Saturday, November 9, 2019

Terrain boards, Cons, & the future

         As I search and pull terrain from storage, I have noticed about 25% is in need of repairs and unserviceable. Unserviceable being that there is some shame in the state they are in. The other issue being I have a ton of things. Some never see play time. Most only come out for Cons. I need to design a manageable lot and system for Con terrain.

The History

          The GW battle boards were first. No that is not right. First was foam insulation in 2x4 playing 40K in Waltham. Then came Geo-Hex for Historics, RF&F. At that moment I did not have a proper wargaming table. Just like everyone else I played on the dining room table. Family and the wife were never supportive of weekend long games. It would take Thursday and Friday to set up after work. Followed by a Monday night clean up.
         Then after the 1st house then I started with the GW battle Boards. They could be set up same day. The games I was playing then were small table affairs. 4x4, 2x6 and 4x6 areas. We would grill and drink and game. The good old days. The battle board stored easy and created no family/space issues. I have owned about 6-7 over the years. I bought and sold a few in the beginning as I could not decide if they were the right direction. Then I sold one as a full set with terrain. Another was done as a commission.
         When the game room was added onto the 1st house and a 12 by 6 table was built. It was at that time I started with 3 battle boards. One was the FW city that travels currently and the other two were set up for Ancient historic. One of the historic board became the current desert board. The other was sold off.


       The terrain takes a beating every time out. I can get about 2-4 events before it needs revisiting, repairs, or a complete redo. The boards are easy enough. The buildings and scatter are more of a pain. There are years between initial build and repair. The exact paint used and flock are lost to time. Super difficult to match. Which results in almost a complete redo.
        In 2017 I started cycling through the repairs. One board a year. First was the FW board and then the desert. This year is the drop zone board and I have started a river board. Next year will be the FW board again. 
       They take 3ish weeks to complete. That just the board and I don't do it full time. They are always a side project. The scatter terrain and building are done over the course of the year. They take in total around 3 months to push through. And I hate doing hate. Not as much as painting horses!


         Once I became a single dad. The Cons were the only way to pack gaming in. I could dump the kid and play worry free. Prior to the move I was 50/50 with historic and epic. Then I moved to Argentina. There is no gaming there. Well not where I lived. It was a 16 hour bus ride to play and my spanish sucked. The Cold Wars/AdeptiCon month was the yearly gaming event. At this point I just about completely stopped playing historics.
         I made it a goal to support the events. Warmaster was an easy one. As all the historic crap I have kicking around was a limited effort. Epic is a love hate relationship.
         Over the last few years, I have been hauling terrain to events and Cons. Twice to AdeptiCon, once to MechicaniCon, every Fall In and Cold Wars, once or twice to NEEAT. At 90% of these events terrain and surfaces are a problem. You have to rely on the players to bring terrain and mats pray the store has enough to support. This is where the battle boards came into their own. Two tables are pushed together. Never level and always with a gap in-between.
         I don't know if it was a dick measuring, show off sort of thing or I wanted that magazine type table at the events I was traveling to. Maybe it was more the Historicals background in gaming. (Those tables are constructed for an event. The terrain is more important. As opposed to the Epic and Warmaster where terrain is sidelined, not pushed, and was an under developed mechanic within the system.)

The future

        In reality how many games are hosted at once or even more so over the year? How many do I really need. Currently I have 2 city (ForgeWorld battle board & a drop zone), 1 desert battle board, 2 desert mats, 1 fur mat, 1 tuff mat, and a desert cloth. Plus an absolute cubic butt ton of Geo-Hex. Some will be sold off.
       A division of terrain must occur. Terrain kits that travel and those that remain for private hosted games.
       I want a home table again. Ever since we moved in there was a plan for a premenet home gaming table. First year here was a shit show. Last year it got canned as my time was eaten by other things. This year after xmas I will start to construct a home table. The terrain to support games within the house would be non travel friendly and some what nicer. I have 3 new kits in various stages of development. One river battle board with sunken rivers. One Italian landscape type tile board. One ancient Japanese board, which will most likely never travel.
The river battle board in development
       The total amount of time put into the maintenance and development for Cons and tourneys can't continue. My goal of supporting the Cons and tourneys must become manageable and easy to transport. I will need tables/boards and terrain that can take a beating. Each kit will be allowed one box for supporting terrain. The desert battle board, desert mat, and drop zone board will be the new travel kits. The drop zone board was repaired first. This is the first test kit and was completed last week.
Drop Zone Commander board reflocking

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