I worked on an unusual project this week for a friend, John Drye. He is planning on hosting a large wargame event this summer at the Historicon, the largest historical miniatures war-game convention in the world. To put this in perspective, it's like the NMRA National Convention, though Historicon typically gets about twice as many registrants as the NMRA National. I used to attend Historicon regularly in the 1990s. John Hill, Dean West and I used to host massive Johnny Reb games at this event. The largest game we hosted involved 60 players over two days. If you think about it, that's one game with about half the participation of a typical Prorail event. There are hundreds of such events, though most not as big as that one, at Historicon.
Several of my friends are or were affiliated with Historicon management. This year, I am planning on going to Historicon, but not the NMRA National. I am helping my friend prepare his scenery for the game since I really enjoy doing scenery. I am also doing some play testing for his scenario, which is based on Operation Market Garden. He plans to cover the whole campaign including the airdrops and the British 30 Corps race to the Rhine at Arnhem. This is the famous, "Bridge too Far" battle.
|Unit counters are 2 inches square|
|Nijmegan with 15mm (1/100scale) Miniatures|
This way of modeling towns in a miniatures game was off-putting to me. One of the fun aspects of a miniatures wargaming is the spectacle of seeing models on terrain. Some folks could care less and play mostly for the games sake. They use a simple green cloth and put the models on them without hesitation. In model railroading, we have folks like that too. But I prefer the terrain to look as good as the figures the play on them.
So I tried to develop a way to model the city of Nijmegan that will be playable in this game system and still look like a European city in WW2. The requirements were - develop a model of the city of Nijmegan on a 3 inch grid, and decorate it with model buildings in such a way that 2 inch unit counters could fit.
First, I got copies 1/25000 scale maps of the area during WW2 from the US Library of Congress. One thing that is obvious in comparing these maps to satellite images from Google earth is how much more urbanized Holland and Belguim are now compared to then. Of course the same is true of the US. I adapted the topo maps to the grid that game uses. In consulting with John and using the maps for reference, we decided that Nijmegan should be one grid of dense urban and six adjacent grids of suburban terrain.
|Town grid and a typical unit for comparison|
When units move out, the town inserts are placed back in the town grid.
|This gives you an idea of the overall size of the models|
It remains to be seen if this concept for representing cities works out. If it does, then I will make additional cities for Arnhem, Eindhoven and Veghel. If not, we can have some neat games of Monopoly.