|Dark Angels defend their ship from attack by Saim-Hann Eldar.|
For those of you who don't know what Zone Mortalis (ZM) is, it's a style of game for Warhammer 40k (and 30k) which uses a special subset of rules and a tightly-confined, maze-like battlefield to represent warfare in places like underground corridors or spacecraft. To give you an idea, you may see a picture of Forge World's Realm of Battle Zone Mortalis Battlefield Complex on their website at: http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/Warhammer-40000/Warhammer_40,000_Terrain/REALM_OF_BATTLE_ZONE_MORTALIS_BATTLEFIELD_COMPLEX.html. Forge World also offers some beautiful blast doors to use with its ZM Battlefield Complex: http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/Warhammer-40000/Warhammer_40,000_Terrain/ZONE_MORTALIS_BLAST_DOOR_SET.html.
I knew that I wanted to build a 30k army representing the VIIth Legion, the Imperial Fists, and I knew that meant I would be playing a lot of Zone Mortalis (such close-quarters fights are the Fists' specialty!). Moreover, once I read the rules for playing Zone Mortalis scenarios, I was hooked! The ZM Battlefield Complex, however, is just a little outside of my price-range at present. So, I decided to make a board of my own. Using poster board, I created a proof-of-concept board:
|Zone Mortalis proof-of-concept, made using poster board.|
Then, I arranged the squares together and played a game with a friend to see whether the two-dimensional nature of the board detracted significantly from the experience:
|The Crimson Fists battle the Dark Angels in a desperate boarding action...on square-foot sections of poster board....|
So, I decided to create a much larger board, 4' x 4', to play 1,000 point games. Because the posterboard was rather flimsy, I chose to make my larger board out of tiles of thin plasticard. Sheets of plasticard (otherwise known as "sheet styrene") are available online through Amazon Prime. I bought sixteen sheets of 12"x12" styrene 0.060" thick, which looked like this:
|One of each of the four basic types of ZM tile. Note the posterboard doors in both the "open" and "closed" positions.|
I also bought a pack of thinner styrene sheets, 0.030" thick, to be used to make doors and objective markers. I have not yet gotten around to that particular project, however, so I simply continue to use the posterboard doors discussed above, which seem to work well enough:
|2" and 1" posterboard doors in both the "open" and "closed" positions. Note: making the "open" and "closed" positions on the flip-sides of the posterboard doors was my wife Sara's brilliant idea!|
|Two ZM tiles with posterboard doors, in the "closed" position, blocking the corridors.|
|The same two ZM tiles with two of the doors in the "open" position.|
|The same two ZM tiles, above, with a "closed" 2" door overlaying a wall segment to create an additional passageway.|
|As above, with the 2" door "open," allowing passage where there would only be a wall on a three-dimensional board.|
Then, once my thesis is done and armies are painted (my Crimson Fists, my Eldar, my Night Goblins, and VIIth Legion, as well as my Aeronautica squadrons and my Eldar and Imperial Battlefleet Gothic fleets), I can begin to design and build a three-dimensional Zone Mortalis board that would allow me the same versatility as my two-dimensional board. Probably something involving magnets. For now, the two-dimensional board works just fine, as you will see in my upcoming battle report!