Thursday, February 16, 2012

Goals - Terrain Crafting for 2012; new Terrain Layouts for 2012 GT / INPUT REQUESTED

The NOVA crew is busy hot wire foam cutting (with the baddest ass precision straight-edge and round-edge no-wobble hot wire cutters around), casting (resin and merlin's magic), carving (foam core, mdf, the works), carpenting, LED-lighting, and painting and flocking our way through the home stretch of a three year project of epic proportions.

Consider this a PSA into the costs and challenges of running a large GT with the proper amount of quality terrain ...

The NOVA ensures 25% coverage (erring on the high side), with 3 of our 7 pieces of terrain per board providing proper LOS blockage. For 2012 forward, any central LOS blockage won't be quite as large as it was in 2011, though it will still be meaningful for the game (too narrow a blocking front creates fire lanes for the entire board just about to some part of models trying to hid behind, making it not los blocking at all).

In total, we place equal or equivalent to 2 pieces of large marginal LOS blockage scatter terrain, 2 LOS blocking hills, 2 partially LOS blocking ruins, and a single LOS blocking ruin/building on each table.

There's a lot of variation in theme from piece to piece, and we'll be introducing other terrain layouts for 2012 besides the one everyone familiarized with in 2011 (changing layouts on all tables by the day from Friday --> Sat, and Sat --> Sun).  The important thing here is the total terrain requirement of nearly square foot sized pieces of terrain for the NOVA Open's 40k GT (alone) is:

256 "scatter" terrain pieces
256 partially LOS blocking ruins or equivalent
256 mostly LOS blocking hills
128 LOS blocking buildings or equivalent

For a minimum of 896 quality, sizeable pieces of terrain.

In addition to this, we also have over 40 4x4 Infinity/Warmachine boards, and nearly 200 6x4 40k/Fantasy/Flames of War boards, AND

Introduced in 2012, we'll have roughly 200 1x4 Side Boards for players to put their armies / spare models / dice / beverages / etc. on while they are playing. These suckers will be previewed very soon, and they're gorgeous, with every sideboard screenprinted and in gorgeous design. In addition to the above average room we had last year, we'll have even more with another foot between every table this year (for sideboards).

Using the 7 pieces above, and some of the photos below of the types and sizes we have to work with, can you suggest some terrain layouts that are fair for all army styles and deployments? Use zee comments. If we go with one you uniquely suggest, I'll comp your badge.

When we first hosted a tournament - the 32 player SGI Outdoor Charity Event we held in August 2009 (Link 1 and Link 2 from Tim Williamson's Tau of War blog) - we (meaning, at the time, "me and my buddy Rhett") owned exactly 0 pieces of terrain of any merit for a tournament setting, but we built up16 felted tables.

When we hosted the first NOVA Open a year later in August 2010, we again borrowed nearly all of our terrain and tables (thanks aplenty to the Inner Circle and the IFL, plus our chief appearance judge Geoff Redding, whose terrain is just plain gorgeous).

In 2011, we had our first major terrain build process ... and boy was it major. We built ourselves up to about 70% self-sufficiency in terms of both tables and terrain, and filled in the gaps once again with major assistance from the Battle for Salvation (who drove 20 tables and tables worth of terrain down with them!) and the IFL.

Finally, in 2012, we'll be TOTALLY self-sufficient. This is a huge milestone, and our terrain crew and terrain chief (Bob Likins) need to be heavily congratulated. That said, the remaining pieces to build this year as of now are:

44 pieces of "scatter" terrain
30 hills
85 los blocking ruins/equivalent
118 partially-los blocking ruins/equivalent

Or, 243 pieces of terrain

The kick is on, and here's a few glimpses of the types we've built for the NOVA to date, are building at present, and will build into the future.


  1. Will there be "forest" terrain for those Tau players with Kroot?

  2. Yes, BBG. As a general rule, "forest" equivalent terrain are represented on many (over 100) of our "Scatter" pieces (either as actual trees, or as alien plant-life and the like. A smaller number of our corner partial LOS blockers will be partially or entirely forested.


    I love you man.

  4. While a good article, the problem lies in not following the criteria. Producing an ADDITIONAL 256 pieces of terrain is not an option (At least not this year).

  5. Just two things which were basis of my criticisms for last years terrain.

    One, give long range units firing solutions. I'm not suggesting an open board here. There should be moderate amount of cover of course. But if they outrange their opponents by design they should be able to use that advantage. (you can balance this by giving adequate cover(not LOS blocking, just cover) on that path, limit those firing lanes, or by making their use risky for the shooting party)

    Two don't give free assaults. Cheap, less risky assaults are one thing but letting a unit jump across the board hiding spot to hiding spot until last minute is bad.

  6. By the gods, that guide by Stelek, while ok on the quantity of terrain, is absolutely horrid in terms of placement. Almost all the (important) terrain is in the deployment zones. Have fun playing a combat army on that. Not to mention the symmetry is extremely off-putting.

    Terrain should be scattered across the entire table. Roughly half in the deployment zones, and half in no man's land. Area terrain like forests and ruins should also be no less than half in no man's land.

    I also like it when the two flanks are not identical, with areas of dense terrain (lots of terrain pieces close together) and areas of rather open space where vehicles can dominate.

    This way players do actually get to make real tactical choices during the game, rather than just picking the corner with the hill or the corner with the forest and shooting all game long until the enemy is dead...

  7. I still say a couple landscapes laid out like a complete city fight randomly laid about (4-6 tables) would be awesome. I understand it would hamper some armies, but the games played on those tables would be epic. I'm not talking about ruins, I'm talking full buildings and the like, with streets and alleys. With TLOS, imagine a heavy hitter lining a perfect shot up through 2 or 3 alley ways and hitting a unit 40" away using a vantage point the other player didn't even realize was there. A table totally covered in area/forest terrain with no ruins would be cool too. Forestry table with forest ruins ala Endor would be super sweet especially if it had tree houses and rope bridges.

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