15mm Terrain Unboxing Review: Flames of War Battlefield in a Box – Ruined Desert Houses (Gale Force Nine BB230)

15mm Terrain Unboxing Review: Flames of War Battlefield in a Box - Ruined Desert Houses (Gale Force Nine BB230) 1/100, 1:100 Wargaming Terrain

As regular readers will know, I’ve been putting most of my recent hobby focus towards painting a pair of forces for the Western Desert theatre of WWII – While I was in the early stages of doing so, Marouda and I had a game of TANKS! since the last time we played it we enjoyed it as a simple, quick low-stakes game with a few models. So we did so again.

While the game was definitely a fun time, it really did emphasise the need for some “real” terrain to go alongside the actual Tanks I’d been painting and working on. The trouble here is that I don’t (or rather – didn’t) own any 15mm terrain – and while I do have some “28mm” stuff that is generic enough to pass in 15mm, what I do have isn’t really desert themed, so it was going to be rough to have a table approaching what I felt that the models I was turning out deserved. So what to do? While I don’t mind scratchbuilding terrain, our time really is a Zero Sum game, and so after looking around at the options (I don’t have an FDM printer – I may  get one later, but I don’t have one now), I bit my tongue and decided to go for some of Gale Force Nine’s (Battlefront’s sister company) range of prebuilt, prepainted, ready to go stuff – the Battlefield in a Box range. I’ve got a few of their larger pieces for my 40k/Fantasy-themed games and they’re pretty decent pieces, and so while these suckers aren’t cheap, I felt the trade-off would be worthwhile to be able to, you know, just play without needing to build, paint, print, assemble anything. The one main drawback I found was that there are really very few reviews of these things out there on the interwebs, and so I thought I’d also take some pics and write up my thoughts on these as I go about unboxing and checking them out myself.

15mm Terrain Unboxing Review: Flames of War Battlefield in a Box - Ruined Desert Houses (Gale Force Nine BB230) 1/100, 1:100 Wargaming Terrain

After getting through the shrinkwrap, the three pieces in this set were wrapped in a pretty simple and straightforward way in some bubble wrap.

15mm Terrain Unboxing Review: Flames of War Battlefield in a Box - Ruined Desert Houses (Gale Force Nine BB230) 1/100, 1:100 Wargaming Terrain

After unwrapping, I found that the flat roofs were packed into the small ruined buildings upside down. All the pieces are made from a hard resin of some sort. I’m not sure how fragile they might be, as I’ve got no intention of doing a drop test, but they certainly seem hardy enough for tabletop gamer use. 🙂

15mm Terrain Unboxing Review: Flames of War Battlefield in a Box - Ruined Desert Houses (Gale Force Nine BB230) 1/100, 1:100 Wargaming Terrain

All three buildings are decently, though extremely simply detailed for what they are. The building interiors have windows and doors sculpted in corresponding places to the exteriors, though they’re entirely painted black. The pieces are all textured in a simple coat of rough, textured paint that has been given a simple drybrush. There’s a small amount of variation in the finish between the pieces, which makes sense as they’re clearly the products of a prodution line – though it’s not something that bothered me.

15mm Terrain Unboxing Review: Flames of War Battlefield in a Box - Ruined Desert Houses (Gale Force Nine BB230) 1/100, 1:100 Wargaming Terrain

As you can see, the three terrain pieces in this set are very much designed to be game pieces first, so they all comfortably fit a Flames of War infantry stand, and the ruined building could theoretically fit a smaller artillery piece inside.

Given the intent of this review, which is to provide some images and simple thoughts on a set that I was unable to find any information on online aside from box pics, I’m not going to “score” the set. I purchased them myself from an online retailer and they’re not exactly cheap, even compared to GW’s plastic offerings. For those with the time and inclination to scratchbuild or 3D print something, I have no doubt that you’re going to be able to create something better than this. I imagine Sarissa et al also have MDF kits of Adobe buildings that also look far better than these pieces. I’m personally happy with them, though – the no effort required, “open and play” nature of these for me really wins out, and that convenience is where the premium price for these comes from, as opposed to fine detail or sculpt quality.

With a small amount of effort, these could be made to look a lot better as well, but the nice thing is doing so isn’t needed to get them onto the table for a decent looking game.

I’ve got a few more of these to write and post up. While I could combine them into one long post, I’m doing them individually so people who are in the same situation I was in a little while ago (and still am when I look at other sets from BFiaB!) can more easily find these to check out.