Edster N17 ZM Board Tiles prototype - Need Feedback (Zone Mortalis)

Edster

Ganger
Dec 26, 2018
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Nottingham, UK
Hi all,

I'm setting about designing and making ZM Tiles. My Goal is to produce a series of 9x double sided tile designs to replicate the OG N17 ones.

I know that @Hawkins44 did an absolutely incredible job with the community ones! Well done dude - you inspire.

I am aiming to make my own designs copyright free ones, maybe setting up some Etsy thing in the future for the rest of the world. I want to offer fellow Yaks free files - but not commercial use obvs.



This is my first prototype. Please help me with feedback.
  • Copyright: all designs are my own, they are generic artwork I have created for 'post apocalyptic' industrial world
  • Design style: Subjective, but do you like this style of art, you can hopefully see the retro influence?!
  • Layouts and Size: will be exactly the same as the OG GW ones and the same position of the walls
  • Double sided: I'm not sure - Is this something important?
  • Printed 'Walls' on the tiles (the black and orange outline): I think this is important - do you?
  • Doors and Barricades: I'm thinking about how to make these too - they feel essential right?
Thanks so much Yaks, please send me any thoughts and comments - call to action below!
 
A few questions from me, designed to help refine idea rather than as criticism - the concept itself looks great!

- if you're just re-creating tiles with the same layout and size as the official GW ones, are you limiting your market to people who either (I) missed out on the original tiles, but want them to be able to play zone mortalis per the rulebooks; or (ii) care sufficiently about the boards as backdrop that they want variants?

- if you put the walls onto the design, you're really regulating how many configurations they can be used in. That may well be fine, but depends what the intention is - are you planning on doing walls etc as an expansion to the set? Do you want to make more boards, with different wall configurations?

- double-sided - if they aren't double-sided, then you need more boards to get the same layout variety - and if intention is to deliver the same layout variety, single-sided will take up more space, be more expensive to package and mail, will take up more space to store for customers as well.

- doors and barricades are essential in some form, but I guess it depends who your market is / who this is aimed at? People with a necro starter set have barricades etc from the necro set. More critical if not aimed at the more invested players.

- entirely personal, but I always thought one of the shames of this necro edition is that all the weird stuff had been relegated to background. They're beginning to solve that now, but if you look at the variety of territories in the various campaigns, and then compare them with the boards, which largely just reflect the overarching industrial aesthetic (with a few glowing mushrooms here and there), i feel like there's scope for some weirder stuff to be included in conjunction with the industrial look.
 
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The images look good, and I like your wall outline. That color combination is hard to miss. If you’re keeping it flat, you definitely need some sort of counter for doors to make it more versatile. Flat barricades would also be useful for the same reason.

i like the floor markings, but my opinion is that the hazard striped blocks look weird. i think they should all go in the same direction when in a small area like that.I also wonder why only that corner and a single random block are hazardous. maybe remove the odd one and just have the corner painted, or maybe only the edge blocks up one side.

the vents are good, but I think the odd solid panel in their midst looks weird. Either have them all be vents, or have multiple solid plates that form a path through the vents. You could also have the directional floor markings go up through that path. or maybe a repaired vent tile? Like someone welded some plates over broken vents. You could also have them either in a single line or scattered about in patterns on future tiles. players with Vents can pop up on only those squares?

I like the variety of single, double, and quartered solid panels. Maybe some subtle hexagons too? Or the occasional panel in a panel types?

i dont know if I’d recreate the original layouts on purpose…. I can see the purpose of double sided tiles, but I’d think you’d need doubles (or multiple sets) if you ever wanted to use one of each tile for a layout. I think @Hawkins44 did it right by making the files print only, and then you can decide how to mount them yourseof. Single or double sided, it’s up to you.
 
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Very good feedback thank you @Malevolent Pink Cat and @Punktaku

I totally agree with what you are saying - and I LOVE the story telling features.

So the direction I'm now going to be heading in is to make the tiles more fun and interesting, and remove the walls (although maybe a set with printed walls could be optional - should be simple to edit the graphic files).

Thinking more into this - maybe the key is really designing a 'dungeon crawler' type of board game tile for use in Necromunda but also other games. Like you get a set of 9 to make a full 3' x 3' table, but you can arrange them how you like. The one side could have one setting and the other a different one, but they all work in harmony some how.

For example - you get the 'ash waste' on one side and the 'hive' on the other.... with like easter eggs and story telling, giant rats, milliasaurs, brain leaf etc.

Maybe this is the best way to deliver something like this? Although, it's the 'dungeon maze' that the walls provide... I'm still not sure if there is anything out there that does that.
 
Doors and Barricades: I'm thinking about how to make these too - they feel essential right?
Just a quick reply but doors if you’re going to design your own would be best to be double sided or ones that can be folded over with your own design on and then use cards stands like these:


But black to create something like the old Space Crusade Doors.

For barricades look at the water still from the 1995 Necromunda box or the barricades from the 1996 Outlanders box.
 
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On the walls, perhaps each tile has the design with the wall on one side, and the other side is the same tile but with no wall? I liked the walls being printed when I played ZM games because it's a really easy & quick to setup terrain if you don't have to faff about putting your own wall pieces on. Sure it's not so shiny and immersive, but it gets you actually playing quicker.

More story elements is a good idea, along the lines of the bits and pieces they'd leave lying around on old Space Hulk and Quest tiles and in the more modern Blackstone Fortress ones - you can just ignore them if you want, but they're there if you want to make them into an objective etc.
 
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On the walls, perhaps each tile has the design with the wall on one side, and the other side is the same tile but with no wall? I liked the walls when I played ZM games because it's a really easy & quick to setup terrain if you don't have to faff about putting your own wall pieces on. Sure it's not so shiny and immersive, but it gets you actually playing quicker.
Similar but different: I like the card tiles with walls outlined as you can quickly set up a layout and then place actual walls on after - which I find is quite quick.

It’s a lot more faff to have to put your walls on a blank mat and then the inevitable assembly and disassembly to get the layout “right” as you go.
 
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One important thing:

Keep in mind there are two sizes of ZM boards. Original cardboard tiles are 11.3", but plastic are straight 12".

Plastic terrain on cardboard tiles fits bit awkwardly.

As a 'veteran' in this field, feel free to ask about anything. Since I don't plan on continuing with the project I started in forseeable future, I'm happy to share my ideas, skteches and experience.
 
Similar but different: I like the card tiles with walls outlined as you can quickly set up a layout and then place actual walls on after - which I find is quite quick.

It’s a lot more faff to have to put your walls on a blank mat and then the inevitable assembly and disassembly to get the layout “right” as you go.
I'm another vote for keeping the walls outline. It speeds up terrain placement by either a) playing without walls. Or b) just reduces the thinking time, whilst keeping the alternative placement of tile mechanic.

Whilst I guess an advantage of no wall outline is people can place any terrain such as KT into the dark walls, but at that point I see little value in tiles over a large playmat.

However I like more variety than the originals I still think it's a shame Badzone delta reused the original wall layout. I still mean to print out some of Hawkins tiles to glue over some of my original tiles that got scuffed.