My normal gaming table for the Epic system is just the same grass plain with rivers, hills and woods that I use for most other full sized games. But Epic also offers a wealth of modelling opportunities for city fight scenarios. Buildings and cities in the 6mm scale can really look impressive. This tutorial captures my efforts to build such a city.
Step 1: Design
I spent a few hours with Visio (a drawing software) to play with different designs for the city. True to my general philosophy I wanted the city be to configurable into many different arrangements. At the same time I wanted meaningful roads (with markings) as well as the ability to gently transition from country to city on the same gameboard. Finally, while I wanted a rectangular grid layout, I felt that I needed the ability to interrupt all the straight cross-board firing lanes that this would create. Achieving this is harder than it might initially sound but at the end I settled for the following design:
Four 24″x24″ tiles with two different designs:
These tiles can be places together in any combination and provide a decent base layout. More importantly, the empty areas (which will be sprayed in different grey tones but not textures) are sized so that I can place a variety of building tiles. Some of these building tiles can cover road sections without creating “dead end” lanes. Each lane is 1″ wide which is a bit wider than appropriate for the 6mm scale but allows the armoured vehicles of the 41st millenium to pass. This creates roads of 2″ or 4″ in width.
I will also make two irregular shapes transition tiles with a 24″ straight edge. These tiles can be placed on top of the grassy plain tiles form my regular terrain set. They connect into the road grid and make the beginning of the city less abrupt. I will make some support blocks for the city tiles so that they can level with the transition tiles placed on the grassy terrain set (which is 1″ thick because rivers are carved into it.
For the building tiles I have two 20″x8″ tiles which can be used to cover road sections, a dozen 8″x8″ tiles, a dozen 8″x4″ tiles and four 4″x4″ tiles. Below is an example layout without buildings and the same layout with building tiles (in dark red). Putting some building tiles over road sections can change the layout significantly.
Finally, I will make a bunch of road pieces to go with the grassy terrain set. They will have bevelled edges (in light gray) but otherwise be the same as road pieces on the city tiles. The two transition tiles can also be placed together to form a small urban area on the grassy terrain set. There is enough room for a few building tiles and the transition tile base will prevent the urban area from looking ridiculous. One of my pet peeves with a lot of Epic and Warhammer 40k tables is that huge skyscraper stand in the middle of grass plains without a road leading to them. While this works with the game mechanics it just looks silly.
Step 2: Gather Materials
I am using 1/4″ Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) for the terrain tiles and 1/8″ MDF for the building tiles. Roads will be made from black fine sandpaper sheets as this gives a suitable impression of asphalt roads. Rather than bevelling the building tiles I gave each a 1/2″ frame made from textures plastic card. This creates a paved sidewalk so the transition from road to building area is less abrupt. The 1/8″ height of the tile creates a visible “curb” between road and sidewalk. Of course the curb is far too high in the actual 6mm scale (~3′ in real dimensions in that scale) but it looks perfectly fine.
The rest of the material are the actual buildings and structures. I gathered these from while variety of manufacturers including old Games Workshop Epic ruins, Exodus Wars metal terrain, Forgeworld terrain, SnapDragon Studio, GHZ, Terraformer, etc. Below is an older photo of the assembled material. I have since then added more building parts to fill the remaining tiles.