Wednesday, 11 November 2009

WWG Modular Gaming Boards

I am going to do something a bit different for my World Works Games scenery review. Instead of reviewing a building I've made I am going to show you the modular gaming boards that I use in my games when recreating Mayhem City. Each board measures 23 inches by 23 inches, which does seem like an odd figure, and not just in the literal sense of the word. There is a perfectly rational explanation for this. My original thought when I decided to make my gaming boards was to make them 24 inches square. But when I bought the foamboards that the ground tiles are glued to I discovered that it was A1 sized, meaning only 23.5 inches wide. That lack of half an inch was a bummer, I can tell you! When I began this project, the standard size for a Mayhem City ground tile was 7 inches square. If I put nine together in three rows of three that would fill an area 21 inches square. However, I wanted to widen all of the pavements on the tiles by one inch. So if I added an extra inch to each side of the 21 inch square I would end up with a 23 inch square. So, that is why my gaming boards are all 23 inches by 23 inches.
I planned each tile out on graph paper before printing out the relevant tiles. The road tiles come from the Streets of Mayhem set and the concrete tiles are from the Bits of Mayhem set. I used 3M Photo Spray to glue the tiles to the foamboard. With such a large area to be glued this is the best solution. The pavements were cut from the tiles and glued onto mounting card then stuck back in place on the foamboard. This raises the pavement from the road, as it is in real life. Most people would have left the pavements attached to the road tiles but my motto is "always go the extra mile!" Yes, it means more work but not only does it look good but it also helps stop the buildings from sliding about if they are accidentally nudged.
I should mention that before I glued any tiles to the foamboard I stuck strips of masking tape along each edge of the foamboard. This helped to protect them and made it easier to paint the edges so that they matched the tiles. All of the boards have had their edges painted in Games Workshop acrylic paints.
The first tile that I made is shown above and is simply a straight road section running across the centre of the board. I made a copy of the straight road tile shown and digitally removed the scrap newspapers. I used that road tile to cut and paste the extra one inch strips of pavement and the one inch wide ends for the road.

This next tile is very similar to the first but it serves a specific purpose with the two turn-offs from the main road. They lead to my Mayhem petrol station and garage. Those two buildings will always  go with this particular tile.

This tile is also similar to the first two but this time the road runs along one board edge. I knew that I wanted some tiles with the road running across the centre of the board and some with the road hugging one edge. Of course this means that the road sections of these boards don't line up but that isn't a problem as I made boards that will allow them to line up. Keep on viewing and you'll see what I mean.

This tile adds a T-junction to the road that runs across the board... does this board. This board is one that allows the boards with the road running centrally to match up with those where the road runs along one edge. See, I told you I had it covered!

After adding a T-junction, the next logical step was to create a crossroads.

And here I created another crossroads. Once again, this board will join the boards where the road runs across the centre to those where the road runs along one edge only this time there are two options for placing the board with the centrally placed road - top or bottom.

Next up on my agenda was curves. This board shows the road running along two sides of the board, leaving a large area to place a big building or numerous smaller ones.

This curved road is designed for the the boards in which the road is situated centrally.

Here we come to another of my tiles that allows the boards with the centrally placed roads to join up with the boards with the roads running along an edge. This is a right hand curve...

...and this is a left hand curve.

This is the first of three tiles that I designed using the two car parking tiles that came with the Streets of Mayhem set. I have modified the tiles slightly. The main change being that I gave the disabled parking bay a lot more space. It was originally the smallest of the parking spaces, which frankly, made no sense at all. My father is disabled but can still drive so I know only too well how important it is for disabled drivers to have extra space. Don't get me started on non-disabled drivers who park in disabled bays - inconsiderate bastards!

In this board I have placed the car park centrally.

And on this board the car park has been shifted across to the far right.

This is the last board that I made and is radically different to all the others. This was designed for the Mayhem Skateboard Park. The perimeter fence and two spectator stands are glued in place, so I have to be careful when storing it away. With the path running all the way around it, it still retains its modularity and if you look at my last two ATZ battle reports you will see how well it fits in with the other boards.
I'll be making more boards of this ilk in the future. Mayhem Junkyard and Wildwood Grove immediately spring to mind. Both sets will require their own unique boards. I haven't even thought about the Mayhem Mega-Mall. That will be quite a project when I do start it. I'm holding back until more expansion packs have been released for it. The initial set contains only three shops and a restaurant, which isn't much to fill a shopping mall. However, further expansions have been promised.
The other thing that has me pondering is how WWG's new TerrainLinks system will affect Mayhem City. At present TLX only covers fantasy settings but it is the way of the future for WWG and I know the designers will get round to catering to the contemporary gamers eventually. How TLX will fit in with the current Mayhem City sets remains a mystery.

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