Monday, February 16, 2015

BOFA Update 4 and bad news

First the bad news. As my job has dramatically increased my workload, we will not be able to finish the battle table for Cold Wars. There is no way we can finish the table in time. At this rate I will be lucky to be able to go to the con.

So these 2 events are canceled:
F-332 - The Battle of Five Armies
S-356 - The Battle of Five Armies

I apologize if you registered for these events but it is beyond my control. We will continue to build slowly as time allows and hope to have this complete for NJ Con in June. We will also look to put the game on at Fall In 2015. The table is too big to take to Historicon. You try sticking the 3 gamers and the Erebor into a minivan for 6 hours.

Anyway here is the small amount of progress we made.

18 bags of Black Raven Foundry Orcs and Wolves. 3 bags of some other odds and ends we needed.

Carving out channels for the river and placing the gate onto the board.

Glued in place after I added dragon damage.

Again lots of test fits and mock builds as we are not 100% certain how to join it all together.

Trying this and that. It's a bit of a juggling act. We have to balance out, what Tolkien wrote, what works for a game, what works for a battle table, and what works for a battle table that needs to fit into a minivan AND go up the stairs out of my basement.

After spending a good amount of time we have landed on our design. The foam-core bridge is just a place holder to get an idea what it will look like. But that will be the essential look.

Most of this work took place back in January and since then I have not been able to touch the table in 2 weeks.

Again sorry for canceling if you registered, Xin and the BOFA team.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Building The Lonely Mountain Part 3

Our work continues at a glacial pace. The dwindling days till Cold Wars should amp up our drive to get this done though. One huge problem still faces us, waiting for lead. We have a big order in for hundreds of Orcs/Dwarves and men. Placed almost a month ago, and we are waiting. If we don't get those soon, we might not be able to pull this off.

That's enough doom and gloom, what progress have we made? Lets see.

 Our order from Eureka came in. 180 elves. Thanks to Rob for getting us these order ASAP! Great company to do business with. Now if only I could paint them as fast as he sent them.

Test fit on base stands. These are really great figures. Very clean with almost no flash.

 More work on the front gate.

Lou sketched up a concept for us. He has loads of talent.

Dollar Store foamcore, stripped of it's paper for columns.

 Done. Now that we've made it, we have to "dragonize it"

Gluing the whole thing together.

Hard to see, but we started carving out chunks of foam to age it and show dragon damage. Lets face it, Smaug is not getting his deposit back.

Waiting on the gate to dry. Once the gate is done, we will build the mountain around the gate. Tonight I will glue the gate in place and start the mountain. I'm starting to wonder if I will be able to get this out of my basement.

While waiting on the gate, I started rebasing Orcs we've had for more years than I want to count.

This is Dale. We just wanted Dale to poke on to the end of the table. It will go on the end of the board as an edge piece. Lou built this at home and brought it over. We will glue it down to the board when we get to that section. Right now everything is waiting on the gate.

Lou is the MacGyver of scratch building.

More updates to come from our BOFA Team.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Building The Lonely Mountain Part 2

We made more progress on our BOFA battlefield. Not as much as we hoped, but at this point we will take any forward momentum. Unfortunately we spend a lot of time discussing and doing mock builds, since we are sort of feeling our way a long in the build process. The gate and Erebor is pretty complicated, which is exacerbated by the fact that the boards need to be transported to conventions. We have a seem between 2 sections right at the gate. We can't help it, otherwise this thing would stay in my basement forever.

So here is our slow progress,

  Adding a 2nd layer of foam on the 2 mountain spurs

Stanley Sureform. Awesome tool for shaping insulation. Makes an awful mess though.

Raven Hill is coming along.

Drawing out the gate to better visualize it, for size and position. This is not what we will use.

Gluing down that 2nd layer. I really need more bricks, the wife is not amused.

Started work on the gate. Once we get the gate placed, we can do the rest of the mountain around it.

Still working on small design elements of the gare.

Using light weight Spackle to smooth out the hills and cover up the seems between foam layers.

More work on Raven Hill

Started basing up some Warg Riders. Black Raven Foundry figures. We have a lot of painting to do.

That's it for now. It doesn't seem like a lot, but as long as we move forward everyday, we will get there.

Thanks for checking out the blog, Xin

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Building The Lonely Mountain Part 1

For the upcoming gaming convention, Cold Wars, we are putting on The Battle of Five Armies. This will not be the wildly off the rails Peter Jackson version, but the Tolkien version as best we can translate a book into a wargame. Some visual inspiration from the Hobbit movies, might find their way in as well, as the movies are an awesome spectacle of Middle-Earth.

But first we have to build a battlefield. So follow along as we build Erebor. Feel free to ask questions or give us feedback as we go along. Also you can click on the pictures for bigger versions of each picture.

 Our battlefield will be 6x10. I had to add a folding table to the end of my normal 5x8 table. Covered with vinyl to protect my flocked gaming table.

 After a trip to Home Depot, we picked up 8, 2x8 sheets of foam insulation. We cut 5 of them down to 6 feet and that is our base.

 Sometimes the tongue and groove of the boards are a little off, so we spent sometime arranging the boards to find the best fit for each seam. The boards are numbered, and each seam has a mark so we can line up the boards if we take them apart.

Now we lay out the edge of the mountain spurs that forms the valley and the course of the River Running. We use glass beads so we can adjust on the fly till we are satisfied with the placement of terrain features. Once we are happy with the layout we mark all the lines with a Sharpie Pen.

 How we start cutting more foam that will form our mountain spurs, the main gate and Dale.

 Another angle

 Cutting the foam to make the slopes.

 Laying out test pieces to get a feel for placement and scale of the main gate,

 We have cut and scraped down the first level of the spurs. We are ready for Glue.

Using Liquid Nails, we glue down the foam spurs to the base. We will add at least one more layer for parts of the spurs, and Raven Hill. Then we can start on the Mountain itself.

We leave the glue to dry overnight.

Check back for further updates as we build the battlefield, rules updates, and we get our armies together.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Welcome to the Blood of Heroes Blog

Blood of Heroes is a set of miniature wargame rules for refighting battles in any fantasy setting.  They will be released later this year, but first we will be doing playtest games at Cold Wars in March.  So now, we're building a battle table to refight the Battle of Five Armies from The Hobbit (the book version!).

Not just any table, but a massive, custom-built table with the Lonely Mountain and the entire battlefield laid out in its majestic glory!  And you can follow that momentous project right here.  Every few days we will be posting new updates and photos (lots and lots of photos!), starting with the bare insulation board we're using for the base (and this is where we are now) and progressing all the way to the finished table, ready to be packed off and hauled to Lancaster.

So if you will be at Cold Wars, and you like what you see, the games are in the PEL, so pre-register or sign up when you get to the con.  If  not (or if so) feel free to leave comments on this blog and let us know what you think.  We may also be posting some info about the rules themselves and some shots of the hundreds (and hundreds) of 15mm figures we'll be using.

Even if you won't be at Cold Wars, and you're not interested in fantasy gaming - but you are a crazy terrain whore like us - you may enjoy watching the table take shape.  We're going to try a number of new techniques, and we're looking to make this the best table we've built.