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"I Feel Pretty..." Topic

28 Posts

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Action Log

13 Aug 2018 6:29 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "I Feel Pretty ,,," to "I Feel Pretty..."
  • Removed from Utter Drivel board
  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

1,288 hits since 28 Jan 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 7:26 a.m. PST

What percentage of your terrain is purely decorative as opposed to functional on your wargaming table?

Count terrain that was intended to be part of the tactical interplay of forces, whether it ends up being used or not. "I was really hoping to see how people would use the cover at the edge of the lake, but the engagement didn't make it over there. Maybe next time."

Also, the fact that terrain may be decorative and artistic while being functional counts as functional for this assessment. Putting graffiti on my buildings is decorative (actually, sometimes the symbology is functional), but the buildings themselves are functional.

Estimate in blocks of 10%.

For me, very little of what I put on the board is decorative. Pretty much everything has combat effects or scenario importance. So I would say <10%, but not none.

tsofian Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 7:36 a.m. PST

I try to have every thing I put on the table to have a tactical value

Vigilant28 Jan 2018 8:15 a.m. PST

I have a few items such as telephone poles which are pretty much decorative unless a specific scenario includes them. Other than that everything has a combat effect, if only to block line of sight. So I'd go with more than none but less than 10%.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 8:17 a.m. PST

I think about 100% is tactical, but we try to make that 100% decorative!

Dynaman878928 Jan 2018 8:26 a.m. PST

All the felt on the table is 100% functional. The trees and building models are 100% decorative – since the different colors of felt delineate the boundaries. So 50% is decorative.

Chuckaroobob28 Jan 2018 8:33 a.m. PST


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 8:45 a.m. PST


I will put out fields of crops that have no effect on the game other than to make it look pretty. Individual trees are strictly decorative, clumps are tactical. I will include other bits that have no tactical value: an abandoned cart, a few chickens in a farm yard. Canoes in the stream, civilians in the town, flower gardens, fences, low walls, stone scatter, bits of lichen or foliage, etc.

Note that terrain may be decorative in one game, but tactical in another based on game scale. At 1" = 100 yards in the ACW fences are decorative. At 1" = 10 yards, they are tactical.

wrgmr128 Jan 2018 8:53 a.m. PST

Best guess 30% decorative.

attilathepun47 Inactive Member28 Jan 2018 9:09 a.m. PST

Oh, so pretty--actually 0%. Some of my terrain items are detailed beyond the functional, but I do not put anything on the table that does not have a potential role in the game.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 9:25 a.m. PST

I guess I'm close to Dynaman8789. Swamps, brush, woods, and boulder fields are delineated by the cloth under the trees, bushes, rocks, etc. So those are 50% decorative. Similarly, most ruins are on CDs, and are likewise 50% decorative.

Buildings are 100% functional. Machinery is usually 50% as above. Spaceship landing pads and their crash walls are 100% functional. Vehicles not under player control (such as civilian vehicles in the area of battle) are 100% functional.

I did have some logs floating in a swamp in one game. They turned out to be giant crocodiles that attacked troopers from both sides who had gotten to the edge of the swamp. Would you call that functional or decorative?

Neli Creoruska Inactive Member28 Jan 2018 10:14 a.m. PST

Oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and gay!

Dentatus Fezian28 Jan 2018 10:57 a.m. PST

What herkybird said: Any terrain item can be used tactically but every bit adds to the aesthetic.

Otherwise, why bother with terrain pieces at all?

Have I misunderstood the question?

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 11:36 a.m. PST

Not sure I understand either. But I would say 70% function and 30% decorative. But the decorative also functions. There are rules covering the decorative terrain.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 1:23 p.m. PST

20% decorative

Zephyr128 Jan 2018 2:22 p.m. PST

I'd say the walls in my 3-D DOOM and Space Hulk sets are "decorative" (but for the DOOM set, when I get the rules finished, the computer panels on the walls will also be objectives to complete (in order) to activate or disable security features, etc.) The floor tiles, of course, are the "functional" parts… ;-)

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 4:11 p.m. PST

1 item is decorative – a huge Fortified Manor that is really a diorama piece

Every other bit of terrain has to work for a living

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 10:49 p.m. PST

My terrain is functional, yet happy.

UshCha29 Jan 2018 2:07 a.m. PST

???!****?? If its not functional it should NEVER be there. Terrain takes time to set up. There is not enough time to waste it. 110% functionsl. Looks is a Bonus but can conflict with functional which in my book is unacceptable ;-).

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2018 3:15 a.m. PST

Completely disagree, UshCha. One of the main reasons I play miniature games is for the look of them. Major terrain (such as woods, buildings, etc.) has to be functional, but some is decorative.

For example, those poplar trees that line many French roads---what functional reason do they serve in a game (aside from providing cooling shade for the Germans)? But I like the look of them!

Do agree that game scale makes a difference in functionality.

UshCha29 Jan 2018 4:55 a.m. PST

Real model bridges take up too much ground and leade to excessive bizzare tactics so always used less edifying but sensible sizes. I do a lot in 10mm but the same applies to my 1/72 games.

The trees you mention to put out would only be prectical if you played at home. Storage, transportation and set upknock down time at the club would be unacceptable to me.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Jan 2018 5:15 a.m. PST

There is not enough time to waste it. 110% functions

So you want to sacrifice realism for abstract functionality?

There is a ton of stuff in my office that would have zero effect on tactics if I were in a siege, hostage, riot, or assault situation.

While I love Jackie Chan movies where any prop can (and will!) become a weapon, the reality is the whiteboards in my office aren't going to help me at all.

As opposed to the whiteboard on my door. Turn off the music and lights, then before closing and locking the door write "Gone Fishin'! See y'all next week!".

Nothing to see here … move along.

These are not the nerds you are looking for.

Only in an odd fantasy or sci-fi campaign (OK … maybe a pulp adventure, too) would daisies, buttercups, and lavender added to a terrain board have game effects.

UshCha29 Jan 2018 6:27 a.m. PST

I use Hexon 2 baseboards. They are the Map grid. They are flocked. 110% functional. If they can be made "pretty" that's OK. Pretty not part of function, None starter. You daisy's as part of a functional piece seems OK. Adding separate items for no functional gain BAD ;-).

Legion 429 Jan 2018 6:38 a.m. PST

I try to make my terrain as "attractive" and evocative as possible. Within some limits. I feel since we are war gaming in a "3D medium", that is a good concept to at least try to go by. But not carved in stone, generally.

The 2D of counters of a board works just as well in most cases. Which is fine too as I have gamed probably more board games "back in the day" from, e.g. AH, SPI, GDW, etc., etc.

It is about what you are looking for from your war gaming hobby. Some even prefer to have someone else paint their models for gaming. I don't, I like to paint my own, including 99% of the terrain.

So IMO it is about one's "tastes" and predilections in gaming and what they are looking for in their hobby. I'll freely admit, these days, I'm much more of a modeler than gamer. But I started gaming back in the '60s. So I've been around the block a few times … old fart

And to make perfectly clear … I never have thought or said "I feel pretty". As well as no one has ever stated or intimated that about me … evil grin As the saying goes, Beauty is skin deep … but ugly goes all the way to the bone ! laugh

Bandolier29 Jan 2018 1:31 p.m. PST

I sometimes like to use 5-6 civilians to set the scene and have a few animals wondering around. Some ducks or geese in or near a river. A few random trees that mean nothing except for making the table look good.

War Panda30 Jan 2018 1:22 p.m. PST

Interesting question.

I use a ridiculous amount of unnecessary minute terrain clutter that has little or no practical purpose.

Some of the aesthetics are occasionally used as a drop off marker or a hidden troops marker etc but I never need an excuse to drop them on board especially in a skirmish game.

Judging by some of the previous comments some of you must be wondering why does one insist on placing down all this unnecessary crap? If the question needs to be asked I'm not at all convinced that any answer I give could be sufficient to enlighten but here I go regardless. My own personal reason probably comes straight from my childhood days and to those impressionable days when I first set eyes on my cousins wonderful WWII dioramas.

One summer I visited my older cousin Mel for a week after his Father died. Mel was a avid and very talented WWII diorama hobbyist and each room in his home was full of amazing scenes typical of the war. To my impressionable young eyes each tiniest detail contained a marvellous magical beauty. Seeing my admiration he was generous enough to give me one of the smaller ones. Getting it back home I still marvelled at its now possessed beauty but I was somehow frustrated by the lack of its active purpose in comparison to my hundreds of plastic toy soldiers. At around the same time my much older brother who was in the Irish Rangers started wargaming with his buddies. A couple of evenings spent in their company and I was sold. It shortly dawned on me that both hobbies perfectly complimented the other. They needed to get together.

Of course none of my war-games come close to the beauty and realism of my cousin's stuff but it satisfies me.

Yellow Admiral02 Feb 2018 6:50 p.m. PST

UshCha said:

???!****?? If its not functional it should NEVER be there. Terrain takes time to set up. There is not enough time to waste it. 110% functionsl. Looks is a Bonus but can conflict with functional which in my book is unacceptable ;-).
If you want a 100% functional game you need to abandon playing with miniatures. Computer sims, boardgames, and paper-only games without any pieces at all can do a much better job at simulating nearly anything. The only reason to use miniatures is because they make you SQUEEEEE!

Yellow Admiral02 Feb 2018 6:51 p.m. PST

War Panda said it best:

I use a ridiculous amount of unnecessary minute terrain clutter that has little or no practical purpose.
Good man!

Sadly, I don't but I aspire to. Which is to say, the more terrain bits I make, the more goes on the table. There is no theoretical limit besides physical space and time.

- Ix

UshCha03 Feb 2018 3:00 a.m. PST

Yellow Admiral,
I cant agree with you. Cetrtainly modern combat at some level is 3 Dimentional, dead ground an all that. Not easy to visulise in 2D. I need a 3D board to be able to understand the terrain.

Card markers are again to me a poor replacement for a representative mini. At a glance you can tell a tank fom an APC. Not so with a flat card. For the same reason most folk play with a chess board with 3D pieces.

Computor games are all by their own admission games not simulations and the automated opposition lacks the skill of a real person. Even most multi player games are not in habited by history ereaks tring to behave sinsibly. Nothing worse than a "Charge" freak when he is supposed to be the reserve.

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