In all miniature games I have ever played, terrain and its use is almost an afterthought. Some trees to hide behind, a hill or building to protect your forces from enemy shooting. We all love the idea of awesome terrain, just so long as it stays out of the way and doesn’t impact the game play too much.
Not so with Helldorado. Terrain and it’s tactical use is integral to the way the game is played. It can be used to heal, to harm, to protect from shooting and magic, even summon additional allies to fight for you. It’s an awesome and unique feature of Helldorado.
This week I’m going to focus on a number of terrain pieces that provide different tactical option within the game but share many similarities in design to allow for easy, quick construction. And hopefully provide some insight into how they can be used in games to your advantage.
The next step is to use the MDF as a template to cut blanks out of 10mm polystyrene sheet. I wanted some height to these elements to differentiate them from the clear terrain around them, but too tall and too steep an incline can be problematic for some of the taller minis in the range, causing them to topple over all the time. Once they are all cut, the individual elements go there own way, depending on what effects you want to introduce to your games….
The Howling Plains and the Icy Wastes.
The Ash Dunes are elements only available when using the Howling Plains battlefield type. The dunes of various size count as Difficult terrain, meaning units must pay a Command Point (CMD) to move more than their basic move value through the terrain. With careful placement, this can often force your opponent to burn CMD to move as they wish. Late in a turn, this can often mean a player lacks enough CMD to charge a unit hiding within the terrain. In addition, Ash Dunes provide a unit with Discretion 4, this ability is a great defensive buff as it prevents ranged attacks and charges targeting an affected unit unless they are close to the target.
This terrain could also be used to represent the Snowy Flats and Snowy Fields elements in the Icy Waste of Hell battlefield with the addition of some snow effects after they are painted.
Generic Terrain: Crevices and Gases
The crevice is a generic terrain element so can be used on all battlefield types. These elements are considered Impassable terrain, completely blocking a unit from moving through the element. They are a great way to divide areas of the table up (to prevent an opponent from making the most of a numerical advantage), and just generally make movement around the board more difficult (say in the Ambush or Defense scenarios).
At three or four points each depending on their size, they are expensive terrain elements to place but can be effective tools to mess with your opponents plans.
Like the Crevice, the Infernal Haze is a generic terrain element. However much like the Ash Dunes, these can be great defensive terrain elements as they have the Obstructive effect. This increases the difficulty of any ranged attacks that pass through the element by one, allowing with smart placement, a player to increase the chances of avoiding enemy fire. These elements are particularly effective against Westerner and Lost companies or any opponent that likes fielding Thirty Coins the Mercenary sniper.
To finish the terrain elements off, they were painted dark brown and then flocked with Woodland Scenics Fine Ballast, and in some places, small rocks were scattered over. The vents and crevice were simply painted black (I plan to post on the Cipher Forums what I have planned for them next). Finally, the Ash dunes were finished off with some Woodland Scenics purple wildflower foliage to give them a visual difference on the tabletop and introduce a bit of colour onto the board.
That’s it for this week, some simple effective terrain and hopefully a little insight into how to use it in your games. Thanks for reading and see you next time.