Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Late Night Thoughts

I just spent the last 3+ hours working on my taxes. If you live in the USA, you know what a "joy" they are. I think I can wrap them up tomorrow.  This is the latest I've ever got them done.

Two reasons for this post. First,  this is my first post made using my phone.  If there are more typos than usual,  blame it on the tiny keyboard.  Second, I've been dwelling on rules a lot. I've also been invited to play test a few. What bothers me is that I have to say no to the offers. I would love to but the way things are,  I can't promise that I would be able to actually play a game using them. Its rather depressing.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Road Less Traveled

I got some very good feedback from my previous post where I lamented the failure of my foamcore hex rivers. Messrs. Paul and Pahoota suggested using 1 mm thick styrene plastic as a base. The thought was that the styrene wouldn't warp when I put the caulk down. I have sheets of styrene plastic in the form of For Sale signs. They have gone up a bit in price at Walmart, but $2.75 is still a steal for a fairly large sign. The guy behind the paint counter must be wondering what I am constantly selling.

Before I plunge into the river waters again, I thought I'd test it out by making roads. Here is the result:

The short section of road on the far left is one of my road hexes that goes with my forest hexes. The cross road section and the straight section of road are the test pieces. They are caulked, painted, and flocked, but I have not applied a wash on them yet.

Verdict: no warping, at least so far. One thing I did not do was add a layer of card stock on top of the plastic base. I applied the caulk directly to the plastic. I also applied the flocking that is on either side of the roads to the plastic. The reason why I added the thin card stock on my forest hexes was that I thought I needed a good substrate to hold paint and other things down. I get the feeling that the card stock was responsible for my multi-hex warping, so I might make another multi-hex but without the paper layer. I'm sure that caulk must shrink when it dries, but it could be that paper does more. It does not fully explain why the foamcore warped, but my next step is to start working on the rivers.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hex-based River Project: Fail!


Last night, I cleaned off a small table that I plan to play some small mircoarmor games to compare various modern rule sets. I had mentioned my plans to do this some time ago. Anyway, I laid down the finished river hexes to figure out how I wanted the river to go for these games. When I did, they looked awful in terms of how warped they were! I guess carpet is far more forgiving; but on a hard, flat surface, they really looked bad. It looks like some major geological faulting occurred on the battlefield! More importantly, they would be impractical. Even if I taped them down, they would rock around. They also didn't fit well together because of the warping.

I couldn't bear to throw them in the trash. Its not like it cost much to make them: $4 for two sheets of foamcore, and about $3 for the tube of latex caulk. It was the time I put into them and my little mini-hex forests; that is pretty much all I've worked on for the last several months. My hobby time is limited to an hour or two at night, and that's only if I don't have grading to do, or am just too tired to do anything. So, I stuck them in a plastic bag and found a spot for them on a shelf.

I guess plan B is to use the caulk directly. No mounting them on anything. You'd have to give me a good argument to do so, or guarantee on pain of death that the material you suggest won't warp.  I don't want any warping. Just say "NO!" to warping.

Like it or not, the saga of river building continues....