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AldousSnow

July Terrain Challenge

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Form vs Function.

Aesthetic vs Tactics. 

What drives you to make your own terrain? Is it simply your love of Star Wars or the immersion it brings? Does the sight of the war torn ice fields of Hoth or open plains of Naboo spark something inside you? Maybe you just don't want your Saboteurs getting shot, and want some cover? Or perhaps you want to give your snipers a better line of sight. A piece of terrain can give keywords like Jump, Expert Climber, Unhindered, and Climbing Vehicle extra movement choices. A variety of pieces across your board can all have different effects on the game. This month we're focusing on WHY we make terrain. 

 

July Terrain Challenge:

 

Create any piece of terrain focused on any aspect of Aesthetic or Tactics. 

 

Choose from an idea above or choose your own. Post a photo of your terrain and tell us why this particular piece is going on your board. And don't forget to have fun! 

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Aesthetic, all the way--for me, it's all about telling a story on the board, giving both sides a reason to be here and goals to accomplish beyond just the basic requirements of the game.

With this in mind, I believe I'm going to try and create some ruins of a Jedi Temple. The planet I'm building for--Arvon IX--was once the home of an ancient force-wielding order; despite having disappeared eons ago, the inhabitants of the world have always felt a strong connection to the Jedi, and held a local sect of the Jedi Order that was raised on a unique set of principles. At the rise of the Clone Wars (which I like to imagine a bit differently than in canon), they split off from the Jedi, and were primarily engaged in the civil war that ravaged their world.

I know I want to create some pillars, designed like obelisks that hold the history of the local Jedi. As well, I think the remains of a broken training ground would be fun to play around with. In the end, I'd like to have enough pieces to make the entire board feel like it's part of a greater facility of sorts.

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@CastlecruncherThis sounds great. My immediate thoughts were to do something more tactical, as it's different from my usual pieces. But the more I see and hear about these narrative driven boards and ideas, the more I want to dive into that as well. #undecided

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This is a great idea and I’m sorry I didn’t get in on the June challenge.

I’ll go with aesthetic. I like a good-looking battlefield. For me, it’s the little details that make the larger picture pop. I’m in the middle of building scenery for a desert planet (I don’t want to say Tattooine or Jakku specifically, as there must have been other desert worlds or worlds with desert areas), and I’ve got ideas for some above-ground liquid storage tanks to sit next to the buildings. Maybe the ground is too hard to sink the tanks below street level, or maybe there are critters underground that bore into the tanks to steal the water—whatever the reason, above-ground tanks seems to be the way to go for this area.

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I started my own terrain at home primarily for aesthetic. I wanted to have an immersive experience, and I'd cover the board entirely if I could. But of course, terrain also has to be functional for the purpose of playing, such as space where Troopers and other bases to fit, possibly. I also think about what the terrain will provide, cover wise, etc. 

I've created a planet where my terrain is located, with a campaign story. So I am working on pieces that reflect that. I should have some pieces to post!

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Aesthetics is always key for me. I finally finished my docking bay from Imperial Terrain and could not be more pleased.  

I think it’s versatile enough that it can work as a centerpiece with other themed buildings or with some industrial storage tanks or heavy equipment.   I’m glad I had some surplus vinyl with a cobblestone print because I think it will really distinguish the piece as a whole and make it pop regardless of what type of mat I am using in a game  

 

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Very nice! I've eyed that set in the past, but have never had the funds to dive into 3D-printed terrain--you really brought it to life.

I've updated my plans a bit for my entry: I want to make a shanty-town built in the remains of an old Jedi temple. Right now I have some pillars nearing completion, and plan on building some general ruined wall segments and a whole lot of shanty buildings from scrap pieces of metal (I figured a Jedi-temple alone wasn't enough to capture my imagination--I wanna unleash on this project, and make something that will serve a variety of purposes).

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18 minutes ago, Castlecruncher said:

Very nice! I've eyed that set in the past, but have never had the funds to dive into 3D-printed terrain--you really brought it to life.

Thanks. I went with simple but functional. I was very impressed with what’s available in rattle-can sprays nowadays. Found a sandy textured spray that worked perfectly over a spray of almond colored base coat. 

I understand about how daunting 3D printing can be. Luckily a friend bought one to toy around with last Christmas and was more than happy to print up whatever I wanted as long as I paid for the files and filament.  I’m way too tech-illiterate to have attempted this myself. 

 

Can’t wait to see your temple ruins! I love the idea of locals taking over the ruins and repurposing for a settlement. 

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Posted (edited)

Scraping in by the skin of my teeth, I finally got my terrain for this month finished! Well. Sort of finished.

VFVMS4M.jpg

My idea for this month was a cross between a shanty town and the ruins of a Jedi temple. The temple ended up losing my interest really quick, and I spent most of the month thinking about this project with dread.

Then, just the other day, I made these two little shacks. Boom, crafting enjoyment restored.

eVgQwTl.jpg

The shacks are made super haphazardly, with me just chopping up and hot-gluing chunks of cardboard together and seeing what works. It allowed me to skip the planning and measuring stage and just sit down with a bunch of pieces to assemble to my heart's content.

VtIiaVk.jpg

Larger shack--probably the largest I'm gonna make (turned out way larger than I'd anticipated).

I think one of the biggest things I learned through this process was to always make sure I'm having fun. A lot of my previous terrain builds have felt like work because I was making a piece purely to have it on the table, and not because it inspired me; stuff like ruined walls and hills and such, which are good to have in my collection but which didn't have enough pizzazz to really make me enjoy making them (many of them had a lot of tedious steps that really sucked the joy out of the experience).

XGr8X50.jpg

These are the columns. After building and texturing the main pillars within the first week of July, they proceeded to sit on my desk all month. They only got based because I said "screw it" and used a scrap piece of vaguely-squared cardboard to quickly pump out some basic pedestals.

9zPfw2Z.jpg

Here I combined all the pieces I made this month with some older pieces of wall ruins, to recreate the idea I set out with (a shanty town in the middle of some ruins). I think it all goes really well together, and I can't wait to get it all painted up.

Overall, this project had a lot of crafting block, but also a bit of an epiphany: there's not much point building it if I'm not having fun. The biggest impediment to having fun, for me, is a lengthy planning stage where I try to make everything perfect. It's much better if I just eyeball all the measurements, use a jury-rigged template to make all the sides, then just slap it all together and call it good without fussing over texture and all that.

But anywho, that's my rant over. I'm just glad I got something done for the challenge this month. Over next month I plan to add a few more shanty shacks (and maybe a couple more ruined walls in some new styles) and then get all this nonsense painted. As well as get something done for next month's challenge, of course.

Speaking of which: This thread seems to have petered out after FSD's post. Did y'all get your projects finished, or was crafting block just in vogue this month?

Edited by Castlecruncher

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12 hours ago, Castlecruncher said:

Scraping in by the skin of my teeth, I finally got my terrain for this month finished!

9zPfw2Z.jpg

Here I combined all the pieces I made this month with some older pieces of wall ruins, to recreate the idea I set out with (a shanty town in the middle of some ruins). I think it all goes really well together, and I can't wait to get it all painted up.

Overall, this project had a lot of crafting block, but also a bit of an epiphany: there's not much point building it if I'm not having fun. The biggest impediment to having fun, for me, is a lengthy planning stage where I try to make everything perfect. It's much better if I just eyeball all the measurements, use a jury-rigged template to make all the sides, then just slap it all together and call it good without fussing over texture and all that.

But anywho, that's my rant over. I'm just glad I got something done for the challenge this month. Over next month I plan to add a few more shanty shacks (and maybe a couple more ruined walls in some new styles) and then get all this nonsense painted. As well as get something done for next month's challenge, of course.

Speaking of which: This thread seems to have petered out after FSD's post. Did y'all get your projects finished, or was crafting block just in vogue this month?

Looks really great! Painted up they're going to be amazing~
Aro you going to go ruins in a desert or ruins in like a forest? I guess you could even do tundra...

Since this is about aesthetics vs function, I'll say two things that you could consider to make the function better though! Firstly, getting up on the second level during a game is really tricky, so ramps of rumble or something else that allows for maneuver up some structures could be something to consider. Second, the ruined pillar look great, but I've found that narrow rounding LOS blocking terrain can be pretty frustrating because it almost never provides cover to squads and also ends up reducing your outgoing firepower (though the height is great for AT-STs and T-47s. Once thing to condier is maybe some fallen over pillar bits to pile against the pillar bases or just in the ground to give some linear cover.

It's soooooo true about having fun too... I'm a bit slowed down cause I over crafted last month trying to get my Hoth table done enough to play an event!

 

10 hours ago, Jancula said:

My July terrain projects:

dsc_0012.jpg

20190710.jpg

20190711.jpg

 

Oh that tree trunk looks fantastic! Is it printed or how did you make it?

And which A-Wing is that? Galoob Action Fleet? Can you measure it for me pretty please?!?!?!

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On 7/1/2019 at 1:27 PM, AldousSnow said:

What drives you to make your own terrain? Is it simply your love of Star Wars or the immersion it brings? Does the sight of the war torn ice fields of Hoth or open plains of Naboo spark something inside you? Maybe you just don't want your Saboteurs getting shot, and want some cover? Or perhaps you want to give your snipers a better line of sight. A piece of terrain can give keywords like Jump, Expert Climber, Unhindered, and Climbing Vehicle extra movement choices. A variety of pieces across your board can all have different effects on the game. This month we're focusing on WHY we make terrain. 

Create any piece of terrain focused on any aspect of Aesthetic or Tactics. 

Choose from an idea above or choose your own. Post a photo of your terrain and tell us why this particular piece is going on your board. And don't forget to have fun! 

Absolutely both!

All the gritty little details of the places and cultures in the Star Wars universe... I want them all. I love these stories and characters and ridiculous lore. I'd say it brings out the kid in me but... er... that's probably pretty close to the surface all the time anyways. If it doesn't look and feel like it belongs in Star Wars, I just can't get excited to make it...

On the other hand I've learned the hard way that you can make pretty dioramas all yoo want, but if you don't account for how it's gonna be useful for controlling line of sight or movement, or how figures can move onto, through, or around it in reasonable time, then it's just gonna sit in the corner of the map, or worse on a shelf!

So... only barely tardy...

This month I will offer my humble doors for my Echo Base interior table.

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I carefully studied the film references and set construction blueprints and realized a couple of things.

1. If I made the doors the correct proportions and scale, Legion bases would not fit through them.

2. If I kept the proportions and fudged the scale, the doors would be waaaaaaaay too tall.

3. If I lowered the door height to match the correct feeling of scale... then a ton of figures with up raised arms would not be able to fit through them either.

Time for compromise!

I did a few test cuts on my new laser machine and came up with an in-between design that kinda looks rights, doesn't poke up too far, and fits *most* figures (sorry Chewie, but it makes sens you would have to duck).

HZ65kK4.jpg

cpDR3B6.jpg

5hUFeJ5.jpg

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Now the final compromise is how to play them game wise.

It's tempting to make doors slow down players by requiring an action, or requiring players to stop in base contact before opening or closing, but (like with climbing). After all IRL it would slow things down.

However I think that has on overly large effect in game terms - dealing with a couple doors can eat up half a game, which is def not right or fun!


So if you think that a unit's activation is not about moving at breakneck speed, but is about tactical movement, and that time period should allow for things like door opening, then we can have rules like:

All trooper units can OPEN/CLOSE an unlocked door at range 1 of the unit as a free action.

Units may LOCK/UNLOCK a door at range 1 of the unit as a free action. Units may only lock/unlock doors that their side controls (defined by scenario). Indicate locked doors by placing a suppression token on the closed door.

Units may BLAST CONTROLS of a door at range 1 as a free action. This is not an attack.
Doors which have blasted controls may not be opened or closed. Indicate blasted controls by placing a wound token on on the door.

Doors with blasted controls may be repaired. All trooper units gain the REPAIR DOOR CONTROLS action which allows them to remove a wound token from a door in base contact with the unit. Note this is not a free action.

Trooper units may make an attack against a closed door to destroy and remove the door from play. Doors have Armor 2, Health 1, and no defense dice.

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@CaptainRocket

Tree trunk is made out of insulation foam. Carved with hobby knife and steel wire brush.

A-Wing is 3D printed model from Thingiverse, scaled for Legion (roughly 20cm in length).

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My original plan of attack was to make something highly tactical, as most of my terrain pieces are based in Star Wars aesthetic. The idea "Felucian CIS Supply Station". The more I designed it, the more I was thinking about the logistics of a backwater jungle outpost. The whole thing became a narrative challenge. How do they protect cargo from the elements? How do the see with a dark jungle canopy? Tactics had gone out the window. All I cared about was the story behind this place. So I present "Depot 16“. A halfway point between more known CIS outposts. Mostly a staging point for supplies, weapons, and gear before their final destination is determined. 

IMG-20190716-013642-465.jpgDSC-3694.jpgDSC-3695.jpgDSC-3696.jpgDSC-3697.jpg

DSC-3693.jpg

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3 hours ago, AldousSnow said:

My original plan of attack was to make something highly tactical, as most of my terrain pieces are based in Star Wars aesthetic. The idea "Felucian CIS Supply Station". The more I designed it, the more I was thinking about the logistics of a backwater jungle outpost. The whole thing became a narrative challenge. How do they protect cargo from the elements? How do the see with a dark jungle canopy? Tactics had gone out the window. All I cared about was the story behind this place. So I present "Depot 16“. A halfway point between more known CIS outposts. Mostly a staging point for supplies, weapons, and gear before their final destination is determined. 

DSC-3693.jpg

I love it! Even what little you gave of the story behind it is so compelling, and the scene itself just comes alive. I can definitely see this as a centerpiece to the board, surrounded by jungle and crashed vehicles.

Concerning the tactical use, how is the interior of the bay accessed? Is there any removeable top, or do you just slide minis in from the sides (or put 'em on top and say they're in)?

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7 minutes ago, Castlecruncher said:

I love it! Even what little you gave of the story behind it is so compelling, and the scene itself just comes alive. I can definitely see this as a centerpiece to the board, surrounded by jungle and crashed vehicles.

Concerning the tactical use, how is the interior of the bay accessed? Is there any removeable top, or do you just slide minis in from the sides (or put 'em on top and say they're in)?

Thanks! This is definitely going to be the starting point for the rest of my Felucia pieces. The entire building lifts up and sets into notches I made. It's got enough clearance to slide minis in and out if you want, but moves if necessary. 

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20 hours ago, AldousSnow said:

Thanks! This is definitely going to be the starting point for the rest of my Felucia pieces. The entire building lifts up and sets into notches I made. It's got enough clearance to slide minis in and out if you want, but moves if necessary. 

Super cool! I love the lighting! How do you do that?

The tarps on the crates are also fab... they really take the terrain to the next level!

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21 minutes ago, CaptainRocket said:

Super cool! I love the lighting! How do you do that?

The tarps on the crates are also fab... they really take the terrain to the next level!

Thank you! The lights are a string of LEDs that you can find at dollar stores or similar places. Whenever I find them from $1-$5, I try to pick a few up. There's a small battery pack that's painted black and super glued into the ceiling. Most of the length is super glued into the ceiling as well, but some is fed out around the wall to the outside light. The 3d printed building already had molded wiring, so I just glued it on top, drilled a small hole and fed the LEDs through. Then I covered it in some white, thin plastic. The plastic was actually from the inside tray from a citidel paint set. 

The tarps are pretty easy too. Dominos Pizza napkins drenched in a white glue/water solution, then painted after it hardens up. 

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The goal in making my terrain was first and foremost to make something easy to play on. That means, no hills for miniatures to fall over on, no sand that crumbles when you handle it, no super tall things that fall over, etc. I also want to walk the fine line between durability and looks. I think I found a happy medium. All this stuff is super robust and I tried to give some tactical variety:

Height 2 rockwalls

67OUZbsm.jpg

Heavy cover

KWqd06Bm.jpg QrMVKfAm.jpg

DDzJb6Dm.jpg

Light cover

w6gKZcmm.jpg

Difficult terrain

vidBY88m.jpg

More line of sight blocking

1hKlIdKm.jpg pGLyD51m.jpg

Here it all is. I wonder if that meets the quota of "enough terrain" for competitive play. I might add some more line of sight blocking 3d printed spires (gotta stop those snipers!)

I2l0Ni2l.jpg

 

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