Thursday, May 4, 2017

Prep for Historicon: The "To-Do" list

Historicon will be held on July 12-16th, which is just 10 weeks from now.  I'm good on the miniature front (only 10 or so 28mm figures to paint) but am falling way behind on terrain so need to step up my game.

Rather than make terrain boards, which look nice but are a real pain to transport, I decide to go with some terrain mats and ordered three very nice 6'x4' desert mats from GameMatz.  I also picked up a "few" other mats.  The three mats will allow me to set up a 6x12 main playing area in 30 seconds.

I was very pleased with the turn around time (a few days and the quality of the materials.  The three desert mats came out a little darker than I expected and the company has offered to replace them but I think I'll go with these.  +1 for great customer service from GameMatz, who I highly recommend.

As for the "few" other mats I ordered - here's a shot of the 8x4' sea mat I got for naval gaming - it's really top notch stuff.  The mouse pad material used makes the mats lay flat and also makes it easy to pick and move minis, cards etc.

Going with game mats will loose a little of the 3d texture feel of a game board but they still look great and are much easier to transport and set up.  Plus they hide the leveling issues one gets when setting up on heavily used rental tables.

So what's left to do - a lot, sadly:

1) Egyptian ruins - I've made some progress with three pieces using First Arts molds but the casting process is a bit slow and tedious so will need to switch to other materials.  I'd like at least 6 ruin structures to populate the middle of the game table

2) Dungeon catacombs - I'm 3/4's does with painting up the 2x2 inch tiles that make up the dungeon (all nicely Egyptian themed) and have order some more.  I need to decide if I want to assemble the 400 or so tiles there or glue them down on 2x2' boards to make assemble easy.  I think I'll go with the later.

3) Decide on how to pull off the two level aspect of the game.  The players will fight their way to the center of the board and then enter the catacombs.  I can either make the center section two levels and lit off the top when it's time to move down or just set the dungeon up next to the the main board.  The first option is more "dramatic" but involves lifting up and moving a 6x4' section with terrain on top which just cries out for catastrophic failure.  I think given my time frame simple is better and will go with the side by side option.

4) Mountain ridges - the center part of the table will have "mountain ridges" on either side - think roughly 6' long by 1 foot wides and 10-16" high.  I may try to make these with expanding foam insulation (the kind that comes in a spray tube) and construct 6 2' sections.

5) A few desert oasis's and other "deserty-like" terrain pieces.  Yes, "Deserty-like" is an official word in terrain making circles.

6) Details for the Egyptian village - A few years ago I picked up some of the Crescent Root Studios North African Village buildings which are spectacular terrain pieces and will get their first use during this game.  I need to add some village type scatter terrain to set the mood and add some spots of interest.  I also highly recommend the 28mm repainted MDF building that Present Root put out.  In addition to the North African buildings, I also have the Normandy stuff from CRS and it really very nicely done.

7) LED lights - I want to try to build in some LED lights for atmosphere (fires, cauldrons etc)

8) Finish adopting the Donnybrook ruleset for modern troops and build player cards for each "faction in the game.  This may sound simple but is probably the most important step as having very clean rules that can be explained early is key to having a great convention game experience.  Of course, I start off with a huge advantage using the elegant Donnybrook ruleset (another high recommendation).  Lets just hope I don't screw them up.  If you're looking for a very fun, easy set of rules for skirmish gaming please check out Donnybrook


Monty said...

Sounds like it's going to be good, Miles!

Clarence Harrison said...

You can't screw up Donnybrook - you should see the liberties I take with the rules!

jmilesr said...

Excellent point Mr Harrison - will you be at HCON this year?

Michael Mills said...

From what you've said it will be a cracking con. Hope you enjoy it mate.