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Daemon's Keep

Daemon's Keep
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17 January 2000page first published

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photo courtesy of manufacturer

The newest release from Warzone is also one of their largest terrain sets ever - measuring 3 foot x 3 1/2 foot, it's a nine-level mountain called Daemon's Keep.

Just how big is this mountain? Well, let's put it this way -

  • the bottom piece is wider than at least one of the hallways in my home
  • I can just barely fit the bottom into the back seat of my car (it's almost as wide as the car door opening)
  • the mountain nearly fills my dining room table

a mountain on my dining table

The mountain is made of seven stacking pieces, two of which are hollowed to form cave systems. There are also ridge and rock pieces you can place as desired. The cave pieces can be rotated, so that you can have the two cave entrances on the same or opposite sides.

The same pieces can be used on their own or combined to make multiple mountains, or even two separate cave complexes. The cave pieces can also be used "on their own" (they make interesting mesas). The bottom piece is so large that it can be used by itself, to form the field of battle.

cave with the top popped off, or a mesa?

The product is available in four colors of flocking...

Terran Badlands
Bloodstone Icelands

...and the pieces are available in two heights...

Scale 01 Scale 02
1" levels, 75 slopes.
3/4" levels, 75 slopes.

The mountain is made from a blue high-density foamboard-type product. Top surfaces are flocked, while sides and bottoms are coated with what seems to be a very durable paint. During a week of heavy usage - in which the mountain has been dropped (accidentally!) in a parking lot, bumped into by excited gamers, impacted by dice, and crawled over by combatting miniatures - we've noticed no wear and tear.

(Note: One of the photos in the Gallery shows what appears to be a chip in one of the pieces. We've double-checked, and the piece is intact - the "damage" is only a trick of the lighting.)

We've also put the mountain to the test by using it for a few games, and frankly, we were surprised that what seems to be an ordinary mountain actually provides a rich environment with plenty of cover. Even a game in which jump-jetting Battletech mechs vied for "King of the Hill" honors worked well.

Unlike other products from this manufacturer, Daemon's Keep is only available by direct order. This raises the question of how safely such a large product can be shipped.

mountain in a burrito

Warzone's answer is the "burrito pack" (shown above), in which the mountain is strapped by flexible wrap, covered in plastic sheeting, and wrapped "like a burrito" inside a piece of corrugated cardboard.

Our package arrived with plenty of dings and crumpled corners, but the mountain inside was intact. The only damage suffered was a 4" hairline crack in the bottom piece, which the manufacturer advised us to remedy by slipping some white glue into the gap using a knife blade. (Which we did, and the crack seems for all intents and purposes "healed.")

One final tip: When the mountain is shipped, two of the small pieces are slipped inside the gaps in the largest cave piece. These pieces tend to stick to each other. Our advice is to gently tug them apart (as we did, with the pieces suffering no damage). Pulling them apart more forcefully risks damaging the edges, or even breaking the foam.