Insider 03-28-2017

With Lock & Load GameFest 2017 coming up, I’ve been really busy working on lots of cool projects. One of those is a large fort and wall for the conclusion of the Crossroads of Courage League.

For this first Insider, I will go over some of my planning and the early stages of this Boarsgate build.

Here is the locale’s description from Kings, Nations, and Gods:

“Boarsgate—This rough-hewn stone fastness was built to reinforce the most vulnerable tract of low ground within the rugged Murata Hills that define most of Ord’s northern border. A fortress has stood at the site as long as Ordfolk can remember. Constructed from turf and timber in ancient times, it was rebuilt after the Corvis Treaties into an imposing squat keep with sloping walls engineered to deflect cannon fire. Being relatively close to Midfast, the fortress is expected to hold its own if attacked and to send advance warning to the city of approaching forces. Historically the soldiers of Midfast have refused to be drawn out of their position by assaults on Boarsgate, and the fortress has fallen more than once to Khador only to be retaken at great cost in lives. As a result, soldiers have nicknamed it ‘Bloodgate.’ The soldiers who guard Boarsgate realize that they would face insurmountable odds if ever seriously challenged, so they train for every contingency, fortifying and manning the fastness with seasoned scouts, expert riflemen, swift horsemen, and veteran hill fighters.”

From that and by talking with Matt Goetz and Doug Seacat about the setting, I decided to take inspiration from Spanish colonial forts. I wanted to include stout, short walls with sloped angles to defend against cannon fire. The fort would be reinforced with iron banding, iron doors, and a large iron gate. To contrast this, the stone and plaster work would be well beaten-up and scarred from the many past Khadoran assaults against it.

The groundwork for the Lock & Load Narrative Battle Scenario was laid with Hungerford to ensure it meets gameplay needs. The game itself will take place on a large surface, 16 feet by 4 feet. The wall will have two weak points, one on either side of the fort, that can be destroyed in the game, allowing access from the flanks to the fort. There will be one large ornate gate in the center of the table, which can also be assaulted and broken through.

The gate will have a reinforced iron-plated front with a large metal symbol of the Ordic Army. The back will be wood-banded with iron and have two large metal beams closing it.

Front of the gate concept…

And here’s a preview of the some of the actual build. The back of the gate work-in-progress…

With all this info and inspiration, I began creating a 3-D mockup and cutting all of the pink foam I would need to create this beast of a project. I used Google Sketchup to get a basic idea of the shape and size of the pieces I would need to make. With those rough measurements, I then cut all the foam pieces and laid out a mockup of the whole thing to make sure all of the sizes felt right and looked impressive on the table.

With all this planning out of the way, the real work could begin. In the next Insider, I’ll post some work-in-progress photos and details on how I went about building this beast.