Wednesday, December 16, 2009

40k Terrain - Modular layout

While I know using 24"x24" table 'tiles' increases the number of joints (and therefore helps in guessing ranges/distances), I still think they have merit due to their flexibility. The discussion over at Strictly Average inspired me to post some of my past terrain thoughts (which are now on hold, due to the Waaaagh!)

The idea: Instead of flat 24x24 modules, build simple 5-sided boxes so that the main playing surface is elevated. This gives you the freedom to go both above 'grade' and below.
Also, while I like the idea of modular hills, I don't think I'll include them in the table tiles. Done separately from the table, the hills would be more flexible and could hide the table joints/measuring aides.

See part 2 of this modular table idea here.

See how to make the buildings here.


Herr Fernseher said...

This looks like the tile game Carcassonne. And cool. Another way to hide joints would be to have irregular shaped "patches" to lay ontop of your boxes. Basically a colored, opaque, clothlike material with virtually no thickness and maybe texture(sprigs of grass,flocking, etc.) added. Obvious a few of these, in addition to disrupting guessing aides, could create the vibe of the tundra, savannah, lava bed, and so on.

Brent said...

OMG - that is a great, great idea!

We've got to do it - genius, genius...

You can set up the boxes to store the pieces, yes? I mean the ones that aren't ravines and trenches.

We are so building this. We can showcase it on the new website I'm building.

I mean, if you're okay with that...

(I'll steal it either way!)

SAJ said...

Oh yeah, Matt, once again my thinking had become very uptight, man. That would be a good idea to work in some random rubble, not necessarily difficult terrain, just a little texture. And I really like the idea of using those pieces to push the table one way or you said, the same table tiles could look like a jungle or a barren, rocky wasteland.

Thanks Brent, obviously I can't take credit for the idea, as I'm sure I've seen similar tables on other sites. I do, however, have the software to present it in a different way.
Yeah, I'm thinking that since the playing surface will be flat, each 'tile-box' could be stacked, with the voids housing and protecting other pieces, especially fragile pieces like trees or anything made of foam.
Exciting news about the website, feel free to pass along anything worth passing.

Herr Fernseher said...

Yeah, Dude, a few rugs could really tie the boxes together...

Gauthic said...

Holy cow I'm put to shame now (again).... what is that? An Autocad or SolidWorks render? *sigh* I guess it's time for me to break out my copy of Lightwave for future diagrams and illustrations just to keep up with the Joneses

Great more work for me, Simon ;)


Gauthic said...

Also, a 2'x2' module isn't bad--that's the same size that the GW table is. 1'x1' would be a bit too flexible and easy to guess ranges.

Herr Fernseher said...

Actually, it's keeping up with the JAMESES. :D

Simon, was it Sketch-up or 3d Modler that has a good shareware/trial version? Now that my class is over, I may take a stab at working up some terrain. (Eldar architecture is easier to sculpt than draw for me.)

Gauthic, if you've got Lightwave, we should shoot some stills of our models and animate a battle report--no more pesky crotch shots!

Hell, now that I think about it, I'm sure someone's cracked Dawn of War for the frames and skins already...

SAJ said...

Haha, no need for shame, Jeff. Once you find out how easy the software makes things, you'll see that I didn't do much.

It's just Google SketchUp, and yeah Matt, it's free. While there is a Pro version, the free version is capable of producing what I'm showing here. It's great software...robust, intuitive, lot of options, lot's of support, shared content, free plugins (and free is nice too).

It's a nice way to quickly build something virtually, and also produce an appealing rendering.

Gauthic said...

I *thought* it had a Sketchup feel, but I wasn't going to insult your profession just in case you're a drafter ;)

I've not messed with Sketchup at all--although from what I've read it's VERY nice at building structures (much quicker/easier than a GP modeler, such as Lightwave).

I might DL it and fiddle with it.

Herr Fernseher said...

You know what? I keep looking at this last picture--I really wanna play on that table!

Brent said...

I was thinking we could use magnets to make sure they hold together.

When are we going to start on this guys?

PS Simon, did you beat ol'Dale?


SAJ said...

I’m cool with starting whenever. Well, I guess starting in January is the earliest feasible time. I have some ideas about joining the tiles I didn’t get into last post…maybe I’ll cook up another post to illustrate. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get my table saw out of the crate and set up soon. That will greatly increase the speed and precision of the project.

I got the Ork goodies from Dale, many thanks. Cool stuff and very useful. Unfortunately, I did not beat Dale. I think even he would agree that had I not made so many rookie mistakes, it might have had a different outcome. It was so bad that he had to ask on more than one occasion “Why did you do that?” I would then have to admit that I wasn’t sure why I had done it (maybe there’s an article idea for you: always have a reason). My mistakes ranged from objective placement all the way to forgetting to utilize Mob Rule and Waaagh! I’m in danger of having my Warboss status removed.

Anonymous said...

Great idea, think I'll be giving this a go...

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