Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Dirty Old Town

It is perhaps not surprising that at this time of year the day job demands much of my attention.  The publication of the A-Level results last week meant that hobby time, and Blogging, had to take a bit of a back seat of late, but I haven't been completely idle.  Earlier in the week my pledge for the 'Battle Systems' Urban Apocalypse Terrain Kickstarter arrived; I had heard whisper that it was landing on doormats across Europe and now I had my hands on mine.  
I had already seen a couple of unpacking videos and watched some of the assembly tutorials on the company's website, but when I had the actual product in front of me I was so excited that I just didn't know where to start.  I think the hesitancy was initially caused by being too precious about the individual parts and if I could offer some words of advice, don't be.  Of course care is required as the card stock, whilst of a fabulous quality, does have delicate parts and sometimes the interlocking grooves or tabs might be too small or thin,* just cut them to fit and move on.  The thing I had to remind myself was that I had bought this as playable terrain for games like 'The Walking Dead, Mars Attacks, ZombieTV and the Batman Miniatures Game, it was not going to be for display purposes.  It was backed for the very reason that it could be assembled, played with and packed away again without incurring the wrath of the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry'.  
*although it has to be said that this is rarely the case.
Resolute in my determination to actually assemble something before the Lady of the house returned, I ploughed on regardless and started pressing out the plastic clips that are instrumental in the construction of the various levels.  This was followed by some sheets of the card stock, and again I need to point out the sheer quality of the printing.  Those familiar with the quality of the Zombicide boards will not be disappointed at the design and printing of the different textures that 'Battle Systems' have employed.  Exterior and internal walls aside there is a plethora of different furniture pieces and scatter terrain squeezed on to each sheet and because of this hours seemed to slip by before I had achieved very much at all.  
Having assembled a couple of things and placed them on the superb, rubber backed neoprene mat, again beautifully printed, She, who must be obeyed returned and all had to packed away so I could lay the table for supper.  Given the lightweight nature of the terrain, I simply picked up two opposite corners of the mat and took the whole street off the table, resigned to the fact that I could have another go at town planning the following day.  I am happy to report that the second attempt was much quicker as not requiring to push out the individual items I was able to give more thought to what I wanted to construct and in no time at all things were coming together. 
Whilst some of the individual pieces of furniture have just one purpose and can therefore remain assembled the bulk of the terrain is completely interchangeable and so you really are only limited by your imagination and the amount of clips you have.  Pleased with my initial attempt at town planning it was time to unleash the horde onto the streets to see how it looked and I have to tell you I was thrilled with the outcome!  The quality of the design and the actual product really are amazing.  The photographs that I have taken just show the 'raw' card stock straight from the box and before even considering edging with a felt pen or graphic marker.
The terrain allows you to use both interior and exterior playing surfaces, but you will need to give this some thought before putting your town together.  You should simply just be able to lift a floor or roof off to gain access to the interior space below, and in theory you can, but some of my initial designs meant that when lifting the floor out I kept catching it on the clips supporting the other walls. This often resulted in showering the streets below with all manner of debris and accompanied by the occasional harsh word.  This is a minor moan and one I took pains to avoid in revised builds by simplifying those areas I wanted to remove.  So really, really pleased with this and I hope that it will get some use in the months to come, well done 'Battle Systems';  now on with the photographs! 

70 comments:

  1. That looks brilliant!! The terrain looks fantastic in the pictures and will be a fab looking backdrop to all those outstanding miniatures.

    I want one now!

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    1. I have to say I was really impressed when I finally got my hands on it.

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  2. i really wish I had backed this, would have saved me time and money but i thought id be clever and scratch build...... these are sooooo nice sir Michael and totally easy to to store. Excellent!

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    1. I think for me it was all about space saving and the concern in my wife's eyes when another box arrived!

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  3. Those look really nice, I can see them getting a lot of use.

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  4. Cor, I like that. Extremely useful bit of kit, and although I like the zombie photos above I'm interested to see how it all looks with the Batman miniatures playing upon it all.

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    1. I meant to do some shots with my Penguin crew, but stupidity put him down to one side and forgot about him. It wasn't until I packed everything away that I realised what I had done!

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  5. Cool stuff indeed! But you do understand we want some Batreps now! BTW: as a teacher myself I am rather curious how your schoolsystem works, since here the summer holidays started 4 weeks ago and will be over September 5th.

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    1. One day Sander I'll get round to the Batreps, I promise. As for the holidays it sounds very similar. The difference is that I have a responsibility for those pupils going on to university so when the results are published I need to be available to help where I can. It also makes me think about getting on with the preparation that needs to be done too!

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  6. Wow! I have to say I've always thought this sort of clip-together terrain looked...well, clipped together. This, though, really looks amazing!

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    1. I know what you mean, in this case the quality of the printing really lifts the product.

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  7. Bravo, quite a grand set you have here...May I say more...

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    1. I am very pleased with it Jan, looking forward to building some more soon.

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  8. While I do like this I know that storage at the club is limited and other hall users just do not care if anything is left there they will abuse it so it really needs to be a bit stronger for me. But It does look very good indeed.

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    1. I could certainly see a problem with lots of paws trying to get hold of it, but it is fairly robust when assembled.

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  9. That does work really well - and good to see it with your painted figures too. These Kickstarters really are your guily pleasure are they not!

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    1. You are not wrong Dave, they have become a terrible weakness and not helping the old bank balance.

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  10. I have the SciFi and Dungeon versions and find them excellent for so many different games. It has to be said there's a fair bit of fun to be had just putting the scenery together to make new and interesting scenarios.

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    1. I have subsequently been looking at the the other sets, particularly the dungeon one since I've had my hands on this. I couldn't agree more about the assembly and will definitely need to try out some different ideas soon.

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  11. Looks very impressive. Great gaming terrain and a good backdrop for photography.

    And I love the toilet. You have to paint it up like the one in Trainspotting.

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    1. The toilet rather tickled me too and what an idea!

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  12. Incredible! So many wonderful details!

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    1. There really are Phil and a lot of humorous touches as well.

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  13. Replies
    1. It is a wonderful set, with many possibilities.

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  14. Great looking kit Michael. A fellow could have hours of fun just putting it all together!
    peter

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  15. Terrific stuff Michael. I'm so pleased I've bought it too. It really looks the business with your minis etc :-)

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    1. I take it yours has arrived too? Looking forward to seeing what wonderful things that you do with yours.

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  16. Replies
    1. It is wonderful stuff, then there is the dungeon set too!

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  17. Impressive! It's not something I want for gaming but I admire the thought that went into the design. Your figures look great against that backdrop. Is that Elvis on the street, and an undead Ronald McDonald in the upstairs khazi?

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    1. Good spot on Elvis, I had set up a hot dog stall for him, but so carried away that I seem to have forgotten to snap that little scenario.

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  18. Looks like a very cool set. :)

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  19. They look really good Michael, clever solution to the storage problem of scenery too.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Just need to get some more really useful boxes now!

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  20. Looks really great, of to have a recce now. Hope all the kids got places

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    1. I think they are launching icon the site once the Kickstarter has shipped, which should be fairly soon. As for the places, I think we are nearly there now.

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  21. Replies
    1. Have the fun is just putting it together!

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  22. The overall effect (especially wih added miniatures) is really good and I'm now a lot less sceptical than I was when I saw this originally.

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    1. Like you Joe, I wasn't sure but I had been impressed with the photography during the Kickstarter. It is certainly a labour of love for the company.

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  23. Superb! Let the zombie games begin (to the Pogues tune of course).

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    1. Absolutely Monty, Zombietale of New York perhaps?

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  24. Makes for an impressive post-apocalyptic setting.

    The zombie clown remembered to put the seat down. Mrs zombie clown should be suitably impressed.

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    1. It is a wonderful thing that toilet, made me chuckle.

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  25. Looks really good. I'd end up never using the small rainforest of MDF terrain that I have if I got it though.

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    1. Ah yes, you reminded me of all those unassembled MDF buildings that I have hidden around the place.

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  26. They are top notch! Just the ticket.

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    1. I was really pleased with the Rodger.

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  27. Very impressive! I'm really starting to regret deciding to skip out on backing the Kickstarter

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    1. Apparently they will all be up on the website next month, which is good to know as there are a couple of add ons that I like the look of.

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  28. It looks like a superb investment in money and time to buy and assemble all that! What a fab backdrop for your urban adventures.
    We live in a golden age of the hobby.

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    1. We certainly do Michael, fuelled by the enthusiasm and creativeness of gamers that are prepared to follow their dreams.

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  29. Fantastic Michael! I hope mine arrives as well, I did get an email from the lads at Battle systems asking about our pesky PO box numbers which I took to be a sign it was on its way. I feel I will be going through the same trials as you, apprehension, excitement, discovery & determination. Cheers!

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    1. I see that you bundle has most certainly arrived! ;)

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  30. It does indeed look very useful especially if you don't want to construct a complete urban city by hand.

    Christopher

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    1. Absolutely Christopher, and of course it can all be flat packed at the end of the game. This is important to me as I lack a dedicated hobby space.

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  31. Somehow I'm not surprised to find another Kickstarter here... ;-)

    But it looks very good and useful alike. So good choice, my friend.

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    1. I am worried that I might be becoming a tad predicable! ;) Thrilled with this one Stefan and I hope to get plenty of use out of it.

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  32. That looks great!
    I had som much fun with pal Thomas' box we assembled the other day. Great stuff, as I already knew because I backed the other two KS's

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  33. I did consider backing this one, but the initial set was too 'wrecked' and therefore not of use to me. Looks like I might have to pick up a set now = once they go on general release.

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  34. Fantastic, Michael - looks perfect for recreating a whole host of scenarios in sleepy Southern American towns like Woodbury....

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  35. Wow, very cool. Just like that - ok, I know, it takes a lot of work to put this together but you know what I mean - you have a really nice town terrain to game in. Nice!

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