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If I could redo the Dragon Strike Game Boards...

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If I could redo the Dragon Strike Game Boards...

Postby Malcadon » Sunday September 14th, 2014 2:46am

I would square-out the grid, maximize the play area, and remove most of the superfluous, and all of the modular elements. By "superfluous elements", I mean all background monsters, and the loud non-usable items. If you have not seen the boards, they can be a cluster&%$# of random &%$# that have no place on the board. Don't get me wrong: I like cool non-usable background. I just prefer to see more toned-down elements, like the debris that litters the HeroQuest board! And by "modular elements", I mean stuff you can remove or omit, like doors, builders (strong figures can move them), and even bridges. The purpose of making them modular is to help change-up the board for greater replay-value, or to help tailor the map to the adventure.

I would removed the draw bridge from the Castle, to allow it to be lowered and drawn, as well as to be destroyed -- The draw bridge would be a long tile with an intact side, and a side that has been smashed. The portcullis would be a free-standing door piece. Stares in the round towers would also be tile pieces. And yes, I this map would be bigger!

I would make the water spaces more even. The default Valley board manages to squeezes an extra water space in the lake, but I find that superfluous, as water greatly reduce one's movement, and can mess-up range attacks and flight movement. Like the draw bridge form he Castle board, I would have a bridge tiles with an intact side, and a side that is ether a smashed bridge, or a simple stone ford (rocks used to make a river less shallow). This looks a whole lot better than those Water tiles that look like the Janitor had a spill. As noted, all builders are removed, so Builder tiles can be used instead. The same thing with the campfire. Forest tiles can be used to expand the forest, or cover the open ares.

I looked at all the quests that use the Cavern Map to note where Tunnel tires were used. Basically, I would rather use HeroQuest Stone Block tiles-styled markers to cover over open spaces, than to use a marker between wall to create open space. I would really open the play are up, while still making it a maze, with the greater use of Walled tiles. The background of the cavern would be blacked-out to make it look more dark and cavernous.

I'm still working on the City Map (that diagonal alley is a hard thing to work with). I would prefer to use tiles and 3D furniture to represent furniture. With the piazza, I would make the fountain an optional piece, by making it a tile. A water well would be another option. 3D trading booths would be a nice addition. I also prefer to use figures for NPCs, even if they are nothing more than paper fold-ups.

Here is what I made so far:

Image

Image

Image

So, how do they look?


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Re: If I could redo the Dragon Strike Game Boards...

Postby StratosVX » Sunday September 14th, 2014 3:04am

I definitely agree with what you've said. They really limited themselves when they drew everything onto the boards. I also don't care for much of the artwork, especially considering the quality that company could have come up with. One thing on the caverns board though - is there a reason you didn't square up the one section of the board on the left side, almost halfway up the board? That one seems to really stand out but I don't see why it couldn't be squared out to a normal corner.


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Re: If I could redo the Dragon Strike Game Boards...

Postby Schmidt » Sunday September 14th, 2014 3:09am

Well you did manage to remove the superfluous clutter, but it might be a little too simple ;)


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Re: If I could redo the Dragon Strike Game Boards...

Postby Sjeng » Sunday September 14th, 2014 6:14am

It would take some EXTREME photoshopping to do this with the actual boards. Would be nice though, but dayum.

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Re: If I could redo the Dragon Strike Game Boards...

Postby Malcadon » Sunday September 14th, 2014 9:48pm

Mind you, the pictures above are just an outline of would I might do if I had the time and energy to paint working boards for the game. They are after all, the reference map used by the Dragon Master.

If I was to do it, I would start with black paper for indoor areas, and gray for outdoors -- I want to give them all a dark tone, but would have to make the outsides appear brighter, without look too bight. All-and-all, they would be striped of major or unimportant elements, leaving only random bits of debris. And all the maps would have a top-down view, so you would not see the sides of walls. Basically, I want it to look more like the HeroQuest board. Here are some additional things I would do for each board...

With Castle, I would make the large courtyard at the center an open area with dirt and loose bits of grass. It would look ruinous and overran by monsters. Debris would show a mix old discarded items (old cups and mugs, broken bits of lumber, etc.), with evidence of violence (blood, bones, body parts, broken/rusted weapons, etc.). Gaps (arrow) placed in some of the walls would allow figures to shoot throw them without being attacked. The entire castle is surrounded by a mote. It is recommended use aquatic monsters to keep Heroes form freely moving around the board by the sides -- although, the board should be widened to accommodate more moat area. The tiles that would be added specifically for the Castle are: busted/intact Drawbridge, Portcullis (as a free-standing doorway), differing types of Stares, and Battlements tiles for each of the towers.

With the City, I would make it look lived-in by people. The cobblestone streets would look worn and battered over high-traffic areas, while the edges of the streets along the walls or open grounds would be cluttered with grass and litter. Areas marking each square would look more subdued. Cracks, stone formations, irragualr gaps in the floorboards, bits of debris would help highlight the grid with it looking like a big ol' grid. Some extra items (tiles & 3d furniture) I would have for the board would include thin rug/carpet overlays, 3D furnishings, some tiles for the center of the piazza, 3D trading booths, 1 & 1x2 sq. 3D Tents & Huts and hedgerow tiles for the open ground at the north. I seen someone use overlays to make roofs to show want has been explored, and I like that! I would also do that, with an alternative tile that shows the building in ruins.

The solid earth within the Cavern would be solid black, and the tiled floors would look like they are adrift in an endless void, if not for the shadows rand the edges. The covers would look lived by monsters. Some of the debris would show signs of past violence, as noted with the Castle. Most other items would be rocks, rat bones, mold/fungus growth, etc. Add-on tiles would include solid black Blocked tiles (used like the Solid Black tiles in HeroQuest), Cave-in tile (like the Blacked tile, but is a pile of rocks), Speleothem Columns (think Stalactites and Stalagmites), Cubbyholes (a two square tile of a round cubbyhole with a narrow entrance), and water & acid pools tiles.

With the Valley, the roads would bland in better with the grass of the open fields overlapping on the edges of the road, and the road would bend and twist just enough to give it a more natural look. Same with the forest edges, but the edges of the forests would also extend a shadow over the neighboring squares. Just like the City board, I would try to make the lines that make the grid look more subdued. Added tiles and 3D features for this board would include: Forest tiles, Pond overlays (for small bodies of water), Campfire tile (yes, the game includes this, but I would omit the campfire from the board), Boulders, a Bride/Ford tile, 2x2 & 2x3 sq. House overlays, and Farmland overlays in differing sizes, as well as the 3D Tents & Huts and Hedgerow tiles noted with the City board.

Free-stand Doors, and 3D Furniture would be used with the Castle and City, as well as the House overlays.

If I did something like this, I would not use Photoshop! WotC make enough s@&%y Photoshopped dungeon tiles sets, and they look awful! Hand-drawn and hand-painted usually looks better. Even though Dragon Strike had painted boards, the game suffered form lousy-looking props in general!

Oh yeah, I would not make them double-sided, so that adventures can span across multiple boards at once.


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Re: If I could redo the Dragon Strike Game Boards...

Postby mitchiemasha » Monday September 15th, 2014 7:26pm

Speaking of boards, I hate the castle board in dragon quest too, it's the flat elevated wall i don't like.

As for dragon Strike, the valley and the town board look good. I only bought a set after seeing the conversion photos somewhere on this site. The one with the actual 3d hill, raised area and town with the temp roofs... The rest not so fussed on.


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Re: If I could redo the Dragon Strike Game Boards...

Postby Malcadon » Tuesday September 16th, 2014 7:42am

mitchiemasha wrote:Speaking of boards, I hate the castle board in dragon quest too, it's the flat elevated wall i don't like.

Actually, I really that board. Yes, its shows walls on the board at odd angles, but ignoring that, is is still a solid dungeon map.

Hell, I really like the entire set, with all the useful cards, the cool paper figures, and the dumb-down D&D rules (actually, distilled to a simple beer & pretzels dungeon crawl game -- I kinda like it that way).


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Re: If I could redo the Dragon Strike Game Boards...

Postby mitchiemasha » Tuesday September 16th, 2014 7:58pm

Yeah, everything else about it is quite good, just those odd walls.


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Re: If I could redo the Dragon Strike Game Boards...

Postby herman_the_german » Monday January 16th, 2017 12:30pm

I don't know if this project ever got anywhere... But this is precisely why those dungeon floor plan tiles were made.

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One doesn't really have to draw every single textured square. Others have already done it.
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