Suggestions- Terrain Placement Rules

Kiro The Avenger

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I think guidance is better than clear instructions.

I don't believe it's possible to create clear rules that are relatively simple and yet still effective. Especially ones that also incorporate the wide variety of terrain people have.

Additionally, I think such clear rules will just create the mindset that "any use of these rules to obtain an advantage is legitimate" will just encourage people to 'cheese' them.
Whereas guidance makes it clear to players that's it up to them to create a good table.
 

Thorgor

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Oct 12, 2015
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I disagree. Rules are needed to unsure fairness.

I'm not saying we need rules that state stuff like "no building higher than X" can be placed within Y" of the edge of a table" or that define the maximum distance between two barricades, etc.
What we need are rules that ensure that both players are equally satisfied (or equally unsatisfied) with the battlefield at the end of the set-up.

That's what they tried to do in the official rules with their "both players alternate adding pieces to the table until one is satisfied and then the other can add one more". Of course they failed at spotting the obvious flaw with this method (you will always end up with either 2 or 3 pieces of terrain on the table).
We just need to find a method that works.
 
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Kiro The Avenger

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Have you got a proposal for such a method?
Because I think GW's approach is about the only viable possibility apart from "you must have one large piece of terrain every 6 inches" or whatever.

I'm also not aware of *any* wargames that have such rules for setting up terrain.
It's all just left to their players to do it.
Which I think is very telling about the viability of such an endeavour.
 

Petitioner's City

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Are there any good exemplars in other tabletop games? Original Munda didn't really have one either.

Wouldn't this be exactly the kind of thing that requires more data?
 

Thorgor

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What? Do I have to do all the work 'round here? 😁

Could start with something as simple as: divide the board into n squares like a checker board (could use ZM tiles (1"x1") as a standard "square" area). One player sets up terrain in the "white" squares, the other sets up terrain in the "black" squares. Deployment zones are then randomly determined.

That's just the first thing that came to mind, and I'd argue it's way better than nothing.

edit just looked at Infinity and it doesn't have rules per see but strong guidelines the players should follow (see pages 138 and 139). It's not ideal but I could settle for that if we can't manage something better.
 
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Al_Weeks

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edit just looked at Infinity and it doesn't have rules per see but strong guidelines the players should follow (see pages 138 and 139). It's not ideal but I could settle for that if we can't manage something bette

Could you give us an idea of these. For those of us that dont have those rules.
 

Kiro The Avenger

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There's a hyperlink to download the rules in Thorgors post.

That's effectively the sort of thing I suggest we should have for Necromunda.

I think poor terrain rules are worse than no terrain rules at all, because people will play by those rules and use them for their advantage (as they are fully within their rights to do).
The Van Saar Vs Delaque two towers game was a prime example of that.

Although I think the terrain rules we currently have works well for Zone Mortalis, perhaps with a few extra caveats and adjustments. Particularly around the Badzone D-7 tiles (I've had groups produce boards of pure Badzone as each tried to screw over their opponent more than their opponent screwed over them).
 

Al_Weeks

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There's a hyperlink to download the rules in Thorgors post.

That's effectively the sort of thing I suggest we should have for Necromunda.

I think poor terrain rules are worse than no terrain rules at all, because people will play by those rules and use them for their advantage (as they are fully within their rights to do).
The Van Saar Vs Delaque two towers game was a prime example of that.

Although I think the terrain rules we currently have works well for Zone Mortalis, perhaps with a few extra caveats and adjustments. Particularly around the Badzone D-7 tiles (I've had groups produce boards of pure Badzone as each tried to screw over their opponent more than their opponent screwed over them).

Sorry, being slow today lol.
 

Icedman

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I agree with @Thorgor 's suggestion re: 'squares'. Infinity looks to have a good idea if we can't come up with something better.

If ZM is still considered the 2D tiles, then I think that placement is handled pretty well by the existing rules.

My first pass at this for SM/3D was simply to increase the minimum required # of pieces before a player can bow out (at least 3 large and 4-5 scatter each).
 

Kiro The Avenger

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One problem with squares is how you handle borders. It would be a shame if no terrain could be placed down the halfway line/centre of thr board because it crosses a border.
It will likely also create rather strange looking terrain with squares of extremely dense terrain and wastelands.
 

JawRippa

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Checker pattern idea is cool, but we'd need some way to fill gaps between squares. With checker patter you'd have corridors empty of any cover (edges of squares).

I'd prefer guidelines instead of strict rules.
  • #1 recommendaton is to have taller terrain closer to the center, rather than edges.
  • #2 recommendaton is to have saturation of terrain to provide a piece of cover within 8-10" (running distance of an average fighter) of any point on the battlefield.
  • #3 recommendation is the more terrain the better, but the table should have at least 2-3 "lanes" that are at least 24-30" long.
  • I think that scenario rules should also help out with terrain placement and objectives. For example "a loot crate has to be within 3" of a terrain piece or obstacle" - to guarantee a piece of cover next to it to make advancing towards it easier. Otherwise a shrewd player with shooty gang will set loot markers in all open gaps he will find, even if the table is set up "correctly".

I have a recommendation for ZM/SM in general: before the game players roll a D6: on a 4+ they play on SM, otherwise they play on ZM. If players don't have access to ZM tiles or similar terrain, they play on SM, but the size of the battlefield is reduced to 30x30" from 48x48".
Reason: a lot of clubs have access to SM, and a "kitchen" table with randomly thrown in stuff to serve as terrain will resemble SM. So to emulate ZM make the table smaller.
 
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Petitioner's City

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Those infinity pages are good!

I think you also have to accommodate the rise of kill team-sized and new 40k-sized boards - in our group, we started using these and they work really well for necro. I am sure others will use them too.

I also encourage my players to be creative with platforming (placing tiles on top of terrain, as the new zm tiles do very well), and with using all manner of card floor tiles - BSF, Calth and non-citadel ones.

Overall, this is a hard one to do but having clear, useful guidelines - with lots of room for creativity - is an ideal solution.

But one thing I realise is in my group we really don't care about terrain as competitive tool, it's something we tend to build more in a mess or each just doing sections of the table - it becomes a hodgepodge, which is great for feels sometimes, but it takes time.

Thus my main concern with terrain isn't 'balance', it's actually time - how to set up terrain quickly as I find it is soooo slow, and it can eat into a game evening quite dramatically alongside all the other pre-game.
 

JawRippa

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But one thing I realise is in my group we really don't care about terrain as competitive tool, it's something we tend to build more in a mess or each just doing sections of the table - it becomes a hodgepodge, which is great for feels sometimes, but it takes time.

Thus my main concern with terrain isn't 'balance', it's actually time - how to set up terrain quickly as I find it is soooo slow, and it can eat into a game evening quite dramatically alongside all the other pre-game.
This is why I'd prefer it to be "guidelines" rather than strict rules. If some players are willing to sacrifice balance/fairness of a board because they are restricted in time/don't care all that much then more power to them as long as they are enjoying the game. Even infinity which is super-competetive game has these more like suggestions rather than a strict sequence of actions.
 
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Thorgor

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One problem with squares is how you handle borders. It would be a shame if no terrain could be placed down the halfway line/centre of thr board because it crosses a border.
You could have a rule that state a piece of terrain is allowed to cross a border, provided it's at least 75% on the square it's supposed to be placed on (or any other percentage). But it could get tricky if what you want to place is a bridge across one tower in your square and another tower in your opponent's square.

It will likely also create rather strange looking terrain with squares of extremely dense terrain and wastelands.
This is indeed an issue. One of the player could elect not to place anything on their half of the table.


What I'd like to do is first to set aside enough pieces of terrain to completely cover a given percentage of the table when packed tightly (say, 50%), then randomly distribute them among both players so that they each get half of it (you don't have to roll for each individual piece of terrain, just throw everything on the table and separate it into 2 piles), and then have them alternate placing those pieces of terrain on their half of the table, starting with the largest ones.

One problem with the above is that it assumes players use a flat table and discreet pieces of terrain and not, say, a modular board. It may also not work so well with large but relatively flat pieces of terrain (risers).

Thus my main concern with terrain isn't 'balance', it's actually time - how to set up terrain quickly as I find it is soooo slow, and it can eat into a game evening quite dramatically alongside all the other pre-game.
This is indeed a valid concern. Battlefield set up should not take too long.
Honestly, the best idea is probably to have a third party (arbitrator) create the battlefield in advance. That's what I'd recommend for a tournament setting anyway, where the organizer can act as this third party.
 

Spenetrator

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I think setting up first and dicing for an edge is vital. whatever method of terrain placement you use - it limits a lot of potential gamesmanship where the size or cover giving quality of the terrain peices are asymmetric. This is also the poor mans solution to having an arbitrator set up the table in advance.
 
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KA7777

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IMO this discussion should be considered one of the most important objectives of the NCE project.

Understanding and complying with proper terrain deployment literally makes or breaks this ruleset, and a lot of the common wisdom about the game (especially re: balance) is inherently tied up with terrain issues. An example would be the OP reputation Van Saar has; on a board with limited sightlines, tons of available scatter cover, and elevated positions the low-Initiative Van Saar will need to consider navigating the gang loses most of its perceived edge.

For me, the essential requirements are:

-- recommending a variety of terrain types:
* LOS-blocking and movement blocking (eg. walls)
* LOS-yielding but movement-blocking (eg. chain link fence)
* LOS-yielding and movement-yielding (eg. a small stack of crates)

-- recommending a minimum of two "height levels," and preferably 3

-- recommending an extremely dense layer of "transit points" (eg. ladders, lifts, stairs and bridges or walkways) applied over top of the main layer of elevated structures

-- recommending a dense final layer of scatter terrain

-- discouraging elevated terrain in deployment zones, to some degree (this one is complicated by scenarios the use diffuse deployment throughout the board instead of edge deployment, though)

-- my hottest take: a player should be allowed to end a model's move "mid-air" if it's on a ladder or lift (but not if it;s, say, free-climbing a wall). It's too difficult to assault an elevated position right now, and this would help a little bit.