Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mystery Revealed!

Hope the suspense didn't kill you.  If it did, then the fact that you're reading this post is very troubling.    So here are my latest terrain tiles.  Those of you who have been following this blog won't be surprised to learn that these tiles are destined to become terrain for Car Wars.  All told, we're going to wind up with 4 straightaways, two 90-degree turns, and two intersections.  

For road battles that gives us 6-feet of straightaways that we can swap in and out as the autoduellists roar down whatever is left of H-1.  Or we can line the road sections up to create an oval-track for more prestigious arena battles, like so:

Small tracks limit the speeds, and forces players to carefully consider their
mine dropping lest the kill themselves.
 Pay close attention to the intersection pieces.  They were designed to be used both to cap off one end of the oval track, and to create shallow S-curves for highway battles.  That means that these tiles provide 6-feet of straight highway before you have to re-use tiles.
The edges should join a little smoother on a flat table.
As of these pictures, the tiles have been primed gray for the road and tan for the off-road.  A little sand sprinkled all over gives different textures for the road and off-road.  Fine grained sand keeps the road from being ice-rink smooth, and a mix of fine and coarse sand helps delineate the off-rad areas.

These roads should wind up four lane roads - two in each direction.  The challenge here is keeping each lane a consistent width.  In the last set of photos, you can just make out the guide marks on the edges of each board.  The solid lines delineate a 1" wide sandy shoulder, with each lane 1" wide, and a 1/4"-edge to the asphalt.  All told, that gives us 4.5" of safe surface, 1" of shoulder hazard, and the rest of the board the far more dangerous off-road.  That's a total of 6.5-inches of playable surface for each stretch of highway, even if a couple of those should only be used in emergencies.

Normally, you wouldn't want to cut your playable surface in half like that, but for running road battles it works just fine.  It also give me room to plunk down some interesting terrain like billboards, trees, rocks, and Road-Runner-esque stone columns.  From a practical standpoint, those can block line of site in the arena.  Outside of the arena, they'll give the boards more variety and keep it from looking like the same six feet of road.


  1. Which scale are you running at? 6 feet sounds like plenty in 1"=15' scale, but I've never seen miniatures that size.

  2. The default Matchbox scale used in 5th edition. I think that's 3X scale. My car bases are all 1" by 2".

    1. Yup, that's 1"=5' (more or less). That sounds as though it might be a bit cramped for a racing track, though for a moving road fight you should be fine (just say that anyone on the back tile when you need to put down a new front tile has fallen too far behind and is out of the fight).

      I've been working with jeffr0 to make racing playable, and our main solution so far is not even to try to have the whole track on the table at once, just to work out when people get close to each other and play those fights... so that might well solve your problem too. :-)

  3. That sounds right. I actually fudge the numbers a bit; I run Div5 vehicles at 1"=5' which means that I'm using sedan sized counters for compact and subcompact cars.


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