Friday, June 15, 2012

Empire of the Dead..., and Depron foam

I have just come across this new game, Empire of the Dead, from West Wind Productions, and couldn't resist ordering a copy from Maelstrom Games...

More here from West Wind's website including a link to a free download of the basic rules and a demo starter scenario involving Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson...

Having read some of the reviews and battle reports in the blog-o-verse, its seems a game right up my (Victorian) street so to speak!

[Spookily enough, I spent most of youth growing up in a Victorian era terrace street, called unsurprisingly "Victoria Terrace"...]

It's a mix of Gothic Horror and Steampunk, in a Brittanic Victorian setting... what a wonderful combination!

I have always been a Gothic horror fan (though am not a fan of this recent craze of modern day lovey -dovey vampire nonsense...), and had long considered buying in to Chaos in Carpathia.

But other games as usual caught my attention or distracted me... I bought the GASLIGHT compendium last year, and though whilst I love the idea of its VSF world, have not done much with it as yet. And shortly after that I started on my current WWII Flames of War journey...

So when I spotted this game, combining Horror and Steampunk/VSF in a skirmish format, and in a gaming style with which I am familiar (it has been likened to the Legends/LOTR series of games), it seemed perfect.

It also brings the chance to getting back to making some 28mm scale terrain, which I always enjoy once I get my teeth into it. (no vampiric pun intended!)

However, one thing perturbed me; how to easily recreate those Victorian streets and all their brick buildings....

I have often seen buildings made from a dense foam sheet, where the brickwork is easily scored in, but I had never been able to find a source for this, what looked like, 5mm sheet. The closest I had come acorss was a 20mm thick sheet from a builders insulation product supplier, but this was still too thick to easily work with for anything but large structures like large castles and ruins made of 'big stone blocks'

Perusing though the Lead Adventure forum, I came across this wonderful thread by Overlord, on his modern day (1970s) themed 'The Sweeney' gaming ideas.

As you can see he has created some wonderful modern style, yet probably harking back to Victorian times, buildings and structures, from this dense foam sheet.

After following back through a link on the first page of this thread, I finally found the name of the product used; Depron foam. A quick google search and lo and behold I find a supplier here in NZ!

The credit card was swiftly reached for and and order placed for some Depron Sheets.

Here's the link. for Kiwi's:

Here's the Depron foam sheet

Depron 5mm foam sheet
Here's a shot from the LAF of Overlords Public House. Clearly this would also work in a Victorian setting and has enthused me to have a go!

'Overlords' Public house from the Lead Adventure Forum
I'll let you know how I get on once the book and sheet arrives.


  1. I think you're going to really enjoy EotD. I've only played one game and loved it. You should probably pick up on the rules quickly. The real difficulty is that it plays so similarly to LotR/Legends that you assume it's one in the same. But there are differences to be aware of.

    I'm always interested in watching your terrain projects. I wish I had the patience for that.

    1. Thanks Jerry, I'll try not to disappoint!

  2. I've been looking at this too, Scott. Haven't made up my mind yet - will sit and watch how you find it as I think we have pretty similar tastes in games and rules.

  3. I've heard some REALLY good feedback about EotD. One of the few things that keeps from wanting to jump on it is the I go-you go system of turn taking that it uses. After playing more interactive styles of play I just get irritated by having to do things that way. I'll be picking the game up when my student budget allows regardless, there looks to be some nice stuff going on in it.

    I am incredibly excited to see where your terrain building for this project goes!

    Also, the Chaos in Carpathia team is play testing new rules for building their warbands. I'm pretty excited to see where that goes as well. With the .pdf being so inexpensive and immediately available, I literally could not help myself!

    1. I have seen some discussion on the IGOUGO aspect and there appear to be a number of house rules for tweaking this aspect of the rules.
      Generally I have to say I'm OK with, at elats you always know where you stand with it, so can 'plan ahead' to a certain extent...
      I'll comment more once I've tried it out and have a few games under my belt.
      I forsee this being a lengthy project, it took me a good 6 months or so to create the 'pirate world' I did earlier, and I expect no less of this, if not more so, all that brick work is going to be time consuming, not to mention all the slate tile roofs.

      I'll keep an eye on CiC too...

  4. Sweet! I'm just about to put up a post on 'Strange Aeons' which is a tactical game set in the Cthulhu mythos. Though it is set in post WWI it could easily be ported to the Victorian era... Hmm, strange synergy here - bring out the tentacles and undead!

    1. Strange Aeons was another game that appealled, but again I was distracted away from it... Another one to keep an eye on... I think once the Victorian era terrain starts to take shape its going to be good for EotD, Chaos in Carpathia, GASLIGHT, and Strange Aeons...

      Victorian style buildings are still much in evidence throughout Britain, though they may be 100+ years old but they are still there much unchanged... and thus suitable for any gaming through this last modern time frame...


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