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Terrain opinion
Old 15 Jan 2008, 06:16   #1 (permalink)
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Default Terrain opinion

This conflict of ideas came up the other day when I fought my friend Jeremy's Orks. We were placing terrain turn for turn, and we had different....I guess you can call it 'styles'.

I tend to place terrain evenly and cohesively, for a more visually appealing battlefield. I tend to not think of the cover or implications of the terrain however, I just try to make it picturesque.

He on the other hand, thinks that placing terrain should be for Strategic purposes only, and you shouldnt think about how well the terrain works with eachother visually. He's more to put the three large impassible rock plateus right next to eachother diagonally, to give his Orks mercy from my firepower, essentially forming a size 3 impassable WALL straight through the battlefield. It didn't really look good at all but it was strategically sound.

How about you? Do you tend to think 'where will this piece help me', or do you just like making cities and such? I'm curious as to what the general consensus will be, I might make a poll
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 06:35   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terrain opinion

It really is a 50/50 thing. Yes, you COULD try for hours on end to make your battlefield more visually appealing, but if one side ends up with all the cover and the other is labelled "glass desert", the game itself won`t be much fun.

On the other hand, interesting placement of terrain can actually give the game a background, and suddenly, you`re not fighting over an objective marker on the tabletop of your friend, no, you`re fighting to rescue your downed Crisis pilots in an ancient, ruined city on the jungle planet Ignax Prime.

A good way to find a compromise is to first set up terrain in a cool manner, and then try to even the odds when it comes to unfair placement. Of course, this only works with a friend or someone you trust; when doing pick-up games, I´m usually resorting to the "everyone gets a Hill, a forest and a ruin in his deployment zone"....

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Old 15 Jan 2008, 07:28   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terrain opinion

I tend to put terrain down so the field is covered in a fair manner, giving no one side an advantage. I do however place certain types of terrain so their placement makes sense. I will have all the forests on the right side of the board and the city terrain on the left, with small rubble in between. That way you are fighting at the edge of the forest where it meets the city, and not just a bunch of random pieces of terrain. So, I'm a person that places terrain because it looks good, but also functions in a wargame setting.
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 15:53   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terrain opinion

With my games, ideally, We would place terrain one-by-one, until 1/3-1/2 of the table is terrain(generally 6-7 pieces of terrain total). For each piece, the person who placed it designates the height and base cover save provided. From there, we decide randomly who gets to choose the side to deploy on, which essentially forces you to deploy terrain in a reasonably-balanced fashion. In addition, any player may decide to add, or remove one piece of terrain in lieu of choosing which side to deploy on(though the player to originally take the first turn has first priority, obviously).

As for my personal tastes, I prefer to use the terrain strategically. Using rubble to block-off certain parts of the map(afterall, no terrain may be within 6" of another piece), or setting a size-2 piece of terrain to limit LoS to only vehicles, setting up kill-zones, etc... are all common practice, and I would expect nothing less. Deploying terrain is a minor battle in itself. If someone places a big size-3 piece of terrain, and you're playing a shooty army, you counter with some rubble which grants almost no cover(maybe a 6+ if I'm generous). Or I'll use some normal terrain, and opt to take out the big piece of terrain, leaving a big hole in the middle at the cost of going second.
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 16:28   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terrain opinion

I personally like to just place terrain in a somewhat random, but nice looking, and fair manner. I've seen way too many games where the "strategic terrain placement" thing causes a very boring and predictable set up. Shooty armies place terrain near the table edge with a small hidey-hole for their tanks, indirect fire and JSJ stuff to hide behind. The Assaulty ones end up creating a giant wall about halfway up the table. So you'll often end up with two great big lines of terrain which can be anywhere from 18-40 something inches apart. YAWN.
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 17:43   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terrain opinion

Simple... Scatter it with reroll to the scatter die. Then its allways different...
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 18:13   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terrain opinion

I ALWAYS make battles story based;
terrain, mission everything,

always makes a good game.

I also try to create some sort of continuity between consecutive games,
then you often already have an idea what the terrain should be like.
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 18:16   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terrain opinion

Wow, I really like the idea of the scatter dice, I've never even consitered that before. Cool idea.
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 18:26   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terrain opinion

I think the fairest way of setting up a battlefield is to have one person set it up and the other have first pick of table edge.

If the setter upper doesn't place terrain fairly it becomes his disadvantage.
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 19:39   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terrain opinion

The 3rd Ed. rule book had a good way to set it up.

1. Divide your table (no matter the size) into squares that measure 12"x12". This would mean a 4'x4' table would be divided into 16 squares.

2. Each square gets D3 pieces of terrain. The pieces of terrain are determined by rolling 2D6 and consulting the "set" that you are playing with. There were 4 varieties in the rule book. One example was that if you rolled a "2" on 2D6, you place a building. If you rolled a "6" you would get a piece of woods measuring 4"x4". Placement of each piece was determined by the scatter die, with the piece scattering D6" from the center of the 12"x12" square.

3. Repeat the process until you have done all the squares. This method is sufficiently random that you don't have to take turns.

There are variations that you can do with this. My brother-in-law and I would dispense with the scattering and just take turns with each square and place. The other thing that we did was that use D3-1 pieces of terrain so that there would be some open ground. When 4th Ed. came out, I was surprised that this was not carried over from the previous rule book.

Hope this helps setting up that terrain fairly.
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