Welcome to Gull's own Battleground Blog!

This is my personal space about YMG's Battleground: Fantasy and Historical Warfare miniatureless miniatures game. If you love miniatures wargames, but are put off by the expense in time and money of collecting and painting all those figures, this is the game for you! If you are unfamiliar with Battleground simply click on the tutorial link below and watch a quick sample combat. Next, click on the forum link and meet some really great folks who will be responsive and answer all your questions. If you are already familiar with BG:FW&HW this site is an adjunct to the forums where I put up my own brand of replays and and stuff that just wouldn't fit in the forum (but I'll post links!).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Foamcore card bases - How to

I had decided that I had enough of cards getting knocked around during regular play and that I really like the "deluxe" feel that I get from high quality gaming components. To that end I decided to mount my terrain set on (3/8" or 1/4") foam core. I liked this so much that I decided to mount my unit bases also. I brought them to TotalCon in Boston last month and they were really a hit.

I made Kevin 200 more for a following tounament. It was while making the 200 bases that I remembered why I originally went from minis games to Battleground. I hate spending all my time on precise exacting work (like painting minis) which I'm not very adept at and which brings me no joy. I held to my word and made the bases for Kevin, but instead of going into the base making business, I decided I post a how-to blog and be done with it.

Here we have the basic tools you will need. From left to right we have a razor cutter with snap off blades, a metal ruler for cutting the foamcore, a sharp pointed tool for marking the edges of the foamcore, an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of green felt with adhesive back. You wil note the half inch grid on the foamcore, if you can find foamcore like this you will have a much easier time cutting out perfectly square bases!

Here I have marked the vertices where I will need to be cutting. You can also by white foamcore with grids which would make the whole cutting process much easier. After I biought everything and brought it home I realized this. :-P

Here is the self-adhesive felt mounted in the corner. To do this with no creases in the felt I peeled off the backing and laid the felt on the table sticky side up and carefull aligned the foamcore over it and pressed it on. It also would be much easier to cut an appropriate sized piece of foam core first and then stick it on the felt. Learn from my mistakes!

This is the reverse side with the felt on the bottom.
 An important "trick" to cutting this foamcore is to make several passes. Don't try to make it in one cut. I usually make 3 to five passes. Change blades often!!! I have one of those blades where you just break off the tip with a pliers and you've got a fresh blade. I change blades after every sheet of nine bases. Blade quality can very and sometimes it gets dull before I finish and I don't hesitate to discard the blade and start fresh. If it hasn't become readily apparent, I can't emphasize enough how important this is!

This picture is to show how I fit the bases onto an 8.5"x11" pices of foamcore for a total of nine bases per sheet.

This foto makes two points. The first is that I am not a very skilled at cutting out perfectly matching bases. The second is that perfect isn't really required, just damn close!

A view of the bases from both sides.

Note the bit of felt at the corner. I find it is easier to trim with scissors than razor.

The next step is to mount the card sleeves.  I use either two sided tape or two sided mounting squares.

Mount the square near the edge as shown.

Add the sleeve and make sure the open end is over the adhesive square as you can the easily open the end and slide the card in.

Wha and/or la!

Demonstrating opening the end for card insertion ease.

One interesting side benefit is that you could potentially play on a near vertical surface. I do have a felt on wood sectional playing map that I could use for this. Of course, you would have to be careful when moving the bases as they could be knocked off rather easily and take a piece with them. Even if you used felt for terrain I think it would be a little too unstable, but I could be wrong.
 Although the terrain mounted on foamcore looks really cool, it doesn't look quite as cool with the cards also mounted on bases and cantilevered off and over the edges. I think I'm going to get some more terrain sets and just mount the felt to the back of the terrain sheets. I'll get two sets and mount opposite sides to felt.

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