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Thread: Help with cutaway views on realistic battlemaps...

  1. #1
      mearrin69 is offline
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    Default Help with cutaway views on realistic battlemaps...

    Hi guys,
    Hoping for some advice here. I'm working on a battlemap showing the courtyard of a keep. Along the edges are some buildings (the keep itself, a latrine) and then higher-level walking surfaces (stairs, the walls, corner towers, and a gatehouse over the entrance...not to mention the second floor of the keep itself). I originally figured the battle takes place in the courtyard so I'd just put roofs over the buildings. The client is saying that he doesn't want roofs, however, and would like to see the interior of the buildings. That's easy for the latrine, and maybe for the towers. It gets a bit more difficult for the gatehouse and the keep building (two floors).

    Below is the full map, with roofs. Let's focus on the gatehouse for a bit. Roof on, no problems...except you can't see the "walkable" areas below it. Roof off, we can see the gate and the inner and outer portcullis. Problem is, you can also see 10'x5' areas on either side that would be the interior of the gatehouse itself. If I draw in the interior details of the gatehouse on those four squares then you have a visual continuity (confusing to the viewer) between the open area below and the upper interior area. If I do some sort of engineering style discontinuity indicator then you lose the feel of a realistic map. Some sort of transparency over the entry area might work but I think that'd be visually confusing as well.

    With the keep building you've got two floors, with a second-floor balcony that sticks out over the courtyard. If I remove the roof and draw in the interior of the first floor then you've got that balcony just hanging there with no indication of how it's attached to anything. if I draw the second-floor interior then you're missing out on the doors and such that lead from the courtyard to the interior.

    I should mention that there will also be a schematic map of the keep included in the adventure so, roofs on or off, the GM should be able to figure out what's going on well enough to run the thing. I've attached the rough mock-up of that as well. Neither the client nor I am a licensed medieval keep architect...which seems to be a big hinderance on this project. The details of the gatehouse, for instance, are a mystery to me (and, I suspect, to him). Do the portcullis raise up into the building? Are there winches or what? Is there some mechanism for opening the gate? Who can say?

    So now I'm a little stuck and need a solution before I can advance this. Anybody have any thoughts about how to proceed?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help with cutaway views on realistic battlemaps...-capture2.png   Help with cutaway views on realistic battlemaps...-keep-4.png   Help with cutaway views on realistic battlemaps...-caer-gorinth.jpg  

  2. #2
      geamon is offline
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    It would be easier if there was a moat because you can add a draw bridge with chains leading into the brick wall with a gear set mechanism with a winch leading in a small gate house on the inside courtyard. Another idea is to cut away inside the stair wall area where a chain pulley system is located. Usually theres a small gatehouse 5-10 feet wide and deep containing the winch with a small thatched roof to prevent the elements from effecting the mechanism and causing rusting of metal parts. Not sure if all this located under the roof on top the gate. I'll draw out my idea if you want real quick to give you an idea.
    Cheers, Julien

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      tilt is offline
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    no expert on castles either except from rpgs and movies, but I'd expect the gatehouse winches to be located in the house directly over the gate itself and not to the side as to get a vertical pull without the chains having to go over wheels and thus make it harder to lift. I'd also expect the gathouse floor to be twice the height of the portucilis so they would get pulled up in the walls below the gatehouse.
    I see the idea of having a cut-off of floors accesisble from the battle - however if the battle will only take place in the courtyard it self, I'd keep the roofs. However if part of the battle is securing the gatehouse, you have to have a room with a winch to fight in, and of course a way to get up there .. stairs, ladders. Looking good so far though
    regs tilt
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      geamon is offline
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    The winch can be on the inside of the courtyard because from my understanding in later medieval times they had rudimentary understanding of gear systems and the mechanical advantage they produce. Also having gear box associated with the mechanism allows for the same ease in lifting from any direction. Could be wrong and me being an idiot though.
    Cheers, Julien

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      Jaxilon is offline
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    Interesting. I think you are mainly referring to the Portcullis which was the big heavy gate that was dropped in emergencies to allow time for the main gate to be barred and soldiers to take up positions.

    It could be set up with counter weights that when certain levers are pulled or ropes are severed the portcullis would drop crushing anyone beneath and sometimes raising the drawbridge at the same time. Quick response that.

    Now, this is going to be hilarious and probably will need some logic applied to make it perfect but check out some of the shots of this Lego Castle, a few shots down there are some of the gate area. As you can imagine it would need counter weights that would allow the heavy stuff to be lifted by your average guard on his own but once dropped I expect there was a ratchet system that unless it was released you were not going to move anything.

    Obviously, this is Lego but it might help a lot with what you need. Besides, who doesn't love Legos?
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      mearrin69 is offline
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    Great stuff, guys. Seems to me if the gatehouse is always occupied that there could be a winch/rachet sort of thing to pull the portcullis up into the it - flip the rachet and the thing falls with some force. I think I could draw that sort of arrangement in if needed.

    My biggest problem remains how to actually represent this thing with the roof off, but also showing the entrance area. I'm clueless on how to do that in a way that won't confuse the viewer.
    M

    Edit: Oh. And. I LOVE Legos! Best toy ever invented...

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      Redrobes is offline
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    I have done a few cut away maps. One was for the home away from home challenge and the other was the adventures home thing.

    http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...rosens-Caravan

    http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...Werthers-Skull

    Not sure if these can be inspirational, in both cases I used 3D app and got the app to slice parts off. Building it is hard the slicing bit is then easy.

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      Redrobes is offline
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    This has come up on boing boing today. Its a superb set of cutway views of nuclear reactors. All of them done superbly detailed and about 100+ of them.

    http://econtent.unm.edu/cdm4/browse....SOROOT=/nuceng

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      Djekspek is offline
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    those are pretty cool RR! Seeing this I remembered Sketchup having a great feature on cutouts as well. For those who dont know it, you can use the 'section planes' to have a model cut out at some plane (rectangle) you created. I attached an example. cheers, DJ
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  10. #10
      tilt is offline
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    great cut-aways Ravells and Djespek - however - mearrin's is on a battlemap and therefor seen from the top down.

    Could you make an "insert map" on your battlemap with the winch house? or put the gateway, portucills in dotted red lines perhaps?
    regs tilt
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