How to bring digital battle maps to the table
Recently, we showed in a Youtube Video how we built a TV case for displaying battle maps. Previously, we played with a ceiling-mounted projector for years - why make the switch now? And is it final or are we going back to the projector solution?
Let’s start with the obvious solution: Almost everyone has a TV and in some basement, attic or guest room there might still be a barely used device lying dormant. Without much effort, you can usually unscrew the feet and lay the device flat on the table. Make sure that the ventilation slots are not covered, otherwise the fun can be over quickly. As a quick and dirty solution, you could simply place a few wooden blocks or beer coasters underneath and this also compensate for a possibly uneven underside of the TV. A more stable solution would be to build a TV case from a few boards, or with a little more effort a whole gaming table!
Let’s move on to the projector: Most people won’t have one lying around, and with a passable brightness, resolution and size, it doesn’t come cheap. We had two quite small projectors in use - first a low-cost model, which unfortunately left something to be desired in terms of resolution and brightness. Later we supported the Philips PicoPic Max on IndieGogo and used this device since then. It was much brighter and could deliver 1080p resolution.
What was also important with that device was that it had a 1/4" thread on the bottom. This allows us to mount it securely with an inexpensive ceiling mount and align it precisely with the ball head.
Ceiling height also plays a role - it needs to be high enough so that the map being displayed is large enough, but not too large either. A projector with adjustable image size is helpful when in doubt - in our case it works very well without. Speaking of image size - depending on the suspension, the image may still have to be adjusted via the keystone function - which can cost quite a bit of space.
Also, a plain white tablecloth is recommended to maximize light output. You can find out which surface is best for the projector solution in our YouTube video. Write one or two paragraphs describing your product or services. To be successful your content needs to be useful to your readers.The last point is that everything possible has the property to go on the Battlemap. Pencils, character sheets, dice, snacks… there’s just no noticeable limit!
A projector, of course, has the potential to project massive maps! On a high ceiling directly on the floor - without a table - you could already play a massive Warhammer 40k battle! To do that with a really big TV would probably be really expensive and impractical as hell.
So, like so many things, it’s a matter of taste and a question of the space available and your own budget. Both solutions are certainly fun to play!
- by Nina