Playing around with Cyberboard

In the odd free hour or two I have had away from the gardening I have been doing, I have been playing around with Cyberboard. I decided to produce some more terrain tiles for my Cyberboard maps, and after some considerable thought I decided that I wanted to produce map icons that were more pictorial and less topographical in style.

So far I have created:

  • Fortresses (three types: Medieval-style, Vauban-style, and Desert-style)
  • Hills
  • Hills with Trees
  • Mountains
  • Towns and villages: Mediterranean (two alternatives)
  • Towns and villages: North European (two alternatives)
  • Trees (deciduous, pine, and palm)

The results are shown below:

I know that they will not be to everyone’s taste, but they do show what can be achieved with a little time and patience.

Some experiments with Cyberboard

My Cyberboard learning curve continues to steepen, and I have begun to produce different versions of some of the terrain tiles I had created. As a result I can produce a somewhat more varied number of maps than before, and I have decided to conduct a few ‘experiments’ whenever I have the time and the inclination.

Today’s ‘experiment’ was to create three versions of the same map, firstly to represent an arid/desert terrain, …

… then as a verdant terrain, …

… and finally as a verdant terrain where the trees are coniferous and the mountains look more grey and forbidding.

I am quite pleased with the results, and hope to continue my ‘experiments’ whenever I have a spare moment or two.

The Battle of Novagrad (My Featherstone Memorial Wargame)

The following is a battle report of my Featherstone Memorial Wargame. It was fought using the latest version of RED FLAGS AND IRON CROSSES – TARRED AND FEATHERSTONED, a set of wargames rules that were inspired by the early rules written by Lionel Tarr and Donald Featherstone.

I designed the battlefield using Cyberboard

… and set it up using my Hexon II terrain.

The opposing forces were the Germans (who are advancing) …

… and the Russians (who are defending).

The Russians have been tasked with holding Novagrad ‘to the last man and the last bullet!’ and are heeding Comrade Stalin’s order ‘Not one step back!’, knowing that to do so will probably mean death to those that retreat … and to their families as well.

The battle began when the Germans began their advance through the village of Mayalova …

and on towards Novagrad.

At this point the Russian anti-tank unit fired at the leading German tank unit … and missed!

The Russian field gun unit (whose fire was being directed by the troops in the forward defences) also opened fire on the leading tank …

… and destroyed it!

The Germans reacted by turning off the road and attacking the nearby Russian defences …

.. with quite devastating results.

The Russian anti-tank unit could not engage the leading German tank as it was outside its arc-of-fire, but the Russian field gun unit did fire at it … and missed!

The Germans then split their attack in two. Whilst the tanks and half the infantry moved forward on the left, the rest began to advance on the left of the road.

The leading German tank unit moved into close range and engaged the Russian infantry …

… and caused further casualties.

On the right the German heavy machine gun unit (which had not moved) fired at the Russian troops who were manning the nearby defences …

… and despite the fact that it was firing at long range, it wiped them out!

The Russian response was to move two of its infantry units forward.

The Germans maintained their advance and on the left …

… they overran the Russian defences, killing the remaining defenders in the process.

The Russians response was to open fire on the leading German tank unit with both their anti-tank gun and field gun … and missed!

The German advance continued inexorably …

… and the sound of the tank engines was soon joined by that of a Ju87 Stuka!

The leading German tank unit engaged the Russian field gun unit …

… and killed half of the unit’s personnel.

At the same time the German heavy machine gun unit that was to the left of the road engaged the Russian anti-tank gun unit at long range …

… and wiped out the unit’s soldiers.

On the right a firefight took place between the advancing German infantry and the Russian infantry occupying the defences.

Both sides suffered casualties as a result of this firefight …

… and when the right-hand German heavy machine gun joined in the fighting …

… the Russian defenders were wiped out.

The Stuka flew straight towards Novagrad, diving down as it did …

… and wiping out the remaining personnel of the Russian field gun unit.

The remaining Russian troops charged forward to engage the Germans …

… but they were wiped out in the subsequent fighting. Novagrad was in German hands … but their victory had come at a price.

Drafting the map for my Featherstone Memorial wargame

I had hoped to fight my Featherstone Memorial wargame today … but circumstances conspired to prevent me from doing so. I did, however, manage to use Cyberboard to begin designing the hexed battlefield I intend to use.

I created a new Cyberboard GameBox and set the size of the battlefield grid as 12 columns of hexes x 8 rows of hexes. (This equates to 16 standard Hexon II 6-hex tiles, giving a total of 96 hexes.) I then used my newly-acquired ‘skills’ to design terrain tiles for:

  • Hills
  • Trees (including evergreen and deciduous trees)
  • Trees on Hills
  • Built-up Areas

Once that was done I began placing examples of these tiles on my battlefield grid. The resulting battlefield map looked like this:

I have yet to add other details such as roads and place names, but this should not take me too long … and then I can begin converting the map into a tabletop terrain for my wargame.

Cyberboard: I feel that I am making progress!

Yesterday I made significant progress with learning the basics of how to use the Cyberboard Design program. In fact, I managed to go from this …

… to this, …

… and then to this.

I am rather pleased with the progress I have made, and I have used what I learned to write three short guides. These are:

They are all available in PDF format and can be downloaded for personal use.

Cyberboard: Making some more progress

Over the past few days when I have not been gardening or listening to Test Match Special on the radio, I have been making more progress with Cyberboard.

Having mastered the basic tools that allowed me to produce a hex gridded map based on an existing map, I have been learning how to produce tiles. These can be used to add more specific details to a map (e.g. symbols that indicate swamp/marsh and palm trees).

The map before the swamp/mash and palm tree tiles had been added …

… and after the swamp/marsh and palm tree tiles had been added.

I intend to write a guide that explains how I produced my tiles, and once I have had it checked over I will be making it available as a downloadable PDF.

Cyberboard guide relocated

As I am likely to write at least one more simple guide for Cyberboard users, I have decided to move my CREATING A SIMPLE HEXED GRID MAP USING CYBERBOARD to a new location. As a result CREATING A SIMPLE HEXED GRID MAP USING CYBERBOARD can now be downloaded here.


I had fully expected to have started a colonial campaign by now … but outside events have diverted me from my projected course of action.

Firstly I am still getting to grips with Cyberboard. As I want to create my campaign map using the Cyberboard Design program, I need to spend a bit more time learning how to use all the program’s main functions before I can draw the map.

Secondly I spent last Saturday taking part in a Megablitz battle set in France in 1940 … and that rekindled my interest in operational-level wargaming, with the result that I have spent some time thinking about how I could modify Megablitz to work on hexes.

Thirdly my toy/wargames room needed to be tidied up … and I managed to complete most of that on Monday.

Fourthly the spell of recent good weather has presented me the opportunity to do some much needed work in our garden. Over the years the action of rainwater running downhill had caused erosion of the right-hand side of our lawn, and the installation of wooden lawn edging should ensure that this prevents the problem recurring.

Finally our old cat – Big Boy – died yesterday. He had been suffering from major problems with his thyroid for sometime and had been on a course of tablets to help him cope with the effects. He also had to have blood samples taken from the thyroid every couple of months, and this had to be done under anaesthetic. It was during such a procedure that he suffered a heart attack and died.

I hope to get back on track over the next week or so … but who knows what will divert me from my plans in the meantime?

Cyberboard: A guide on how to create a simple hexed grid map using Cyberboard

Back in what my wife Sue refers to as ‘eighteen hundred and frozen stiff‘ (i.e. years ago), I used to teach students how to use Microsoft applications such as Word, Excel, Access, and Publisher. The problem was that most of them thought that they knew better than I did … with the usual result that they came a cropper and would then ask for help. When this had been given and the problem had been sorted out, they might even grudgingly acknowledge that I knew what I was talking about.

One of the problems was that there were very few step-by-step guides about how to do even the most basic tasks, and over time I developed a number of these myself. These were very image heavy, working on the principle that if the student followed the instruction properly, what appeared on their screen looked just like the example in the guide.

Cyberboard does not come with any tutorial material, and I soon realised that some sort of beginner’s guide was needed … so I wrote one that is entitled CREATING A SIMPLE HEXED GRID MAP USING CYBERBOARD. It has been checked over by Conrad Kinch, David Crook, and Ross Macfarlane, and thanks to their feedback I have made several improvements.

I have therefore decided to make this guide available to anyone who wants to get to grips with the Cyberboard design program. Be warned, however: the guide does not explain how to do everything as it is intended to a beginner’s guide. As and when I manage to expand my knowledge of how to use the program, I will try to produce other guides for potential users.

CREATING A SIMPLE HEXED GRID MAP USING CYBERBOARD can be downloaded here. If you find it useful, please let me know.

Cyberboard: Making some progress

I have been persevering with my attempts to master the Cyberboard Design program … and I have made some progress.

I decided that trying to make a big campaign map for my first attempt had been – to put it bluntly – overambitious, so for my second attempt I decided to attempt something all together much smaller. When I first started my Colonial Wargames website I created a number of maps that I had intended to use for campaigns and possible scenarios, and I chose to convert one of these (a map showing the Tifooti River estuary and Raffia Island) using Cyberboard.

The original map looked like this:

My first attempt (which used quite large hexes) looked like this:

I thought that this was acceptable … but that I could do better … so I repeated the exercise using smaller hexes and the result looked like this:

I am much more satisfied with my second attempt, and this has encouraged me to persist with my efforts.