Help support TMP

"Gorgeous Alma game - how important is nice terrain?" Topic

14 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please remember not to make new product announcements on the forum. Our advertisers pay for the privilege of making such announcements.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the 19th Century Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest

19th Century

Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Top-Rated Ruleset

They Died For Glory

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Workbench Article

1:600 Scale Masts from Bay Area Yards

Hate having to scratchbuild your own masts? Not any more...

Featured Profile Article

New Gate

sargonII, traveling in the Middle East, continues his report on the gates of Jerusalem.

Featured Book Review

692 hits since 15 Mar 2023
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2023 12:14 p.m. PST

We had the privilege of fighting The Alma on Matt's superb display game terrain. The gorgeous realistic layout really helped to make my mental pictures of the battle more vivid. Report with some photos here:

How important is the quality of the terrain to your games?

steve dubgworth15 Mar 2023 12:21 p.m. PST

for display purposes a realistic layout is crucial to attract viewers and achieve the the purpose of a display game. we used to do many display games in the past under the name of Doncaster Fanatics

for playing purposes good but flexible terrain is important with the stress on flexible to give a challenging game but have multipurpose elements which can be use in other games in other periods.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2023 12:25 p.m. PST

While I appreciate nice terrain, it is relatively unimportant for my gaming experience. I will happily march down masking tape roads to fight over and around felt terrain cut-outs.

kevin smoot15 Mar 2023 12:35 p.m. PST

I love to ply on really nice terrain, but only so long as it doesn't interfere with game play. I still prefer function over form in that regard

enfant perdus15 Mar 2023 12:48 p.m. PST

To me it's extremely important. The visual aspect of the hobby is key to my enjoyment, which is why I also like nicely painted figures and, if reasonable, correct uniforms/clothing/equipment. Yes, I've had a fantastic time playing some frankly unattractive games but that was because the game flow and the way it plays out was outstanding. The opposite is also true.

That said, it also has to be a playable table. I've seen truly stunning terrain pieces (particularly hills and forests) that presented no means to deploy figures.

Edit: Probably the best blend of beauty and function I ever saw was an Antietam game for "The Cornfield". The corn stalks were based in sections with the same footprint as the infantry stands and would be swapped out as a unit moved through. They could also be replaced with bases if trampled stalks if appropriate.

Titchmonster15 Mar 2023 1:45 p.m. PST

Good terrain or die!
I appreciate good terrain and try to add appeal to all my games with quality buildings, well based trees and scatter terrain. Currently I'm using Cigar Box mats which make it super easy to look good. When I began and was a college student green felt and masking take was fine. Call me a snob but I likes what I likes. Also, a deal breaker for me is the wrong time period buildings just to have buildings.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2023 3:13 p.m. PST

You know, this morning I'd have said "great terrain is critical for attracting newbies." This afternoon, I saw some of the buildings and bridges from my first big game for the first time in 40+ years--plywood and fiberboard, quickly cut, hastily nailed and not always even painted. But few tables since have impressed me as deeply as those buildings did in 1969. Terrain is basically addictive: you build up a tolerance and start looking for a stronger dose. I suspect the same thing is true of good-looking miniatures. Let me propose the following:
1. To attract newbies, troops and terrain should be at least as good as what they're already familiar with, though mass effect helps.
2. Flaws should never be visible at a quick glance.
3. Wargame terrain always has to be functional: no game benefits from arguments about who is or is not entitled to cover benefits or suffering movement penalties.
4. If you still notice the terrain an hour into the game, something's wrong with the game.

All of which said, it's a visual hobby. As long as it's still sturdy and portable, time and money spent on making your table look good is never wasted, and it's always good practice, when picking up after a game, to put aside any terrain or troops in need of repair, and the unit and piece of terrain whose appearance could most be improved by a little work. It adds up over time.

Decebalus15 Mar 2023 4:08 p.m. PST

Imo beautiful terrain is an absolutely must for wargaming. There is always the moment in a game, I am pausing and taking a look on the table, enjoying the look.
The argument terrain has to be practical and shouldn't interfere with the game, is usually an excuse to not put effort into the terrain. Except for tournament play there is nothing about beautiful terrain, that will not make a game better.

Legionarius15 Mar 2023 5:04 p.m. PST

I like terrain that looks good but is functional and very sturdy. I like to mark off rough areas with appropriately colored cloth and put moveable trees or rocks on top so that they can make space for troops as needed. I don't like fiddly pieces that tend to break nor sloping terrain that makes figures fall off. Everything should be functional but matching and in the same style. That's just what I prefer. To each his/her own. Cheers!

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2023 6:42 p.m. PST

In the really small scales, 2 or 6mm, the terrain is everything otherwise you could just play a paper and hex wargame.

Terrain needs to look good and be flexible enough to pick up and put away and used for other scenarios. Dedicated game boards are nice but are hard to store once that game is over.

There is no reason for anyone to have to use masking tape for roads or blue tape for rivers and creeks or flat hills. There are so many terrain products that look good and are flexible enough to be put away and ready for the next game or scenario

Part of the joy of playing miniatures is that it is 3D and can look nice with minimal effort. If you are using flat 2D terrain features, you really would be better off with hex and paper board games.

42flanker16 Mar 2023 2:40 a.m. PST

I am still reeling from the revelation that there was a mosque on the banks of the Alma.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2023 9:39 a.m. PST

@ enfant perdus, has captured my sentiment perfectly.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2023 6:05 a.m. PST

"I am still reeling from the revelation that there was a mosque on the banks of the Alma."

The Crimean Tatars were predominantly Muslim. There were about 1,000 mosques in the Crimea at the time.

Lascaris29 Mar 2023 8:26 p.m. PST

I go kind of middle of the road on this. I like nice looking terrain but don't go to the extents that some others do.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.