Thursday, 17 October 2013

Line of sight solution - a Periscope!

Can I see the enemy?
On the tabletop there is always the challenge of "Line Of Sight".  Even though you, the player with such a height advantage, can see all the figures on the table, the little men doing your will (mostly) don't have the same view.
Often this is solved by dropping yourself down to table top level, squinting and saying, "Oh yeah.  I can see him." (which is mostly true)
But what happens if there is terrain in the way?
That is why we have created our own periscope.

Materials Required:
Two mirrors cut into rectangles 45mm x 75mm.
(We did this with a cheap mirror from the thrift store and a cheap glass cutter.)
Some thicker cardboard
(We went to a picture framing store and asked them what they did with all their used matt boards. Once we explained what we wanted them for - modelling and wargaming - they gave us a huge pile.)
PVA glue to keep it all together.
Yep. There he is behind the building. Fire!
The building plans we have created.

1. Print out the plans on plain paper. Although the plans are for A4, they will also work fine on US Letter - just avoid scaling.
2. Trim down the print out and then glue the sheets to the cardboard.  let dry as it is easier to cut and trim when the PVA has dried and stiffened the paper and cardboard.
3. Cut out all the pieces - basically trim away the grey parts.
4. Score along the dotted lines.  You should use a knife to cut about half way through the cardboard, This allows an easier fold while providing the strength of the cardboard for the join.
5. Fold over the mirror supports (C). These glue right onto the back of their adjoining side.  Ensure the bottom sides are the same to make sure the angles remain at 45 degrees.
6. Glue mirror supports (D) to the bottom of the long sides, making the long edges of the triangles parallel.  Think about how light travels between mirrors and it will make sense.
7. Glue the tabs (A) and (B) to make the box.  Make sure the bottoms line up and the box is square.
8. On one end, glue the mirror onto the supports.  Then glue the base support tabs onto the outside of the box.  Do the rear and the sides.  This leave the opening right under the mirror.  The bases provide support for the box as well as protection for the mirror and questing fingers away from the mirror edges. Remember we want simulated blood on the battlefield, not the real stuff!
9. Do the top end the same way.
10. Check that the mirrors are parallel by testing the periscope. Look in the top bit and if the bottom view is horizontal and not on a lean, you have done it.
11. For additional strength we used some Duct Tape on the edges.

There you have it.  Not only will a periscope solve many line of sight issues, it also is pretty nifty seeing things from the same level as your fighting guys.  For demonstration games, spectators love going around using the periscope to get the soldier's eye view.


  1. I dont find jour building plan
    Error 404 !

    1. Bah. Silly computers. The file is now where it is supposed to be. Enjoy!

  2. Love this!

    Got here from your 'How to run a demo game' article on Warlord. What a smashing idea!

    Keep up the great work, guys.



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