Saturday, 28 September 2013

Terrain: Ultimate Gaming Board

I told you that we're not lost! I know the way, been here many times before! Wait, this is new. Oh, for Sigmars sake, this place is going to get me mad! Allright, let's get back to the old bell tower and we'll take new route from there. Mercifully some landmarks never change...

"Each player takes it in turn to place a piece of terrain, either a ruined building, tower, or other similar item. We suggest that the terrain is set up within an area roughtly 4' x 4'." We all know this excerprion very well and so we all have our own idea as to how a Mordheim Gaming Board should look like. I remember the time when to have four buildings and some rubble was a dream yet to become true. Back then no one of my gaming group thought about multi-storey buildings, footbridges and line of sight blocking terrain elevation. The gaming table was a board placed upon two metal chairs and although it was too small to be called 4' x 4' - we were quite happy with it. And so we played starting with little more than nothing and discovered which terrain types we must create to improve the quality of the game. Years passed and all flat buildings have been replaced with multi-storey constructions allowing us to place our snipers higher. A lot of rubble showed up to create good hiding spots and provide cover. Footbridges joined many buildings allowing our warriors to cross the entire table and not touching the ground. At last large elevations of terrain took our gaming to the next level, as steep walls arose from the ground and whole areas have been obscured from sight. Now, after all these years i can finally say that i might have found an ultimate gaming board recipe. Several principals that you should follow to obtain such table are:

- Dense terrain placement.
Terrain, especially buildings, should be placed densely, and on a 4' x 4' area it means you will have to create more than 8 of them. It is good to place them so that they won't be paralell to the tables edge. Thanks to that you will minimize the chance for a model to get shot through stacking multiple  windows and slits.

- Ground floor without windows.
Try not to leave many windows that are not covered with boards at the ground floor. Maneuvering a miniature inside a building to place it in a best posiosion for a shot may resolve in damaging a building and miniature alike. 

- Upper floors.
All buildings should have a minimum of one floor above ground. These would be perfect to place your shooters at and you won't be bowling over whole buildings to do that.

- Footbridges.
Some buildings should be linked with footbridges. It will provide many tactical possibilities including outmaneuvering an oponent and charging his warriors from above or simply of getting afar from a horde of Zombies.

- Terraind elevation.
There should be a minimum of one terrain elevation. Not only an elevation would block line of sight but it will also force both players to take many additional routes into account. Think about all these defensible spots with nothing but a cliff behind your back...

- Rubble.
Place a lot of rubble between buildings and in the middle of crossroads. Mordheim is all about hiding, maneuver and charging in a good moment. Lots of rubble will provide you with prospect of doing just that.

- Playable above looks.
Creating a gaming board is like a 3d graphics rendering - first of all prepare some base and concentrate your efforts on making all terrain playable. When you have a decent number of buildings and rubble - you may think about adding some factures. Painting comes after this one. And what about details? Well you may put them on miniatures, but terrain should be playable in the first place - detal (skulls on the floor, broken chairs, trash) will create uncomfortable gaming spots so try to avoid them. If you want to add a nice looking detail - you will have to forsee a place for it, a niche in the wall for example. 

Here are some photos of my Mordheim Gaming Board over the years:






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