By Joseph Forster
Terrain is a big part of Blood & Plunder, both to make game play interesting and to make your tables look good. 4Ground Publishing makes a lot of great stuff that works for Blood & Plunder and today we’re looking at a set of 3 buildings that can be a great place to start collecting terrain. Listed as Town Bundle I on the 4Ground website, this set of 3 buildings is very affordable, easy to put together, functional, look good, and they can be most of what you need to make a standard 3×4′ Blood & Plunder land board interesting and dynamic for game play.
Very Affordable: This trio of buildings costs $37 (as of writing this in October, 2021). That’s a good price for three buildings, by any standard! 4Ground has some buildings of comparable size that cost that much for one structure. At $12 a building, this is a great way to get some respectable pieces on your tale without blowing your entire budget.
If bought individually, these three cost $20, $18 and $18, making that $37 for 3 a real steal!
Easy to Put Together: These are the simplest 4Ground buildings I’ve made. Each building took about 15-25 minutes of work, spread over two session. You got 4 walls, windows and sills, a couple doors, and a simple roof. There’s no multilayer walls, strips of shingles for the roof, or individual panes for the windows. The larger of the three houses has shutters for the windows, but that’s as complicated as it gets. These are really barebones kits, but they have everything they need to look good and they’re a great intro into building MDF kits.
The only thing that was a little hard to build was the strip along the very top of the roof. It has to be bent, then glued down, and you have to take a little care that it glues down flat.
No painting or powdering is necessary on these models. You just glue them together and away you go.
I’ve worked out my issues with the messy Render Powder that is a large part of the look of the Ports of Plunder line from 4Ground, but not having to bother with that mess and extra step doesn’t hurt my feelings! The “pre painted” look here is just fine with me.
Functional: Being on the simple side, these are not as deluxe and “functional” as most of 4Ground’s products, but I’ve used them in a few games now, and they provide all that a terrain piece really needs. Most of the 4Ground pieces have interior floors, opening doors, and removable upper levels and roofs. These are one piece with no floors or second level. You have to lift the piece to put models in or take models out of these houses.
We’re a little spoiled so this might feel like a chore, but it is honestly just fine. If you want a unit in the upper story, you can either just keep them in bottom and consider them in the second level, or put the unit to the side of the board and play as if they’re in the structure.
One of their advantages is that they are very sturdy. As a one piece model with no moving parts, there’s basically nothing to break! There is a tiny step in front of the door that has popped off a couple times for me, but that’s not a big deal. You can really just toss these into a cardboard box with some trees and have a set of terrain ready to grab on your way to the game store.
Look Good: These are very “generic” old building architecture and they would work fine for a variety times and places. These might not perfectly represent the Caribbean style but they are generic enough they look good for almost any theater represented in Blood & Plunder. The colors are very appropriate and look great, straight out of the box.
That’s it! This is one of the cheapest ways to get a table full of solid buildings for your Blood & Plunder board. This set is currently available from 4Ground (in UK) for $28.47 and available from Noble Knight (US) for $32.95
The Ports of Plunder series from 4Ground is higher quality than these and is more authentic for Caribbean ports, but if you want some all-purpose, fine looking buildings for your gaming table at a very good price, these are worth checking out!
Lack of Disclaimer: 4Ground occasionally provides us with free sample products but I ordered these and paid for them because I thought they would be a great option for Blood & Plunder players. This is an “unbiased review.” 🙂