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"Space Terrain" Topic

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Action Log

14 Dec 2018 11:43 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

Areas of Interest

Science Fiction

843 hits since 18 May 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian19 May 2018 9:33 a.m. PST

What do you use for terrain when gaming with starship minis?

* board from game
* black cloth
* starfield battlemat

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2018 11:00 a.m. PST

Black cloth with a light mist of white spray paint and some Jackson Pollack-style brush splashes.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2018 12:53 p.m. PST

Foam sponges torn up, based and painted as asteroids. Half spheres painted as planets or moons. Black felt mat with star field painted on it.

Borderguy19019 May 2018 2:33 p.m. PST

Black felt over tables, black felt air brushed and speckled with stars on a 4x6 sheet of plywood and star mats. Battlefield in a box asteroids, some custom resin destroyed ships, yet to do the planets or moons.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP19 May 2018 5:40 p.m. PST

Black felt with stars …


… nebulae …


… and a black hole.


Borathan Inactive Member19 May 2018 7:30 p.m. PST

Lava rock mounted on bases and painted as asteroids.

Domes from the hobby store for some planets

Gaz004519 May 2018 10:03 p.m. PST

Star field battle mat, stones for asteroids…..I have some half globes of styrene to paint as planets….one day.

Daithi the Black20 May 2018 1:11 a.m. PST

I use a black table cover, and have dust clouds, asteroids, space stations, and interplanetary fauna as scenery.

Personal logo Dances with Clydesdales Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2018 1:11 a.m. PST

starfield battlemat

williamb20 May 2018 7:58 a.m. PST

I am using a photo backdrop that I found on Amaxon with a print of a hubble image. They are available in a variety of images, size,s and prices up to 10 feet by 10 feet for less than $50 USD

Other options are wall tapestries, table cloths, shower curtains, window drapes, etc that have galaxy (hubble) images printed on them. They are also on Amazon and other sites.

haywire20 May 2018 11:19 a.m. PST

Starfield cloth purchased from Walmart

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2018 12:21 p.m. PST

Black glitter felt, with grid dots painted on.
But that's just a "backdrop."
Actual "terrain" consists of painted lava rocks, with black golf tees mounted on black cardboard as bases.

Examples of both in action at my blog: link

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2018 7:56 a.m. PST

All of the above, plain wood table top if nothing else, and hoping soon to put on the grass in the yard.

Details later.


Stogie21 May 2018 2:05 p.m. PST

The games I play are hex based, so I still use the old hex map made for Silent Death. I use a dense foam to make the asteroids, but keep a flat side to rest on the table. I have one that you can even fly through. Foam hemispheres for planets.

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2018 6:54 p.m. PST

Starfield hexmap, planet, moon, and a dozen or so asteroids made from lava rocks in my neighbor's yard.

A question for the audience: Do you prefer to a fully-spherical planet or just a half-one that sits flat on the table?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP22 May 2018 4:51 a.m. PST

I don't do planets in space ship combat. Even a small moon would take the entire board area with respect to the ship size. Small asteroids, space stations, and satellites are it for me.

John Leahy22 May 2018 2:05 p.m. PST

5'x7' Polyester great looking color Hubble style print for 17 bucks off of Amazon.

Aotrs Commander23 May 2018 2:38 a.m. PST

That is a black cloth stippled with paint, a backdrop (for when at conventions (Partizan, seen here), to add a slight bit of depth to the board to counter the lack of terrain) which is black-painted-cardboard done the same, aquarium gravel and home-laser-cut crucifix nebula clouds on top of angel hair.

@javelin98 Neither I actually just use the flat ones out of Battlefleet Gothic (the only bit of the game that I use, aside from the ship models themselves). Planet models or asteroid models, not that I think they look right (for capital starships, anyway) take up storage space, whereas the flats fit in my Accelerate and Attack folder with the markers. I have thirty-four starfleets (and number that steadily increases), storage is a premium.

@etotheipi I have the opposite issue the space scale is sufficiently large that any presence of a planet must perforce be oversized to be worth putting on the table. (Earth would be 1"/2.5cm.) So we just say the marker represent the G-Well. And blag about it as much as all the other sci-fi terrain, which we all exaggerate anyway. (As space is mostly empty, and real asteroid fields are nothing like Star Wars, for example, showed them as, but you sort of need SOME terrain constraints to promote/constrain maneuvres!)

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP23 May 2018 3:57 a.m. PST

(As space is mostly empty, and real asteroid fields are nothing like Star Wars, for example, showed them as, but you sort of need SOME terrain constraints to promote/constrain maneuvres!)

Kind of. The asteroids we can track in the solar system, unless they approach near Earth orbit are really far apart (compared to, say the size of a major metropolitan city, which would be a big ship in my book), but also those are just the big ones.

Wobbles in the orbits of the really bit ones indicate that there are a lots of "dust trails" of smaller ones, likely in "strings" between bigger ones. The lack of massive background radiation blocking indicates that these areas of dust trails, while large and full of stuff are not frequent. So the inner and out belts are not like, say Saturn's rings … but bits of them are.

the space scale is sufficiently large that any presence of a planet must perforce be oversized to be worth putting on the table

How big are the ships in real world comparison terms?

Aotrs Commander23 May 2018 4:17 a.m. PST

Also vastly oversized.

As with most games, you have to have a disconnect between figure and "ground" scale.

In the case of starships, it's just a lot bigger. (In my case, 1:10000 (fighters and small craft are larger scale relative to that also so they can be seen) to 1 cm to 10 000 km (1:1000 000 000).

That said – as I have observed, the way that the battlefield data would be presented to the captains and admirals is likely to be a big holographic display, where the starships would be displayed as the real-time images of the (with appended data), also blown out of proportion (because space is, as aforementioned, empty) so that they can be seen
… Which would basically end up looking, from their view, like it would is you are playing a tabeltop wargame or a computer game. (After all, that IS the best way to present the information.) So, the perspective of the player playing the admiral and the admiral is not, actually, going to be that different.

demiurgex Inactive Member25 May 2018 10:28 a.m. PST

I like this fabric as a base: link

With a black drop cloth underneath.

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