Terrain

All posts tagged Terrain

It’s storytime.  Grab your blanket and a snack, it’s a long one.

My local buddies got hyped on Infinity recently, and I dove onto the hype train head-first.

Less recently, I was given the Military Order starter box for Panoceania years ago as a birthday present.  It was partly a way for a friend to invite me into a game he really enjoyed, and partly his wanting to challenge me as a painter.  It was an incredibly thoughtful gift that got put on a shelf for far too long, largely because I was too scared of the smaller, more detailed miniatures.  (Turns out, they’re ridiculously fun to paint.)

When we decided to start learning the rules and playing semi-regularly late last year, I went whole-hog into the terrain.  I immediately had a concept in mind for the table I wanted to build – I was (OK, still am) high on The Martian and all things space and Science-Fiction, and wanted to do a research station on an alien planet that had some military presence – maybe the research was Top Secret, maybe there are hostile aliens…  Either way, I envisioned a desolate red planet (heavily inspired by Mars), with rock formations, high-tech science station buildings, and some accompanying military buildings and support systems (like a landing zone, construction equipment, radar antennae, etc).

As we were all surveying the available terrain options, I fell in love with Warsenal’s pieces.  Warsenal is one of the premiere MDF terrain studios for Infinity terrain, boasting an official license from Corvus Belli – their terrain is in the pictures in the game’s rulebook.  Warsenal’s Cosmica line is perfect for the science part of the expedition, and their Comanche pieces would contrast those nicely and function perfectly as the military outpost portion.  Just like my wife and shoes, I seem to have expensive taste.  Luckily, I planned on doing my rock formations out of dense pink foam, and I could save some money there.

Seriously, how cool does this stuff look?!?

I didn’t want this terrain to be slap-dash or done quickly.  I wanted it to look good, and I wanted to spend my time on it and really make it look nice.  The terrain pieces themselves are practically sculptures, and Infinity is a very cinematic game, so I felt like I could really let myself run wild on the terrain and go overboard – and that would be OK.

However, since this was my first encounter with masking and airbrushing MDF terrain, I started with the simplest and cheapest bits I had, some Comanche Mantlets.  These are designed to go on walkways and other exposed areas to provide cover.  They’re six parts each, and about $5 for the pair – perfect starter pieces.

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As promised, here’s the Battle Report featuring my terrain set. All the feedback thus far is that it’s fun to play on and looks great, so Mission Accomplished!

About the Advanced Maneuvers Channel:

Advanced Maneuvers is a local group of awesome guys that have broken into the video battle report scene. Their format and production quality is top-notch, and it’s very easy to follow what’s going on. This format is what I’m hoping to emulate when I eventually start filming games.

You can meet Kevin and Herman, two of the guys behind the AM channel on this chat with Codex Dan and Miranda (WargamerGirl) as they discuss the topic of Faction Hopping.

Holy cow, it’s a How-to Tuesday.  It’s been forever, right?  Libby and I are both very excited!  Ok, maybe she’s just excited about the peanut butter…

Libby_pb

As the Nova Nomads club grows, we wanted to focus on what we had to offer our members and the other nearby play groups around us.  One of these things is a positive and fun gaming experience.  For the longest time, players have owned and maintained their own terrain sets because up until our current store, we couldn’t store anything at the shop.  Given our new home store will allow us to do so, and we have club funding from dues (which also go towards club t-shirts, chess clocks, awards for events, etc), we wanted to get some club terrain.

In order to make this fun and exciting, and make sure we got the best looking terrain out of the time put into the project we made a competition out of it.  Club members were encouraged to group up into teams of two (or solo or threes) and com up with a concept for a table’s worth of terrain.  Lots of members had donated their personal sets to the club, so teams were free to take anything from that cache to use for their tables.  Teams were given a tupperware bin for their terrain to fit into, and each team had a $25 budget on top of whatever the club purchased for them to use.

Most of our existing tables use forests, hills and linear obstacles.  That’s great, but it leaves out lots of other fun terrain pieces like rough terrain, large obstacles, trenches, etc.  Not to mention, the terrain rules support custom combinations of things, like rough terrain plus concealment might be brambles or long grass; something that slows you down and also obscures your position, but doesn’t offer nearly the same advantages as a wall or building.

I wanted to tackle trenches, because moist of our tables look like the random countryside with hills and forests and no buildings or signs of civilization.  However, the Iron Kingdoms is full of battlefields and entrenched positions that nations feverishly defend and assault.  I wanted a real battlefield.  Since I had a ton of Khadoran bits laying around (mostly spare shields), I figured that faction was as likely to have trenches as any.

Khadoran Trenchworks Banner

So, here’s how I went about building an entire table’s worth of terrain from scratch, in about three weeks.

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Tectonic Craft Studios is a new terrain company which has gained momentum after a very successful Kickstarter Campaign.

TCS has sponsored a Warmachine City Table here at the NOVA, and I gotta say, it looks fantastic, and its not even painted!

These kits are incredibly detailed, and make great use of multiple layers of 1/8″ MDF to give a surprising amount of depth to what is essentially flat surfaces.

I particularly like the giant crates and the cranes.  They spin!

Howdy folks, I have something a little different today: Terrain!

One of my duties as an Event Organizer for the NOVA Open is to construct terrain for the various games.  All the EOs get together on the weekends and blitz terrain so that we can get all the pieces done on time.   Many hands make quick work of things, and that leaves more time for hanging out and beer!

One of the unique challenges of WM/H Event Organization is the difference in our terrain needs, compared to those of 40k / Fantasy, Infinity or Flames of War.  While 40k tables like big sets of ruins and multi-tiered hills, WM/H terrain us usually more sublime.  Where Infinity tables need a cityscape with lots of LOS blockage, WM/H tends to have plenty of open space.  Hills need to be 1″ tall, so they don’t block LOS, for instance.  We also need several linear obstacles (per table) in order to break up said open spaces, and we gotta have lots, and lots of trees!  Forests are a huge part of any WM/H encounter, but they’re far less frequent in, say, the Grim, Dark Future.

Today, I want to send you over to the NOVA Preparation Blog: The Road to NOVA.  Two Terrain sessions ago, Bob (The Minister of Terrain) and I sat down to build some 30+ fences and barricades to use as linear obstacles for some of the WM/H tables.  He liked the design I had come up with, and wrote a tutorial on how we made the fences.  Check it out here, or click the picture below.

“You can’t beat cheap, good looking terrain!” is the motto around the NOVA shop, and it really holds true when you have to make terrain on convention level scales.

The Barricades we made use the same pieces as the upright posts in the fences.  1/8″ x 1/8″ x 1″ balsa.  (These were 2 1/4″ length sticks purchased from Michael’s that were simply cut in half).  You take three of them, and glue them into a star pattern, and then toss three of them onto a 1″ x 4″ base with some scale razor wire.  BAM: Barricade.

I hope you enjoyed this little change-up with some terrain, I’ve certainly enjoyed working on terrain lately.  I’ve learned all sorts of nifty (and thrifty) ways to do things.

If you’re interested in checking out what is available at the NOVA, be sure to checkout their website: www.novaopen.com  The NOVA is in less than a month!