Building badlands terrain for Nightwatch

Markgraf von Hattendorf has hired you to put an end to the recent brutal raids on his hinterland settlements.

With that scenario pitch, my local group started preparing for Nightwatch, a cooperative skirmish monster hunting wargame. We have played a couple scenarios before, but this will be our first full seven-game “long hunt.”

The hunting ground

We decided to set our hunt in a rocky high desert. Excited to expand my nascent desert terrain collection, I hosted a terrain-building gathering. We carved a table worth of foam landforms and also built thematic scatter terrain.

Initial geography formation

Like with Frostgrave, we committed to a standard color for our paint schemes and shared a bucket of house paint. After buying a gallon of “Adobe Sunset” I decided it was too light for a base coat. I still had the “Black Chiffon” we used for Frostgrave so I tested a 50/50 mix of the two, plus a healthy dollop of spackle, making a primer/basecoat/filler sludge.

Basic brown sludge

Once that dried, I overbrushed with straight Adobe Sunset. I had planned to do additional drybrushing and an ink wash, but I like this result so much I’m putting those steps on hold. I want to smash out all the terrain to this basic standard.

The two-coat result

These pieces have already seen action in a game of Age of Fantasy, and as a display backdrop. What a feeling!

A giant cave beast flanks around a brand-new desert plateau
Rock formations support show-off shots of my newly-finished Untamed Beasts

Canyon walls

I want a canyon to appear in our campaign. Nightwatch is played on a three-foot square space, so I cut a few three-foot lengths of two-inch XPS, and stacked them with an offset on one side.

Brainstorming with my hands and a wire cutter

After the tedium of carving rock formation textures with a utility knife, I knew I didn’t want to apply that method to 288 square inches more. I set the canyon walls aside to consider alternative methods. The next morning I noticed I had placed them next to a box of leftover scrap pieces from my Epicalypse 40K turbo terrain project. I bet those would glue on really nicely…

It’s not “hoarding trash,” it’s “inviting inspiration”

After a few hours of tearing EVA foam strips and gluing them down, I had a decent structure for gaming.

Not a bad start

I realized the back side could also serve as a sheer cliff face. Since this method goes reasonably fast, I decided to complete the other side too.

Optional sheer cliff face

Around that time I first started wondering where I would store these things. It dawned on me they could double as model display shelves. I will start shopping for some wall brackets to rest them on.

Now I am filling gaps and blending edges with terrarium sand, and soon I will be ready to apply brown sludge. With the tricks I learned from this piece, I think I will finish the other one even faster. I can’t wait to see these beauties in action!

Canyon Walls Update

I finished one canyon wall and dug up spare shelf brackets from my garage. Witness the majesty of pretend nature!

Mission updates

As we play missions in this hunt I will update with links to subsequent posts.





6 responses to “Building badlands terrain for Nightwatch”

  1. Comrade Avatar

    This looks awesome! The color palette is simple and effective (and a great way to find some use for those two paints). I’ll try my hand at replicating this paint scheme so I can contribute to the terrain setup.

  2. Marc Avatar

    That canyon/cliff/shelf is very resourceful!

    1. BartyB Avatar

      Thanks! A few happy accidents were involved.

  3. Patrick T Avatar

    Sorry I didn’t see this sooner. The terrain and figs look excellent.

    1. orcs_illustrated Avatar

      Thanks! We’re on our sixth mission now, and I’m painting up the Atrocity!

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