Finding My Inner Horus

In one of the black library Horus Heresy books (which are generally excellent if you didn't already know btw) there's a moment where Horus is reflecting with one of his minions on why the Emperor chose him above Dorn, Guilliman, the Lion and other candidates to be Warmaster.

The one thing that Horus possesses above any of his brothers, is that he never loses. His is the ability to turn a setback into an advantage, to play any hand and win. To escape his limits.

Going round and round with my problems with odd tile sizes and other things and the overall design of my SH3D board this weekend (which has been utterly unproductive otherwise - I can't even find my clippers) it occured to me that one thing I hadn't considered was inflating the tile size to a more workable unit, one which would also handily match the grid on the other side of the movement tray - from 46.7mm up to 50mm. Now compared to the "natural" SH cardstock grid of 31mm (1mm lines between tiles) that's a huge increase - and to be sure big missions might have to happen on the deck not the dining table - but if I'm already committed to the city of death tiles (which I probably am) it's only adding another 6%. Workable.

Now here's where the opportunity part comes in. A 50mm tile will happily accommodate two standard infantry bases waving arms and big guns around as much as they like.

Doesn't sound like much. Sounds pretty bloody obvious actually. Banal even. But two models on the same square? Think about the possibilities that adds for maybe playing guardsmen in the game. Guardsmen just don't work very well in space hulk with any ruleset which tries to reflect how very not-terminators they are. Trust me on this, I've written enough home brew to know that SH is very well engineered game, but also very tightly engineered. The average kill distance of a storm bolter on overwatch is built into the balance of the maps. So is the limited number of marines. Swamping the board with too many underpowered models just bogs things down. The guardsmen block each other all the time and they don't have the guns for the point men to be effective anyway.

But if I was to say let two guardsmen occupy a tile then not only can we avoid blocking problems, we can also double up on firepower at the point. Cinematically (the best justification for any games designer imho) I can totally see lines of guards down the corridor wall, bringing a heavy weapon up from the rear. I can see two guards staring at the crossroads ahead down their gunsights. Maybe they're back to back on overwatch. A lot of things to think about there from a games designer point of view.

And that leads me onto thinking about other things I can do with smaller bases in a big base world. Remember the ventilation shaft missions from WD around SHv2? Remember the collapsed corridor from Warhammer Quest?

What if I could do something like this, a section which only smaller bases could move through:

From another 3D head...
Possibility from limitation. I'm feeling better about this project again, now I just have to tear down the current prototypes and build up some 50mm ones.


  1. How are you planning to increase the tile size? You are going to have to cut and work each tile individually from the floor tile runs. Of course, this is not necessarily an issue, just time consuming. Don't forget also, that the cities of death wall sections are sized to suit the floor tiles as they are, and you will need to look at ways of expanding these too, if you plan on using them.

    One thing I am concerned about is when you start to fix walls to floors, the detail on the walls may start to encroach on your 50mm grid. Of course, if you recall Nexus' own SH3D then you will see that he avoided many of the issues (which you are now experiencing) by separating and opening the whole thing up more. Take a look at his sections to see how he went about this.

  2. (ps, sorry, I meant Nedius' space hulk...)

  3. The floor tiles I'm not worried about. Yes I'll have to split them up and clean them up, but I'll probably have to do that anyway, and crucially they're going to be sitting on a raised bed anyway so gaps are between fine and desirable. I'm also likely going to be making up a number of tiles from plastruct and cross-stitch panels so arbitrary size is ok.

    Walls are a small problem, but nothing sufficient amounts of 3.2mm plastruct rods can't solve. I probably have to hand make infinite walls anyway - the CoD ones being so damned *windowy* - so again, it'll be ok.

  4. Lol, yea, all the windows on them could be an issue... Although they will be useful in some areas depending on what rooms you might be putting together.

    If you check my blog there is a link to The War Store. It "looks" like they do interesting wall sections that may match the CoD wall size? Might be worth trying to contact them and checking.