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40k Terrain – It’s a game!

There’s been a great deal of discussion on the forums lately about how much 40k terrain is enough and how to place it so it’s fair and so on. This is a wargame! It’s supposed to be fun, and we’re supposed to be good sports when we win and lose. Do what YOU think is fun that other people will do with you. Hopefully, that will include some element of challenge. That said, lets discuss a few simple things.

Battescapes should reflect a place that makes sense to have a 40k battle. There should be a reason for the two sides to be choosing to fight on this particular battlefield. In my opinion, it shouldn’t just be a haphazard placement of terrain. I think there are not enough games set to a specific theme – sieges in Apocalypse, or scenarios about taking particular buildings in Cities of Death, or particularly tough fought counter attacks in Planetstrike. In other words, sometimes we need our games to have a story. 40k Terrain is a critical part of that story.

c3ecc913cb2ca31 40k Terrain – It’s a game!

Nid's and Dark Angels Rush To Fight

If your 40k battlefields tell a story, then they need to have a consistent theme. This can be tough – it’s nice when your terrain pieces make sense when placed on multiple styles or flavors of game boards. So, some creativity is necessary to give as much utility to your work as possible. Work to bring drama to your game – awesome 40k scenery can make a good game into a truly memorable blast!

Finally, and very importantly, you’ve got to consider the rules. We can all be cynics at times about why Games Workshop does the things they do, but they play Warhammer a lot. They continuously play test how the game and the rules work. Consider the rules that interact with terrain and design your boards and 40k terrain items accordingly. Their guidelines of 25% real terrain is necessary to balance the shooters and fighters out, and provide opportunity for special units like snipers to excel. The alternating placement of terrain at the beginning of the game is crucial. This reflects you and your opponent’s commander’s choosing the terrain on which they are going to fight. In game terms, it provides a nice balance between fair and maintaining some flavor of “fog of war”.

Using the new Battle Missions book can work well to using your terrain to maximum utility while providing a great “fog of war” feeling. When you have 34 different games that might occur, you really need to be ready for anything.

Keep your games fun, simple, and visually exciting!


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Friday, September 17th, 2010 at 9:01 am • 40k scenery, 40k terrain, planetstrike, warhammer 40kRSS 2.0 feed • leave a response or trackback

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