By Jim Rohrer
Like many other people these days, I have been puttering around at my hobby table. In general, One-Hour Wargames is my guide for gaming. The layouts fit on a small table and the scenery is minimalist. Each item is chosen not for realism, but to represent an object. The footprint of a structure must be small even though it may not be to scale.
One useful structure is a fort. Unfortunately and predictably, forts are expensive. As a ham-fisted hobbyist, I have been reluctant to even try to make my own. However, I recently ran across a blog called ‘54mm or Fight’ and the simple structures pictured there made me realize that a building should be suggestive of the prototype but not attempt to replicate them in miniature.
Searching for images quickly turned up French Foreign Legion forts. My ImaginNation is forested rather than desert, but the design should serve as well. As you can see in the photos below, the fort is just four walls with ramparts and a door. Each wall is 5.5” by 3.75”. They are made from some scrap cedar boards. The catwalks inside are balsa.
My intention is to use this fort with 54mm figures of the era ranging from the Franco-Prussian War to WWI. However, the fort could be a medieval castle. Just encircle it with a moat. It also would work well with smaller figures. The scale is ambiguous.
As a side issue, I am considering how to model battering down the gate. Placing explosives under cover of darkness is an option. Call that a 100 percent chance of success if undetected, but defenders will be watching for that ploy. Frontal assault with a battering ram would incur high casualties, but I think success would be guaranteed if you are willing to pay the price. If you can drag a field gun to this location, it would do the job. But how close would it have to be to hit the door (a small target)? You cannot waste a lot of time on this because reinforcements may arrive randomly from any direction.