Tuesday, April 19, 2016

BGiME #5: Making a Gaming Area

The terrain workshop feature for this issue takes a larger look at the game—literally. Instead of providing instructions on how to craft a piece of terrain to liven up your playing field, it focuses on the playing field itself. It’s time to make a battle board!

While every one of us would love to have a fully-modelled terrain board, time, money, and space issues often preclude it. Instead, a basic flat battle board decorated with scattered terrain must suffice. Creating one is a fairly simple task, but options exist to improve upon the basic version.

Due to space and storage issues, I decided to construct my board from two 2’×4’ pieces of MDF board instead of a singe 4’×4’ piece. A two-piece board easily slides under a bed or stands at the back of a closet, allowing for quick storage when company comes over and they don’t want to play the SBG for some reason. While I’d love to cover the board with grass matting, I decided to hold off for now. My concern was that the extra bulk of the grass gaming mat would prevent the two boards from meeting snuggly, leaving a small ravine down the center when assembled for gaming. When new digs allow, I intend to rebuild or replace the board with something more eye-pleasing.

Since I couldn’t cover the board with grass matting, I decided to make it a multi-purpose battle board. One side was painted grass green to represent your average battle field, but the reverse side was given a coat of gray paint. This stony coloration makes it a cinch to model scenarios set in Moria or on the scarred plains of Mordor. Simply flip the boards and you’re ready to rumble in Balin’s Tomb or at the Black Gate.

The stage is set for battle.

Yes, it's a convertible!

Down in the dark of Moria or in the shadow of Mount Doom...

The irony is that, now that I have a suitable gaming board, my efforts to locate fellow gamers have forced us to play at the local games store rather than at home. I have no desire to haul the board there and back every three weeks, so it sits unused so far. One of these days, however, I’ll get a game going closer to home and break it out to break it in. I’ll be sure to document that event and post photos and recaps here.

That wraps up issue #5! This coming Sunday is the next meeting of the local SBG group and we’ll kick things off with the scenario included in Battle-Games in Middle-Earth #6. Look for complete coverage of that issue in the weeks ahead. Until then, happy battling!

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