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Monday, December 26, 2011

And A River Runs Through It?

WHAT?  A river?  I thought this was all about Pirates in the Carob Bean Sea!

Calm yourself, young GrassChopper, it is as you say it is.  But, if you will reflect back on earlier posts, it was mentioned that the terrain will be built for versatility beyond the two planned games plus the play test - and maybe a fourth outing locally if it can be arranged.  The photos you are about to see will show some of the "curvaceous" pieces that are on their way to becoming the islands for the game (well, the larger ones, some of the smaller ones have yet to be photographed) and a bit of the diverse ways of arranging them - but not yet shown as they will be arranged for the game.  Need to keep something in reserve to lure you back for more, yes?
Well, okay, there are no curves yet in the pieces above but this is just to show a starting point.  These pieces were pre-cut at the hardware store to 2' x 3' and will be cut up into corners and short extenders.  Most of the precut pieces were 2' x 4' and a few were 1' x 4' with at least one pair of the latter cut into 1' x 3' to make Saltwater Springs Island - which will also be the back side of the volcano when it appears as a whole.
This photo shows a 5' wide by 19' setup with a 1' (approximately) river running between the pieces - or maybe it is a long valley through the Northwest Frontier, or maybe with some cliff pieces on top it could be Apache Pass.  How about the Nile?  Or a fjord with Narvik deep inside?  Versatility!  On the right is a four foot ruler.

If you study the above image with some care, and one of the lower ones, you will see the four "national" islands that will be used in the game.  They are the four end pieces, two on either side.
This is a reverse view of the previous image.  Did you note the peninsula way down on the left of this view is removable?  There is an alternate set to be used that just makes this a little bit of a "jut" rather than a peninsula.
 How sharp are your eyes?  Did you see them at first glance of this view?  See what?...
See these two 15 mm resin boats just past the peninsula?
Maybe you can see them better here.  This is just to help give a sense of scale.  Remember, the game will be on two 6' wide by 24' long tables and this is only 5' by 19' as laid out.
This is a view of six of the islands that will be used in the game but not as they will be used but in their "matching" configuration.  On the far right of this view is the volcano island, Gilderakatoa, and abutted up to it is Saltwater Springs Island.  Ever wonder how long you could live on just salt water?

The middle pair of islands are the north and south native islands or - in this arrangement - Turtle Island.

And the set on the left is the pirate island, the bigger one of course, and the mangrove swamp island - and, yes, the mangroves will "leak" onto the pirate island.
 Here is a reverse view of the same - note the four foot ruler again to give you a sense of the size of what's is being assembled here.
This is a view of an alternative arrangement using one of the two corner pieces and a three foot extender.  Each "side" of the layout has two 4' extenders and one 3' extender.  None of the extender pieces or corners are for the game.  But that island by the "bay" extender is.
Just a reverse shot showing the other end.  This set up is also approximately 5' by 19'.  Since our normal table gaming width is 5' rather the Pirate game's special 6', I built these ends - the matching corner and 3' extender - to be 5' wide.  And while mentioning extenders the last two of the eight needed are now built.

What game scenario can you imagine using this setup with those two sharp corners at either end and the narrowing of the river/canyon by the "peninsula"?
A sample shot of one of the towns with some figures in it - but not in its final arrangement yet.  This is the Spanish village and some troops being led by the towns mounted military commander...
 with a closer shot of some figures being commanded.
Last, but not least, is a seagull's eye view of the Spanish town - all ten buildings (the one to the upper left counts as three) and the barrel pile.

What you see in the photos above are two pieces of underlayment cut to match each other, a bottom piece and a smaller top piece.  These will be separated by furring strips I've ripped into 1"x1" pieces which will be glued and screwed together.  Then there will be insulation foam stuffed into the open areas - on the gaming faces only, not the ends or back.  Once that is done, a layer of wood glue goes down and will be covered with fine sand and once that is dry it will be time to paint - four browns below four greens.

And one last thought for you to consider - if it hasn't occurred to you already: go back up to the first photo and imagine the two sides being moved so that they are back to back.  A four foot wide by nineteen foot long island?  Or is it the same size plateau?   I haven't tried to tally up all the possible arrangements of the game pieces and the extra extenders and corners but I can sure imagine a lot of uses for them however they are arranged.  Hey, how about a pirate game?!

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