Saturday, 18 October 2014

A whole new... Universe!

Inspired by our recent Engage play-tests and by discovering the awesome series 'Battlestar Galactica' (seriously, I'm hooked!) I decided to work on a new board for this excellent tutorial, I set off to my local orange and black hardware store!

our space battles!  Planning to loosely follow

-Black paint - a few tester pots
-Paint rollers
-2 spray cans (green and yellow)

And bits I already had:
-A toothbrush - I actually nicked this from our bathroom
-White paint - a pot of emulsion we had knocking around from our house painting.
-2 2x4 boards - I used the flip side of my sea boards, as both are flat, it seemed like a good idea

So a brief a overview of what I did:
First off - I painted the boards black - this needed a couple of coats: you can see in this picture, that rolling the paint on left lots of lines on the first coat. I haven't pictured this (doh!) but the next stage involved using my toothbrush to 'flick' white paint off of the brush onto the table. 

Being a responsible adult, I took the boards outside in a well ventilated area to get spraying! I started with the green can. Spraying 'clouds' from different heights created the illusion of space dust! During this process, the green can decided to betray me and began spluttering sticky rubbish...groan.
 After scraping off as much sticky rubbish as I could, it was damage limitation time. The yellow clouds served to cover up the affected areas as well as highlight the green and give more overall depth. 

Now back inside, I decided that I'd gone a touch overboard with the colours, so I took some areas back to black (or at least darker) by sponging. As a final touch, I shot some new stars across the gas clouds to get back to the intended 'spaceyness'.  Above is a shot of the finished board with my fleet!


Monday, 13 October 2014

Naming Your Engage Ships

In my opinion, naming my ships is half the fun of creating them - it adds some character and makes it more realistic when it comes to gaming. 

Given the wealth of scifi shows and games out there, it's very easy for you to emulate the great ships from your favourite 'verse. I, myself, am particularly fond of the Halo universe, so you'll usually find my ships taking on the names of the ships from there. 

  • All under heaven
  • Constantinople 
  • Pillar of Autumn
  • Say My Name

And what's great is that the fans of most of these shows will have done most of the work for you and collected it all together in the various wikis that exist for the games/shows [example]

The alternative route is to create your own ship names, in the last game of Engage I played, Ben had names his ships in a way that reflected the ship's purpose (though i didn't realise it until too late). Some examples were the Longbow (a long range ship) and the Shotgun (for close range action). 

The naming of ships gives them a life of their own, and makes those engagements more fun when the Cruiser 'Say My Name' wipes out the enemy ship it just sounds cooler than Ship A, or Ship Beta. 

Ship Categorisations

Another way to enhance the 'life' of your ships is to use the prefixes that match the classes of ships found in the game, we tend to use the basic US Navy 'traditiona' categorisations, with some tweaks here and there. 

So here's our list for you to use;

  • S - Scout
  • K - Corvette
  • FF - Frigate
  • DD - Destroyer
  • CL - Light Cruiser
  • CE - Escort Cruiser
  • CA - Heavy Cruiser
  • CB - Battle Cruiser

There's load of information for these sorts of classifications on the web, and you can alter and edit them depending on the huge variations that are out there. You can also give them a little flair - Got three Destroyers? make one the Destroyer Leader 'DL' - though it also might make him 'Target No1', but that's half the fun!