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Come on in and see what Bad_Calvin is all about. Terrain artist, Garbage Collector, and all around conjurer of nonsense.
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Terrain in the teens

Posted April 17th, 2008 at 12:16 PM by bad_calvin
Updated April 17th, 2008 at 12:43 PM by bad_calvin
To continue from the first blog....

I the later part of the 80's I had retired my plastic army men and Indians, and cowboys for a new past time.

Hobby Store Games.

The hobby store in my area had games that were "different" from the games you would purchase at the local chain retailers. It was a whole new world for me, there were books to play historic games, fantasy games, and sci-fi games and I thought "hell yes" this looks like way more fun then stratego! These games are like advanced chess!

The game that caught my attention the most was a game called Battletech, It was in a box, and came with some miniatures and a rulebook and battle mats. I can't recall the price but I think it was around $25 or so. I remember mowing some lawns in my neighborhood to get the money to buy the game. Once I was able to pick it up and get it home I was overwhelmed with excitement, and a little confused by how MANY rules there were in comparison to what I was used to. I also remember my surprise that there were "character" sheets for the mechs. I thought only D&D had character sheets at the time, and I was a little concerned my mother would have a fit about it (at the time D&D was something she said I could not play, even though I did). Lucky for me, my mother did not know much about D&D other then it was "bad" since she had never seen it. So her comparing "character sheets" the way I did.. just wasn't going to happen.

Anyway, I read the rules about 20 billion times, carrying the rule book and maps to school with me so I could read them during study hall and when I had my work done. The more I read and looked at the pictures in the book, and the cool plastic miniatures the more I really didn't want to play on the maps.

Such a cool game with cool little toys should not be played on a flat lifeless map. I tried thinking of how I could make what is now more commonly called a battle board. Now I realize that they have had battle boards forever and a day, but I had never seen one. The closest thing I had seen to one is train set displays and the stuff I use to make in my room when I was a kid for my toys. I sat and dwelled on the idea of how I could make a landscape with very little money. I didn't even have money enough to go buy a piece of felt unless I went and mowed more lawns and then I still couldn't get tree's. hmmmm.....

So, after much hmmm ing. I went down to the grocery store to get some free cardboard boxes. I got lucky and they had a large box with a large lid on it. It was probably around 3'x3' big. I took it home and duck taped the corners of the box lid to keep them "sturdy". I then took a bucket out to the gravel pit that was by my house and went and filled up the 5 gallon bucket with some fine sand and walked it home (it took about an hour because it was freaking heavy). I then went around my neighborhood looking for tree twigs I could snap off without ticking off my neighbors to much. I found a few pine cones and rocks as well and thought I could put them to use.

I went back to my box lid and glued the twigs (trees), pine cones (trees) and rocks to the lid. I then poured the sand in around them so that they poked through a bit. I pushed the sand around to make a few higher areas. I was pretty happy with it, except it was missing something? ahh buildings.

So I started poking through my house to see what I could find. My mom had threw out a deodorant container, grabbed that. There was a cup from McDonalds... grabbed that. Plastic tray from cookies... grabbed that too. Dirty kleenix.. I could use it for smoke? nahh..

I took my garbage to my room and started making buildings out of it. The mechs were supposed to be really big.. so a small building would look fine in scale. I then took the above garbage down the road to where one of my friends lived. His dad always had paints and stuff in his garage. I asked if he could spray paint my stuff and I told him what I was using it for and he reluctantly spray painted my garbage black for me. I then took my garbage home and placed it in my "sand-box, battle board thing".

I had a dense forest with buildings all for free to play on. The cool part of the "sand" was that I was able to see the hex impressions of my last move with the mechs so that when we played we were keeping closer to the rules.

Anyway, just wanted to share my teenage introduction into the world of gaming and terrain making.

If I am boring you, let me know.
Total Comments 6


Boring me???? Quite the opposite...I keep looking for a [COLOR="Blue"][U]Turn to the next page [/U][/COLOR]link at the bottom of the page.
Posted April 17th, 2008 at 01:22 PM by Onacara Onacara is offline
Jexik's Avatar
What Onacara said. Sounds like you were having a lot of fun without the fancy electronics that kids today seem to need.
Posted April 17th, 2008 at 09:33 PM by Jexik Jexik is offline
Nooblar's Avatar
If there's any more, I'd like to hear it!
Posted April 18th, 2008 at 11:10 AM by Nooblar Nooblar is offline
dragon's Avatar
Yeah, those were the days. I recall discovering D&D and other RPG's during the 80's, painting minitures by hand and stuff. The only drawback was the sheer number of rules involved. Too many rules can distract from the gameplay which is one of the reasons I so enjoy Heroscape. It takes you back to a simplier time when you played for the fun of it and didn't need a small library of books & manuals.
Posted April 18th, 2008 at 11:25 AM by dragon dragon is offline
This is a great story I want to read it over and over and over.......... you get the piont i loved it
Posted May 31st, 2008 at 02:12 PM by THeHivelordOfTHEmarro THeHivelordOfTHEmarro is offline
Mossman's Avatar
Enjoying the memories these blogs conjure up. Thanks for sharing.
Posted October 28th, 2012 at 12:57 AM by Mossman Mossman is offline
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