Fyvie – The Groundwork

With the dining room table once again fully in my possession I can begin to set up for the Battle of Fyvie, Montrose’s third fight since marching out of Glen Almond. Since I now have all the squares cut up that I wrote about in the Ragman post, I’m going to test their use and see how well I can reproduce a rough model of the topography of a given battlefield.

To this end, I plan to document each step of the set up then take it down and see how close I can come at replication a few days later. Between set ups I plan to make a play through of Regiment of Foote, 2nd edition (Peter Pig) which should be out this Thursday.

The header picture for this post is from the Ordnance Survey (OS) leisure map for the area with scale bar set to 100 yards (which you can do if you happen to be a subscriber). The red box is 1000 square yards and roughly approximates the game surface area. OS subscription maps let you toggle between overlays (much like Google) but the leisure map contour lines are much easier to read. I am going to try to model elevation in 10′ increments (each line on the OS map is 5′) by creating levels with stacks of the 6″ (100 yard) squares.

The first part of the setup is to unfold the foam core sections:

Playing Surface Setup

Once these are in place the surface becomes level 0 (zero):

Fyvie - Level 0

The first level is added following the OS map. While the map has north at the top, the photo sequence is from the south:

Fyvie - Level 1

Level two is now added and I have placed dice to indicate the level number. The colors of the squares have no significance:

Fyvie - Level 2

Level three is now put in place. The location of Fyvie Castle is near the die at the lower right so the rising ground to the east is starting to become apparent:

Fyvie - Level 3

With Level 4 now in place, the eastern ridge is starting to rise above the hill (Broom Hill on the OS map) that intervenes between the castle and the high ground assumed to be Montrose’s main position:

Fyvie - Level 4

The final level (level 5) is now in place on the eastern edge of the board:

Fyvie - Level 5

The green surface material (cut into 10″ squares) is placed over the the elevation levels to form the topography of the battlefield. The structure marks the position of Fyvie Castle. The gap in the eastern ridge line (blue can be seen beneath it) is the position of a water trace that flows down to what is now Loch Fyvie (it was constructed at a later date). I am going to treat the area of the lake as marshy ground. The River Ythan will be in the foreground:

Fyvie - First Topographical layout

I am reasonably happy with the end result BUT I think much larger sheets of green will look better (so off to the big lot places again!). This model uses a two square thickness to represent ten feet in elevation. Studying the board I think I will make it three squares (maybe even four) to increase the overall definition when I do the next build. I like this system, however. It is easy to use and easy to store. In fact I have already taken it down and packed it away in less than thirty minutes!

So as I now prepare for Regiment of Foote, I’ll mull over any other changes to the re-build.


3 thoughts on “Fyvie – The Groundwork

  1. As always I am impressed by the level of detail you use to recreate historical battles. You both do the research needed and put in the time to recreate typography and buildings to match the research. You encourage others to recreate the battles by your thorough explanations.


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