Saturday, September 4, 2010

It's Not Pretty, It's Not Perfect, But It's Not Flat

It's finally playable!

I finished up the map by painting the lines on the hills. This job was done by just eyeballing it. In the future I will not make that mistake again.
I then finished up the main structure by drawing the lines on with a black marker. I opted not to put any other coloured lines on the playing field for two major reasons. First was that everything is pretty clearly marked. The water's real easy to figure out, as is the elevated terrain. The hindering terrain also stands out as easily as the blocking terrain. The only thing that is not clearly marked is the starting positions.
Due to one small calculation mistake I made when placing the bridge I ended up stretching out two rows of blocks reducing the tops from 9x9 to 9x8. It really doesn't alter games play that much, aside from the fact that it takes less to move across the structure from back to front than it does if you are walking across the ground. The next time I know I'm going to paint the structure I will make sure to either fix the bridge, or not worry about the grid line matching up when I re-draw them. Live and learn.
I also discovered that if you use as much water effects glues as I did you better lay it out in the sun if you want it to dry anytime in the near future. After 24 hours it was still basically white. Two hours in the sun and it was almost clear.
The first official game played on the board was, my son, Ryan using two Anti-Monitors at 1000pts each and Galactus at the full 1800pts versus Andie and I, with each of us using teams at 1900pts. I'm sure there's some people going "That's a lot of points to control." But, the teams were all made up of probs and heavy hitters, with high point values, so it cut down drastically on actions that could be performed.
Thankfully my son hasn't figured out how to run the three colossal figures to cause maximum damage, which means Andie and I didn't get our asses handed to us. It was also the first time that we played a game and Galactus could not hit the support character. Andie was using Adam Warlock and I had The Atom (Blackest Night-best support character I've ever seen), we placed them under the bridge and none of Ryan's characters could touch them.
There was also a moment that you only wish you would see in the comics. The Joker standing on the bridge in front of Galactus in his "Take your best shot" pose.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Adding the Details continued

Once I finished building and playing the Test Bunny map, it was time to go back to work on the main map.

I finished stringing the map and then went to work on filling in the water and shoreline.
Using an entire bottle of water effects glue, something I have never used before, I filled in 64 squares of water space. Which is less than half of the 136 that were originally planned for the map. At $16 a bottle I wasn't spending that much just to make cool looking water. Instead I just added grass into the unfilled water section, making it disappear. So, now the water only spans half the board instead of the whole board, and ends in a nice bed of rocks.
After adding the rocks, I filled up the remaining left over water space with more grass.
I also painted the main structure in stone effects spray paint to give it a more realistic look. it is the same type of paint I used to paint the small. Sadly the paint doesn't go very far, so it is still going to need more paint. I figure that I will end up painting the structure many times over the future years.
However, by this point I was starting to get antsy and just wanted to play on it, so I opted to leave out the road work and sidewalk off the third level. The side walk is pre-made model railroad sidewalk, so it can be used for almost anything, with ease. I'm thinking I may use it for bridges on future structures.
I then quickly put the grass on the hills. I wasn't worried about the fine details. I was more concerned about just playing on it. It was coming together very nicely.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Test Bunny

Then I went "SHIT!" I didn't plan on making a second map, but I needed something to use as a test bunny.

After I started laying down lines on the main map, using yarn, I decided I better figure out what I was actually going to do. I wasn't sure if I wanted to paint the lines or just use the yarn. The original yarn lines I laid down were meant as guide lines for later painted lines, but the yarn was actually really easy to work with. So, I opted to make a second smaller board to test out which I liked better.

The paint is good and very effective, but yarn is so much faster and easier to work with. It took me a little time to measure out, place and then glue down the yarn. I was able to play the 14 x 32 square map less than an hour after it was stringed. Also it's size means it can easily be added to the 24 x 32 square map.

The first game played on the test bunny board was 1200 points, JLA vs X-Men. I also built some simple walls, to be played as blocking terrain. One of the walls also is a fully functioning raised platform if you stand it up on it's ends.
My son was sent out on a quest for sticks and twigs that could be made into trees. Because of the way they were quickly made they had to be played as blocking terrain, and heavy objects.
The only downside to all the walls, both the structure and the simple ones, is the inability to destroy them like you normally would with blocking terrain on a standard map. Future walls will be designed to allow for destruction.