Monday, November 23, 2015

Carstock Terrain

The Batman Miniature Game (henceforth referred to as BMG), requires a good bit of modern urban terrain. Many gaming stores have access to a variety of terrain, but most terrain pieces are rural environments (hills, trees, ponds, etc), or battlefield accessories (bunkers, trenches). And usually the buildings that are around are fantasy buildings (straw huts, castles) or 40K ruins. The later will work somewhat in a pinch, as Gotham does have a similar architecture style, but it's just not the same. So BMG needs it's own. But, as most tabletop gamers know, terrain can be very expensive (money we'd rather use on minis) and time consuming (which we rather use to paint said minis). The solution: cardstock terrain.

There are quite a few of free plans for use, which some that I found did not turn out too badly. But the best ones you're going have to pay a few bucks for. The best site I have found for BMG terrain is World Work Games ( Their line of Mayham City terrain works perfectly. The plans range from about $5-$12, but they all come with "smoosh" insurance. If your building gets smooshed, just print up another one! I have purchased three plans from them for use with BMG, which is what I'm going to write about today.

Mayham Bank
* Mayham Corporate
* Mayham Streets of Legend

For anyone who wants to get started on cardstock terrain, there are some basics you need to know first. Mad Brew Labs has a page which links numerous sites for terrain stores and tutorials. World Works Games also has some decent tutorial videos on their site as well.

*I apologize for the unpainted minis. One of these days I'll get caught up and get some color on these things.

Mayham Bank

Though this was not my first attempt at cardstock terrain, it was my first attempt at something of this magnitude. I figured "What better terrain to have than a freaking bank?!" These plans are part of World Works legacy plans they refer to as "The Vault". This just means that these plans are a bit older (2002) and don't make use of their inter-connective designs.

 The Lobby area

 The Back Office

 The Vault Interior

The plans give you numerous options of how to build your model. I went with the taller walls, but in hind sight, I should have used the shorter ones since I wasn't going two-story. All in all, for my first attempt, I don't think it came out too bad, especially the interior. I think I made the vault and office areas too small, and the roof was also a real pain. Yes, it has a printout for the roof, but the size was off and I had stretch it out some with partial cuts and it didn't come out even. All things considered, it didn't come out terrible. Plus, as a bonus, the plans come with a few vehicle cutouts, including an armored car, taxi, and 2 sedans.

Mayham Corporate

This model comes from WWG's Quick Terrain line, and it lives up to its name. Where the bank took me week to build (during my staycation at that!), this one I completed within a couple of hours. There is no interior, which is a huge time saver. The plans include a design pattern to be able to collapse the building flat, but I went with a permanent build instead in order to give it a solid base. In fact, I purchased a stock of 3/16" foam core board for use with this and the streets (see below). This tower is actually 3 tower pieces, which can be separated and combined with other pieces. There are also plans for balconies (not shown) and bridges to connect multiple towers, which I plan to make use of at some point in the future. The plans even have a cutouts for an internal support, so the the tower is actually pretty sturdy. Overall, I'm pleased with the ease of build with this one. I do plan on making a second tower in the future.

Mayham Streets

These I have only begun to toy with, but show tremendous promise. While some plans only mention foam core as an option, this one is required. Otherwise, you would have no support underneath, and the foam core is used in the connectors. The streets are assembled using 6" x 6" modular pieces which connect together using small (@ 2"x 1") cutouts of foam core. The plans include cutouts for the connector pieces, so no guess work involved. It's recommended to use printable adhesive paper (ie. label paper) for the connector cutouts so you don't have to mess with glue. The plans also come with clean streets, dirty streets (shown above), and post-apocalypses. Each sections takes about an hour to completely cutout and complete. You can print a full sheet of connectors (@24-30 pieces), and are fairly quick to cutout, especially with label paper. This promises to be very rewarding once complete. Not longer playing on bare tables.

Final Thoughts

Although this ended being more costly that I originally thought, with having to buy a new printer (mine died anyway), buying carstock paper, foam core, label paper, etc, it still turns out cheaper than buying pre-molded terrain, and gives you a lot more options. There just doesn't seem to be a lot of modern terrain (as opposed to fantasy or sci-fi), so this seems to be the best course of action for now. That is, until the Arkham Asylum releases in the US :)

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