Friday, July 6, 2018

Battletech terrain - new thoughts

Hi everyone,

Following up on our work to support the Battletech campaign we've kicked off (link to that blog post) -- we have had some new thoughts on Battletech terrain and wanted to share those - and also how things are shaping up :)

1) We do like the *BIG* battle-mat with smaller hexes.

 Have enjoyed using the big battle mat which has smaller hexes.
  • The big battle-mat with the smaller hexes is nice because a) it's really fast to set up (i.e., you un-roll it!); b) you can write on it with over-head projector markers; c) it creates a sense of very long range.
  • The down side is that it isn't pretty to look at -- going to have to think about ways to add color and terrain to it.
  • When it creates a very long range sense, it allows for our *lance members* who like to fire from long range to have a drop zone which is outside of enemy firing range.  When we use the cardboard maps which come with the table top game (which do look cool) -- then we have to use quite a few of them to create that same effect.
  • We are thinking that what we may do is use the Heroscape tiles in the center of the battle mat -- and have a bit of a discontinuity in scale.  Outside the Heroscape tiles - you're on battle mat scale ("super long range") and you count and move with the smaller battle mat hexes.  Once inside the Heroscape tile space -- the tiles are larger and the more details throes of combat come into sharper focus.
2) Pink foam terrain was fun - but lots of work to make

Here is our first set of pink foam 3-D structures to use with the standard box set maps.
  • It was a lot of fun to have terrain which matched those cardboard map sheets.  And, we even made a HUGE one to use with the map which came with one of the expansions.
Here's a battle we run where we used our little pink-foam mountains and our really big pink-foam mountain.  It is fun when there are such steep angles to consider.  Brings up the question of whether or not to use the Pythagorean Theorem!!
  • But, these are a lot of work to create.  And, you can't really change them much once you have created them.  And, (especially in the case of the huge one) they are not convenient to store when the game is over!!
3) Excited about Heroscapes hex tiles!  ...Is it Hero Scapes?  Or Heroscapes?  Either way they are cool :)
  • We've been watching these on eBay for a long time - but they've always seemed a bit expensive.  Then, this past weekend we managed to get a set of them at the swap meet at our Mountain View Game Kastle store!
 The big huge trees are a little bit goofy - but the hexagon pieces are very cool!
  • We realized that they were a bit rough (a little bit too bright?) in terms of colors - so have been working on painting them.
The unpainted ones are the bright colored ones toward the bottom of the photo.  We started by priming them all brown - then added some sand and green colors.  More work to do....
  • Here's a quick look at them so far, with 'Mechs in operation.
Here are our painted Hero Scapes so far.  Think we'll do some dry brushing and add some other effects to the brownish look we have going so far....

4) Going to try mounting 3D printed structures and trees on to Hero Scapes tiles
  • Over the past couple of years we've 3D printed some structures from Thingiverse which were tagged as Battletech scale.  The only issue is that it's pretty easy to scoot them around on the board by accident.  Thinking that we could mount these to those really flat tiles (maybe the red ones) which were part of the tub of Heroscapes.
Here's a nuclear power plant we printed up.  This is one of the things we could mount onto a set of 3-4 of the flat Heroscape hexes.

This turbine was one of the first things we ever 3D printed.  It looks cool - but it slides around very easily.  Prime candidate for mounted on the hexes.

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