Article Index


 Tactical Play with the Model Trees


Contact rules for trees and figures (visibility and safety):

By touching the sides or edges of the tree models, figures can be considered as having disappeared safely within those forested areas for an agreed amount of time.  This means that rival players cannot see opposing figures or make an attack on them while they remain there.

Hidden marksmen can fire from the edge of the tree cover by placing figure bases in direct contact against the edges of the screens and tree markers.

While the screens don't have apertures for firing through, a common games trick for hiding figures amongst the trees, even when they are fully visible, is to place the figure bases directly against the sides or edges of the model.  The rule here is that the figures cannot be seen until the smoke of their firearms reveals their position, and they are protected by thick tree trunks which they are supposedly hiding behind.


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Veiled moves:

Veiled moves introduce elements of secrecy and surprise and can give players an advantage over opponents.   The following information refers to when a player does not want to reveal the true strenth of his unit to another player.

Only reveal the true strength of a unit when it is ready to engage in a hostile encounter.  The sudden appearance of a unit in full force can be more surprising than a cluster of figures whose strength and movements have been exposed and closely observed by rival players during the course of a game.

Use a single token figure to represent a core unit of figures including scouts (fore, aft and flanks).  The full strength of a unit can be recorded on paper or with a die (single dice), hidden from common view. This system is particularly relevant to situations where a unit's strength may be increased during the course of a game.

This last procedure also eliminates the clumsiness of moving mass figures and unnecessarily disrupting the scenery.  

It streamlines the game and cuts down on time wasted by repositioning groups of figures for normal moves.


Units entering into heavy forest areas (tree screens):

Units can temporarily disappear into the dense areas of screens when the leader of a unit touches, with its base, any part of a large tree screen model or enters into a 7.5 cm gap betwen larger tree models.

Any unit figure that is left behind or in direct contact with an enemy figure could be considered as killed or captured.


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Hidden moves with the tree screens:

Here are some suggested rules on how to use the tree screens as hidden cover, and how figures can perform inside that cover, using different types of screens.

When several tree screens are placed close together (about 7.5 cm apart and slightly overlapping ) to form a row of dense cover, a unit of figures reaching that cover may remain unsighted for 1 move only, and then they must leave that cover.

When the tree screens are used singly in a forest setting, a unit of figures reachng that cover may remain unsighted for 1 move only, and then they must leave that cover.

When the smaller screen models are used on their own or as an isolated feature, a unit of figures must pass straight through to the other side without stopping: that is, they must move away from the screen on the screen on the next turn.

When leaving or passing through the screens, players can follow these suggestions regarding the use of tokens:

  1. When leaving a screen, a player may exchange 1 unit figure for up to 3 coloured tokens comprising 1 marked token and 2 blank dummy tokens indicating the hidden unit at full strength.

  2. These tokens can be moved simultaneously in various directions to deceive any rival units within that area, for up to 2 moves.  

  3. In the picture below, we have only shown 2 dummy markers against the side of the distant screen model to indicate where the hidden figure might be.  The blue figure has only moved once before its position is revealed, while the khaki figure has made 2 hidden moves before it has been revealed.  

  4. In an actual game, only 1 of these markers might be used to hide the actual movement of a figure, representing a unit of perhaps 4 figures.



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Escaping through the screens:

Soldiers can disappear safely into the protective cover of the screens by touching the sides or edges of the models.

If a unit is pursued into a screen by a hostile force, it can be detected by an enemy unit by rolling 1 die and geting a score of 6 (1D6, or 1 x 6 sided die).  The pursued unit must then leave the screen to make its escape.

The detected unit can make a desperate run by rolling 2D6 and adding 7.5 cm.


Shooting from screens and markers:

Taking the likely deflection of fired arrows or musket balls by undergrowth (small trees and bushes under larger trees) into account, shooting can only be effective at a close and murderous range of, say, up to 15 cm.  In colonial North America, it was recognised that 'almost reaching distance' had the most lethal effect in bush fighting.  

The tree markers are ideal for skirmish battles, with their apertures for shooting through, and their thick trunks to shoot from behind.



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To get your imagination working on how you can have fun with our forest tree sets and toy soldiers, as well as your own collection of figures and other game accessories, see our information on wilderness battle tactics and adventure story titles (fact and fiction) that are well written and many of which will have great illustrations in them (e.g. the illustrated histories by Osprey Publishing).