Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Factory Pyramid

Frankly, I am tired of 2 ft x 3 ft, rectangular, two player maps. Those 384 squares of space just do not cut it for me anymore.

Our gaming group has slowly evolved into a group that prefers a good battle royale. The weekly two player tournaments can get tedious after a while. A multi-player battle royale adds a social dynamic that is missing in a two player miniature game. It is no longer a game of dice, positioning and numbers. It becomes a game of social dynamics. Not only do you need to hope for good rolls, you need to hope your fellow teammates can be trusted. Alliances are formed and broken. Trust is earned and destroyed. A good battle royale becomes a wicked social experiment and the more players you can fit into the game, the more complex and fun it becomes.

For more fun, you need more gaming room.

The genesis of this map started back in the days of LOTR. My players were looking to play large LOTR battles and there was not a map that could easily accommodate this. At that time I had already designed and printed a gigantic 2 ft x14 ft urban city map. So my sites were set on medieval fantasy.

I also wanted to move away from rectangular maps and move back into symmetrical square maps. I drew a half-dozen walled city and castle keep maps of which none I was happy with but I did one day doodle a Mayan pyramid layout that I was particularly fond of.

Flash forward a few years, and I hadn't finished a single map due to time and energy restraints with my day job. Well it is now 2015 and I have a new job with less responsibility and a new computer with enough memory to easily tackle large designs. Age of Ultron is happening and it was time for me to get back to map making again.

Now with Age of Ultron adding a sci-fi / robot theme to every big event, I wanted to create a battle royale map that fit that theme. However I still had this Mayan temple layout I was really partial to. The Factory Pyramid is the blend of that old Mayan Design with a Sci-Fi feel that could accommodate any modern villain.

I wanted strong , striking colors. I wanted heavy purples, oranges and reds. Gone were the grass fields and stone temple with rivers of blood. Now we had steel and lava.

The map itself is 4 ft by 4 ft which comprises 1024 gaming squares (266% more space than the 2 ft by 3ft maps), six levels of elevation, and twenty starting areas. It is a big map.

There are 124 squares of hindering terrain. So there is plenty of space to hide in. There are also blocking terrain features between each of the twenty starting areas to help protect your forces at the start of the map.

Oh yeah and there is lava... lots of lava. In fact that lava stretches across all six elevation levels. Now no rules for this special terrain are printed on this map. I like each gaming group having the freedom to develop their own rules and scenarios and not be dictated by what it is printed. Though you can always ask me for suggestions.

If you decide to get a copy of this map for yourself, I would suggest you limit the number of figures allowed in each player's force to one or two figures. That way a 20 man match doesn't bog down to a crawling pace.

Well... that is it for now. I appreciate everyone who keeps checking back here from time to time. I've got more up my sleeve or in a cardboard tube for the summer.

Good gaming!


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