Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Pirate Port Construction

The construction of my pirate port (cunningly dubbed Port Largo) continues and it's nice to see some real progress.  Though the buildings were lacking roofs, siding, and details of any kind, just placing them together in an orderly fashion allowed me to see the plan coming together and give me direction for future structures and buildings. 

Bird's eye view of what will be the docks and main square.

In the photo above you can see the general layout of the town.  The buildings will not necessarily be in the same locations but the the distance between the individual structures is fairly accurate.  To facilitate large numbers of miniatures in action, I wanted to have a broad avenue leading from the docks towards what will be a hill in the distance.  Conversely, what seedy pirate town would be complete without dark alleys and narrow passages for swashbuckling and parleys?

The square will be wide enough for a fountain and traffic.

All of the buildings will feature numerous windows and balconies to allow for dynamic interaction and conflict amongst the players.  Each roof will be removable so that miniatures can be positioned at the various openings and possibly allow for fights to occur inside as well as outside.  Though there are no true upper stories except for the large balcony on the Government House (under construction), each window above ground level will have platforms attached so that miniatures can be positioned to shoot from the upper openings.

Another view of the first few buildings.

As far as the game board goes, I am in the process of shaping several large sections of one inch thick pink insulation sheets.  One end will terminate at the dock and will feature a stone quay and several wooden piers.  The Custom's House will be placed here as well as several warehouses and of course, a large inn and tavern.  I also plan to allow room for stacked goods, barrels, and crates.  If the tales be true, pirates love fighting in these areas.

The Custom's House and a ship at "dock".

The other end of the board will end with a low hill where many of the more prominent buildings in the area will be located.  This too will be shaped from pink insulation and filled out with plaster.  I don't think I'll have room to build a proper hill like those common in the Caribbean but the illusion will be there.  A backdrop with iconic island scenery may help with the endeavor.

A large wealthy merchant's house on the "hill".

A large merchant's house will be on or near the bottom of the hill.  Perhaps this will be the residence of a wealthy ship captain.  Sitting within sight of the seedier part of town, the large home is bound to tempt several of the less than savory characters.  Another possibility would be to make it the home of a shifty privateer captain.  He would have the money and standing to live near the hill but no doubt the more law abiding residents of Port Largo would whisper their suspicions about him when in polite company.

The beginnings of Government House.

Finally, on top of the hill will be Government House.  This building is shaping up to be a fairly large structure.  The main section is as large as the merchant's house but will feature larger windows on the upper flow along with a balcony that faces the sea and overlooks Port Largo.  Sprawling behind the main portion will be two lower levels that will feature a flat roof.  An opening from the second story will allow access to the roof and will certainly provide for some interesting action if the place is ever attacked when the pirates attack. Finally, a large courtyard will feature a bit of privacy for the guests of Government House and create cover and obstacles for both attacking and defending forces.  Most of the buildings will be white washed (except the inn which will be darker) but I think this home needs to stand out.  Perhaps a a faded rose/pink, not unlike that of a flamingo.  Hmmm....

I am enjoying this project immensely and look forward to designing a few more buildings.  I must caution myself not to go overboard however, by creating structure after structure and never finishing.  After all, the purpose of this project is to actually play a Legends of the High Seas game.

That is the purpose...right?

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