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Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




I've been thinking lately, as there have been many debates around different mission set superiority, and what true 40k is, there seem to be far less debates about what a superior terrain set should be for the game.

I think we can all agree that on planet bowling ball, 40k breaks down.

But how should our terrain actually be, what should we be aiming for?

I hear a lot of tournament attendees talk about how good some terrain sets are, but in my eyes they always seem to boil down to a very dense LOS blocking set of walls.

Personally I find such ruin LOS blocking maps to be very warping to the meta of the game, and have been a problem since the days of ynarri phasing dark reapers through walls.

Now I get the impression that competitively no one seems to be happy unless they can hide their entire army, and conversely the value of weapons which can ignore LOS skyrockets.

This post isn't a complaint about the viability of the magical ruins that we seem to have adopted quite widely across the community, but more to pose the question... If you were to attempt to design a terrain map for the game, which should be adopted by the entire player base, or at least the competitive (tournament) community, what do you think it would end up looking like? Whats the ideal amount of 'hidability' that a map should provide? Should it be symmetrical, or should there be an advantage to having the choice of deployment zone? Should objectives live in the open, or should they be claimable behind walls? Could such a collection of maps ever see wide adoption within tournaments, or are the TO collections so completely different, that such an undertaking would be impossible?

Just interested in knowing what you all think.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/17 13:33:39


 
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran



London

For me the bare minimum is the old Epic guide to a battlefield, 2 pieces of terrain for every 2 foot square of the table, so 12 minimum for a 6x4, each one up to 30cm wide (and high enough to block LOS meaningfully).

Saying that with woods and ruins full of invisible terrain 40k breaks down quite quickly in that regard.

If the game was pointed for it I would have stuff like impassable terrain for foot/wheels/tracks to give bonus to skimmers, but currently that would just benefit the skimmers without them paying a price.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/17 13:42:13


 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




The problem arises due to 40k's terrible terrain rules. At the moment having intervening terrain between you and the enemy targeting you doesn't make you any more survivable. This is what leads to the "all-or-nothing" terrain we see in a lot of tournaments which is basically blocking LoS or non-existent. I think to design something that's good we'd need better terrain rules to start off with.

In general though I think we'd need less ability to hide entire armies but more ability to hide pieces of an army from pieces of the enemy. So instead of some monolithic L-shaped ruin with half a company of Marines huddled behind it maybe more overall pieces of LoS blocking terrain but with each piece being smaller. This might also encourage more splitting up of armies instead of most armies operating as one big blob clustered around their buffs. For that to work you'd need to create a lot of interrupted sight-lines so log-range weapons don't just pick people off with impunity but that would be my initial approach. I think current 40k, especially at the tournament level, does far too little to encourage thinking on your feet. Everything is about setting up in your pre-determined deployment with your known terrain, with all your models in an idealised position to benefit from as many buffs and auras as possible. We need more disruptive elements so terrain is something that shapes deployment and gameplay in more interesting ways than just "I'll hide everything here".
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut



NE Ohio, USA

secretForge wrote:
I If you were to attempt to design a terrain map for the game, which should be adopted by the entire player base, or at least the competitive (tournament) community, what do you think it would end up looking like?


I would never attempt to ruin our games, especially not for the entire player base, by doing this. You'd crap all over the creativity that makes these games work and invalidate huge #s of terrain collections.

What would it look like? Predictable. Wich would, no pun intended, predictably lead to set lists of what would be the most optimal for any given faction per map. Yuck.


secretForge wrote:
Whats the ideal amount of 'hidability' that a map should provide? Should it be symmetrical, or should there be an advantage to having the choice of deployment zone? Should objectives live in the open, or should they be claimable behind walls? Could such a collection of maps ever see wide adoption within tournaments, or are the TO collections so completely different, that such an undertaking would be impossible?


Sure. GW could just print/sell map packs. WizKids does it all the time for HeroClicks. They wouldn't be 3d, though the graphics used on them could easily be of official GW terrain pieces (with a code of wich kits they are) . Making them 3d would then fall on TO/groups.

   
Made in ca
Regular Dakkanaut




I make all my own; it allows me to model intact buildings with workable interiors rather than have everything all broken all the time.

My collection includes

- 30 1 x1 tiles with roads, grass, building foundations, etc.
- 2 large 12" x 18"buildings, 2 storeys each. These can be pulled apart to reveal interiors
- 4 elevated firing platforms
- 4 watch towers
- 8 wall segments

Fitting all of that on a 4 x 6 surface makes for a pretty dense table. I agree with the earlier sentiment about trying to force everyone to play the same way though; I can talk about what works for me, and that's about it.
   
Made in us
Boom! Leman Russ Commander





I usually go with 1 large los-blocking pieces and one smaller not-los-blocking but cover-providing piece per board section.

Guardsmen, hear me! Cadia may lie in ruin, but her proud people do not! For each brother and sister who gave their lives to Him as martyrs, we will reap a vengeance fiftyfold! Cadia may be no more, but will never be forgotten; our foes shall tremble in fear at the name, for their doom shall come from the barrels of Cadian guns, fired by Cadian hands! Forward, for vengeance and retribution, in His name and the names of our fallen comrades! 
   
Made in de
Waaagh! Ork Warboss on Warbike






Slipspace wrote:
The problem arises due to 40k's terrible terrain rules. At the moment having intervening terrain between you and the enemy targeting you doesn't make you any more survivable. This is what leads to the "all-or-nothing" terrain we see in a lot of tournaments which is basically blocking LoS or non-existent. I think to design something that's good we'd need better terrain rules to start off with.

In general though I think we'd need less ability to hide entire armies but more ability to hide pieces of an army from pieces of the enemy. So instead of some monolithic L-shaped ruin with half a company of Marines huddled behind it maybe more overall pieces of LoS blocking terrain but with each piece being smaller. This might also encourage more splitting up of armies instead of most armies operating as one big blob clustered around their buffs. For that to work you'd need to create a lot of interrupted sight-lines so log-range weapons don't just pick people off with impunity but that would be my initial approach. I think current 40k, especially at the tournament level, does far too little to encourage thinking on your feet. Everything is about setting up in your pre-determined deployment with your known terrain, with all your models in an idealised position to benefit from as many buffs and auras as possible. We need more disruptive elements so terrain is something that shapes deployment and gameplay in more interesting ways than just "I'll hide everything here".


This. If a ruin you can shoot through would offer protection, there would be not need for ITC's barred windows rule.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/17 18:54:40


 Daedalus81 wrote:
SemperMortis wrote:
Yes, because everyone lines up on the deployment line when facing off against orkz, especially when said orkz are fielding 3 Bonebreakers...which rely exclusively on getting into CC to inflict any kind of actual harm. All of your arguments rely upon your opponent being a brain dead muppet who just lets you maul him.


Yea...that's called board control.
 
   
Made in gb
Ancient Ultramarine Venerable Dreadnought




Nottingham

As a non-comp player, something I seem to hear a lot is tourney players wanting consistent gamemodes and a seeming lack of random/RNG elements (hence why Maelstrom or GW missions aren't favoured).

In that respect, I don't see why don't TOs, for their custom games and missions (like those in the ITC) don't create concrete map layouts terrain, like Kill Team Arena? For example, every map XYZ terrain feature, with the same rules, in the same place, in every map. Think of it like a map in any multiplayer shooter - when you play on that map, you always have the same features, the same locations, callouts, objective locations, etc etc. Would comp players like something like that?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/17 19:22:15


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Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





 Jidmah wrote:
Slipspace wrote:
The problem arises due to 40k's terrible terrain rules. At the moment having intervening terrain between you and the enemy targeting you doesn't make you any more survivable. This is what leads to the "all-or-nothing" terrain we see in a lot of tournaments which is basically blocking LoS or non-existent. I think to design something that's good we'd need better terrain rules to start off with.

In general though I think we'd need less ability to hide entire armies but more ability to hide pieces of an army from pieces of the enemy. So instead of some monolithic L-shaped ruin with half a company of Marines huddled behind it maybe more overall pieces of LoS blocking terrain but with each piece being smaller. This might also encourage more splitting up of armies instead of most armies operating as one big blob clustered around their buffs. For that to work you'd need to create a lot of interrupted sight-lines so log-range weapons don't just pick people off with impunity but that would be my initial approach. I think current 40k, especially at the tournament level, does far too little to encourage thinking on your feet. Everything is about setting up in your pre-determined deployment with your known terrain, with all your models in an idealised position to benefit from as many buffs and auras as possible. We need more disruptive elements so terrain is something that shapes deployment and gameplay in more interesting ways than just "I'll hide everything here".


This. If a ruin you can shoot through would offer protection, there would be not need for ITC's barred windows rule.


It does offer protection. You just have to be in it.

GW could really just change some slight wording on their overly specific-to-their-own-terrain rules and clear a ton of things up. The rules are there, but they are specific to GW stuff.

It's strange how everyone misses dangerous terrain checks, but they refuse to use the rules for prometheum pipes that actually exist.
   
Made in au
Regular Dakkanaut





Slipspace wrote:
The problem arises due to 40k's terrible terrain rules. At the moment having intervening terrain between you and the enemy targeting you doesn't make you any more survivable. This is what leads to the "all-or-nothing" terrain we see in a lot of tournaments which is basically blocking LoS or non-existent. I think to design something that's good we'd need better terrain rules to start off with.

In general though I think we'd need less ability to hide entire armies but more ability to hide pieces of an army from pieces of the enemy. So instead of some monolithic L-shaped ruin with half a company of Marines huddled behind it maybe more overall pieces of LoS blocking terrain but with each piece being smaller. This might also encourage more splitting up of armies instead of most armies operating as one big blob clustered around their buffs. For that to work you'd need to create a lot of interrupted sight-lines so log-range weapons don't just pick people off with impunity but that would be my initial approach. I think current 40k, especially at the tournament level, does far too little to encourage thinking on your feet. Everything is about setting up in your pre-determined deployment with your known terrain, with all your models in an idealised position to benefit from as many buffs and auras as possible. We need more disruptive elements so terrain is something that shapes deployment and gameplay in more interesting ways than just "I'll hide everything here".


Excellent post Slips. Agreed with everything
   
Made in au
Regular Dakkanaut





That and cover saves literally don't matter anymore. What's +1 save for Orks? Nothing.

Hell, marhens can just ignore cover mechanics entirely just by changing faction.
   
Made in se
Smokin' Skorcha Driver




Sweden

Man I feel the competative scene for 40k is just absurd. The game is not balanced, period. It does not matter what the terrain is because the 20+ different factions and units within those factions are never gonna compete fairly anyways. What is even the goal here?

For me 40k is mostly about the visuals and the inspiration you get from the various armies and cool terrain pieces. Variation plays a big part in that. And scratch built terrain is awesome.

All this talk about enforcing consistent base sizes, modell poses, terrain etc feels so disconnected from how messy the game is. What is next? Enforced army builds?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/18 07:28:43


Brutal, but kunning!  
   
Made in de
Waaagh! Ork Warboss on Warbike






Quasistellar wrote:
It does offer protection. You just have to be in it.

That's the whole point, genius.
A LOS blocker provides protection to everything behind it. LRBT behind an ITC sector imperialis ruin is invincible, the same tank behind a regular GW-ruled ruin is out in the open.

And even if you are in a ruin, which is quite impossible for some unit to do, the defense it offers might as well not exist due to the high AP everywhere.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Gitdakka wrote:
Man I feel the competative scene for 40k is just absurd. The game is not balanced, period. It does not matter what the terrain is because the 20+ different factions and units within those factions are never gonna compete fairly anyways.

"WH40k is too complex to balance" is an urban myth. Compared to other reasonably balanced games, the complexity of WH40k is trivial.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/18 07:47:56


 Daedalus81 wrote:
SemperMortis wrote:
Yes, because everyone lines up on the deployment line when facing off against orkz, especially when said orkz are fielding 3 Bonebreakers...which rely exclusively on getting into CC to inflict any kind of actual harm. All of your arguments rely upon your opponent being a brain dead muppet who just lets you maul him.


Yea...that's called board control.
 
   
Made in ie
Preacher of the Emperor





 Jidmah wrote:
Quasistellar wrote:
It does offer protection. You just have to be in it.

That's the whole point, genius.
A LOS blocker provides protection to everything behind it. LRBT behind an ITC sector imperialis ruin is invincible, the same tank behind a regular GW-ruled ruin is out in the open.

And even if you are in a ruin, which is quite impossible for some unit to do, the defense it offers might as well not exist due to the high AP everywhere.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Gitdakka wrote:
Man I feel the competative scene for 40k is just absurd. The game is not balanced, period. It does not matter what the terrain is because the 20+ different factions and units within those factions are never gonna compete fairly anyways.

"WH40k is too complex to balance" is an urban myth. Compared to other reasonably balanced games, the complexity of WH40k is trivial.

No it's not. A bunch of games considered "better balanced" than 40k still don't have great balance despite having less units and factions than 40k. Even in a games like chess, white has a slightly higher win ratio. Even wargames with only two factions like Twilight Struggle or War Of The Ring is skewed towards Soviets and Shadown respectivly.

Also 40k IS complex. I recently got the War Of The Ring board game and all the reviews I read said it was very complex and hard to learn and keep track of all the small rules exception. Compared to 40k? A doddle. 40k has so many rules to keep in mind and interactions that its like playing two heavy board games at once because you need to remember the base game rules AND your own armies rules at the same time.

In terms of "weight", which is how people rate how difficult a game is to learn, it's relatively light but when you start adding in building armies and interactions with opponents it starts building the complexity very rapidly.

In fact here's a thread full of asymmetrical games statistics I found. Note that just about every one (I haven't looked at all of them to know for sure) favors one of the faction over the other.

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/165497/statistics-asymmetrical-games

So if games with only two factions and no variable units abilities can only achieve "close enough" balance how does 40k with hundreds of units and hundreds of rules and thousands (millions?) of interactions stand a chance?

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2020/03/18 11:18:21


 
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran



London

 Sim-Life wrote:

In fact here's a thread full of asymmetrical games statistics I found. Note that just about every one (I haven't looked at all of them to know for sure) favors one of the faction over the other.

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/165497/statistics-asymmetrical-games

So if games with only two factions and no variable units abilities can only achieve "close enough" balance how does 40k with hundreds of units and hundreds of rules and thousands (millions?) of interactions stand a chance?


On that list Chaos in the old world, but otherwise... Ogre?

But yes, 40k is stupidly complex, but at the same time not very complicated. Apparently this appeals better to teens oddly enough.
   
Made in de
Waaagh! Ork Warboss on Warbike






 Sim-Life wrote:
No it's not. A bunch of games considered "better balanced" than 40k still don't have great balance despite having less units and factions than 40k. Even in a games like chess, white has a slightly higher win ratio.

What you are talking about is perfect balance. Perfect balance is utterly unnecessary in a game that resolves around dice rolls. All you need is a sufficiently balanced game - just like chess.
With enough iterations of observing and applying changes, any game can come to a state that can be considered balanced.

Also 40k IS complex. I recently got the War Of The Ring board game and all the reviews I read said it was very complex and hard to learn and keep track of all the small rules exception. Compared to 40k? A doddle. 40k has so many rules to keep in mind and interactions that its like playing two heavy board games at once because you need to remember the base game rules AND your own armies rules at the same time.

The thing is, you are using board games as a measuring stick. The entire premise of a board game is to be simple enough to be placed in one box and be played with 1-2 hours without the help of technical assistance.
Having a low complexity is the very premise of a successful board game.

WH40k is a turn based strategy game with a maximum of 7 turns, no variable resources, a strict limit on how armies can be composed, no change in composition over the course of the game and a size of 5-52 units, assuming someone can actually field three battalions. There are free to play mobile games more complex than that.
Compared to an RTS, an entire game of 40k basically equates to a few minutes, if not seconds, in those games.
So we have multiple games that are considered fairly balanced despite being vastly more complex, there is no reason to assume WH40k is anything special in that regard.

And please don't follow up with "video games are not the same" which usually is next after I explain this.

 Daedalus81 wrote:
SemperMortis wrote:
Yes, because everyone lines up on the deployment line when facing off against orkz, especially when said orkz are fielding 3 Bonebreakers...which rely exclusively on getting into CC to inflict any kind of actual harm. All of your arguments rely upon your opponent being a brain dead muppet who just lets you maul him.


Yea...that's called board control.
 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




Ok just to attempt to steer things back on track...

Can we try to not debate the relative merits of competitive play and the possibility of balancing the game, I'm interested in what your opinions on the idea terrain set would be in a competitive environment organised by a TO, not garage hammer, but what a player should ideally want to see when they show up to an event, if that means custom rules for terrain providing cover when its being shot through, or amendments to specifics of that, that's fine too... thankfully GWs terrain framework does not limit us to only using the terrain rules provided by them, we can edit them just as much as we can missions, and while I'm not super on board with the ITC version of ruins, we can see here a prime example of this potential in action for very wide adoption.
   
Made in se
Smokin' Skorcha Driver




Sweden

secretForge wrote:
Ok just to attempt to steer things back on track...

Can we try to not debate the relative merits of competitive play and the possibility of balancing the game, I'm interested in what your opinions on the idea terrain set would be in a competitive environment organised by a TO, not garage hammer, but what a player should ideally want to see when they show up to an event, if that means custom rules for terrain providing cover when its being shot through, or amendments to specifics of that, that's fine too... thankfully GWs terrain framework does not limit us to only using the terrain rules provided by them, we can edit them just as much as we can missions, and while I'm not super on board with the ITC version of ruins, we can see here a prime example of this potential in action for very wide adoption.


If we have to deal with map packs I would prefer them to be assymetrical and filled with interesting features. Not just flat ground with 4 los blockers.

Brutal, but kunning!  
   
 
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