Friday, April 18, 2014

Ditlana - Not your father's Tekumel, anymore...

Remember these? Ye Olde game tables?

Ditlana, as I've mentioned, is the process of demolition and rebuilding that the Tsolyani use to renew their cities - and by creating the Underworlds, provide adventuring opportunities. I'm about half-way through the demolition part of the process in the game room, and I'm just starting the rebuilding part.

As I've mentioned, I've cut the 22" x 63" terrain tiles that I built about a decade ago into standard 9.5" x 9.5" tiles; the question came up "Why such an odd size, Chirine?"

Well, smaller tiles are easier to store and deal with, and five of the 9.5" tiles make for a length of 47.5" - which in turn, is just about right for a stock 48" plywood panel. (You can get them in 8', 4', and 2' lengths.) My thought was that since I am up to my hips in plywood, I would make a game table top that used a sheet of 48" x 48" ply with a lip around it to make a sort of 'tray' to hold the modular terrain tiles; they tend to scoot around a bit in game play if not restrained, I've found. This is also a very nice match to the 60" x 60" table configuration I use for most miniatures games here at the house - two of my 30" x 60" folding tables.

Now, the astute reader will have figured out that 48" x 48" leaves 12" all the way around the table free and clear; correct, and this is part of my Cunning Plan (per S. Baldrick, of Blackadder fame.) for my new table top. One thing that always happens in games is that soda cans, rulers, snack bowls, rules sets, napkins, and dice can get set down on the game table; the old rule at The Little Tin Soldier Shoppe, back in the day, was to play these as terrain. I prefer not to have this stuff on the playing surface, mostly because I have to remove them when I take photos. I'm lazy, after all.

So, I will add a set of trays around the edges of the plywood, akin to the 'poker tables' of old that our parents used to have in the 'rec room' in the basement. I don't think I'll mill out round holes for the drinks; I don't think they'll justify themselves, as I think people won't really use them, so I'll just have open trays with lipped edges for people to put things in.

Some nice stain, a coat of neutral 'sand' colored paint on the inner portion of the 'tray', and I think we're good to go.

Poker chips optional...