Fourthcore Team Deathmatch Terrain: Court of the Storm Lord

Click any pic for big version

You may recall that last year I made some terrains for the Gencon Fourthcore Team Deathmatch. This weekend will be my first deathmatch as a participant, so I thought I’d make a terrain that I’d actually get to use. I’ll be at the Charm City Gameday, and the three maps we’ll be using are Slaughterhouse, Citadel, and Court of the Storm Lord.

I made Slaughterhouse for Gencon last year. I also made Citadel, though the current version is different than the one I made. However, Court of the Storm Lord was totally new to me, and the map looked do-able and intriguing, so I decided to bring it to life. First, the map I was working off of:

The current map actually has no ice on it (the white areas), but I didn’t get the memo, so my physical version does. No biggie, the squares can just be ignored as icy terrain. Here’s a top down view of the finished product: 

One of the things I learned in making the Gencon pieces last year was accessibility to the map is more important than correct scale. That is to say, players need to be able to get into the map easily to move their mini around – if the walls are too high, moving minis around (and visiblity) becomes difficult.

I took that lesson into account with this map. It should be about a foot tall, if I were building it to scale (1″=5′). However, I roughly halved the height scale, so it’s more like 5 inches tall. This way, there’s still a definite sense of height and depth, but it’s not so deep that everything becomes difficult.

I also experimented with “mixed media” on this project. Instead of using bricks to create height under the first level, I used balsa wood. This did a few things. First, it seriously cut down on the amount of work I needed to do. I only needed to cut and paint the wood vs. casting, gluing, and painting bricks. Second, it cut down on the weight of the model considerably. Balsa is much lighter than cast stone. Finally, balsa is cheaper than Merlin’s Magic, so I saved some money too.

Another thing I was really pleased with was the sun triggers. I tried to make something myself with Sculpey, but nothing came out satisfactorily. So I used something premade. More on that next week, along with how I modified the map powers to use this piece in my own campaign. Here’s more pictures:

The teleport squares were just printed on cardstock and cut out. The lightning rods are pieces from molds 45 and 41.

The acid pits are green paint with a white drybrush. For the spikes, I drilled a few holes in the foamcore base, and glued in toothpicks (painted silver, of course). I could have done a lot more spikes, but they’re deceptively time consuming, and the number I put in is representative enough for me.

 For the icy terrain, I drybrushed the tiles white and blue, then put a few layers of tacky glue on. It dries clear, and made the tiles shiny enough to stand out.

I’d be happy to answer any questions about things I may have left out. Just leave them in the comments!


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14 Responses to Fourthcore Team Deathmatch Terrain: Court of the Storm Lord

  1. This looks AMAZING!

    It is truly humbling to have someone put such painstaking care and artistry into a map of my own design.

    I can’t beleive how beautifully this came out.

    Good luck trying to survive it at the tournament!

  2. I’ m curious; do you have any plans for representing the funnel cloud?

  3. Ameron says:

    These are pretty friggin’ sweet! Good job.

    I’m playing in the Fourthcore Team Deathmatch at GenCon this summer and I’m really looking forward to it (want to team up?). I just discovered that they’re running a Fourthcore Team Deathmatch in Toronto this weekend which I’m going to try and play in as a precursor. Maybe I’ll get a chance to use the set piece you made for them last year. Either way it sounds like a really exciting event.

    • Benoit says:

      Thanks. My Gencon attendance is up in the air at this point. I’ll try and work something out with Steven Ross this weekend so you guys can have some good terrain to play on though. 🙂

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  6. Roland says:

    How did you get the balsa to look so stone textured? I’m not handy with creating stuff like this but I’m insired and considering recreating what you’ve done because it’s so impressive.

    • Benoit says:

      I did absolutely nothing to the balsa but paint it black. The black around the central tower though (the pit) isn’t balsa, it’s black foamcore.

      Hope that helps.

  7. Roland says:

    Ah. My mistake I thought the “bricks” were made of balsa. What are the brick pieces? Dwarven Forge?

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