Terrain? Some beginner questions.....
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Thread: Terrain? Some beginner questions.....

  1. #1

    Default Terrain? Some beginner questions.....

    My gaming group collectively does not have much experience with tabletop miniature war games. Most of our experience with these types of games comes from Dust: Tactics and Heroclix, which are significantly different from the traditional miniature war games. Wrath of Kings will be our first "real" delve into this genre and we are all extremely excited. We've been having some discussions about terrain and seem to be overlooking/over-thinking it.

    Is there any rhyme or reason to selecting terrain pieces for a game of Wrath of Kings (or any miniature war game)? Or is it just "let's throw all these random terrain pieces on the table from 6 feet away and wherever they land is how we'll play"? I know for casual games it probably isn't a big deal, but what about at the competitive level? Just reading some of the basic terrain information from the rulebook I can see that it CAN have a major impact on gameplay, and players that use it to their advantage will certainly have an edge. Do player's agree on the number of pieces and their stats, then take turns placing them? This way they could use a bit of strategy in placement. Does a third party arrange the "battlefield" before a game?

    My apologies if these are all stupid questions but my experience with traditional war games is basically non-existent.

  2. #2


    Terrain can be used to make the board more aesthetically pleasing, while also having relevance to game play. This can be from giving cover to your unit, effecting line of site, making it difficult to move across. This is by no means a full list of effects but just an example.
    As for placing scenery if you got more than two people playing get a person not in that game to place it for you so you get a bit more balance.
    Tournaments depending on the system have there own rules on what they must have.
    Selecting terrain can look a lot better if themed (i.e don't put a river in a dessert board but an oasis would be in keeping).
    Would never suggest throwing scenery as depending what its made of could end up damaging it.
    Hope this helps
    Wargames Terrain Workshop
    Home of High Quality Gaming boards, Scenery and Miniature Sculpting

    Contact us @ wargamesterrainworkshop@yahoo.co.uk

  3. #3


    I'm partial to both players taking turns placing scenery. If you want to add an additional amount of fairness to it, place the scenery before choosing which side you're using and then flip a coin to see who gets to pick the sides. Competitive people are going to place scenery in order to give themselves an advantage... but if you don't even know which side you're using it's tougher to exploit the scenery placement. If you feel it's necessary you can add additional rules like you can place one piece in each deployment zone and the rest must be in the center... or something like that. Odds are as you play you'll see what does and doesn't work for the group.

    And sure, if you've got an impartial third party they can setup the board for you.

  4. #4


    In a Tournament situation there are usually tournament guidelines that create the rules for terrain placement. Some tournaments will have the players alternate placing pieces of terrain with some minimum spacing that must be maintained between them. Some tournaments will have pre-set boards that the players use.

    Typically the game company will create rules for terrain placement as part of their organized play guidelines. CMON might not have any plans for creating organized play, in which case your local store/club should come up with their own rules.

  5. #5


    Hi. I've been table top war gaming for over 20 years now, I have scratch built terrain from simple woods to entire sewer systems, now though, I would look at pre painted pieces first if you can. check out Gale force 9, they do some pretty good Eleven towers and other pieces that would fit in. Privateer press do, or did, some techno stuff that would suit Teknes. Gw towers and stuff, but you may deed to de-skull them first!

    as for placing it, we no longer place random terrain before we play, it eats I to play time. Try and make the board look interesting, try and develop a thematic approach, would the armies meet here? Is there room to move around? Is there terrain that will block line of sight? Keep it balanced without an advantage to one side or the other. When my group play now it is generally at our homes, so the host sets the table and the visitor picks the side.

    Good ode terrain can really enhance a game.

    check out Tera Clips for a completely different table top approach that I am thinking of using with this game.

  6. #6


    Thanks for the info guys. Most likely to start with we'll be using books and any other household items we can find. I've done some searching for tabletop terrain and WOW does that stuff get expensive. I'm not sure our gaming group is going to be serious enough to justify buying any. As I mentioned this is our first "real" tabletop miniature war game.

  7. #7


    You can use 2D terrain as well - print out images of lakes or forests or buildings as viewed from above (in the proper scale) and place them on the table. Cheap, and looks nicer than books. Of course you can't get the sense of climbing things, but still...

    Here you can find some of the old 2d printed terrain for MageKnight: http://mageknightuniverse.blogspot.c...sources_3.html

  8. #8


    Yeah, buying terrain is expensive. But you can make your own if your gaming group is interested. A good source for info is James Wappel's blog, he shows the construction of a lot of different terrain pieces for the gaming table. He's using simple materials like pink foam (the kind for insulation), balsa wood, thin cardboard (cut up cereal box). Get the foam at your local hardware store (Home Depot or the like), and Arts and Craft stores are a good place to get lots of balsa wood (though maybe the hardware store too?).
    The most recent terrain posts show the finished product. Click on 'older posts' and go back a couple pages to see how the stuff is actually made.

    If you search around the web you'll find plenty of other do it yourself terrain tutorials.

  9. #9


    Pet shops can be a good source too, some fish tank stuff is far cheaper than the same size wargames terrain

  10. #10


    I have found the GF9 Battlefield in a Box stuff to be fantastic, it's a complete set in a box that finished and they're 25 to 35 bones each:



    I do also have a ton of stuff that I've made over the years as well, and I do pick up the odd piece here and there to add to the collection.
    Throne of Angels

    Are you WATCHING?

    AKA - AngelicOne

  11. #11


    How about some officially licensed WoK terrain? I for one would go all in for something like that.

  12. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by CMON Derek View Post
    I have found the GF9 Battlefield in a Box stuff to be fantastic
    Agreed! I also recommend Miniature Building Authority pieces for nice looking finished terrain for reasonable prices.

    For forests, fields, and trenches, I recommend felt (hard or soft - soft is more easily stored and less likely to slide on the table if bumped, hard looks better and is less likely to be accidently picked up by miniature bases when moving models over it). You can get it at any craft store, in a myriad of colors and cut to size and shape. You can also cut rivers out of longer blue felt, but I prefer the look of the GF9 Battlefield in a Box rivers.

    As far as placement, I echo that taking turns should be done before starting sides are selected, but it can eat up playing time. For the most part we have a third party set it up or do it jointly and go for a mirror-image balanced approach, ie Rivers in the middle or going diagonally from corner to corner, ruins opposite each other, or opposite corners, forests and hills in the middle, or balanced distance from the middle, etc.

    Try several ways and you'll get the hang of what works in no time. Just shoot for fair when setting up fair battles. Scenarios can be a whole other alternative, where one side gets a terrain advantage, but has a smaller force or more difficult scenario objective, but that stuff can be pretty advanced to get right.

    Most of all, I find if you make it look cool, with an eye to balance, you'll have fun.
    Last edited by Lord ThornShadow; 01-29-2014 at 02:28 AM. Reason: Added details on felt
    EGO sum in vestri substructio caedes vestri populus!

  13. #13


    Does anyone have any experience with something like this?


    It's essentially print and play terrain. You print it on 110lb card stock, fold it and it fits together and can be tiered, etc. Think this will be suitable for WoK play? There are a bunch of sets available.

  14. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by Xavarir View Post
    Does anyone have any experience with something like this?


    It's essentially print and play terrain. You print it on 110lb card stock, fold it and it fits together and can be tiered, etc. Think this will be suitable for WoK play? There are a bunch of sets available.
    Considering the WoK minis are plastic, those should be just fine. Might be iffy with the monsters, but then 80mm bases aren't really terrain friendly with anything, lol.

    The two drawbacks with cardstock terrain are...

    1.) Don't ever get them wet. (Gremlins anyone?). Basically, they're a PITA to transport, not heavy, but bulky and fragile.
    2.) They wear out over time.
    EGO sum in vestri substructio caedes vestri populus!

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