N18 Faster, better, board layouts

FunGals

Juve
Jan 23, 2022
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My gaming group is really just getting started so inexperience is a factor but we are finding we spend a huge amount of time just setting up our boards before a game starts.
Are there any tips or templates for balanced board layouts that we can use to get games going a bit faster?

We are playing 1v1 games as we just started out first 4 player Dominion campaign (possibly expanding to 1v1 with a NPC and possibly 4 player games) and we use Sector Mechanicus.
Gangs are Escher, Delauque, Van Saar, Chaos Cult and Enforcers.

I have terrain from Hive War, Dark Uprising and Underhive Sector, one of the other players has a Kill team set and another has some MDF and some home built. I am planning to make some home built terrain as well, including some 12" floor tiles.

At the moment our technique is to place a tall feature piece in the middle and then build out from that, connecting 2 to 4 mid-height pieces and mostly keeping the board edges only to lower height terrain to avoid too much crows nest sniping. Lots of scatter terrain at ground and mid-level, virtually none at the highest level.
 
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I had drawn out a few ideas for table designs based on ideas from YouTube videos on index cards. The idea being draw a random card and use that layout. We haven’t really used it though. :/
 
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This has always been an issue with Necromunda going back to the original game. In my opinion the game just plays better when more effort is put into setup. I know this may not always be possible but my best advice is to ignore the setup guidelines in the rules completely and setup the table in advance before anyone shows up to play. That way you can just dive right in and you can play multiple games on the same setup.
 
Does your campaign have an arbitrator? In our group, the arbitrator usually decides the table layouts before a session and has other players help to set them up. When I play with friends outside a campaign, I use the old method of each player takes it in turn to select and place a terrain piece with a limit of 20 seconds to do so. I have about 20 separate terrain pieces (including a few small scatter pieces which I usually group as one piece depending on type such as barrels, pallets etc.). So, roughly, it only takes about 5 minutes to set up a table. Like Cronevald said above "the game just plays better when more effort is put into setup..." but when it's just a casual game and you've only got a couple of hours to play, this method makes it fair and quick.
 
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At my flgs the guys working there say they copy layouts of boards from previous big tournaments, so there must be a place online where you can find out about these tournament boards.

But failing that you cannot go far wrong if your board has basic mirror symmetry (check out DoW1 game to see that they always do this). This means, that no matter what the terrain piece looks like there should be an equivalent one on the other side of the board.

My flgs usually does this, but once i noticed that on my side of the board there was an extra closed door. So i agreed with my mate that the door was already open.
 
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If time is a real issue, see about getting some tiles, and playing some 2d games. They are massively quicker to set up and add a load of new challenges for your gangs to adapt to. Then on days when you have more time, you can splash out and make more of a do of having a lovely 3d terrain setup.
 
I came from Warhammer fantasy, so setting up terrain was always a matter of five minutes at the most. the most effort being put into defining exactly what blocks line of site and what doesn’t. Balance meant having a hill on each side.

The guys I played Necromunda with set up boards that were pretty boring with just random stuff everywhere. I think that my motivation is more of creating immersion. I have a vision in my mind of how this place looks and I want the terrain to be completely unique. That way the players are put into a completely unexpected environment.
 
Hello August last year!! 😉
I know this may not always be possible but my best advice is to ignore the setup guidelines in the rules completely and setup the table in advance before anyone shows up to play.
Honestly yeah, we generally just create a cool layout and get on with it. If you (OP) or the group have “premade” bits on bases or actual tiles this step is super quick. If it’s a case of 1000 tiny bits then definitely needs setting up well in advance.

YakMeet uses this principle - several tables already set up with terrain. You pick one, choose sides to play on etc and get on with your game. I can’t imagine the chaos if you had to assemble the playing surface every single time.

I came from Warhammer fantasy, so setting up terrain was always a matter of five minutes at the most. the most effort being put into defining exactly what blocks line of site and what doesn’t. Balance meant having a hill on each side.

The guys I played Necromunda with set up boards that were pretty boring with just random stuff everywhere. I think that my motivation is more of creating immersion. I have a vision in my mind of how this place looks and I want the terrain to be completely unique. That way the players are put into a completely unexpected environment.
Interesting. WFB from my recollection never needed masses of terrain because you couldn’t move your regiment through if it was. Traditionally each piece was on its own base plate too. So it should be fairly swift.

Necromunda is different. You need loads of LoS blocking terrain and you’re only moving individual models around.
It might be better to use the based terrain idea to create individual thematic pieces which can be placed around which then would create themes but still offer the required cover.

I don’t think anyone needs to be placing 100 individual barrels about unless it’s required for a scenario (like objectives).
 
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Appreciate those necro-ing this old thread! My group has run out of steam - we played up to Christmas and the last meet-up everyone had slightly off games. One pair had a weird set of circumstances where both players found they were better concentrating on objectives rather than interacting with each other and me and my opponent had a game where I was not really in the right head space from having to make a long, expensive journey to meet the group and then because of that making some terrible tactical choices that just wrecked my chances and my opponent being obsessive with measurements and rule checking dragging the game play to a crawl, making me check out from game play to the point I just didn't care what happened.
I still really want to get back into Necromunda and generally do enjoy it, but I have found the time games take and the minutia of the rules leave me feeling burnt out.
Thank you to everyone helping to make the setup aspect of the game smoother.

@Tiktaalik I love what you're doing with minis and terrain at the moment. A thematic, story telling world is where I want to be. Balance does need to be taking into account with a game but I'm so on board with things just being cool!
 
@Musing Warboss: I meant to say that terrain in Necromunda is more important than in WFB, or maybe even 40k… it takes much more time to create a convincing board.
Indeed - though it shouldn’t take that long, if it’s becoming a game in and of itself then it’s probably best off making 1’x1’ tiled dioramas and then place them as you see fit.
 
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@Tiktaalik I love what you're doing with minis and terrain at the moment. A thematic, story telling world is where I want to be. Balance does need to be taking into account with a game but I'm so on board with things just being cool!

Thank you for the compliment! I’m sorry to hear that your time was not well spent during that game day. I know the feeling of frustration at having practically zero time to game and then there being little to no chemistry between the players involved.
 
Appreciate those necro-ing this old thread! My group has run out of steam - we played up to Christmas and the last meet-up everyone had slightly off games. One pair had a weird set of circumstances where both players found they were better concentrating on objectives rather than interacting with each other and me and my opponent had a game where I was not really in the right head space from having to make a long, expensive journey to meet the group and then because of that making some terrible tactical choices that just wrecked my chances and my opponent being obsessive with measurements and rule checking dragging the game play to a crawl, making me check out from game play to the point I just didn't care what happened.
I still really want to get back into Necromunda and generally do enjoy it, but I have found the time games take and the minutia of the rules leave me feeling burnt out.
Thank you to everyone helping to make the setup aspect of the game smoother.

@Tiktaalik I love what you're doing with minis and terrain at the moment. A thematic, story telling world is where I want to be. Balance does need to be taking into account with a game but I'm so on board with things just being cool!
Have you considered just playing against yourself? No giggling at the back there, I'm serious, if what you want out of the game is enjoying the narrative immersion of seeing how events and the stories play out and write themselves without being at the mercy of other people and their different priorities and expectations (and in worse cases timewasting, or WAAC advantage-chasing ungentlemanly shenanigans). You can learn and use as much of the rules as you feel comfortable and satisfied with as you go. Some people can't understand the point or how it can be any fun to play Necromunda against yourself, if there's no competition involved or gotcha-ing your opponent with surprise tactics cards or devious gamesmanship, but they're the kind of players that spoil my idea of fun, which is playing in character to forge a narrative and see what happens. To me, a game is then like an episode of my favourite tv show, partially guided by my choices but subject to the dice and story gods, and not spoiled by other people and their various types of bullshit. Good luck!
 
Have you considered just playing against yourself? No giggling at the back there, I'm serious, if what you want out of the game is enjoying the narrative immersion of seeing how events and the stories play out and write themselves without being at the mercy of other people and their different priorities and expectations (and in worse cases timewasting, or WAAC advantage-chasing ungentlemanly shenanigans). You can learn and use as much of the rules as you feel comfortable and satisfied with as you go. Some people can't understand the point or how it can be any fun to play Necromunda against yourself, if there's no competition involved or gotcha-ing your opponent with surprise tactics cards or devious gamesmanship, but they're the kind of players that spoil my idea of fun, which is playing in character to forge a narrative and see what happens. To me, a game is then like an episode of my favourite tv show, partially guided by my choices but subject to the dice and story gods, and not spoiled by other people and their various types of bullshit. Good luck!
I've done this several times to test out houserules and to just see how the new game works and the campaign develops. I even had a situation where the same two Escher and Van Saar champions kept naturally squaring off against each other. The experience was not as memorable as in person games but still good fun.
 
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