How to Make a D&D Battle Grid

Written by larry simmons
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How to Make a D&D Battle Grid
Create a playable gaming field for your AD&D; battles with the proper scale and a magnetic background. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

With each successive edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons released the importance of tactical combat rises. Positioning of the players and their opponents are vital considerations in the outcome of any battle conducted. The rules call for these battles to take place on a battle grid consisting of one-inch squares, with each square representing 10 feet of space. While a piece of grid paper could work, creating your own magnetic battle board expands your combat options, allowing you to use magnet backed miniatures and terrain as part of your battle. This further increases the tactical aspects of combat, adding a layer of immersion to the game in the process.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Melamine Board
  • Table Saw
  • Fine Grit Sandpaper
  • Tack Cloth
  • Latex Magnetic Primer
  • Paint Roller
  • White Latex Paint
  • Clear Adhesive Spray
  • Plastic Grid with one-inch Squares
  • Scissors
  • Wallpaper Roller
  • Flashing

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  1. 1

    Use a table saw to cut the melamine board into a three-by-three foot panel. Sand the edges of the board with fine grit sandpaper to remove any roughness.

  2. 2

    Sand the surface of the board with the sandpaper to remove the glossy finish and create a series of small scratches that serve as texture for the board's paint. Wipe the sanded board with a tack cloth to clear any sanding residue.

  3. 3

    Cover the sanded surface of the melamine with a latex magnetic primer. Roll the primer in place using a paint roller and two or three light layers to build up a solid coat. Allow the primer four hours drying time after application.

  4. 4

    Cover the primer with white latex paint. Roll the paint in place as you did the primer, using just enough to conceal the primer. Allow the paint 48 hours drying time.

  5. 5

    Cut a sheet of printed clear plastic graph paper with one-inch squares, to the same three-by-three foot size as your panel using a pair of sharp scissors.

  6. 6

    Lightly go over the painted surface with the sandpaper to remove any imperfections, glossy finish and to create a slight texture. Wipe with the tack cloth to remove residue.

  7. 7

    Spray a clear adhesive over the painted surface then press the plastic graph paper onto the melamine board. Go over the plastic with a hard wallpaper roller, working from the centre of the plastic to the outer edges to remove any air bubbles and smooth the plastic into place. Allow the glue to set for one hour.

  8. 8

    Trim the edges of the board by gluing on a strip of plastic or metal flashing to cover the cut edges and create a nicely finished look.

Tips and warnings

  • Print terrain objects, such as bushes, threes or buildings to scale on magnetic backed paper for placement onto your grid.

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