Power Armor

Power Armor
Khurasan power armor infantry with conversions

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Playtesting with PowerPoint

After reading an interesting post on The Miniatures Page, I decided to try and create my own PowerPoint playtest. The idea is to create a slide in P.P. and use it as your map, with images that you can drag around to serve as your units. You can keep notes all in the same frame, too. The screenshot below is of a playtest for an Okinawa game for a scenario pack I'm putting together for A Sergeant's War. Some more after the bump.

I had never thought of doing this until reading a post on TMP. It was easy to put together and unlike Word or other programs, it's a breeze to move the units around (the little color markers you see on the map above). 

The blue counters are American units (squares are BAR sections; triangles, flamethrowers; pentagons, bazookas).  The red units are Japanese (various bunkers and rifle sections).  The big orange shapes are rulers, for 8" or 4" (the two main measurements encountered in A Sergeant's War). I went for a very simple, quick map done up in Paint, just showing elevations and areas of brush. I superimposed the grid on the map as well; each square is 1" on the PP slide and 6" of "ground scale" in my game.


  1. Nice, glad I could inspire you! Let me know if I can be of help.

    1. Thank you for posting your game---I had never thought of this before. Is there a trick to making background pics fit the board in a way that you specifically want them to? I tried with a space background, with a picture in portrait rather than landscape orientation, and it resulted in a background that was all zoomed in on one part of the pic.

    2. It was a lot of trial and error. Of course, it depends on the picture you're using. I often insert a screenshot from Google Earth for my games (PowerPoint has a screenshot insert feature). Then I save that slide as a BMP file and use that as the background for a new slide. That way I can't select the map as I'm playing, which makes things much easier.

      Sometimes I do use an image file, such as a video game map. In that case I do it in a similar way, by sizing the image the way I want it on a slide, saving the slide as a BMP file, and then using that as the background for a new slide.

      Hope that helps!