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Battle Cry: 150th Civil War Anniversary Edition» Forums » General

Subject: My Battle Cry 3D game rss

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David J Schaffner
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Hi BC and C&C fans,

I've finally completed my Battle Cry project which has been a work in progress for a year now, so I'm happy to finally be able to show it off here a bit. It's a 3D setup for Battle Cry, with the board and terrain also useable for other 13X9 hex-map games too (hoping to also do a Hold The Line version).

Anyway, here's some pics of my setup using the game's Antietam and Fredericksburg scenarios.









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That's abeautiful set of flats and 3D terrain you've made for your game!

Can you tell us how you did the art for the flats?

Thanks!
 
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Sean Swart
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Looks good. Explain what you used for terrain and how you made it. I too would like do know the source of your Flats and paper buildings.
 
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René Christensen
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Bloody nice!!!!
 
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Chris Roper
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How do you represent strength and take losses? you only appear to have one stand per unit.
 
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David J Schaffner
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Thanks Guys!

All the basic artwork comes from web images of 54mm miniatures, with The Collector Showcase figures featuring most prominently since they're sculpted in wonderfully animated poses that remind me of Don Troiani and Keith Rocco's combat paintings. I photo-shopped the images, silhouetted them with transparent backgrounds, assembled them into formations, resizing/coloring/lighting as needed, and layered ranks behind the foreground troops to give the appearance of depth and density. Then created the flags (they're historically correct to the units built), converted some figures to standard bearers, added Hardee hats onto regular Union infantry to make the Iron Brigade, etc. Finally, shadowing and placing the units onto my landscape background scene and "smoking" for dust/combat effects.

I experimented over a couple weeks with quite a few unit layout styles, as can be seen in the photo below. First basic one-sided paper soldiers, then to two-sided "tents", then to two-sided joined images with bases, then back to tents with bases.......finally finding Shrinky Dinks heat-shrinking plastic material did the trick, as it allowed me to cut out the units with precision at a larger scale, and then reduce the pieces to the desired size by heating them in the oven (after determining the product's shrinkage rate). The Shrinky Dinks material is pretty amazing stuff, as it shrinks in width and length, but thickens in depth, making flag poles, bayonets, gun barrels, and ram rods durable enough for gaming use.



Being a miniatures gaming enthusiast for over 30 years, I wanted the game pieces to look like combat formations, but didn't want there to be a lot of board clutter as a results of more figure stands or hit counters to move around. What I finally came up with is the idea of using the slot of a plastic base to hold the hit counter, which counts up the number of hits a unit has suffered as reflected by the number of additional flags shown. This way the hits travel with the game piece, don't clutter up the board, and look somewhat "military". Here's a picture showing the pieces, some hit counters, units with hit counters attached, some uncut plastic stands, and a pre-shrunk printed Shrinky Dinks sheet (before its cut out). Next thing I want to try is double sided printing on a Shrinky Dinks sheeting, to see if it'll bake ok without marring the printed image on the resting side in the oven.



For dimensions, the figures are about 10mm in height, with a unit measuring 2 1/2 inches across, general stands being 1 1/4th inches across. This scale is what I wanted to use with my 3D game board, which was built to 3 inch hex size. I can say that even more detailing would be visible at larger scales, say 15mm for 4 inch hexes, but there is still a degree of clarity and color lost with the Shrinky Dinks process, as compared to the original image, or with premium photo paper prints, as seen here when compared to this 84th (14th) New York Volunteers master.



The game board was built using Busch railroad grass matting, hex overlay marked with a Litko pattern, and using their 3" plywood single hexes for individual terrain features. I cut and sanded the hill shapes from styrofoam sheet, then spray glued for fixing the grass matting on top (relief cutting interior angles, and pinching the hex edges together, and then trimming the excess paper away). Other terrain features, like the fortifications were made from "twist-epoxy", plastic tree abatis inserted and then painted. Houses are reduced paper images (modified), glue fixed to brass sheeting, and then cut out and bent to shape and assembled with super glue.

I've learned a lot making this Battle Cry conversion, and hope to use the ideas to make a Hold The Line - American Rev. rendition too (double-sided images hopefully). As I'm not an artist, just a hobbyist and photo-shopper, I still can't understand why some true artist hasn't marketed game flats as replacement pieces for some of the popular boardgames, or at least made the images we could mount/shrink ourselves. There's quite a history and reference material out there for making paper soldiers, but much of what is available today is made from the side or angled view, and not from the front-on (unit) perspective. One artist, Alec Wade (Billy Bones) has made a terrific ECW paper soldier army set, suitable for units, but they're not colorized, and it looks like his up-coming 100 Years War project is reverting to the side-view perspective, but they'll be in color!

http://billybonesworkshop.co.uk/index.html

Anyway, I think Richard Borg's C&C gaming system is fantastic, and the series of games and periods it has spawned has brought me back to "tabletop" gaming once again (away from the PC). What I like about these games, as opposed to miniature wargaming, is their simplicity, ease of play and setup, and quick fun, something my miniatures wargaming endeavors had lost along the way. I'm sold on hexes, and 13X9 battlescapes now for the foreseeable future, and hope some of you out there will be inspired to play this series of games too (and which so many of you already do).
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Sean Swart
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To me, you have true talent. I don't hardly know which end of a computer to use, since the 1st time I had one, I was already close to middle age. Being a old fart, this stuff seems so complicated. Your idea of just one stand, with markers to show step losses is what I'm working on in 6mm.

Again really good stuff you did there!
 
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That's fantastic set. You make it look easy and I'd heard of shrinky dinks but never so ingeniously applied. But I always thought flats (whether like yours or in cardboard) would be a fine alternative to minis. I'm happy with blocks, too, but your flats have a lot of color and impact.

How large is it compared to a regular Battle Cry set? It looks about twice as large overall.
 
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David J Schaffner
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Thanks again for all the positive feedback Guys!

I was also concerned that by expanding the board size, and making it as a single surface, that I'd take it out of the realm of a board game and more into a miniatures setup. I figured 3 inch hexes would give me the increase in scale I wanted without getting too unmanageable, while still remaining more kitchen table ready (even though 3 inch hexes aren't supported as well with available hobby bits as are 4 inch hexes/materials).

The overall measurements of the board frame is 26" X 41", and the actual hex board fits down into the frame somewhat like a picture into a frame would, with the hex board measuring 24" X 38 1/2". This hex board inlay is attached by corner Velcro tabs, and can be reversed in case another color of landscape is put on the opposite side, like a snowscape for example (although I've not done a snow map or terrain pieces for that).

What I like about the basic Commands & Colors system, is that it's standardized on the 13X9 map hex grid, and because there's so many historical game periods that use these map dimensions now (even by competing/complimentary game manufacturers). Because of this, I saw the investment in my time and money to make this expanded board might pay off by allowing me to play many different game periods on it (with special terrain hexes being made as required).

I'm considering using the game board at local gaming cons, where I could host a number of periods with it, all at the same setting, with a minimum of take-down/set-up time required between sessions.

Now if I can just get my gaming bud over to break the new Civil War pieces in.....hopefully next week sometime.
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Adam Jones
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OK..OK I am the guy that Dave is referring to. I will check my overly full schedule and arrange a playdate with you. BTW..Dave has always done this quality of work for as long as I have known him(..some 30+ years). I also know he appreciates all of the kudos posted here. Call you later Dave!!!
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David J Schaffner
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Well truely Guys, I didn't start this thread just to pry Adam away and get him over here for some gamin', even though he is the biggest game whore I know, and that's certainly a compliment!

I am sold on the C&C games, and want to leverage their great appeal at the local level here, at least that's sort of my plan behind my making this 3D set.

And honestly Adam, we're old farts too (make that 50+ years). whistle

 
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Andrzej Sieradzki
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FlyXwire wrote:


And honestly Adam, we're old farts too (make that 50+ years). whistle

...I thought I'm an old boy here (45 in May this year...). Good to know we are alive and still kicking and gaming
 
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David J Schaffner
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We sure are Andrzej, and gaming is one thing that gets better with age.

Played three battles yesterday using William Budd's Chronological List of the Battles for BC150. Here's a photo of Adam working up to his big Chesire Cat Grin.



I enjoyed the last game we played the most, Wilson's Creek, which is a great scenario (even though I got my butt kicked). cry

 
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Adam Jones
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Dave had to use that particular photo as he took the pic just after I stuffed my face with chips...UGGGHHH!!!

The game did turn out fantastically. I had not played Battle Cry before and it did not take long to catch on. By the third scenario, we did not have to check the rules very much at all.

Yea..I may have won the Wilsons Creek scenario but it closer that Dave makes out. It helped that I had a monopoly on all cards that allowed me to activate units in the center for the whole game. As a result, I could act and react to any moves Dave made in the center. At the end, however, I squeaked out a win 7 units to 6...

His homemade units worked great and really added to the game experience. We will be getting together again later to do this again.
 
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