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Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

Personally, I think the solution is standardizing and categorizing terrain based on size, shape, and relevant rules (obscuring, dense cover, light cover, what-have-you). Scenarios can specify the number of pieces of each type/category, etc. in a manner that is consistent (GW could even make specific pieces to represent each category to maximize consistency and ensure that things aren't skewed as a result of pieces that are too large or too small, etc.), and then implement a few mechanics into the deployment phase to create a fairly balanced placement by the players themselves (i.e. alternate placing features, can't be withing x" of something, etc.), probably alternating bakc and forth.

Someone earlier said that doing it this way could give one player an unfair advantage, and thats kind of not true. If implemented properly to control for variables (i.e. one player isn't going to get to place that one really great piece of terrain that will be a diffierence maker because all the other pieces are useless) then it becomes an actual contest of skill as both players would be placing pieces to maximize their own benefit while denying their opponent a benefit in turn (particularly if you do terrain placement after deployment zones, scenario/objective type stuff has been figured out, as then both players will know what their needs are and you don't end up in a situation where the players accidentally stack one side of the table with all the good gak and then the player who wins the roll to pick deployment zones takes that side because of its inherent advantage.

Someone else (might have been the same person) also said this was unrealistic because it would be like letting your opponent choose the location of battle, and thats also kind of not true. In reality, prior to battle both commanders would be in a contest of wills to maneuver their forces into position in a manner that maximizes their own benefit and minimizes that of the enemy. A very good general in conflict against a very poor general would, in essence, be able to fight the resulting battle at a time and location of their choosing, whereas two well-matched generals, all other things being equal and barring any strategic or operational blunders or conditions that would give either party an advantage of maneuver, would essentially end up going to battle in terrain that is as close to "neutral ground" as is conceivably possible - but even neutral ground doesn't mean that one side won't have an advantage of "the high ground" over the other. A well-designed alternating placement system essentially mimics this dynamic, it would ensure both players have all the tools and resources needed to create what is essentially a balanced battlefield without necessarily creating a mirrored battlefield. It would represent two generals converging on a physical battlefield which isn't ideal for either of them but which they feel is advantageous for how they intend to do battle and achieve their objectives. if one player outskills the other then it could get skewed to one players advantage, but if designed correctly the extent and severity of that skew would be limited and while one player would have an advantage over the other it wouldn't be one that is necessarily statistically significant. It would certainly incentivize taking units that have a degree of strategic mobility (i.e. deep strike/infiltrate style deployments) as these are the types of units which would/should excel in that type of scenario and can be utilized to overcome a terrain based handicap.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Rihgu wrote:
As something of a middle ground, I think there's value in looking to Monsterpocalypse. It's a game where players bring their own terrain but different maps define different places for that terrain to be placed.

For what it's worth, this is exactly the system in Tactical Deployment, unless I'm not understanding correctly.
And nobody bought or liked that book.


That needs to be contextualized.

The segment of the playerbase that it was marketed towards (competitive players) didn't buy it, because they don't want to use GWs terrain for a variety of reasons (as was established previously), and they certainly don't want to play on the types of setups that GW is trying to push for competitive matched play (also for a variety of reasons, the same players that were holding up these L based layouts as the pinnacle of competitive gaming terrain went on a long tirade about how trash GWs recommended setups are for competitive play, etc.). Perhaps more importantly, competitive gamers generally don't have their own terrain - the store/TO provides the terrain and they play on the setup that is provided to them. A terrain-focused book has no utility to someone who doesn't own terrain, only TOs would really have need of the book, but most of those wouldn't put it to use.

The segment of the playerbase that actually bought the book (narrative gamers) hated it, because the terrain setups were meant to be used for competitive gaming and are thus are balanced/mirrored, unexciting, unrealistic, and generally sterile. These setups offered them nothing from the standpoint of what they actually wanted to experience. In essence, the book didn't offer them anything that they wanted.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/21 19:28:32


This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
Sympathy for the Devil, or: The Project Log from Hell

Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Halifax

It's funny, as prior to 8th edition I was absolutely convinced that GW was going to write this kind of 'terrain as a core part of the game' into the basic rules. I think you'll see player adoption if it's part of the core rules for their mode of play (competitive, narrative, pick-up, etc), but if you release it as a separate book then it's DOA.

   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

I've been expecting them to fully integrate "terrain you pay points for" since they started releasing the fortification kits and so on.

It might be good for a lot of stuff but I would be less interested in the game then. Taking the potential diversity of the entire galaxy and condensing it down to a few kits is pretty sad.

   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





Something to keep in mind is that a lot of this is kind of a result of two sides trying to make the most with what they have without really communicating.

Like, for the most part, terrain rules are an attempt to take the kind of hobby diorama maps that the industry is rooted in and write rules that vaguely define the way players interact with it and satisfy the "simulation" players imagine. The reality of this, is that the rules don't always cleanly work with specific terrain, particularly on a purely technical level. Ignoring 1" of a wall is fine until you have an uneven line that fluctuates between 0.6 and 1.3 inches for example.

So one good solution is to design your terrain to line up with the rules. In games with Silhouettes for LOS for example, if your terrain is as tall as medium height models, but not large by design, it simplifies a lot of player questions. Having uneven walls that never go above 1" stops that from being an issue. Part of the "L" issue is that its just a terrain design that interacts well with the rules GW has provided. It fits the units the game uses and properly explains itself as far as questions regarding how placement interacts with the terrain rules.

Like, you just don't want to have to houserules like in 8th about first floor of ruins. That was a result of a company making terrain and making terrain rules that simply did not result in that terrain having a positive impact on the game. Terrain could be designed to work with those rules, but it was boring and absolutely not the stuff sold by GW. I just find that trying to "simulate" terrain results in terrain that either needs to be visually dull or largely non-interactive. Warmachine suffers from this to a critical point. The best looking tables in which models really move in cool and interesting ways are the ones where the rules are largely simple and abstract.
   
Made in ca
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Halifax

 Da Boss wrote:
I've been expecting them to fully integrate "terrain you pay points for" since they started releasing the fortification kits and so on.

It might be good for a lot of stuff but I would be less interested in the game then. Taking the potential diversity of the entire galaxy and condensing it down to a few kits is pretty sad.

They do that with the toy soldiers already. Those that want to work around it, and those that don't want that experience know what stock to buy.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/21 20:58:26


   
Made in de
Osprey Reader






I have not played 40k in over 20 years so it is interesting to me to hear how things are today. The comments in this thread got me googling competitive 40k terrain and it has been interesting. I think this blog post best explained the logic behind many of the 40k tournament tables.

https://www.goonhammer.com/placing-terrain-in-40k-how-to-set-up-a-table/

It is interesting how the military concepts of cover versus concealment is replicated for 40k with cover versus LOS blocker.

They mention verticality. I do love me some verticality.

Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





Verticality is probably the ruleset premise that suffers most from being written in theory rather practice. People write rules for how climbing is "suppose" to work, but it ends up being slow with little tactical gain. I've found games that abstract it and let you move vertically "unreasonably" fast tend to support more dynamic and exciting terrain.
   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

Yeah, that's definitely true. If it costs too much to climb no one will do it.

   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

 Nurglitch wrote:
True, but it's a competitive way of playing and part of competition is a level playing field. Playing on identical boards means you're not going to accidentally draw a quirky, narratively-sensible board that will coincidentally knacker your army. Prioritizing playability at the expense of aesthetics is how it crumbles.
To which I argue that 40k isn't a sport. Making a symmetrical field is like having a playing field that is equal for both sides in every way. That runs counter to what the game is.

chaos0xomega wrote:
The segment of the playerbase that actually bought the book (narrative gamers) hated it, because the terrain setups were meant to be used for competitive gaming and are thus are balanced/mirrored, unexciting, unrealistic, and generally sterile. These setups offered them nothing from the standpoint of what they actually wanted to experience. In essence, the book didn't offer them anything that they wanted.
And the book didn't contain the rules for terrain. You had to buy a separate card pack for the terrain, and even that didn't have everything.

That and the different types of terrain were mostly just the same two buildings arranged in slightly different configurations. It's a hard sell to claim that there are four different building types when it was just the same building at slightly different angles.


This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/07/21 22:55:14


Industrial Insanity - My Terrain Blog
"GW really needs to understand 'Less is more' when it comes to AoS." - Wha-Mu-077

 
   
Made in de
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Nuremberg

It's also kinda boring. It means you don't have to make a plan for each new battlefield because you know exactly what you will be dealing with. So you can implement basically the same plan in almost all of your games.

I don't get the appeal.

   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

 Da Boss wrote:
I've been expecting them to fully integrate "terrain you pay points for" since they started releasing the fortification kits and so on.
GW terrain seems to vanish and go OOP without any warning. Where's the Sector Imperialis stuff now? Ryza ruins just went away. Thermic Plasma Conduits, a kit that was significantly more useful than the non-modular pipes they make now? Only available in some bundles (I think...).

How can they make terrain a consistent part of the game when they can't even keep it on sale consistently.

Industrial Insanity - My Terrain Blog
"GW really needs to understand 'Less is more' when it comes to AoS." - Wha-Mu-077

 
   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:

It is interesting how the military concepts of cover versus concealment is replicated for 40k with cover versus LOS blocker.


Cover is represented. Concealment is not. Don't confuse LOS blocking for concealment, there is a difference between not being able to shoot something because its actively hiding from you, and not being able to shoot something because in terms of relative positioning there is something obstructing your view of it - the key differentiator here is that a concealed unit is actively concealing itself, which would mean that its not shooting or engaging in behavior which might reveal it. The unit being obstructed by an LOS blocker, on the other hand, is often engaged in combat, just not with the unit which cannot draw line of sight to it. If 40k offered *actual* concealment, then there would be the option to "gain concealment" from pieces of terrain, i.e. you sacrifice your ability to attack or engage in certain actions in exchange for becoming un-targetable by your opponent unless they meet certain parameters (pass a spotting check or come within x" kind of thing).

 H.B.M.C. wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
I've been expecting them to fully integrate "terrain you pay points for" since they started releasing the fortification kits and so on.
GW terrain seems to vanish and go OOP without any warning. Where's the Sector Imperialis stuff now? Ryza ruins just went away. Thermic Plasma Conduits, a kit that was significantly more useful than the non-modular pipes they make now? Only available in some bundles (I think...).

How can they make terrain a consistent part of the game when they can't even keep it on sale consistently.


Sad but true. Still hoping firestorm redoubts and aquila strongpoints make a comeback :(

This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
Sympathy for the Devil, or: The Project Log from Hell

Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
Made in ca
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Halifax

 H.B.M.C. wrote:
 Nurglitch wrote:
True, but it's a competitive way of playing and part of competition is a level playing field. Playing on identical boards means you're not going to accidentally draw a quirky, narratively-sensible board that will coincidentally knacker your army. Prioritizing playability at the expense of aesthetics is how it crumbles.
To which I argue that 40k isn't a sport. Making a symmetrical field is like having a playing field that is equal for both sides in every way. That runs counter to what the game is.

Agreed. 40k isn't a good competition game and I think it's obvious GW recognizes what a slim slice of their income depends on people playing it competitively. Fortunately I was able to make my own game better suited to my tastes.

   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

chaos0xomega wrote:
Sad but true. Still hoping firestorm redoubts and aquila strongpoints make a comeback :(
I still have one of each, in the box, untouched. I sometimes wonder how much I could make on eBay selling them, but then I remember it's terrain and I love terrain.

Of course, I could say the same about the complete range of Blackstone Fortress stuff I have... hmm...

Industrial Insanity - My Terrain Blog
"GW really needs to understand 'Less is more' when it comes to AoS." - Wha-Mu-077

 
   
Made in de
Osprey Reader






chaos0xomega wrote:
 Grumpy Gnome wrote:

It is interesting how the military concepts of cover versus concealment is replicated for 40k with cover versus LOS blocker.


Cover is represented. Concealment is not. Don't confuse LOS blocking for concealment, there is a difference between not being able to shoot something because its actively hiding from you, and not being able to shoot something because in terms of relative positioning there is something obstructing your view of it - the key differentiator here is that a concealed unit is actively concealing itself, which would mean that its not shooting or engaging in behavior which might reveal it. The unit being obstructed by an LOS blocker, on the other hand, is often engaged in combat, just not with the unit which cannot draw line of sight to it. If 40k offered *actual* concealment, then there would be the option to "gain concealment" from pieces of terrain, i.e. you sacrifice your ability to attack or engage in certain actions in exchange for becoming un-targetable by your opponent unless they meet certain parameters (pass a spotting check or come within x" kind of thing).

 H.B.M.C. wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
I've been expecting them to fully integrate "terrain you pay points for" since they started releasing the fortification kits and so on.
GW terrain seems to vanish and go OOP without any warning. Where's the Sector Imperialis stuff now? Ryza ruins just went away. Thermic Plasma Conduits, a kit that was significantly more useful than the non-modular pipes they make now? Only available in some bundles (I think...).

How can they make terrain a consistent part of the game when they can't even keep it on sale consistently.


Sad but true. Still hoping firestorm redoubts and aquila strongpoints make a comeback :(



Automatically Appended Next Post:
That was my point… los blockers add some elements of concealment without the more clearly defined rule mechanics for concealment that you suggest.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/22 06:22:27


Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





 Da Boss wrote:
It's also kinda boring. It means you don't have to make a plan for each new battlefield because you know exactly what you will be dealing with. So you can implement basically the same plan in almost all of your games.

I don't get the appeal.


The "do this and win" cookbook mindset is pretty prevalent among the tournament crowd. Notably, you find it less among the actual top players, who tend to be more in it for the challenge, but its all over the mid tier rankings who feel they have something to prove.
   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

I was never more than a mid table player for 40K and WFB, but I'd rather have an interesting battle than do the same thing six games in a row.

   
Made in ca
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Halifax

I don't think you're ever going to see terrain as part of the core rules of 40k, because of how the 'community' would react and the impact on beginners. The amount of terrain in the Necromunda box is cool, but as mentioned terrain is an afterthought in 40k. I can do terrain as a core part of Titanomachina because (a) it only exists in Tabletop Simulator for public consumption, and (b) it's a much smaller scope. Getting all the different terrain in 40k is crazy.

   
Made in no
Boom! Leman Russ Commander






Oslo Norway

 catbarf wrote:


I wonder if there'd be any market for videogame-style 'maps'. IE here's a set of terrain, and here's 4-6 curated layouts for that terrain; all you have to do is assemble the terrain and place it as dictated in the layout you want to use. That provides a one-stop-shop solution with repeatability/consistency/an official seal of 'balance', things competitive gamers seem keen on.


The Kings of War community has this. A webpage with well thought out maps based on the same basic scenery.
https://dash28.org/tools/

The maps are not mirrored, so which side you get is still important, and they all make for very interesting games.

You can easily add more terrain or swap the terrain types to fit your specific collection too.

   
Made in ie
Dakka Veteran




Ireland

Terrain is all too often paid little focus, yet it adds so much to any game. Whether that be visual or tactical challenges.

As I'm getting older I find myself drawn more to terrain being placed a way that tells a story, reflects on the landscape being fought over and looks the part.

I'm mainly a fantasy gamer, so my terrain collection is less exotic. This lends it a large degree of flexibility. Woods go with rocky outcrops, just as well as ruins or small hamlets. With those 4 pieces I can mix up the battlefield to tell a tale of what happens in lands I make up. From deep woodland, to the windblasted barren moors, it adds a level of narrative to my games.

I think a lot of it boils down to what sort of gamer are you, someone who wants a narrative to your games or someone who isn't fussed about such things.

Placing terrain in a slapdash fashion usually looks weird and silly, and from my experience is all to common with club and store 40k games.

One way I like to do the terrain is have one person set it up, and the opponent gets to choose which side to deploy in. Can be done for competive and narrative games alike.

My first video was about terrain,

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/09/21 19:26:10


The objective of the game is to win. The point of the game is to have fun. The two should never be confused. 
   
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I quite agree Stonehorse.

For me and my wife, the terrain is all about the narrative, setting the scene for immersion.

Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
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Terminator with Assault Cannon




San Jose, CA

You need to "set the stage" for the story to play out.
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





West Michigan, deep in Whitebread, USA

Maybe it just my predilection to play skirmish games, but I feel that terrain is insanely important, but with equal parts fairness and scene-setting. Playing on some sort of abstract symmetrical game field? Yech.

I want a table that feels like a small part of a location on a world being fought over, just with some abstractions for portability and ease of model-placement.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/09/24 01:18:01




"By this point I'm convinced 100% that every single race in the 40k universe have somehow tapped into the ork ability to just have their tech work because they think it should."  
   
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A recent game between me and Mrs. GG illustrated the need to take into account ease for model placement when designing a “cool looking” environment. It was also our first attempt at a game on a 2x2 table. We were not fans of the cramped space.
[Thumb - 8A69971B-C1E5-48F3-9AFF-D0B5DA4D0D7D.jpeg]

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/09/24 06:40:17


Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
 
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