Saturday, 14 September 2019

Handicrafts: felt ocean and islands for pirate battles

If you're running a piracy campaign, you'll need rules for naval combat - and a battlemap to go with them. A quick trip to the local fabric shop gave me enough felt to make layers of deep ocean, shallows, sandy beaches, jungle and rocky cliffs. Wooden boats from

Interestingly, this has the same colour palette as Skerples' pirate maps - which I've been redrawing in a more parchmenty style.

Quick and dirty, sure - but on the plus side it's light weight, easy to fold and transport, and stacking layers of felt gives a nice height map effect. The base ocean layer is 76x76 cm and has 4x4 cm squares drawn with a ruler and black marker pen. Large enough to fit a couple of boats into the same square for boarding actions!

Going forward, I'll probably make more smaller islands rather than a few larger ones. Easier to recombine (for instance, into an atol!)

Rocky islands like the one above were a blast to make. Cut anthracite felt with traight edges and sharp corners, layer on top of each other with glue and add some red felt for lava streams and green for scant forest. (Green flet is thicker than the red and anthracite - may need to shave a bit of height off, it looks wonky in close-up.)


  1. Kaptain Kobold from "The Stronghold Rebuilt"-Blog uses something similar for wargaming maps.
    I recommend taking a look, if you don't know it.

  2. Cool, thanks for the tip! I didn't know about that blog, will check it out.