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2015/04/29

Journal #8 - or, On Rivers and Streams

Took me long enough to get to this post, and I hope everyone is doing ok. Excuse my tardiness, but I was trying to get things moving to finally Kickstart Pedion. But enough small talk - let's take a look at one of my best accomplishments so far, the "River" tiles for Pedion.

Many a wargamer won't consider a battlefield worth its name if it doesn't include a river. For me, I think that rivers play less part than hills (previous Journal), but, my, do Rivers make a Battlefield stand out! So, Pedion will include a series of River Tiles, and beautiful ones if I may say so :)

Ambushing a Water Elemental - miniatures included just for scale, from Reaper, Wizkids, painted by yours truly and +Tasos Leontarakis 

Following the Pedion system logic, part of the tile can be designated aw River or Stream. It depends on the players, the scenario and/or the rules to define what this means, if it is impassable, if it includes difficult ground crossings/fords, or if bridges are required.

As with Road Tiles, River Tiles must be designed to connect to each other, forming a meander and crossing the table/battlefield from one side to another (not necessarily opposite ones). Due to the square shape of the tiles, the river part of each tile should start and end in specific places, in order for the tiles to be interchangeable. Again I followed the "roads" design philosophy, and the rivers start and end at the middle of tile sides. That means mostly 90 degrees turns of the water flow, but it seems realistic enough.

I once more put my expertise into cartography and GIS into good use and digitized real-life data: the river flow and turns are not made-up, but copy parts of the flow of the Columbia River in the USA.


One of most basic requirements for Pedion (see my first ever post) was for the terrain to seem realistic as real topography. in particular, I always had an issue (and I think many do), both aesthetic and practical, with river pieces placed over a terrain board - the river was protruding from the terrain, and the miniatures will have to... climb it ?!

Pedion River Tiles have an actual depression across all the river parts, so the ground actually sinks when it reaches the river (as it should). The riversides are designed to either be steep or gentle sloping (1 to 3 ratio) to allow miniature placement. The depression is about 1cm deep (~0.4"). As a matter of fact, the main reason the rest of the Pedion Tiles are 1 cm deep is to accommodate for such a depression in the case of rivers.



River Tile Properties and Variations
  • Realistic-looking, 1 cm depressed river tiles, with 1:3 slopes on river side for secure miniature positioning. 
  • For the time being there are six (6) discreet River tile designs: Three "straight" designs (river crossed from opposite sides) with different kind of curving (one includes an islet), and two right "turns".
  • The River width is approx. 7 cm on the tiles (that's about 2.75") although it varies across the tile. I selected this size as it corresponds to realistic river sizes for the whole 15mm to 28mm scale range Pedion is intended for. Therefore, the river can correspond to a 4m (13') stream in 28mm scale (1/56), up to a 7m wide river (23') in 15mm scale (1/100). 
  • The Riversides include metal hardpoints. These can be used for magnetic terrain pieces from Pedion tiles, like trees, walls etc.to snap onto. 
  • Although any tile could be designated as such, there will be a specific design for a Ford Tile, where both River and Road Pedion Tiles could snap. Also a lightweight, modular Bridge design is already underway.
  • River tiles are amongst the most demanding tiles to produce, both regarding the time and the material needed. To keep the overall cost under control, the players could acquire two different versions of the River tiles: the Painted version or the Liquid Glass version (more realistic but also considerably more expensive). The only difference between those versions is the addition of two-part resin on the river surface to emulate the water flow - check our the photos below to see what I mean. 
The "Painted" Version (before applying Resin)

The "Liquid Glass" Version (Resin on top)
A "Liquid" right bend, emulating a hairpin turn
The six basic River Tile designs, "Liquid Glass" Version (notice the glare)

In case your are wondering, creating those River Tiles is neither easy nor fast. For instance, you have to wait three full days for the poured on resin to become solid - so it needs patience. As with previous posts, I'll give you a glimpse of the creation steps the tiles underwent in the photos below.

















This is a picture of the finished, Liquid Glass River Tiles in a 4'x4' battlefield configuration. Would you game on that? :)

A Pedion River Valley

In Conclusion

With this Journal/Blog Post, I conclude the first series of extensively describing the various kinds of Pedion Tiles, their properties and set variants. God willing, the blog posts will continue, expanding the world of Pedion and my design advancements. Also, I will let you know of how the effort of crowdfunding Pedion is moving along, and when to get on board! Also I show off some minor Pedion System expansions and Add-ons: Walls, Bridges, Buildings, and new Tile kinds.

So please stay tuned (do try our twitter and facebook pages, will you?) and I'm anxious on your comments on River tiles and the Pedion Battlefields in general.

Good gaming all!