Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Thod
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Thod » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:21 am

Northman

Congratulations on the news for your wife. In regard to DF and children - there are a few fathers out here - actually it seems to me the average DF customer is approx. 40, male and has 2 young kids - well - there is at least a big group out there which qualifies for this group. And they can tell you from experience - DF is a great toy for children as well.
From three years onwards they have a lot of joy building - especially as these are 'adult toys' and it is seen as a special treat if they are allowed to handle them. So if you can afford it - keep the DF - maybe in partial storage - you will have a lot of fun with it.
Yep - there are some rules - the tiny stuff should be off limit (most of the tavern set) as well as DF miniatures (too fragile). But most of the stuff holds up to childrens quite well. It might not be designed for them - but they still love it. Just see the two entries from my two kids - they are 4 1/2 and nearly 7.

Thod

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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Thenorthman » Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:39 am

Now that I got the newsletter thing figured out.

I got to say I liked everyones set up. Didn't have time to do my own with it being finals week. Of course....a month ago I was telling myself I had a ton of time and well it slipped away.

NOT that I even stood a chance of competing with what was produced.

Which looking over these pictures has made me decide AGAINST selling all my DF stuff. Which I was going to do because I spent like nearly $3000 to $4000 since August and then found out my wife of seven years is pregnant (We found out two weeks ago. Being told she couldn't have kids to this it is wonderful news if not a little scary. Especially since I still have two 1/2 years of school left before my degree. My first comment to her was "I am not sharing my DF stuff, with the rugrat." :)

At any rate I really liked the winner and can see why Stephan and Jeff picked it. (NOT THAT THE OTHERS WERE ANY LESS IMPRESSIVE!) It just really jumped out at me.

Sean

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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Thenorthman » Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:22 am

Ha...Finally found the newsletter. It was in my email guard after all. It was using an email that I hadn't had in my address book. So that is a total of four different email accounts Dwarven Forge is using. :O)

Sean

Thod
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Thod » Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:58 am

Stefan, Jeff

Thanks for the honourable mentioning - and the gift voucher. Comes too late for my current order - but I will invest it in a second MBS set some time early next year. Just need a business trip to the US to pick it up.

I will try to get a few more pictures later. I tried to make a 'simple' layout - and only realized later how difficult the 5 picture restriction is ...

Yes - and I will train my young ones to be serious contenders in the future.

Thod

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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Thod » Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:35 am

Blackhawk

Thanks for the comments. yes - my daughter came up with the circular walls on her own - multiple times I have to say as they 'moved'. I will check the photos - there shouldn't be any HA door in there. But hey - there was a box with doors upstairs (all the bow ties are in there) and it might have slipped in.

And Philip came up with the round chamber on his own as well.

In regard to the lower lake - I will reveal later and will make some photos. Here I ran out of time to figure out a way how to get photos from the lower section. Should have done while building up. I took care even to place the second 'whirlpool' excatly underneath.

It was my first competition - and I learnt a lot. Especially - don't build up in a rush. I should do the same 2 weekend ahead next time. Give the kids some time first - and then go for my own layout.

Now I need to have a look at the newsletter

Thod

Blackhawk1
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Blackhawk1 » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:45 pm

Yep- got the newsletter and its all the way at the end.

Scorched and Thod got an honorable mention :D

Yep- bring on the next one!

gdmcbride
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by gdmcbride » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:24 pm


And congrats Gdm on being the winner!

Hey thanks! I appreciate the critique too. Yes, I know a few of my photos are a touch blurry. And that's because my primary digital camera is experiencing technical difficulty and I had to borrow one I am much less familiar with.

And thanks to Dwarven Forge too both for making a great product (which I am addicted to) and for holding the contest.

I am eagerly looking forward to the next!

Gary

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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Thenorthman » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:02 pm

If Blackhawk1 is saying that from confirmation.

So that means a newsletter did go out....which I signed up for again to make sure and still nothing.

Not in my email guards either. Hmmmmmmmmm....

Blackhawk1
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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Blackhawk1 » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:13 pm

And congrats Gdm on being the winner!

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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern

Post by Blackhawk1 » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:09 pm

GS

Yep- the intent was to have 4 distinct areas reminiscent of a typical D&D layout. I was trying to show a means to use every piece as well as making something that could be easily laid out as adventurers moved into an area. The one thing that niggled me personally after I posted was I realized there was a better place to put the one lake shore piece that kind of "hangs out" for no good reason to the extreme right of the landing.

Many of the other entries- yours included- gave me numerous ideas for the future. SInce we are critiqueing I'll throw in my 2 coppers:

First a note- many of you I ding for using prohibited pieces in my opinion. When Jeff said use any "accessories set" I take that to mean pieces actually listed by DF in their accessory area. Pieces from the building expansion set, traps set, etc are all sold in their "set" area and not as accessories. I asked Jeff to clarify this for future contests as to what qualifies as an "accessory" (i.e. if I had used the columns from wicked additions or the blazing urns from DoE would that have been OK?) Of course the final opinion is that Jeff and Stephan so its all good :D

Second- Anything I state is not meant to be nasty but an honest critique, from my view, of the individual set-ups. Feel free to tear mine apart also so long as anything said is actually constructive please.

Purple - Clean, compact layout- as stated by GS very playable. I loved using the U-shaped wall as an arch. The only thing I did not like was the use of the stalagtite overhangs in a squared off manner- it just did not look "right" to me as everything else was so natural looking.

DMMJ - The set-up was well done with a bit of "sprawl" at the end. My only real comment is I would have like to see more pictures of the set-up as a whole in discreet chunks versus close-ups of figures. Primarily I mean the 2nd pic posted as it seemed to focus on the orcs as not even the whole room was captured. I would prefered a zoom out to see the room and corridor.

L- Very, very nice. A compact playable area that hints at the expansion possibilities out in the "deep" water areas. The built up area is still has the 1st level area as an area easy to get too and play with- minimal fuss if a mini needs to run for cover. I put you in the top 3 for sure.

Fiddy - A nice broad playable area- I especially like the opening in the wall where the water leads off to. My only real suggestion is taking the time to get the pictures done up right. The first pic needed a 90 degree rotation CCW- looking at it sideways was painful. SOme of the other pics were slightly out of focus and should have been retaken.

LS - Another great set-up. I liked a lot of things- the circular passage area, the raft tucked away in a niche, the use of the free standing walls to break up a monotonous shoreline, big roomy caverns to let loose a fireball, etc. I cannot really find much at fault here.

Thoth - WHile I like the set-up I too noticed the use of the prohibited log from the traps set (its not an accessory I believe). However, putting that aside what a wonderfully done up cavern. Like GS I also really loved the pool nestled in between the cavern pieces. Use of the figs as also excellent- very dynamic and helps to set-off the whole set-up.

Shadox- I liked how one steps into the living area of the cavern denizens before wandering out into the lake area- which can continue as seen by the lake piece that is unbordered. Like Fiddy there were some pictures that I thought could have benefited from a zoom out- the close-up of the treasury I believe was the weakest picture as it did not aid one in showing off the set-up meaningfully. The only other item is I am not sure if the torches would be a prohibited item- they are not part of any accessory set that I can recall but are part of the deluxe room set, iirc.

GS- Your set- up was wondeful and visually striking. The water slide down was an outstanding feature! I loved the compact form but how it opens up with the water at the end so the adventure can continue. WHat it did lack was peeling back the second layer to see how the cavernous passages was laid out- in the case of the contest one whole set was effectively buried and could not be seen which I consider a detriment, There are hints that there may have been an entire viable first level but it is impossible to tell. The only other quibble was the use of photoshopping out the area around the set-up which I would consider a prohibited "special effect".

SHoesan - Wow... the liitle nooks and crannies, the island in the middle, use of the free walls to make an extremely playable 2nd level, lurking lizardmen, This was a great set-up that I would put in the top 3. The only real critique is, again, some of the pics were just too close-up- I would have preferred a zoom out to take in more of the set-up rather then extreme close-ups which in one case (the bridge) provided too little return for the use of a very valuable picture- especially when the other bridge pic did a much better job of showing off the set-up.

Hero - Nice use of walls and cavern pieces to give a cliff like feeling to the back wall- makes it seem like the adventurers should bring pitons and rope! The T-shaped passages that just off to the side seem almsot and afterthought though- everything else is so compact and tight that these seemed out of place. Other then that some of the pics were a little out of focus especially for the long shots which was a slight detraction.

Camou - Excellent feeling of a "nexus point" withing an underground area. I count 6 seperate entry/exit points to what seems like a deep water crossroads. I really like the low angle bats-eye view of the set-up. The only "fault" I can find is that in some pictures there are a lot of figures which makes the picture very busy and detracts from the set-up as a whole.

Thod 1 - Your daughter did a very nice job indeed! If she came up with that circular arena idea on her own that was really neat- I liked that one a lot. The only thing I see that may be a killer is in the 4th picture it looks like an HA door was added into the layout.

Thod 2 - Again I like the circular chamber being used as storage (did he grab the circle idea from his sister? :D ). Like Thod 1 even though it is sprawled out one can easily visualize the exterior walls to the set-up in the areas that are not essential to showing walls.

Gdm - WOw... very nice split level set-up, multiple flumes, framed portal, and I like the use of the tables and such as makeshift barricades. Like some of the others a few of the pictures were "soft" in my mind and did really help in conveying the set-up as well as being out of focus. ALso, like GS I would have preferred to have that top layer peeled away in one picture to be able to see if there is a viable, playable area underneath.

Thod 3 - I love that clean 2nd level with the bridge leading up to it and the arch as the gateway- one really gets the feel that the water pour down from that level and exits on the first creating the lake. The lizardmen living area, the cell with the angry orc in it, the 1st level of water that leads out is all very smooth. Like others with hidden support areas I would have preferred a peel back of that 2nd level to see if a viable 1st level is there- this may seem peevish on my part to harp on it but if one is showcasing the sets I would have liked to see how the sets were used if I was judging.

Scorched- that is a very, very cool concept making the vertical flumes for spelunkers! Nice tight set-up and most everything is accessible or easy to get too. I would have liked to have seen a backside picture as to what is supporting the flumes- especially the left hand one. I tried to emulate your set-up and the pieces kept sliding off so I am not sure how they were held together. This may run afoul of the "no support other then DF pieces" rule as I simply cannot get these flumes to stay up as is. But still very imaginative!

Rogan - Compact and tight- a great set-up for a limited area. I liked what I think you did connecting the portal to the "deep hole" enclosed as a sort of private lake as part of the caverns. Like others I believe prohibited pieces were used- the food and tables from the building expansion set I do not believe qualifies as an accessory. Other then that the last picture was very weak- an almost side on shot which did not really help give one the overall impression of the lay out from my perspective.

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