When I began this hobby, we were into mass fantasy combat. Terrain consisted of a sheet spray painted green and brown, a hill or two, a few trees, and a cardboard building to block line of sight. The rules we used seldom required more than three pieces of terrain. Today, I play more skirmish level games where the table size is smaller or a battle board is used. In these games, terrain is much more important to me – it really helps me immerse myself in the game. I know you can play any game with only a piece of paper, a pencil and the “theater of the mind.” But even a single piece of terrain can sometimes make a big difference for me.
You can pick up pieces of what is called “scatter terrain” from many sources and there are several craft videos on how to make your own. My three favorite sources are Reaper Miniatures, Acheson Creations and Wizkids Unpainted Miniatures. Scatter terrain are small objects scattered over the table – they can be small items such as bottles and crates or larger pieces such as carts or fountains. Today I’m showcasing a sacrificial altar from the Reaper Bones line of miniatures.
The Sacrificial Altar is from, as I said, the Reaper Bones line and is made from the same plastic as many of the other Bones minis. You don’t have to prime Reaper Bones miniatures, but you do need to wash them to remove any mold release agent still on the mini. That being said, I give all of my Bones minis a base coat of black or dark gray before painting. If there is a lot of detail on the mini, then I do various levels of white dry brushing to achieve a Zenithal type of highlighting. In this case, I followed the black base coat with various shades of gray. The stone floor I painted with Vallejo Stone Grey, which has more of a tan look than using actual gray. I used Reaper Blood Red & Clear Red for the blood stains, & then sealed the piece with a matt varnish. Not counting drying time, the whole painting process took just a few minutes.
The altar isn’t a big piece. At it’s widest point, it is 2 7/8″ wide and only a bit over 3/4″ tall. This means it can spice up any dungeon room tile or battle board, but it will also look good on a 4′ x 4′ game table.
It really looks good when used in encounters from the Talomir Tales’ Piathoe’s Peaks (notice how the Floozy slipped in a plug for her scenario book – the mark of a true floozy, I tell you!). So here’s some eye candy of the demon hunter Sonja Wolf-Eyes, her servant, Bait and the Priestess Yrell disrupting a demonic sacrifice.
The scatter terrain, the altar & pillars are Reaper Bones minis. The figures are all from Reaper. The dungeon tiles are from Frontline Games out of Arlington, Texas. They were a game company specializing in 28mm WWII gaming and have branched out into producing scatter terrain and dungeon tiles for fantasy – wonderful family owned business.
All photos were taken using an iPad and no Floozies were harmed or dis’ed in the making of this post. All comments and suggestions are welcome!