Latest Stuff: (some items have a section below to discuss them and other items only appear here)
  • 3/21/16 Added a variant suggestion for those who do not like TOB's "Determinstic Spotting".
  • 1/17/16 Made Michael Krause's Regimental Commander available in Word & PDF formats. See sample game pics at CD forum (no info below).
  • 2/23 & 28/14 Added a Landscape & 1 column IOS GRC. Both are same numbered phases edition from 10/27/09--no changes in the chart details!
  • 11/16/13 D-Day Paratroop scenario uploaded. The paratroops are defending against a counter-attack in this small game designed for CD3
  • 8/11/13 Tunisia Map (scroll to the bottom)
  • 8/26/12 Command Cube Decoder below to help new players know what orders the Cube symbols portray
  • 5/18/12 my playtest of OT's high velocity gun changes (with updates through 5/23/12)
  • 5/5/11 added Fast Furious Air Rules by Vic Greoire, MS Word version PDF version discussed on forum from 5/2/11 5PM
  • 2/5/10 added CD Index for the 1st Edition of TOB, made by Kelly Armstrong
  • 10/27/09 made slight changes to a new version of the GRC; see 1st section immediately below.
  • 7/17/09 3mm webpage added for my company level Command Decision variant; see also wargamecampaign.blogspot.com
  • 3/16/09 Battalion Summary, my version
  • 6/3/08 latest version of a "barrage" of CDplayaids.xls in Excel spreadsheet with Mission Deck, Turn Record, Battlefield Zones, Cover, Dedicated Artillery (with additional worksheet on IDF summary)
  • 11/2/07 CommandRadiusEtc.pdf also includes a template (to print on clear transparency material) of Small Arms Hit Distribution and Fire Angle no additional text below yet.
  • 9/23/07 CDtobOrderSummary.pdf (draft) no additional text below yet.
  • 9/22/07 (& 3/18/09 for BH1) Terrain Key
  • 9/20/07 Small corrections on the GRC
  • 4/03/07 Initiative Chits
  • 3/13/07 Built-Up Areas
  • 2/18/07 Demi-Inches
  • 1/13/07 HE fire templates
  • Other play aids for Volley & Bayonet, Great Battles of WWII, naval miniatures
Command Decision
Play Aids
Updated Wed, August 3, 2016 9:14 PM

Bill Owen Battlefield Zone chart, see upper right, CDplayaids.xls >

bill tourgrouppro com

My goal is to help Command Decision players. Here are accessories and some photos. Play Aids designed for a given version might be partly or fully useful for another version. A few are still available for version 3 and new ones are being added for the 4th version which goes by it's initials CD TOB standing for Command Decision: Test of Battle which was released summer 2006. Due to many significant improvements, the ruleset has gained great acceptance. Through a lot of effort they have come up with an easier-to-play game that is much more realistic in many respects.

You would be well advised to go buy this excellent ruleset now. There are lots of good discussion and resources at the excellent CD TOB forum.

I particularly recommend Matthew Tyler's free robo-chartmaker which allows you to make a set custom weapon reference charts for a given game.


TOB play aids:

1) GAME REFERENCE CARD updated 10/27/09

To those who already have my version of the CD GRC: I made the following small changes:
I added a last subphase to the turn "C5" which is to remind players to declare their Advanced Game commands (Road March, Entrench & Banzai), corrected a typo re Ammo Depletion (I had said LESS than the Caliber divided by 10 & it should be equal to OR less than the caliber divided by 10 and (on the Basic Version of the GRC) blanked out some more Advanced Rules I'd missed earlier this year (Human Wave, morale modifiers for Road March/TOT).

Why did I remake the Game Reference Card? At Arturo's request, I remade the game's GRC to have larger type. Indeed, by crackey, I've noticed that many of aging friends just can't read the tiny 7 pt type. At age 53, I need all the help I can get vision-wise. I now have 4 versions with 9-14 point type for the charts.

I've also reorganized the chart into (what I think of as) a logical order: turn sequence with subphases interspersed with the relevant charts. Since the subphases are numbered and the Phases are lettered, now you can identify in shorthand "resolving Artillery Fire" as "A3" or "resolving Opportunity Fire" as "O1".

I have incorporated some advanced rules, clarified numerous points but not introduced variants or non-standard CD:TOB rules. Please note that if using a Inkjet printer that has a large non-printing margin at the bottom (mine is .56"), the 1 page LTR sized file has small top and bottom margins -- so you may need to input about 96% in Page Setup. For our non-US comrades in tiny arms, I also have made an A4 (skinnier but taller) version of GRC. If you want a 2-page version (either LTR or A4) the type is even larger because there are only 2-columns on each page.

A portion of the newest (Portrait shaped) version is shown at right (10/27/09 to add Camouflage wording). The 2 changes from the original version below & on 2/23/14 a LANDSCAPE wide & shallow version and then a new "IOS" 1-column version (need Adobe Acrobat Reader app on your iPhone or iPad) on 2/28/14 (1 super-long column ...both are same as the Portrait version (first link in this paragraph) in all details but shape:

  1. The Phases are numbered and the Subphases are lettered just as they are in CD. The older version below is reveresed (lettered & numbered respectively).
  2. The Spotting section has been simplified. Only the 2 columns for the Recon Vehicle and Personnel are shown. One halves the number (except where italicized and yellow at right) for Non-Recon Vehicles. This makes the chart less busy but requires a calculation. And for Open Blocking I changed the Double to Half as it is above which seems more consistent terminology. I like the chart with these changes, but if you don't, pick a version below (all Portrait shape):
Cards with Advanced Rules incorporated:
Letter size
A4 size
1 page
2 pages*
Cards with ONLY Basic Rules:
1 page

*To make the print even larger, space was tighter on the 2 page versions so: I left off the Ammo Depletion details and the 2-page LTR version has smaller Morale charts.

My version of the GRC has been proofed by several people (thanks to Jake, Jerry & Dudley who have caught the greatest number of typos) on the excellent CD TOB Forum. You'll find a lot of excellent scenarios, discussions and camaraderie on the forum.

CD TOB Forum members in non-English-speaking countries can remake my GRC by translating it (which you'll have to do yourself). Note, you will need a program called InDesign (and fonts like Stencil and various of Helvetica/Condensed family), lots of patience (I didn't construct it for this purpose so it will require some reformatting). The other issue is that I made it in Mac and in theory the PC version of InDesign should open it. But I have found that cross platform file sharing is hit & miss. With all these warnings, send me an email me (below) if you still want it. (I tried to upload it here but couldn't get it to download.) So far, only Arturo has taken me up on this so an Italian version may be available soon.

If you find typos or want to pass on an idea, email me, Bill Owen, at email above left.


 

2) HE Fire Templates

Some players cut Artillery blast effect area, in CD called HE Fire Templates, out of scrap and others flock them with grass or craters. Still others stick a plume of cotton on a T-pin (wig store) through the center of a transparent template.

So anyway, I'm not very good at cutting a straight line so I made up pdf's for CD's 2 scales. Most artillery weapons have a 1", 1.5" or 2" width template. The rockets are either 5" or 8". Normally CD is typically played with "inch scale" for 15mm and larger miniatures or "centimeter" scale for micro-armor. Lately I prefer games with microarmor but inch scale. For the Inch scale, there is a separate file for the 8" wide Katyushas (plus 4 bonus 2" templates). The 8-cm. template fits nicely on the centimeter-scaled transparency.

You don't have to use transparency material; you could print on stock similar in color to your table (look at a scrapbook store) or try spray-painting the back of the transparency. I'm not sure it's a good idea though, it's likely to not stick or scratch off easily.

Final note: when printing a PDF the size may shrink a bit. You might want to test this first on ordinary paper before printing on expensive stock. If you have problems with shrinkage, try changing the Page Scaling from "Fit to Paper" to "None"... in Windows I had to uncheck "Shrink oversized pages to paper size" & "Auto-rotate and center pages". It was trying to keep from clipping the type at the bottom of the page which doesn't need to print (my inkjet has a non-printing zone of .56" at the bottom of the page).

Picture at right shows 2 clear HE templates with a "T" Pin through the
middle with "smoke" (Gray & White cotton). There are also so eliminated
smoke plumes on push pins (many colors including Orange).

He Fire Templates
v Template Size Scale >
Centimeter
Inch
1-8 cms. or 1-5"
8"
(included above)

3) "Little" Demi-Inches

Attention Microarmor gamers! Have you considered a scale between Centimeters and Inches? Let's call these little Demi-Inches and they could be 2 centimeters or 2/3 inches (about .78" or .67" respectively). This seemingly crazy idea came up in a game where I was issued an ordinary 12" Ruler to measure with but constantly needed a tape measure instead. But there weren't enough tape measures for everyone.

The other reason for this compromise is the fact that microarmor tanks are too much smaller when used with inch-scale HE Templates. This is more important than it sounds. Otherwise Microarmor used in Inch scale game with HE templates in Inches is substantially a different game: you increase the power of Direct Fire weapons by being able to concentrate more and reduce the power of IDF weapons by keeping them from hitting the same number of targets as in games played with 15mm or 20mm models.

Finally, you have a balance between the Inch scale where micro armor really looks like it's firing at long range ( a good thing) and the extra room to ramble of Centimeter scale (which is good to a point but can be curse if you make the units too large!) So to recap, you don't need to rebase your microarmor (if your vehicles are on bases at all), continue to use full sized Inch Scale HE Templates but reduce the ruler units to .78".

What many of you might say is: "I don't have the patience to make up 6-10 rulers in odd increments". (And this from someone who scratchbuild's 21st Panzer "funnies"?!) Relax, I've made the downloadable PDF files for you! And in 6 colors...

If you want to consider doing this, you'd need 3 things & think about a 4th:

  1. The above inch-scale HE Fire templates--but see point #4 first.
  2. A bunch of reduced-sized rulers that have those "little inches" ...see below the diagram for files to download! A common CDtob measurement is 18" and with Tabloid sized paper & inches @78.7% size (2 cms) you end up with a ruler about 15.75" long that would other wise be 20" in inch scale.
    Or if .67" units, use Legal sized paper and each ruler of 20 units will be about 13.4" long.
    If still unclear, download PDF: How To Make Demi-Inch Rulers.
  3. What else? Perhaps building templates shrunk to 4x4 Demi-Inches (3.14x3.14" actual inches, if .78" Demi-Inches are used).
  4. I would never remake the size of troop stands! Your stand sizes are fine if they are consistent across the whole game. But without this ruler-size reduction, there really is something to be said for making the HE Fire Templates proportionally larger if your stands are proportionally smaller. For example, the same tank in micro-scale takes up (let's say) .5x.75" in area (if on a base*)... and this works pretty well with centimeter-scale templates. But if you play with inch scale rulers then your tanks are about 20% the width of a 20mm scale tank. So using inch scale (not reduced) HE Fire templates with .67" little inches may be more accurate!
    Something to ponder: without changing ruler units, an Inch-Scale Tiger tank platoon parked nearly bogey wheel to bogey wheel is just under 1/2" wide! And most gamers either don't base their tanks at all, or if they do 1/2", 3/4" or 1" wide stands are commonest. In actual practice, a platoon of German tanks would disperse to about 250 yards wide! (5" in inch scale) This means that the HE templates either need to be bigger (because your tanks aren't moving with only 2 yards between them), or to keep the HE templates the same Inch size, you must make the Ruler Measurement Units smaller.
    See the examples below for discussion of options:



Ready to make Demi-Inch Rulers? Click one of them below based on the color/numbers above:

Ruler Color File Name
Dark Green Demi_Inch_Ruler_1_DarkGreen.pdf
Medium Green Demi_Inch_Ruler_2_MdmGrn.pdf
Olive Demi_Inch_Ruler_3_Olive.pdf
Tan Demi_Inch_Ruler_4_Tan.pdf
Blue Demi_Inch_Ruler_5_Blue.pdf
Black Print on White Background (or whatever color paper you print on; rest of files above are white print on colored background) Demi_Inch_Ruler_6_B&W.pdf
Need an explanation of this concept & how to make 10 rulers fast? Demi_Inch_Ruler_HowToMake.pdf

*Why use bases for microarmor? It's practical for storing tanks on magnetic strips (if the bases are steel!) And without bases, here's another oddity in a game that has 1 vehicle representing 5: it is harder for an HE Fire template to hit several formations (platoons) of Pz II's than Tigers. That's because the models are smaller! But this really isn't right. Putting all tanks on the same sized base (like .75x.75" or .5x.75") solves the problem by representing the "footprint" of the formation. Pz II's don't travel around in tighter formations than Tigers but are supposed to maintain the same minimum spacing between vehicles. So actually their formation's footprint may be smaller by only 1% due to the size of the vehicle.

If you are still puzzling about this, there is an exchange about this topic on the excellent CD TOB forum.


4) ALTERNATE ORDER CHITS

Click here for an explanation of Order Chart; Larger version of Order Disk Colors & limitation on placements; Orders/Caps for 120 units: Grass Green colored or Olive colored.

Here's some of the thinking behind these magnetic order counters. I have tried a probably a dozen (or more) of different systems to consolidate or replace order chits. The looks of the "stock" order chits' are less objectionable in scales larger than micro. In micro scale the chits are ridiculous looking (like a city-block-size monolith from 2001 Space Odyssey) but c'est la guerre. Or read on for ideas...

The PDF's above I made "magnetic" orders with all the orders' initials arranged in an arrow and a colored steel paper disk (various colors to represent the different orderer types, punched out with a 1/8" circular punch; sheet available from www.litkoaero.com) get slid over the appropriate order. They're less trouble then rumaging for orders and a bit fiddly to those with fat fingers. It's probably better to use steel paper for the order and a magnet disk (or the orders could adhere to steel stands; didn't happen in the games we played but could.)

We had "order caps" (to cover the orders) but didn't always use them! Most games we often don't cover them because they're small and who's looking at the enemy when you've got your own stuff to do?

There are 2 extra reaons for the order caps:
1) place the cap at the destination (may be further than could move but then the unit would just stop short
2) to flip the cap to the reverse side that had a red spot which converted the Hasty Move to Entrenching or Travel March (you could tell the difference because the cap was either a destination or flipped next to the order).

I made my own order caps from board game counters sprayed a similar color to the terrain.

Naturalistic Status markers in microscale can be thrown together. Small gravel rock for Pinned, White mini-PomPom (sprayed Gray) for Suppressed, Big Green Bush (woodland scenics) for Shaken (to hide under), bits of Green Pipe Cleaner for Overwatch. The best thing we did was make up several sets of these items in little compartments from a board game counter tray (chopped into about 6 sections) and spread the "marker depots" around the perimeter of the table.

I had no Out of Ammo markers (not a common occurence really) but one could easily make some clear rings from slicing some small plastic tubing like from a fish tank air line. Another line of thinking is that the Out of Ammo shouldn't be marked "publicly" anyway--so the enemy doesn't know for sure why you're no longer shooting!


5) BUAs (Built Up Areas)

Above are 2 adjacent Built Up Area's (BUA) and their Fields of Fire (FOF). Click here for a PDF explanations of how BUA/FOF works in CD TOB, OK?

BUA's are a bit abstracted to represent the point blank Fields of Fire of real built up areas. If it is not clear already, a house on the game board may actually represent several blocks of buildings. If you have a hard time with the concept, it helps to see what is actually being represented. The following is a rough draft of a 2-kilometer-square area of Ouistreham adjacent Sword Beach on D-Day. That would be 40" by 40" in CD:TOB's "inch scale".

The green hexes are 1-kilometer-wide from my D-Day Maps that come in other scales also (from 300 meters/hex to 1 mile/hex). The D-Day maps abstract the towns further by using black boxes to give a feel for the outline of the town, not the actual number of BUA's therein. The red dotted line area is a typical 4" square BUA as in CD TOB. It's obvious that for larger towns, it takes many BUA's to represent them. And the BUA's could vary in positioning and modifiers as suggested in the rules.


6) Initiative Chits

If you want to experiment with using chits rather than a dice-roll to determine who goes first. Here are some ideas. First here's a pdf that you can print to make 2 sets of 2-sided counters. And the pdf looks like this:

First, I agree with everyone who likes to just play the game as written. But each of us has a different X number of times before we give in to making rule variants! (quote:) Originally posted by ThomasTheTank: ...let me re-suggest letting the side with higher troop quality decide to go first or second. It doesn't favor any particular army... SNIP ...(though I do let Germans break ties instead of just rolling for it). SNIP ...but does avoid the die roll effect of poor quality troops being able to outmanuver better qualtiy about half the time. Tom

Combined with Shawn's suggestion: (quote:) We did come up with a simple solution to the five minute argument about the winner of initiative choosing to move first or second. The CinC of each side had to place a counter with a 1 or 2 under their command cap designating if they wanted to move first or second if they won the initiative. Consultation on the matter between was strictly forbidden between players and had to be done during the timed order placement phase.

And I'd add that neither side can change that 1st vs 2nd counter once either side has rolled.

Then another idea is to have the commander of each place their counter (numbered 1 & 2 on the reverse) AND the side with higher overall troop quality gets to roll a die with more sides. Like-

Die sides / If average quality is:
6 Green
7 Trained
8 Regular
10 Experienced
12 Veteran
14 Elite

And the side with the die with FEWER sides wins ties! (So no need to reroll. Saves time and rebalances the odds a bit.) Math whizs can determine how this affects probability. This approach requires more time to set up (and thus best for referee-prepared games) but less time to play. Another big plus to this suggestion is that allows the typically insane wargamer who owns 46 different dice types to use them. Smile Yes the 5, 7, 14 & 16 sided dice do exist: http://gamestation.net/category/1003.1009/

And you could adjust the die type used by morale or situation ...you get the idea. And if you want to flatten the differences (making the range say 5-10), you could just make 2 cups worth of chits numbered 1-10 and remove the unneeded ones before the game. (More on this discussion at CD Forum).


7) Hedgerows

When making the maps of the entire Normandy bridgehead/Cotentin Peninsula, I could not find detailed maps of what ALL the bocage-edged fields looked like. There were areas around the beaches that were detailed enough but the vast majority was not mapped (so far as I could find). Rather than ignore it all together, I provided a "sample hex", 1-kilometer wide of what hedgerows would look like. You can see this sample below and the darker green fields are orchards with the white being normal crop land. Now you know.

Note that the general AREA of the bocage is noted on the my maps and I took this from wargames by both SPI/AH. And who knows what they used for their source material! (Although I don't doubt that they worked harder to resources.)


8) Terrain Key

The snippet (below) of the Terrain Key is from the full listing of CD TOB's terrain for West Front scenario 1 which I'm putting on as a training game several times. The pdf file is my first draft noting a cliff notes version of effects on Movement, Line of Sight, Combat, Morale and Misc. I'd made a full listing of a CD3 "TEC" (Terrain Effects Chart) but in retrospect it was "too much information". Most of the terrain listed was needed in a given scenario so the chart @11x17" was too overwhelming. What I did this time was enter the terrain in a database and by entering the scenario code (WF1 in this case), get just the listings needed. See latest version for Benghazi Handicap Scenario 1 at the bottom of this webpage made 3/18/09.

The larger question is "is it worth the trouble?" I leave that to you. But bear in mind that my goal is bring new players up to speed. Admittably it is a sort of mnemonic device and could not take the place of the rules. I note items that really aren't terrain per se (like HE template & Wrecks) but may have notable terrain-like impacts that I tend to forget.

As a preference, I'd rather the rules detail each terrain features impacts on all facets of the game in one place i.e. a terrain section on Rises, itemize all impacts of Rises. Instead the rules take a different approach that may be more space conserving but tend to spread the information around in different sections noting in Movement which terrain bits have Movement impacts, and then in Combat the terrain bits with impact etc. This means that when you play a game with unfamiliar terrain types, you may need to bounce around the ruleset ferreting out the impacts. This can take some time which would be better spent playing.

Another sneaking suspicsion is that many of us (myself included!) may miss self-applying terrain impacts all too frequently. My other goal is to help alert old players about issues that need to be watched for. Anyway, I'd appreciate your input; is it too detailed or too abbreviated? And more importantly do you see outright mistakes? Thanks!


9) The "88" Playtest

OT (Glenn) on the forum has spent some time explaining why he feels CD's realism could be improved by making some incremental changes in the AP performance... especially for high-velocity guns. This infamous "88" topic came up again recently and I decided that I could playtest a portion of his suggested changes without too much trouble (my proposal came at the Post dated Thu May 17, 2012 @11:47 pm and continues through May 22 at least):

My playtest changes will be limited to High & Low Velocity AP weapons (not changing 75L40 Shermans and 76mm T-34's)

HIGH VELOCITY, 75+mm & L56+ weapons:
1. Medium range extended to 50% ofmaximum
2. Long range = 75% Extreme range.

LOW VELOCITY, 75+mm & L24 or less weapons:
1. Extreme range reduced to 66.7% currently.

So no range adjusments for smaller caliber weapons or larger caliber weapons of L25 to L55. My variant is not playtesting all AP weapons as OT does and no +1 to hit and no increasing extreme range for the high velocity AP. The main impact will be a few weapons in the desert and those open terrain situations in Russia. Bob had given some great input on rationale. Because of Dave's calculations, I added a reduction in Extreme range for Low Velocity weapons. Assuming Dave's gun accuracy tables and adjustments are "in the ballpark", I freely admit that my simplistic range adjustments don't match very well. However I think that they get one closer without having to go recalculate and retype hundreds of weapon listings.

88 vs 75

As of May 23 postings on the CD Forum, here is a revised chart that adds a 3rd category of adjustments, with L56+ being called Super and the new High velocity being L46-L55:

Nuanced Tiger I
Tiger I 1943, 3rd Company sPzAbt.503, Russia--Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-022-2935-10A / Wolff/Altvater / CC-BY-SA

Since the math of this new category is more of a pain, it occurred to me that it would be certainly easier for all math-phobes to just look at a chart on the wall that displays the 4 categories (4 if you include the unchanged L25-L45 for completeness). That's called the Simple Math based on the rules to date with new category:

New High being guns from L46-L55 and their Medium range being
1. Extreme reduced by -10% (drop fractions)
2. Medium increased to half of the new Extreme (drop fractions)
3. Long being the center-point between new Medium and Extreme.

Then if you are going to have a chart on the wall, you need not live with uncorrected data and so I made a Nuanced version below the Simple Math version with Formulas for calculating on the fly the 2% of weapons that do not match the 48" Extreme range for High/Super or 36" for Low.

For playtest purposes here is a wall chart of the Nuanced & formula as a pdf here... if the print is too small, print on tabloid rather than letter sized paper.


10) Command Cube Decoder Page

decoder I made up a page that will help new players know which symbol is for each of 6 orders/commands and 2 bits of info: how that command affects movement... single or double BMA (Basic Movement Allowance) and Fire die roll modifier and some notes associated with certain orders. Click here for a page size pdf that could be enlarged to any size you feel will be visible across the table like tabloid (actually 11x14.3") or 27.5x36"!


11) Spotting

Some people are uncomfortable with the Test of Battle's "Determinstic Spotting" (100% chance of spotting a certain distances). So it seems that it would not be a difficult variant to add two new die rolls that utilize the same 100% spot ranges in the table.

Spotting is diced for with the following guidelines

1. At 50% higher than printed deterministic (100% chance) range, a chance of 1-2 to spot
2. At up to TOB's printed range, a chance of 1-8 to spot.

Example: a concealed, non-firing, non-moving vehicles is currently 100% spotted @12" or less. With the variant, roll to spot with a chance of 1-2 at 13-18" then a chance of 1-8 at 12" or less.

I chose the 50% because it's easy to calculate. This variant could be nuanced in a variety of ways. Fog of war is enhanced. If playing with any hidden units, did you just not get close enough or are you driving closer to a well-camoulflaged ambush?


Important note to new players, I recommend playing Command Decision: Test of Battle "stock" without a lot of trouble to make "improved" accessories (which is mostly wasted in my experience rather than saving time "net")... then try a few improvements after several games. The game is excellent enough that you can put up with some outsize chits or what you think is "weird" for a time.


Terrain See below for some pictures of the beautiful terrain that Mark Whitehead has made. The players referred to it as The Most Beautiful Game In The World.

MostBeautiful

BloodRedRivers P47

para2

para1

Notice that he ditched his rigid brown/red rivers above for microfine blue glitter (see below)! Click here to go to the CD3 D-Day Scenario that the above pictures portray.

The glitter rivers look really nice, easy to apply and no trouble to "build" or make fit to the map.

Game pictures at bottom are using the orders/caps. The microfine glitter blue rivers look nicer "in person" than in the pictures. And they're easier and more flexible than store-bought and scratch-built rivers.

Check back for improved versions of these CD*TOB* play aids.


Version 3 play aids: (older version of CD)

1) Spotting Chart, 2) Terrain Chart, 3) TurnSequence/SpottingSticks/SimplexSpottingVariant/WeatherNightHexagon


CD game photos (microscale)

The first 3 photos are from a 2007 CD:TOB game of Canadians heading inland on D-Day. Notice the depot of naturalistic markers above in the boardgame tray.

The table is beautiful but the hills are too rolling to be practical. Under the ground cloth are towels! We are now of the opinion that it is better to use 1/2" insulation foam board cut for the specific scenario. This sounds wasteful but the pieces of the foam board can be reassembled by taping them together and recut for another game! (They're underneath the ground cloth where they're never seen.)

The small rises are an important terrain feature that "expands" the effective size or density of your terrain simply. Mark hasn't made many so you can see only a few here. I make them out of green 3 mm "Foamies" (kid craft foam) colored with various LATEX earthtone spray cans. Enamel spray paint melts the foam! The foamie material is easy to cut (at an angle) with an ordinary hobby knife.

Note the multicolored "smoke" for eliminated stands (you remove the vehicles in CD TOB because they are available for regrouping.) The various colored cotton wools are stranded together loosely, then taped with double-stick cellophane tape to a yellow push pin, and poofed out.

And the 1:285th scale airplane stuck into the underlying foam board.

I'm a big fan of Mark's microfine glitter rivers and ballast roads. The latter comes in several colors so you can have 3 grades of roads if you like. This is the most flexible and possibly least expensive way to handle these terrain features that are free-form. Certainly the easiest and fastest.

Below is a picture of a 10/08 game of CD:TOB's West Front Scenario #1 in micro scale. Alas, my less beautiforus terrain. Not scratchbuilt like Mark's but tolerable. I tried heavier application of ballast roads and glitter rivers (far left). Maybe unnecessarily heavy.


D-Day Campaign Maps

Over 7 years, Bill Owen drew in Adobe Illustrator (10) full color maps of 91 miles of Normandy bridgehead area including the Cotentin Peninsula. This is from the tip of Cap de la Hague on the west coast of Cotentin to Caen and Troarn on the east edge of the beachhead area... 18-36 miles deep and 30-70 miles wide. This covers virtually all of the battles of the first 7 weeks of the invasion and build-up.

These were originally designed as Campaign maps for Command Decision 3 at a scale of 1 kilometer per 5/8" hex. I can't see anything in the latest version, CD TOB, that would make these maps obsolete. They are very detailed so you can make up miniature battle terrain for one-off battles or campaigns. Based on a Michelin 1947 road map with 3 levels of roads, town blocks & names, rivers, beaches (low & high tide lines), gridded hexes PLUS tons of info added: 20-meter contours, with ship ranges, forts, forests, swamps, drop/beach zones, bocage areas. Drawn with Adobe Illustrator in dozens of "layers" and I originally printed the 13x19" maps myself (each of the 10 maps represent approx. 12x18 miles in area). I found that heavy use of my inkjet printer wore it out (Epson 1520; now I have an Epson 1280).

After having to buy a new printer, I discovered Cafe Press and the Print on Demand concept. I joined forces with my Judges Guild co-founder, Bob Bledsaw, to make these maps available in a Cafe Press store called Judges Guild. The maps are available on line in 3 different scales and sizes:

(note that standard boardgame hexes are 5/8" or .625")

Map Nickname
Mein Panzer Geohex
(12" wide terrain hexes x 25m)
CD Geohex
(12" wide terrain hexes x 50m)
CD
Great Battles
Hex Represents
300 Meters
600 Meters
1 Kilometer
1 Mile
Hex Size on Map
.64"
.625"
.665"
.85"
Map Size
23x35"
23x35"
16x20"
11x17"
Image area
(2) 17x22"
22.5x34.5"
12.9x19.5"
10.5x16.5"
Paperstock
Heavyweight 7 mil semi-gloss paper using superior dye inks
Heavyweight 7 mil semi-gloss paper using superior dye inks
Heavyweight 7 mil semi-gloss paper using superior dye inks
Glossy, 12 point paper (heaviest of series); like cardstock
See more
Description
LONGEST hex mapping of Normandy beaches known to Gaming Man or Woman! The 5 maps in the series cover a 17x220" area (1.5x18.5 FEET).
GARGANTUAN, the largest hex mapping of Normandy known to Gaming Man! All 10 maps in series, cover a wall 69x160" (L-shaped) or 6x13 FEET. Great for HO scale CD with 12" geohex @50m/inch & skirmish games.
Medium-sized, this is our original, best-selling map set ... all 10 Normandy maps fit into a big L-shaped area, 39x96". Great for games like Command Decision or Spearhead with 1 stand=platoon.
My most compact map set ...all 10 Normandy maps, will fit into an L-shaped area 32x79". Best for gamers with larger battles (like company or battalion per stand) or if on a tight defence budget.
A Nice Kudo: Date: Fri, 26 Sep 1997 16:17:40 -0400 (EDT) Subject: Re: Omaha map comments
Bill:
Very impressive job on the map. I have to admit that most of the time when I look at a terrain map covering a WW II battle any more I am inclined to mentally superimpose a 6' x 12' CD table template over it as a means of gauging the trafficability. It's just a mental scaling exercise that gives me a frame of reference. "What would this look like on a CD table?" It's very nice having that already done. Excellent work.
Frank Chadwick [Designer of Command Decision]

The other nice feedback I've gotten is that I cannot remember any one asking for their money back but Satisfaction Is Guaranteed anyway. If you don't want to order on the web, you can call Cafe Press toll free at 1-877-809-1659. You will need the shop name (JudgesGuild) and at least section number in the URL section (preferably actual item numbers). Shipping costs start at $4 for 1st map and $1/map after that (they have faster, more expensive options also).

There are 2 main sets of D-Day Maps. The latest (4th) set has 1 scale and covers much less ground: 300 meters per hex and 1/4 the area of the other 3 map series. You can see the area covered below (just 5 of the 10 maps).

This set was designed for Mein Panzer players who requested it because of their game scale of 25 meters/inch and utilizing Geohex (12" wide hexes) thus 300 meters per Geohex. The map numbers correspond to the series 1-3 maps below. The 4th series above are really just the immediate area behind the beaches covering only one quarter of the North-South map area of series 1-3. The other oddity is that series 4 has two 17x22" maps to be placed side by side (called Map A & B). The 2 maps are printed vertically because Cafe Press only has 23x35" maps not 17x44"! So you cut them apart and if you buy all 5 in series 4, you'll end up with a 17x220" (1.5x19 feet!)

The following set of maps cover much more terrain and have 3 scales as follows. The kilometer-per-hex was originally designed for Command Decision or Spearhead, mile-per-hex for Great Battles or Division Commander and the 600 Meters per hex for a more skirmish oriented ruleset that I've forgotten the name of! It's great for CD players with Geohex and 50 meters per inch scaled games though.

The snippets below show the same area around Ouistreham in various scales so you can see how the hex size encompasses differing amounts of terrain.

Snippet of map #6, area around Ouistreham showing hex size:

Mile/hex:

Kilometer/hex:

600 Meters/hex:

300 Meters/hex:

Painting below from: http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-eur/normandy/nor4o5.htm

PDF version of Terrain Key for Benghazi Handicap Scenario 1
Bill & Chris at Decatur Gamers mini-con playing of West Front Scenario 3 Task Force Gillis written up in the local newspaper September 2009.

 

Below is a diagram showing common ways of adjudicating Front/Flank arc,for now one is called RAW (Rules As Written) although that is open to interpretation. And the other is called Matthew for the intrepid robo-chart designer from the UK... who advised this is how they do it. Discussed on the forum here.


Small scemario of US Paratroopers under counterattack on D-Day. Designed for CD3, it could work for CD:TOB too. Was originally designed to "test" the beautiful terrain my friend has just finished after a few decades of effort! After spending 30 years building his collection and making the terrain, he didn't want to jinx it by calling it a "game", instead a "test". It was small enough to finish and have a lot of fun with. You can see pictures from that game above by clicking here.


Tunisia Map: being a map fanatic, I was curious to see how the area looked with sea area and contours to match the excellent schematic map produced by Tom Harris as found on the CD forum.

So I found the US Army's book online for North Africa and downloaded a huge pdf scan on that particular giant mapsheet. While Tom's map is crucial for practical campaign game information, you can get hints about the tabletop terrain with the detailed map below... Right Click on the small map at right to download the detailed version of the map.
TunisiaMap.jpg

NOTE: so you can see what the map looks like, a low resolution verison is below. The map's square "battlefields" are 6x6 miles which equates to 18x18' tables in CD's inch scale! Obviously you will want to slim down the battlefields to match your table size! (Typically a 6x9' table in inch scale represents 2x3 miles.)

TunisiaMap.jpg