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sgibson260
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Posted: 03/24/2009 at 9:16am | IP Logged Quote sgibson260

Hi guys,

I play a miniatures game called Legions of Steel that uses interlocking 5x5 tiles. The game is long out of print, but is an excellent set of tactical rules. We use them to pit miniatures of Droids, Stormtroopers, sci-fi humans of various manufacturers, Daleks, 40k alien races, and others against each other.

I tend to run a big LOS game at GenCon in Indianapolis each August. So for this year's game, I will be pitting a group of Terran marines investigating an alien biocontainment problem at an Umbrella Intergalactic Corporation research facility. Here is the event description:

Legions of Steel: Bug Hunt
After a bio-containment alert at the Umbrella Intergalactic research facility on Sigma Hesperus VII, Terran Federation Marines are dispatched to bring the situation under control. As Terraís finest breach the airlocks of the massive installation, they discover horrors beyond their wildest imagination. Can you discover the fate of the station's 800 personnel, or will the lurking horrors within kill you all?
Sat 7 pm to 11 pm

Anyway,for the game, I have made a bunch of different modular 7 square by 7 square tiles. I printed them as 7.7" by 7.7" tiles (using 1.1" squares) in order to enable me to use bigger miniatures in the games, and have mounted the prints onto black foamcore. The tiles are pulled randomly as the marines advance, so the base is different each game. The jpegs of the tiles are located in my photobucket site at:

http://s701.photobucket.com/albums/ww14/sgibson260/Legions%2 0of%20Steel%20Tiles/

I have included some pictures of a test game in progress at:

http://s701.photobucket.com/albums/ww14/sgibson260/Legions%2 0of%20Steel%20Game%20Pictures/

Since the tiles are easily printed with 1" squares, and use the white triangle symbol for difficult terrain, they are easy to use for Star Wars Miniatures games as well as Legions of Steel

I am using GIMP to process objects and artwork, and Dundjinni to make the tiles. I've gotten a lot of really good artwork form the Dundjinni user creation forums and other sites.

I'd be interested in any comments you guys might have. There's a couple of art objects I am looking for (weapons racks for a security station/armory, bubbling green water tanks for Tyranid breeding experiments, etc.), so I will probably post requests for help with some of that artwork with you guys.

Thanks for your help!

Steve Gibson
Burke, VA
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Bogie
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Posted: 03/24/2009 at 9:50am | IP Logged Quote Bogie

Hey Steve

Check these links for tanks;

Click Here

Click Here

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heruca
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Posted: 03/24/2009 at 10:05am | IP Logged Quote heruca

Welcome to the DJ forums, sgibson260.

Those map tiles are really nice and should come in very useful. Thanks for sharing your work.

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heruca
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Posted: 03/24/2009 at 10:06am | IP Logged Quote heruca

Great links, Bogie.

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aegean
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Posted: 03/24/2009 at 12:01pm | IP Logged Quote aegean

Can't follow your photobucket links

ae

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heruca
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Posted: 03/24/2009 at 12:21pm | IP Logged Quote heruca

Just take out all the "%20"s and replace them with spaces.

Like so.

Edited by heruca on 03/24/2009 at 12:23pm


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aegean
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Posted: 03/24/2009 at 2:45pm | IP Logged Quote aegean

Ta very much Herc

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mercutio
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Posted: 03/24/2009 at 4:28pm | IP Logged Quote mercutio

I think these are excellent. I've been toying with making my own dungeon tiles, and now I know how.



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ProBono
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Posted: 03/25/2009 at 9:05am | IP Logged Quote ProBono

Hi and Welcome,

Well though out and obviously playtested!

I'm not a fan of the white triangle (or Star Wars minis coloured lines) but, as your game-in-progress pic shows, terrain is clear even from the other side of the table, saving on arguments when you want to play instead! Could be very helpful in a demo / public participation game.

7 x 7 now looks like a much better choice than 5 x 5. Can I guess that you'd have preferred 1 1/4" squares but a 7x7 wouldn't then fit a home printer?

You describe the construction of the boards along with the pics. As you are worried about the artwork wearing away through use, I assume your foamcore has not warped at all even after a lengthy period of time(?) [I remember basing a model on foamcore and finding it U-shaped a year later. Tended to think in terms of hardboard after that.]

You have me now looking at my existing bunker maps wondering what would go on 7x7's!
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sgibson260
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Posted: 03/25/2009 at 10:38am | IP Logged Quote sgibson260

Well, I definitely wanted the terrain types to be clear to everyone, since there could be arguments in a game over whether a chair or console gives a figure a combat advantage.

Most of the games I run, I'm teaching the rules to one or more new players, so we try to keep the rules simple. I also run a huge game (a 10' by 5' table) at the con, so I need a lot of tiles, and don't want to spend too much on the tiles.

I found that a 5x5 tile didn't allow me to create purpose-built modules, like sick bays, labs, or barracks. There's just not enough squares on the tile. I would have had to have several 5x5 tiles that fit together a certain way to make a type of room, which I've had to do for the hangars and wide hallways.

I tried an 8x8 tile, but the squares just got too cramped, even when I used 6 inch wide interior walls in Dundjinni. And having an odd number of squares on a tile makes central corridors and tile-edge matching much easier to manage. But you're right, the limiting factor was the home printer. 7.7" by 7.7" was a good compromise

Normally, to protect the surface from wear and tear, I would go the cheap route, and use contact paper for shelf lining. WalMart sells a big roll for $5. The problem is, on the one tile I tried, the surface turned out too shiny. Looking at the tiles under the fluorescent lights of our local game shop, it was hard to see the details under the shiny reflection of the shop lights. I could spray Testors DullCote on the tiles, but sprays eat away at the foamcore, and the DullCote cans get fairly expensive.

I haven't stored the foamcore for long periods (they were all made less than two months ago), but plan to keep them in a box that is full, with no room for warping, or on a shelf with a heavy book on top to reduce warping. I also used spray adhesive instead of white glue or wet glue types, to help reduce the warp. I preferred foamcore to hardbord to help reduce the weight of carrying all those tiles to the convention.

Thanks for the comments,
Steve Gibson
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ProBono
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Posted: 03/26/2009 at 3:33am | IP Logged Quote ProBono


..."sprays eat away at the foamcore"...

I paint my foamcore model buildings with spray car paint, the trick being to get a pot of white wood glue and "paint" the edges with it where the foam shows. Then you can spray what you like on them.


Vent possibility?

It's hard enough aligning corridoors so adding a layer of vent shafts and such is right out. But it is possible to handle them abstractly. If you have the occassional floor vent or hatch, bugs can disappear down them and reappear on any another one within move distance, even on another board. [No staying in the shaft allowed so no need to represent it on table.] Adult people might be allowed hatch to hatch, but only face-hugger bugs (or cute 10year olds) can crawl through vent to vent. [Being a "Special Rule" it could simply be ignored for beginners type games. At any rate it would be an excuse to use more of the super Dunjinni tiles!]

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ProBono
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Posted: 03/27/2009 at 12:51pm | IP Logged Quote ProBono


..."I am looking for weapons racks for a security station/armory"...

One set of weapon racks here

weapons racks

You will need to add your own guns to taste from

sci-fi guns to put on racks

[I've practiced printing out a couple of your tiles. Superb! For info, they also suit the 15mm GZG astronaut/ colonial civilians range of figures (10mm round bases). These figures can stand happily in a square without obscuring the white triangle. 15mm is a bit small for conventions though...]

45 tiles!!!

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octavian
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Posted: 03/29/2009 at 11:37pm | IP Logged Quote octavian

Hey, SGibson260, nice work. I'm happy to see someone finally using my
hazmat barrels in a map. One thing though: I'm a bit worried about that
barrel of antimatter perched on top of the other ones. If it were to fall off,
the resulting explosion could vaporize half a continent.

BTW, where did you get the art for those elevators and the bio tanks? I don't
recall ever seeing it here, or at Steel Rat's site.
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sgibson260
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Posted: 04/01/2009 at 10:12am | IP Logged Quote sgibson260

ProBono wrote:

..."sprays eat away at the foamcore"...

I paint my foamcore model buildings with spray car paint, the trick being to get a pot of white wood glue and "paint" the edges with it where the foam shows. Then you can spray what you like on them.


Vent possibility?

It's hard enough aligning corridoors so adding a layer of vent shafts and such is right out. But it is possible to handle them abstractly. If you have the occassional floor vent or hatch, bugs can disappear down them and reappear on any another one within move distance, even on another board. [No staying in the shaft allowed so no need to represent it on table.] Adult people might be allowed hatch to hatch, but only face-hugger bugs (or cute 10year olds) can crawl through vent to vent. [Being a "Special Rule" it could simply be ignored for beginners type games. At any rate it would be an excuse to use more of the super Dunjinni tiles!]



I have posted some pictures of the blip counters we will be using for the Tyranids in the GenCon Legions of Steel scenario. It describes how we created them, and how we will be using them. They start at:

http://s701.photobucket.com/albums/ww14/sgibson260/Legions of Steel Game Pictures/?action=view¤t=IMG_0540.jpg

In the photo descriptions, I have explained how we use blip counters in the scenario (a game mechanism stolen from the GW game Space Hulk, which takes the idea from the movie Aliens). The blips represent alien or occasional human reinforcements, and can move around on the map or on the edges of the map. They can also represent nothing (a 'ghost' signal) or a newly discovered access point (for which I use hatch or hole counters)

I used Dundjinni and some existing artwork to make hatch and hole counters. I have posted them here:

http://s701.photobucket.com/albums/ww14/sgibson260/Legions of Steel Tiles/?action=view¤t=hatchesandholecounters.jpg

The blip counters are able to move on the board pretty rapidly, and of course lead to an excellent fog of war mechanism. They only have to be revealed when a human figure actually sees them. In the game, I can do all kinds of cool house rules, like letting the humans use computer consoles to view security camers and force blips to be revealed.

I agree that have vents and access shafts are a cool game mechanism too. In a given scenario, I can let the bug player place a certain predetermined number of access counters, then they can use them to to move blips or figures around to other parts of the board. Legions of Steel is a pretty cool tactical game, and we've used all kinds of house rules in scenarios to make them more tactically challenging and interesting.

Regards,
Steve Gibson
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sgibson260
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Posted: 04/01/2009 at 2:28pm | IP Logged Quote sgibson260

octavian wrote:
Hey, SGibson260, nice work. I'm happy to see someone finally using my
hazmat barrels in a map. One thing though: I'm a bit worried about that
barrel of antimatter perched on top of the other ones. If it were to fall off,
the resulting explosion could vaporize half a continent.

BTW, where did you get the art for those elevators and the bio tanks? I don't
recall ever seeing it here, or at Steel Rat's site.


Itís hard for me to say exactly where all the artwork Iíve used came from. Since I bought Dundjinni, Iíve been scouring the internet looking for any artwork I could use. Iíve gotten artwork and tips from these sites:

www.dundjinni.com   the user creation forums have been awesome sources of art.

www.cartographersguild.com   their forums have lots of nice maps, and the technical help I received there was really helpful.

http://rpgmapshare.com/   Steel ratís Excellent website

http://www.swminiatures.com/tags/downloads/maps/ has some nice downloads of star wars minis maps.

http://www.the-holocron.com/index.php?option=com_remository& Itemid=36 cool site with downloads of Star Wars vehicles and maps

http://www.dungeoneering.net/tag/sci-fi/ A site with free sci-fi and fantasy floor tiles

http://nimbarad.free.fr/v1sections/ Scans of the old Space Hulk tiles.

www.skeletonkeygames.com   they have some free tiles that they have provided as samples, like http://www.skeletonkeygames.com/downloads/SKG513e_Bonus_1.pd f

http://www.papermakeit.com/ 3d paper tiles, with some nice textures.

A simple search on rpgnow.com also found a whole lot of companies selling pdfís with modern, sci-fi, and fantasy map tiles on one inch grids.
http://www.rpgnow.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=ma p+tiles&x=0&y=0&quicksearch=1&search_filter=&filters=&search _free=&search_in_description=1&search_in_author=1&search_in_ artist=1
Some of them have free sample pages, though theyíre usually pretty bland.

There are also a whole bunch of people who work on 3d rendering and animation. To do that, they need textures. These textures can easily be turned into DJ-usable floor and wall tiles. Hereís a website with links to about a million texture sites:
http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17086

And this is the best file ever, with textures and graphics of TONS of Star Wars walls, floors, symbols, etc. I spent a lot of time changing the numbers of pixels of these jpegs to 200x200 for use with DJ. Itís big, though (100MB)
http://www.mediafire.com/file/jmidzymjijd/star wars textures.zip

So when I find a cool pdf or picture that I want to use for my own maps, I 1) open it using GIMP 2.6, an excellent freeware and very powerful photoshop-like program. 2) I clip out the graphic or shape I want to use, then 3) resize it so that it has the right number of pixels (200x200 for a single one inch square floor tile, 400x400 for a 2 square by 2 square turbolift graphic, then 4) save it as a png file for ready use in Dundjinni. It can be time consuming, but Iíve found tons of great graphics.

As for those two turbolift and biotanks graphics, I have posted them in this folder on my photobucket site at:
http://s701.photobucket.com/albums/ww14/sgibson260/Sci-Fi Graphics for Mapmaking/
If there are any other graphics that Iíve used that youíre interested in, please let me know and Iíll put them in that folder for you.

I hope this helps. Iíve got a big surgery tomorrow morning, but will add stuff and post more when Iím out of the hospital next week. Fortunately for my mapping endeavors, Iíll be at home resting for several weeks. And since GenCon is August, and Iíve still got a lot to do, you can expect a lot more map tiles before then!

Thank you so much for all your help and advice. This is a great community, with very helpful people.

Regards,
Steve Gibson
Burke, VA, USA
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Posted: 04/03/2009 at 1:12am | IP Logged Quote octavian

Wow, what a great collection of links. I knew about most of them, but you
had a few good ones I'd never seen before. Thanks so much, and thanks a
lot for the turbolift and biotank graphics as well.

There are a few others I just noticed that would be great to have. The water
containment tanks and the console in the Bio Research lab, and that cool
orange thingie from the Robotics Workshop tile.

Edited by octavian on 04/03/2009 at 1:19am
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heruca
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Posted: 04/03/2009 at 11:23pm | IP Logged Quote heruca

Nice links. Especially the Star Wars ones.

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sgibson260
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Posted: 04/16/2009 at 5:28pm | IP Logged Quote sgibson260

octavian wrote:
Wow, what a great collection of links. I knew about most of them, but you
had a few good ones I'd never seen before. Thanks so much, and thanks a
lot for the turbolift and biotank graphics as well.

There are a few others I just noticed that would be great to have. The water
containment tanks and the console in the Bio Research lab, and that cool
orange thingie from the Robotics Workshop tile.


I have posted a bunch of consoles that I found in this folder:
http://s701.photobucket.com/albums/ww14/sgibson260/sci-fi consoles/
Hopefully, there are a few you don't have.
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Posted: 04/16/2009 at 5:57pm | IP Logged Quote octavian

Thanks, sgibson260, that's a great collection. I had a few of those, but most
of them were new. For us SciFi gamers, you can never have too many
consoles and other bits of tech.

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heruca
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Posted: 04/16/2009 at 7:48pm | IP Logged Quote heruca

Is there any way to get all those consoles in a zip? I didn't see any way to download them all at once.

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