For the past 20 years I have kept a rigorous programme of completing an order (painting, basing) before ordering new figures. That regimen has resulted in completed units and armies, a lead pile that is no longer present and plenty of spare time to build terrain pieces.
Five years ago, I made the conversion to a DBX system of basing for not only Ancient and Medieval collections, but for all my Horse and Musket and Colonial armies. The upside of this, all my terrain pieces are now uniform for a multitude of geographical locations. Currently between painting projects I have looked to some simple terrain items to bridge the time between a completed painting project and my new order which should arrive next week.
The current project, the early wars of Louis XIV resulted in two DBX size armies, one French, the other an Imperial Austrian. For good background information I found “Gustavus Adolphus” by T.A. Dodge an excellent start. Despite the title, over half the book treats the conflicts following the Thirty Years War and ends the League of Augsburg. The maps are an invaluable reference as I have not seen this elsewhere on the Internet.
It was the detail on some of the battlefield maps that inspired me to add terrain items for the campaigns between the French general Turenne and the Imperial generals Prince Montecuculi and Count Caprara. These for the most part took place on the doorstep of France in Alsace, a region known for its wine. This now prompted the addition of two terrain projects for my table; quick set hedges and vineyards.
Quick set hedges.
This is a term I had not come across until reading Dodge. The term refers to the planting of brush to mark field boundaries. There is sufficient spacing between stems to allow new growth and in time, “plashing”. Often these would have birch or other trees to act as a wind break. On maps of the period, these are clearly marked.
Those vineyards I have seen on game boards are large pieces with half a dozen or more rows placed on them. I will need a system that can be easily stored and ideally modular so the rows will have to be separately based or paired and removed if needed to allow troops moving through them.
Next post, the work bench.