Mini Magnetic Battle Tiles

I found some A4 magnetic glossy sheets for inkjet printers. I wanted to see if i could print out the Battle Tiles at 2 inches vertical hexes. This way it can be a ‘mini map’ during play and I can pull out the appropriate 7 inch Battle Tiles during combat or special situations like trying to find traps and secret doors.

Testing them out on my metal filing cabinet.  I have a white board that we have used in the past for gaming and will be using that set on the table during play.

I am really pleased at the print quality that my Epson EcoTank ET-7750 was able to produce on these glossy magnetic sheets.  The stairs, doors, pits, and traps are a pain to cut out but they do stick to the top of the tiles allowing me to add features to the dungeon as well!

They cut better with a scissors then they did with the hobby knife. Now when we play I can place down the tiles as they explore the dungeons and they are just fun to play with on their own.

Binding PDF’s – Adding the cover

PART ONE

PART TWO

Using Adobe CS2 I created the cover in three parts as I don’t yet have my roll of 115 gsm paper to do a continual cover in one piece.  I’m very impatient and didn’t want to wait another week.

Measure the thickness of the book with the front and back cover on.

Measure the thickness of the book.  The suggested gap between spine and cover is twice the width of the thickness of the cover.  I’m using 2mm greyboard so I’ve placed a 4mm gap.

Cover cut guide

Once you know the size of your cover either measure it out or make a cutting guide like I did.

Normally I would have used a longer steel ruler with a blade attachment to cut these out. However I still have not unpacked it and I’m unsure which box it is in.

Jakar photo mat cutter. Now where did I place it?

My covers got slightly sloppy and I did my best to square them up.

A bit longer on the bottom then the top. Remember to make several shallow cuts rather than attempt to cut it in one go.

Printed out the front, back, and spine art of the book.

How it should look, unfortunately I made an error somewhere.

Now tape your boards together with masking tape.  They are only there temporarily to keep them at the right distance.

Coat the board with acid free PVA glue.

Place the artwork on and use something to smooth it out. This is where I found out I made an error as it doesn’t fit perfectly.

Weigh it down so it doesn’t warp. PVA Glue still has a high water content so things can warp if you use too much.

At this point I’m pretty much giving up and a good cover.  I’ve made a ton of errors so far.

Error 1 is either my board cuts, my Illustrator file, or the actual distance I’ve placed the boards from each other. Or it could be a combination of the three.

Error 2 : Placing the cover on. I did not centre the spine.

Carefully remove the tape

Glue and wrap around the rest of the cover.
Error 3: I didn’t make these long enough.

Fold a sheet of A3 in half. Using scrap paper only expose about 4mm on the papers spine (where it is folded) then glue that bit. Now place it to the first page of the book.

Place the A3 sheet in the book. The 4mm strip of glue is attached to the first or last page near the spine. Then glue the Muslin to the cover

Glue the other half of the A3 sheet to the cover and press.

Since my clamp broke I must press the book between two boards with considerable weight on the top, evenly dispersed

Adhesive plastic film

Next time I will place the book upside down but open at 45 degrees when placing the plastic cover on it.

Tons of air bubbles. Just like my first GURPS 4e Characters book!

So I’m very pleased with the binding method up until I do the covers.  I need to spend a bit more time researching the best way to do it.  The loss of a clamp and the high heat did not help either.  Overall I’m fine with the look of it.  I should have made something triangular to lay the book open over when applying the plastic covering. Or gotten a second person to help me move and stretch.

I will do issues 6-10 next week.

Printing and Binding your pdf

Part One HERE

The one thing I forgot about EPSON printers (I used to use them exclusively in the 00’s) is they only let you select EPSON brand paper.  This is understandable as when using Epson products which are specifically made to be used with Epson inks the end results are stunning.  However you may want to use water colour paper, or in my case Silk (which is like a semi gloss).  What you need is ICC Profiles that will work with your paper.  I emailed EPSON Technical support and hope I actually get a response.

Before printing I added a Table of Contents with the new page numbers in MS Word then saved it as a pdf then using Soda PDF I merged the contents with the rest of the document.

Then after experimenting with the limited paper options I chose to go with telling the computer I’m using plain paper but I told the printer I loaded semi-gloss.

Once your print is done make sure they are in order, I added test sheets to the front and back to protect the main book.  I will carefully tear or cut them out when the main part of the book is done. Then joj the pages so the are squared at each corner.

Cut guides for the spine

The string will be placed in the groves

I found this saw in my garage, it is absolutely perfect for this job!

Pres back and fan the pages out

Then apply glue. It was very hot and I had issues with accelerated drying.

Bring it up and get it back into normal position before fanning the pages the opposite way

Now glue the other side, the scribbles on the sheet is because that was a test print page

Press the book between two boards

Leave the top of the spine sticking out

 

Add the string to the spine cuts

You can either loop them back and forth or cut strips.

Add some glue to the spine then stretch Muslin cloth over the spine

Add a bit more glue. I was adding a fair bit due to the heat and the glue drying quickly

Let it dry for about an hour to be safe, or even overnight.

Carefully cut away the board and spare sheet. Make sure you use a sharp knife and take your time.

A Double Fan Bind lays flat

Do you even lift?

Project on hold until new clamp can be acquired.

So far I would say it was a success! Next time I might glue when it is cooler out.  They heat caused me to have to hurry a bit on the gluing which made it a bit sloppy.

I’m not sure I have the print quality down yet.  I thought having a nice paper like Silk would give me a great finish but there are some ink smears on some of the pages.  However in my haste I purchased a lot of silk paper because I thought I new better so I will have to make do with what I have.

Now the question is Soft Cover or Hard Cover?  Either way I will need a clamp before I continue.

PART THREE

Hirst Arts diving into hexes

We need your voice now!  Bruce Hirst from Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture is asking if anyone would actually use 1″ hexes as most board games that are coming out are using 1.5 inch to 2 inch hexes.  I’ve been asking for years for him to delve into 1″ hexes as I stopped purchasing his moulds (I have a lot of them) when I got seriously into GURPS and was put off by the lack of hexes.  I think I’ve proven that hex dungeons work and I’ve done some work on overland and buildings with hex bases as well.

1.5″ Hex Mould Master Pieces

1.5″ Hex Floor Boards

So if you are interested in creating your own hex based terrain get over to the forums and let your voice be heard!  When Bruce was first experimenting with the “Hex Hills” he started out with 1″ but soon abandoned the idea.

1″ hex tile

You can read the thread for that HERE

Gurps Campaign Manager ver. 2.2

You can now save your progress as a pdf! In all previous versions there was no option to save your progress unless you had some kind of pdf printer software to print as pdf. However as long as you have the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (the only thing I’ve tested it with) you can now save the progress and come back to it later.

Get it HERE

Spell Cards!

After finally getting the Maneuver Cards done after about five years of working on them off and on I decided to get moving to the Spell Cards. Like the other cards they are a form that you can fill and print yourself.  However since there are so many varieties of spells and what they are capable of doing I only made the Page field permanent.  The rest of the cells can be entered by the user.  The information panel looks just like the other cards but for the cover I opted for a spell book cover with each College having the same colour represented in GURPS Magic. I also added a symbol for each college.

The symbols are from Game-icons.net  I’ve made a card for each college and one set of “Generic” Spell cards.  Next up will be Psi cards, Path/Book, Ritual, Syntactic, Symbol, and Wild Magic. All but the Psi cards will probably have to have a different format for the information so they may take a little longer.You can view all the Spell Cards HERE

If you end up using them please send me pictures of your cards!

Battle Tile Tokens

To reduce the extremely large number of tiles I’m creating I’m adding tokens around the tiles.  It may use a bit more ink but it also allows you to get more out of your photo paper as well.  The tokens will allow you to place stairs, traps, treasure, etc. anywhere you want on your tiles.

Door Tokens

 These three style door tokens will allow you place your doors within any area on the tiles for the wider Vertical Corridors.  Carefully cut them out with a hobby knife using proper safety procedures and you can then either glue one side and fold in half on the grey dotted line or cut them in half and glue them on to thicker card. The backs of the tokens will have information on the type of door.  To make this easier and more customizable for those of you using the tiles all token pdf’s will be form fillable. Which means you can enter your own data. The center token in the picture above is how they will all look with blank data fields where as the other two is a representation of how they will look with the information inserted by the user.

Test it out on this pdf for yourself!  You will have to download the pdf, Google Docs won’t let you use the form features in the preview.

Because the Horizontal Corridors have to be slightly reduced in width I have created two types of door tokens for each door type. These also will have a form option on the reverse side.

Here are some of the options you can place from getting from one level to another.  I manipulated the pit images in photoshop.  The top one is a pit down to another corridor directly below it and the bottom one is just a deep pit.  I probably should have placed a skeleton on the bottom for scale. If you fold the pit symbols on the grey lines and glue the trap door parts together then glue the bottom (pitt symbol) to a piece of thick card you can have a pit tile with a working door!

Now to make sure that the pdf’s can be used by both A4 and 8.5″x11″ I’ve placed a red rectangle on my sheet representing the size of 8.5″ by 11″. This will make sure none of the pieces will be cut off due to size. Everyone will have to print them with no margins though.

I’d be interested to know what kind of tokens people would like to see.

7 inch hex Battle Tiles

I’d like to share the 7 inch hex Battle Tiles that I made back in 2009. You can read about it HERE on the Profantasy forums.

You can get them HERE

For more information on the battle tiles click on the tags to other posts concerning Geomorphs.

If you end up using them please share pictures and if you tend to use them often and you need a new tile then please let me know and I’ll whip one up for you.

My Thoughts on 4″ Hex Tiles

Last time I discussed, in my own disorganised way, my thoughts on 7″ hex tiles.  Now I’m going to delve into the 4″ hex tile.  As I’ve stated a few times before the thought first came to me when I saw the Tabletop Hex Terrain Toolkit on Kickstarter. This is going to be a great tool for making some wonderful terrain for both RPG’s and Wargames.  However the scale is just slightly off for my tastes (as discussed here).  I may eventually redesign the tool for use with proper one inch horizontal hexes, until then I am making four inch tiles to use for my GURPS Dungeon Fantasy games.

The 4″ Tiles can only support single and double width corridors (1 hex = 3′) compared to the three widths in the 7″ tiles.  Also the number of connections is reduced dramatically to the four examples in the following image, compared to the 9 images for 7″ tiles.

Corridor options

Although there are fewer options I don’t think the four inch tiles are inferior to the seven inch.  The four inch tiles will certainly allow for more dense dungeons, and with a bit of thought and planning will be able to offer some very complex designs. Also you can make any Hex Dungeon look just like any Square dungeon.  All it takes is manipulating the width of the horizontal corridors. If the corridors are the same width they will not match up when a horizontal corridor attaches to a vertical corridor.  The horizontal corridor will be too wide.

Both horizontal and vertical corridors are the same width, the horizontal is too wide

The horizontal corridor is now slightly smaller than the vertical. H: 3.43, V: 3.9

I can live with this slight alteration as it now gives me more options when designing.  I can now have corridors that turn at 90° just like you would with a square tiled dungeon.

90° left hand turn

Single width corridors and room tiles, just a fraction of the possibilities

An example of what can be made 1 hex = 3′ (1 meter)

What I like from the example above is how at any given time the orientation of the dungeon can turn 60° giving the dungeon a more natural feel.  If you’re digging a dungeon why would you limit yourself to a grid? Also once you add the double width corridors your increasing your options and complexity.  I’ll be adding more as I have time.

I’ve got plans to make full 3D dungeons using the 4 inch tiles and plaster molds such as those you can get from Hirst Arts, Linka World, and 4bot Industries. The issue is I will have to make a lot of custom pieces and custom molds so I’m going to be shelving this project for the mean time.

I think switching from the 7″ to the 4″ tiles was the right choice for me. When I get time I will go ahead and place the 30+ 7″ colour tiles I’ve already made if anyone is interested in trying them out.  I’ll do the same for the 4″ but not until I get a large amount ready.

Pro

  • You can make dense dungeons without so many extra tiles
  • Easier to store
  • Can produce more random results
  • Easier to use “Fog of War” effect

Con

  • Only single and double wide corridors, no triple
  • No irregular/offset corridors
  • Floor textures may not align properly
  • Custom 3D parts

Profantasy Software

Mapping with Master Hexes

Hexomorfo System

Hirst Arts

4bot Industries

New 4″ Hex Geomorphs progress

If you read back through the blog you can see my slow (very slow) transition of how I make my geomorphs.  I started with just making the rooms and corridors and cutting them out at the wall.  Looks good, you can do a lot with it, however you need to make separate vertical and horizontal parts for each option.  Not very efficient.

October 2008

2008 using Dungeon Siege textures, these are “Flower Hex” tiles

Then after several discussions with people I know, one of which was Andorax, from the World Works Games forums (now defunct). The idea of making the tiles Hexagonal in shape that way you can rotate them in any direction without the need to make Vertical and Horizontal versions for each tile.

March 2009

March 2009

I made the tiles 7 inches from flat side to flat side to reduce the paper waste.  One of these hexes would fit on either A4 or US 8.5×11 sheet of paper.  If your using high quality photo paper then you really don’t want to be throwing a bunch of it away.  The other nice thing about the 7 inch tile was you could have single (3′), double, and triple width corridors giving you a varied dungeon.  Now to connect the walls together when you’re running them at a 60° turn means that the horizontal corridor has to be slightly smaller for the walls to match up at the edge.  This way you can place your 4 way cross roads and all four corridors will match up to the next tile no matter how you rotate them.  Plus you then don’t have to be confined to just 60° turns as I’ve seen many people do.

I also played around with how to make 3D Hex Dungeons

January 2008

January 2008

2009-2010

2009-2010

These were overly complex but a good start.  Unfortunately I no longer have the files for these.  Then last November during my routine searches for Hex Maps and Hex Dungeons I found the Kickstarter for Tabletop Hex Terrain. You can read my thoughts about it in the blog post linked above.  I now have the Hex jigs but I think I’m going to scale them up to get a true 1″ hex and have them laser cut.  I can still use the original Hex Jigs for Battletech and Mechwarrior: Dark Age.

Then in December the Hexomorfo System came out using the same conclusions I was using (but only using vertical corridors not horizontal as well) but the smaller scaled 4″ tiles, a bit like the Hex Jig that I discussed in November. My only issue with the 4″ tiles is you can not have triple wide corridors without needing four hexes for the length of two that you would need for single or double wide.  I had considered going to 6″ tiles but it would be bulky for the 3D version although easier to build using Hirst Arts bricks.  However I’m going to have to custom make 1″ hex tiles for the Hirst Arts as Bruce doesn’t seem interested in making any.

So now I’m currently making tiles for the 4″ system and I’m hoping to get about 100-150 done before experimenting with the 3D tiles.  I’ll keep posting updates when I reach them.