Zone of Confusion

Does anyone know where the exit is?

As I have been working on these room and corridor sections for the past couple of weeks, I have been fielding a lot of questions around cost, work involved and how they stack up as a potential alternative to Forgeworld’s Zone Mortalis modular board sections. The thing is, I am not sure I can answer that question. Not because I don’t know how much they are going to cost in the end (although, to be truthful I don’t, but that’s not the point), but because the more I think about it the more I realise I have no clue what the Zone Mortalis boards are supposed to be?

I understand the bit about them being modular and that you can arrange them in multiple ways to create different layouts. I get that. What I don’t get is why anyone would want to create an unlimited variety of  Victorian hedge mazes, as that is all they seem to produce.

There appears to be no logical architectural function being represented here. They are not rooms. Rooms have a purpose be it living quarters,  engineering,  a bathroom, or just somewhere to store your soiled armour. They cannot even be corridors because corridors serve the function of being a conduit to connect one space to another. No matter which way around you place them they always seem to create a shambolic mess of illogically placed walls. So back to the Victorian hedge maze thing again then. It isn’t that I think they are badly made, the details are actually quite nice in a kind of repetitive, mind numbingly Imperial way and the design to ensure you have multiple configurations of maze available is quite clever. Generally I love what Forgeworld produce and can’t wait to lever my wallet open. But in this instance, I just don’t get what they were shooting for here.

It rather reminds me of those Quasar or Laser Quest games that were popular in the 90’s where you just futilely ran around (sorry, walked around) a tiny maze filled with smoke, loud music and flashing lights like a demented rat covered in day-glo green infrared sensors.

First one to find the cheese wins!

I think the goal must have been to create an affordable, but functionally flexible expansion for the Realm of Battle boards that supported close quarters combat. Or simulated the tight confines of a starship boarding action. It definitely serves that purpose. The problem for me is I just cannot get the image out of my head that no matter how you arrange them, you end up focussing on the arrangement of walls and not the function of the spaces between them. The doors look quite nice mind, I wonder if they help?

Anyway, needed to get that off my chest sorry. Not a dig at Forgeworld or anyone who likes them, the Zone Mortalis set does look cool when all laid out like at Warhammer World. I just don’t understand what it is supposed to be?

Getting back to the task at hand now that things have calmed down, I have started in earnest on the second station board section; the Cargo Bay. This one is pretty straight forward layout wise containing airlocks to the west and east and a large bay door in the centre of the board. Plenty of wide open space in this one which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that it is nice and simple design wise featuring lots of repeating geometry. But a curse in that all that open space will need to be detailed via the painting instead. Not to worry though, I have a few ideas on that score.

In the same way I approached the Engine Control section, I am trying to construct as many sub-assemblies as possible for ease of painting and to help break the final build down into manageable chunks. This board in particular has four corner sections which are 3 x 4 and ideal candidates to make separately . The walls as well are far simpler featuring a much smaller selection of panels and what I have chosen to represent as storage lockers.

Other than the endless mountain of casting, everything is still pretty much on schedule and I am still targeting painting over this coming weekend.

Just before I sign off to go and assemble the next batch of walls, I thought I would share a quick photo of what the first section looks like when combined with some of the Space Hulk 1.5″ corridors. Although clearly they don’t line up properly being different sized tiles, they are quite functional and certainly give the idea of what the Sedition Wars board would look like with the addition of a few modular corridors and smaller rooms. Something Rob Baxter has already alluded to apparently as a potential expansion.

I think for now I will stick with just the one project!

Until next time, have a great week.

CW

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