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2017/03/30

Urban Battlefields Kickstarter closing with beautiful Unlocks!


Didn't you always wished for a Harbour in your City? We just unlocked them!

Only a few days are left before our Urban Tiles Kickstarter ends - so this is your last chance to join, and claim some of the most extraordinary urban terrain you will ever see!

The Kickstarter Urban Terrain Campaign has unlocked a series of new designs as Stretch Goals,all even more innovative and good-looking. We want to show you some prototype pictures of these new urban tiles, so you can judge for yourself.

City Harbour Tiles

I'll start with the most impressive unlock, the ability to recreate a city harbour. The Stretch Goal actually unlocked two (2) specific Harbour Tile designs. Both represent linear harbour pieces: the first is a regular Pier and the other a "Stepped" Pier. They are raised pieces, the "urban" side of the tile at a full height of 4cm. The dock side occupies half the tile, and midway (at 15cm) it drops to water level (1mm). Since our regular urban tile's height is at 1cm, there is a 3cm height difference meant to emphasise the vertical docks. You can "join" the harbour tiles with your regular tiles just by adding some of our resin stairs. However, more raised tiles and/or sloped roads (by making use of the Urban Elevation System) will produce more interesting layouts. Harbour tiles can be joined in a row to form a full harbour.

Pier harbour design, Medieval theme
Stepped Pier harbour design, Medieval theme


Going round-round-round...

The second Stretch Goal is a new Tile Design, and a beautiful one at that. You can now choose the Roundabout design for your extra tiles, instead of a more conventional "X"-intersection.

Roundabout junction, "Medieval" Theme


Explosion Damage & Craters

This unlock does not offer you a new tile design per se, but lets you alter the appearance of any (or all) of the tiles you have selected. After the campaign Backers will specify for each tile (or number of tiles in the reward set) whether they want them to "suffer" from battle damage and explosions! The tile will "acquire" 2 different sized artillery craters and debris.

Battle damaged look on a Straight road, "Modern" themed, 7cm street

And there are even more Stretch Goals unlocked, too many to detail here: parking lot tiles, open ground tiles, and -most complex of them all- a full City Canal system!

What are you waiting for? you have only hours left! Join us!

George


2017/03/21

Introducing the Urban Elevation System


Taking your Urban Tiles to the next level (pun intended!)

The Pedion Urban Battlefields Kickstarter has been the breeding ground of a great many Urban Terrain innovations so far! One of the most recent and original is the ability to have an urban landscape with multiple elevations - and without needing any new tiles for your terrain board!

This is a personal favourite of mine; having grown-up in cities with uneven roads, full of hills and sloped streets, I always considered a "flat" urban environment a bit unnatural. I know this is far from the truth, but there are still many cities out there, especially older ones, that are built on hillsides and spread out on different levels.

This System is Pedion's way of trying and emulate these differences in elevations. You can now create uphill/downhill streets, or different height levels for your city blocks. It certainly is not omnipotent, and we still have to cope with the realities of wargaming. But it truly enhances the cityscape, going above and beyond what a simple cloth mat board could do.

Urban "Medieval" themed tiles in 3D!


The elevation system utilises three (3) special addons to work. The main idea is that you will NOT need extra tiles to emulate slopes and rises; you can use your urban tiles from your Set rewards, and arrange the addons differently each time.

The first addon is the Urban Slope Support. It is a ramp, designed to be placed underneath your tiles and tilt them. One tile edge is raised by 3cm, to a total height of 4cm. This creates a 10% slope, which can be used to emulate uphill streets and it is gentle enough so that miniatures and other terrain will not slide off. The addon's sides display a stone texture, to show that they are artificial structures. The sloped tiles will hold your models and vehicles with ease. They will also hold extra scenics like trees, fences, and even buildings will not slide off. However houses may look a bit tilted, although this can be amended with a reverse wedge underneath them.

The second addon you need are the Urban Rise Supports. These are also designed to go underneath your urban tiles, and raise them uniformly by 3cm, to a total height of 4cm. Thus they emulate different levels in the same city. Their sides have the same stone texture, to give the impression of built up, artificial structures supporting the building over them. The height of 3cm keeps them slim enough to store easily away.

Urban Slope and Rise Supports joined together

The final addition are a set of stairs! When using the Urban Rise Support to raise your whole tiles by 3cm and create different levels, then it is imperative (at least for gaming reasons) to create access points to and from this higher rise. The main transit method to the higher level are sloped, uphill roads which you can form with the Urban Slope support - this is actually the only way for vehicles to climb up to the Rise. However, as it is common in many cities, rises are also connect by stairs.

The addon is a small Stone Stairs, made from resin and handpainted, and it is intended to be used in combination with the Urban Rise Supports in all three Themes. Its height is 3cm, exactly like the height difference between a standard tile and a raised one. The stairs are 7cm wide (so they can be even placed at "end" of a cobblestone road) and each step is 1cm high and 1.5cm deep.




What's Next with Stretch Goals?

As we are coming closer -and hopefully will reach- the final entry of the Stretch Goals table (the "battle damaged" tile upgrade, more on future blog entries), I'd like to present to you what we have in store for the future. This list of concepts is ordered the same way they will most probably be set as Stretch Goals. That said, we are running this Kickstarter so that you can take part in this process and help us create stuff that you really like and need. So, neither this order nor the ideas are set in stone, you are welcome to join the Kickstarter and propose stuff for us to consider. The list of subsequent Stretch Goals includes:


  • New Tile Type Design: Open space/Parking lot (only for Modern Theme)
  • New Tile Type: City Harbour tiles
  • New Tile Type Design: Roundabout (4-street) intersection (all Themes)
  • New Tile Type: City Canals 
  • New Tile Type Design: Open Market area (4-street intersection, Rustic and Medieval themes only)

Good gaming!
George



2017/03/14

Urban Battlefields Kickstarter Funded and going strong!

One of our most impressive Addons, an Outskirts Extension to complement our Urban Sets

Wow! our Battlefields Kickstarter was funded in just 40 hours! Now we are moving forward, unlocking innovative Stretch Goals. Support us on the Kickstarter, get your own Pedion Urban Battlefield, and help us further enhance your urban tiles!


Among the first Stretch Goals we unlocked were the "Transition Tiles". Their purpose is to combine two different textures and/or Urban Themes on the same tile, so that they can join differently themed tiles. They can be used in a variety of purposes - some of them are:

  • You can join together two differently themed Urban Sets, so that you can ensure a smooth transition between them!
  • You can join your new Urban Themed set with our standard Pedion Modular Battlefields tiles. You may have a board already, to be waiting for one, or thinking of getting one; now you can combine it with any Urban set you get.
  • You can extend your Urban Set with slightly differently themed tiles, thus giving it the look of having some town outskirts or some open grass areas.
  • The transition tile type "Open Ground" can be useful even to people who are not going to get Urban Sets but have a standard Pedion Set already. It can be used  to join two differently themed sets, e.g. Green Spring with Desert.

...and I'm sure you will find other uses for them! We have already put them in good use by introducing the Outskirts Extension sets in the Addons, to add a whiff of the outdoors to the urban environment!



Another interesting addon is the option to add Transparent 1" Square Grid Sheets on top of your tiles. You can lay these sheets over the tiles you want to measure based on a grid, play your favorite RPGs, Frostgrave or Deadzone, and then remove them just as easily.



We hope we will check out the Kickstarter, and of course, share it with your gamer friends on the internet!

Good gaming!





2017/03/01

Journal #16 - Getting closer to the Urban Tiles Kickstarter!

We are getting closer to the Launch of the second PEDION Kickstarter campaign, the one on Urban Battlefields. We have presented lots of information on the designs and themes of the Urban expansion in our latest post, and we have now brought it all together in a short video presentation:




If you are interested in supporting Pedion in this Kickstarter (we hope you are!) and want to get a timely invite so you can grab some early bird stuff, you can always join with your email our "heads-up" page. There you will find a short description of the intended campaign, as well as more elaborate info on how we think of running this project.

We are adding the final touches to the campaign and crunching some numbers, so the campaign will probably launch on these first days of March. Right now we are preparing prototypes for our many Stretch Goals, since we want to really enhance the Urban Battlefields with exciting ideas that will take your urban terrain to a whole new, not-seen-before level.

Transition tiles in action: joining a Green Spring Pedion board with the new "Medieval" themed Urban Set


Among the concepts we are working on are:

  • "Transition" tiles, that is, tiles which will allow you to join our different textured boards together, or your existing tiles with the newer urban sets
  • Addons to create "dead-ends" on our roads, in order to increase the modularity and possible combinations of a given set
  • "Damaged" urban tiles, by adding impressive weapon effect craters on the tiles
  • An Elevation System, so you can create slopes, uphill roads, rises and different levels in your city for a more realistic effect
  • Variant Road Width to better suit the 28mm scale
  • More urban designs, like car parks, roundabouts or open plazas
  • City harbour tiles, to represent seaside/riverside settlements, with the use of our beautiful liquid glass water effects.
  • ...and many more...


Do these sound exciting? we certainly think so, and founding the KS will be only the beginning. We hope to see you all there!

Good gaming,
George











2017/02/09

Journal #15 - Going Urban!

Welcome to our first major 2017 Blog update, presenting the details of our next project, the Pedion Urban Battlefields!

For those of you already keeping in touch with this page, this is something you must have been expecting, as it was announced in the previous blog post and all over social media. The Urban Battlefields are to be the first major expansion of our Modular Battlefields line, a comprehensive selection of options to stage village/town/city encounters and battles. It includes enough textures, ideas and designs, to go beyond another "unlock" of our existing line, and qualify for a full campaign on Kickstarter of its own.

Ready for some Pedion street fights?


What will the new tiles do?

I will start by stating the design principles behind the Urban Battlefields; the tiles should:

  1. allow the gamer to quickly recreate street networks and the chaotic fabric of an urban environment in multiple configurations, different for each game.
  2. look beautiful and authentic, but at the same time be practical for gaming.
  3. work with other Pedion Battlefields tiles.
  4. enable the placement of buildings, fences and terrain scenic details in general from any manufacturer, without stealing the spotlight. 
  5. adhere to all Pedion design parameters: full molecularity, simple connectivity, thin, low weight, durability, easy storage. 

Have you thought about Buildings, Scale, Textures?

There are several issues that one must take into account when producing the layout of urban tiles, which were not so acute in our open space tiles:

  • Their textures and styles immediately limit the historical/fantastical eras they can be used for (e.g. an asphalt road rules out any non 20th+ century era gaming). 
  • Their width restricts their playability in different miniatures scales. This becomes quite more pronounced when there are road lines, which should be in scale.
  • They look a bit drab without any actual urban features upon them, i.e. they look out of place without buildings, since till that time all you see is an unexplained open space crisscrossed with roads.

Regarding those last 3 issues, I've gone along and made some basic decisions.

Starting from the third one, this expansion will not have anything to do with man made structures. There are many manufacturers of beautiful houses and buildings out there, and I hope they will not mind using their gorgeous products for some photoshoots in order to show off how the tiles would look on your table. Pedion is all about bringing to you stuff that it's not already on the market, and the market has lots of buildings. We have ideas on fully modular constructs, but this will be a specialised, later effort.

On the issue of scale, we will continue with our previous selection of 7cm (2.75 inches) for the roads' width. This particular width has been successfully tested on the Modular Battlefields so far, and it "plays" fine, from 15mm to 28mm scales. For the mathematically oriented, these 7cm represent a 7 meter wide road in 15mm (2 lane road) or a 4 meter wide road (1 lane) in 28mm. And there is nothing stopping you using a 7cm road as a highway in 10mm urban gaming (e.g. Dropzone). Finally, the new tiles could this way be connected with minimum fuss with roads on our current line. Therefore, we will be going with 7cm width for a universal effect, and perhaps unlock wider roads if there is respective demand during the campaign.

Road scale - Does my Tank fit?

My only issue are the road lines and markings on modern, asphalt urban environs. Especially dividing lines, which automatically designate road lanes and therefore vehicle size (and thus, gaming scale). This is something we cannot easily avoid, so it will be up to the backer to decide if he/she wants lines to show on the asphalt and what scale to be implied. Designing the road lines will be an added service, to be done in the way each customer wants it.

Finally, the selected Themes. Trying to encompass the look and feel of every urban corner in every era and genre can be quite impossible. Even more, Pedion is intended for gaming, not for dioramas (however good it may look). So, from all the options, I concluded on three (3) generalised urban terrain Styles, feeling that they could cover multiple periods and that the buildings placed on them would do the job of specialising the board's historical/geographical/genre purpose.

The Rustic Style: Dirt/Cobblestone combination

The first Style available will combine classic cobblestone roads with a "dirt"/soil texture on non-paved areas, i.e. the spaces reserved for buildings. The soil texture is broken with patches of green vegetation, and there are extensive grass tufts on the road sides, where the water usually collects. The dirt coloration is a not one used in our tiles before, but completely new, intended to be more neutral for any geographic location.

The style works quite well on on Urban/suburban environment where the people may have used cobbles to pave some of their streets. It fits Rustic settlements, rural areas, villages, small Towns, even ancient cities if the residing civilization used stone on roads. By leaving open spaces in-between the houses, one can create smaller alleys and dirt paths branching away from the main cobblestone roads. There are no signs of a drainage system, so that the Style can be used in areas and eras where an underground one would not exist.

In the following photos you can see the Style used on a 3'x3' configuration of 9 tiles, with and without buildings and miniatures.

The intended 3'x3' Pedion Urban Set, Rustic Version

The exact same board, now populated with buildings, miniatures, scenery and vehicles,
turned into a European Village during WWII for a game of Bolt Action

Or... how about a fantasy Village, with some Goblin Raiders?

The Medieval Style: Cobblestone combination

Perhaps the more robust Style, as it can be used in many a Wargame or RPG scenario. The style uses two different cobblestone patterns, a smaller, recessed one for the roads, and a larger, embossed one for the building spaces. There is an irregularly shaped string of stones on roadsides to act as a primitive sidewalk, and there are drainage grates implying the existence of basic sewers.

The Style can be used to represent the basis of multiple urban environments, especially medieval areas, fantasy settlements, and many European City Centres up to the present day!

The following snapshots give an example of the Medieval Style, with and without extra stuff on it.

The contents of a 3'x3' Pedion Urban Set, Medieval version

The same board, now with greenery, buildings, fences and entrenched German troops!


and a view under the hood: how the Medieval styled tiles look before painting:




The Modern Style: Paved stone/Asphalt combination

For those gaming in the modern (or futuristic) era, I've designed a Style where the road surface is asphalt, the open areas are paved with large geometric stones, and there are proper pedestrian sidewalks. There are again drainage facilities, like manhole covers. The sidewalks protrude 1mm from road level and they are 2.5cm (1") wide.
As mentioned above, road lines are possible but may limit the option of playing in different scales. Greater road width will probably be an option during the Kickstarter.


The contents of a 2'x2' Pedion Urban Set, Modern Version

A Street fight on the board above


Why the Kickstarter?

The main reason for a running a KS campaign for this expansion is actually the same as for our previous one: we want to gauge if people like the idea behind those tiles, so that we can iron out all the details and schedule up a full production. By running a KS campaign we will be able to find out toward what designs do gamers lean, and flesh out specific ideas and new designs with our supporters. This will not be a simple "preorder" phase, but a chance to bring people to our drawing board, months before we start actual production.

What about the Kickstarter which is still fulfilled?

The newer campaign will by no means affect or influence the current production and fulfillment of the much more complex previous Modular Battlefields campaign. The new KS will pertain to a production which will start months later, with a different design, and under its own production team and personnel. Even more, the Urban tiles will be designed to be more straightforward production-wise, to act as a separate, streamlined line.


When will the KS Campaign start?

Quite soon! The plan is to have the campaign ready and be able to launch before the end of this month, February 2017. The sooner we start the sooner we will be able to go full throttle after finishing all current fulfillment. There will be one more Blog post to give more details on the Campaign, as well as to discuss various ideas and expansions on the 3 basic Urban Styles. There you will find out more on add-ons, unlocks, stretch goals and how the Urban tiles will work with the current .Pedion Sets. But you can keep in touch and learn about any news if you follow us on our facebook page and/or our twitter account!


Hope you enjoyed reading all about our new stuff! Get ready for the Kickstarter!

George