Black Cavalier's Wargaming

General info & various projects related to my wargaming

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Northern California Pulp Project - Constructing the Board

Virtual Armchair General's Warehouse (unmodified)
Crates by WarTorn Worlds

Another aspect of the game that was key was the gameboard itself. I purchased 2 of The Virtual Armchair General's Mean Sets paper buildings, the Garage & Warehouse. I had done some simple paper building before, but was a bit put off initially by what seemed to be the complexity of these buildings. As it turned out, the actual construction was pretty simple, there was just a lot of it.

Virtual Armchair General's Garage (double-wide)
Industrial equipment by Armor Cast

One of the cool things about these buildings is their modularity. Since they are provided on CD, I was able to print out extra floors & walls to customize the floorplans to what I needed. I used the unmodified Warehouse for the 1st game, I built a "double-wide" Garage for the 2nd game, & then combine these 2 buildings to create an even larger Evil Lair for the final game. I also borrowed some of the scientific equipment & the Graviton gun from a friend who'd built Microtactix's Mad Lab set to fill out the evil lair.

Long shot of Garage

The buildings were very well designed. In addition to fully working doors, the sets also came with a variety of extra furniture in the white space of the sheets. There was only a few extra things in each building set, but it filled up the room nicely. While these are paper

Detail of paper fold-overs

buildings, they are actually designed to be mounted on 1/4" foam core board. One of the nice design aspects for use with foam core is that there were fold-over tabs inside all the window & doorways. The tabs are to cover up the white foam core center along the window sills & door jams. Unfortunately, since I'm still a paper building novice, I didn't understand the best way to glue the paper to the foam core, & ended up not getting most of these tabs lined up right with the windows. So, while I did glue some of them down, I ended up cutting most of them off & coloring in the exposed foam core with a black Sharpie for simplicity & to save time.

Mister E's evil lair (Warehouse & Garage pieces combined)
Platforms in background from Microtactix's

Also, I wanted to construct the buildings so they were collapsable. So, I used sheet magnets to put the buildings together with, instead of gluing them. While I had my doubts about the strength of the magnets during game play & the walls getting knocked over, I was surprised at how well they held together. There were no real major collapses during the games. For the magnets, I ended up using the pre-cut business card sized magnets that have peel-&-stick adhesive on one side. I cut them to the size I wanted, & just stuck them on the ends of the walls, or on the floor.

Virtual Armchair General's Garage set in pieces

Garage held together with sheet magnet strips

I thing I learned early on was that you had to be careful of getting polarity of the magnets right. If you've ever played with sheet magnets, you know they kind of jump when you slide them against each other. So when choosing which pieces of magnet to use, I needed to make sure I chose 2 strips that would pretty much line up when they stuck together. Otherwise, the reversed polarity sections would repel each other & cause the magnets to be misaligned & throw your building out of whack.

Detailed diagram of building construction (click to enlarge)


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