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, April 10, 2011

Making a felted Battle Board

I've been doing a lot with felt lately and I wanted to try making a felted board. Most of us just play on felt layed out on the table and if we want to get fancy we draw the deployment zones on it. One of the advantages to a felt mat is that it is quite portable and easy to store. However, one of the drawbacks is that it becomes stretched over time and then you're not up to tournament specs. Yeah, unless you're Dave or Kevin it probably isn't a big deal. D & K are great guys, and they run and organize tourneys, so it is important to them. Then there are those of us who get off on cool components. That's the real reason I made a felted board.

First we need to look at the essential supplies needed to make a felted board.

2 sheets of 3/16" foam core in the 20" X 30" size.
A roll of duct tape (what project is complete with out it!)
A 36" X 36" piece of felt (as shown in the foto below, it comes in this size)
A can of spray adhesive.

Please feel free to ignore the Elmers white bi-fold foam board, That is for my next project to show how to make a board that folds on quarto for easier portaging. It is a little more involved and I wanted to see if just making a board that folds in half would work first. In place of the above mentioned item try picturing a can of spray adhesive instead, I always feel like I'm taking a million pictures and then I leave out something pretty basic. Go figure.
Next you want to line the two pieces of foam core up along their long sides so you have a 30" X 40" board and tape them with a few small pieces of duct tape first to secure them in position and then run a long piece along the entire length (another photo I forgot to take).

The nice thing about a 36" square piece of felt from the store is that it is pretty square. The drawback is that it comes folded so you really want to iron the creases out. You absolutely want it as perfect as possible for the ultimate end effect.

Notice that I have put some Saran Wrap at the edges of the table. This is so that when I lay the adhesive coated board over it the overlapping sides don't get glued to the table.

Next I measured for the center of the felt. This is am important mark because this is where you want the fold to go, since the felt comes in exactly 36X36 and the board is 30X36, you have to be right on along the 36" edge.

                       I have layed heavy boards across the new board to press it tightly together.
I have sprayed the adhesive fairly liberally on the side of the felt with the tape! This is crucial because you want the side with the felt to be the inside. If it is on the other side the felt will tear when you close the board. In the picture of the finished board below you can see why you want the felt on the inside.

As I mention above, finding the center is very important. I was careful to measure twice and as you can see below, I had to make a correction. I am weighting it down with an older felt board I made for a different miniatures game that needed a 3 foot by 4 foot board. Try not to get the two boards confused!
When you line this up the eges off to the left and right in this photo will be right on and you just need to trim the top and bottom as shown in the next pictures.

Next I let it dry about half an hour so it could be turned over safely and then I used a rolling pin to smooth it out and make sure there were no bumps or anything.

The next step is to trim the excess felt from the 30" sides. 

Carefull hold the blade at a 45 degree angle and make a cut as shown. Yes, I have freakishly large hands, which comes in handy in my avocation as a masseusse, but makes me really precision challenged for this type of work.

Then all you have to do is let it dry for a while and then draw on the set up area. The outside dimensions of the board may not be exactly 30X36, but it is more important to make sure that the two start areas are 15" apart. If the actual depth of the start up areas is a little less than seven and a half inches you can let the back row guys hang off a sixteenth or so, but you definitely want the the forces at regulation distance! 

 Here is the finished board. Note the forty inch width allows 2" extra on either side. I left it on rather than to trim it because occasionally one can need to swing outside the regular play area to final rush, as talked about on the forum.

 Here is a picutre of the board folded. The actual board folds up perfectly, but for some reason every photo I took came out like this, which makes it look off.

So there you have it. At some time in the future I will take a stab at making a board that folds up into quarter size and if it works maybe I'll bring it to Council this Columbus day. Coming up next I will show my felt backed terrain and hopefully soon I will get up a game with James and I throwing down with all the components I have constructed so you can see them in action!


  1. Dude, you go through far more trouble than I!

  2. If I were able to play more often I probably wouldn't get around to doing any of this. Since I can go for months with out actually playing a game (but thinking about the game almost 24/7)this is how I let off steam.

  3. Actually, Started the Blog because I wanted to play. I do all this other stuff to have something to blog about! ;-)

  4. Interesting idea. Thanks. It looks great.