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Let's Talk Terrain

Tell the world your Dropzone related trials and tribulations!
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ElectricPaladin

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Let's Talk Terrain

PostMon Feb 27, 2017 6:39 pm

We've been having some very interesting conversations about DZC terrain at my game store, and I'd like to open it up to the wider community.

There are a couple of things about the terrain on a "typical" Dropzone Commander table that are different from what one might expect, given the premise of the game. Buildings tend to be arranged as free-standing structures, rather than arranged into blocks. Streets are extremely wide, and narrow alleys are practically unheard of. And finally, despite being a warzone, the streets are remarkably free of rubble.

Now, playing the game differently is definitely beyond the reach of a lot of us. You would need a LOT of structures to make a 4' x 4' table look like a couple of city blocks, and not all of us have bothered to invest it z-scale cars, dumpsters, and rubble (I have, by the way, put my money where my mouth is and bought some cars to use at my FLGS, once I finish smashing them up and repainting them with rust and corrosion).

That said, I'd like to have a discussion about the tactical consequences of playing with a more realistic layout and more scatter terrain. The positives, I believe, include a greater reliance on dropships (putting the "drop" back in "dropzone commander," forcing infantry to occasionally creep out in the open, and creating more opportunities for hard and soft cover, which would make the table more interactive. What do you think?
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CheeseCake1128

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Re: Let's Talk Terrain

PostMon Feb 27, 2017 8:19 pm

As a UCM player I'd love more scatter terrain to make use of articulated turrets. My regular opponent plays Scourge though and feels the lack of terrain in that I can set up fairly far away and use the first turns to just blow s**t out of her units before focusing on objectives in the next few turns. She then has to either run the gauntlet with her vehicles, or spend an extra turn in dropships which opens up the possibly of losing units in destroyed transports. So I think in general smaller alleys and "blocks" of buildings would make the game more interesting in that I would instead have to decide which firing lane to try to cover with each squad, rather than being able to reposition far enough to cover several with just the tanks movement. It'd definitely promote dropship redeployment as you finished securing one lane to then bolster another.

To be perfectly honest though, I'm a fan of anything that makes the game more immersive (can't wait to try out environmental rules and fauna) and as such plan on making a proper board myself when funds and time allows, which will feature everything you've mentioned. :P
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samspace

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Re: Let's Talk Terrain

PostMon Feb 27, 2017 8:50 pm

I've thought a couple of times about doing dense city boards with very narrow streets. There are a few pictures in the first book that remind me of this. The troubles come from:
1. General clunkiness. Too much stuff on the board to knock over, accidentally move.
2. LZ templates to land. Too dense and no dropship would be able to land anything.


Besides that I think the best board utilizes the full ruleset of DZC. They are well done but highly under utilized.
- Wrecked cars/Walls. Servers as Substantial terrain, soft and body cover.
- Road barricades. Treated as micro structures, no garrison value, body and soft but can be destroyed.
- My FP and CLs are always an object, not just a token in the middle of the street. These objects are substantial terrain allowing infantry to be dropped onto these spots.
- Grassy/Park Area/bushes/hedges. Insubstantial terrain. Impassable to skimmers. Soft cover.
- Rubble buildings are substantial terrain.
- Craters. Poor Ground. Mv penalty for tanks and Infantry.
- Variable sizes in buildings and layout. Sometimes I feel the tournament boards are too blocky and simple. I like the cardboard small buildings, scatter those around, connect them to bigger buildings. Other terrain like blotz does this really well.

With all of this our boards have a ton of variety and promotes plenty of challenges and unit variety. PHR, Oh your skimming and hull down? Not to the simple Ares. UCM, almost everything of mine is hull down, deal with it. Pretty much everyone but Shaltari, I just dropped 20DP worth of infantry onto a CL/FP, hope you brought anything other than AT weapons.


We have a tournament coming up in October and if I can get enough people interested for a Sunday casual event I was going to do a narrative scenario based on Helen or Persephone. Environmental rules, lots of Fauna. Rivers, Lakes, heavy vegetation areas, rocky areas for infantry to hide that will also be the FPs, obj locations. My wife and I are working on the terrain right now. This gives very interesting options for your units since your skimmers would be able to skim across the rivers but not the heavy vegetation. Tanks can't go through rivers but can roll over the vegetation.
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Akdakkar

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Re: Let's Talk Terrain

PostMon Feb 27, 2017 9:46 pm

We normally use a lot of small components like buses, cars, statues, wood...

Image

These avoid dropzones, infantry use the cover in the open and more, it's very interesting.
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ElectricPaladin

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Re: Let's Talk Terrain

PostMon Feb 27, 2017 10:36 pm

I definitely agree that you would need to build this kind of table with care. You want to make sure that there are convenient open squares and that some streets are wider than others, etc. You can't just slap some buildings down and expect it to work!
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Capt Panama

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Re: Let's Talk Terrain

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 9:50 pm

I had the same problem playing in an urban or non urban area. LZ space is very important or you will end up with transports falling all over.
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Attackmack

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Re: Let's Talk Terrain

PostSat Mar 18, 2017 10:18 am

Ive recently got my starter set so im currently learning the rules while wondering how best to magnetize my dropships :)

But one thing ive found a little...difficult as im playing around with the starter is to accurately measure range and LOS with all the buildings being in the way. I often accidentally bump both buildings and models all over the place.

So how do people do it, are you generous and forgiving with the measuring or do you move buildings out of place to get accurate measurements and LOS views?
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lothlanathorian

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Re: Let's Talk Terrain

PostSun Mar 19, 2017 6:51 pm

Akdakkar wrote:We normally use a lot of small components like buses, cars, statues, wood...

Image

These avoid dropzones, infantry use the cover in the open and more, it's very interesting.


Is...that building reflective?!


Also, I am now consider buying very weak strip magnets to glue to the inside of the cardboard buildings. Maybe on one or two sides (adjacent). The thought I'm having is this would allow me to put them together without worry about bumping/moving them apart and, if set apart an inch or two to create alleyways, the magnets wouldn't be strong enough to pull them together.

Otherwise, on top of that, my dream (which I will hopefully get to pull of in the near future) is to build a non-urban board with some crop fields/tall grass, silos/rural structures, and rocks/cliffs and hills, as well as some forest (or forest like) terrain. Something that'll work well with DzC, but that wouldn't be the standard urban war zone. They are fighting over a world that exists to be a giant farm and export food, after all.
aags_jim7 wrote:Tactics aren't something to bitch about. They're what separate games from just rolling dice in a parking lot.
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Akdakkar

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Re: Let's Talk Terrain

PostMon Mar 20, 2017 9:42 pm

Yes, the center building is reflective. I buy it from 4ground.
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Gauntlet

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Re: Let's Talk Terrain

PostWed Mar 22, 2017 3:39 pm

I've been using this:

Image




With these, I specifically designed some to purposely "guard" the entire side of a medium square building, which restricts entry to the building. This creates interesting barriers/obstacles for reaching objectives.

More terrain makes dropships more important and safer from ground based AA. More tall buildings makes Air units less maneuverable as well.

Rubble/pits that UCM tanks can hide in helps the articulate rule, and gives everyone possible "armor" bonuses/etc. This makes everyone's tanks more survivable. Scourge can get more hiding spots.

A large crater filled with water/toxic waste/etc. could be a big impassable boundary for most units, but provide no obstacle to skimmers.

Overpasses are great too!
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