Another Ruined Village

When Peter Pig released the 2nd Edition of Square Bashing they brought about a lot of changes to the original rules. One of the big ones was that the squares are reduced from one foot square, to six inches square. Along with this change the scenery is also reduced to cover one foot by six inches rectangles. With this in mind I set about building some new scenery for the game. I wanted to make a generic ruined village that I could use in Rapid Fire as well, but was mainly inspired by typical World War One scenes such as this postcard of Lens where some of the walls of the buildings are still upstanding despite massive damage:

So using some of the left over ruined walls (from Ironclad Miniatures) from the previous ruined village I made, I glued them to a piece of plasticard cut to 12" by 6".

Once they were dry I began to build up the middle of the houses with filler, this will make the sand and rubble go on at the right height and give the impression of a floor level. This doesn't have to be too neat or flat as it will be covered with rubble anyway:

Then the rubble is added. This was a mix I created using sand, railway modeller's ballast and small pebbles which I'd originally sieved out of the builder's sand I use. Instead of layering the different components as I have in the past, this method makes the rubble mix look more realistic, I think.

Having said that, it looked like the middle of the houses were a little bare so I added more pebbles to give the impression of large masonry blocks:

Next step was to put fine sand on the areas that I hadn't put my rubble mix on, so I gave the road and edges a sand layer so the flatness of the plasticard wasn't too obvious. Over the top of this I sprayed thinned down PVA glue from a cheap spray bottle I bought in Wilkinson's. This was to seal the rubble and sand. When this was dry I sprayed the whole thing in brown as an undercoat and also to seal the rubble further, then I block painted the road grey and the ruins in brick red:

I tried out a few colour combinations on the rubble with dry brushing but nothing really worked, so I painted it brick red again and ink washed the whole thing in flat black:

The final stage saw me give the thing a full and heavy drybrush of brick red on the buildings followed by the painting and ink washing of the details like wall plaster and door mantles and window sills and then a medium dry brush of grey over everything to simulate dust and other debris than bricks:

You can see the piece in use during our first game of Square Bashing from Sunday, HERE. I'm pleased with how it turned out and I hope you've enjoyed this build guide!

"A tank is walking up the high street of Flers with the British army cheering behind." 

PS, Jeff Hanneman the founding member and guitarist of Slayer died yesterday. I have been Slayer fan for over 25 years, this is a loss for Metal and music in general. He died fighting a skin disease and I am genuinely gutted by his death. Although I never knew him, his band and music were a vital part of my life, RIP Jeff:


  1. You are a constant surprise to me. I'm reading your post and factoring in what I know about your professional background and thinking "His terrain pieces are very authentic, given his knowledge of history and of ruins" A very sober and reasonable thought process.

    And then I get to Slayer. To that I have this to say: From one metal head to another-rock on!

    Also I've been a drummer for over 30 years and I grew up playing hard rock and metal before becoming a jazz drummer. Slayer's drummer is killer.

    1. Ha ha, thanks Anne, I try to keep people on their toes! I wanted to represent the more popular images of the First World War and I want to do it as closely as possible. I try to spend as much time on terrain as the figures, because I like the board to look good when I play, not just the soldiers!

      Brilliant, Slayer fans together! Yeah Dave Lombardo is an amazing drummer. Slayer are one of those bands that I thought were indestructible so it is a genuine shock to me, Jeff's death. I saw them play last year and he wasn't with them then, but I guess no one knew how bad it was.

      Slayer have been in my life for almost as long as I remember. When my car was stolen last year I was more upset that the thieves had taken the Slayer tape I'd recorded as a child in 1988.

    2. It's always tough when a band member dies. Not an easy thing for the rest of the band to go on with afterwards either. I'm a bit older than you so when Slayer came out it was great to see someone who could really thrash come onto the scene. The horrid hair bands of the 80's almost killed metal. Lombardo and that double bass of his brought things back around though.

    3. Ha, I wish I'd seen them back then. I got into Slayer in 1988 after listening to Iron Maiden previously, so to my teenage mind it was like a massive punch from a fist of metal.

      The thing is with Jeff Hanneman is that through him I learned of the Dead Kennedys, one of my favourite all time bands ever ever ever amen. I saw that he had a sticker on one of his guitars on a poster I had with the DK symbol, then saw an LP by the Dead Kennedys with the same symbol on it and bought it for no other reason that it was on Jeff's guitar. I owe him that much.

      I do wonder what will happen with the band now...

  2. Looking great - odd bits of grass (pale colour) might help.


    1. Thanks Tony, I was considering putting grass around the edge to blend it into the board, but as SB is quite an abstract game anyway, I like the idea of a hard edge to the squares. This obviously doesn't stretch to Rapid Fire though, so I may give it some more thought...

  3. Alex, they look absolutely perfect! People never think about the hard edges to squared-off terrain pieces when they're on the table. I really like the way you've taken down the walls so that they're barely as high as a figure. So many of the front-line villages in Flanders ended up as barely a smudge by the end of a campaign (Passchendaele) - so that looks chillingly realistic!

    How are you finding "Square Bashing" as a set of rules? Realistic? Fiddly? Easy to play? Just curious, as I've not really had much of a look at the rules yet.

    1. Thanks Sidney, that's true, I have loads of buildings with hard edges, with Rapid Fire it's easier to disguise as I just push them up to some rubber metalled roads that I have. But as I said above, SB is fairly abstract so I can take some liberties with the scenery as well.

      I have considered making a village like Passchendaele, but it would literally be a mound with some brick red smears, like you said. This way you get to see the actual house footprints, but is heavily damaged.

      I have only had the one game of SB 2nd Edition (the one in my battle report a short while ago), but I loved First Edition and have played many games. I am going to try 2nd Ed again soon, as I have been assured on TMP that it is a good game. 1st Edition was a great game that could be completed in a couple of hours, with a satisfactory result.

      Realism? Well it's smallest unit is Battalion so it's quite high level (which is why I went with it, so it's a different level to Rapid Fire...), and the rules were easily held in your head for the most part.


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