And yet, I still wish there were some sort of definitive ruleset on how best to ensure that there are the right amounts of LOS-blocking terrain, difficult, area and cover terrain types on a board. I know, as a personal preference, I prefer a terrain heavy board, one covered in as much terrain as I can fit. I just like the idea of combat being close and deadly (even when I played my Tau…but in that case, I liked all the cover the terrain provided back in 4th edition.).
Skull Basher Marines hold the line against a Crimson Fist assault.
Surprisingly, I found it difficult to find articles on terrain set up in 5th edition! On the Dakka forums I did find a neat proposal:
- Divide the board into 6 2'x2' squares and assign a number for each of them.
- Divide the terrain in 6 roughly equal groups.
- Roll a D6 for each group. That terrain group then goes into that square. If you roll a number with terrain already in it, move the pieces into an adjacent square.
- Each player then alternates placing all the terrain in each group making sure not to initially position a piece of terrain within 12" of another
- Roll a scatter die and 2D6 and move each placed piece that many inches in that direction.
- Once everything is placed, a scatter die is rolled and any building on the board are turned to face the direction of the arrow.
I like this set up and will try and encourage my friends to try it out. Breaking up the table and randomly assigning terrain to each section appeals to the wargamer in me…now the set up isn't so much about grabbing pieces and trying to neutralize them…it's about creating the battlefield. The addition of 2 different scatter dice mimics bad intelligence reports on the direction of the terrain pieces and placement. My only change might be to ensure that the biggest piece of terrain available (in size or height!) be placed in the center first with appropriate scatter rolls. This creates a vital piece to fight over and prevents the railguns from firing across the table.
The last piece of terrain set up I'm still struggling with: Determining the terrain "Stats." Is it difficult? Is it Area? Does is block LOS? Since I have my table with DIY terrain, I prefer to try and assign the same pieces the same stats…so my rubble pieces are always 5+ cover, area, difficult terrain. My large buildings are 4+, WYSIWYG, only difficult to pass through the walls. And so forth. Occasionally, when playing someone, they'll want some impassable or dangerous terrain and I'll suggest pieces that look like they fit the bill. But again, I'm left feeling sometimes like "is there too much difficult? do we need 6+ cover terrain? Only my rubble pieces are area terrain…is that unbalanced?"
If I can get my friends to use the above set up, maybe I'll also declare that each player gets to decide what each terrain piece their Opponent set up does. And I have to flexible with each piece…maybe that building doesn't have to be difficult terrain...or the rubble could not be 5+ saves and instead only difficult. I just hope it doesn't add 40 minutes to set up! Maybe it needs to be timed as well. :)
How do you decide the terrain "disputes" at the start of your games? What method do you use to decide on how to set up the board?