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 Gondor Board ideas?

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Cal585
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PostSubject: Gondor Board ideas?   Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:30 pm

Hey all, I've started a new project. To build a Gondorian board. I've got myself 4 boards about 60x45cm each I think? These will form the core and I can add more to them later if I want (I would have preferred square boards, but alas, 'twas not to be).

I'm rather limitted with polystyrene, not having enough or the right type to layer the boards and craft a landscape so this means they'll mostly have to be flat. My plan is therefore to make a settlement of some sort. Immediately one thinks Osgiliath, purely because it makes such a great gaming table. But I wanted something a bit more original and something that was still being lived in. I've come up with 2 ideas:

1) The city of Linhir. As my Gondor army is themed on Linhir, this would make logical sense. Only problem is that it's a big city, and might limit gameplay a bit? The plan would be to recreate the east gate (and attached walls). Inside, there would probably be barracks and the main road leading back to a courtyard surrounded with maybe an inn and a blacksmith and marketplace and so forth. Outside, the main pathway would lead to a bridge spanning the river, maybe with docks further south and farmland on the other side (depending how far I'd expand). So it'd have a fair bit of stuff and probably look fairly interesting but might not be too good for much other than sieges (in which case it has a lot of potential).

2) A Gondorian township. Much sparser, probably more like Bree, though i haven't worked out how the buildings would look. Maybe a mix of wooden buildings for things like houses and stone for more important buildings? Would allow more personal life to be placed in it (as the community is smaller and not so faceless). Might be on the coast, and allows farmland around it. Much more suitable to generic gaming without the walls and the bigger spaces. Also allows raids/pillages/burnings and other fun scenarios. Probably also a lot harder to get looking natural, would require a fair bit more polystyrene use (and a clever use seeing as I'm mostly restricted to the packing, crumbling variety) and begs the question of why my men are out of home defending a small town?


So that's my ramblings. Although the initial plan was to go route 1 and Linhir, I find myself leaning slightly towards 2, as I think it might be slightly more interesting and flexible for games, even if it'd require more creative work.
But I need a fresh perspective on the issue. I was wondering if someone could give me any feedback on my proposed ideas, alternative suggestions, which one they like better or anything of the sort.
I'd be very appreciative.

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PostSubject: Re: Gondor Board ideas?   Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:55 am

Hmm, how about a halfway between the two? I.e. make it an outlying settlement, but have a small keep to explain why your men are there (they're the local garrison).

If you can afford them, eBob does some nice buildings that would look great as a rural Gondorian village.

If you can, I'd say make a small, braod hill to put the keep on and make some short 'castle' walls to encircle it (I'd say 1" tall and 1" wide - large enough to stop a direct attack on the keep, but short enough that a siege game isn't needed to attack it) or make a turf embankment with fence/low wall on top to surround it (was going to link to Warlord Games, but it looks like they no longer do their Roman turf fort).
Outside the keep's outer walls make a village using a mix of eBob's Medieval House, Medieval House 2, Barn, Medieval Longhouse, Medieval Smallhouse and Small House 2.
As a perimeter have fences, low walls and hedges to encirlce the town with one or two main gates in and out.
Outside of this have fields and/or farmland, with perhaps a small, shallow river meandering through (eBob's small footbridge would look good as a crossing point for it).

If you wanted to be a bit more ambitious, you could try modeling a wide river and use eBob's other bridge to span it. Then have a keep on one side and the village scattered about both sides, with perhaps a small dock/jetty or two on either side of the river.




Of course, all this will cost a lot of money, so I recomend not using eBob exclusively unless you can afford it - instead, where I've recommended using his products, use that as a guidline for either finding something similar from a local manufacturer or making your own.


If you're looking for flock, someone on TLA posted this link. Looks like they've got a lot of stuff there which might be useful for flocking a board with a variety of grasss. Link to TLA thread where this was posted

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PostSubject: Re: Gondor Board ideas?   Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:02 am

Woah, thanks for that effort Dinadan. Though you're sapping my resistance to the whole keep and town idea Razz

I don't think I'm going to purchase any buildings, but I'll certainly use them for inspiration. I'm wanting to make the insides of the buildings as well (can you tell this is an ambitious long term project).
So I'm liking the idea of a keep and town. Problem is having the keep/outpost central so as not to favour any side particularly but still have it removed from the town while keeping that central as well...

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PostSubject: Re: Gondor Board ideas?   Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:31 am

Well, another idea is if you made a bridge like the large one eBob sells, you could perhaps make the keep on a small island and have it 'off' the board (i.e. your board would be irregularly shapped - a standard square/rectangular board with a small section jutting out). The advantage of this is that you could have it as removable so that you have the option of playing on a keepless board if you wish (and if the buildings are seperate, then you'll be able to use it as a standard wilderness board aswell).

As for keeping it removed from the town, I'd say don't make it too far removed - remember historically, the villagers would retreat to the keep when their village was being raided.

As, to be honest, I think any such board would favour scenario play more than points match play, so 'giving one side an advantage' shouldn't be too much of an issue, as it'd be counterbalanced by special rules (e.g. the 'attacker' has a larger force and/or has ladders/grappling hooks to scale the keep, or the 'defender has his army split in two with the larger part remaining off the board and coming on as reinfocements, etc).

Also, if you're going to build the buildings yourself, it may be worth looking into Weathertop articles and building an unruined version of that (has the added bonus of doubling for Amon Sul when needed).

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PostSubject: Re: Gondor Board ideas?   Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:41 am

Yikes, it's been a while since I've been able to get on...

With your suggestion, you'd only have a narrow entrance to the keep? Could be interesting... And very hard to break if there's a bottleneck entrance as well.
I think my plan is to just build a general village and maybe expand to include a castle if I want later on. Though I'm tempted to just build a fortress board with a keep and several buildings inside the walls. Hopefully will just stick to a village though. Once I decide on a layout, I'll throw a scanning up.



Quick question though, what do we know of Gondorian religion? I can recall vague references to looking towards Numenor/Valinor and invoking blessings of particular Valar, but did they actually worship them? Just wondering whether they'd have something like a church.

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PostSubject: Re: Gondor Board ideas?   Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:47 am

Hmm, not sure. I don't think anything definative is said about religion in Meiddle-earth, but I personally don't think that Gondorians would have a church, as it just doesn't seem them, plus, considering Tolkien's strong Christian beliefs, I'd think that he'd find it hard to stomach his 'good guys' worshiping anything other than God as a deity. That said, in the Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales, it's mentioned that the Numenoreans went to the top of the mountain at the middle of Numenor twice a year for a ceremony dedicated to Eru, so it's plausable that some Gondorian towns would have a place set aside for a similar ceremony (although I'd imagine it'd be mostly in the larger settlements such as Minas Tirith, Pelgir, pre-ruin Osgiliath, etc). Another thing to think about is that a lot of people in the fiefdoms were descendants of those people who were there before the Numenoreans returned to Middle-earth, so some of them may have retained beliefs from the Dark Times before the Comming of the Sea Men. Although, that'd probably be limited to some of the more remote parts of Gondor (c.f. the Druadan and the Pukel Men).

Perhaps instead of a church, shrines may work. While I'm unsure on whether or not the Gondorians would worship the Valar, I'd think it likely that they'd venerate them and show them respect, and as such would probably seek a blessing from time to time. E.g. a sailor would probably give a prayer to Ulmo before setting out on a voyage, a smith would pay his respects to Aule each morning before work, a hunter may make an offering before/after a hunt, etc.

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