Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dungeons Deep and Caverns Old

Greetings fellow gamers, hobby goers, and plain 'ol terrain enthusiasts.

My brothers'-in-arms (and vicious enemies) from TMAT invited me to write a post about the new terrain board I have just finished but before I do, let me give you a little bit of background.

I have been involved in GW's LOTR Battle Strategy Game for almost two years now and am in possession of a rather large Moria an Angmar alliance army (Angmoria) that some of you may have seen in the past on this blog. I will admit, that an army stalk full of greenskins was not the kind of army I would have envisioned myself playing as, but upon closer inspection of the lists (and a steal off ebay), I have been completely convinced of the solid force that an Angmar and Moria alliance can conjure up... In short: I love Angmoria.
The terrain board that I have constructed is themed, mainly, after the outskirts of the homeland of these squalling, green ticks.

In the planning phase, I knew that I didn't want the board to be strictly an 'underground' board as there are quite a few of those around. And I would've gotten bored making it. So I decided to go with something kind of half&half... Half the board would be 'under' the mountainside, the other, on the slopes outside with Roaring Pines and flowing grass and all that jazz.

There she is... ah...

As you can probably see... There's not a lot of 'slope' going on on this thing. But that's what your imagination is for. Just pretend that the rolling hills are... well... rolling. Hmmm... While your at it, why don't you just pretend I made a seriously awesome Barad-Dur that's six feet tall!.. And Osgiliath! Yeah! An Osgiliath map that's, like, the size of a ping pong table!... * Sigh *... Maybe next time...

-Back to reality-
The board dimensions are (approximately) 4' by 4'. It was constructed on two wood sections of 2' by 4' . I did it this way, instead of the usual four 2' by 2' sections that you'll see a lot of people do, mostly because I knew I wanted the mountain to cut right down the center of both halves. I just liked the concept.

As a result of the board only being in two pieces, you lose a lot of the ability to 'change up' the landscape. I worked around this dilemma by making (almost) all of the 'landscape' parts modeled, rather than molding them into the board itself.

This also give's me the ability to use as much or as little terrain as I feel like for whatever game I'm playing.
It doesn't stop there! If there's ever a time when we have several tables that need to be 'terrained' (such as a TMAT tournament, or a random 'game day'), there will, more than likely, be left-over pieces that can be used on other tables, thus increasing the diversity of this board with all of its separate modeled terrain.

Now might be a good time to point out that on the two woodland covered hills, I have installed tiny modelling magnets  in the bases of the hills to negate the need to glue the trees down.

This feature allows these trees to be removable, leaving just a bare hill (with holes, granted, but nobody's perfect). Nifty, huh?

So there you have it! A modular game board themed after Angmoria, the outermost lands of the Dark Lord's reach and... grass... with trees... 

Oh, and for those of you who don't already know: I love wargs too. So I made them a lair.

In closing, I want to say: I am not writing this post just to show off the cool thing I just made. Though that may be part of why, I am displaying this to anyone who is interested for the primary purpose of inspiring them to get their own imagination pumping with wild ideas for creative projects of their own. Something as specific as Edoras or Cair Andros (or their respective equivalents in any other table-top game) does not have to be what you're going for (though I would be the last person to discourage such an endeavor). You could just build a grassy plain for the Men of the West, or a desert land for Harad. There is no end to your options. You wanna be overwhelmed? Just think about that for a few more seconds. It took a lot of time, sure, but the feeling of completion is well worth the effort. (The feeling of playing on a board, that you labored on, just gets extra points)

To further show how you can make something that looks good, is rather inexpensive, and is easy to make, I am planning on writing a follow-up post on the basic techniques I used building this landscape and its add-on's. So as the the saying goes, "Stay tuned".

I am very interested in what anyone and everyone reading this thinks and I want to encourage you to post comments.


1 comment:

  1. Cool stuff there bro. I'm looking forward to many epic games on this board!