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Pacman
15-11-2006, 11:07
In another thread (which is in danger of going well off-topic) some people have voiced the opinion that gaining an advantage through placing terrain is somehow poor tactics, or worse, poor sportsmanship.
I personally find that an odd opinion. What general in real life doesn’t choose the terrain where he fights carefully? Manoeuvring in and around terrain to your advantage is basic tactics.
In miniature wargaming we get to quite literally choose the ground on which we fight. So, assuming you’re using a fair method of placing terrain, what’s wrong with placing it in a way that will benefit you?

Fhoen
15-11-2006, 11:52
we just dice for the amount of terrain , and then dice for who set's terrain where... so it's fair enough if u win the dice roll u can benefit from it imho...
conclusion: terrain should be exploited cus it's not there for being pretty, but for being handy/annoying

Scythe
15-11-2006, 12:04
Choosing were you fight as general is something different as carrying a hill with you all the time. You have to work with what you get from time to time. Hence I liked the 6th edition random terrain generator tables. The terrain piece rolled was random, but you still controlled were it was on the battlefield.

Artemis
15-11-2006, 12:27
But, now we have the 12" from centre point rule. This guarantees an area suitable for fighting "clean". And besides, terrain can be used to block other peoples terrain, can't it? And besides, you roll for table side after terrain placement, so there are risks involved in placing hills in deployment zones. Or at least that's what we do...

Scythe
15-11-2006, 12:37
What, that your opponent also gets a hill? That shouldn't worry you a bit if you play a shooty army yourself.

The choose your terrain rules take away some of the more random, more fun battlefield features. Because, let's be honest, most of the time you just take a hill or a wood.

Artemis
15-11-2006, 12:43
No, that a wood can be placed in front of a hill:-)

Yes, I agree with you. It is more fun with different types of terrain and obstacles. Problem is you have to make most of it yourself, as the non hill/wood/fence gw stuff is hard to come by, if it even exists. So, we are mostly stuck with hills and woods to choose from, if we want a realistic-looking battlefield.

Artemis
15-11-2006, 12:52
And - more to the point - I've found that if my opponent places terrain solely to his advantage, I will do so too, and the terrain will be fairly poorly placed. As with powergaming, powerterrainplacing(!) can be taken too far, an thus make the game less fun, even if it is legal.

T10
15-11-2006, 12:53
What general in real life doesn’t choose the terrain where he fights carefully? Manoeuvring in and around terrain to your advantage is basic tactics.


What general in real life faces an equally powerful force on the battlefield? Chosing which battles you fight and which you do not is basic strategy.

-T10

Scythe
15-11-2006, 13:01
No, that a wood can be placed in front of a hill:-)

Yes, I agree with you. It is more fun with different types of terrain and obstacles. Problem is you have to make most of it yourself, as the non hill/wood/fence gw stuff is hard to come by, if it even exists. So, we are mostly stuck with hills and woods to choose from, if we want a realistic-looking battlefield.

I admit using random charts might require some improvisation, to fit it to the terrain pieces you have. Still, I would encourage people to diversify their collection. Playing the odd battle around a watchtower, farm, river or swamp adds a lot more than just battles over hills and woods.

Latro
15-11-2006, 13:16
Placing terrain to your advantage does not make you a better general, learning how to deal with terrain you had no influence on does ...

Personal opinion of course :)

Artemis
15-11-2006, 13:42
I admit using random charts might require some improvisation, to fit it to the terrain pieces you have. Still, I would encourage people to diversify their collection. Playing the odd battle around a watchtower, farm, river or swamp adds a lot more than just battles over hills and woods.

I don't think we disagree much:)

But all terrain pieces can be placed to advantage, can they not? My point is that some people will always look for the best possible solution that the rules or agreements allow. Woods and Hills offer shielding or higher ground, while, say, a watchtower is impassable and can be used to block the advancing horde's maneuvering. It's good for catching fleeing troops, as well:evilgrin:

What I prefer, however, are tables with pre-fixed diverse terrain, and perhaps also playing scenarios (objectives and so on) on them. [Hold that bridge, you low-life imperial troops!] That makes for a different sort of game, where using "neutral" terrain becomes a test of skill.

Scythe
15-11-2006, 14:04
It is true that everything can be abused. Placing a conga line of terrain pieces to shield of an entire flank, and so on. That is were some common sense of the players comes in. I have the luck of a very reasonable playing group, so even with players placing terrain themselves, I can count on a fair, fun battleground. It works very nice in one off games.

Tough I certainly like objective based games as well. They require some preparation, but placing terrain and setting objectives can really help creating a fun, narrative game, and showing of that nice new building you just made.

Avian
15-11-2006, 14:46
Based on many years of experience, letting players place the terrain themselves tends to lead to very dull terrain placement. "A hill in each deployment zone and a couple of woods far off to one side again, I see."

Random terrain gives you a challenge and keeps things interesting.

Pacman
15-11-2006, 14:46
Luckily I play with a group that has a large collection of excellent terrain in a variety of scales. Normally one person arrives first and sets up the table, letting the other person pick their side (unless they're unhappy about the setup)
Otherwise we tend do alternating turns to place a feature.
I think anybody with half a brain is going to place terrain that suits their army. Would you begrudge a Lizardman player a couple of water features? Or a HE player using White Lions a wood? Special terrain abilities are probably built into the troops' points value, as i'm sure GW expects us to use terrain our troops like.

Avian
15-11-2006, 14:57
Luckily I play with a group that has a large collection of excellent terrain in a variety of scales. Normally one person arrives first and sets up the table, letting the other person pick their side (unless they're unhappy about the setup)
I really hope you use the last clause, since a player with a shooty army placing two hills in each deployment zone against a close combat army is not out to make the game interesting! :p

Fhoen
15-11-2006, 15:01
tbh i wonder why someone wonders about a topic as this... cus if u have decent players who want a fun game instead of winning all the time , u won't have any discussions if u are with 2 honest players...
and if u have Hardcore gamers who want to win all the time and with every lil thing he can lay his hands on , don't play against him again....

505
15-11-2006, 15:02
or ou can let one person place terrain and the other gets to choose which side to be. therefore the placer needs to think how to balance them out

Brother Maynard
15-11-2006, 15:07
What our club does, after all the pieces are set down, is "scatter" the pieces around. We use the scatter die and 2D6 and move a terrain piece that many inches in the direction of the scatter. If the bulls-eye is rolled, the piece stays were it is. With this methode, we can at least ensure a little more diversty and chance to how the table will look and play.

Fhoen
15-11-2006, 15:07
or ou can let one person place terrain and the other gets to choose which side to be. therefore the placer needs to think how to balance them out

sigh... :rolleyes:



since a player with a shooty army placing two hills in each deployment zone against a close combat army is not out to make the game interesting! :p

:)

Avian
15-11-2006, 15:12
tbh i wonder why someone wonders about a topic as this... cus if u have decent players who want a fun game instead of winning all the time , u won't have any discussions if u are with 2 honest players...
Sure you will. I have had lots.

Additionally, as I said, humans tend to come up with dull terrain setups, no matter how honest they are.

Fhoen
15-11-2006, 15:15
if u want a realistic sfere, it can be a bad terrain setup somethimes...
life goes on imho , it's just a game -.-

Avian
15-11-2006, 15:40
if u want a realistic sfere, it can be a bad terrain setup somethimes...
Would you mind repeating that in proper english, please? I cannot understand what you mean.

Fhoen
15-11-2006, 16:04
omg -.-
a realistic atmosphere...
woods hills... sorry for spelling , but with ur brain u should be able to understand the context...

Selsaral
15-11-2006, 16:57
I suppose it says a lot that 7th ed is very vague about how to setup terrain. They have about two paragraphs that explain a 'generic' method at the start of the book, but in the back they point out that every system has its flaws (some are boring, some are unfair), and suggests several alternate methods including having an impartial 3rd party with warhammer experience do it.

You'd have thought that after 7 editions they could have come up with something better than this. It's important because many armies (wood elves, chaos) rely on terrain as part of their army lists' advantages (or disadvantages).

Our group is also dismayed by the generic recommended setup in 7th ed. We have played our first few games with this sytem so that we can learn the rule changes etc in a neutral environment, but I think we may quickly move on to something different. We used to randomize how many pieces, what the pieces were, and where they were placed. We will probably end up back with that method.

Ender Shadowkin
15-11-2006, 18:37
We have a pretty decent system, based on themed charts, randomly spinning each piece, and a grid across the map. I'm in the process of documenting and cleaning up the whole thing, so I'll post a link when I am done.

I firmly believe that terrain placement and its strategic consequences are a very fun part of the game, provided there are some rules and level heads. Not to mention fun to model and improve the aesthetic enjoyment tha warhammer can provide. However newbies can get really screwed here so we do limit terrain for new players.

There are many rules in the book that are terrain specific so of course terrain is a major part of the strategy, and yes it can make a table randomly unfair for one side. But guess what, dice are not fair, warhammer is not fair. Randomness is part of the game. The key to winning is dealling with each situation as it comes up the best you can. Wether your ruber lances bounce off while charging goblin archers or a dwarf organ gun ends up on a cliff overlooking your forces.

Setting up a map ahead of time is fun, but ultimatly you can't be unbiased unless both armies are exactly the same as noted above due to hills, etc. But that's not saying setting up the hill side village next to the river map is not fun to do every once in a while.

But I definetly do not like the new official system outlined in the 7th edition rules, It does not lend itself to varied terrain, and thus does not present a lot of opportunites to flex strategic muscles in dealing with unique terrain situations.

Pacman
15-11-2006, 20:12
You'd have thought that after 7 editions they could have come up with something better than this. It's important because many armies (wood elves, chaos) rely on terrain as part of their army lists' advantages (or disadvantages).


I think vague is probably good. Many excellent wargames rulesets have been ruined by overly complicated terrain systems intended for tournament play.

Selsaral
15-11-2006, 21:15
I think vague is probably good. Many excellent wargames rulesets have been ruined by overly complicated terrain systems intended for tournament play.

I can see that. I'm not completely happy with either way: random is fun and interesting but often unfair, and non-random ('fair' terrain is probably impossible to achieve anyways) is often boring.

At the same time, I agree with Ender. 'Bad' terrain (for your army) generated randomly can easily be seen as an interesting challenge to overcome.

505
16-11-2006, 01:16
or set up each others side hehehe

druchii
16-11-2006, 04:01
I don't think I've ever had a "problem" with terrain placement.

You always have the option to cease placing pieces once you dislike the way things are going. I routinely place only a single hill while playing my Brets.

Fewer places for those lame Wood Elves and Beastmen to hide.

With my ogres, I'll be setting up as much terrain as I possibly can.

Different armies just honestly "want" different terrain. Terrian placement is like army selection, just as much a part of the game as tactics and rules.

d

javaguru
16-11-2006, 04:18
Sure you will. I have had lots.

Additionally, as I said, humans tend to come up with dull terrain setups, no matter how honest they are.

That's why general's have been careful about the battlegrounds they fight on. You choose to retire if there is no strategic objective you need to defend and the terrain is unfavorable. Honestly, why would you choose to fight, as a chaos general, on a featureless plain when you can threaten a flank and force your Empire gunline opponent to fight in a hilly woods? Historically, general's from the period represented by WHFB both chose where and when they fought.

beastgod
16-11-2006, 05:32
We allways build upp an table thats look good and thats are going to be an challenge to both to play on.

Or some times we just let a third person set upp the terain and see him laugh over how difficult table he sets upp.
I think the game is more fun this way becuse you arent just go in a strait line to the enemy...

Scythe
16-11-2006, 08:25
I
You always have the option to cease placing pieces once you dislike the way things are going. I routinely place only a single hill while playing my Brets.


No offense, but such way to place terrain I just find boring. A hill, same place, each battle. Not very interesting if you ask me.


That's why general's have been careful about the battlegrounds they fight on. You choose to retire if there is no strategic objective you need to defend and the terrain is unfavorable. Honestly, why would you choose to fight, as a chaos general, on a featureless plain when you can threaten a flank and force your Empire gunline opponent to fight in a hilly woods? Historically, general's from the period represented by WHFB both chose where and when they fought.

Indeed. Both generals choose a fight. However with the current terrain placement you have the ability to affect both sides of the battlefield. In other words: if the Chaos general wants to fight in an area without hills, he is out of luck every time, since the opposing player can just deploy a hill in each deployment zone without the Chaos player being able to do anything about it.

The random terrain generators do not do this. They give you a set amount of pieces to work with, but you still control were they are on the battlefield.

Plus, what I mentioned before, the random generator makes sure not every board is only filled with woods and hills.

showmydog
17-11-2006, 07:48
Scythe is right,
A chaos general may not to wish to encounter an empire gunline on open terrain, but likewise the empire general will do all he can to ensure he can destroy the chaos with shooting.
Since both generals are trying to fight on favourable terrain a compromise must be made.
To simulate the manouvering of both sides a system where both players deploy terrain is used.

javaguru
17-11-2006, 23:51
No offense, but such way to place terrain I just find boring. A hill, same place, each battle. Not very interesting if you ask me.



Indeed. Both generals choose a fight. However with the current terrain placement you have the ability to affect both sides of the battlefield. In other words: if the Chaos general wants to fight in an area without hills, he is out of luck every time, since the opposing player can just deploy a hill in each deployment zone without the Chaos player being able to do anything about it.

The random terrain generators do not do this. They give you a set amount of pieces to work with, but you still control were they are on the battlefield.

Plus, what I mentioned before, the random generator makes sure not every board is only filled with woods and hills.

But the chaos general can deploy on the reverse slope, denying LoS. Also, the chaos general can designate terrain that interferes with his opponent. Since Chaos has expensive units it's likely he'll get to choose who goes first, +1 to the smaller number of units player, and could steal the game by denying a round of shooting to his empire opponent and taking the last turn.

druchii
18-11-2006, 03:13
[QUOTE=Scythe;1078113]No offense, but such way to place terrain I just find boring. A hill, same place, each battle. Not very interesting if you ask me. QUOTE]

I sorta see your point.
No I don't.

Alot of people consider the meat of Warhammer to be the tactics which develop during gameplay. I find army building, terrian placement and playing the game as an integral part of the experience.

My hill isn't always the same hill.

Sometimes I place a piece of impassable terrain.

Or a village.

Sometimes I'll place two hills. Or a mountain ontop of a hill.

Not only that, but I've always LIKED hills and woods. I like the idea of brawling on an open country side, with little groves of trees and hilly mounds. It fits into my general idea of warhammer. Could be just because I like grass and trees.

d

Pacman
18-11-2006, 09:46
So basically, nobody has a problem with tactical placement of terrain, as long as it isn't boring.

Pretty obvious really. Making the game interesting is pretty much the whole point of playing.

DeathlessDraich
18-11-2006, 10:01
Just adding a few points not mentioned or touched on briefly:

1) Buildings: a) With 7th ed, I've been using 2 storey buildings for my archers.
b) Against Brets, all cavalry or flying armies, archers and wizards in buildings are untouchable and a virtual nuisance.

2) For those who would play with any terrain, I doubt you would agree to a battlefield of only woods against WE or swamps/lakes for a Skink army.

3) Does anyone play with no terrain or prefers one with certain armies - a flat battleground? One player in our club prefers no terrain when he plays with Ogres or O&G.

Scythe
18-11-2006, 14:10
But the chaos general can deploy on the reverse slope, denying LoS. Also, the chaos general can designate terrain that interferes with his opponent. Since Chaos has expensive units it's likely he'll get to choose who goes first, +1 to the smaller number of units player, and could steal the game by denying a round of shooting to his empire opponent and taking the last turn.

Deploy the hills against the tables side. No reverse slope out of sight. And the center of the table is forced to stay open, so interferance to the hills is very limited if deployed correctly.


I sorta see your point.
No I don't.

Alot of people consider the meat of Warhammer to be the tactics which develop during gameplay. I find army building, terrian placement and playing the game as an integral part of the experience.

My hill isn't always the same hill.

Sometimes I place a piece of impassable terrain.

Or a village.

Sometimes I'll place two hills. Or a mountain ontop of a hill.

Not only that, but I've always LIKED hills and woods. I like the idea of brawling on an open country side, with little groves of trees and hilly mounds. It fits into my general idea of warhammer. Could be just because I like grass and trees.

d

Then you could just as well roll on the random generator. I mean, hills and woods are still the most likely piece of terrain you roll. But there is a good chance you roll some interesting pieces as well, especially if you roll say 3 times per player. Good chance you end up with at least 1 wood or hill, but still some random variation in the battlefield features.

fracas
18-11-2006, 15:15
i like the 2D6 + scatter terrain placement.

Voltaire
18-11-2006, 16:36
How about having an ejudicator in your games for this sort of thing?

A third party is more likely to retain the impartial monicre and if you are deliberately powergaming with terrain, then the impartial party can top this. A GM - someone who isn't gaming for whatever reason - is ideal for this.

Adept
18-11-2006, 21:33
A method we've been using lately is to choose a few handy terrain pieces from our club collection, then scatter them 5D6" from the centre of the table. This yields a totally different result each game, stops that gunline player from putting a hill in each deployment zone and no other terrain, and generally just keeps things fresh.

You do have to fudge the results from time to time, as sometimes you can have hills scatter on to lakes or other hills, or end up with one corner of the table being completely cluttered.

javaguru
20-11-2006, 22:51
How about having an ejudicator in your games for this sort of thing?

A third party is more likely to retain the impartial monicre and if you are deliberately powergaming with terrain, then the impartial party can top this. A GM - someone who isn't gaming for whatever reason - is ideal for this.

But who stops powergaming with the army list? The only way to do that is with some kind of TO&E list. If both players can powergame their army list then it should be allowed in terrain placement. Historically, general's had more control over the battlefield than the troops in their army. Remember, table sides are diced off, which means more mitigating terrain as opposed to dominating, while army lists are 100% controllable.

javaguru
20-11-2006, 23:04
Deploy the hills against the tables side. No reverse slope out of sight. And the center of the table is forced to stay open, so interferance to the hills is very limited if deployed correctly.

But one general deploys half the terrain and the other deploys the other half, it's a random dice off. As a non-shooting/LoS army I will choose terrain that minimizes LoS. As a shooty army you choose terrain that will open up LoS. If you deploy your hills against the table edge then I'll deploy mine as far forward as possible or designate LoS blocking woods. The time period represented by WHFB, a general had one or two armies, a defeat meant he lost the war, do you think he would fight a meeting engagement, that's for small units.
BTW, if you're not at the top of the hill and there is no higher terrain than LoS is blocked on a hill terrain piece. You can't logically have a hill without a reverse slope from someone facing it.....just saying....

druchii
20-11-2006, 23:43
Then you could just as well roll on the random generator. I mean, hills and woods are still the most likely piece of terrain you roll. But there is a good chance you roll some interesting pieces as well, especially if you roll say 3 times per player. Good chance you end up with at least 1 wood or hill, but still some random variation in the battlefield features.


Sort of.

I assumed that due to the nature of your posts when you said "different" sort of terrain I thought you meant something more along the lines of villages, buildings, clusters of rocks, impassable terrain, water features, piles of bones, sand dunes, quicksand, etc.

And I don't WANT to roll on the random terrain chart. I stated explicitly above that I tend to dislike extra terrain on the board while I play. Most of my opponents want as many pieces of terrain as possible. The current rules for terrain are very clear and concise (the set-up, that is!) and allow both players to attempt to add as many pieces as they can.

I don't think you could logically short a WE player when he grabs four woods off of the shelf, or a lizardman-skink-hord when he grabs marshes, or a beastman player when he grabs any LOS breaking, difficult terrain pieces.

Don't short me when I place my hill.
d

Adept
21-11-2006, 03:21
If both players can powergame their army list then it should be allowed in terrain placement.

Why? That doesn't make sense at all.

Scythe
21-11-2006, 06:55
But one general deploys half the terrain and the other deploys the other half, it's a random dice off. As a non-shooting/LoS army I will choose terrain that minimizes LoS. As a shooty army you choose terrain that will open up LoS. If you deploy your hills against the table edge then I'll deploy mine as far forward as possible or designate LoS blocking woods. The time period represented by WHFB, a general had one or two armies, a defeat meant he lost the war, do you think he would fight a meeting engagement, that's for small units.
BTW, if you're not at the top of the hill and there is no higher terrain than LoS is blocked on a hill terrain piece. You can't logically have a hill without a reverse slope from someone facing it.....just saying....

With the rules a player can always place 2 pieces minimum, right? What stops a player from grabbing 2 hills, and placing them on both sides of the table? Due the 'keep the center clear of terrain' rule, it becomes very difficult to negate this, regardless of what the other player does.


I don't think you could logically short a WE player when he grabs four woods off of the shelf, or a lizardman-skink-hord when he grabs marshes, or a beastman player when he grabs any LOS breaking, difficult terrain pieces.

Don't short me when I place my hill.
d

This is were our opinions differ then. I do not think it is very fair or interesting when a wood elf starts to deploy only woods, or a lizardmen only marshes and streams. The result this rules have is that one player just simply wants to end terrain placement as soon as possible, just to deny the other player any more woods/marshes, which leads to empty, mono-tome tables filled with a single kind of terrain piece. Wether this is a hill for a gunline, a wood for a beastman or wood elf, or a marsh for a lizardmen player makes no difference to me.

Shaitan
21-11-2006, 08:30
How would you guys deploy terrain in a 5000 points battle?

I am having such battle at Christmas and we were discussing about what to do with terrain since it can be of great importance. We are thinking about letting one of our friends deploy terrain. This makes the table probably more interesting to play on.

You have any other suggestions?

scatterlaser
21-11-2006, 09:01
We almost always get a neutral third person to set the terrain up at the club where I play, and that works fine for us. Using methods where the players set up the terrain has tended to lead to boring and less 'realistic' terrain setups in comparison. The resulting games didn't seem to benefit, either.

Another reason we tend to use pre-set, fixed terrain is that all the tournaments around here (and all the ones I've heard of) do things that way, and people don't want to start relying on being able to set up the terrain themselves.

Scythe
21-11-2006, 09:31
How would you guys deploy terrain in a 5000 points battle?

I am having such battle at Christmas and we were discussing about what to do with terrain since it can be of great importance. We are thinking about letting one of our friends deploy terrain. This makes the table probably more interesting to play on.

You have any other suggestions?

I would go with that as well. With such a large battle, you should try to create an interesting battlefield to get a bit more flavor. Also depends on the size of the table you will be playing.

Shaitan
21-11-2006, 11:45
Also depends on the size of the table you will be playing.
That's another issue.... what table size is 'normal' for 5000 point games?

We are having one 60"x60" table and one 60"x40" table. We were thinking about making one big 100"x60" table to play on.

Is this an acceptable table size? I have never played 5k battles so I don't really have an idea what to expect....

Scythe
21-11-2006, 12:02
It is definitely playable, though on the small size. I have played battles up to 8000 points (character heavy, I admit; greater daemons and dragons everywhere) on my 4'x8' table (that's about 50"x100", always a pain when you are used to the metric system, eh?). It is very crowded tough, and tactics are quite... limited. For a game with the same possibilities as a 'standard' game, you would probably need a table of 4'x12' with 5000 points.

luckyguy
21-11-2006, 12:09
Depending on the army I play I sometimes want very little terrain and sometimes prefer more terrain. I find it frustrating when playing a horde or large infantry army to see alot of terrain in the middle as it greatly hinders such an armies ability to advance and keep a solid battle line.

I have also had enjoyable games with one player placing terrain and the other choosing the side. I have never much cared for randomly placing terrain.

So far I like the new terrain deployment as it does allow a good sized open area in the middle. It also gives the option of passing on terrain placement early if you play an army in which terrain does not offer much advantage. In this case your opponent (who may prefer more terrain) gets to place at least two pieces of whatever they want whereever they want it without clogging the middle of the board. I think it is a fair compromise.

Iziuth
21-11-2006, 12:12
I have a 6' by 4' table at home. I regurally play 4000pt battles on this size. admitted the match up is ussually between two 2000pt armies a side and the players use dwarfs, empire, ogres and chaos so that aren't armies that have many models. I would recommend at least 8' by 4' which is 96'' by 48''. Yours would be 5' by 8 1/4' so it should be fine.

About the terrain it would be nice to have something special to fight over. Maybe a ruin or temple or something. I would have a look in the Generals Compendium as it has some good ideas on large (multiplayer battles) and some special suggestions for terrain.
I think that for such a large battle terrain becomes less and less important. We ussually place terrain in mutual agreement.

javaguru
22-11-2006, 00:39
With the rules a player can always place 2 pieces minimum, right? What stops a player from grabbing 2 hills, and placing them on both sides of the table? Due the 'keep the center clear of terrain' rule, it becomes very difficult to negate this, regardless of what the other player does..

Battles of the era represented by WHFB would have a clear center, I find the rule very appropriate. Commanders had to send orders via messenger and having an open center was something both commanders would have wanted as it facilitates communication as well as command and control. Placing two hills is the safe strategy and Sun Tzu felt occupying the high ground was important, so it seems appropriate generals would attempt to dominate the high ground.

javaguru
22-11-2006, 00:42
Why? That doesn't make sense at all.

Why, you have 100% capability to design your army list. Why not have 50% capability to design where you fight, battles don't happen in a vaccum. Both General's jockey for position.

Highborn
22-11-2006, 01:24
Battles of the era represented by WHFB would have a clear center, I find the rule very appropriate. Commanders had to send orders via messenger and having an open center was something both commanders would have wanted as it facilitates communication as well as command and control. Placing two hills is the safe strategy and Sun Tzu felt occupying the high ground was important, so it seems appropriate generals would attempt to dominate the high ground.

Not always, remembering that communication is a non-issue for Chaos Daemons, Undead of all varieties and anyone with mages or flying units. A clear center isn't advantageous for a lot of armies as well, most notably Beasts and Wood Elves. You can't compare battles in WFB to real life.

greymeister
22-11-2006, 02:21
You can't compare battles in WFB to real life.

Sure you can, just remove all magic and magical items, and play an all human army. Now you can compare them to real life in a limited fashion.

(See also: Warhammer Ancients (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warhammer_Ancient_Battles) )

Scythe
22-11-2006, 07:04
Battles of the era represented by WHFB would have a clear center, I find the rule very appropriate. Commanders had to send orders via messenger and having an open center was something both commanders would have wanted as it facilitates communication as well as command and control. Placing two hills is the safe strategy and Sun Tzu felt occupying the high ground was important, so it seems appropriate generals would attempt to dominate the high ground.

I am not against the 'keep the center clear' rule. However, combined with the other terrain placement rules, it results in monotome battlefields, and is open to abuse. Not every general of every army would seek battle in an open field with hills on either side. If you are a wood elf, chaos general or vampire count, that is the last thing you want against an empire gunline. Still, there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent the empire general from getting at least one hill if he wants it.

Adept
22-11-2006, 18:13
Why, you have 100% capability to design your army list. Why not have 50% capability to design where you fight, battles don't happen in a vaccum. Both General's jockey for position.

I think the problem is that one player can usually dictate the flow of terrain too much, as demonstrated by the oft used 'hill in each deployment zone' conundrum.

I like a random set up. It makes each game different, and makes you work that little bit harder.

Brother Maynard
22-11-2006, 20:18
Keep in mind that not all battles are planned, so terrain does vary in respects to being an advantage to one army, both armies, or none of them. Take the American Civil War as an example. Many of the major battles started with picket skirmishes, where neither of the two main forces knew where the other was, so they kind of met on chance.

Now you can go on with your random generators and 3rd party arbitrators and what now, but geesh, what a pain to do to just play a game. Why not make the terrain as random as the game is in itself? Write a list down of all the terrain you wish to have included in the battle; number them 1-12 or whatever, roll-off to see who gets to pick what; place this terrain at the players choice; and then scatter them about. After that, you still have to roll for sides, so the chances are even more slim that one side will have an over whelming advantage of the other. If you find your self in a bind with a bunch of junk in your path, use your generalship and try to make the best of it. Remeber, its a strategy game, not a terrain game.

Thargrund
22-11-2006, 20:23
hi,

Im sorry but you are saying that people actually think that by picking suitable terrain to fight on you are a bad tactician - that is the most pathetic, stupid and contradictory statement i have ever heard,! jeesaloo :wtf:

Adept
23-11-2006, 02:21
Now you can go on with your random generators and 3rd party arbitrators and what now, but geesh, what a pain to do to just play a game.

Well, how we do it is this:

Grab a suitable selection of, say, four terrain pieces. Then make four scatter rolls from the centre of the table, and place the four pieces where they end up.


Why not make the terrain as random as the game is in itself? Write a list down of all the terrain you wish to have included in the battle; number them 1-12 or whatever, roll-off to see who gets to pick what; place this terrain at the players choice; and then scatter them about.

Yeah, that sounds much simpler.

Scythe
23-11-2006, 09:38
Now you can go on with your random generators and 3rd party arbitrators and what now, but geesh, what a pain to do to just play a game. Why not make the terrain as random as the game is in itself? Write a list down of all the terrain you wish to have included in the battle; number them 1-12 or whatever, roll-off to see who gets to pick what; place this terrain at the players choice; and then scatter them about.

Erhm, how is that method any simpler as the random terrain generators? It actually takes more time, not less.


Im sorry but you are saying that people actually think that by picking suitable terrain to fight on you are a bad tactician - that is the most pathetic, stupid and contradictory statement i have ever heard,! jeesaloo

You know, a quote from someone would actually help your point here (if you can find one, that is). Reasoning is also quite nice.

Pacman
24-11-2006, 10:25
I don't really like th idea of random terrain. It's never going to produce a board which looks like anything from the real world. You're never going to get the buildings to be in the right places for example. Farms and villages should be put in places that make sense. Roads are even more important to place sensibly.

Additionally, completely random terrain would be a bad idea for a campaign. One of the things I like about playing map campaigns is the ability to reflect the map's terrain on the battlefield.

Adept
24-11-2006, 12:34
I don't really like th idea of random terrain. It's never going to produce a board which looks like anything from the real world. You're never going to get the buildings to be in the right places for example. Farms and villages should be put in places that make sense. Roads are even more important to place sensibly.

Where would be a sensible place for a village?

And who uses roads? I mean, obviously you and your group, but I don't think they'd be common terrain pieces.


Additionally, completely random terrain would be a bad idea for a campaign. One of the things I like about playing map campaigns is the ability to reflect the map's terrain on the battlefield.

I guess it depends on the size of the map. I mean, a map might cover an entire continent, while the battlefield might represent a single square mile. So even if you were playing a battle in a forested area, it could be possible to be playing in a clearing of that forest. Or if in the mountains, then a wide valley.

At any rate, the map-to-tabletop conundrum could be easily solved by taking more of a specific terrain piece. Playing in the mountains? Twice as many hills, no forests. In the forest? Twice as many forests, no hills. On an open plain? Less of everything.

I mean really, it isn't exactly a brain buster. If you like tailoring the terrain to your army, then random terrain isn't for you. Around here, we prefer the excitement and challenge of the unknown, so we like random terrain.

Scythe
24-11-2006, 16:59
I don't really like th idea of random terrain. It's never going to produce a board which looks like anything from the real world. You're never going to get the buildings to be in the right places for example. Farms and villages should be put in places that make sense. Roads are even more important to place sensibly.

Additionally, completely random terrain would be a bad idea for a campaign. One of the things I like about playing map campaigns is the ability to reflect the map's terrain on the battlefield.

Also note that there is a difference between randomly generated terrain and randomly placed terrain (or a combination of both). Our group uses the first method, where players can still place the terrain they rolled on the random terrain tables.

Brother Maynard
24-11-2006, 17:21
At any rate, the map-to-tabletop conundrum could be easily solved by taking more of a specific terrain piece. Playing in the mountains? Twice as many hills, no forests. In the forest? Twice as many forests, no hills. On an open plain? Less of everything.



I guess this is what I was referring to when I mentioned the list of terrain pieces. Let's say make some cards, marked "Forest", "Plain", "Town", etc, and have a list of distinct terrain pieces that apply to that terrain card on the cards themselves. The players would either blindly pull from the deck or mutually decide on a theme that they would like to play. They would then roll how many peices they get (1 to 3), and then roll to see which ones they get. The players could then place the pieces as they like onto the battle field. The remedy for a player haveing a decided advantage with terrain, would, again, be to scatter the pieces about from where they were set. After that, the players roll for sides. I guess I'm missing the complexity of this methode, or I really don't understand the terrain generator system that you're advocating. But, if the means result in the same outcome, I guess they're equally as good.

Da GoBBo
24-11-2006, 17:31
We usually get all the terrain we can get our hands on and ask a third party to generate a tabel and pick terrain randomly, keep stuffing the table untill it looks pretty and lets play. Yes, I need my spiders :D

Pacman
25-11-2006, 12:09
Where would be a sensible place for a village?

Next to a road, river, or fields would make sense. Basically anything that didn't look weird. The idea is to make something that looks plausible and eye-catching, after all. That might also depend on what race the village represented, as well. A dwarf village would be best sited in hills, for example.



And who uses roads? I mean, obviously you and your group, but I don't think they'd be common terrain pieces.


Don't you think a bridge, ford or town looks a little strange on the tabletop without roads? They're a doddle to make, take up little storage space, and are a common strategic objective in campaigns. Plus they can add tactical interest to a battlefield, by creating choke points through difficult terrain.

And if you've got them, you might as well use them ;)



At any rate, the map-to-tabletop conundrum could be easily solved by taking more of a specific terrain piece. Playing in the mountains? Twice as many hills, no forests. In the forest? Twice as many forests, no hills. On an open plain? Less of everything.


I think that's what most people would do, yes.

showmydog
25-11-2006, 23:59
Don't you think a bridge, ford or town looks a little strange on the tabletop without roads? They're a doddle to make, take up little storage space, and are a common strategic objective in campaigns.


I also find roads are underused and would like to see more of them.
On that note, what is the easy way to make them?

Jakk
26-11-2006, 16:14
Sure you will. I have had lots.

Additionally, as I said, humans tend to come up with dull terrain setups, no matter how honest they are.


And I guess it is Tzeentch that comes up with the interesting ones, right?

Scythe
26-11-2006, 17:42
I also find roads are underused and would like to see more of them.
On that note, what is the easy way to make them?

Hmm, cut out some cardboard and flock it in a different color as your table I guess...:p

javaguru
27-11-2006, 04:18
I am not against the 'keep the center clear' rule. However, combined with the other terrain placement rules, it results in monotome battlefields, and is open to abuse. Not every general of every army would seek battle in an open field with hills on either side. If you are a wood elf, chaos general or vampire count, that is the last thing you want against an empire gunline. Still, there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent the empire general from getting at least one hill if he wants it.

That's why I actually like campaigns which force people to defend unfavorable terrain due to a strategic situation. Specify terrain guidelines. Roll randomly for terrain available and place it based on the guidelines. It guarantees both parties will get some favorable terrain and most likely in neutral ground. I have no problem with random terrain as long as you place it in a pile and let the players choose and place as per the new rules. there may be only one hill....it's a tactical issue...where do you place it. Plenty of general's throughout history have lost the operational initiative and had favorable terrain seized before occupation.

Scythe
27-11-2006, 14:36
That's not so different from rolling on random terrain tables at all in fact...;)

I agree, if you roll for the pieces available before picking them and putting them down, the new terrain rules work a lot better.

javaguru
28-11-2006, 05:41
That's not so different from rolling on random terrain tables at all in fact...;)

I agree, if you roll for the pieces available before picking them and putting them down, the new terrain rules work a lot better.

Generally, when I think of random terrain generation it's along the lines of rolling and placing randomly which is a bit different than rolling for the terrain available and allowing the player to place it as per the guidelines. The general has to make a tactical decision not knowing where he may be deployed while randomly generated terain is completely out of his hands.

Scythe
28-11-2006, 14:47
Yeah, there's of course a difference I pointed out before. Our group rolls on random terrain tables, but placement of the rolled terrain is in hands of the players.

javaguru
02-12-2006, 22:50
Yeah, there's of course a difference I pointed out before. Our group rolls on random terrain tables, but placement of the rolled terrain is in hands of the players.

I have no problem with rolling randomly and then placing. The problem is with random placement, barring strategic issues, no general fights on unfavorable terrain.

klinktastic
03-12-2006, 00:22
I tend to agree with most of what the conclusions are from this conversation about terrain. The best way to do it is to have random tables and generate a few pieces then roll off to see who places what. However, unless your club has awesome selection, its hard to do that.


Im sorry but you are saying that people actually think that by picking suitable terrain to fight on you are a bad tactician - that is the most pathetic, stupid and contradictory statement i have ever heard,! jeesaloo


*********Inquisition edit***********************

Adept
03-12-2006, 04:38
I have no problem with rolling randomly and then placing. The problem is with random placement, barring strategic issues, no general fights on unfavorable terrain.

Of course they do. If one general fights on favourable terrain, then his opponent is not.

Pacman
03-12-2006, 18:21
I mean seriously, if you need to places hills or forests every battle to have a chance at winning, then obviously you lack real tacticial skills.

I think the point of this thread was to discuss whether placement of terrain in itself constituted a tactical skill. Have you got something to offer refuting that?

javaguru
03-12-2006, 20:37
I think the point of this thread was to discuss whether placement of terrain in itself constituted a tactical skill. Have you got something to offer refuting that?

Terrain placement is as important as army design in a take all comers army IMO. Show me an uber invincible army and I'll show terrain that will minimize it. Historically speaking, the battlefield determined the pace of battle more than the generals.

Latro
03-12-2006, 22:22
I don't think anybody disagrees with you on the fact that terrain has a big effect on the battle ... so terrain placement is important. The question is if it takes any skill to place it.

I'd say hardly any at all.

Now compare that to the skill needed to deal with a situation where the terrain doesn't do you any favours.

I just like a good challenge!

javaguru
03-12-2006, 22:47
I don't think anybody disagrees with you on the fact that terrain has a big effect on the battle ... so terrain placement is important. The question is if it takes any skill to place it.

I'd say hardly any at all.

Now compare that to the skill needed to deal with a situation where the terrain doesn't do you any favours.

I just like a good challenge!

IMO, it takes more skill to place terrain than build an amy list. Most players focus on killy combinations in army design without factoring terrain. When you plkace terrain you have to factor in many more variables.

klinktastic
03-12-2006, 23:04
Honestly, when you make an army list, you should consider every factor....this includes how your army can react to a variety of terrain setups. I play OnG, so I include something that can make use of woods or other rough terrain. I mean, yes, placing terrain to your advantage is somewhat of an art (example, placing woods in front of hills so no one can use the hills for artillery or guns) but its pretty simple. I'm saying you should be able to make use of any terrain made avaliable to you, even if you don't have woods/hills. When you have to use those pieces of terrain for your army to win, then you lack any real skill. An all-comers list should also be able to function in any arena, not just the stereotypical battlefields. So, I think there is more skill involved in creating lists than in placing terrain, because it takes more knowledge and forethought to create a list that works all the time then can only work if you bring your 3 hills to the battle.

javaguru
04-12-2006, 00:16
Honestly, when you make an army list, you should consider every factor....this includes how your army can react to a variety of terrain setups. I play OnG, so I include something that can make use of woods or other rough terrain. I mean, yes, placing terrain to your advantage is somewhat of an art (example, placing woods in front of hills so no one can use the hills for artillery or guns) but its pretty simple. I'm saying you should be able to make use of any terrain made avaliable to you, even if you don't have woods/hills. When you have to use those pieces of terrain for your army to win, then you lack any real skill. An all-comers list should also be able to function in any arena, not just the stereotypical battlefields. So, I think there is more skill involved in creating lists than in placing terrain, because it takes more knowledge and forethought to create a list that works all the time then can only work if you bring your 3 hills to the battle.

How much "skill" does it take to max out handguns, warmachines and wizards with an Empire army? Let's completely eliminate terrain and play on a featureless plain, how much skill does it take simply sitting back and rolling dice.Sure, you have to ensure LoS but that's pretty much the extent of your tactical problems, which are minimal without terrain. A trained monkey can roll dice and win after deployment, it takes generalship to understand terrain.That's why I can usually tell a newbie army build by looking at the list, they look for the killer combination without considering terrain.Every clever general I've played has made careful consideration of terrain.But what do I know, I've only been playing GW games since 1990 and micro armor since 1986.....

klinktastic
04-12-2006, 01:51
Im not sure if your agreeing with me or not, but it seems like you are. Anyway, I think placing terrain can be tactical, but should really be a tertiary (third) in respect to other stuff. I think that creating an all comers list that performs well under all circumstances would be the first and hardest. Second would be having the tactical ability to utilize the terrain on the battlefield to your advantage once it is set and the battle has commenced.

And somewhere in there, I think deployment should be mentioned as extremely important as far as tactical skills are concerned. I would lump that in with the utilization of terrain. I think people undersetimate deployment, but I have won games without even playing them after setting the battlefield and then deploying. The guy just said I have no chance because he split his forces by reacting to my deployment and tried to match his slow moving infantry blocks to where some fast cav and chariots were. After deployment, he realized I was going to sweep his flank and basically destroy him.

In conclusion, placing terrain does require tactics, but I think it becomes more important when you are placing with unfavorable terrain. One thing I think stupid gunline armies never use but is almost better than hills are lakes. Impassable terrain that you can see over...thats pretty sweet.

JonnyTHM
04-12-2006, 04:31
Configuration of terrain is an aid to the army. Analyzing the enemy, taking control of victory, estimating ravines and defiles, the distant and near, is the Tao of the superior general. One who knows these and employs them in combat will certainly be victorious. One who does not know these or employ them in combat will certainly be defeated.


One who does not know the topography of mountains and forests, ravines and defiles, wetlands and marshes cannot maneuver the army. One who does not employ local guides will not secure advantages of terrain.

So, I'm going to say that choosing what terrain to fight upon would be something the above person stresses as a quality a good general possesses.

But then again, what did Sun-Tzu know about the art of war?

klinktastic
04-12-2006, 05:05
It is a good quality for a general to have, however, just because you carry around 3 hills for every battle you play doesn't make you a good general.

JonnyTHM
04-12-2006, 05:17
Of course carrying three hills around doesn't make you a good general, however a good general doesn't pass up an opportunity to better his odds.

I personally believe that in the future we'll see people bringing not just their armies, but themed terrain that matches their armies when they're going to play.

I think that the new terrain rules let you demonstrate your full ability as a general, not just as a commander.

I also think that anyone who feels that they should play on random terrain because it's a "challenge" is shying away from the real challenge of taking control of their destiny. There's no excuse of "I was just playing on bad terrain" if YOU set up the terrain.

I don't think that terrain is the only thing required to be a good general, but I think it's silly to try to separate it out.

I think that people should bring terrain that compliments their army, and defends it from its weaknesses. Sure you might bring 3 hills with your gunline, but just watchout for the player that brings a bunch of marsh and forest terrain for their lore of life skirmisher army. You might find that the hills are unforgiving.

(My cousin is already a big fan of bringing as much impassible terrain as he can when he fields his yehtees. And every wood elf player I've ever met likes to bring lots of forests.... in short, don't bring a knife to a gunfight, and then try to argue you did so because you wanted to prove you're a better fighter)

Scythe
04-12-2006, 09:26
Which, as I argued before, destroys the battlefield. Playing against wood elves? Boards filled with woods. Lizardmen? Lakes and rivers. Artillery heavy armies? Hills.

It destroys less common terrain entirely and demolishes any battlefield variety.

JonnyTHM
04-12-2006, 12:09
Then bring something else. That's your choice.

No board's going to be filled with anything given the guaranteed open circle in the middle.

Besides which, I'd say if you let the wood elf player get more than a few forests down, you're just being silly. Nothing's going to be full of anything.

It's a two way street.

Besides which, you're not even allowing for the fact that other armies will want different kinds of terrain.

Have a magic heavy army? Maybe you want an arcane monolith. Have lots of good armour saves, and an ability to deal out alot of pain? A monument to glory could be a great thing for your chaos warriors.

I know that I'm going to consider having houses due to their ability to 'insta-kill' fleeing enemies.

Why are you going to be so boring?

Do you think that your opponents are really so uncreative that they can only think of one thing that will benefit them? I've already heard of wood elf players that prefer hills. Or gunline players that like to have lakes. Besides which, it all makes sense in my eyes for there to be certain kinds of predominant terrain.

Why not argue something directly instead of appealing to a slippery slope?

(edit: I should also mention that fear causing enemies are going to be all about the fell ruins to make it easier when they don't outnumber... like I don't know... ogres?

And any army which is based upon continuous bait and flee tactics could deal with an ancient Idol. Right there I think every woodelf player I know would be well served trying to get one onto the battlefield. A waystone would make fitting terrain that gives the battlefield a theme, and some variety.

Lastly, there have been suggestions that other, uncommon, terrain features would be used by players to prevent other terrain features from being placed, due to the inability to overlap. Don't want a hill somewhere, slap down a road, or an open field (not freshly plowed).

If you want forests, but are playing wood elves, why not play with a field of tall crops. Block line of sight, but don't give them their powers.

There are lots and lots of options. And I think themed terrain to match armies will be interesting and fun.

Scythe
04-12-2006, 12:24
I think you are giving the general player too much credit. Most of them aren't that bothered to make specific terrain (at least the ones I know). Hills and forests are easy, and would probably be dominating.

Rolling for the terrain you get on a random generator (remember, the 6th edition terrain generators were kind of themed to the place you where fighting, so a little army specific) forces you to use some more usual terrain from time to time.

Just my opinion of course. ;)

JonnyTHM
04-12-2006, 12:39
Hey, I had to start giving people credit at some point.

I'd like to point out that in saying that though, you're already giving in to the idea that this ability to choose terrain will separate out who's a better general.

I personally was a fan of the terrain tables, and still am. I'll still use them as inspiration for some terrain pieces, and I think that they'll still be used by some players. For instance, if I had a high elf army, I'd either want all my terrain pieces to have a distinctly Ulthuan feel, or make some pieces that seem like they're coastal (perfect for a seaguard army). I'd say the charts would be a great way to get ideas for such themes.

My main problem with the charts was from when I played against woodelves. They were all too happy to point out that there would be no reason for their army to be away from the forest, and there's no chart for the forest.

In the end, I found that without a specific set of rules it is more difficult to set up terrain. Players would always seek to gain an edge and to try to get terrain that benefited them. The charts not being mandatory was the problem, and the difficulty is that if you make them mandatory you need at least 3 or 4 of each piece on a chart.

Then again, it would seem that I'm just suggesting that you're giving players too much credit, so it seems we've come full circle. :p

klinktastic
04-12-2006, 20:24
JonnyTHM - I think Scythe and I partially agree with you in the since pretty much every method of choosing terrain is either complicated or not very fair. However, it really doesn't take too long to come up with a list of about 10 terrain pieces create a chart using 2d6 and randomly generate with hills/forests being in high percentage areas. But it would also provide some variety that is lacking in Fantasy due to everyone really playing pitch battles with hills and forests. It just gets old. Having a few random pieces of terrain makes placing terrain even that more important when its not exactly want you want.

I somewhat agree with your theory on using terrain board pieces, but I mean realisitically, you're not always going to be defending your borders or whatever. Heaven forbid that you actually wanted to attack someone.

I believe what Scythe and I are really saying is that it takes only someone who can read to understand hills are good for shooting armies, lakes are good for skinks, and woods are good for wood elves. It actually takes skill to utilize neutral or unfavorable terrain to your advantage (or opponent's disadvantage).

javaguru
05-12-2006, 02:03
Im not sure if your agreeing with me or not, but it seems like you are. Anyway, I think placing terrain can be tactical, but should really be a tertiary (third) in respect to other stuff. I think that creating an all comers list that performs well under all circumstances would be the first and hardest. Second would be having the tactical ability to utilize the terrain on the battlefield to your advantage once it is set and the battle has commenced.

And somewhere in there, I think deployment should be mentioned as extremely important as far as tactical skills are concerned. I would lump that in with the utilization of terrain. I think people undersetimate deployment, but I have won games without even playing them after setting the battlefield and then deploying. The guy just said I have no chance because he split his forces by reacting to my deployment and tried to match his slow moving infantry blocks to where some fast cav and chariots were. After deployment, he realized I was going to sweep his flank and basically destroy him.

In conclusion, placing terrain does require tactics, but I think it becomes more important when you are placing with unfavorable terrain. One thing I think stupid gunline armies never use but is almost better than hills are lakes. Impassable terrain that you can see over...thats pretty sweet.

I've always found it interesting that players have no problem with being able to control army composition 100% when historically no general had the ability to control army composition. The one thing he could control was when and where he fought based on strategic considerations. Terrain was the one thing he could control but players seem to get annoyed about a player choosing a favorable battlefield. I just find it ironic.....

klinktastic
05-12-2006, 03:21
Well in the game called Warhammer Fantasy Battle we only have 100% control of army composition (maybe not even if we don't have the money). There is an art to making lists that are competitive against every army and effective in many situations. It's easy to make a list tailored to beat an enemy if you know what he is going to use. However, that doesn't take much skill. And it takes even less skill to use that in an actual battle. It's pretty smart to focus on the think you have the most control on.

I mean correct me if I'm wrong, but typically we don't have a ton of control over terrain, a little control on terrain placement, but not guarranteed the side you want. You have 100% control of your strategy, but typically it ends up changed depending on your opponent and the terrain set up. So, even though in real life combat situations, you don't have control of army composition, in WHFB you do. We aren't comparing WHFB tactical skill with real world tactical skill (though it helps to have some working knowledge of tactics). What we are doing is talking about the tactical skill involved in bring your hills to the battle and insisting on using them with your gunline army. That is very minimal skill. Being forced to work with random terrain and setting up a battlefield that works for you even though you don't have the best set up for your army. Thats what we are talking about.

javaguru
10-12-2006, 17:27
Well in the game called Warhammer Fantasy Battle we only have 100% control of army composition (maybe not even if we don't have the money). There is an art to making lists that are competitive against every army and effective in many situations. It's easy to make a list tailored to beat an enemy if you know what he is going to use. However, that doesn't take much skill. And it takes even less skill to use that in an actual battle. It's pretty smart to focus on the think you have the most control on.

I mean correct me if I'm wrong, but typically we don't have a ton of control over terrain, a little control on terrain placement, but not guarranteed the side you want. You have 100% control of your strategy, but typically it ends up changed depending on your opponent and the terrain set up. So, even though in real life combat situations, you don't have control of army composition, in WHFB you do. We aren't comparing WHFB tactical skill with real world tactical skill (though it helps to have some working knowledge of tactics). What we are doing is talking about the tactical skill involved in bring your hills to the battle and insisting on using them with your gunline army. That is very minimal skill. Being forced to work with random terrain and setting up a battlefield that works for you even though you don't have the best set up for your army. Thats what we are talking about.

I have no problem with randomly generating the terrain available and placing it as per the pitched battle guidelines.

Gaebriel
10-12-2006, 18:04
Well, we usually have a third person party set up a nice looking battlefield (as in eye candy, nicely put natural formations). Of course this needs an extensive terrain collection.

People tremble when I'm the third party because narrow canyons, meandering rivers hugging hillsides and scattered ruin fields are a standard - I do everything to inspire maneuvering and basically anything to avoid large clear centers...

We decided to choose a third party after discovering that letting players set up terrain resuted in tha same things - the ranged armyplayers placedhils in deployment zones, the close combat specialists put forests in front. Or, when both where equally matched, terrain tended to be pushed towards the outer side of the battlefield.

All in all, I think that the placement of terrain can be a great tactical skill, the less randomly it's placed the better it can be used. But the same way as army lists it can be abused. I like both a challenge in choosing terrain as well as in using terrain.

mageith
10-12-2006, 18:16
JonnyTHM - I think Scythe and I partially agree with you in the since pretty much every method of choosing terrain is either complicated or not very fair. However, it really doesn't take too long to come up with a list of about 10 terrain pieces create a chart using 2d6 and randomly generate with hills/forests being in high percentage areas.

Does random=fair?

I've used this method in the past. For example, putting hills as number 7 means that ONLY 1/6 pieces of terrain will be hills. Often (half the time), there will be no hills if they are only appear on rolls of 7. Just try it.

Or then list hills as 6&7. That means hills appear 11/36th of the time or nearly 1/3rd. But do some rolls. About 1/4th the time you will 3 or 4 hills and then maybe 1 or no hills.

Another more complicated manner is to roll for terrain type. For example: Hilly. This means the terrain is generally hilly and will have say, 3 hills, 1 forest, a special and a water feature (or whatever you think hilly terrain will have).

You can do this for each kind of terrain TYPE.

What I use: (I've also created some different terrain types, which you can ignore for my example.) We use the rules in the front of the book.


2 DESERT: Unlimited Sand. Up to two total Dunes, Oasis or Road. One Special. Weather can only be sunny or have ill winds of magic otherwise hot.
3-4 TUNDRA: Unlimited Scrub. Up to two total Rocks or Woods. Never +1 to weather.
5 MOUNTAINS: Unlimited Hill and Rocks. Up to two total Peaks, Woods or Water. One Special. Never +1 to weather.
6 HILLY: Unlimited Hills and Rocks. Up to two total Scrubs, Woods or Water.
7 PLAINS: Unlimited Grass. Up to two total Muddy Fields, Hills, Woods, or Water.
8 FORESTED: Unlimited Woods or Scrubs. Up to two totals Hill or Water. One Special.
9 RUINS: One required ruin. Up to two each other Ruins, Hills, Grass, Obstacles or Water. One Special.
10 JUNGLE: Unlimited Jungle. Up to two total Water or Grass. One Special. +1 to weather.
11 SETTLED: Two required Farms: Up to two each Hills, Grass, Road or Water.
12 VILLAGE: One required Village. Up to two each Hills, Grass Woods or Water.




I believe what Scythe and I are really saying is that it takes only someone who can read to understand hills are good for shooting armies, lakes are good for skinks, and woods are good for wood elves. It actually takes skill to utilize neutral or unfavorable terrain to your advantage (or opponent's disadvantage).
Or protection for flying monsters.

Open ground is good for fast moving cavalry and bad for infantry with no protection for flanks.

Woods and other difficult terrain are good for beasts and other skirmishers.

Lots of terrain is good for Dwarfs.

Armies like Orcs and Empire can have armies to adapt to almost any terrain so terrain rules in general are good for them.

Then the rules for particular terrain make a difference. Are hills and woods infinitely high or not?

In our modification of the basic rules we roll off on who is to be the invader and defender. The Invader genrally moves first. The defender generally picks the the terrain type lays out the first piece and chooses side.

All this could happen randomly too. We just limit the randomness.

javaguru
10-12-2006, 22:47
Well, we usually have a third person party set up a nice looking battlefield (as in eye candy, nicely put natural formations). Of course this needs an extensive terrain collection.

People tremble when I'm the third party because narrow canyons, meandering rivers hugging hillsides and scattered ruin fields are a standard - I do everything to inspire maneuvering and basically anything to avoid large clear centers...

We decided to choose a third party after discovering that letting players set up terrain resuted in tha same things - the ranged armyplayers placedhils in deployment zones, the close combat specialists put forests in front. Or, when both where equally matched, terrain tended to be pushed towards the outer side of the battlefield.

All in all, I think that the placement of terrain can be a great tactical skill, the less randomly it's placed the better it can be used. But the same way as army lists it can be abused. I like both a challenge in choosing terrain as well as in using terrain.

Well, I think that's pretty much my point. Why would two generals choose to fight on terrain that is unfavorable to both armies? Why not have a third party also make the army lists? Generals have had more control over where they fought than what they have to fight with....

showmydog
11-12-2006, 05:54
Why would two generals choose to fight on terrain that is unfavorable to both armies? Why not have a third party also make the army lists?

Why?
For something different, alternating terrain placement methods will usually give you different experiences (even if random terrain does not)

Why not?
Exactly, why not. Sometimes my gaming group have third parties write lists, or even write lists for each other, just for variety, if not a laugh.


Generals have had more control over where they fought than what they have to fight with....
So you told us.

Spoonie
11-12-2006, 07:59
Funniest game I ever saw actually was two guys who made lists for each other, but the idea was to make the worst list possible. They put rules in where they had to spend at least X amount on magic items for their characters and had to have at least 2 specials and 1 rare, but the lists were still super funny. It was basically free company vs. arrer boys.

By the way, what's with this thread? My gaming group's terrain placement rules can beat up your gaming group's terrain placement rules? Use what works for you and your mates, if you have little bastards who set up 14 hills for their empire shooty army of doom, insist on random terrain. If you have another set up that works and you guys have fun with, go for it.

Gaebriel
11-12-2006, 17:52
Well, I think that's pretty much my point. Why would two generals choose to fight on terrain that is unfavorable to both armies? [...] Generals have had more control over where they fought than what they have to fight with....
I agree with you.

However my point of view comes not from a simulationist perspective. I just got somewhat tired of pitched battles on free plains. I think generally the board is too small for my taste, because I miss more complicated strategic movement which I try to compensate for.

If it would be possible I would draw up a large area map, with both generals dicing/competing/whatevering for a choice of coordinates - but that's generally not possible with a standard (limited) terrain supply :(

MarcoPollo
11-12-2006, 18:31
I feel that a good placement of hills requires one side to have a hill and the other side to be able to hide a large section of troops behind a forest. That way, shooty armies get the chance to put artillery on the hills, while non-shooty armies get the chance to hide important parts or not even have to worry about artillery on hills.

I think it is about creating a fair circumstance for both players. If both players are shooty/artillery based, then they can agree to have one hill each no no hills each.

All in all, a discussion on terrain with your opponent might be a good idea before you start the game.

javaguru
12-12-2006, 01:26
I agree with you.

However my point of view comes not from a simulationist perspective. I just got somewhat tired of pitched battles on free plains. I think generally the board is too small for my taste, because I miss more complicated strategic movement which I try to compensate for.

If it would be possible I would draw up a large area map, with both generals dicing/competing/whatevering for a choice of coordinates - but that's generally not possible with a standard (limited) terrain supply :(

I think that's why the new rules are better for one off games. You only get free plains if both players choose it. Sure, you'll have an open area in the middle of the field but that fits with the modus operandi of armies of the period. Commanders used runners to relay orders and needed a good field of view in order to make decisions, as well as most units operating better in open terrain for many reasons. Players talk about terrain being limited on what's available, you can make half a dozen decent looking terrrain pieces in an afternoon. When I started Lizardmen I took a Saturday and made a dozen pieces of jungle themed terrain. Compare the time it takes to make a piece of terrain Vs. paint an army general or other character. How much do people spend on an army while investing in a cutter, styrofoam, flock and some trees give them the possibility of unlimited terrain. The game store I play at has enough terrain to play half a dozen six by four tables, terrain is cheap and quick to make. I still use walls I made in high school from small rocks I found and glued them together. there really isn't an excuse to not have a large supply of terrain available.

javaguru
12-12-2006, 01:33
I feel that a good placement of hills requires one side to have a hill and the other side to be able to hide a large section of troops behind a forest. That way, shooty armies get the chance to put artillery on the hills, while non-shooty armies get the chance to hide important parts or not even have to worry about artillery on hills.

I think it is about creating a fair circumstance for both players. If both players are shooty/artillery based, then they can agree to have one hill each no no hills each.

All in all, a discussion on terrain with your opponent might be a good idea before you start the game.

The new rules for the pitched battle pretty much cover this. Before, GW simply suggested you find a reasonable accomidation with your opponent. We both know there are plenty of unreasonable players who will just be a pain as they try to get the most advantageous battlefield possible. They use the rules and constant "dice offs" as suggested in the rules for disagreements because they know they have a 50/50 chance of getting their way.

mageith
12-12-2006, 01:44
We both know there are plenty of unreasonable players who will just be a pain as they try to get the most advantageous battlefield possible.

I don't see why this is unreasonable. Don't you build your army to be advantageous?



They use the rules and constant "dice offs" as suggested in the rules for disagreements because they know they have a 50/50 chance of getting their way.
The main disadvantage I've found with the front of the book rules is that lots of terrain tends to be along the middle latitude of the board. (Not in the center, of course, but at the edges.)

javaguru
12-12-2006, 04:50
I don't see why this is unreasonable. Don't you build your army to be advantageous?


The main disadvantage I've found with the front of the book rules is that lots of terrain tends to be along the middle latitude of the board. (Not in the center, of course, but at the edges.)

I agree and I've made the same point. Players have 100% control of half the fighting force on the field so why not the terrain, which is actually more justifiable from a real world perspective. There is a difference between jockeying for terrain position as you place it and having the gunline player set up terrain beforehand and allowing his opponent to choose the table edge. The gunline player sets up the battlefield knowing I'm bringing VC. The battlefield consists of two elongated hills in handgun range with a fordable stream in the middle of the battlefield that counts as difficult terrain and two small forests on the edge. Don't be surprised if I refuse to fight and sit in column on the opposite slope denying LoS and taking the draw.


The only stipulation with terrain is that it has to be 12" from the center point of the table, I have an 8'X5' table which gives a lot of room for terrain. Even on a 'standard' 6x4 table you still have plenty of room to deploy terrain.Deployment zones are 12" from the table centerline which guarantees some usable terrain even if only one player wants some. The only thing guaranteed is an open radius of 12" from the table center point and at least two pieces of terrain if both players pass, a third if one passes after his minimum deployment. I generally use a refused flank because I play "elite" VC and Daemonic Legion as well as DoW, refused flank works well with echelon pikes. That means I will generally have something to work with. Also, recommended terrain sizes are a minimum of 4"X 4" and a max of 12"X12". A 12"X12" piece of terrain is going to have a major impact on the battlefield.

showmydog
12-12-2006, 06:18
Players have 100% control of half the fighting force on the field so why not the terrain..

Well maybe half the terrain.



There is a difference between jockeying for terrain position...


In a round-about way your pov is starting to come across. Jockeying for terrain position is a good way to describe it.


Just one other point, Why are we always bagging empire gunlines.
I mean shooting isn't even that good in WFB.

javaguru
13-12-2006, 01:20
Well maybe half the terrain.



In a round-about way your pov is starting to come across. Jockeying for terrain position is a good way to describe it.


Just one other point, Why are we always bagging empire gunlines.
I mean shooting isn't even that good in WFB.

I concur...extreme examples make good points for argumentation regardless of general effectiveness. I think most players hate gunlines because after deployment gunlines just roll dice while their opponent has to maneuver and engage, same thing with magic but magic is much more unpredictable.

Scythe
13-12-2006, 14:44
(pure) shooting armies don't have much in the way of tactics (on both sides) imo. A battle against a gunline is pretty much over after deployment. After that, you just roll dice, and the opponent hopes enough of his forces arrive to smash those handgunners, crossbowmen and war machines to tiny bits.