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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Battlefield in a Box: Badlands

As Battlefront's Battlefield in a Box line keeps expanding, more and more options are becoming available not just for Flames of War and 15mm, but for 28mm as well.  We've received a few boxes of the new Badlands terrain to have a look at.

Here's some pictures of the "Badlands Rock Formations".  As you can see, out of the box they have a reddish brown hue that isn't exactly at home on my Libyan desert inspired table, but would fit right in for most sci fi/fantasy settings on a red planet or even in the badlands of the American West.
I quite like the rocky outcroppings- I can just see a Mars-scape battlefield with helmeted troopers firing laser blasts as dropships come down to bring them reinforcements.

The Badlands plateau, however, doesn't quite do it for me.  While the surface is easily game-able, it's overall shape makes it look like a red velvet cake.  In fact, no joke, it made me want to eat cake for the rest of the day.  A craving that is coming back as I write this review!
While the plateau is my least favorite of the 3 peices, it does work okay as gaming terrain.  Unlike the rocky outcroppings which could fit in fine- I do not see this piece being viable for 15mm.  It's just too obviously built for 28- which is totally fine, but worth pointing out on a blog devoted to Flames of War!
The third piece is the "Badlands Bluff".  This is a pretty good piece for what it's intended to do in my opinion.  Plenty of flat places to place models, but the surface is variable enough to make it not look like a cake.
mmmmm cake
Out of the box these pieces would look fine on most sci-fi boards, but I decided to try to work on them and see if I can make them work on my own desert boards.  But first, here's a few pics of them alongside some models straight out of the box.
28mm Panzer IV.  See more of this guy on

With a Grular model by DGS Games

With another Grular model by DGS Games

Yet another Grular model by DGS Games

Some Artizan 28mm Cowboys

The first drybrush to try to transition from the yellow desert color to the reddish brown

I have no intentions of totally repainting them, I'm just trying to transition the color so it looks like the reddish brown rock is sticking up out of the ground.

In the end, I think they work out okay.  Certainly not my favorite from the line, but the bluff and rocky outcroppings are pretty nice.  I had difficulty finding the price on any official publications, but it looks like each box clocks in at $25 MSRP.  So the whole set will run you $75.  

The plateau still looks too much like cake to me!  The Rocky Outcroppings are probably usable at 15mm without much work, though the bluff and plateau are definitely relegated to 28mm.  Out of the box they're okay- better than a lot of terrain I see on sci-fi boards!  But with a little bit of love I think they can be made a lot more interesting.  If I am struck with inspiration, I may sit down and try to transition the colors even better, or add some summer grass/tufts to make them match a bit more.

So what do you guys think?  Sound off on the forum.  I'm fairly luke warm on them but I don't play sci-fi games at all.  You sci-fi gamers have a different opinion?

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