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Mar 24, 2016

How to make a table look pretty

Well, not many updates on my blog lately, but I sure have been busy nonetheless.

Making a game suitable for demo's involves more than just getting the rules correct. One of the major aspects of getting people interested is giving the game some 'presence' on the tabletop. This gets increasingly difficult when your scale gets smaller. It's easier to make a 28mm game stand out on the tabletop than a 6mm game, but naval games in my opinion take the cake in difficulty to stand out.

I mean, your scenery is mostly just water, your ships miniatures are very small compared to any other miniatures out there and most of the 'action' is in the roll of the dice.

I've tried to counter some of the most obvious problems about presentation by making some choices that make the game stand out more on the table. First, I chose to go with a 1/1800 scale, not only because I had some War at Sea collectible miniatures in my collection, but mostly because at this scale the ships are recognisable even from tabletop distances and give some opportunity for some nice brushwork. I've added to my collection with the few releases by Mongoose (which were excellent, too bad they aren't releasing anything untill their VaS2 ruleset is done, which might take a few years still) and patched up the rest with Shapeways, which are excellent miniatures if you don't mind the steep pricetag for the Frosted Ultra Detail material. Next I ordered bases from Warbases.co.uk to match the rest of my fleet with the Mongoose mini's which come with moulded on base.

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Looks pretty eh?

Step two is pimping my counters and gaming aids, something I have been busy with the past weeks. I've included a full set of 2D markers and gaming aids with the game PDF's, but to make it all stand out more I decided to replace the 2D with my own 3D replacements. Which, I might add, is a LOT of work. It pays off though:

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 photo Smoking DD.jpg

 photo Line of Battle 2.jpg

 photo DNear Miss 1.jpg

 photo On fire 2.jpg

 photo Searchlight.jpg
Note that the searchlights and starshells come with the 1.2 update and are currently not yet in the PDF files.

Step three would be adding to the terrain by making some scenery that has a pretty big presence on the table, things such as a shoreline, rain squalls, archipelago's or shoals or minefields. That will be a bit down the road though since my painting station is already cropped with stuff to paint... more on that later.

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