Friday, 12 September 2014

Build me a Stronghold worthy of Sci-fi

Today will be a quick look at my current hobby project, the recently delivered Battle Systems terrain.  This is card terrain however calling it simply card terrain does it an injustice in my eyes, this stuff is incredibly sturdy and with a little extra work and effort can be made to last for a long time.

The aesthetic Battle Systems have gone for is a generic sci-fi base interior which will work with numerous gaming systems and miniature ranges, personally I have already used one stronghold for a game of Star Wars with further games of Doctor Who, AvP, Warpath (skirmish) and Secrets of the Third Reich in mind.

The first Stronghold set up for a game of Star Wars Miniatures

This is set up is made from a single Stronghold set and doesn't include any of the stretch goal or additional items that came through the Kickstarter

Even with this set up I still had plenty of walls and platforms left so could have built up the upper level much more but being the first build I wanted to keep it simple

The time is takes to build a set up might be a little longer than you are used to but I feel that this is actually half the fun, much like building Lego was (or is).  This was built with no forward planning at all, I just laid out the parts on the table and started to put it together in which ever way looked best at the time.  I did have to change some pieces around when I started to build up a level and looking back now I can see things I would have done differently but that will give me something new to try out next time.
Going back to how to make the terrain more sturdy (and so last longer), it's all in the preparation.  This involves trimming certain slots that, due to the cutting process when being manufactured, are slimmer than others.  Now you can just force the pieces together which will widen the slots as well however it can split the card which will reduce the longevity your set, this isn't really worth it though as the time taken widening the slots is much like cleaning the flash of your miniatures or plastic terrain and takes around the same amount of time.  The next handy hint is to brush a little glue onto the thinner cut pieces which are more susceptible to splitting (I also glued certain pieces of room furniture together for much the same reason, even though they are designed to be reversible, as I have more than enough to make up versions of both).  This makes those pieces very durable and, to borrow from Colin of Battle Systems, almost like plastic.

All my pieces drying after receiving a brush of glue on the edges.  I also glued the door frames in as these will never need to be removed and it just helps make the piece more sturdy

The other great thing with the Battle System terrain is storage, normally (and speaking from experience) once you've built up your nice bit of terrain you then have to find somewhere to store it when not gaming which is not always easy depending on how large the terrain peice is.  Luckily the chaps at Battle Systems put a great video detailing how to store your sets once they were built including where to buy the various boxes, this obviously means a little more expenditure but has been well worth it for me due to the limited amount of space for storage.

This is enough storage for two Stronghold sets plus all stretch goals and add-ons from the Kickstarter.  Nice and tidy as well as  great for transporting to your club or friends house

I've not got much left to work on now, just the stretch goals and add-ons, and I'm hoping to get a full two Stronghold set up going for a game of Doctor Who in a couple of weeks (I'll make sure to get some snaps of this).

What I've got left to work on

Everything I've gone through

Overall I couldn't be happier with the product I've got, from flexibility of use to the longevity of the set itself and I would happily get some more sets in the future which leads us on nicely to Battle Systems current Kickstarter campaign for the fantasy version dubbed 'The Dungeon'.  Again a great amount of use for this set and again I'll be going for two set which will create a 4x4 gaming area and with the inclusion of one of the add-ons (dimensional gate) I think some games of Stargate will be in order!

That's all for now, in my next post I'm hoping to do an un-boxing of the second shipment from the Deadzone Kickstarter which is due any time now but until then a bid thee merry gaming.

Crucium (aka Phil)

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