravine – Bamboo – Palms – Rough Ground – Rice Paddies – Houses – Watch Tower

Village

I had my Pagodas and unpainted houses for our Pick up game in Burma. But I have subsequently thatched the roofs and painted them.

Burma 2803 Village across Ravine
Burma 2803 Village across Ravine
Burma 2805 Village
Burma 2805 Village
Burma 2806 Village
Burma 2806 Village
Burma 2807 Village
Burma 2807 Village
Burma 2809 Low Woven Palm Style Village House
Burma 2809 Low Woven Palm Style Village House
Burma 2810 Low Planked Style Village House
Burma 2810 Low Planked Style Village House
Burma 2811 Village across the Rice Paddies
Burma 2812 Village across the Rice Paddies
Burma 2812 Village across the Rice Paddies
Burma 2813 Village
Burma 2813 Village
Burma 2814 Village
Burma 2814 Village
Burma 2815 High Planked Style Village House
Burma 2815 High Planked Style Village House
Burma 2816 High Woven Palm Style Village House
Burma 2816 High Woven Palm Style Village House
Burma 2817 Village
Burma 2817 Village
Burma 2793 Ravines - Bamboo - Houses - Rocky Hill - Watch Tower - Palms - Boulder Fields - Pagoda - Rice Paddies
Burma 2793 Ravines – Bamboo – Houses – Rocky Hill – Watch Tower – Palms – Boulder Fields – Pagoda – Rice Paddies

Brett Simpson’s Table

If you want to see some of Brett Simpson’s tables then check out: Assault at Walkers Creek, Marston Airfield, Stoney Creek, Mac’s Missions in the Pacific, Dig in and Wait!

MMP2-03 Japanese 2nd Platoon and Ha-Gō Tanks
Brett Simpson’s MMP2-03 Japanese 2nd Platoon and Ha-Gō Tanks

15 thoughts on “How does my Burmese battlefield look?”

  1. Looking very good, like the ravines and depressions very impressive. I guess you will be having rice for dinner if you leave that set up too long….

    Reply
    • Rice for dinner. I’m okay with that. South-east Asian food is my favourite in the entire world.

      Reply
    • Hi John, actually I reckon I have enough palms. I think I need more actual trees to make it a proper jungle look – and I have a bunch. I’m guessing the pine trees and fruit trees won’t be suitable but other generic trees. And I forgot to get out my jungle undergrowth for this photo shoot.

      Reply
  2. Love it!….
    One reality of the Ricefield….they generally abut each other…they don’t leave much space between them…
    every inch is used if it can be used….if you place your fields right next to each other, instead of separated–I think you’re closer to the actual terrain…
    Actually moving to retire in Thailand…going to be looking at the bamboo and forest areas along Burmese border to south…south of “The Bridge” few 100 miles….

    love your stuff

    Reply
    • A good reminder. In earlier photos shoots I did nudge the rice paddies together. I forgot to do that this time.

      Good luck in Thailand.

      Reply
  3. Wow Steve, there’s a huge amount of work gone into all that and it’s certainly paid off. That’s now a very impressive layout. I have a post colonial Africa project in hand at the moment, for which I’m trying to build up my stock of suitable terrain, so this post is a timely inspiration (if also rather daunting). Regarding modelling depressions, I think it’s really difficult to pull off. Yours are definitely a good shot but I’m also always slightly disappointed by the rather contrived look of the raised edge, on bodies of water as well as dry depressions. I’ve been experimenting with trying to get a kind of trompe l’oeil effect, whereby the color scheme moves progressively or abruptly from light to dark as the depresssion deepens but the flocking, scatter or other edge effects do the reverse, i.e. more at the edge, less in the depression. I’ve tried it on some river sections so far and it’s not a bad approach. I aim to do some ponds next and then try for some dry gullies. Best regards, Chris

    Reply
    • Chris I used progressive shading on my earlier depressions. So the floor was different to the (small amount of) walls which was different to the edge. It was effective and suggested greater depth than really existed.

      But now that I’ve disappeared the floor I have less painting space so this time around I didn’t bother.

      Reply
  4. Hmmm, I should have known you’d have tried that’s one already :-D. I can also see how the current system renders the Trompe L’oeil approach redundant.

    Reply
  5. The low angle shots look brilliant – really evocative yet playable terrain! The one thing I’d change would be to make the water in the pond match the lovely colour of your paddy fields. Only if that wouldn’t look too incongruous when used in your Italian campaign, of course.

    Reply

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