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View Full Version : Using realistic terrain in 40k, also any reccommedations on terrain?



3+savesarefornoobs
30-03-2011, 07:48
At least in my experience is it just me or does no one ever use roads in 40k.

Along with roads, I almost never see:
Realistic gentle sloping large hills (not the fake kind with plateau layers)
Rivers
Swamps/Marshes
Hedgerows
Farmland/Vineyards
Forests

When I look at videos of Flames of War Terrain they use, it blows the typical 40k terrain out of the water!

All too often I just see fake hills and a bunch of urban buildings - nothing resembling an actual battlefield.

Is it just me but did GF9 cancel their Small Pine Wood and Large Pine Wood Battlefield in a box terrain sets? I was trying to get some and couldn't find them. Any other reccommendations? The GW forest looks terrible.

ehlijen
30-03-2011, 08:06
Roads, true. People don't use them often even though they actually have rules now. Possibly because they only benefit some factions but not some others (ie only those with ground vehicles that want to go faster instead of shooting).

Sloping hills: The problem here is that unlike FoW tanks, 40k models don't balance well on anything but flat, even ground. Sometimes not even then. The realms of battle board hills are quite bad if not flocked for extra slide resitance for example.

Rivers are unliked because they get in the way more than they do anything else. Can't cross it (unless your IG or fly) but can shoot over it peachy? A gunline's dream.

Swamps/marshes? Not really all that different from most tree/woods bases, funtioncally.

Hedgerows: Wholly artificial things for purely aesthetic pleasure. I wouldn't know which 40k race'd actually bother trimming these.

Farmland: Sure, but farmland tends to be flat and open for efficient harvesting/planting. Hardly makes for interesting tactical challenges.

Forests: those you actually see a fair bit. They're the second easiest thing to build after the GW buildings.

The thing to keep in mind about 40k vs FoW is that 40k focuses on infantry action in a universe where weapons of mass destruction are common. That means the most interesting fights are going to be in close quarters in important (and thus likely built up) areas. FoW is about mechanised warfare, whose strengths are most visible in long distance open ground engagements, in a setting devoid of WMDs. That means the fights that are the most interesting under those rules are the ones outside urban areas with enough open ground to keep both forces mobile.

Venerable Player
30-03-2011, 08:25
True, true. I actually build a rivulet or creek for our 1/72 FoW project. In addition to a modular street system. It could work for 28mm as well, but only as difficult terrain.

But now we decided to play 40k on a desert world (my Wolves will love that), so I need to make completely new terrain. Hills, maybe some domeshaped houses. Does anyone know where to find trees for an oasis or arid regions. Like fig trees, carob trees etc.? An orchard would be nice for an oasis battle, since woods should be uncommon.

ShodansOwn
30-03-2011, 09:34
I used to play on a club table with an awesome green noxious river. Another thing you dont see often is trenches.

HRM
30-03-2011, 10:41
Another thing you dont see often is trenches.

In the process of building some now. :D

Born Again
30-03-2011, 10:54
Rivers used to be a popular sight in WD battle reports back in the day when they featured all hand-made terrain... aside from the fact they never got around to making a river you can buy from GW stores, I think they stopped because they generally interfered with the game too much.

Roads, I think, while useful for some armies, are not really seen because of the size of the terrain piece. You can't just make a little strip of road, there's not really much point unless it stretches across the board so you need at least 4' of it. Generally if I've ever needed a road for a specific scenario or something you can just mark it out with bits of string to show the edges.

Hills, as mentioned, aren't really the greatest thing for balancing models on unless they have flat sections on them.

Woods, I'm not sure what you mean, it may just be your area as I see quite a lot of them on the boards at my LGS, use several on my board at home and are readily available from GW and other suppliers.

Wicksy
30-03-2011, 13:33
Yeah, my mates and i found as soon as anything that interfered with movement on a large scale across the board ruined the game. Playing against a Nurgle army constantly traversing lava rivers was terrible. It was too easy to loose valuable troops and tanks. As they were all across the battlefield it was literally down to who got to deploy first. Made many games utter crap.

pvpbob
30-03-2011, 14:01
For my home table we have enough woods to fill a little less then 1/3 the table, a lake, two pieces of a river (lake and rivers counts as diff terrain without cover save)

Tried the natural slopped hill and it just didn't pan out for balance reasons already mentioned. But since the table is a very rocky dense woods having the hill be part slope and part rocky plateau looks right and plays well.

We also have smaller pieces for line of sight blocking such as fallen trees and rock formations all based around shots of redwood forest and some of the more impressive rocky mountain areas

I am currently working on a trench system too.

The other home table in our group is very ww2 blitzed London where we have a full road system for that. Though it more often then not is only down for aesthetics

My group has always been under the impression that good terrain helps tell a better narrative and the more varied it is the better the tactical possibilities.

3+savesarefornoobs
30-03-2011, 14:09
Anyone have good recommendations for ready to assemble forests?

I was hoping to get the Gale Force 9 Large Pine Woods but they got cancelled and the GW one looks ridiculously cartoony.

Bunnahabhain
30-03-2011, 18:14
House rule true LOS away, in favour of a unit/terrain classification syatem and you can have much more realistic terrain. It works rather well.

Oh we also have roads, trenches lines, rivers etc that stretch across the board. Much easier to use without 'true' los

LonelyPath
30-03-2011, 18:29
@ 3+savesarefornoobs - No idea about complete forests, but you can buy model trees cheap enough (and easily make your own even cheaper if you have the time), just place them on a suitably decorated base and you're away :)

chromedog
30-03-2011, 22:39
At least in my experience is it just me or does no one ever use roads in 40k.

Along with roads, I almost never see:
Realistic gentle sloping large hills (not the fake kind with plateau layers)
Rivers
Swamps/Marshes
Hedgerows
Farmland/Vineyards
Forests

When I look at videos of Flames of War Terrain they use, it blows the typical 40k terrain out of the water!

All too often I just see fake hills and a bunch of urban buildings - nothing resembling an actual battlefield.

Is it just me but did GF9 cancel their Small Pine Wood and Large Pine Wood Battlefield in a box terrain sets? I was trying to get some and couldn't find them. Any other reccommendations? The GW forest looks terrible.

1. Flames of war is 15mm. It's a lot easier to put a base of 15mm models onto the slope of a hill than the same of 28mm. Plateau hills are the compromise between realistic and practical for scales above 15mm.

I play eldar. We have skimmers and have no need of roads where we come from. That said, my urban table has roads marked onto it, and the buildings/ruins go into the spaces that are NOT roads.

Most GW gamers (or their parents) are unaware of other ways to get stuff for terrain outside of GW (and GW capitalise on this). Go find a model railway store and look through their terrain stuff. I get bags of 100 trees for the price of a SM box from places like this.
The GF9 stuff is good, but there is still better out there.

I have a 10' long river (it's in 2' lengths, 8" wide overall) that includes swampy bits, as well as a delta, fording points and a bridge. Several large forested pieces [some even so dense they are 'impassable'] in my collection, and my club have used all of it on several occasions.

Azzy
30-03-2011, 23:07
At least in my experience is it just me or does no one ever use roads in 40k.

Along with roads, I almost never see:
Realistic gentle sloping large hills (not the fake kind with plateau layers)
Rivers
Swamps/Marshes
Hedgerows
Farmland/Vineyards
Forests

I've done a marsh--it was ridiculously easy. I'm currently flocking a jungle (the first of many) and will soon be working on a couple hills, more jungles, overgrown ruins and likely a modular river (when I find the motivation for that). The hills will be the plateau sort for reasons the others have pointed out.

Years ago, my and and I all talked about wanting to play urban combat scenarios and with CoD that became a reality... Now I want to add in some variety and am starting with a jungle deathworld.

Johnmclane
31-03-2011, 00:02
I'd a tuturial for building terrain using stuff from a aquarium store, see my sig !!

The Orange
31-03-2011, 00:24
1. realistic terrain tends to get in the way of gaming. As good as ruble strew buildings/hills/etc. look, the unevenness of the floor made it a pain to try to deploy troops in/on them (constantly falling over each other). It's not fun having your newly painted big metal mini's topping over and getting scratched up over "terrain". Realistic forests also have the same problem, and you constantly want to move trees out of the way to place miniatures, but then you end up expanding or retracting the forest. My buddies just started using 3-4 trees to outline the boundaries and that's it.

2. Terrain is time consuming to make, and especially to paint. My buddies and I tried to start, the fact that I was really the only gung-ho hobbyist in the group didn't help.

As for advice on terrain. I'd look at nearby craft stores, of hobby train stores.

Lord Gabranth
31-03-2011, 00:57
For realistic trees, my buddies and I ended up basing model trees onto 40mm bases and place them randomly on flat terrain peices so that way you can move the trees when your models are moving through the terrain