Sunday, March 23, 2014
To celebrate the Tsolyani New Year yesterday, Jeff Berry held a party and a mini-Braunstein miniatures event. The game was set in the remote Nyemesel Isles, and involved five factions: the citizens of the port town being raided, the local naval forces, and three groups of Salarvyani mercenaries.
The battle occurred at night, and the lights in Jeff's game room were down except for miniature tea lights used to represent torches and lanterns. You had to have miniatures carrying one of these or a group would be wandering in the dark. In at least one case, a faction attacked its own troops due to the lack of a lantern. Jeff's staging did a good job simulating fog of battle conditions; it also added a lot of atmosphere for the players.
I also really liked the reed boats that Jeff had on the table. They are miniatures of Lake Titicaca boats such as the one below that I photographed at the Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.:
I can definitely see this kind of technology getting use in Tekumel, especially in areas with the wetlands and shorelines with an ample supply of reeds for making these boats. One advantage they may confer over bark canoes and small boats made from planks is the thickness of the reed boat's "hull". The boat isn't hollow. You are siting on a reed sofa of sorts as you go out into the water. Sea beasts biting from below would have a bit more to chew through to get to the passengers. That won't confer much protection against the truly big sea beasties on Tekumel, but it might just slow down the small and medium sized predators enough to save a few fishermen's lives.