Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire – Terrain

With Games Workshop’s recently release of their competitive arena battle game, Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire, many players have looked for ideas on how to add a bit of flair to their adventures in the Mirrored City. We still have a large back catalog of proper minis to paint, so in the meantime, we’ve opted to go back about 15 years for a product that fits our current gaming needs.

Released a decade and a half ago, the prepainted Mage Knight Dungeons Artifact sets allow us to place obstacles and debris in the obstructed hexes of the Shadespire board directly, without the need to scratch build anything. The packs came in two sets, one with columns and tables and the other having a more mystic set of artifacts. Fortunately, we have both as they find use in our Warhammer Quest games as well as Age of Sigmar battle field objectives from time to time. Originally retailing for around $15, they can still be found on eBay in the $20-25 range shipped…if you’re patient.

Being highly durable plastic, the bits can simply be tossed in the Shadespire box with no concern for chipping or breaking. This is the sort of easy storage we need and it allows our Shadespire box to be an instant battlefield.

As a hobbyist, I always prefer to see and play on custom made tables with unique terrain. However, as mentioned above we’ve got plenty minis still to paint, so using the Mage Knight Artifacts allows us to get stuck into the game while our warbands are being converted and painted. In fact, while getting the Shadespire minis suited for high adventure, below are a few shots of some of our suitable Age of Sigmar figures demonstrating Mage Knight Artifacts in Shadespire. Simply tossing a few bits in the obstructed hexes allow for a slightly different look and feel to each game.

Behold….The Pools of Radiance!

Brawl in the Mead Hall!

Sacrifice to Nagash at the Kataphrane altar!

I’m sure Games Workshop will find opportunity here to fill this void of Shadespire terrain, but these will work in the meantime.

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Age of Sigmar: Skirmish in Chamon

Finally, have enough of my Age of Sigmar Skirmish table to show, but before I get into the painting choices, I want to direct any readers to two brief reviews I wrote on the terrain and mats I use.

Terrain from Advanced Terrainhttps://wyrdstonesandtacklezones.com/2017/07/26/gaming-accessory-advanced-terrain/

Mats from Mats by Marshttps://wyrdstonesandtacklezones.com/2017/07/06/gaming-accessory-mats-by-mars/

We come to AoS through Silver Tower and the AoS Starter set. So, having a bunch of Tzeentch and Stormcast Eternals…it only makes sense to set our skirmish games in Chamon (map on the right in the image below). Originally,  was thinking about using the default Shadespire setting, but Chamon is going to be the way we go. I didn’t know too much about the Metal Realm so ordered that Quest For Ghal Maraz book for background. I do know the realm looks to be painted in purples and blues:

This actually works in my favor as I wanted our table to have a simple, uniform look. One problem I’ve had with the GW AoS terrain is that the mats and pieces are so colorful (_especially_ those mats!) that I feel like the minis sort of get lost. My eye has a hard time parsing everything with all the bold colors everywhere.

So, with that issue and the colors in the map above, I went about finding a darker mat and painted my scenery bits with few colors. The hope is that my board feels like a ruin in Chamon, but more importantly, our models ‘pop’ out and are easily distinguishable on the battlefield.

Mordheim Ruined Building 2

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Unfortunately, I recently had a hard drive crash and lost a LOT of things including the pictures of this building getting built. Essentially, the techniques used were exaclty the same as the last building, with the notable difference being that I used crochet mesh, cut to size to simulate multi-paned windows. Just one way to give different buildings a bit of character and help each one look just a little different. I personally don’t like tables where all the terrain looks very uniform.

Again, questions, comments, and criticisms are always welcome.

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Gaming Extras

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This post is all about the “extras” of tabletop gaming. You know, the things that aren’t absolutely required to play the game, but make the game much better if they are there. First up is the Mordheim specific, wyrdstone counters. Sure, you can use the cardboard 2D counters that come in the box but who wants to do that when making custom 3D counters is SUPER easy. These can be done in a single evening and look great on the tabletop. They are made from craft glass pieces from your local hobby super store, stucco patch, craft popsicle sticks, and plain plastic mini bases.

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For these counters I used round bases, even though Mordheim uses the standard Warhammer square bases because at the time, I just could not find square bases… So round it is! I made 6 counters even though most scenarios call for a maximum of 4. This way, I have a few extras just in case. All I did was add a glob of stucco patch to the top of 3 of the bases and glued shaped popsicle sticks to the top of 3 other bases. Once the patch and glue dried respectively, I sanded off the excess with a standard rotary tool being careful not too sand away the plastic of the base. After that, it was just a matter of gluing one piece of glass to the top of each base. And since this is craft glass, there are no sharp edges to worry about cutting yourself on. Once that dries, base coat with black spray paint and drybrush up the individual parts accrodingly. As with everything I do for the tabletop, the counters get a thick coat of spray clear gloss(because gloss is thicker and tougher than matte) and then a coat of clear matte to knock down the shine.

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Extra bridges and ladders are also always nice to have around to accommodate different table setups. These are very easy to make and can also be done in a single evening. The ladders are simply bamboo skewers with square toothpicks as rungs and detailed with either “nails”(created from leftover cutoffs from crochet mesh I used on one of the buildings I made) glued on, or string wrapped around each rung. The nail heads and rope(string) on each rung is labor intensive but the results make it worth the effort.

The bridges are just craft popsicle sticks, shaped and cut, with the occasional square toothpick added in, again detailed with “nail” heads. Both ladders and bridges are super easy to paint. Just base coat black and drybrush up with progressively lighter browns, then pick out the details with appropriate colors.

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