Friday, 23 March 2012

Gale Force Nine Crystal Terrain

Here's a quick way to make any wargame table into a completely alien battlefield.

I mentioned this Gale Force Nine crystal set when talking about my not-Invid Invasion battlefield.  Recently, I had a chance to pick up one of the blue sets.  It turns out - the pictures on the website are pretty underwhelming compared to the actual product.  There are ten pieces in this set (and I assume the red and green sets use the same molds), varying from 15mm human-sized to the size of a 15mm APC.  The crystals are perfectly cast from some kind of translucent resin.  My set had no air bubbles, miscasts, or flash - they were ready to go onto the table.  

Obviously, the designers had snow and ice in mind for these blue crystals.  And they do look great on snow terrain.  One set made for some pretty dense "formations" on my 2' x 2' ice-world table:

These could be spread over a much larger table and still give it an extraterrestrial feel.  

One thing about these crystals - they aren't heavy.  I'd certainly base these if they were only going to be deployed on my snow board.  But I'll sacrifice stability for flexibility, because these look great on plenty of environments.  They weren't bad on my red planet board, but really stood out with my desert terrain:

The hill on the left side of that picture is my wasteland test piece.  I'm planning to make a full board in that style for my not-Invid Invasion games.  

The GF9 crystals are definitely worth every penny.  I'm going to pick up a green set next - it should look perfect on my Red Planet board, and should be equally useful for my desert and wasteland games.



  1. I have some homemade green crystals that I use to represent handwavium, the miraculous mineral which produces heat without combustion. Very useful for steam engines through the aether, where O2 is at a premium.

    But they are fragile, being made of foam. These look like they might be more durable.

    1. Well i can tell someone plays Steampunk lol. Do you do 15mm VSF ? if so do tell what system i'd love to know.

  2. That's a superb arctic terrain table, its making me shiver just looking at it Brrrr.... I really need to buy myself a few 2x2 MDF boards so that i can create a couple of scenic tables instead of using my green gaming mat all the time.

  3. Hmmm might need to see if I can get some of these. Definitely useful in any general sci-fi board.

  4. Nice. Was thinking of something like this for some Starcraft-themed boards!

    There are crystals almost this size on Earth. The biggest are in Namibia, with quartz crystals up to (I think) 3m tall. The largest geodes are some 5m across.

    So, rare, but entirely possible that you'd find lots of these on an alien world with a silica crust,tectonics and available liquid water.

  5. Thanks for the shots - I was looking for a pic as you can't really tell from GF9's website how big they are. I'm planning on using the blue for desert too :-)