Apparently, it has become a tradition that I build a complete game table for the 11th Company GT (happening Nov 9 & 10 in Myrtle Beach, SC, tickets remaining). Last year, I took my bucket list of terrain ideas and asked the listeners of the podcast to vote. There were two clear favorites. Last year's winner, a spaceship interior board, beat out the Eldar Craftworld by one vote in the final 10 minutes of voting. With that close of a vote, and the new Eldar codex to arrive this year, the choice for this year's board was obvious.
How I am to build it was not as obvious. I still had to follow the guidelines that this would a balanced, tournament ready board following the NoVA guidelines. Whereas previous terrain projects allowed me some creative license, this would not. Building something as iconic as Eldar Webway Gates was like the difference between a cover band and a tribute band. The cover band just needs to know the song. The tribute band needs to match the tone of the guitar, the sound of the drum, the exact look of the original artist to transport the listener to a bygone era.
Since last year's vote was so close, I had already started to sketch out some ideas for terrain features. To meet the NoVA requirements, I need
· Two hills - borrowing a page from last year's board, my "hills" will be more like multilevel platforms
· Two Ruins - since Eldar are the masters of open floor plans, I borrowed heavily from the Dawn of War video game for inspiration. Most of the buildings include flat areas with skinny towers, which obscure without blocking Line of Sight, similar to a ruin
· Two areas of difficult terrain that do not block Line of Sight - originally I was going to do reflecting pools, but with the 6th edition rules on mysterious water, I need to look for something else.
· A centerpiece that blocks Line of Sight - Eldar are known for their towers, so I wanted this to be big. It is the centerpiece, after all, and needs to reflect the overall theme of the board. In addition, it provides a key tactical role in the overall NoVA style of play.
With a firm idea on the terrain elements, it was no time to tackle the actual game board itself. One big mistake I made last year was making the pieces too big, causing all kinds of shipping headaches. This time I will make six 2' by 2' tiles that will be easy (or least easy for Larry) to assemble. Most of the ideas online focus massive arrays of flyovers and ramps, much like the Spanish Gamesday GW ran. They look wicked cool, but no way could I say that these were fair & balanced for tournament play.
Then I came across this:
· The jewel outcroppings are easy - most craft stores sell these egg shaped foam pieces that I can cut in half. Paint fancy jewel tones with the airbrush and glue them down