Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cities of Death - Chicago Style

One of the things that I feel traditional Cities of Death terrain lacks is the truly claustrophobic feel of a city. There aren't actual streets with buildings in blocks, with back alleys to exploit. So a while back I got the idea that I wanted to make movement trays for my buildings. This would allow for neater storage (clean up on Nerd Nights is a complex game of Tetris), and would allow for the terrain to be set up in blocks.

Now the above building was the first one I completed for this project. I had originally tried to get my existing scenery to fit on the trays, but they are so random in sizing that it would just be too much work as is. I'll need to adapt them some other way than how I was initially trying. So I scrapped that approach and built the above as a test for my Chicago inspired city block.

The first thing you'll notice is that the above building is long and narrow. This is very traditional of Chicago City neighborhoods. Most of the buildings are either 2 flats or 3 flats. They will have a door adjacent to a picture window and then 2 sets of windows as you work your way up. On the corners of streets will be larger apartment establishments - sometimes with retail (bodegas) below. In my particular neighborhood there are a lot of vacant lots that will be roughly fenced in. The buildings are really close together with narrow breezeways between them. I tried to capture that with the following buildings.

Vacant lot:
Corner ruins:
Opposing corner ruins:
All of them side by side:
The top-down angle shows the movement tray:
You'll notice the brown square in the lower left hand corner. Spaced around the tray are removable squares where I can put signs, street lights, detritus, etc. All of the buildings are removable and are either on 5" or 6" wide bases currently. I already have a 2nd movement tray and the buildings can be swapped around however I like. The vacant lots allow for less obstructed views of tanks and infantry while targeting through breezeways, etc will allow for those nasty sniping shots.
These are still in the rough stages but I'm really excited by the idea. I think it will make for a really visually stunning game. Hopefully the end result isn't too difficult to play. I think with enough low ruins, parks, and vacant lots it will totally work.


Ranma said...

I very interested in your ideas yet, would love to see the final outcome. Even the steps on how you got there as well.

Techpriest said...

This already looks fantastic! One of the things I don't like about city terrain is that so often, it's all completed ruined and the streets are nothing but rubble. This looks more like a city worth fighting over - buildings mostly intact, streets for tanks to rumble down, and lots of interesting places to hide.

Chad said...

These look great Nick. I can't wait until they're ready to be played on. This was an awesome idea.

Col. Corbane said...

I like the mix of real world and 40k, you've pulled it off really well. How many more do you intend to make?

eriochrome said...

Make sure you define the spaces between the row houses as roads to compensate for all the trouble tanks are going to have moving around in that mess.

King Mob said...

I wish there was more of this kind of feeling to Cities of Death tables these days. Great job.

xNickBaranx said...

@Ranma: Don't worry, you'll see the final outcome.......... Eventually. haha.

@Techpriest, Chad, and King Mob: Thanks guys!

@Col Corbane: I'm not really sure. I have several pre-cut 12" x 12" and 12" x 24" sections lying around that will likely all get used. I actually need to hang more shelves in my terrain "pantry" before I go any further though. I'm bursting at the seams and refuse to stack terrain on eachother.

@Eriochrome: I haven't cut any out yet but there will be flat "parking lot" sections that I can drop in - just like in my neighborhood. The nice thing about this sort of modular terrain is that if its too dense I can drop in solutions to accomodate that. Plus it will make blowing up buildings more worthwhile - particularly when I can drop in a giant crater where a building was!

Scott said...

Nice. I get a better sense of what you're going for now that I;ve seen these pictures. It will be like playing in the Humbolt park of the far future. Or maybe the present.

xNickBaranx said...

Definitely Humboldt Park in the present.

BT said...

Looks awesome, Nick!

Do the levels lift off?

Keep up the good work.