Thursday 27 December 2018

ECW Campaign Cards and Terrain Cards

Today I mainly stayed inside and avoided the heat outside. This time has allowed me to complete the campaign chance cards I will be using for the next stage of the English Civil War campaign. When a  battle occurs both sides will draw one card. Some cards are specific to Parliament or Royalist. If they are picked by the opposing side they are ignored and treated as a blank card.

Campaign Chance Cards all prepared
As the campaign progresses I will most likely add more cards when they get shuffled for a new campaign year.

When a battle is to occur I will be using terrain cards to determine the tabletop terrain features. I have shown these in past posts, but have not explained how they are applied when laying out terrain on the tabletop. I was also recently asked a question as to whether the orientation of the cards matter.

All the terrain cards
To start off I have 18 cards made up which reflect my available terrain: 2 large hills, 2 smaller hills, 5 woods, 1 town, 2 farms, 1 river, 1 fordable river, along with and 1 open terrain card. I do remove cards to reflect the area being fought over. For example, I would remove one of the large hills if doing battle in East Anglia. That way the terrain will more likely reflect the terrain an area would have.

My tabletop is 6x4 foot so each of the cards represent a 2x2 foot segment of the tabletop. After shuffling and turning the cards during the shuffle, 6 cards are selected and placed to reflect the tabletop. The orientation of the terrain feature will be reflected in the placement on the tabletop. The exception is for rivers, which I will come to later.
The two wood features will merge into a large wood based upon their orientation. There will be an open terrain (top right corner)
After I placed the features on the tabletop I then add roads that make sense (to me anyway). With ECW games one road must go across the between the long sides, it is assumed the armies are marching on the road before deploying. Roads will always be placed to pass next to buildings and through open terrain.

How the above cards will appear on the tabletop
Things get a bit more messy when a river card is selected, because the river will run either across the tabletop or top to bottom depending on the card orientation, and will have two crossings, bridges or fords. The card with the river will be treated as open terrain while the river position is calculated using dice.

Depending on the river direction roll a D10 for the long edge or D6 for a short edge. For the above cards a 5 is scored and the river is placed. Any blocking terrain, in this case fields, are split or moved to one or the other side using the dice to decide.

The positioning of the river is determined with a D10 dice score - in this case a 5 is rolled. Should the river have been across the board a D6 dice would be used.

Occasionally anomalies do occur, particularly with the larger hills which if moved to one side will clash with some other terrain. Then I use to smaller hills on either side of the river.


  1. Peter,
    Very well thought out method for generating your terrain- certainly an ideal solution as you've put a lot of thought into it. Been hot here in the South West from Sydney...hitting 36Deg C by Mid-Day...I waited till about 4:00pm to get in some model making in my Workshop when it became a bit cooler. Tomorrow it is forecast to be 41Deg C here..... so I'm not getting my hopes up for an early start on Modelling - late in the evening perhaps. Cheers. KEV.

    1. KEV, Thanks. I find the cards are a better solution than using dice to determine terrain layout for my ECW games. Trust the weather will cool down a bit to allow you to get on with your Sci-Fi scratch building project. Peter

  2. Thanks Peter. I appreciate the full list of terrain cards and the explanation.

    Only one thing puzzled me. A river terrain card appears in one of the six sectors, but you then choose the roll randomly (with a die roll) for its location across the whole table. What is the rationale there?

    1. Nice question, because I could (or can) use the card's position. Previously I used dice to determine terrain and I can only imagine I just took that thinking across. I will be using your suggestion moving forward. Many thanks.

  3. Thanks for this tips, very handful :).

    1. I saw in in a Hannival wargame video another system for setting terrain, usind cards. Maybe it is useful four you as well

    2. Thanks for the link. It is a clever way of developing terrain fro a game.

  4. I too enjoyed the exposition of your well thought out and effective system!

  5. I've used a variant of your terrain system for games on a square grid, and it worked rather nicely. So thank you.