29 February 2016

Sugarfields: A Terrain Tutorial

Sugar fields ablaze on Tinian
by Mike

One of the major features of the Battles of Saipan and Tinian were sugar cane fields and the refinery facility. Plantations such as these are common in the Pacific islands and on the Asian mainland.

The fields are wide, square and open, rather reminiscent of Normandy fields. They are even edged by hedges, so you could look into using hedgerow terrain pieces to frame your fields.

Furthermore, one iconic photo stick in my mind. It’s of a 75mm SPG half-track. I’m fairly confident that this photo was the genesis of my desire to play the PTO on the table top....

The vehicle is fully loaded with gear, extra machine-guns, a floppy radio antennae, and it sat in the middle of a sugar field. It’s a great shot and as such I wanted to make sure I had a sugarcane field for my battlefield.

Building the thing...

Anyway, building a sugarcane field all begins with a cheap welcome mat.

I found this one for $10 NZD at Bunnings. It’s plain with no lettering. Finding a welcome mat that actually doesn't welcome anyone was the hardest thing to accomplish! So if you see one, snap it up!

Using my sharpest knife, I cut into the field and made sure that there were trails, tracks, open areas, and irregular edges. The bristles are set in a rubber base, so as you cut in, the rubber will be exposed. I was happy with the color, actually as it looks like dark soil, so I left it as-is.

I spent a bit of time going over the areas I wasn't intending to clear completely, just to give the crops some irregularity to the height.

I thought it only appropriate that I test it a lot with a 75mm GMC.

In the end you’ll end up with a crazy amount of this stuff…

In a future tutorial. I’ll show you some ways to use it to build more scatter terrain.

Also, as I cut into it, several of these bunches of bristles came out. I set them aside for potential basing purposes. I'll have more on whether that was a successful experiment as soon as I give it a whirl! Until then, keep your eyes peeled for unwelcoming welcome mats... Thanks for reading!

26 February 2016

Mike's Marines (Part 1: The Beach Assault List)

by Mike

At long last I finally had the pleasure of sitting down and writing my first Pacific army list! I’ve had over ten years to think about what list I wanted to build first. I’ve gone back and forth but in the end there was really only one real choice to begin with: USMC.

There was little debate in my mind that I want to do a Marine Rifle Company. It’s an iconic force, riding ashore in barely armored (if at all) LVT amtrac carriers, hitting the beach under murderous defensive fire, and fighting tooth and nail against a determined enemy, both displaying true grit in the bloody island hopping campaign.

The Gung Ho book has two points variations, one for Pacific War (PW) and one for Late War (LW). The Pacific was a self-contained system with only a slight increase in technology from beginning to end, hence things like Sherman tanks were nearly unstoppable beasts straight through the campaign. So the Pacific points reflect that, with the venerable Sherman costing about 500 points apiece! The Late War points are also provided so you can field them against European Theatre troops.

Pacific War Lists
This is where it’s at. I’ll happily live in this points bracket forever because it means I can focus my Marines to do the task they were called upon to do: island hopping. I don’t need to worry about all the things that I usually do making Late War lists. Instead it’s all about getting ashore, establishing or widening a beachhead, or pushing inland to secure an airfield. So to that end, I’ve created three lists to do just that. Let’s have a look at the first one!

"The Assault” - 1875 Points

The Island and Atoll Landing missions grant the attacker an additional 25% points to bring to bear on the defenders. With that in mind I’ve created an assault force with an amazing amount of firepower behind it!

I’ve taken two full strength Marine platoons to simulate a (re)fresh unit. Space is cramped in the LVTs so I’ve put the M1919s in their own landing craft to arrive in the second wave. The 60mm mortars will be attached to the the platoons in the first wave. The Engineers are geared up to clear bunkers and blast open holes for the infantry. All four of these platoons are recyclable.

Marine Rifle Company (Amphibious Assault)
Marine Rifle HQ
Marine Rifle Platoon (full strength)
    add 2x LVT(4)
Marine Rifle Platoon (full strength)
    add 2x LVT(4)
Company Machine-gun Platoon (with 4x M1919 LMG)
60mm Mortar Platoon (2x 60mm)
Marine Assault Engineer Section
Marine Amphibian Tank Platoon with 6x LVT(A)4 (75mm)
Naval Gunfire Support (Destroyer)
Air Support (Priority)
    add Close Air Support
    add Napalm

The six (six!) LVT(A)4 “Amtanks” are there to offer some immediate firepower, smoke, and single-gun bombardments if really needed. As amphibians, they will arrive in the first wave of the assault offering a ton of firepower. They also operate as independent teams if they swim ashore, making them extremely handy to support the troops with HE. Alternatively, I suppose I could bring them on as a single platoon in a later wave, which would have it’s uses as well, especially in assaults.

I remember using my Sherman DDs in my annual Normandy beach games, and they were always useful. I’d usually lose one or two to swamping, which made me nervous initially about committing 400 points to them, but when I had a look at the landing missions I found that the rule that gives the DDs the chance to swamp on the approach was no longer in play here. The closest you can get to swamping a tank is if you bog down in the Lagoon or if you roll 1 in the Movement Step while providing full ROF fire support from the surf or lagoon zones.

I’ve backed the assault with a Destroyer to provide some serious artillery support because no self respecting beach assault planner would carry on without naval gunfire! The support is rather expensive, so I opted for the Destroyer, which still gives a respectable AT4/FP3+ 4-gun bombardment.

The final component to my beach assault is the Marine Air Corps with a tooled up F4U Corsair. Like many, I love this plane dearly, but I’ve also got a family connection to it. My grandfather was an aircrew engine mechanic in the Korean War on a the US Navy Escort Carrier, USS Mindoro (CVE-120). After the war he worked on converting Avengers into fire bombers. He's always loved the Corsair and it's stayed a family favorite since, becoming something of a Haught icon and I intend to field one on the tabletop (USN, of course!) I’ve given it Priority level and reinforced it with Close Air Support, meaning that I start with seven dice in my Air Support Pool and can roll two aircraft dice and choose the best result, which will hopefully bring in flights of three Corsairs each turn to bomb or napalm stuff.

That’s all I can fit in at the moment, so there’s nothing for it but to climb aboard the Amtracs and kick the shit out of those unlucky bastards on the beach!

Next up, Beachhead!

25 February 2016

Unboxing Battlefront's new LVT4(A) Amtank

Dan takes a look at Battlefront's new LVT(A)1 and 4 model.

Spoiler Alert: They're pretty awesome.


24 February 2016

Greg's Japanese (Part 1: The List)

by Greg

To be honest, part of the decision to play Japanese was really forced on me. Dan and Mike jumped in and claimed the Muh-rines as soon as we got the word that we'd gotten the scoop. In all honesty though, I would likely have chosen the Japanese anyway for a couple of reasons.

1. They're something different. My Flames of War collection consists of Germans, Americans, Soviets and British, mostly of the LW variety but I can also field MW. I've been looking for something to add a bit of variation to my army collection, possibly Hungarians or Greeks, but with the chance to grab hold of some new Japanese stuff and get that on the table, the decision was easy really.

2. They're tactically challenging. I'm a tank player at heart so the idea of fielding a horde of honour-mad, sword-wielding Japanese Hohei platoons is both daunting and exciting. Pitting them against the well-armed Marines and their monster-tanks will offer a really diverse tactical experience as well.

So, with that in mind, what would a 1500 point Hohei Chutai list look like for me?

Pacific War - 1500 Points
Hohei Chutai (Rifle Company)
Fearless Veteran

Hohei Chutai HQ (125 points)
with Regimental Standard

Hohei Platoon (360 points)
with 3x Rifle Squads and Banners

Hohei Platoon (255 points) 
with 2x Rifle Squads and Banners

Hohei Weapons Platoon (135 points)
with 2x Heavy Machine-guns and 2x Anti-tank Rifles

Hohei Battalion Gun Platoon (70 points)
with 2x Type 92 70mm guns

Recon Tankette Platoon (140 points)
with 3x Te-Ke

Tank Platoon (295 points)
with 5x Type 89 Chi-Ro

Limited Air Support (115 points)
Mitsubishi Zero

TOTAL: 1495 points

There are a couple of no-brainer choices for me here:

1. The Hohei Weapons platoon. With 2 HMGs and 2 ATRs, I can combat attach one each to my Hohei Platoons giving them additional teams and some extra firepower. This is great when you add the Banners to your Hohei platoons as well.

2. The Zero….HELLO! Its a Zero!

There is room to move here as well. All platoons here are rated FV so are at the high end of the points scale. I could drop them down to Confident Trained and fit a heap more stuff in!

The choice of the Chi-Ro as my tank platoon here is mainly to allow for heavy support, The Te-Ke platoon, I think, could be a little winner here. They remind me a little of Damo's Italian tankettes and I envisage these getting in quickly and make mincemeat of some Marines with a heap of MG fire.

There's also the NGFS options, with both warship and carrier options. I've never been a big fan of the old warship boom-boom, so haven't investigated it in too much detail but I do like the idea of the Yamato raining down hellfire on the heads of the Yanks.

So there you have it, Greg's Japanese starting point. I guess I'll have to paint the blighters as well.

23 February 2016

Dan's Pacific War Marines

by Dan

I’ve always liked the idea amphibious assaults troops storming ashore and fighting for the enemies positions, although this normally results in large casualties for both sides.

Flicking through Gung-Ho, I was looking for something that would encompass both the amphibious nature and the gung-ho nature of the USMC but at the same time give my army a chance to make it to shore with a minimum amount of loss.

Gung–Ho allows you to take either an Amtank or a Sherman based list. The problem with the Shermans is that I will be able to get 3 in a 1500 point list, with nothing else to support them, so Amtank and Amtracks it is.

One thing you’ll notice is that both these new books run a duel points system one for Pacific and one for Late war, giving you the ability to run Marine Shermans in late war. This is a pretty cool system as I have a lot of spare M4A3s and doing olive drab over and over again can get tedious. Having something for late war comps as well as the Pacific really appeals to me.

Let’s move onto the list itself:

Pacific War - 1500 points
Marine Tank Company
Fearless Veteran

HQ (190 points)
2 x LVT(A)1 37mm

Marine Amphibian Tank Platoon (205 points)
3 x LVT(A)4 75mm

Marine Amphibian Tank Platoon (285 points)
3 x LVT(A)1 37mm

Marine Rifle Platoon (275 points) 
(with Amtracs)

Marine Artillery Battery (340 points)
4 x M2A1 105mm Howitzers

Marine Rocket Battery (200 points)
6x 4.5in Mk 7 rocket launchers with extra crew

TOTAL: 1495 Points

Looking at how things go I may downgrade the 105mm howitzers to the 75mm pack howitzers or change the Rocket Battery out for a flight of F4U Corsairs with the Napalm upgrade, which I’ve used to great success in my Arab Israeli games.

The 37mm gun on the Amtanks might seem small but the low armour values in the Pacific make it ideal for seeking out Japanese armoured support and the canister rounds make red mist of closing infantry units. The 75mm are my shovels they’re going gun team hunting with a 3+ firepower. They should make short work of dug in gun teams.

The Marine Rifle platoon (at Fearless Veteran) is my main assaulting element or my objective holder if I’m defending. Everything is bristling with machine-guns so it’s a very mobile force. The howitzers serve a dual purpose of artillery and smoke screens although they may be limited if the Japanese use Night Attack. I plan on testing to see if my theory holds up.

Moving on to the Marine Rocket Battery, this is my area saturation system with the additional crew It's able to cover a large area with a lot of firepower and once that’s completed it can relocate to avoid the fire in the sky rule (hopefully). This is a small army by any counts, but I wanted to see how it goes. As I said before if I was going to a late war tournament I’d swap the LVTs out for Shermans.

I can’t wait to have this painted up ready to smash Greg!

22 February 2016

Damian's Japanese Tanks (1000-point lists)

by Damian

After reading (and re-reading) the tank lists in Banzai! I came to the conclusion very early on that in order to complete a force that will be dual purpose for the Pacific Theatre and Late War meant I would have to use different ratings to try and even out the all important “treads on the ground” count. So after trying and discarding a few failed attempts I came up with the following Sensha Rentai.

As it’s my initial 1000pts and will be expanded later on I decided to get my core choices completed as best I could. So, no Air support, and no Naval Gunfire Support... (Yet! *Evil chuckle…*) So, onto my list(s)...

Pacific War - 1000pts
Sensha Rentai
Fearless Trained

Regimental HQ (230 Points)
2 Type 97 Chi-Ha and
2 Type 95 Ha-Go

Sensha Company (130 + 325 points)
HQ: 2 Type 97 Chi-Ha
Platoon : 5 Type 97 Chi-Ha

Light Sensha Company (125 + 190 points)
HQ: 2 Type 95 Ha-Go
Platoon: 3 Type 95 Ha-Go

TOTAL: 1000 points

Late War - 1000pts
Sensha Rentai
Fearless Veteran 

Regimental HQ (155 points)
2 Type 97 Chi-Ha and
2 Type 95 Ha-Go

Sensha Company (80 + 200 +200 points)
HQ 2 Type 97 Chi-Ha
Platoon: 5 Type 97 Chi-Ha
Platoon: 5 Type 97 Chi-Ha

Light Sensha Company (75 + 190 points)
HQ: 2 Type 95 Ha-Go
Platoon: 5 Type 95 Ha-Go

Recon Tankette Platoon (90 points)
2 Type 97 Te-Ke (MG)

TOTAL: 990 points

As you can see, I maxed out the HQs so I wouldn’t need to worry about them later. No room for infantry or artillery you cry?! In 1000pts I’m going to need total saturation of tracked terrors to crush Marines with. Sixteen Fearless Trained tanks in the Pacific and Twenty five Fearless Veteran tanks in Late War should do the trick. Nine extra tanks to flesh out the Late War list isn’t bad at all when you look at the points comparisons between the two theatres of war.

And Japanese tanks do have a couple of neat little tricks. Hip Shot means they get a re-roll to hit at 16 inches or less on the move and Duty To The End should help these tanks stick around longer than they should… Should being rather optimistic of course as anything bigger than a rifle has a great chance at punching through their armour and ending their duty rather prematurely.

Check out my 1500-point lists here... 

19 February 2016

Dan Paints! USMC Sherman - Part 2

And now for the the dramatic conclusion in which Dan finishes off his USMC Sherman painting tutorial!

Dan showed us some great techniques here in these videos, so let us know what you think! And please, don't forget to Like and Subscribe! We still love that kinda thing!

Jungle Scatter Terrain & Rules

by Mike

Using the method I described in the Jungle Patches and Woods article earlier this week, I made up some scatter terrain using the same bits of foliage. This time, instead of using the larger bases, I put them all on small Flames of War command bases so that I could spread them out a bit further.

The concept of scatter terrain is an interesting one. Unlike normal terrain, it’s meant to represent ambient terrain, that is to say the common terrain that most tables just take for granted and not display. Sometimes, but not always, scatter terrain in Flames Of War is purely cosmetic and has no impact on the battlefield, such as telegraph poles, single trees, or sign posts, etc. But in the jungle, scatter terrain can be made to be more important.

Furthermore scatter terrain serves an important role as a terrain amplifier. So, for my terrain collection, I decided to have a go at some scatter jungle bits. Not only can I use the Elephant Grass rules on my table, it also serves as a way to “fill out” the table in a much more realistic way, taking some of the pressure off the larger Jungle Patches, crops, and rice paddies.

Often you'll see wargames tables that have a lot of open spaces, and for some games that's important (like ancients), but the tables end up looking very unrealistic with smooth flat surfaces between terrain features. The great thing about scatter terrain is that it breaks that up so that the table looks full and interesting, even if, by the rules definition, it's not. Here's a quick before-and-after of a Pacific/Vietnam battlefield first with no scatter terrain, then with some.

The above uses about 75 pieces of scatter terrain, about half of what I'd like to see on there. Rather than make more of the same, I will instead make some different types of scatter terrain, including battle wreckage, sugar cane, bamboo groves, etc.

Once I have more larger terrain pieces I can adjust the amount of scatter terrain up or down depending on what I'm going for. In the meantime I feel as though the table is ready for some preliminary PTO or Nam games, especially if I use the Elephant Grass rules from Flames of War: Vietnam.

Using the Elephant Grass special rules from Vietnam, you can add some interesting flavor to your battles by checking to see if the open spaces on the table are indeed as open as you think. Roll a die and find out!

So at this point you can just play the game without the scatter terrain, but after playing a lot of Nam games with elephant grass terrain markers on the table, it just adds that extra level of realism as well as serves as a very important visual reminder that that open field isn’t so open and perhaps you should put a bit more firepower over there!

Elephant Grass Rules


If you want to add further interest to your early war battles in Asia, try playing your games with the Elephant Grass rules from Tour of Duty (FW901). As a side note the FoW: Vietnam book: Brown Water Navy (FW903) has even more jungle and riverine related rules for those interested.

Away from the villages, and even in gaps in the jungle, rice paddies give way to ‘elephant grass’—the soldier’s universal catchall for tall grasses. This ranges in height from knee high to well over a man’s head. The ground beneath can range from hard-packed earth to flooded and muddy depending on the season.

When present, elephant grass usually covers the areas of the table that aren’t covered by other terrain. It is easiest to have the elephant grass the same height across the whole table. You can either select the height of elephant grass at the start of the game, or roll a die and use the Elephant Grass Table (an option we found added an extra challenge!) Make up some patches of elephant grass and scatter them across the table to indicate the nature of the terrain.

Elephant Grass Table

Die Roll Elephant Grass Height 
1 Knee High
2 or 3 Waist High
4 or 5 Head High
6 Taller

All elephant grass is Slow Going.
  • Knee-high grass has no effect on visibility whatsoever.
  • Waist-high elephant grass does not limit visibility, but is Concealment for troops and guns moving on foot (although not vehicles).
  • Head-high elephant grass allows vehicles to see and be seen, although everything is Concealed, but limits visibility to 6”/15cm between troops on the ground.
  • Taller elephant grass hides vehicles and limits visibility to 6”/15cm like a wood.

18 February 2016

Dan Paints! USMC Sherman - Part 1

This week over on the Behind Enemy Lines YouTube account, our resident painting instructor shows you the methods he uses to get that iconic USMC paint scheme on your Pacific tanks. This one is so good, it's a two-parter so keep an eye out for the rest coming soon!

The one thing different about the USMC tankers was their use of improvised armour on their vehicles, especially wood planks to ward off magnetic mines. Given the Japanese propensity for suicide attacks with their much-feared Nikuhaku teams, the USMC started adding additional layers to their Shermans in an attempt to stop the incoming attacks.

Dan's really had some fun with this one as well, so let us know what you think! And please, don't forget to Like and Subscribe! We love that kinda thing!

17 February 2016

Making Jungle Terrain Pieces

by Mike

When I was getting into Brown Water Navy for Vietnam, I knew I was going to need a lot of jungle terrain. It’s a rather iconic piece of terrain for the region, so I wanted to make sure I had a lot that I could spread out across the battlefield.

After looking around online I found some good tutorials out there, so be sure to have a look at those as well as this one and take the bits that work for you and your project.

Step 1: Gather Foliage
Most projects seemed to use plastic aquarium plants so I decided to give that a try. So after many trips to the local (and not-so-local) $2 shops, AliExpress, and pet stores, I gathered samples of all different types, including palm tree cake decorations, artificial seaweed, floral accents, and aquarium tank mats. But that’s not the only sources. I’ve seen people use lichens, clump foliage, and more. Here’s a few examples of artificial plants I found.

When you’re shopping for plants, there are three things to keep in mind. First some of the more complicated looking plants can be broken down. Have a close inspection of them and see if they can be broken up into smaller pieces. Second, some of the larger ones might be cut down to smaller pieces manually, such as ferns. Finally, the last thing to consider is how you’re going to actually fix it to the base.

Another thing to consider is color. I chose to go 95% green with a few highlights of bizarre colors here and there like purple and white. These help keep things interesting, but be careful or your pieces will end up looking more like a sci-fi jungle than a real one.

When gathering your foliage, it’s a good idea to choose a single type that will be the common base plant for all the pieces. I chose a leafy bush that I could get enmasse on aquarium mats. This ensured I had a large supply of common plants that I could use across the collection that would ultimately tie them all together visually.

Step 2: Make Bases
Next I carved a bunch of different shapes and sizes of bases. I made sure that the bulk of them are small enough to fit in the kidney-shaped forest bases from the Battlefield in a Box range. That way I can use the option to put a couple jungle pieces on a base and use the normal forest rules (that’s not to say there weren’t fir or deciduous trees in the PTO).

Also, another trick is to use the pegs from the aquarium mats to fix some plants onto the pieces. This is useful for large clump vegetation. My recommendation is to cover the green “cups” up with smaller vegetation and clump foliage.

The goal here is to make sure that the bases can be used independently as well so that there’s got some versatility in their use. I made some round bits as well as some long narrow river-side bits for Nam. In Vietnam, the jungle was cleared up to the river with agricultural fields right behind, leaving a small strip of jungle between the fields and the river. This was also true elsewhere in the Pacific, but it’s also good for roadside linear terrain on plantations. So those will be good for my Pacific tables as well. In the end, choose the shapes and sizes that works best for you and your table!

I added some vinyl spackle for texture and painted the bases brown. I then applied some GF9 and Woodland Scenics flock and static grass to them. I did this because I made the n00b mistake of attempting to do that after the plastic plants were in place. It was a nightmare trying to get into the middle of that jungle (who would have guessed!).

Step 3: Drill Holes and Install Plants
Then I drilled a billion holes into the base. I’ll then cut up the vegetation into smaller single plants and just start gluing them into the holes using a hot glue gun. It’s a tedious process, but after a while you get into a rhythm.

One thing to consider at this step is that you should think about clumping like plants together, like these nippa palm fronds that I cut from a palm tree that was waaay to big for 15mm terrain. These re-purposed fronds work well together and form a sort of palm-wall.

Spread out the sections of unique plants and concentrate them inside the jungle base. In doing so, make sure that you leave space for your basic plant.

Step 4: Thicken Foliage
As you might recall I chose the leafy bush plant to be the common plant across all of my pieces. The primary function of these pieces is to thicken out the piece so that you get a lot more mileage out of your more unique plants (and favorite plants. Bizarrely, you’ll bond with some and be sad when you use the last of them). First I installed plants, cups and all, along the centerline of the piece where I left some of their original pegs. Then I took some more of the bushes and separated them from the cups and glued the smaller sections into the holes around the edge of the piece to conceal the center cups and any deformities.

Step 5: Clean Up
Once all the glue has dried it’s worth giving all the plants a tug to test their durability. Remove any hot glue hairs you might find and cut the stems from under the base so it sits flat. Then you’re done!

Well, almost.

Step 6: Dust Up
The final step is one I credit to James Brown at Battlefront. I was not happy with the bright waxy texture of the plastic plants, so he suggested that I dust them with a khaki spray paint. So holding the aerosol about a 16”/40cm higher than the piece, I sprayed over them, letting the paint fall onto the plants. This created a marvelous effect in the end, so thanks James!

And now you’re done. One down, 60 more to go...

16 February 2016

Behind Enemy Lines Podcast Ep. 22!

Hey all!

Come have a listen as the guys talk rubbish for an hour and then talk about the stuff you're really interested in, #FoWPacific!

Listen Now! Episode 22 ...

Download the episode here
(right-click and Save As)

Welcome back for another packed episode of Behind Enemy Lines! This week we’ve got a lot to talk about including n00b news, AARs from DanCon III, and a careful review of Battlefront’s Pacific books for Flames of War...
  • In Act I, we talk about n00b news and look at some upcoming kickstarters, including the highly anticipated Explorers of the North Sea! 
  • In Act II, we each talk about DanCon III, the greatest most random FoW event in all of West Auckland. Heads up in this section, low flying aircraft inbound. 
  • In Act III, we dive into the Flames of War Pacific books: Banzai and Gung Ho and give you the inside scoop on these great books and talk about our chosen lists.

Thanks for listening! We'd love to hear your thoughts, so please leave questions, comments, and feedback below!

15 February 2016

Specific Pacific Terrain Ideas

with Mike

The Pacific is finally here, which means I’ve got some terrain building to do! I’m one of those odd people who really enjoys a big terrain project to work on. Now that I’ve got a gamer garage up and running, I can finally take on some more ambitious projects, which is just as well since the Pacific is a unique battlefield from my typical array of European houses, hedgerows, and wheat fields!

As we anxiously await the arrival of the new figures, let's have a look and see what’s going to be needed to get some Pacific terrain rolling.

From Existing Collections
You might not think that you’ve got a lot of ready made terrain in your collection for the Pacific. Well, apart from some Vietnam terrain, I didn’t anyway. But it turns out I’ve actually got a good start on the collection and could start playing straight away. Here’s some terrain pieces that you may have in your Battlefield in a Box collection already that will work for your Pacific games.
  • Dug-In Markers (specifically Log Emplacements)
  • Desert Palms
  • Desert Minefields
  • Desert Barbed Wire
  • Desert Entrenchments
  • Craters
  • Large Craters (Great War)
  • Shattered Battlefields (Great War)
  • Italian Houses
  • Italian Walls
  • Village Huts (Vietnam)
  • Paddy Fields (Vietnam)
  • Jungle Bushes (Vietnam)
  • Rivers
  • Streams
  • Tributaries

Gung Ho! Suggestions
Gung Ho! has a list of terrain to create Pacific battlefields. I always find these pages very useful places to start on my terrain projects. Once I’ve got these things sorted I’ll move into my further suggestions, creating a terrain plan on how to prioritize and tackle them.

Here’s what the book suggests:
  • Dense Jungle
  • Woods and Clearings
  • Streams
  • Dry Stream Beds
  • Caves and Mountains
  • Plantations and Open Woods
  • Tracks, Roads, and Bridges
  • Native Houses

Mike’s Further Suggestions

As always, I start with a short list of essentials (listed above) but after that the list rapidly grows wildly out of control. To keep things manageable, I organise the terrain ideas into subcategories that I’ve established a loose ‘story’ around, such as an airfield. I then prioritize the list again because I want to make sure I hit the important stuff first while my motivation is high. Here’s my terrain list for the Pacific.

“The Airfield”
Airfields (or potential airfield locations) were usually the main objectives for the island campaigns because of their proximity to enemy military targets or supply chains. As such an airfield is a must-have for Pacific island campaigns.
  • Burnt out Betty bombers
  • Crashed Hellcat
  • Burning oil dumps
  • Control tower
  • Aircraft Hanger
  • Airstrip

“Paradise Island”
The South Pacific is well known for its tropical paradise islands. The sun shines year-round and palm trees provide shade to relax under. However, the reality is that it was a hot and humid place to have a battle.
  • Shattered Palms
  • Reef strips
  • Long Pier (stone/coral)
  • Short Piers (wood)
  • Raised seaside houses/buildings
  • Old shipwreck (lagoon zone)

“Paradise Fortified”
Both US and Japanese forces wasted no time fortifying islands that were of strategic value. Islands like Wake, Midway, Betio, Okinawa and Iwo Jima, to name just a few, were heavily fortified against amphibious assaults. Local stone, rock, and timber were typically used to build the fortifications with the important buildings being but from the more limited concrete supplies.

  • Palm seawalls & embrasures
  • Palm Bunkers
  • Palm log barbed wire
  • Mound command bunker
  • Aid station bunker
  • Administration center ruins
  • Reinforced building ruins
  • Firing pits
  • Prefab tetrahedron command bunkers
  • Beachside firing position (naval guns)
  • Anti-tank ditch
  • Flag pole (Japan)
  • Flag pole (USA)
This map is practically a massive and detailed "To Do List"

“The Scrapyard”
Battles on the small islands generated a large amount of destroyed vehicles concentrated in a small physical area. During the fighting, these sometimes offered shelter from incoming fire. In some rare cases, bold Japanese soldiers would climb aboard knocked out US vehicles and turn the fixed machine-guns on the American troops, making any wrecks possibly dangerous.
  • Swamped Sherman
  • Knocked out Amtrac
  • Knocked out Type 95 
  • Knocked out gun emplacement

Hit the Workbench!
Over the next few months I hope to have most of this stuff done to an extent. I'm also going to focus on tutorials for some of them as well, so stay tuned! In the meantime, I'm curious to know what's on your terrain list? Post your ideas below!