Sunday, 28 May 2017

Terrain Crusade: Ask Owen in the Campaigner Magazine.

There's been a change in the way Terrain Crusade, my regular article in The Campaigner Magazine works. Both the editor and I felt that we wanted to be able to directly address problems and questions the readers were having, so the column has shifted from a general workshop/tutorial sort of format to a Q&A format. You can send your questions in to the magazine and in every issue I'll try to answer as many as possible. I've placed a direct link to the Ask Owen column in the menu bar, or you can follow the Ask Owen link in this post.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Ishoo Wun-Oh-Sven: Portheim Boards

Welcome once again fans of the African river horse school of terrain manufacture! Last ishoo we handled the making of the polystyrene tiles which make up the land of Portheim. This time we shall look at the making of the MDF board which they sit upon and which represent the watery depths of the seas! And which can ALSO be used for games of Distopian Wars, Dreadfleet (for the absurdly rich) or Man O' War (for the absurdly old and awesome).
But how hard is it to build an ocean, I hear you cry? Let us consult Grot, who has recently been hunting witches through the ruins of Portheim...

Oh yes indeed. It is glossy and reflective, but it's very hard to get a decent photo.... sigh.
This is a very quick little project, which could easily be done in a day. The only reason it took me longer was the unseasonable weather here... Not so much the rain, but the wind which was threatening to pick up and launch the boards while I was painting. Yes - boards - there are three of them which can be placed side by side to make a 6X4 table.
Also, a note on the photos - I didn't want to take the camera outside and forget it to be rained upon, so these were taken on my phone. Grot seems to like the new widescreen format...
Next up, we'll look at building Old Portheim Bridge, followed by an attempt at the Pirate Ship Titania... that all the Ted Naifeh fans are excited I shall leave you! Farewell!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Ishoo Wun-Oh-Six: Portheim Tile

Hello again and welcome to the first real instalment in the Portheim Project! This ishoo will tackle the main building block of the whole project - the basic Portheim Terrain Tile, which can be customised, adjusted and messed about with the build all sort of more exciting versions of itself! Yes - a modular terrain tile and it's only taken us seven years to get round to making one!
But how hard is the making of a modular terrain tile? Let us consult the mystical oracle of Grot...

A tablesaw is very handy for making sure all the lines are exact, and, by using the built in fence, you can make sure all pieces have the same dimensions. I started this over the holidays, so I had to use my Dad's old Triton Work Center, which is kinda small. During term I have access to a huge industrial saw table at school which makes these things much easier.  Sigh. 
Unlike the blade on a knife, the blade on a circular saw is actually very thick - about 3mm usually. This means that for every cut you make, you lose 3mm of material. Since the sheets are exaclty 600mm wide, you get one 300mm and one 297mm wide tile across. Since all the tiles must be the same size for a modular table, this obviously does not work. I cut the slightly narrower tiles down to 150mm wide half-tiles, and use the rest of the left overs for other things. As you shall see. Eventually.

And there you have it Hippo Fans! I've got quite a bit more of Portheim in various places - this is just what I had in the modelling room at the time, and painted. Come back next time - we'll either be making a launching ramp/boat slip or a boat. One of those.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Kitnapped published on The Game Crafter!

Kitnapped, the game of duelling cat collectors has now been published on The Game Crafter!
Kitnapped started life as an entry in the Board Game Geek 24 hour game design challenge back in June 2016. Since then, it's been tweaked and tested more extensively that the 24 hour deadline would allow, the art has been upgraded, and two test games have been printed. There were a few minor tweaks needed to the test games before it was ready to publish (the recommended ages on the top and bottom of the box didn't match, and a few minor rules clarifications) - these changes have now been made so the public can also enjoy this exciting game!

In Kitnapped, you play as cat enthusiasts trying to amass the greatest litter of kittens. You can find kittens by drawing cards, but it's much more fun to lure them away from other players using sqeuaky mice, saucers of milk and balls of wool. Of course, everyone else will try to lure your cats, so you want to block their lures with collars, microchips, and the all powerful naptime. You can also make other people's cats sick. Whoever has the best collection of healthy cats when the Crazy Cat Lady arrives wins the game.

I'm also playing with some ideas for an expansion which will materialise sometime soon. It's got some new mishap cards, and the ability to upgrade your cats with unique special rules.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Ishoo wun-oh-fiv: Necrotite Rig

For countless ages of men, rumours and myths have spoken of this day - the day when TFH finally updates once more! Amongst the pygmy people of the amazon they hold that this day will herald a new age of man, and that we shall all bathe in the sickly green glow of glory. And they are mostly right since it's a Necrotite Rig. At last.
But how easy (not to say time consuming) is the manufacture of such things? Well, apparently not that time consuming, since it's been lying about the modelling room since September and not being worked on.
Anyway, here's Bane Grot to explain.

And there it is! Stand by for further updates about Portheim month - and don't forget, GeekFest 2017 is next weekend!
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