Maybe Steve had a point. He said we should forget about making a CNC pick-n-place and just get some board game sections made up, to prove everything works as it should. Of course, there's no way we're going to give up on a CNC - not least until it's moving in both the x and y axis, and then it starts to get a bit tricky and we'll get bored and move on to something else.
But for a long time, Steve's been saying we should just bite the bullet and solder up a few boards by hand. It's a tedious, laborious task, but - every now and again - we've taken to spending 40 minutes or an hour or so with the soldering iron, and have ended up with a few board sections now.
They are in various stages of completeness, but there's one thing that we have made sure of, and that's they all work! We did have a couple of boards with a few dead squares, but some careful levering with a tweezers-and-soldering-iron combo, and we were able to replace the dead sensors. So every square on each of these boards is working.
We've pretty much got enough pieces now to actually try out a game on the modular sections. A few people have already commented and said that the game looks reminiscent of "Space Hulk". And while it can be used for that, we're more inclined to say it's "Laser Squad on a board game" (not least of all because we don't want GW thumping the door to Nerd Towers down in a fit of pique!)
Even with a relatively few board sections, you can make up some pretty interesting-looking playing surfaces.
This layout reminds us of one of the spaceships in the early 90s Star Trek programmes (the ones with Patrick Stewart in them). A few more board sections to make the "wings" a bit wider and it's a dead ringer:
The long corridor sections could be broken up with the use of doors, much like the early Space Hulk and Space Crusade board games. This could really add some tension to the gameplay - with a player opening a door, only to reveal a hoard of alien monsters, waiting on the other side!