Before I get started on what I did, I am going to preamble a bit as to why I wanted to make a board for Warcry specifically.
Like many people, I was into the hobby as a teenager, left for a number of years, and returned to it a few years ago on the vague premise that one of my children may also enjoy it – to which the answer is not really – despite my best attempts.
The first part however is important.
Heroquest aside, my teenage starting point was Epic. Gigantic battles of armies clashing across floors or tabletops. Whatever we had available which was flat basically. Titan Legions added some cardboard buildings at least to hide behind.
Moving on, my next step was Warhammer Fantasy Battles, where my undead hordes would clash and die again across tablecloths, with the occasional box hill, and if we were lucky a railway forest to hide in.
This sort of setup was the hobby experience at the time, apart from at the GW stores where custom built terrain enhanced the battles. However, scenery was generally something to hide behind, not interact with.
This flatness ended for me with Necromunda.. Suddenly a small-scale skirmish game of moving individual pieces in 3 dimensions was a thing, and it was a glorious thing.
One of the best parts of the set was the modular nature. You could arrange the scenery in plenty of different ways, always trying to spot part of the set up your opponent would not spot that would give your gangers a bit of an advantage.
On my return to the Hobby, terrain was a thing. People everywhere seemed to have beautiful tables to play Age of Sigmar and Warhammer: 40,000 on. Probably partially fuelled by the ease in getting help off the internet in building these things, as well as an increased ease for people building terrain to sell things online.
Even as an adult, for a main game, I struggle to set up a 6ft x 4ft space. I bought the Khorne battlemat to play on, a foam hill, a resin dragon skull, thought about buying a Dragonfate Dais, went to lunch to think about it and they’ve not been seen ever since, got a citadel wood and got fed up sticking leaves on, built some mdf laser cut scenery that didn’t fit together as well as it should have. But even adding elements to my AoS battles, I couldn’t recreate the good feels from how Necromunda had truly made games 3D.
Then Warcry launched. I bought it day 1. A nice big beefy box of 2 gangs and a lot of furniture 😊.
Suddenly I had a scenery rich wargame, which I can fit on to a commonly available table space, and move models in 3D. To launch themselves from a platform, smashing a tiny plastic hammer into a tiny plastic face, I can boing, boing, boing a crazy goblin along and 9” up onto a platform and have 3 rounds of attacks.
Over much of the next year, the shorter play time, quicker set up and light narrative nature meant Warcry was my go-to, and I had even created a little gaming group around it. I bought an extra scenery pack and then March 2020 hit, and we don’t need to talk about that.
Fast forwards to around October 2020, and this got announced.
I loved the idea, but to me, this wasn’t Warcry. It was too flat. Though it did give me the Heroquest/Warhammer Quest vibes that also made me feel good. Not wanting to invest in a second Warcry starter box I made a decision. I would create my own dungeon crawling with lava board to use in Warcry, but it would be much more vertical.
Thinking back to Necromunda, and the Warcry rules, I knew that this would need to be modular as well, able to be configured in multiple ways. The first solid decision was that I would have a base that was all lava, and have tiles to put over it that would allow me to mix and max between terrain that killed or that was safe – ish.. No two permanent rivers of lava on my board, but the ability to shape rivers dynamically to fit needs.
Planning on scraps of paper began……