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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 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!


Journal #7 - or, Over the Hills and Far Away

For many people their terrain is defined by roads and/or rivers; for me, it is Hills. Differences in elevation have been the deciding factor in most open battles, therefore I think they should be the most important terrain feature (ok, they also make the otherwise flat terrain look more interesting :) ).

In Pedion™ elevations will be representing by "hills", that is, distinct rises in fixed intervals, following the logic of contours in maps. I have some ideas for more elevation change options, but for the time being, I will present to you the Pedion Hill tiles.

The Empire descending a hill on Kashyyk - miniatures from WotC, included for scale only

As with all other Pedion™ tiles, the hills will actually be part of the tile, rising seamlessly from the surrounding ground. However, keeping up with my modularity requirements, the hills consist of two pieces: the main hill tile, where the first elevation level rises, and a second, smaller "hill", which represents a second elevation level, that can be placed over the first one. So the players can either place a 2-level hill or two 1-level hills on their battlefield. The second level snaps magnetically over the main hill, staying in place. Each hill elevation rise is about 3cm (1.18").

A two-part Hill tile

The smaller, second level snaps over the main hill tile, creating a 2-level hill if so the player wishes

...or the players keep the larger, main tile with a 1-level elevation hill...

...and they can use the smaller, 2nd level hill as stand-alone on a Plain tile.

Hill Tile Properties and Variations

  • For the time being there are three (3) discreet Hill tile designs: A full tile hill with an extra level piece, a 4/5 tile hill with an extra hill piece, and a 3/4 tile hill without extra levels.
  • The three main hills are designed so that they can be fitted side-by-side, creating longer hill pieces, or they can be placed alone in different places across the battlefield.
  • The hilltops include metal hardpoints. These can be used for the second-level pieces to snap onto, or for other magnetic terrain pieces from Pedion tiles, like trees, walls etc.
  • The hills include both steep and gentle sides. Thus the players can declare sides which are unapproachable, pose a penalty to climb or have no effect on movement.

 See what I mean about these hill tile properties in the photos below:

The three different hill tile kinds can be placed next to each other to form a long hill piece. You can see the 3:1 ramps on all hill types, as well as the steep rock faces.

The "central", Full-tile Hill, with its extra, 2nd level hill piece

The "left-side", 4/5 of the tile Hill, with its own 2nd level hill piece

The "right-side", 3/4 of a tile Hill, without a second level.

In true Pedion spirit, the hilltops are ready for magnetized walls, creating a fortified position...

...or some tree stands, to provided aesthetic variety and cover.

 In case you are wondering how are those Hill tiles made (come 'on, I know you are!), check my progress in the following photos:

Yep, they were fun to make, but it does take a lot of effort. I also discovered I can always find a job frosting cakes, after all this practice. If anything, I am considering making the Hill tiles simpler and less realistic. They look awesome but will take too much time to mass produce...

Hope you liked my Hill tiles. Please do comment on your opinions and ideas, I am anxious to hear them. Also, rest assured that I am implementing the Pedion Kickstarter Campaign as you are reading this - so you will be able to preorder your Pedion very soon.

Good gaming all!