+ inload: In search of a good battlefield +

+ What's the best battlefield you've ever fought over? +

+ I'd like to collect examples of good battlefield layout (photograph, sketch or illustration) together and create a mini-supplement that players can use to guide their own terrain placement. +

+ Ideally, I'd like: 

  • A clear picture of the battlefield, showing where the scenery lies (ideally overhead, and without miniatures, but I'll take what I can!);
  • A description or overlay of suggested deployment zones;
  • Any information on the rules (if any) you used for certain terrain pieces;
  • A brief blurb on why the scenery made for a good game.

+ Thanks in advance! +

+ Good example +

Rynn's World – Battle for the Farm

Deployment: One army must deploy entirely within the confines of the Farm; the other must deploy within 12in of the opposite long edge.

Special terrain rules: None

Terrain notes: 

  • We treated the woods on the left as an area of 'Area terrain', extending between the outermost points of the individual tree models.
  • We treated the woods on the right as an area of 'Area terrain', extending between the outermost points of the individual tree models, or following the line of the hedge. 
  • The low walls of the Farm provided +1 Sv for any models whose base touched it, and if the wall was between the firer and the target model.
  • The farm buildings provided +1 Sv for any model whose base was touching any part of the Farm's base.


+ Not so useful examples +

Outskirts of the Emperor's Palace, Terra

+ The above example is probably a nicer picture (and a more interesting terrain set-up) than the Rynn's World example, but it's hard to see where things are, and there's no clarification on what things counted as. Don't get me wrong, I'd be delighted to receive anything (all grist to the mill), but if you can tell me the specifics of why it worked well and helped give a good game, that'd be fantastic. +


RSF_Angel said...

I know this isn't exactly what was requested but I'd like to share some thoughts on the rules applied to terrain and how they influence terrain collections and battles. Some of the most enjoyable games I've played were using the Cityfight (not cities of death) ruleset. A lot of the ideas (buildings as area terrain) were later incorporated into the rules proper, but key to the idea of cityfight was the 3rd ed area terrain rules for woods/jungles- you cannot draw LOS through over 6 inches of area terrain(adding up from multiple terrain pieces).

This meant that battles featured troops emerging from relative safety (you could still be targeted by indirect weapons, a mobile enemy could close that distance or gain another angle less obscured) into cover as they moved through the same building- constantly reforming battlelines.

It had the advantage of clarity too, as each building was treated the same- the difference being the footprint and the height- allowing for commanding positions to reestablish LOS. Free vertical moves up to the distance you could travel horizontally meant that the game seemed much more 3d, in contrast to the flattening of the game for 4th ed.

Finally, it was easier to represent a battlefield with any given terrain collection- you didn't have to physically fill space to block line of sight. 4 corner pieces and some rubble gave you a workable building and you could only improve from there.

As regards layout- buildings facing diagonally rather than square to the angle of approach was found to be best as this prevented long streets proving easy fire lanes into enemy deployment.

apologist said...

No need to apologise – you always come up with interesting points of discussion!
I do agree with you; that Cityfight book was great, and had some fantastic rules that achieved the difficult task of making complex, attractive and impressive scenery work in a clear and intuitive way.

Ultimately, it's obscuring LoS that I think makes for a good, dynamic game. Cityfight had the right balance between a liberal and conservative application of what can see, I think.

RSF_Angel said...

It came at a time when most people were still using grassmats to play on agri-worlds with small copses of trees. It really changed the game forever.

I agree that good terrain is all about LoS, but its also about interaction. A ruined building hits a sweet spot- it can completely obscure a model behind it (rules and modelling permitting) but models can also enter it freely and stand anywhere on its walls without looking contrived. They gain survivability by doing so and players naturally want to use them.

Other popular terrain includes solid blocks (Silos and containers) which are great for blocking LoS but offer very little interaction- even if you stand models like terminators on them, they look a bit out of place.

Stuff like rivers, lavapools and chemical wastes are not LoS blocking, offer no cover and often damage troops. While they may be awesome additions to a themed battlefield, they rarely get made or placed down because players are not as interested in fighting the battlefield rather than the opposing army.

As wargames modellers we are always trying to find a good compromise between reproducing things accurately in miniature and producing terrain that our minis will interact with, stand on etc. Walkways that could be narrow in real life are bloated out to accommodate 28mm bases at a minimum, buildings that should take up half the board are reduced to slightly bigger than APCs.

I am really interested to see what other commenters produce- terrain is one of my favourite elements of the hobby(tm)