23 Aug 2012

Terrain, terrain and a CONTEST :O

Or the lack of it!

I have lost my enthusiasm with building the city table for modern zombie wargames (but I will pain those buildings that I have made in a closer future!), I was thinking about the terrain I should make for my Strange Aeons game. I haven't played for a couple of weeks no, been very busy, but still, lack of terrain doesn't help when one wants to play some more games!

Generally, I'd just like you to brainstorm some ideas for the pieces. Generally, I was thinking I got to order some crates and barrels and such, to bring the board to "life", but I would still need bigger pieces. I could probably do some more grave yard modules so I could cover around half a 2x3 feet board with it. With some more of those dried trees, I think I could get quite a morbid feel to the game, perfect for abominations and beings out of space!

Then, I was thinking about some buildings....I figured I'd would like to do something like those houses from Van Helsing (movie I didn't see when I got the chance, to be fair)
I saw those at Brummie's if I am correct. I really like them because they're dark and neglected. They're gothic, which is good if I ever (when I?) start (playing?) that period, too. I would probably build them from foamcore and coffee stirers (which I cant find anywhere here, in Slovenia, except by online order, which would double the price...) I would probably make the roof angled as they are here, for a bit of sillyness. I think it would make sense for strange things to happen in god forgotten village like this.

I was also thinking about some bushes and such, but then it ends. I would like to have a table with lots of things to climb, in more levels. The reason is, I'd want to use rules for the whip (Indiana Jones!) and there are rules for throwing or blasting people away (if shotgun doesn't kill, minaiture moves D3 directly away from shooter). This means it would be pretty awesome if you could blow someone off the balcony and such.

Then I got 2 more ideas for two more themes. Those are just wishes as I dunno where  could I store all this, but I would loooooooove to play SA games with copplestone's arctic explorers on totally white table....at the mountains of madness! Such table could still be made with separate terrain pieces, just painted white, lots of rocks and such...now I feel the need to invest in hot wire cutters and do one!
Well, back to reality, next idea is using The assault groups aztecs (or incas or some of those, please forgive my ignorance) as cultists and playing in a jungle next to ancient american ruined pyramids and such. Thats also cool and once I'll get PDF for playing a SA campaign in rainforest, it will make all the sense. The problem is vegetation. I've been to pet store and none of those flowers looked good enough to me. Anyone has any cool idea for building a jungle? Maybe just enormous tree trunks, but without actual crown (that is supposed to be a term for the branched part of the tree?). This would help playability, ease the terrain building and...well, make table look like a big natural disaster!

So, if there is anything that pops your mind, fire away. If it is of any help, I game Strange Aeons in 1920's, location worldwide. We're talking about global danger here! Which reminds me, god willing I have taken my last pregraduate exam today :P

To make things more appealing I can offer a humble reward for the one with the most realised ideas! So, lets do it this way. I will be building terrain until NOVEMBER 1st. So I can have more than a month and we're not waiting until new year's, plus its a good day for everything horror. On that day, I will check how many different pieces (so 3 templates of woods are still 1 thing, to make things balanced a bit) I've made, suggested by each participant.

Let the reward be a secret, as I will chose it later so it can benefit the winning individual as best as possible... and let me say I will do my best to make it something semi spectacular! 

Hope this buys you! :D



  1. I've got to have me a piece of tis action. E-mail me mathyoo, address on my profile, let's see if we can get anything going. Bob.

  2. Personally I would forget about hot wire cutters. Rocks look very similar to stones. Using a hot glue gun (or epoxy resin such as Araldite) attach them to a card base a. Paint them so they are all the same colour, (they would all have come from the same geological source) then Flock the base, Quick and easy Terrain.

    For Jungle trees have a look for Aquarium plants. You can usually pick these up quite cheap and being plastic they come already coloured. Again attach to a card base, jobs done!

    Hope those ideas help they could easily get you either a snowy outcrop or a jungle or swamp. My advice is to keep it simple, no point in making it hard for yourself.

    1. I don't like the idea of using stones, I simply think they are too real, so to say. And they would kind of stand out in other handmade terrain, hehe.

      As for aquarium plants, the problem so far is, I found no good ones. But I will keep an eye on those for sure!

      I am sure every idea helps, if nothing else, it gets a man thinking in other ways, so thank you!

  3. As Clint says keep it simple.

    Theres a lot of cheap tree that can be bought off ebay from China etc.

    Alternatively do what I did take some clippings from a Hedgerow and make your own trees. Use sponge for standard type trees or perhaps using tinfoil or thin plasti card to create giant palm type leaves.

    Again the aquarium plants are a good idea but as you said you don't feel they look right. I have looked at a few place's for this idea but has not proved fruitful if I was doing Alien Flora and Fauna it would be great.

    The Building I think where shown by mate Xander.


    Also if you go onto the Darkfire Club on Facebook and checkout the pics section there is a load of photos and drawings in there for some inspiration.

    Best of luck mate. I'm really not the best source for terrain ideas.

    Perhaps look into purchasing some card terrain that you can print out yourself.

    For city floors (cobbles) etc perhaps try and get hold of some textured wallpaper that you can paint.

    Checkout the Game Carnevale there are a load of free pdfs with terrain from tile floors to walls. http://www.kelesumo.com/

    1. I don't like the card terrain because I only got black and white printer (works for school stuff!) and coloured copies are hideously expensive elsewhere. And it is no good if you can't make a mess while making it!

      It might be Xander's blog, too. And don't worry, Im lurking Darkfire Club since you invited me into it, hehe.

      I was thinking clump foliage for trees, as they also make a nice bocage for 15mm FOW. E bay is probably the best choice, but the problem is payment as my parents are a bit freaky about online shopping too much :P

  4. More different themed games? You're all over the place Mathyoo :D.

    For Jungle trees, I also suggest checking out aquarium plants.

    1. Just in my mind Adam, just in my mind :P

  5. Lack of terrain has stopped me playing games for many years, so I feel your pain.

    And... I have a number of Aztec figures in my collection and I have been making notes on using them for strange Aeons :-P But I stole the idea from a "Phantom" comic I have.

    Ok, for SA scenery - look through your books and make scenery for things in the books; make scenes of horror and items for the scenarios listed, and things relating to lurkers.

    Also, don't forget you do not need a lot of room for SA games 2' x 3' (I play on 60 cm x 120 cm foam boards), so you don't need to cram your playing area to make it a city.

    I would consider a hot wire cutter to make hills with, but look in gardens or the side of roads for rocks to use as scenery.
    You can make a hot wire cutter using an old mobile phone charger. A lot cheaper and it works better than a battery cutter. ( http://www.terragenesis.co.uk/infopages/page362.html )

    Some ideas:

    Graveyard with crypt - an almost essential set up for any game.

    Hills, hedges, fences and walls - any thing to block line of sight. Kitty litter makes great walls (you can see how I have used it in my zombie blog).

    Water: river, creek, stream, pond, swamp and a bridge and or ford.

    Trees: living and dead. Trees can be used to hide Dark Young, and useful as a scene or horror.

    Objective markers: whilst they are part of the game, use them as scenery as well.

    Ritual items: standing stone, eldar signs, rune stones, altar, obelisk (this item is used in a few scenarios)

    Buildings - you wont need many for a game, maybe two or three max. A farm house with a shed for example.

    Other buildings you could make to give you the balconies etc could be a ski chalet (can be used for snow games, or mountainous areas with out snow during summer): https://www.google.com.au/search?q=ski+chalet&hl=en&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=5MM2UOXWMYahmQX2lYGABA&sqi=2&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1066&bih=757

    A warehouse - add plenty of barrels and crates along with a big fence.

    Swamps - a small shack and trees with Spanish moss hanging from the branches.

    Look at the monsters in the books - try to make an environment that matches the monsters: A grave yard for undead, a fishing village for fishmen, a museum for Mummies.

    How about a cave network? If you make a bit of a valley you could have a game set at an old gold mine: small river with a ford in the middle, each side has rocky mountainous heights, with a bridge span with rails above the river, and the entrance to a mine.

    What county will your games be set in? Do a search on the internet for historical images for that country and base scenery on what you find.

    And 'borrow' ideas: look at novels, films, other gamers and role playing games. If you have access to anything for Call of Cthulhu you are well on your way. Check out the pulp section on LAF for photos.

    Re coffee stirrers - I cant get these in Australia either unless I pay a fortune. I made a lot of wide west buildings by cutting cardboard boxes into strips to make the boards. It is cheap and easy, but takes a little bit of work. Saves a lot of money though.

    You can buy skulls from various places - put a few skulls on cut down kebab skewers and you have some nice scenery to scatter around.

    Make a rope bridge over a chasm for scenery.

    Jungle - my vietnam war game on my blog should help you out there. Trees on ebay can be cheap (if they will send to your country), plastic aquarium plants and foliage clumps from Woodland scenics are all good.

    Just some initial thoughts (and sorry they are random and all over the place), and I would be happy to share and discuss ideas with you via email or pm if you like.

    1. Got some of those planned, but thanks for all the tips! I especially liked the "living trees" as I firstly understood you wrong (living as humanly alive, not vegetation-alive :P) and I got this great idea of spooky forest...twisting a wire for trees and putting some tissues to bulk them up is pretty easy work and it is great for relaxation as it requires limited concentration!

      I was also thinking about cave network and some other, more complicating set ups, but I gave up on those as I don't want to make a great table, that would be always the same and I would spent more time working on it than playing on it. Okay...actually I do as those always look so much better. I once saw a dino excavation pit table that Uncle Mike had on one of conventions...just amazing.

  6. Its a shame about your Modern Zombie board, was looking forward to seeing it :)

    1. Aww! Then I better do some of that too. Your comment actually made me think how much time and money I've put in modern zombies and it just might be the kick I needed to actually start my campaign!