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Made in de
Osprey Reader






I have heard this idea expressed before, the idea that terrain is the “third player” or “third army” on a table. But I just read an old comment by Major_Gilbear that really has me thinking…

“Most games are like this, and it's often compounded by the fact that most terrain rules are added on to the core rules rather then being an integral part of the game.

What's weird to me is that:

1) Terrain (and therefore table set up) is effectively the "third player", but is often treated as an afterthought by many.

2) It's not hard to have 3-4 pages showing example tables with some author's commentary on particular features.

3) Terrain rules are often clunky, which leads to players avoiding anything detrimental or complicated - terrain therefore often just functions to make areas of the table no-go areas, rather than providing opportunities for a clever tactic, an interesting choice, or interaction.

For skirmish games, where every model counts, this importance is exaggerated.”

Part of the reason this has become important to me is that I am looking at getting into the *grave series of games, Ghost Archipelgo most likely first, and trying to figure out board layout so I can plan my build requirements has been challenging. GW’s Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game Battle Companies, which we have already been playing, has been much less challenging to plan and build for, largely down to pretty clear terrain suggestions in the scenarios.

What do you folks think of this concept of prioritizing terrain so highly?

What ideas do have for terrain as a tactical choice presenter rather than just line of sight blocker?

What games do you think have the best Terrain rules? Why?

Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
Made in gb
Twisted Trueborn with Blaster




1) Terrain is only the third player if you make it so. Speaking from a lack of experience (I've seen rather than competed) tournaments appear to be bereft of scenery (in the interests of evenness maybe?). Certainly in my games scenery is the last thing before setup, but that doesn't make it unimportant. I particularly enjoyed Cityfight - the terrain did add an extra dimension there.

I wouldn't put terrain as high a priority as you seem to, but it's not UNimportant. Our scenery tends to be either "I place you place" or host lays something out that looks good and guest chooses table edge.
   
Made in us
Master of the Hunt





Philadelphia

I plan on making a guide at one point or a PDF talking about this.

I have a custom frostgrave table - those series of games are lovely. However I tend to struggle in making playable 40k terrain over realistic/stuff that looks cool. 40k has terrible terrain rules. Frostgrave was a lot more lax and really integrates it into the game. Smaller 6mm-15mm tend to have terrible terrain rules. Infinity/Skrimish/Smaller games tend to work great. Stargrave has some solid sci fi terrain rules


I moderate https://www.reddit.com/r/TerrainBuilding/ and do a lot of terrain stuff here https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/769289.page

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/07/18 20:26:57


   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






The trouble here of course is that good terrain is a further expenditure of money and/or effort.

And to be properly effective, you need a third, neutral party to set it up.

To explain why, let me take you back to the distantish past of 6-8th Ed Warhammer.

For most armies, terrain was a factor, and only became an ally if you knew how best to exploit it. For such match ups, any terrain would do.

But for certain armies (well, poor sportsmen at least), a favourable terrain setup all but handed them the game.

Such armies include (but are by no means limited to) The Dwarven Gunline of Numbing Inevitability, and The Wood Elf Convenient Foliage Committee.

The first example is probably the worst. And it involved the Dwarf player insisting on at least two hills in each deployment zone, so they wouldn’t have to really think about the game much beyond that. Artillery on the top of the hill for the best possible line of sight, ranged infantry the step below, and rock hard combat infantry below that. Whether there was one hill or two, even three? It limited my tactical options to “get across the board as fast as I can, and hope to buggery I’ve enough stuff left over to make a dent”.

It wasn’t tactical genius on their behalf, it was laziness and in my opinion borderline cheating at best.

Take those hills away from the available selection of terrain? And I’d thrash them every time.

Wood Elf armies? Not only did they latterly come with a set amount of Woods to deploy (and kinda fair enough), they’d also typically try to ensure the base line terrain was also, you guessed it, Woods. A type of terrain which crippled every other army.

So yes, terrain can be of great import. But the more the game system interacts with it, the greater the need for an otherwise uninterested third party to set up the board.

Never, ever let your opponent have their wicked way with it.

Even in Necromunda, there are (or were?) set tiles for Zone Mortalis engagements, with each player taking it in turns to pick and position a tile. Being set layouts, that’s the next best thing to someone else setting up whatever they reckon looks cool.

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives? Why not join us?

Pfizer vaccine administered 13:40pm 18 Feb 21. Still no second head. Second jab 13:35pm 6 May 2021. At the Masonic Hall. 
   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

Terrain is not a third "player" - because it has no agency, makes no decisions, and does not play.

It is, however, the third army on the battlefield, as both armies have to battle the terrain just as much as they must battle eachother. The degree to which an army must fight with the terrain, however, is depending on the terrain rules - I think the vast majority of games do terrain a general disservice and do not fully integrate it into gameplay as an interactive element.

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 au
Longtime Dakkanaut




I think it is worth investing the time into good terrain that can be used. We found for frostgrave that the games where way better when we could move units around without the fear of a lucky blast from any direction would end your day.

So we got foam board and built them into hill like sections, raised city blocks and such. So as a base table we had lots of little corridors before we even started putting buildings on.

Mordheim is similar, just bigger buildings and more stairs.
GW has a habit of really not accounting for terrain I think in there games, which makes terrain far far more variable and can decide a lot more.

Why the skirmish games I play more, movement isn’t so restricted so good terrain layouts are easy to deal with.
   
Made in gb
[SWAP SHOP MOD]
Killer Klaivex







As a slight divergence from this, I once toyed with a custom 'Deathworld' army list. That is to say, one player would represent nature at its finest.

Units would involve vicious killer animals, carnivorous plants/terrain, perhaps Mitchell's God Tree to control enemy troops. You could even emulate the old Mandrake rules and set up several pieces of terrain which could turn out to be either innocent or deadly (the enemy wouldn't know until they went within range). Bushes which trap/hold down units, flying beasties which deep strike unexpectedly, quicksand or mud, defendable terrain that turns out to be some sort of sarlacc pit.

You get the idea. Lots of interesting stuff to keep your opponents guessing and on their toes, never quite knowing where the next strike is coming from. On one hand, they're a super high tech force armed to the teeth with some very obvious and easy to obtain unheld objectives juuust over the hill. On the other, the biology of the world itself hates them and will butcher them with little remorse. Your ability as the Death world player is to place all your terrain in advance, have some other terrain placed in game when enemy units get in range or on certain turns or the like. And the enemy can't shoot your terrain/monster pieces until they've (1) revealed themselves and are (2) deadly.

I always thought it would make all those IG or Tau gunlines brick it; having to actually move around the board.

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2021/07/19 00:27:19



 
   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

Didn't GW have a game that was vaguely similar? Like a squad of Space Marine scout making their way through a jungle infested with Genestealers and carnivorous plants?

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
Longtime Dakkanaut





If you went by the terrain rules in 8E, players alternated placing terrain after random-rolling what was available. So... against Dwarven Gunline he places a hill in a deployment zone, you place LOS-blocking terrain in front of the hill but outside the deployment zone. So...

Wood elves avoidance, about all you can do is keep the woods as separated as possible.

CHAOS! PANIC! DISORDER!
My job here is done. 
   
Made in de
Osprey Reader






It is ver interesting to see the different responses I have had to this topic on the various forums I have posted it.

Some folks feel mislead by the metaphor I chose for the topic header, sorry about that.

http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=551573

Some great examples of how people have made the most of their terrain…

https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=132283.0

Allowing your opponent to place the terrain is to effectively allow the enemy general to choose the location of the battle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLmNJlht5k0

Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
Made in gb
Executing Exarch





Mildly surprised GW hasn't tried to make app for it, X bits of LoS blocking, Y bits of Cover etc

I only play X-Wing and Guildball. X-Wing has 1 kind of terrain with slight variants placed alternating by player and GB has a fan-made terrain app that abides by the rulebook for placement

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/19 11:52:31


"AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED." 
   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

Problem for most games I think is that there is no real standardization of terrain (in terms of design and dimension), which I think is basically a requirement to have strong terrain rules that won't skew gameplay, etc. Designers have not considered (or actively avoided) proscribing set standards for the design and dimension of terrain features used with their games. I.E. - "a small terrain feature shall have a footprint of precisely x" by y", buildings shall have a precise height of x" floor-to-floor between levels, hills shall have a height of x" per tier of the hill, with a slope of y, with each tier having a minimum of z" from the edge of one tier to the next.", etc. etc. etc. There are some exceptions (Warmachine mainly comes to mind, where they had strictly defined sizes for things like walls and trenches", X-Wing and Armadas terrain tokens also fit the bill), but on the whole there is no effort made to really integrate terrain into the experience, its just "forests do x, ruins do y, hills do z" and its left up to the players to interpret what a forest, ruin, or hill looks like in terms of size, shape, and general design/implementation.

I can understand why when it comes to smaller publishers and indy designers, but I don't really understand it with regards to GW who manufacture their own (really high quality) terrain kits. They seemed to make some vague effort in 9th ed to do this with the Tactical Deployment mission pack and the limited range of terrain datasheet cards, but they were released as a more or less "optional" add-on to the rules and if I understand correctly they weren't particularly strict with how the terrain gets implemented into gameplay in terms of the exact shape/dimensions, etc. so its kind of a moot point if thats true. Kill Team is also similar in that regard. Basically GW won't commit to telling people "you have to use our terrain or terrain built to these exact standards, and it needs to be used in precisely this manner". Until they do, the main problem with terrain with regards to 40k is that its highly subjective and open to individual interpretation and perspectives in terms of how any given terrain piece gets implemented into gameplay.

The lack of standardization makes it difficult to write anything decent in terms of basic rules on how much terrain should be on the table, etc. Saying 25% of your table should be covered in terrain is basically meaningless - 25% board coverage of multi-story ruins witha 12"x12" footprint will produce extremely different gameplay results 25% board coverage of 2" tall hills with a 6" x 6" footprint. Likewise you can't really say that it should consist of x many pieces of large terrain pieces, y many pieces of medium terrain pieces, and z many pieces of small terrain pieces - because everyone has a different interpretation of what small, medium, and large mean. Likewise, the experience and results that arise when you use hills as your large pieces and woods for your small pieces is different from what what happens when you use woods for your large and woods for your small.

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 gb
Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

I really like using the Necromunda Zone Mortalis tiles. The alternating placement allows players to control the board and generally leads to a situation that both people are happy with.
Although you need to have a look at the board and occasionally modify it a little as you end up with something like the entire board bifurcated into two separate halves.

This can have problems as well though. GW sold a "Badzones" expansion pack with includes a lot of dangerous terrain. Dangerous to the point of "if you enter this tile, 60% you die" which is not fan.
I played in one group where they basically alternated deploying this dangerous terrain in an attempt to force their opponent to deploy of move through it, to the point sometimes one gang would bottle and run before a shot was fired.

That said, as much as I like the system I don't think it would work for 40k.
I tried the Tactical Deployment and it went pretty much as I expected, two halves of the table each built entirely independently to appease the factions playing.
I also really dislike being locked into GW's own line of terrain.
   
Made in us
Battlefield Tourist




MN

This maybe of interest to some....

https://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2020/04/wargame-design-terrain-placement-is-tool.html

It is a blog post about how Wargame Designers are missing a beat as Terrain Placement is a valuable tool in a designers tool box.

Also, I think some people in this thread have GW myopia. There are a ton of games that fully integrate terrain into the game. Off the top of my head, I can think of Fistful of Kung Fu and Ragnarok (Both Osprey I think). In both those games, certain actions or terrain can be utilized to invoke unique actions and attacks.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/19 15:00:59


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Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

Since I've moved away from clubs and playing in shops I've realised that a decent set of terrain is essential to the wargaming experience. All those pictures of futuristic or fantasy battlefields from the old books were a big part of what got me into the game and I've always been the player who made terrain and tables for everyone to play on.

To me, you've got to build gameplay considerations into your terrain. What are the base sizes? Can models fit onto this? Can they stand on it securely? Can multiple models stand side by side? How high is it? Can models with a general 4-6" movement range traverse it?

Once you've figured out those considerations then to me the next step is maximising modularity and interchangeability. I don't have infinite space for terrain and I want to be able to make many different battlefields for different set ups. So I put a lot of thought into making terrain modular so that it can be used in a variety of set ups. Mixing and matching between modular sets can create a wide variety of different environments.

Verticality is also important, I like battlefields to have at least a fair suggestion of a vertical layer if they are for sci fi or any kind of skirmish. For traditional fantasy I'm more relaxed and don't mind the usual forests and hills, but even then you can do a lot with rocky crags and watchtowers.

I tend to try to set up fairly balanced battlefields without them being exact mirrors. I think terrain really comes into it's own in narrative scenarios though, where you can build your sets into a specific location.

Frostgrave et al require a lot of bespoke terrain and I do find the terrain guidance a bit light. I think that's because the author wants people to be able to get into the game without being intimidated by all the crafting or the cost needed to get a table full of terrain to play. But I'd love a guide on how to do it well for the game from experienced players. I have some ideas that I'll be working on this summer, but inspiration from other sources is always cool.

GW is the gorilla in the room with all this stuff always. They've got a huge amount of plastic terrain. Aesthetically I'm not a huge fan of all of it - too visually busy in my opinion and not all that useful in some cases. I tend to prefer cleaner terrain that acts as a backdrop. I also think that terrain should remain something that is open to crafting and creativity rather than purely a consumer product, so I'm not a huge fan of the fact that they've gradually moved away from giving examples of how to scratch build and made it more about playsets you've gotta buy. But on the other hand, not everyone likes making terrain so for some, having clear kits to purchase that mean that you're going to get it "right" is really attractive and there's nothing really wrong with that, I just want it to coexist with scratch built terrain.

At this stage I spend much longer thinking about making terrain, planning it out and making it than I do actually PLAYING. I really hope that in the future, when I have everything ready, I can enjoy playing with my terrain. But I enjoy making it anyway, and I find the process of planning it an thinking it through pretty satisfying.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/19 15:08:55


   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Halifax

Some years ago I came to the conclusion that players should include terrain in their army points totals, with different armies valuing terrain differently: lots of guns are going to prefer lots of long lines of sight, so should pay a premium for roads and fields, while armies trying to pull your head off manually need lots of stuff to hide in while they creep closer.

Practically-speaking I implemented that in my giant robot game Titanomachina, where destructable terrain raised an interesting question: why would a player put a building on the board if doing so may give victory points to another player for destroying it? Eventually I answered this by having players score points for having their own buildings on the board at the end of the game (and being able to play more as the game went along), so they had a positive reason to place models on the board, and opponents still had a reason to destroy them, to deny them the points.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/19 16:05:48


   
Made in us
Scarred Ultramarine Tyrannic War Veteran






The most common issue for W40K is that the terrain being used isn't very good.

This is true for tournaments, in-store pickup games and at-home play.

What makes it not good, typically, is that it's not varied, or large enough, or dense enough. It can be skewed the other way, sure, but that's not typically the case.

There are many factors to consider why this is. I believe the common denominator is $$$.

For large tournament events (e.g. Nova, Adepticon, etc.)... They need to closely manage time and money and there's a lot of tables to fill with terrain, it leads to them supplying only the most basic minimum requirement. Storage is a significant consideration as well.

For the LGS... Again, they need to closely manage time and money. They are less likely to invest in good terrain or a meaningful quantity of it.

For at-home play... People are likely to always consider what is more desirable; more models or terrain. Typically, 'more models' is the winner.

So the conclusion is, tabletops are not being created very well, typically due to a lack of resources (i.e. terrain) and because of this, game play suffers; and worse still, can cause players to feel that the game is poorly designed.
   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

Agreed with oni. Interestingly, at least locally (but I've seen it said online elsewhere) the prevailing groupthink seems to be that GWs terrain is particularly crap for playing the game with. The competitive players will forgo playing on pieces made from GWs terrain unless those pieces are very heavily modified, etc. and would rather play on quickly and crudely made pieces of cardboard and styrofoam terrain instead.

I think oni's last point regarding at home play is particularly relevant - most people would rather buy a cool looking dude then a hill or a tree. Players generally don't want to provide their own terrain and would rather rely on stores and tournament organizers to provide it for them. Stores and organizers have cost and space considerations that they have to concern themselves with in that regards that often limits and impacts their ability to provide for the community. Even when they do provide its not uncommon to hear complaints from the players.

Circling back to my previous point about GWs terrain - some of the local stores invested into outfitting themselves in official GW terrain. The vast majority of the player bases at these stores don't use those terrain pieces. Instead some of the resourceful players organized hobby days to build homemade terrain or printed out tables worth of terrain on their own dime - now all the nicely painted GW stuff just sits on shelves as decor while people play on mostly crappy stuff (the 3d printed bits would be great if they bothered to paint them, let alone prime them).

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
Seven Year War Afficianado






Chicago

"Terrain is the third player" is a good metaphor in many respects.

However, I prefer "Terrain is the Narrator".

No matter the game, or how good or cruddy the terrain rules I always give terrain high priority. I want the table to be so good that win-loose-or-draw, players feel happy just moving their miniatures across the table. Good terrain (and painted miniatures) sets the scene and provides context for the engagement. It is what elevates a game from chess with fancy pawns to a dramatic experience with story and purpose.

To try out another metaphor,

Without terrain your movie lacks a set.


 Grumpy Gnome wrote:


Part of the reason this has become important to me is that I am looking at getting into the *grave series of games, Ghost Archipelgo most likely first, and trying to figure out board layout so I can plan my build requirements has been challenging.



We dabbled in Frostgrave and played alot of similar games in my last club (Song of Blades, Necromunda NCE, Open Combat, etc). I think that in addition to building great terrain, the key to a good experience with those type of games is to find players who view the experience somewhat more cooperatively. Assembling a great table then becomes part and parcel of the experience and something both players value.

In addition -or alternatively-, having a third player to arrange the table and the scenario takes the onus off the players and can result in an even more surprising and enjoyable experience. It's especially good when you have some players who can't quite grasp the cooperative nature of terrain setup and scenario crafting. Much like an RPG with a good DM, two players coming to the table not knowing what to expect and arriving to find an excellent terrain setup and scenario can result in some of the most sublime gaming experiences.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/07/19 23:22:55


Chicago Skirmish Wargames club. Join us for some fast-play, indie gaming in the windy city.
http://chicagoskirmishwargames.com/blog/


My Project Log, mostly revolving around custom "Toybashed" terrain.
http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/651712.page

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad!
https://chicagovalleyrailroad.blogspot.com 
   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

It's sad that so often terrain is unpainted or has very little effort put into it compared to the miniatures. It's understandable - it's a lot of work and not everyone has the time or inclination.

But the visual spectacle of the game is a big part of the draw for me so I love to have painted armies on finished terrain.

I think it's interesting the points about GW terrain not getting used. I think it looks lovely but it's not very gameable in some cases - you can't really stand miniatures on some of it. It's also really expensive, which tends to result in sparser tables.

Though the reduced board size should help with that.

   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

Smaller board size just means less terrain. That's a bad thing.

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






Da Boss, I quite agree with you on all of those point.

Nurglitch, that is an interesting example of making terrain interactive in regards to game mechanics.

Eilif, I really like “Terrain is the narrator” but “Without terrain your movie lacks a set” is I think part of the problem with treating terrain merely as window dressing. A lot of people overlook good set design being a key part of great films. I do think of my games like movies. The photos of my battle reports are sort of my storyboarding.

I get the issue of having to choose to spend money on minis or terrain. It is a choice I am constantly having to make. This thread is designed to try to get folks to think about that choice and the benefits of prioritizing some terrain.

The idea of a neutral party laying out terrain is great if you have someone available but that is not always the case and certainly is not available for me currently.

Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

I'll be honest, I've been long aware that there is an element of "what would I rather spend my money on?" involved with the lack of peoples interest in purchasing terrain. I've also long been opposed to the idea of "terrain should be part of a players army list".

But now I'm wondering if forcing players to bring terrain by incorporating it into a listbuilding type system isn't the solution to the problem.

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 de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

I liked what Nurglitch described, where your terrain is integrated into your win conditions. That makes a lot of sense to me in many ways.

But it's been my experience over the years that the majority of players are not very interested in making terrain or buying it.

   
Made in de
Osprey Reader






Perhaps many people are not interested in terrain because they do not realize what it can do to improve a game?

Perhaps companies not marketing terrain as well as figures is part of it?

I certainly have not always valued terrain as highly as I do these days.

Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
Made in gb
Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

Part of the problem is how you can acquire terrain.
GW terrain is expensive and very detailed, so on top of that price it's intimidating and also expensive to paint if you view it the same as a model (which at the price GW charges is logical).
To get a whole table going that's very significant.

Or, you can home make stuff. Playing around with foams, pastes, and large amounts of flock and such is messy and tools a lot of people don't own. It's almost a whole sub-set of the hobby which not everyone is going to want to engage with.

And it's very hard to transport. A table of terrain could easily take up as much space as an entire large army, even more if you pack it with any semblance of care/protection for the contents.
So unless you're playing at home regularly it's very inconvenient.
   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

Oh I'd say terrain takes up much more than an army. And it's a huge investment of time to make it. I made a set of walkways, shipping containers and fences for an industrial set and it took me about 4 months, which included 4 weeks of holidays where I put in a ton of work every day. It wasn't expensive, and the only special tool I used was a hot glue gun. But I needed to have that space to work in available for 4 months continuously. Not easy for younger people living in shared accommodation or people with kids. I never made much terrain when I was younger for that reason.

I agree though, it's just not something that appeals to everyone. Telling people "Oh actually it's pretty cheap and doesn't require much special equipment!" is pointless if people don't want to do that stuff at all. It's already a lot for people to assemble and paint miniatures.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/21 21:58:16


   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado






Chicago

I don't expect everyone to have the terrain obsession I do, and I agree that it takes quite a bit of space to move. I've never had a problem bringing a big tub of terrain, even to a club or another gamer's home but if some folks just want their army and rulebooks, that's fine for them.

Time is of course a fixed resource but finances or specialized equipment needn't be factors in whether or not someone build's terrain.

There are lots of affordable non-GW kits buildiable with mostly the same tools you use for miniatures. Building one piece at a time at your workbench requires not much more space than some minis and usually less time. One at a time also cuts down the stress factor and lets you alternate with miniatures. Note that if you're using GW paints and brushes you're doing it wrong. $10-20 will get you all the craft paints and brushes you need for terrain from a craft store.

For the DIY'er on a very strict budget, explore the incredible number of techniques that have been developed to make affordable terrain. For more information, see the links in my sig or the granddady of affordable terrain Necromundcon at ironhands.com

Some people will find none of these avenues to their liking but if that person is only interested in unpainted figures and minimalist terrain then that's so far outside my interest we're practically in different hobbies.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/20 12:36:55


Chicago Skirmish Wargames club. Join us for some fast-play, indie gaming in the windy city.
http://chicagoskirmishwargames.com/blog/


My Project Log, mostly revolving around custom "Toybashed" terrain.
http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/651712.page

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https://chicagovalleyrailroad.blogspot.com 
   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

Youtube channels have been great for me for terrain crafting.

I have to say I much prefer making my own to bought stuff, because I can plan it out to suit my needs exactly. And I prefer painting terrain that is less detailed, because it is relaxing and fun to do, it's sort of a break from painting detailed miniatures. That's a big part of my problem with some of the GW terrain or stuff like Dungeons and Lasers or whatever that have highly detailed plastic kits. They are cool, but I'm not super into painting stuff like that for my terrain.

   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

When it comes to 40K, part of the issue as I see it is that the rules treat terrain as an afterthought. Not just in terms of being fairly simple, but in how terrain is presented too.

You can safely go through the entire set of rules without worrying about terrain at all, and when you get to what a board should look like, it's this vague 'something like this', with numbers given for terrain pieces that don't tell you if it's saying use 10 multi-story buildings or ten shrubs.

I've long liked the 25% guideline for terrain coverage- I think if the rules outright told you that the first step of battlefield setup is to start piling terrain into a corner of the board until you fill it, then distribute that out, it would set much clearer expectations for what level of terrain is required. Rescind the requirement that objectives not lie on terrain while you're at it.

Additionally, I find terrain to be much easier to incorporate in games where it's critical to the rules. In Chain of Command, where most units have unlimited range, you outright cannot play without a significant amount of terrain on the board. You need terrain to play. 40K doesn't emphasize terrain to even remotely the same degree.

I think what GW is doing with AoS- where players are encouraged to bring terrain pieces as army assets- is interesting. It's a bit 'gamey' for my tastes, but it does encourage players to invest in terrain.

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.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/20 14:33:33


   
 
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