Sunday 14 April 2024

Those Buildings.

This article is of my personal observation of the hobby.

Buildings in Wargaming can be both a blessing and a bind. Currently there are companies making some beautiful buildings in Resin, MDF and 3D printing.

The main photo shows three different styles which I use with mainly 15mm figures.

Three are scratchbuilt, the fourth is from Total Battle Miniatures.

 Some players like the buildings on the edge of a table for decoration. Those that have the space, include them directly into the battle, especially for skirmish gaming. However for larger battles and, in order to accommodate the larger footprint of the building, the table has to be correspondently larger.

Of course, this is fine if  you have the space for a large table. If you haven’t and you do need to include buildings there could be a problem.

The late veteran Wargamer Paddy Griffith said something along the lines that, the worst part of wargaming was the figures that we use because they distort distances.

Buildings cause a similar problem. Years ago in a magazine article the author wrote that it was better to have buildings a scale smaller than the figure to give a better perspective. Facing the same problem, I took an idea I used in the scenarios with the paper solders to telescope the buildings down.

Here are the rules for such items in the system I use

Example 1:   The building blocks line of sight between these opposing stands.

Example 2 : The British stand cannot fire on the French stand because the building covers the front of the British stand.

However, the French stand can fire on the British stand because the British stand is within the French arc of fire.
In this next photo, both sides can exchange fire.

In this next example neither the French or British can fire on each other.

Now the British and French can exchange fire.

In this example both sides can exchange fire. The French can claim cover because they are already in position.

If both sides survive the Firing phrase, this situation is covered by the “trench” rule in that both sides can engage in close combat over the wall.

This next illustration shows another dwelling type that I have started using. Both opposing stands can fire at each other and both can claim cover.

The following illustration shows both opposing stands within the village. Both sides can fire, and both sides can, once again claim cover from fire. If both sides stay in position without retreating,  Close Combat will take place as normal.

The next illustration shows an attack on one end of a village. The French can only fire on the British stand to its front. The British stands can fire, but must deduct points for firing at an enemy stand in cover. If both sides stay in place, Close Combat will take place with the wall counting as “trench”.

In the next picture, the  British stand  ( marked with a yellow token ) can only fire on the French stand to its front. The French stand ( marked with a red marker) can fire on the British stand. The “ building” in the middle of the village stops the British stand firing at the stand ( marked in yellow). In Combat, the French stands can claim “ support” from each other.

The rule system I use does not allow artillery pieces within a village. However, should you wish to, or the scenario calls for it, then this is the rule I would use:

The gun within the village must remain static in that it cannot be realigned to fire on a different fire arc, or be removed from the village. If the gun suffers a “ move-back” it will not move but will deduct 2 points from its Firing die when returning fire. It will be destroyed by any less-than-half score from enemy artillery or, from Infantry fire or Close Combat with Infantry.

I hope the above will be of use in your wargaming activities. The figures are from Miniature Figurines. The cannon is from Peter Pig.


  1. Interesting stuff as always, I am faffing with my own things so it’s given me somethings to consider chum

    1. You are welcome Demitri. I hope the article is of use to you👍

  2. A very interesting piece. I have been thinking about using flat buildings in an L shape ground plan with my 28mm figures on a 4' by 3' heron table. Any thoughts?

    1. Well, I can’t see why not. Many years ago, I saw a picture of the American Gamer Jack Scruby. I couldn’t see the building in the picture but it looked a 2d structure to me, and he was using the larger scale figures they had in the early days of wargaming. It’s another way of utilizing the space available for Wargaming. The structures just need to be a bit taller and wider for the larger figures. If you have time you can always add a bit of detail.

  3. I tend to use subscale buildings with a very small footprint so they fit inside the grid but still leave plenty of room for troops. They are only markers to indicate a BUA in any case, rather like your 2D building squares.

    1. Same here Martin. Usually I have the figures fighting around the buildings. However, I’ve come across a few battles where the village is central to the battle but there is no room for the buildings. By “ flattening out” the structures, they can still influence the battle without causing a problem with the layout.👍