Planning my Cool Ruins for Crossfiregrad and Ponyri Station

I have lots of ruins already, but I’ve mentioned “cool ruins” a couple of times over the last couple of years. Most recently in my 2021 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian where I planned to “Buy, build, paint more 3″ x 3″ sectors so I can play both Crossfiregrad and Ponyri Station solely with cool ruins”. So what do I mean by “cool” Ruins? Well Ruins that look the best in my collection (i.e. commercial MDF structures that I’ve enhanced) and that are 3″ sectors. I don’t have enough. I want more of them, lots more of them. Here is my plan.


Defining “Cool” ruins

This is the effect I mean by “cool”. Cool in a devastated field of ruins kind of way. All the buildings in the foreground are using ruined walls from Wargames Tournaments. I provided the MDF bases, rubble, and painting. They are organised into 3″ sectors.

FieldOfRuins13 - Example of Cool Ruins

FieldOfRuins13 – Example of Cool Ruins


How many new ruins is that?

Um. I need quite few of these new ruins. But they are “cool”, right, so that is okay.

Two of my favourite scenarios are Crossfiregrad (by Doctor Phalanx) and Ponyri Station (from HTD). The reason I made my first batch of generic building sectors from foam core was to play Ponyri station. And Doctor Phalanx (Richard) created Crossfiregrad to be a portable game to take to shows and such like. I love both games and I want to be able to recreate both with cool ruins.

I need the following buildings, as cool ruins, to be able to play these scenarios:

Size Shape Height Purpose Crossfiregrad Ponyri Station Number
1 sector Straight Low House/Flats 4 32 32
2 sector Straight Low House/Flats 3 10 10
3 sector Straight Low Factory 1 0 1
3 sector L-Shape / Corner Low House/Flats 2 3 3
1 sector Straight Tall House/Flats 4 0 4
2 sector Straight Tall “Mill” 1 0 1
2 sector Straight Tall House/Flats 0 3 3
3 sector Straight Tall House/Flat 1 0 1
3 sector L-Shape / Corner Tall House/Flat 0 2 2

Each sector will be 3″ (or more probably 75mm) square. I use a convention where “tall” means over 2 stories high.


Plan A: Do It Yourself (DIY)

I have made foam core building sectors before. I could do it again. But I’m not keen. Some people can cut with machine like precision e.g. Doctor Phalanx (Richard). But I’m messy. I draw a line of windows and by the time they are cut out they are all wonky. I’ve tried printing a template on paper and gluing this to the foam core before I cut them out, but this was no better. So this project is not about DIY buildings. I’m going for commercial MDF to get those clean window and door shapes.


Plan B: Wargame Tournaments and Warbases

My original plan was to get more ruins walls from Wargames Tournaments and get Warbases to cut the MDF bottoms based on nice 3″ sectors. In fact I ordered all this kit a couple of years ago. Warbases quickly provided the bases as ordered. Unfortunately the bases are still sitting on the shelf next to me, because Wargames Tournaments took my money but I never received the goods. Sigh. Can’t win them all.


Plan C: Warbases all the way

Right, time for a Plan C. I know I can rely on Warbases. They will do anything I ask, within reason. They did the bases for the failed Plan B. They did my MDF River Sections for 4 Inch Hexes. So I figure I’ll use them to complete my cool ruins project.

I could ask Warbases to make ruins walls, like those from Wargames Touraments, and put them on the cut outs I’ve already got. That probably would be sensible. But if I’m going to do this a second time, I’m going to do it right.


Plan D: Extend the Warbases Stalingrad range

I like the existing range of Stalingrad Ruins from Warbases, but i never use them because they are the wrong shape for my Crossfire maps / games (100mm x 75mm). So I figure I can add to this range but in a size that suits me.

What I’m going to do is take the existing two ruins as a basis and design a new series of kits that fit my needs. That means:

  • 75mm square sectors, e.g. a 3 sector kit is 225mm x 75mm (the current range is 100mm x 75mm for a single sector)
  • “Tall” buildings are 3 stories or higher; low buildings are 1 or 2 stories
  • Kits chain to make a row of terrace houses, like the existing two models do
  • Have some kits with small windows like the current range, but others with big windows
  • have the floor lock into the walls rather than being loose like the current models
  • Leverage the pattern from interlocking walls to great an suggestion of brick work
  • The absolute minimum of floors; the current range only has the ground floor with no upper floors
  • Acknowledge that less walls, and lower walls, are better for game play
  • Make the kits reversible so they slope down to the right or slope down to the left, like the current range

Example Design for Plan D

Here is an example of the designs I’ll send to Warbases. This is based on their Stalingrad A building. The side walls are identical except I’ve put in cut outs for the floor to slot into. But I’ve made the building two sectors long (150 mm x 75), with big doors and windows, and collapsed interior walls to indicate where the sectors are.

Warbases Stalingrad Building A-150-B2

Warbases Stalingrad Building A-150-B2

Right, back to designing ruins.

6 comments to Planning my Cool Ruins for Crossfiregrad and Ponyri Station

  • Jamie Wish

    These take me back 😀

  • Andrés F.

    Wow, a pretty ambitious plan! I love how these ruins look, but can you disassemble them for storing? I despair when I think I simply don’t have the room in my house to store all the buildings and scenery I’d like to build for my games, at least not when assembled.

    • Steven Thomas

      Well, disassembly is not one of my design criteria. I fully intend to glue together. Glue on extra rubble. The cover is layers of brick like paint. Which will make the pieces rather robust. I believe in robust.

      But given the way the parts are designed to interlock, there is a good chance you could assemble and disassemble them for games. But it would be a faff (annoying, tiresome) to do each time.

  • A nice plan for some amazing stuff! I love your blog and the example ruins here are spectacular to aim for and look forward to seeing more.

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