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Blending Lore and Terrain

Discussion in 'Hive Lore and Background' started by Gracchus, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Gracchus

    Gracchus Juve

    Hi Everyone,

    I've got back into Necromunda after 20 years out of the hobby, snapped up some gangs on ebay and am keen to build myself some terrain (youtube channels like the terrain tutor are what brought me back).

    When it comes to playing the game - the verticality of the terrain is key in my opinion - but here is my major gripe - much this type of terrain is just walkways and empty platforms that lead to nowhere - they just don't make any sense as to why they would be built (the cardboard terrain from the boxset is a great example of this)

    Now I've seen many great terrain boards for Necromunda, but most of those are generally low level rather than multi-story.

    So this has got me thinking - what would be the types of buildings and features that would make for great multi-story play while not just looking like pointless building?

    I guess this then throws into consideration gameplay aspects such as Cover, accessibility (for hands), etc. but fundamentally I'm asking about lore and the make up of underhive domes.

    Llewy and spafe like this.
  2. spafe

    spafe Executive Officer in charge of Hats
    Staff Member Necromunda Custodian Tribe Council Yak Comp 2nd Place

    oil rigs/refineries are great to have a look at, containing large tanks/process plant pieces that require inspection (hence have high gantries/walkways), the tanks themselves can block LoS and give you something large to connect to for stabliltiy in constructing your terrain.

    Large high rise buildings, fallen into disrepair are another fun use, as it gives you multiple levels, and the fallen down walls allows for hand acess in game.

    Factories that have high level cranes/manufactorum parts, these will need servicing and inspection, or even controlling from up high. The key here is coming up with the stuff that your models dont walk on, but blocks line of sight and gives reason for why those walkways are actually there.
    Ben_S likes this.
  3. Fold

    Fold Gang Hero

    In my view the sort of platforms and gantries you see on a typical Necromunda table make a lot of sense as the insides of a bigger structure - not buildings in their own right (cause you're right, what possible purpose could most of those open platforms have? :) )

    Look at these current day factory innards:




    Full of platforms and gantries!

    Now scale it up to 40k.

    Realistically for most gamers actually creating hive buildings that make sense on the giant scale described in the 40k fluff is not practical but as soon as you imagine that your terrain is inside a bigger building then things make more sense.
    trollmeat, Punktaku, Llewy and 3 others like this.
  4. Gracchus

    Gracchus Juve

    Spafe - I've looked at oil rigs for inspiration as well as favelas and such for more residential style settings. They do make great starting points for this type of project, having a rig type building would make a great centrepiece to fight around.

    Fold - That is a good point, having load of machinery type scatter terrain would do wonders in improving those empty platforms. Or at least having the semblance of them having been ripped out as salvage!
    spafe likes this.
  5. Azzabat

    Azzabat Hive Guilder
    Tribe Council Yak Comp 2nd Place

    I agree with @Fold, you have to think of the table top as one (large) room in a factory complex.

    Also you have to bear in mind the storability of the terrain. Not all of us have large dedicated storage areas where we can accommodate large terrain pieces. All our terrain is stored in boxes, so we're limited to what will fit in the box.

    We try to make our terrain so that individual pieces can be stacked/combined t o make bigger pieces.
    spafe likes this.
  6. Gracchus

    Gracchus Juve

    Azzabat - that's certainly a consideration for me too, a small London flat doesn't lend itself to permanent large scale terrain. I'd would need to have significant degree of modularity, both for variety and storage. But my first challenge is to figure out what to build, then it will be how to build it.
  7. Ben_S

    Ben_S Hive Guilder

    Mostly what @spafe and @Fold said about realism, but also I'd add that you need to remember how the Underhive has been built and rebuilt over time. It wasn't planned like this, but evolved almost organically in a series of changes.

    So, there may well be a walkway that doesn't go anywhere - but it's not because it was built like that. It might once have served a purpose (going to a generator, let's say) only for that generator to have been moved, destroyed, stolen, or whatever. In other words, the scenery on the board might be the remains of what were larger structures. Although, even once ruined, there may be other bits getting added haphazardly; for instance, walkways might get added just to bridge two existing structures, if it saves going a long way round.

    The result might look like a jumbled mess, because that's essentially what it is. (Those familiar with older European infrastructure might appreciate this more than Americans used to grid layout cities.)
    spafe, Stoof and Fold like this.
  8. KRVSH

    KRVSH Gang Hero

    I agree it's patchwork. And what's been there could've always been eaten away by what's dripping from the level above.
  9. Fold

    Fold Gang Hero

    Very cool @Ben_S . A vision I feel like I sort of knew but never properly considered!
    Ben_S likes this.
  10. Azzabat

    Azzabat Hive Guilder
    Tribe Council Yak Comp 2nd Place

    I remember when I made my very first set of themed terrain (as opposed to just odds and sods) for my little brother's Warhammer Fantasy Battle one Christmas.

    I managed to get him 4 hills, a village of 4 buildings, 16" each of walls, fences and hedges, a well and 8 trees, all inside one of those plastic Wilko toolboxes.


    He had that for many, many years as he could easily take his "battlefield in a box" round to his friends to play on.

    I'm trying to do something similiar with my latest Necromunda terrain.
    Ben_S and KRVSH like this.
  11. Blood Donor

    Blood Donor Executive Officer in Charge of the 2014 Bake Sale
    Staff Member Necromunda Custodian Yak Philanthropist

    I too firmly believe that the underhive would look like a brewery. Strange Brew as a sci fi influence to Necromunda, @Azzabat? Beauty.
    spafe likes this.
  12. KRVSH

    KRVSH Gang Hero

    Strange Brewtality and Funky Funghi.
    Blood Donor and Azzabat like this.
  13. Azzabat

    Azzabat Hive Guilder
    Tribe Council Yak Comp 2nd Place

    "He was already dead when I killed him!"
    spafe and Blood Donor like this.
  14. Gracchus

    Gracchus Juve

    So for factory type settings having plenty of industrial machinery scattered around multiple level platforms would be fitting.

    What about other sectors:
    residential areas - I imagine high rise blocks meet shantytown slum
    mining sectors - Oil rigs for inspiration

    What about lore / 40k specifics to tie the terrain into the game world - I remember seeing someone had built a chapel of the imperial cult into their terrain - but what else could be added?
    spafe and Llewy like this.
  15. KRVSH

    KRVSH Gang Hero

    Is it really that strict, when it comes to your own hive interpretation? I mean sure, there's the book, giving you inspiration with a little fluff and I literally browsed through it, to list characteristics that seemed specific to me, but the fun part, I think actually is that it's up to yourself then, telling your story as you want it to be. As I take it, the game takes place in the lower sections emphasizing the dark and morbid enough that few upperclass adventurers ever set foot into it in protective armor. But that doesn't exclude there could be a mansion or even a castle if this is what you want to have. It just hardly would be shiny and new, because it must have been built at a time the place was en vogue enough, before anything else was built upon it and it fell apart.
    So rather than anybody telling you what to build, I think it would give you more creative opportunities to come up with something you would really like to include on your table or what you have and then discuss how you can dress it up like the hive. A good starting point imho would be a beat up toy multi-storey car park that somebody would throw away otherwise.
    trollmeat likes this.
  16. Gracchus

    Gracchus Juve

    I get that I can build what I want - but what I'm looking to do is blend things that I consider good for gameplay (multi-level buildings, cover, accessibility) with things that exist in the fluff in order to have a set of terrain that has a sense of realism, in that is, or once was an inhabited place. As a said my gripe with much of the terrain you see, is that to me it's nonsensical, and so detracts from my experience.

    The reason I posted in the lore section of the forum rather than terrain is because I was looking for folks with more knowledge that me on the fluff to feed me a few ideas for me to then get creative with.
    spafe likes this.
  17. KRVSH

    KRVSH Gang Hero

    There aren't that many decisions to make there. Afaik besides the fluff that came with the game there were few novels and possibly something in White Dwarf, that's it. So to me it means, I'm going with what my book says and build my game around it as I like. Me personally, I'm not interested in spreading insignia all over, for example, BUT who am I to tell you, what you want? I always saw Necromunda as an ecouragement to not follow everything the man (i.e. GW) says and whilst it might be funny to get some orks down the hive or something, any try to put the game in line with 40k was just GW handling an individual game like the corporation they want to be. To me, it always was a rough sketch to have fun with and that's what I'll always do. I prefer the unpredictability of a hive depiction over any fluff accuracy or uniformity. If you like to play on a 40k layout, do it. If you want to use your Infinity terrain, why not? So in that matter, whatever you say works on your table, works on your table. Since you reckon on the importance of LOS-blocking and acknowledge the overall theme, what could possibly go wrong?
  18. Gracchus

    Gracchus Juve

    I think you've misunderstood me - 20 years ago I played necromunda and blood bowl but wasn't really into GW as a whole. My intention now is to scratch build a terrain set for a game I'm returning too. All I was looking for was some ideas to get going that fit the more and
  19. Fold

    Fold Gang Hero

    Cryo stasis facilities - loads of old cryo chambers, huge generators, pipes everywhere. Platforms on robotic arms allowed the clerks in the facility to move around the space and inspect the stasis customers and move chambers around.

    Cathedra - crumbling reinforced masonry, gothic details, gantries running between flying buttresses, winding stairwells, pulpit platforms and altars

    Destroyed Hab Block - ruined Hab apartments with broken floors as levels, built around a central atrium, lifts and walkways ala Peach Tree Habs in Dredd. Makeshift ladders and ramps to provide access between levels, added by subsequent gangs and drifters. One or two layers could be the Hab's facilities layer, generators, coolant plants, water pipes and air ducts in steel cages with gantries and stairs.

    Sumptown/Twist Setttlement - shanties built one on top of each other favela style, with rickety walkways, ramps and stairs.

    Promethium Cache - the aforementioned oil rig inspiration
    Llewy likes this.
  20. Loriel

    Loriel Gang Hero
    Yak Supporter

    I had a idea once to build this Hive Trade Center. I remembered this one and decided to find it from my garage and take couple pictures of it after 2 years :D

    In short making it shopping center etc, could work :D

    Punktaku, KRVSH, trollmeat and 5 others like this.

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