Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

I've talked about the importance of terrain for fun and exciting wargames ( specifically here ).  However there was an interesting discussion on facebook yesterday that sparked an idea in my mind (always a dangerous thing).  A fellow Mantic Pathfinder was asking about terrain for Kings of War, and if there was any official guidance.  He had found my tournament packet for GenCon 2013 where explicitly describe how the terrain will be laid out for each table.  This was based on the Warhammer Championship packets from Adepticon that year.  (The interesting note was we only had two players show up for that tournament after I spent all that time detailing it).  I remarked that I had never been to a tournament where the terrain was NOT preset and locked in place (though it could make for a 'different' type of tournament).

Yeah, anyone who knows me at all can see where this is going already :-).  One of the challenges I've had in the last year or so is to make tournaments different from each other.  While just the opportunity to play different people is good - playing the same games on the same tables with the same terrain in the same configuration and the same objectives starts to feel - well the same.  I've talked to other TOs (Tournament Organizers), and one thing they all seem to want is something to make their tournament unique and different.  I've been to tournaments where each player gets a set of objective cards - they have to use one each game, and once used it is gone.  Buckeye Battles, a great GT, always has the first round with blind deployment - you can't see where your opponent sets up, making for interesting tactical choices.

So my idea is to have a tournament (oh, and I just happen to be running one on October 24th - go here for more information and to download the tournament rules pack (soon to be updated with the new idea I'm putting up here first)) where I can give this a try.


Terrain : All players are asked to bring in a piece of terrain for the tournament.  This cannot be more than 10" in any direction.  This needs to be something other than a forest, hill or obstacle, as we already have an abundance of those provided.  Each player who brings in a terrain piece will receive a bonus to their tournament score.  The Organizer will classify and label each piece of terrain (height, blocking or difficult or normal, and if it blocks line of sight or not).

Before the first round, each player must pick three pieces of terrain to use for the day.  A player may not pick the terrain piece they brought, nor may they pick more than one hill, forest and/or obstacle (though if you want to be boring you could pick one of each instead of anything interesting or different).

After table assignments, players will roll off to deploy their terrain, high roll (re-roll ties) placing first.  Terrain may be placed ANYWHERE on the table, as long as it is at least 12" from any other terrain piece.  After all terrain has been placed, then it will be scattered D6".  To do this use the provided scatter die, rolling for each piece and moving it in the appropriate direction.  (If the scatter die comes up with a hit symbol instead of an arrow, then the terrain does not move).  After scattering, the terrain is now set for the game.

If objective counters are being used, they are placed after the terrain is set.

Players now roll for sides (again re-rolling ties) with the high roll picking a side by deploying their first unit.  Game rules now proceed as normal.


I'm hoping this will be fun and a little different.  Plus it lights a fire under my fat, lazy butt to actually get some of my new terrain finished.  I picked up some really nice pieces from THMiniatures during their kickstarter that I've primed but need to actually put some paint on (I'm trying two different approaches - one is primed grey, the other black).  I'll put up pictures when these are done, but this is what the pit looks like (plus the grave).  I plan to have one open and one closed.
Promotional picture from the kickstarter
Original unpainted resin
Primed black.  I find it interesting how these use the same background in my Foldio II, but it comes out much darker against the white resin than the black or grey.
Primed grey

Grave primed grey


  1. Whoa! I need to be looking at TH Miniatures. That Pit Grave looks fantastic :)


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