By Joseph Forster
We’ve reviewed the entire Port of Plunder line of 4Ground products here and now we’re looking at a newer kit that Firelock doesn’t event stock yet (I believe and hope they plan to). This is the Wooden Port Set and it contains two small warehouses, one large open walled warehouse and a nice variety of docks, stairs and platforms.
This kit is very modular and can be configured in a wide variety of interesting ways.
It contains one large square platform (which can be used by itself of under the large warehouse), a smaller rectangular raised platform, two smaller raised dock walkway sections, then several separate sets of stairs which can be moved around.
For the most part this was an easy set to put together. The dock sections were easy enough although some of them were more “free form” and fiddly than the other Port of Plunder products that all fit tightly together. The two small warehouses were very easy to put together but the larger one was a bit of a trick. It’s a pretty big and open structure and to make it sturdy, there was some fancy structural stuff going on and some of it was a challenge to assemble. I got some things crooked and I was able to straighten them out in the end but I found it a fairly difficult project to make work. There weren’t as many pieces, but it was more difficult than the houses in the Port Houses Set. One of the hard parts of the large warehouse was the roof. It’s built to have a sway-backed ridgepole and that’s really cool, but you have to bend the roof pieces and glue them in place which was a challenge. And if you didn’t get every piece in precisely the right position in the previous steps, it made it that much harder. Overall I found this set to be the hardest set I’ve assembled from 4Ground. But it was worth it! It’s great looking, very modular and flexible and it’s very functional for gaming.
The roofs lift off the two smaller warehouses for easy access to the inside but the larger warehouse is once piece. It sets on the larger platform and you can lift it up to move models in and out of this large structure.
Here’s some shots of assembling the large warehouse. It took some careful work to put together this lower half of the building and I made some mistakes that made the whole thing a bit tipsy.
When I attached the roof, I was able to fix this and it now stands flat, but I had to rubber band it together pretty tightly to let it set. This kit was more challenging to put together than the other Port of Plunder buildings.
The docks were pretty easy to put together and you have some license to modify how they look by adding spaces between the boards or changing the appearance of the posts. Nothing snaps or locks together so setting the long base boards up correctly without knocking them sideways or crooked was a bit annoying but it all worked out fine. The steps locked together really well and were the easiest part of the kit to put together.
I’ve perfected my teddy bear fur technique (I read the instructions…) and I’m really happy with how the thatch came out. I applied straight white glue to the hovel set and it was pretty stiff and blobby. On this set I just mixed a little white glue into water, then applied it with a toothbrush. It was super easy and I couldn’t be happier with how it came out. In the picture below you can sort of see the swaybacked ridgepole on the large warehouse. It’s a nice design touch but it made assembly harder!
This kit costs around $62 from 4Ground. For 3 buildings and all the platforms and docks pieces, that’s a pretty good price. If you’re looking for pure value, I think the Port House Set (review can be found here) would be my first choice as the buildings are larger and more flexible, but if you want a centerpiece for your amphibious board, this is a fantastic set. Per usual for 4Ground, you can purchase the individual components for this set at very reasonable prices which is great. I might even buy some more dock sections so I can expand this set and have even more ways to set it up.
The 4Ground barrel set is a great companion product for this set. There may be some custom scenarios published at some point for these 4Ground sets of terrain so keep your eyes open for something like that in the future!
I feel that amphibious are slightly neglected in the Blood & Plunder community and I think these 4Ground kits can inspire players to explore that part of the game. This is a great kit and I highly recommend it! Look for a battle report featuring this kit on this blog soon!
Thanks to the guys at 4Ground for sending me this product!