The Blade That Cut the Ring

You just finished the best game of your life and you have to let the world know just how cool it was! Post your report here with all the glorious details.

The Blade That Cut the Ring

Postby Midloo » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:24 am

Hey guys. I'm always really impressed with the SBG events you guys organize. I wanted to share some of my efforts with you.

SBG is one of my favorite systems and I've wanted to get some good terrain done for it. A recently finished Mordor board took its first run on Saturday. Unforunately, I didn't have my camera on hand this weekend, but a friend took a few pics that give you the flavor of it. We played outdoors and it was very sunny, so some of the shots get a bit washed out.

There's a detailed battle report and some pics here

Thanks for checking it out!
Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? Where is your blog? Visit Midloo!
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Postby BrentS » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:04 am

Awesome! Thanks for sharing this here as well.
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Postby BostonNazgul » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:06 am

nice board, glad to see your have got some sbg followers. If you were looking to keep with the scenario side, I really like the amon hen one with the broken fellowship battling uruk hai.
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Postby Amdur » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:20 am

Very nice!!

I'd love to know some details on how you made your board, if you care to share the construction process! :)

Thanks for sharing! :)

-Tim S.
Wheels within wheels in a spiral array, a pattern so grand and complex.
Time after time we lose sight of the way, our causes can't see their effects.
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Postby Midloo » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:34 pm

Thanks for the comments, all!

Tim - It's a pretty simple board really, but it's very convincing visually and was a blast to play on because of all the tactical possibilities.

I wanted the board to be modular and fit in my 4'x8' table that I built based on the 'Drunk Dwarves Ultimate Gaming Table' (please do a google search if you like - my place of work blocks the site!). I started by cutting down a 4'x8' sheet of plywood into four 2'x4' pieces. I then did the same thing with a 4'x8' sheet of 2" thick high density foambard (pink or blue stuff).

My idea was to build 3 sections (4'x6') so that this table could do double-duty with WHF since so many in my group enjoy it. I drew out a plan that would line up the lava flows so that the sections could be swapped around for different board layouts. I used to work as an environmental artist in a video game studio so doing 'repeated tiling' work like this is unfortunately like second nature ;)

Those flow layouts were drawn out on the foam board and then the land pieces were cut out and glued to the plywood, leaving about a 1/4 - 2" wide space of plywood in some areas of the channel. Locite just started producing this awesome adhesive made specifically to glue high density foam to other surfaces. It's made for a caulk gun and I found it locally at Menards - it's great stuff and I highly recommend picking some up as I've used it for other terrain projects since. It bonds very strongly in a 1/2 hour.

The exposed sides of the foamboard in the channels was then sculpted with a strong set of clay tools that I have, but you could also just spray paint the sides and get a similar effect. In either case, you end up with some pockmarked, but relatively jagged surfaces, so I went back over them with a couple of layers of thinned down plaster. The plaster was also spread all over the exposed parts of plywood and it really worked to give the illusion of flowing rock. I also took some time to cut crags and rough sections into the top edge of the slopes leading down into the lava flows.

The whole board was painted with black housepaint. I wanted the lava to stand in stark relief to the rock above, so I painted an undercoat of white where the lava would be. It worked really well. After layering on the yellows, oranges, and reds, the lava really pops and almost glows even though recessed into the rock. It's an effect that actually looks better in the lower-light of our usual gamespaces.

I then tried to add some visual interest to the top of the board by laying down patches of slightly different greys, browns, and greens. It gives the top surface some variation that looks pretty good. The whole thing was then drybrushed with a light gray.

With the extra foamboard from cutting out the channels, I made the cliffs that you see Sauron and the Fellbeasts standing on in the pictures about the battle report. They were functional, but were not 'beautified' before the game on Saturday. They'll get a lot of the same treatment that the base board did.

I'm really happy with the project overall and am looking forward to adding more modular terrain and dolling it up more and more.
Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? Where is your blog? Visit Midloo!
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Postby Gartl » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:39 pm

Nice report and great table. Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun!
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