1. ## Scenery in your games

So I've slowly come to the realization that the way in which my gaming club uses scenery is very risk adverse. It would seem that the average game has around 4-5 pieces of scenery on it and they are all placed in a way that provides optimal movement for their hordes and minimal risk. At first I thought this problem was due to the selection of scenery we have available at the club, as a remnant of older edition our forest are pretty much impassable terrain (hilly forest) and thus we only have 2 citadel woods. However after playing and watching more battles, i've started noticing this trend of trying to keep the "dangerous" pieces out of the picks and periphery placements. Here are some pictures of some tables:

http://i867.photobucket.com/albums/a...tartbeurt1.jpg

http://i867.photobucket.com/albums/a...eurt1start.jpg

http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/...r/DSC_4133.jpg

As you can see this means that most of the games at my club are dominated by big hordes squaring off against eachother. While its pretty fun to see the carnage wrought by these units, it does get a bit stale in the end. A lot of games are decided by just walking forward try casting your buffs and then hope you will win the mathhammer. Another issue that is touched upon in a different thread on this forum is lack of scenario's... It seems everyone wants to play battleline and finds all the other scenario's "too much work".

So how do your games go? Do you have boards filled with scenery or something more similar to this, where hordes rule the day?

2. ## Re: Scenery in your games

In my gaming group we actually play with 7 pieces of terrain, previously determined.

2 Mysterious Forests
1 Set of Walls
1 Set of Fences
1 Watchtower (normal building)
1 Normal Hill
1 Piece of terrain with special rules (Arcane ruins, Temple of skulls, etc)

3. ## Re: Scenery in your games

If you click on my signature you will be able to sample a couple of batreps from our local table, as reference.

I personally think scenery provides an excellent leeway for creating variety and 'special circumstances' for games - there's 'freedom' in the placement and that is very easy to use.
Typically we generate the pieces randomly in accordance with the BRB, and then (preferably someone who's not actually playing that game) 'builds' the landscape in a more or less aesthethically pleasing manner.
So, for example, if two hills have been rolled up - one would go on each side of the table (perhaps) in order to create equality between the deployment zones, or (perhaps) both hills go on the same side of the table in order to make the 'choosing of sides' really important for one (or both) parties in the game.
The whackier stuff in the generator (Wyrding Well, Sorcerous Portals, Tower of Blood, Bane Stone) follow the same principles - you can place these pieces toward the corner of the field in order to decrease their impact on the game, or you can throw caution in the wind and deploy them in the dead center (if you check out my links there's a good example of this in the 8000pts Blood and Glory Battle between OnG&VC/DE that I posted last summer - Tower of Blood and Banestone 'right smack in the thick of it!')

What you describe from your local environment is two things: First of all almost an unwritten rule to place 'extreme' terrain as far off from the center as possible. That's a shame if it's done every time. Why even use the stuff in that case? If it you're seeing battle after battle with hordes shuffling forward across a levelled golf-green then perhaps you should simply suggest to these people to change things up a little bit. Separate the field by a river with some crossings. It doesn't have to be extreme at all in order to force people to think anew about what they are doing and how they are trying to win!

The second thing: The inability to embrace the scenarios. Well that's just a detriment and really to the loss of the people who plays there. I too enjoy to play BattleLine, I like having that "standard" game to fall back on - but playing nothing but Battle Line seems very narrow-minded to me.

4. ## Re: Scenery in your games

I use the scenario and scenery rules from the BRB, unless there's a theme that has been decided for the battle. It does make for fewer combats, but our movements phases are quite elaborate, at least

5. ## Re: Scenery in your games

I typically create a balanced table scenery wise. I find that in places where no one wants to use scenarios or scenery that its not surprising that the internet meta of huge blocks throwing boulders of dice at each other is common.

At times I also use the random scenery. However, I would never consciously (unless it's just rolled that way) place three or four pieces of scenery and have a giant empty table. Scenery is there for a reason. If our tables were bereft of scenery I could see how the death star hordes would become more popular.

6. ## Re: Scenery in your games

Well, for the last month I've been playing more than in the last 15 years ...

We don't use "magical" terrain, as we are still learning the rules, but we follow the "1D6+4 pieces of terrain" rule, using the pieces that we made :

20ish forests of various sizes

9 sections of Walls

5 Hills

2 Towers

2 Ruins

1 Pond (by Urgat)

1 River (also by Urgat)

1 House

And a smattering of small counters.

We use an "alternate between players" method to place the terrain on the table, with usually Hills in the corners/deployment zones, and lots of stuff in the middle of the table.

We also roll for the scenario we play, and if we roll the same scenario twice for the second battle, we reroll it.

All in all, our method produces varied tables, combined with the scenarii, ensuring that no battles are the same as the last one ... we do tend to roll the Blood and Glory scenario often tough (4 on a D6 is the average after all).

We also tried the "Civil Wars" rules from the White Dwarf, had a blast with those

7. ## Re: Scenery in your games

Originally Posted by Crovax20
So I've slowly come to the realization that the way in which my gaming club uses scenery is very risk adverse. It would seem that the average game has around 4-5 pieces of scenery on it and they are all placed in a way that provides optimal movement for their hordes and minimal risk. At first I thought this problem was due to the selection of scenery we have available at the club, as a remnant of older edition our forest are pretty much impassable terrain (hilly forest) and thus we only have 2 citadel woods. However after playing and watching more battles, i've started noticing this trend of trying to keep the "dangerous" pieces out of the picks and periphery placements. Here are some pictures of some tables:

http://i867.photobucket.com/albums/a...tartbeurt1.jpg

http://i867.photobucket.com/albums/a...eurt1start.jpg

http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/...r/DSC_4133.jpg

As you can see this means that most of the games at my club are dominated by big hordes squaring off against eachother. While its pretty fun to see the carnage wrought by these units, it does get a bit stale in the end. A lot of games are decided by just walking forward try casting your buffs and then hope you will win the mathhammer. Another issue that is touched upon in a different thread on this forum is lack of scenario's... It seems everyone wants to play battleline and finds all the other scenario's "too much work".

So how do your games go? Do you have boards filled with scenery or something more similar to this, where hordes rule the day?
The biggest failure of this edition is lack of preparation for the use of "True Line of Sight". Most of the blame has to be placed upon the players; however, GW did not force this change very well.

The 8th edition of Fantasy Battle is the only edition that has made a deliberate approach to using terrain and has a large section in the rule book dealing with terrain setup, usage and basic game interaction; and very few players seem to have caught on to the fact that the rules force you to have a MINIMUM OF 5 PIECES OF TERRAIN. If you are playing with 5 pieces of terrain for every game, then you are not playing the game properly as described in the rule book. (This is the fault of the players.)

Another problem is the lack of understanding of how "True Line of Sight" has drastically altered how the terrain needs to be constructed, placed and used during the game. If you look at this forum, you will notice several threads bemoaning the "over-poweredness" of cannons, uber-spells, ect...ect...; and all of these complaints come from the well-spring of having a mediocre battlefield that blocks almost no line-of-sight. (Cannons are deadly if they can shoot almost the entire battlefield; and yet no one has given any thought that maybe my terrain set-up is not up to the task.) The terrain for 8th edition needs to be robust; meaning it needs to actually take up space. Long gone are the days of a symbolic representation of a "forest" or "hill", the 8th edition forests and hills need to actually exist in the spaces of the 8th edition battlefield. (GW needs to show how this is different from previous editions, and the players need to embrace these changes; otherwise you will only get horde-hammer with a few cannons.)

8. ## Re: Scenery in your games

To be fair, a lot of the killer spells also do not require line of sight (but yes certainly war machines do and I've countered people complaining about how they never take monsters because of cannons with using terrain and get the o.O in return because it seems either using terrain or knowing that things like walls stop cannonballs from bouncing are alien concepts to many). You are indeed right that a good terrain mix up and setup on the table will stop some of the things people complain about, but it will also interfere with internet-meta and make blob deathstar units more vulnerable (which would be the argument to NOT use a lot of terrain by many who follow this meta)

9. ## Re: Scenery in your games

How often do people use Rivers? We bought some for our club. and we always seem to roll them up, and to be honest I bloody hate it. As a WOC player, I feel I'm put at a significant disadvantage before the game has even begun if my Empire or Orc and Goblin opponent can hide behind a river.

10. ## Re: Scenery in your games

I use rivers. Not all the time but they are there. Rivers are a good counter to an all offensive army and also blob-players HATE THEM because they remove their steadfast.

You may indeed be at a disadvantage before the game starts, but as in real life, if I'm commanding an army against gibbering bezerk chaos warriors, I'm going to look for a good place to fight, not an open plain where I will be cut down.

Or look at it from the other side of the coin, on an open plain your empire or orc opponent is now at a significent disadvantage to you.

In those regards I'd say the fairest approach is random generation of terrain and let the dice fall where they may.

11. ## Re: Scenery in your games

When i roll rivers i tend to put them in a corner, down one side or perpendicular to the armies (so splitting any battleline in half). Simply putting it right across the battlefield is a little unfair (unless it is a paticular scenario).

Smaller battler (1000 points) we tend to cut down on terrain, usually just a couple of pieces (on a smaller board)

Otherwise we roll as normal or just put down 7+ pieces. My gaming group seemed to love putting a building right in the middle of the battlefield, blocking warmachine LOS.

As other people have mentioned, its amusing when people complain about Hordes/steadfast/warmachines but then barely use any terrain. Its much harder to use a horde if there is lots of terrain, you really become limited to where you can move.

12. ## Re: Scenery in your games

I still often play the old "one player sets up the table using whatever they want, the other chooses which side to deploy on" approach. This usually ends up with a "fair" terrain setup, with the person setting it up making advantages for using either side.

Otherwise, we just set up an interesting looking table and play already. If anything, I like it to look "realistic" and actually look like a place where an army would attack. That is, a village surrounded by heges/fences in a clearing with forests in the corners, a defensive wall/gate set up between mountains/rocks to repell an advancing army, chaos wastes with rocks, hills everywhere, a farily open plains battle where an army has made camp, with supply trains/objective markers, perhaps on one side of a river (though I haven't made a proper river yet, just blue felt!).

Basically, anything that helps tell a bit of a story with coherant terrain, rather than just random pieces form our collection.

However, I think any two players who've played the game long enough should be able to just look at the table and tell when there's "enough" and leave it at that. A bit of an agreement beforehand as to what sort of game you should play can decide how many pieces ("we haven't played on a forset table for a while", and so on).

13. ## Re: Scenery in your games

I'm really liking the input! Like I said in the OP i never really gave much thought to the setup of the board before, it was the thread about scenarios and hordes that really got me thinking about how it would spice the game up for everyone. I wonder if it just "grew" that way when the edition launched and people already had enough new rules to get their head around without doing scenarios... and then never really bothered with doing terrain and scenarios proper. I got a smaller 1500 point game this friday and am going to try and bring this up, but I can already imagine the long faces in bigger battles when the multiple hordes won't fit through the scenery without trouble.

The problem being people will find the terrain unfair for their hordes and in favor of my balanced army.... writing it down like that makes it sound stupid eh :0

14. ## Re: Scenery in your games

Look at it this way Crovax... playing on a terrain board with no terrain puts your balanced army at a disadvantage to their horde. If horde people find it "unfair" that you actually use the terrain that the core rules say to use, then as a compromise simply use the random generator in the book.

If they still say they are at a disadvantage and its' unfair to their blob deathstars then find new opponents. Choosing to not use terrain or scenarios to me is the same as houseruling, and if you don't like the houserule of little terrain and no scenarios, then don't put yourself in that situation ... it will lead to burn out and possibly push you out of the hobby which would be a shame.

15. ## Re: Scenery in your games

Wow, people care if the game is "unfair" because of a few pieces of terrain? Sounds kind of dull, to me. Anyway, the terrain rules in 8th make terrain so easy to navigate anyway. Like you said, essentially impassable forest sections like yours might be a little more difficult, but I only find big impassable things like buildings awkward to move around (as they should!).

"Fair" or not, I still enjoy playing the game. Sometimes a challenge or different battle is good. I don't read about a battle in a piece of background text and wonder if it was totally fair

That said, a game has to be fun for all players. If your mob genuinely only like playing with little terrain, and hiding whatever you have around the edges, then so be it. You can't always force it. I don't get the whole "acting as if scenarios are a new/bothersome thing". GW have only been promoting scenarios and unique battles since the 1st edition

16. ## Re: Scenery in your games

Originally Posted by Rosstifer
How often do people use Rivers?
Pretty much like this:
Roll up a Mysterious River once = Place the river coming in- and off the table in some corner or 'extreme' flank, reducing its impact on the game.
Roll up a Mysterious River 2+ times = Place the river (many more 'segments' of it) running from one table-edge to the other, crossing both deployment-zones and also likely dividing no-man's land in two distinct halves.

Also, bridges and crossings help. We usually half two of each, where the bridges are designed so that you can't cross them in Horde-formation. This is a set-up that has really worked well (having a river on the table looks 'good' imo, and with sufficient places to cross it there's an extra element of epicness added as the different sides try to hold/breach certain bridge-heads etcetera.

I generally like the terrain rules. I think we'll eventually make a more differentiated chart for generation though - perhaps rolling a D100 rather than 2D6 - and in that case I would make the 'magical whacky' stuff slightly less likely to occur in every game but that's just me..

17. ## Re: Scenery in your games

Originally Posted by Crovax20
but I can already imagine the long faces in bigger battles when the multiple hordes won't fit through the scenery without trouble.

The problem being people will find the terrain unfair for their hordes and in favor of my balanced army.... writing it down like that makes it sound stupid eh :0
Think thats what musicians and tactics are for. Horde isnt a compulsory thing

18. ## Re: Scenery in your games

We always use the proper amount of terrain & place it on the table, not on edges etc etc, however we never use rivers (none made) & our forests are usually normal without any extra rules.

19. ## Re: Scenery in your games

I usualy just alternate between players and each places a piece of terrain untill some says enough amd the onther gets the option for one more drop.

Generaly a lot of terrain tho.
http://www.warseer.com/forums/showth...g-on-a-budget) <----

20. ## Re: Scenery in your games

I clearly agree that most people don't use enough solid, sizable terrain in their games. When I look at photo shoots in White Dwarf, I see fully occupied, vibrant gaming boards. Terrain tends to irritate people, but I look at it like just another fun piece of the game. Where can I deploy to minimize my opponent's ability to really bring his guys to bear? Where can I put my war machines to maximize their effectiveness and ward off certain lane of approach? All of that is really fun for me.

If you want to make Rivers more fun, paint them to have a ford that can cross a 5-wide unit of 25mm models. That way, there's a place he can cross at full speed (and make a few of them all along the river) and a place you can try to focus your defense for a fun bridge-style battle.

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