Long road to the Harbor City, part I: Peering in to the Misty Future

This article will kick off a series of terrain articles which will follow the ongoing progress of my Harbor City. First ones will describe planning and construction of three different houses and later ones will follow how the gaming board itself comes together.

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Planning
I really don´t remember where I got the idea. What I do remember is that I wanted to have a city and I wanted that the houses would have some character. How do you build character? Well, you have to have a vision, a glimpse of the bigger picture and start from there. Unfortunately my glimpse was more like a Mel Gibson type karate kick to the groin. I had so many ideas that I started building three houses and a gaming board at the same time!

Seriously, don´t even think about doing the same if you want to keep your sanity.

After the brainstorm I headed to the depths of internet and checked out my personal idol´s at Gidian Gelände , especially Wolfgang´s works to find more guidelines for my project. If you haven’t visited that site, stop reading and head straight away there! It´s a place where Gods show us mortals what perfection really means! I remember that I also browsed through endless amounts of sites and the biggest inspiration was Tapletop-worlds discontinued line of resin houses. If Wolfgang, Windir and Trull are gods, these guys are freaking wizards when it comes to terrain making!!!

When I am planning something, I like to keep my sketchbook at hand all the time. That way if I spot a good idea, I can immediately sketch or write it down. So when I was marveling at the works of professionals I doodled these rough plans for my houses:

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I was also sure from the beginning that my houses could be entered. After all those are houses right? So what´s the point to have houses if you can´t enter? Could you really resist the smile when your beast or a warjack throws opponents beast through a door inside let say a burning house? I think that there could be a grin on your face. This decision meant that there would be a lot more work ahead but at that point it didn´t concern me (ok, now days I might have another opinion)

Construction techniques

I have practiced different martial arts over 20 years by now and there is one thing (yes, only one) that I have learned over the years. If you want to be badass you have to develop a style that surprises everybody and the name have to sound cool. That works with terrain also and the true aim of my articles is to spread my secret style and help to start the journey towards terrain making enlightenment. The name of my secret ninja-terrain-making-style is The Art of Selective Snatching!

I bet that 90% of my construction techniques are learned from somebody else. The rest 10% I just don’t remember where I learned them. Also some things in my project may look alike straight replicas from somebody´s else terrain and yes, there is a BIG change that it is. Where am I going with this? If you are as stupid as me, don´t try to invent the wheel again. Learn from others and don´t be afraid to snatch and mix things up. This way you can concentrate on the final product, beautifully crafted gaming terrain, and not the ways how to do it. You save a lot of time. The final product will not be a straight copy but a unique piece because you made it.

So this is the starting point. My articles are not exactly How-To-type text. They are probably more like Maybe-This-Way-Or-That-Way-or-Not-At-All type text. I hope that you get something out of it and I´m always open for comments!

Next up: Part II, Groundwork

JCoo

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