+ inload: Worldbuilding: Board, board, board +

+ inload: Board, board, board +

+ The table on which you play can add a lot to the atmosphere, to the tactical challenge, and thus to the enjoyment of a game. As I get older and have more time, skill and – perhaps most importantly – interest in terrain-making, I'm enjoying building and painting the worlds in which our figures fight more and more. I've banged on about it before [+noospheric link embedded+].+

A generic grassy plain I built from board, foam and towelling (and staples).

+ Concept +

+ I've had some ideas bubbling under for a skirmishy urban board for years now; with the idea that I could get a dense multi-level board with the feeling of a sort of distressed Victorian slum built over a near-future city. +

+ The image I want is one of distress rather than damage. Cepeheus – the planet I had in mind when thinking about this board, and the one which it will mostly be used to represent – is poor and deprived, but not broken. I want the sense that the inhabitants are making the best of what they have → but they live in a decaying culture, and are simply incapable of maintaining the older buildings. In this case, I want to invert expectations, so the older buildings are far more modern-looking to our eyes. Rather than gleaming glass and concrete springing up from brick terraces as in most UK cities, it'll be a case of brick terraces being built to shore up crumbling marble and glass. + 

+ Practicality +

+ I've already got the buildings sorted [+noospheric link embedded+] +

+ ...and a while back I ordered a load of MDF boards cut to shape so I could give the buildings bases – intended to create the impression of a surrounding pediment and pavement. These are multi-level, which I hope will create detail and realism. I'll get some shots of these for a later inload, as there's some bits I'd like to point out that I found interesting. +

+ The one thing I was missing was the board – a fairly critical part! A lucky find in a disused corner of the warehouse mezzanine at work revealed this desktop, which will form the basis of the board. It had lurked there since the previous owners (a printing company) had gone out of business, so it was a bit mucky. I used a spray bottle with a mix of vinegar and water to give it a good wash and a scrub (the vinegar kills any moulds, and the smell dissipates fairly quickly – though do leave it outside until it's dry). +

+ Plans +

+ The dimensions here show the basic structure: two large 'plates' which can act as building pediments, market squares, coal tips etc., a t-shaped road/river (or simple part of a larger paved area), and a border. It's obviously quite a small playing area, but I'm hoping the height and building density should help with that. +

+ Last night I used some filler to go over the holes and create a flat surface on the 'plates' on the board, and began putting the buildings on to the bases. +


  1. I would recommend seeking out Engel's description of the Manchester slums, it's wonderfully vivid description of an ancient seeming slum, hidden from the upper and middle classes, but exposed by the new infrastructure that was being run through Manchester at the time. Here's a fun sample I copied a while back - "t is a narrow, coal-stinking river full of filth and rubbish which it deposits the more low-lying right bank. In dry weather this bank presents the spectacle of a series of the most revolting blackish-green puddles of slime from the depths of which bubbles of miasmatic gases constantly rise and create a stench which is unbearable even to those standing on the bridge forty or fifty above the level of the water. Moreover, the flow of the river is continually interrupted by numerous high weirs, behind which large quantities of slime and refuse collect and putrefy."

  2. Looking forward to seeing what comes of this.

    I am a huge fan of your work and actually made an attempt to the same sort of dynamic posing you do on my own blog (http://gamestepping.blogspot.ie/2015/09/warhammer-40k-fallen-angels-1-rise.html). Really a long way to go yet though.

  3. Really looking forward to watching this progress, the two different levels sounds like a really great idea!


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