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 Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]

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Caveo
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PostSubject: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Fri 21 Jun 2013 - 9:31



Hi there,
I've recently finished university and have planned to click into over-drive and create a Mordheim table this summer, assuming nothing horrific like a job offer comes up [ok, I actually finish university next week - but in my mind I've long gone]. Thankfully there's a recession on so this has a good chance of remaining a feasible target. This will be a long post but I'll try to keep waffling down to a minimum.

The Plans

I'm going to make a modular table of 30cm x 30cm sections, to make an approximately 4' x 4' playing area. Then I've also got two 60cm x 60 cm sections to push it into a 4' x 6' [ish] table when needed. All these parts have been ordered so I'm sticking to this format..

However, as beautifully organised as America and Milton Keynes are with their grids of joy I want to find a way of making my modular system as traditionally mangly as an old English town would be. I've browsed the forum [and elsewhere] a little but thought I'd ask here for ideas.

The Awkwardness

A simple slathering of buildings would solve all my problems, yet I have a burning desire to add little 'pits' I can drop the building's bases (MDF) into to stop them being knocked or angered by consistent prodding.

This currently means [in my head] I have squares [pit] within squares [the section]. Which would inevitably lead to a grid system and wonderful lines of sight, barring smaller bits of terrain placed around the map. If anyone can think of an alternative to squares-within-squares I'd be happy to hear it!

The Thinking

So far I've considered:

1}- Having some buildings spilling out over the MDF base at ground level to alter the shapes of alleyways. However, I'm not sure how structurally strong they'd then be storage-wise.

2}- Creating wall segments that could be slipped into those gaps to join up buildings where desired.

3}- Creating impassable rumble piles to narrow-off or block-off alley ways.

4}- Just letting them be broken up by smaller bits of scenery (similar to above).

Lastly

I did think that having more openings at ground level may not be an entirely bad thing, as it may reduce the number of clumped battles/scenarios - encouraging warbands into the upper echelons of the buildings.

I've not played a lot of Mordheim, but enough to know I want to play more and that I want it to be pretty. Therefore I wanted to open these thoughts up to debate before I go cutting up my MDF boards ready to house my buildings.

This will be my first board I've created and first chunk of 'proper' scenery [non-rushed; adequate materials] that I've made. For your help or blatant avoidance you'll be rewarded or punished with images of progress. The buildings will follow the foamboard and balsa wood style that brings a Tudorific styling to Mordheim. Although there may be adaptions.. time will tell.

TLDR: How dare you, go back up and start from the top!

Thank you for any suggestions, advice or thoughts shared. There may well be something simple that I've over-looked that you kind, wise and delightful people may know about [I'm pretty sure that has covered my kindness quota for the year].
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monkeylite
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PostSubject: Re: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Fri 21 Jun 2013 - 10:09

Hi,

Check out my blog coz I did almost exactly what you are planning.

http://tewblogger.blogspot.co.uk/

The regular-ness factor is an issue. I've tried to avoid putting buildings in the centre of a board and especially I've made sure most of my boards have buildings which come to the very edge, otherwise you're going to get an implicit grid system with long, uninterrupted lines of sight going along all the edges. I think the main way to stop these lines of sight is to make sure the edges of buildings often come right to the edge of a module and will also fit nicely next to other modules

I have ended up with all my buildings orienting the same way (north-south, or east-west). I don't have a problem with it, but it might be a factor for you and you might want to consider putting stuff at different angles. Istm, however, this will make things a little less flexible when putting the various modules together.

One thing I did, was to have all the boards raised as if they were on earthworks/quays overlooking water. This way you can space the various modules apart and get instant canals and waterways. This makes the lay-out more flexible adding many more permutations.

Having done all this, I have still left two or three free-standing buildings which can be used to put down wherever it feels right, once the modules are placed. I guess this shouldn't be necessary if everything else works, but actually, on my board I find I usually need them.

I have also had an issue with the overhanging upper floors of half-timbered buildings. Having these on the edge of a module, means they often infringe on the next module, which means either you can't put them together properly, or you get narrow covered alleyways between modules. I sort of fudged it by having a lot of my walls on the edges of modules look like they're over-hanging, but really they're not (or just a couple of millimeters).

I do find it handy to have other free standing bits and pieces to block ways or to provide cover. I have piles of crates and water fountains and stuff, but really, I don't think you lose too much flexibility by hard-coding them into various modules. One advantage I have had, because all my modules are dead flat, is that I can place all these bits and pieces anywhere I like. I imagine if you want to sculpt a bit more interesting undulation into your terrain then you will have to think a bit more about where these can be used.
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Von Kurst
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PostSubject: Re: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Fri 21 Jun 2013 - 14:45

Welcome to the forum! †We were kicking around the idea of magnetizing scenery last night...

Didn't really get anywhere, but magnets in the bases would theoretically let you have more flexibility in placing scenery. †All you have to do is figure out the location of your metal 'anchors'.
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PostSubject: Re: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Fri 21 Jun 2013 - 16:08

monkeylite:
Thanks for the link to your blog and in-depth reply, you've got some good stuff. I'm planning to have mine slightly more ruined and want the segments to have interchangeable buildings [I may be wrong but yours look fixed down?]. The over hang is something I've been trying to work out and having it minimal like you've suggested may be a way of working it.
I do like the idea of having each segment/module made to be on it's own 'platform,' but I'm quite eager to dig a little ditch and fill it with 'water.' I've wanted to do that to terrain for many, many years and this is my first real opportunity. I don't think I can pass it up!

Von Kurst:
Thanks. I've seen the magnet idea mentioned before.. knowing my luck I'd get them the wrong way around and end up with it all 'floating.' It's an idea that could be worked on though.. such as pushing chicken wire with just under the surface of the foam, across the whole board, so there are anchors all over - assuming that's strong enough to hold.

-----
I've been ripping some previously made models off their bases so I can re-base and paint them. I'd only got around to painting one before university got in the way. Actually, I'll go and find my camera while I think of it.. that way it'll give you an idea of the style of buildings I'm going for, at least with their 'basic' looks.
*wanders back*


Unfortunately I'm not the best [or most patient] when it comes to painting, as you'll witness if I get this project underway as planned. Thankfully crumbled and mashed buildings don't have to require good or careful painting which I'm grateful for!
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PostSubject: Re: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Sat 22 Jun 2013 - 2:58

good work so far, keep it up!
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PostSubject: Re: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Sat 22 Jun 2013 - 6:27

The Buildings look FINE...ruins are well suited for & served by a quick paint job. The woodwork turned out especially nicely. You might vary the basic building colors a bit; ocher & browns work well. Otherwise, GREAT WORK! †thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Sat 22 Jun 2013 - 10:45

Looking good!

I usually use tester pots from Wilkos to paint big terrain surfaces like houses and ruins. Each pot is only £1 and contains 75ml.

As for the painting, I usually cover the whole building with dark brown (Java Bean, from Wilkos). Then, I start drybrushing over the wooden bits with lighter browns and creams (and not really caring if the paint goes over the walls, etc.).
After the wood is completely done, I start painting the stone work and then the walls with whichever colour scheme I decide.
It's quick and straightforward and works quite nicely.

Joao
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Caveo
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PostSubject: Re: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Sun 23 Jun 2013 - 16:34

Thanks all for the feedback.

I made the fantastic mistake of creating various washes [for the only 'finished' building] as I went along. Now it's about a year later and I have no idea what I mixed together to get them. It may be boring but I want all my buildings to have a similar colour style to them and chose white-ish as figures the figures we have aren't white and it reflects light better. Who knows what route creativity will take us down once things get started though!?

I'll have to check out Wilkos - I never thought to look in there for paint. The paints I've been using were tester pots from Wickes or Homebase, but I think slightly more expensive.

I think I've chosen a standard base size to go for so I may shimmy over to a WIP soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Wed 26 Jun 2013 - 9:25

Caveo wrote:
A simple slathering of buildings would solve all my problems, yet I have a burning desire to add little 'pits' I can drop the building's bases (MDF) into to stop them being knocked or angered by consistent prodding.

This currently means [in my head] I have squares [pit] within squares [the section]. Which would inevitably lead to a grid system and wonderful lines of sight, barring smaller bits of terrain placed around the map. If anyone can think of an alternative to squares-within-squares I'd be happy to hear it!
My thoughts after building a few tables would be to not have the buildings encased in 'pits' as it tend to be difficult to make them exatly the same size leading to visible gaps. However, as I understand the extra stability is important for you and guessing that a system of magnets will be too complicated you could consider making the pits a standard size smaller than each building and adding a corresponding extra base under each building. Then you can keep the 'pits' a standard size while warying the size of your buildings and changing the layout of your town by shifting the buildings around. With each building overlapping its 'pit' it you avoid visible gaps.

When it comes to your painting skill, I guess it will improve rapidly once you get down to painting up the rest of your stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Wed 26 Jun 2013 - 13:24

I do or have done standard square pits to plug my pieces into, but on top of the plug is the building's base, surrounding sidewalk, whatever. The base is larger than the plug. The base is of whatever size & shape I've chosen for that particular building...swapping them from hole to hole changes the pattern of the street. I hope that that is understandable. clown

AND, as havre pointed out, you're brushwork will improve rapidly as you work on the pieces...save the fancy stuff for last. clown
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PostSubject: Re: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 6:07

Havre:
Thanks for the ideas :)I'm not too worried about the odd gap between the base and board, it's mainly to stop the buildings moving around and to avoid having to balance figures on the edge of a base [we always end up doing that for some reason o.0]

DeafNala:
Yea, I've decided to go along the lines of what I think you were saying. My segments will be about 30x30cm and the bases 25x25cm or 25x12.5cm. Which will leave 'streets' in between large enough for large figures, but they can also get blocked off. I will also create little 'streets' on the boards too which not everyone can squeeze down!
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PostSubject: Re: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Fri 26 Jul 2013 - 4:15

You might wanna take a look at this gaming table:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/94660950/Kram_HP/Wolfgang/Mortheim/album/index.html

It's segmented into 24" squares that you can mix a fair bit.
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PostSubject: Re: Modular Board: Avoiding Gridded Buildlings[?!]   Thu 29 Aug 2013 - 23:53

what about rare earth magnets
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