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280 Years Later: Giving Your Post-apocalypse Terrain A History

20th November 2023

280 Years Later: Giving Your Post-apocalypse Terrain A History

Which of these views looks like a modern city?

I took the first one in September 2023, so the answer is both. In many places our settlements have been built around and over previous versions of themselves.

The half-timbered building in this photo is the Old Crown pub in Birmingham, England. Despite being built in the same year that Christopher Columbus famously sailed the ocean blue, it still stands near the city centre today. (It also serves a decent pint and is a short walk from an excellent friendly local game store if you are ever in the area.)

Birmingham is largely a product of the Industrial Revolution, and so it is a relatively new city by English standards, but even there old and new coexist everywhere. It stands to reason that in games set after the zombie / robot / nuclear apocalypse your characters will often find this same mix of old and new. This is great news for gamers, as it means you can have an even more varied and authentic mix of terrain in your games.

In this article we’ve created a few examples below of ways that you can combine our urban apocalypse terrain with kits from our other settings.

The Old Crown, Digbeth, Birmingham, England

Photo credit, Wikipedia: By Original uploader was Oosoom at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3954765

Seek Sanctuary in the Fantasy Chapel

Churches are a common feature of settlements across Europe and North America, and beyond. Many are amongst the first permanent structures built in a town and so survived largely unchanged as the settlement grew. It’s also a kind of architecture that tends to be conservative in its design, meaning that even a newer building can be emulating an older tradition.

As a result the Chapel from our fantasy terrain looks surprisingly at home in a modern city block.

You can pick up the fantasy chapel terrain here:

Wait for it to all blow over in the Fantasy TaveRn

Before TV, video games, and miniature wargames were invented people had to find their own entertainment. If people weren’t working or at church, they were probably down at the boozer.

That means that the pub in a settlement is often just as old as the church and still going strong. Stoutly build, well provisioned, and maybe even containing a (deactivated?) rifle over the bar, the local pub could make a great place for your survivors to hole up.

Get the fantasy Tavern terrain here:

A Grave Matter

Like the churches that are often within them, graveyards usually have a long history. They are also places where the basic aesthetic is slow to change, so newer settlements will often have grave markers that wouldn’t have looked out of place a hundred or more years ago.

That all means that the Fantasy Graveyard terrain fits seamlessly into this urban apocalypse terrain build. It also provides a place where all those ambulatory corpses and / or vampires could have come from.

Dig up the Graveyard terrain set here:

Bonus example: Trader Encampment

The past isn’t the only place you can turn for inspiration. Depending on the kind of game you are playing, you can also combine our sci-fi range with our urban apocalypse terrain.

In this example we’re used the Trader Encampment set to create a wasteland trading outpost (or is it a bandit camp, it can be hard to tell these days?). It could be perfect for a game where survivors are slowly starting to rebuild, or ideal for games like Fallout Wasteland Warfare.

It’s also worth considering that just as medieval buildings are still found in cities today, modern buildings will probably still be around in sci-fi cities. Combining our sci-fi terrain with our urban apocalypse terrain would make a great looking cyberpunk build, for example.

Browse the wares at the Trader Encampment:

Even more inspiration

The examples above using our existing range are just the start, and we have a whole range of upcoming sets from our recent fantasy Kickstarter too. Here are some more ways to mix and match your terrain:

Research Lab (Sci-fi)

Give your scientists somewhere to work while they are trying to cure (or create) the zombie plague.

Citadel (Fantasy)

Castles were built to last and were designed with security in mind. Maybe one would be a good refuge from all the raiders and zombies?

Engineering Sector (Sci-fi)

Civilisation will hang on where engineers can keep the lights on, you’d better protect these irreplacable machines…

Coming soon

Our recent Kickstarter added lots of new fantasy terrain, some of which could easily be part of a modern setting when they are released.

Ravenskeep Sewers

Sometimes it’s too dangerous to travel above ground, so your heroes probably find themselves in sewers more than they’d like. These sewers might be centuries old but they have been maintained into the modern age well enough to be a viable route.

Mines of Meruta

Modern machinery made the old mine obsolete and it was forced to close nearly a century ago. It’s off the beaten track though, easily defensible, and provides protection from harmful fallout. It could make a good base for your heroes, or their foes.