ScrapYard Armory

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Archive for the ‘Terrain’ Category

Jan-13-2017

Misc IWM Buildings

 

It has been a while since I last visited GenCon, but the last time I went, I picked up a handful of these small buildings from Iron Wind Metals.

Roughly hex-sized, these buildings could be warehouses, parts depot, or something simpler.  They work great on hex maps and are in good scale for a 2 level building.

Painting

For painting, I kept it simple with a base of Slaanesh Grey followed by my usual magic wash to set the shadows.

After waiting overnight for the wash to set, I gave it a quick coat of sealer (Dullcote) and then gave it a quick dry brush of a mix of the base color and a little bit of white.

Boom.  All done and ready for the table top.

I wish I could find these little guys on the IWM website.  As I recall, they were very affordable.  Something around 50 or so cents each.

Hopefully I can get back to the convention scene sometime in the near future.  Until then, I do have quite the backlog of minis and terrain to paint up.  Here’s to busy schedules and engaging hobbies!

Posted under Terrain
Mar-23-2015

Remote Airfield

Heavy Metal Map is a great program.  It’s oodles of fun and can occupy my time for hours.

remote_airfield_preview

On a lark I decided to warm up the old program to make a new map.  The Remote Airfield map is designed to represent a small isolated airport for small craft (not a dropship port).  While mostly flat there are a few key features to break up movement and line of sight.  Light woods and some small water features are scattered about to keep things interesting.

As always I have three different formats available.  Pick what you need and happy gaming!

ScrapYardArmory – Remote Airfield

Printable PDF (0.65MB)

Low Resolution JPEG (3.04MB)

High Resolution JPEG (10.6MB)

Action Shots

Remote_Airfield_2Remote_Airfield_1Remote_Airfield_9Remote_Airfield_8

Remote_Airfield_7Remote_Airfield_6Remote_Airfield_5

Remote_Airfield_4Remote_Airfield_3

Posted under Terrain
Oct-20-2012

Mech Repair Bay by Iron Wind Metals

Fresh from GenCon I brought home a copy of the new and as of yet limited release Iron Wind Metals ‘Mech Repair Bay.  Sold in a  clamshell package it costs a mere $25.  A steal for such a large terrain piece.  As of the writing of this article I have not heard word that this piece is available for sale.  I will update this post when I receive confirmation from the folks at IWM.  I’m aware that they had some mold issues and the few that made it to GenCon were lucky to have been available at all.

I took my sweet time before putting the whole thing together and slapping a quick paint job on it but I am very happy with the result and am looking forward to using it as an objective in a future game.

Opening

Inside the package you will find a three part base, 5 full struts, and one strut support.

A small hand sketched instruction sheet shows how it all fits together which took a  bit of staring at for me to really get it and be able to dry fit everything in place.  From here on out there is a lot of sanding and filing.  The good news is that while the mold lines are prominent they are very obvious and are easy to get to.  You won’t be worrying about filing away fine detail while you are preparing to paint.  More on this later on.

Gluing the Base

For the base, I used a two part 5 minute epoxy to join the two halves and the ramp.  I made sure to be careful to use just enough epoxy to get the job done while holding the platform against a flat surface during curing.  I was afraid that the plates would find themselves stuck to my desk but I kept the base moving around just enough to make sure they behaved. Same process with the ramp which was more forgiving due to a small shelf built in to connect it to the rest fo the base.

Preparing the Struts

For a while I was painstakingly filing away on the struts to remove mold lines on the flats of the support beams.  Normally I wouldn’t use a dremel tool on a miniature but in this case where we have large flat surfaces to prep, the tool seems to be the perfect choice.  With my dremel in hand I was able to clean up all of the beams in less than 10 minutes.

After these were finished up I dry fit the whole thing together   Even without glue the struts support and balance on each other so you can see how it is going to come together.   It does take some patience though as the completed bay is a bit like a house of cards.  The first strut to be moved out of balance will cause the whole thing to crash down.

Some of the struts I had to bend slightly to make them fit.  Out of the box some of them were slightly out of true.

Gluing the Struts

For the struts I used some standard gap filling CA glue (Zap a Gap Medium).  This is some tricky business to get the whole thing up but take your time dry-fitting and it will work out fine.

Base Coat

The struts and supports got based in flat Black while the floor got a healthy coat of GunMetal.  The struts took a bit of time to get done since I was using a brush to try to get into all of the nooks and crannies.   In hind sight the right way to do this would have been to spray paint the struts BEFORE gluing them together.  That way you would be assured that you get even and complete coverage and would also would take less time.

Wash

The floor of the ‘Mech Bay was washed in a black ink solution with Future floor finish.  This darkened the floor giving it a dirtier appearance.

Details

Details are always important and I knew I had to do something to help this terrain piece pop.  It is a bit bland in two tone color even after a wash.

The struts and supports got a light dry-brushing of GunMetal to help pick them out.  I added small warning strip box corners on the floor and did some additional ‘Mech height stripes in the outside facing supports.  For the yellow I used Plague Brown as a base coat and then Sun Yellow on top.  Using the brown base coat is critical to making the yellow look… well… yellow.

Not much else I could think to add without running to my electronics box (wouldn’t it be cool to add some LEDs?).  Maybe later I think.  For the time being, this works for me and seems just enough to make it battlefield ready.

The Final Result

Posted under Terrain
Feb-14-2012

WorldWorksGames’ A Time of War Terrain

WorldWorksGames

World Works specializes in paper terrain you can print cut and build into fantastic fantasy, scifi, and modern gaming spaces.  We jumped at the opportunity to put it to use in Breaking and Entering.

To capture the feel of the inside of a Castle Brian SDS, we purchased two sets of tiles; Codename: Titan and Titan Control.

The Terrainlinx system sold by World Works is a clever kit that makes it possible to create modular terrain pieces that can be mixed and matched to fit any design you can think of.  The secret is the shape of the floor tiles and the corresponding tabs that link everything together.  I had my doubts at first but when we joined together the first two pieces, I could feel the strength of the connection right away.  They certainly did their homework with this design.

As we plunged into the project we found that our own manufacturing tolerances yielded some less than sturdy connections but that was more operator error than not.  There is an art to making this terrain work and you get the hang of it after the first few pieces.  It is best to complete your first few tiles to completion so you can see and feel how they come together before starting any large batch construction tasks.

Codename: Titan and Titan Control

I recommend 1/4″ posterboard  for the floors if you can find it and don’t mind paying a little extra (over the 3/16″ posterboard) as the .GSD files have crease cut lines that will cause you to fold the vertical sides of the floor tiles that thick.  If you aren’t consistent on how you fold & glue the sides, you’ll have slight variance in how thick the flooring is, though it really isn’t a big deal in the end when all the floors are connected together.

I also recommend cutting the angled edges of the tabs on the bottom of your floor tiles back so you can easily fold the sides at an angle to match the angle you cut the poster board at.  Remember you are supposed to cut the outside edges of the poster board at a 70-80 degree angle under to ensure that they can butt right up against each other.  Whatever you do, do them all the same and test it as you go to make sure you aren’t inserting a fatal flaw that won’t allow them to connect properly.

As we progressed through our project we really felt the weight of the task.  Let me be brutally honest, this is a LOT of work to put even a modestly sized layout together.  Hopefully you can find a friend (or two, or three) to help you out.  The payoff is great but you will have put a lot of blood sweat and tears into your terrain by the time you are finished.

Kitbash

The only modifications we felt were needed was the addition on doors that could be opened and closed as the players made their way through the map.  After a few tries we settled on a rather quick and easy fix which allowed us to move the doors without too much additional work.

Silhouette SD

This terrain would never have been finished if we did not have the help of an automated cutting tool.  We used a Silhouette SD to speed through the cutting phase of the project.  This is my first time using an automated cutting machine and overall it was awesome though not without it’s hiccups.

The first cut I tried, I’m pretty sure I fed it in the right way (bottom first), and part way through, it rolled the guide sheet out in the middle of the cutting and kept going through the process of cutting without the sheet in it.  The second time I decided to turn the page around and feed it in ‘backwards’.  It cut it upside down, but at least it didn’t roll it out in the middle of cutting.  So, I’m really not sure what I did wrong the first time, but I got it to work after that.  The point is, don’t expect it to go perfectly.  A little practice goes a long way.  Here is some knowledge to give you a jump start with using a Silhouette SD:

CR09309K extra sticky carrier sheet: When using the CR09309K extra sticky carrier sheet even the 110lb paper will curl when you peal it off.  After folding and gluing the cut pieces however, it was not noticeable.  After a few dozen prints, the carrier sheet is less sticky and the paper curls less if at all when you peel it off the carrier sheet.

The clear gridded carrier sheet: The grid on the carrier sheet and the fact that it is clear mean nothing for our purposes.  I’m not really sure why they are there, but I’m sure someone else probably has a use for them.

Print vs sticky: Don’t put the printed side of a page against the sticky page holder as the ink will get pulled off.  I don’t know what i was thinking.  I was probably just a little frustrated that i couldn’t get the machine to work yet.  The machine cuts from above and will find three of the marker corners (also from above) to align itself.

But I have 110 lb!: In the ‘Cut Settings’, I had to choose 80lb cardstock when I actually have 110lb, but it worked just fine.

Blue screen: Unfortunately, the program is prone to crashing (no, not to an actual blue screen).  They released an update in the middle of this project, though I didn’t notice much difference.  After the update there was a sheet that just would not find the calibration marks even with half a dozen tries (the second time almost most always worked before), so I clicked on “try it manually”.  I now prefer the manual method.  Unfortunately, it isn’t an option until it fails.

Re-load: It was fairly common for me to have to re-load the print and carrier sheet to re-run the ‘Detect registration marks’ process.  I found that if I tell it to detect the registration marks before even loading the carrier sheet, it will fail and give me the choice to do it manually.  I found that manual is faster and more reliable.  It will find the marks every time.  No having to reload the paper and wait for the head to travel the width of the paper (which sometimes it did quite slowly).

Cut Settings: Remember to change the cut settings!  I kept forgetting when switching cut templates and it would assume it was cutting regular paper.  I don’t know exactly what effect the settings have because the time it took to cut didn’t seem to change, but it made a huge difference in whether it cut all the way through or only scored it.  Even when using the same blade.

Force the carrier sheet to curl up instead of down!  This is a big tip and probably the best idea I had.  This greatly improves the life of any of the sticky sheets and even allows you to use thick stock paper on barely sticky carrier sheets.  There was barely any tack left and it held just fine.  I think it started to cut poorly because the carrier sheet had so many cut marks it was wearing out.  Or, I may have simply forgot to change the cut settings to bond instead of paper.  Anyway, pile some things up in front and behind the cutter and lean a piece of cardboard (or your game manuals as I did in the picture above) on either pile.  This should cause the sticky sheet to bend upwards as it extends out of the Silhouette SD.

Calibrate!  This is the calibration to make sure your cutter is moving the head/paper at the speed it thinks it is.  You shouldn’t have to calibrate the vertical scale, but you should test it anyway.  I don’t have an accurate measuring tool handy, and I doubt many of you do either.

This isn’t how it works, but is how it should work: The calibration print should have print marks to assist with this.  One long line along the top of the page and 5mm dashes set 0.1mm offset.  The mark that is actually 200mm away should be marked as such and the others should be marked with how the cut should be adjusted if it was cut on that mark.  The machine should cut a line (or dashes so you can peel the sheet off easier) along the top line and where it thinks 200mm away is.  The instructions were pretty poor in that they were unclear on some very important parts.  With just a little testing, you too can figure it out though…  If the cut is to the Right/Down of the X mark, the sliders need to be set to the Left/Up.  These instructions should really be printed right on the calibration sheet.

Alignment: Alignment on the carrier sheet doesn’t have to be perfect.  It will find 3 corners and know where to cut.  As far as placement of the sheet to be cut on the carrier sheet or feeding the carrier straight into the machine is concerned, close is good enough as long as the pattern stays within the machine’s cutting width.

Wait, did I calibrate that yet? Unfortunately, the software continues to give you the choice to cut, even though you just unloaded the piece and loaded another piece.  It should only give you the option to find the calibration marks.  I keep forgetting if I ran the ‘find marks’ or not, so quite often I probably ran it twice.

 

Posted under Terrain
May-28-2011

Bushwacker Down

For those of you who have read my A Time of War after action report Bad Intel, you no doubt recall the center piece terrain feature, a downed BSW-X1 Bushwacker ‘Mech.

This was an idea that I had for a while and was pleased to finally have an opportunity to pull it all together with a scenario to go with it.  Here is a step by step recap of what was required to go from childhood toy to BattleTech terrain!

Found on eBay

First things first I needed the parts.  I found a lightly used Tyco Bushwacker toy on eBay for a steal at $20 shipped.  This particular auction was a bit on the low side since it was missing a few of the missiles and the ejection seat was non-functional.  This would be a serious red flag for a collector but since I didn’t need them I was happy to get the cheaper price.

Filling in the Gaps

The back of the legs and arms of the Bushwacker are hollow.  I wanted the ‘Mech to be a little more complete so I thought of ways to fill in the gap.  I ended up using expanding foam to fill the bulk and then later adding a thin layer of epoxy after the first coat of paint.

After waiting overnight for the foam to dry an exacto knife was used to carefully cut out the backside contours of the legs and one arm.  The epoxy coat I felt was necessary to finish the look.  The expanding foam is full of holes and pores.  It covers the bulk of the missing volume but it lacks a smooth surface to accept paint.

First Coats of Paint

The first base coat of paint involved black Apple Barrel paint.  This stuff is cheap and covers well.  No need to waste higher priced paints when you have a cheap alternative.  This is the same paint that I used for other terrain products.

Black may be a bit boring but it goes with everything.  It’s a good night camo as well.

Battle Damage

Break out the Dremel and prepare to get messy.  I traced a quick outline of the damage I wanted on the rear section of the ‘Mech using an exacto knife.  From there, I loaded in my largest drill bit and went to work mauling the cheap plastic until the edges looked appropriate for an armor breach.

At this time I also removed the ejection seat components and hollowed out the back of the cockpit to make room for additional accessories.  This step was an absolute pain.  While the rest of the ‘Mech was made of a soft plastic that yielded readily to my Dremel, the cockpit components were a harder variety that fought me at every turn.  After a good fight I had the desired space available.

The next step was to put something interesting to look at inside the gaping hole.  I couldn’t just leave it empty.  I opened up my trusty box of MechWarrior minis and found an appropriately looking torso, an Avalanche.   I cut the mini apart and painted the torso flat black followed by a dry brush of gun-metal.  The engine-ish looking part was then attached to the inside of the battle damaged section with a dab of 5-min epoxy and a lot of patience.  I had to use a popsicle stick and a glob of Sculpy putty to position it correctly and then held it there for several minutes until the epoxy set.

Let There be Light

We are looking good so far but what I really wanted was a custom lighting effect to make this ‘Mech really rock!

I used a PIC microcontroller to control three LED lights.

  • White LED – ambient cockpit lighting
  • Red LED – blinking error/warning lights inside the cockpit
  • Blue LED – reactor core fade in fade out effect around the battle damage

I had some existing code for a pulse width modulation (PWM) controller that I re-purposed for this project.  The three lights are controlled by modifying their PWM value within the main loop of the program.  The interrupt service routine takes those PWM values and does the real magic behind the scenes.

I made my first set of wires way too long and ended up trimming them significantly so they would fit in the limited space within the cavity behind the cockpit.  A small piece of wax paper helps to diffuse the blue led by the battle damage and a small cut out of black construction paper is all that is needed to hide the controller and battery behind the cockpit.

Finished Product

The entire ‘Mech was dry brushed with grey and white to bring out the panel lines.  It looked great on the battle field and really helped to bring the game to life.  If I have more time later I may see if I can’t convert a few more ‘Mechs for use in A Time of War games.

 

Posted under Terrain
Jun-28-2010

ScrapYard Terrain

After purchasing this particular terrain item at GenCon last year I finally got around to painting it.

Nothing fancy.  A base coat of black followed by several rounds of dry brushing using greys and metallics.  This item comes from Armorcast who has an impressive array of terrain elements that could be used for BattleTech.  They also make the cinematic effects that CamoSpec artists use quite often.

While it does not lend itself well to maps, I would imagine this would feel right at home as a blocking terrain template for QuickStrike or even ClickTech MechWarrior.

For me, I think I will use it most as added scenery for miniature pictures.

Posted under Terrain
Apr-9-2010

Mount Shanyu

A relic of the Star League and the Terran Hegemony, Fortress Dieron radiates the power and majesty of bygone eras.
Occupying nearly two-thirds of Mount Shanyu, the fortress boasts several artillery, turret, and orbital gun emplacements as well as nearly one hundred ’Mech and vehicle bays, cavernous storage facilities, and enough space for over four regiments of troops, support personnel, and command staff.

Fresh from Jihad Turning Points: Dieron the ScrapYardArmory presents Mount Shanyu!

Mount Shanyu PDF (610 KB)

I created a Heavy Metal Map which includes the special terrain featured in the Climbing Mount Shanyu track in the aforementioned Turning Points PDF.  The first 6 pages are the map itself with a generic wall layout.  The last page contains turret and door hexes which can be cut out and used to create the perfect wall for your campaign while still allowing you to stretch out to accommodate any size engagement.  Sorry to say that HMM did not have an option for 500CF doors, so I made due with 50CF figuring adding a zero wouldn’t be that bad.  This ends with the doors labeled as Heavy when they are actually Hardened.

I hope you find it useful.  If there is any desire to have one made with 2″ hexes instead of the standard BattleTech size shoot me and email and I’ll reprint from the Heavy Metal Map file.  Good hunting!

Posted under Terrain
Dec-11-2009

Scavenger Jackpot

Salvage is the lifeblood of any BattleTech force.  Going too long without an influx of scrap to pick through will make any commander sweat.  Having a few piles of broken down beat up ‘Mechs on the battlefield  adds to the BattleTech milieu.

achesoncreationslogoI picked up some great looking terrain pieces at a HMGS event this year and just got around to painting them up.  These are from Acheson Creations.  The scaling is just about right for BattleTech games.  Just looking at the big ‘Mechs makes you think of the Archer or Longbow.AchesonCreationsTerrain - 1

Each piece is made out of a type of hard plastic.  On each piece there were bubbles and pot mark imperfections from either the casting process or the material.  I spent some time with an exacto knife cleaning it up as best I could.  The plastic is very forgiving.  I can’t say that these are the most detailed terrain pieces I’ve seen but for debris markers or simple ambiance, they work fine.

Painting them was easy.  I didn’t feel the need to do a super fine detail job since they are supposed to look rusted and beat down.  After priming black, I dry brushed the ground with Beasty Brown, Plauge Brown, and Khaki.  The ‘Mechs started with Cold Grey, followed by Sombre Grey, and a diluted wash of Bloody Red, Brassy Brass, and Beasty Brown.  Add in a few clumps of static grass and they are ready for the next game.

AchesonCreationsTerrain - 2

AchesonCreationsTerrain - 3

The Price IS Right

And now the best part, the price.  Each of these cost just $0.50.  For two quarters a piece these are a steal.  Acheson Creations was at this past GenCon and is a familiar sight at HMGS events.  Another great reason to go to conventions and skip shipping charges and minimum orders.  Next opportunity should be Cold Wars 2010.  Mark your calendars and get your game on!

Posted under Terrain
Jun-29-2009

Miniature Photography Background

Photo Background - 01I love painting miniatures.  About the only thing I like more is photographing them after I’m done and sharing my work.  Up until now I’ve used a very limited assortment of backgrounds for my photographs.  I wanted to do something different and so last weekend, coupon in hand, I picked up a Mountain Diorama Kit at a local arts and crafts store.  It retails for $22 but came out to under $15 after a 40% off coupon.

I built the entire diorama in about a day including dry time.  I’ll take you through the steps as I go from a box full of scenery to some new pictures of some of my older ‘Mechs.

Unpacking and Making RocksPhoto Background - 03Photo Background - 02

The kit comes with everything you need for a diorama or so it says.  The first thing I added was a 20″x15″ poster board to make my base.  They sell a fancy base if you want, but I’m all about saving money on this project so I stuck with a simple poster board foundation.

The very first step is to make some rocks.  The kit comes with a rock mold and some casting plaster.  From my experience the water measurement listed is woefully inadequate.  Use your judgment and make sure your plaster will pour.  You want it to settle easily without making a total mess.  Mine ended up a little bit thick and the rocks eventually came out with small pot marks on the rock faces.

You should have plenty of plaster to make almost two full rock sets.  I was a bit conservative and only made one, but I ended up with plenty left over.  You will need some plaster for later but not a whole lot.

Photo Background - 04Photo Background - 05Building up the Mountain

Using my poster board as a base, I glued and taped the supplied back boards to form a solid foundation for my mountain.  As I began adding balled up newspaper I kept in mind to leave a large enough flat area for my miniatures to stand.

Plaster cloth, something simular to papier-mâché, is laid out one piece at a time to form the outer shell that our greenery will adhere to.  Take your time with this step.  It is not a race.  After placing each piece, wet your hand and smooth out the plaster attached to the cloth to fill in the holes of the cloth.  This will help to create a smoother surface for your undercoat to stain.  Without ensuring most (but not necessarily all) the holes are plugged, the little earth undercoat they give you will seep into those holes and not do as good a job staining your ground.Photo Background - 06

You will have plenty of cloth to go the distance.  You should have more than enough to have two solid layers over your newspaper.

Adding the Rocks and Some Color

The rocks glue down with Elmer’s.  Additional plaster is mixed and poured to help fill in gaps between the rocks and the underlying plaster cloth.

Coloring the rocks was deceptively easy.  Yellow, brown, black.  1 – 2 – 3 simple.  Follow the directions and you will be surprised by the results.  Who knew this stuff could be easy?

Photo Background - 07Photo Background - 09The earth undercoat is meant to give a earthy stain to the plaster cloth.  For my diorama, I did not fill in all of the plaster cloth holes like I should have.  That combined with being a bit conservation on the water measurement led to me running out well before finishing the job.  Word to the wise: water down this stuff like it’s going out of style.  You can always apply a second coat, but when it’s gone, it’s gone.

I ended up mixing some Beasty Brown and Camo Green Vallejo paints to good effect and finished up.  The blend (heavy with the Camo Green) was a surprisingly decent match to the included earth undercoat color.

Input Green and Season to Taste

Photo Background - 10Photo Background - 11Finally, we start adding some grass!  The kit includes three different shades of green for you to sprinkle to your hearts content.  Go nuts, have fun, and be reassured you will have plenty left over to blend.  My only regret at this stage is going so heavy with the dark evergreen turf when I could have spread it thinner over a larger area.  I think it would have looked even better with more subtle highlights.

The kit includes tiny rocks, bushes, and thin stranded foliage which I used to mask out imperfections in my work.  See a seam?  Fill it with shrubs!  Easy as that you can look like you knew what you were doing the whole time.Photo Background - 13Photo Background - 12

Late in the game, the directions include a bit on making trees from the stranded shrub material.  I wanted to give the kit a full shake out so I went ahead and made three, resisting the urge to just get out some of my own custom trees.  I have to say my trees do not look anything like theirs do.  Just like the Double Whopper you eat doesn’t look anything like the one shown on the menu, you have to accept the fact that not all is possible with a $15 diorama in a box.

Final Pictures

After the glue and the paint were all dry it was time for some pictures!  I brought out a few favorites to show including one I did not paint myself but instead performed a moderate tune-up on.  After all is said and done, the diorama fits nicely on top of a shelf with my other Battletech books and accessories.

Photo Background - 14Photo Background - 16Photo Background - 17Photo Background - 15

Posted under Terrain
May-5-2009

Iron Wind Metals HPG

iwm_dishpreIron Wind Metals has a lot of surprises on it’s website.  One item you won’t likely see in your local gaming store is the new Interstellar Radar Dish.  To the regular Battletech player the image is iconic.  It’s not some run of the mill radar dish, but a Hyper Pulse Generator station.

The sculpt looks stunning.  I picked mine up at Cold Wars in Lancaster Pa at the Iron Wind Metals booth.  You can get your own on the Iron Wind Metals website.

The full kit is made up of resin and pewter parts that come together to form the full terrain piece.  The resin pieces seem to be cast from an original that was made in a prototyping machine.  There are long concentric rings around the dish that are very obvious up close.  Not a huge problem although I can see how those rings would be accentuated by dry brushing.  Keep this in mind when you paint yours.

iwm_dish2iwm_dish1The pewter pieces come together rather easily.  The only issue besides the obvious flash and casting trim is the center dish antenna.  It is made up of two pieces that don’t come together as cleanly as one would hope.  You will need some green stuff in order to patch up this defect before priming and painting.

The dish counterweights (the round things sticking out the back) were a bit tricky to glue together and were also two pieces.  In the end, I used a wad of green stuff to stick them together.

I painted my own piece rather quickly and am only marginally satisfied with my work.  The primer coat was not ideal, but I pressed on so I could finish the project.  No sense keeping such a fine sculpt on my desk collecting dust.  I’ve got plans for this little dish after all.

The HPG terrain piece can be used as mere decoration or as something more elaborate as a centerpiece of an objective based scenario.  Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate this terrain in your own games.  Use the large base for hexless terrain games but do without on a standard hex map.  Both styles look great and accommodate large and small games alike.

  • Scan the Target / Send a Message

The attacking force needs to send a message out and to get a ‘Mech within communication distance (usually 3 or 4 hexes, 6 if the ‘Mech has an active probe) for two consecutive turns in order to transmit the data to/from the station.  During those turns no ranged combat attacks may be made by the scanning unit.

  • Seek and Destroy

The HPG must go down.  Give it a hefty construction factor ( > 100 CF) and send in the troops to either defend it or destroy it.  As an interesting twist, use the shielding rules from Tactical Operations (page 19).  Another option is to impose a rule where the attacking force may NOT target the HPG if there is an enemy ‘Mech in range with a to-hit number of seven or less.  This kind of rule will result in some interesting decisions by both Attacker and Defender.

  • Extraction

You have a spy on the inside and he needs to get out before his cover is blown.  Your force is tasked to get him out in one piece.  Follow the extraction scenario in Total Warfare (page 260) but limit the spy placement to within 6 hexes of the HPG.

Unique terrain is a great way to spice up your games.  I’d love to hear your ideas on how to use this piece in a campaign or scenario.

Posted under Terrain