Exploring the Underworld with Dwarven Forge Game Tiles
I backed the Dwarven Forge Game Tiles Kickstarter earlier this year, and last week my pledge awards arrived: three sets of basic tiles plus all the extras that were unlocked during the (extremely) successful campaign. I was literally awash in rectangular dungeon walls and floors, and I immediately set about painting my dungeon tiles in preparation for last week's game night.
The appeal of dungeon tiles is that they paint up fast and easy. They're made of a hard PVC-type plastic material that is dark green/brown right out of the box, and they don't require any sort of priming or undercoating, so I was literally able to paint about half of my loot (20 pounds or so) in about two days of casual work. My formula (shamelessly borrowed from the Dwarven Forge guys) was to pick out one or two bricks per wall with a detail color like brown or green, then drybrush the whole thing with gray. An individual piece could be completed in about two minutes at this rate.
Anyway, I set up a serviceable dungeon layout using my available tiles. I've got future plans to drastically increase the potential floor space of my layouts by using vinyl flooring tiles from the home improvement store, instead of the little 2x2 floor pieces that shipped with the Dwarven Forge Kickstarter, but for now I just used whatever I had managed to paint up. Here's the layout I came up with.
We decided to run a quick game of Song of Blades & Heroes, our go-to fantasy ruleset, to put these new dungeon tiles through their paces. I put together a warband of ratmen led by a pair of fearsome gnoll warriors and backed up by a shambling sewer monster. Josh fielded a band of werewolves that he painted up for our fantasy campaign. And with that, we were off!
Josh's werewolves loped forward from their deployment zone, seeking parcels of treasure that were scattered around the dungeon.
Ganesha Games publishes an excellent dungeon-crawling supplement called Song of Gold & Darkness, but we didn't opt to use that this time -- we just used straight-up SBH.
Across the board, my ratmen hissed and skittered through the dungeon.
We didn't distribute the treasure parcels quite right, so Josh was able to pounce on the scenario objectives and get in position to win the game, but that didn't stop us from having a good old-fashioned dungeon brawl in the damp, gloomy depths.
So, are you sick of the color gray yet? You better not be -- I've got another 20 pounds of this stuff to paint up! My plan is to go back and paint some little details in the halls and corridors: slime puddles, blood splatters, maybe throw in a few discarded weapons or armor or bones. What you see in the pics above is just a starting point for my dungeon odyssey.
But in all seriousness, I've got to say that I had a fantastic experience as a backer of this Dwarven Forge Kickstarter. They are consummate professionals and kept up communication with their backers throughout the entire journey. Everything was delivered on time (no easy feat considering there were more than 5,000 individual backers on this KS) and reports of missing pieces are rare. I'll definitely consider pledging again if they do a follow-up efforts to make more dungeon tiles.
I'll leave you with this awesome pic, showing three of my ratmen squaring off against Josh's monster bird creature. So awesome!
Stay tuned for more dungeon delves featuring this fun new terrain!
-- Patrick, Chicago Skirmish Wargames club member