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40k Terrain: Great Comments from Readers

Ork Trukks 105 150x150 40k Terrain: Great Comments from ReadersHad a business trip that kept me from working on 40k Terrain much last week. Took 36 hours of travel due to flight delays to get home, but I’m back! Got my second Ork Trukk mostly done over the weekend and have started assembling it. I’m working on another YouTube video. In the meantime, a couple readers had comments so les talk about those.

How high should walls of buildings be? Gabriel Pitno is working on a 40k city in ruins project and is curious about the height of walls. The principles are simple – good 40k terrain always has to comply with rules of the game; it needs to be playable given the size of the miniatures; and fantastic 40k scenery needs to be dramatic. The 40k Rule book has three key rules (pages 82 and 83) to consider.

  • Ruins are difficult terrain
  • Ruin levels are assumed to be 3” tall
  • Unit coherency is 2”


The dynamic between these two rules is simple – if your difficult terrain roll is not high enough, you can’t get to the next higher or lower level. There is room for deviation for house rules. Movement distance is the same for horizontal or vertical movement, so if your terrain model is 2” between levels, that’s fine. HOWEVER, that isn’t what the rules say so make sure your opponent is fine with that change.  Given the height of most models is about 1”, unit coherency means you don’t want your levels greater than 3” or they become unplayable.  The bottom line, however, is that 3” per level is about right.

When you make your 40k terrain, make sure you can easily place the model on the levels – if your floors are too deep, this can become difficult and playability suffers. And finally, you’ve got the dramatic effect principle. This depends on the ruin in question.

4312686477 af263004c3 150x150 40k Terrain: Great Comments from Readers

Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/jon_a_ross/

Barricade walls need to be 12-18mm high or have firing position or it’s difficult to imagine firing over the wall. Defensive positions – bunkers or defensive walls – look best if they are at least twice the height of the Warhammer figures. Actual fortifications and ruins? Well, the bigger the better. Use the Cities of Death terrain as a judge on height here – but it seems 6-12” is pretty nice. Taller can be even better, but starts to cause some challenges. You may need to bring in Planet Strike rules to fully play great fortifications. That said, you can use the Imperial Bastions  as your judge on height. OR, you can take it to extremes. One of the best 40k Terrain projects available on the web is on the Warseer forum. Bugbait_nz has posted complete instructions for a FANTASTIC fortress based on Forge World designs. Check out Apocalypse 40k Terrain for actual plans.

How to make mine fields? Erwos is interested in yow I wind up making mind fields. I’m still working on the basic obstacles and barricades for my Cities of Death project. However, the approach here is pretty simple.  I’ve cut out oblong MDF bases roughly 6” by 9”. I’ll place a variety of debris, sand, and gravel on these. To represent mind fields, I’ll use a combination of little round sprue bits connected to string for trip wire; sign posts;  maybe little craters and dead bodies; and maybe the top of push pins. Nothing fancy. Some of these will be integrated with barbed wire entanglements, too.

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Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 at 7:13 am • 40k building, 40k cities of death, 40k scenery, apocalypse, cities of death, planetstrike, warhammer sceneryRSS 2.0 feed • leave a response or trackback

One Response to “40k Terrain: Great Comments from Readers”

  1. Erwos says:

    I’d also add “and make sure some of those walls are solid”. Now that we’re in the wonderland of TLOS, including little holes and windows for decoration can have some very real gameplay consequences.

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