Let’s talk about stacks, baby…

As I might have pointed out in previous posts, I try to build some buildings or terrain elements at a very specific height : 5 cm. It is my preferred level height, when I build 28mm wargaming terrain.
Of course, when building terrain, some inaccuracies might occur. Then again, it is a game and not me trying to land a rover on Mars by the means of a trebuchet.
I generally try to build generic and versatile pieces of terrain, which I can use in several games (which explains the lack of snow in my Frostgrave terrain collection).

This is no tutorial per se, but my take on multi-level wargaming terrain in skirmish games. These ideas are not new, but indulge me, while I add my grain of salt.
For the sake of better understanding (and being able to write this post), I split this exposé in several categories:

stacks ; elevators ; connectors

stacks: basic wargaming terrain level

This one is fairly easy. As with hills, you can craft some large “bases” in various sizes quickly and easily. I try to make them at least 6 inch (or multiples of 6) wide, while respecting my height of 5cm. When building them, you have to keep in mind, what kind of other terrain piece will be placed on them.
The examples below show larger elements with smaller platforms stacked on them or placed in the vicinity. They may represent an elevated quarter in a city, a part of a fortification, or even the bottom floor of an imagined building (just by placing one of my fancy dungeon doors next to it).


Obviously you need to give your miniatures the means to move from one level to the next.

BEHOLD : STAIRS !!!! (insert thunderclap and dramatic music)
They are the easiest way maneuver your merry men up and down.

Unless you want to make M.C.Escher envious, a few sets of stairs should suffice. Every flight is (yet again) 5cm high. The steps have a depth between 1 and 2cm and are 1cm high. Thus, most 28mm miniatures should be able to stand on them, while the steps indicate a modicum of realism.

Another simple solution : Ladders. No need to reinvent the wheel. Just place them next to your stacks. Done.


Connectors are some piece of terrain, that allow you to connect (duh) one element with another. The possibilities are endless: bridges, sets of planks, ladders across a gulf, broken down pillars or even other stacks.

I usually aim for a flat construction, that unburdens my wargaming table, whilst still adding another height level to the battlefield.

Remember to use sturdy material. Unlike stacks, they will not be supported. If you place your heavy lead griffon on some flimsy papercraft, you have to be prepared for an unpleasant encounter with gravity.

Technically the possibilities are endless. As long as you stick to the same dimensions for your different elements, you can combine them in whatever configuration you want.

Happy climbing


Leave a Reply