Wednesday, March 23

Terrain Building: From the ground up

I thought I would begin blogging and what better place to start than a basic tutorial.  I am about to embark on a journey to a sand covered land I call a gaming table.  My plan is over the next week or so to build a new gaming table for my game room.  I already have several gaming tables built, but have donated some to the local store.  This has left me with only my black city tables, which doesn't work well for every gaming situation.  I have always wanted to build a desert table and thought this the perfect time. 

My plan is to take pictures of my progress and report to you the costs of materials I am using.  I will explain the methods I use to build the table first and then the same as I build the terrain pieces for the table.  I am no expert or scenery guru, but hopefully I can show people how easy it is to build their own table and quality scenery at home. I have built many tables over the years along with countless amounts of scenery. Whether for tournaments, display or personal use the tricks of the trade are all the same and much easier than people think.

I build my gaming tables with a light wooden frame and thin hardboard as a gaming surface. This allows the table to be moved easily by one person.  The table will incorporate hills (sand dunes), rocks and ruined buildings.  All the scenery will be separate from the table so it can be stored.  I always tend to build more scenery than necessary to play with, but I like my tables full.  A good rule of thumb that a lot of people use for tournaments is the scenery should cover approximately 25% of the table.  Another thing to take into account when planning out the table is that you need a mix of types of scenery.  For example, you can provide ruined buildings as cover and difficult terrain but you also want to provide line of sight blocking terrain as well.  I tend to make my hills out of 1 1/2" foam, so these block line of sight  for all but the largest of targets.  Just use your imagination and you'll be fine.

Hopefully some of the things I show you will be of some help and will inspire you to start your own terraforming.  Even if you don't have space in your own home to build a full sized table you can still build the modular scenery and play on a kitchen table or any flat surface really.  Alternatively, I know our local gaming store is always in need of terrain.  So give it a go and then donate it to where you play!

So watch for the next installment where I will be constructing the frame and attaching the table top.  Followed up by adding texture and paint to the surface.  Thanks for reading!

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