Recently, I participated in a 500 point private event which was a ton of fun. One of the best parts about it was that I got to do tons of work in setting up tables for the event! The tourney organizer (mad pat of LegioXVIII) gave a lot of freedom in the tables, with only a few rough guidelines (4’x’4, with up to 50% terrain)…which meant tons of creative opportunity!!!
Of course, I had plenty of terrain already… but after my best friend and I started looking at things, we wanted to make the tables have definitive themes, and of course have them be both cool looking and fun to play on, a tall order indeed!
The call was for 4 tables, with maybe one alternate so we decided to come up with a few cool ideas.
- City battle – the shattered remains of an abandoned city.
- Alien Colony – a pastoral scene with hills, trees, a river and a few pre-fab buildings.
- Battlefield – a ruin and crater strewn landscape with the remnants of many battles
- Desert scene – a rocky desert scene, complete with outcroppings and palm trees (ok, I like desert).
Next up: New terrain!!!
We NEED to make…
So, not being satisfied with the multitudes of existing terrain, we decided to work on a bunch of stuff; either new pieces, or extensive upgrades to existing ones.
Key goals were to have tables which met the following criteria;
- Stable – we didn’t want things to fall apart at the smallest bump – this inspired the layout, and the table foundations.
- A consistent theme – I wanted the tables to “look” like a place…that kind of made sense, with little mis-matching of pieces.
- Gamer friendly -We worked hard to arrange the play area so there was a table border (only 6″) where players could put their drinks, dice, etc. down.
- Functional – the tables needed to not hinder nor aid any particular style of play…this was a tough one, but overall we met it.
- Looking good -I wanted them to look good, visually; from balance and composition to color and detail.
After MUCH painting, cutting, spraying, stapling, taping, hot glue (OUCH!!!!), cursing and caffeine we had a ton of new pieces! not everything was of final quality (flocking, shading, etc.) but the the tables looked great…
This simple table was a lot of fun, and perhaps the one with the least amount of terrain. It has a lot of variability, several vehicle paths and a decent amount of cover but not so much so as to be a LOS nightmare. There was a lot of last min prep on this one, and while the base coats were done, several of the pieces just did not get the detail painting we wanted. The big hill in the middle (it’s construction is worth of a post in of itself) was a lot of fun to prep, and quite the centerpiece.
I got to play a few games on this table and it was a lot of fun. One lesson was that the hill center hill needs a lot of work; gamers either want flat areas for models, or sheer cliffs…anything in between and players will want to place minis on them!!! Ever seen gymnastic orks? Yeah all that.
So, while the pieces on this table still need work, over all it was a bit hit and played pretty much as intended. One thing, after looking at the pics, I think I am going to make the two large pieces (the big rectangles in the pic) more natural…maybe. When I get free time….in a few years…
Here are a couple of other desert table pics;
Buildings, Generators and machinery oh my!
This table was the most incomplete finish wise, with several pieces (including the ground itself!) not detailed out. One really cool thing about it was the fact that we offset the streets at an angle….too many times I see city type tables and they are too….square? anyway, you get the idea.
One thing about this table that was universally liked was the mat, it is a textured roll out gaming mat with a ton of detail! I got it from zuzzy miniatures, and can’t wait to finish painting it (only managed a heavy wash before the game).
This was one of the few tables I did not get a chance to play on personally…then again, we are looking to set up some dedicated city fights soon…
One interesting note; two of the pieces on this table were throw’aways from another event I was in, and I took them in and refurbished them quite a bit and added a ton of details…they were great pieces when I got them, and had a lot of fun making them “my own” so to speak. Also, one of the pieces…my best friend made out of parts from a discarded pool vacuum and a urinal insert…go figure.
A few other shots from the Ruined City
The idea for this table was to create something that actually looked like a war zone; tanktraps, barbed wire, craters, wrecks, and more. One of the main pieces we wanted to use was the crashed flyer from an old 40k set. This table was very popular for both tits appearance, and the tactical choices the terrain imposed upon the players.
A few of the terrain features on this table were made specifically for it. The tank traps (which were used as impassible terrain) were made from large scale sprue and foam bases. The razorwire was from armypainter, and worked out fairly well (the guys who make the colored primer). One of the craters was from the GW crater set, primered black and dry-brushed with layers of grey and brown, to try to match the overall color scheme. The wrecked flyer was a personal favorite of mine (wrecked imperial anything is 😉 and a lot of fun to paint up.
One of the other tank traps was from a gw accessory set, and the remaining crater and terrain pieces we had in stock (some still need work, but were close enough for this game). The board was covered in a grey sheet, with some black wash sprayed over it, and a lot of brown paint stippled on it to add color and to break up the solid colors.
One note; due to a combination of the scenario played and some very rare dice rolls, I played one of the most bizarre games ever; my tau made a heroic charge across an entire table toward a cowering army…of orks. Go figure.
This was by far one of our favorite tables to set up, and play on. All of the players agreed that is was terrain heavy, but played remarkably well and looked great!
Colony Table with TREES!!!!
Components included; green sheet with some color on it, painted electrical boxes to represent pre-fab colony buildings, a modular river with a home made foot bridge, foam hills and out rocky outcroppings and TONS of trees!!!!
One of the comments that a lot of players make is with the abstract nature of a lot of 40k terrain; specifically trees and foliage. Due to some getting ahold of a bunch of cast off holiday trees, we had an idea of creating a table with enough trees to use for real cover and LOS blocking. We ended up putting the trees on the colony table…and even in playing it, it was great!
Here are a couple of other views of the colony table…
Overall the event was a lot of fun, and we now have some great new terrain….still a lot of work to do to finish out several of the pieces. I will try to put up pictures as more of them get completed…
Charging Tau, Hidden Orks…
Finally, a picture of the “Charge of the Tau Brigade…” where a bizarre deployment and mission twist combined with a badly calculated risk (who would have thought 16 of 18 lootas would hit?) I ended up trying to salvage a first turn potential defeat with an exceptionally agressive strategy…my tau charged the orks….who hid in cover. One of the funniest comments of the game was when my friend the Ork player made this observation about his Orks hiding from a Tau charge; “It hurt their green souls…”. I am glad I did not give up on this one (too many times we players predict an outcome too early), as it was a very close and very fun game…
I almost pulled it off…I lost by the roll of a single die at the end of turn 5….considering my oponnent got his victory condition on the first roll of the first turn, that ain’t bad…
Dave the gamer…