The beginning of this year, Forge World released a set of experimental rules called “Zone Mortalis”. These rules can be used to simulate close quarter battles in places such as underground bunkers, underhives, mine works and space hulks. Zone Mortalis games are intended to be played with lots of separating walls and such like and alter the way certain weapons work, for example blast weapons and template weapons can re-roll to wound rolls to represent shrapnel and scattering weapons detonate on walls rather than travelling the full distance. There are also rules for deep space where some weapons become rending.
This makes games far more lethal and restricts the structure of your army – afterall what use is a Rhino when you can only get it down a single corridor? It also allows you to utilise the Forge World boarding weapon upgrades which are intended for this type of fight.
Forge World have produced a beautiful set of four 1ft x 1ft tiles that you can use to construct your battle board and this is where the first hiccup occurs, at £25 per tile, you’re looking at spending a small fortune on just getting the board to have a game on. In fairness they do offer a set of 16 tiles and various blast doors for £350 which is over £100 saving, but even taking this into account it’s a very expensive set up.
However I’ve done a little bit of research and I believe that I could actually create something similar but for significantly less money – and most importantly it would be possible to make something that could be re-cast multiple times to allow tiles to be sold or provide enough boards for any size area. It appears that Forge World use a rigid Polyurethane Casting Foam to cast the boards which is a very lightweight solution. This foam can be purchased quite easily (and isn’t too expensive either) and making a silicon mold wouldn’t be too hard though not necessarily cheap.
Rather than creating fixed board layouts like Forge World have, it would be simpler to create two wall sections (straight wall & corner) and a flat board. This way the walls can be assembled in whatever way seems right for the particular scenario you’re playing. One disadvantage of this is that the weight of the wall sections may not be enough to stop them from being knocked over, however there may be a way of inserting a weight into the base. In fairness if a decent master could be made then it wouldn’t be horrifically difficult to make up a few static boards either.