Building Yss

I felt it was time to build a new gaming board that could be used for AoS (and occasionally for Historicals). I’ve spent about six or so months looking up youtube tutorials and educating myself on various techniques and materials in preperation for the big build. 

Board wise I contemplated a number of options and their pro’s and cons, before settling on a modular system which I could add scatter terrain to. In the end I went for Sally 4th’s Terra-Former Tiles, a well rounded range of MDF frames with a magnetic locking system. The frames themselves are well designed and do pretty much what they say on the site. The neodynium magnets really lock them together really well and the frames are nice and sturdy. I used superglue to put mine together for speed and efficiency, but woodglue would be perfect if drying times aren’t an issue for you.

The frames require some form of polystyrene filler, either the simple jablite stuff or the lovely pink insulation foam. I went with jablite for affordabilities sake and ease of access. While jablite isn’t my first choice for terrain building it is fine for this, as it will be covered up with filler and pva to strengthen it. To save time I whipped up a template to help with cutting out the inserts. Having to hand measure each one prior to cutting would have been labourious and tedious. With the template it was barely a twenty minute job to cut all of them out and fit them. Make sure you use a nice sharp blade to cut them, I used a snap off knife with the blade extended all the way to cut mine clean through.

Then it was a case of gluing and adding detail. The cliff faces are made from discarded slate shards I found in the fathers hoarded building material pile. I just stacked them up and glued them in place. I used PVA which I regretted, as it didn’t really stick them down all too well, it was the filler that really secured them in place. Next time I’ll use the hot glue gun. 

Then it was on to adding filler. I used plain old polyfiller. I did start putting it on with a spatula, but it started looking unnatural, so I slipped on some gloves and applied it by hand. It’s helped maintain a natural look and allowed me to get the filler into all the nooks and crannies around the cliffs and into the stream bed.

Once dry, I added some citadel trees and textured the board with coarse and light sand, along with aquarium gravel for smaller rocks. The larger rocks were either slate or decorative garden stones. When applying the sand I used a watered down mix of pva with a little flow aid added.

Then I painted it all. A black undercoat on everything, with some zenithal highlights of a medium grey on the trees, cliffs, and rocks, along with some splashes on the dirt. Then I added a chocolate brown emulsion, and once dried I used a large make up powder brush to drybrush the whole board with Buff Titanium from Daler Rowney. It took about thirty minutes to drybrush the whole board. I’ll be buying more make up brushes from mini painting after seeing how effective it was, after a quick wash it was good as new with zero wear. If I had used my usual choice it would have killed the brush and only been good for rubbish jobs after. 

Flocking was fairly easy, I used the same watered down pva mix with flow aid to spritz the sections. Then I went along the edges of each section with the mid green flock so as to prevent strange lines cutting off between sections. Then I gently added light and dark tones before giving the whole thing a hit with mid green flock. I simply sprinkled everything on, as just chucking on the flock creates a lot of waste. 

After this I started detailing….

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Some links for folks.

Materials.

Sally 4th, suppliers of the Terra-Former Tiles.

Arcane Scenery, suppliers of the various flocks, foliage etc. 

B&Q, for the polystyrene, woodglue etc. 

Tutorials.

TheTerrainTutor

Lukes APS

An Invitation…….

So the Lore of Yss project is just over two years old formally (Previously it was just “The Grunvale” till we expanded it), but far older in concept. My friend Phil and I started it properly so we could take advantage of the clean slate that the Age of Sigmar offered, allowing us to explore old concepts and build something that we could blend into the larger universe. The freedom to theme armies and realms was delightfully refreshing and we quickly came up with reams of background, armies and kingdoms in our heads. So much so that we are still trying to get it all on to paper so we can share it. Much of what we started was centered around a single region and its kingdoms, The Grunvale and the metropolitan city of Fyrdhathen (Fairhaven as it was). Once we established the core kingdoms, numerous others started forming and growing, their politics, their themes, and how they all interplay with each other. Naturally this has made writing down everything even more complicated.

Despite all of the kingdoms we’ve created, we have yet to actually make anything from those kingdom for the tabletop (bar a few rpg characters), instead focussing on Urzod’s mercenary greenskins, Budahks herd, and some of the Revenant forces that roam Yss. We may get round to making skirmish groups and RPG character for these other regions, but we may not. However, we want to share everything that we possibly can. So we plan on writing up some descriptors and army suggestions for the kingdoms we have so far in the hope that we, but more importantly so others, can potentially use them as guidelines and build one of the many and varied forces that inhabit Yss. I hope that some of you will at least take some inspiration from the forthcoming scrawlings and ruminations, and doubly hope that some of you may wish to join us in building Yss and a community around the concept.

The first three kingdoms we will cover will be the core ones that we have built up the most, The Kingdom of Esel, The Republic of Fyrdhathen, and the Mere March.

~ Mark Talmer & Phillip Starr

Warmaster Budahk Chain-Gor, Lord of the Minos, Tyrant of Blood Gor Peak.

~ Warmaster Budahk Chain-Gor, Lord of the Minos, Tyrant of Blood Gor Peak.

The rise of the powerful warlord Budahk Chain-Gor is a lesson in the Minos society.
Of huge stature early in life, he soon gained the respect of dark warrior kin and orc-foe alike, due to his shrewd tactical awareness and ferocity in battle.
Minos culture has two clear methods of promotion. One is to kill the incumbent in a straight fight. The other is staggeringly subtle, and would be missed by most. A simple nod of submission and the leader submits to his superior challenger.

It is said that Budahk, having defeated a particularly cunning and brutal Orruk Warboss, laid his kill as a sacrifice before the venerated Cygor, Bogut the Unworldly.
Bogut, struck by religious fervor, then laid prostrate before Budak. A sign that Budahk had truly honoured the gods and was marked for greatness.
Upon seeing this Budahks warmaster, Hacker Bloodhorn, submitted with a simple nod, and Budahk was now Warmaster of the Northern Herds.

~ The Uilebheist Plateau, the Northern Kingdoms, and the Isle of Elthuin.

Upon killing the last rival warmaster, Gruffen the Three Armed, King of the Southern Herd, by butchering him alive and finishing him by strangling him with his chain whip, Budahk enjoys an undisputed autocracy. Having unified the Minos, the brayherds, and beasts of the Uilebheist Plateau, he has brought the Orruks to a tepid truce based upon fear, respect, and a healthy stream of trade, mostly slaves.

~Excerpt by Filib Stjerne, Scholar of Thériology at the Learning Halls of Esel-Din , and author of “The Superior Hunter’s guide to the Beastly Mind. A cultural and psychological treatise on the Gor-kin”

~ Written by Phillip Starr, edited by Mark Talmer.

The Lore of Yss ~ An Introduction.

Introduction

In the primordial times before the Age of Myth and the coming of Sigmar, the mortal realms were forged, bound and molded by the magics they embodied. But in the aetheric void, the ash and embers of the reforging of the world-that-was came together to form the Shard Realms, a multitude of fragmentary worlds rendered into curious aspects by the debris that formed their mass, realmstone scoria and crystal fused into the essence of the shard realms creating strange fusions of magic that permeate the lands and infuse the environment, spawning creatures both fantastic and fel. The permutations of these fusions are endless, realms of fire and death burn in the void with a baleful glow, plains stalked by beasts of molten metal spawned of Chamon and Ghyran magic, cavernous deeps inhabited by shadowy beasts. These realms are only as limited as the realmstone that makes up their form, some only fusing a handful of types, to some riddled with debris from each of the realms creating a Shard Realm of infinite variety.  The Shard Realm of Yss is such a place……

The Shard Realm of Yss

Yss is a shard realm filled with a myriad of environments, from the mundane to the reality defying. A realm of  ancient kingdoms and fresh frontiers, treacherous oceans and unfathomable subterranean expanses. As such, its inhabitants are as varied and colourful as the places they inhabit.

In the Grunvale and its surrounding regions the Free People settled, building great cities and forging vast nations. In the distant west on the Al’Arkan peninsula, explorers led intrepid colonists from beyond Yss to settle the coastal regions, with powerful city states blossoming on the fringes of the great deserts, the vast savannahs, and primordial jungles. Amongst the alpine peaks of the Reach lies the great elven province of Ahmarha, its citizens hardy and pragmatic. In times of war, hunters, woodsmen, and pathfinders answer the call to protect their secluded alpine realm.  

In the north lies the the Uilebheist Plateau, a nest for all manner of primal horrors too terrifying to describe. And beyond that is the Sundered Veil, a vast stretch of lands tainted and misshapen by fel magics during the Age of Chaos, a realm of unnatural horrors. Gibbering men cavorting amongst the ruins of lost kingdoms seeking eldritch power and the patronage of abyssal beings. To the east of the Uilebheist Plateau is the Isle of Elthuin. An ash choked volcanic landscape with vast tunnels that lead deep into the under realms below. Few travel there, the stories of the Ashen keeps sane folks away.

These are just a small number of the many realms, wild regions and savage hinterlands of Yss, there are many more to be explored and revealed. An endeavor I hope you will join me in……

~Jhez Al’Waide, Explorer and Scholar at the University of Fyrdhathen, Professor of Psariology, Amphiviology, and Yssian History. Author of the “The Fulminous Kings: The Concise Lineage of Esel’s Royalty” and “The Spined Merwyrm: The Fisherman’s Bounty”.

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   Illustration by Karl Kopinski

~ Written by Mark Talmer.