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AldousSnow

Non-modular play area

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I've been gaming a long time and up until Legion have used and built modular aka scatter terrain. The pros and cons list comparison to non modular aka diorama speaks for itself. Scatter terrain is easier to make, easier to store, portable, cheaper, and allows for different set-ups each game. The things that non modular terrain had going for it, in my opinion, were big, but definitely not enough to outweigh scatter terrain in convienance. Diorama boards simply look better and have better depth of play. Huge points, but it was never enough. Until Legion.... 

 

Legion has a really great scenario and condition setup. Making every single game unique in win conditions, point scoring, battle scenarios, and army setup. This, for me, tipped the scale. A static board will see endless playability with these rules. Furthermore, the rules tend to shine when you have more than a flat surface with a few items blopped in the middle. I play at home and have room to store. So portability and storage doesn't weigh in. So for Legion, it's diorama style all the way. 

 

I started my Ord Mantel board last fall. I'm sure the posts of the beginning stages are still around. But my second job is on hold and frees up my schedule. So I'll be working on it and posting progress. 

 

My question is, why don't we see or hear about diorama style playing areas? I listed the obvious reasons that scatter terrain is preferable, but is nobody else going all out on a static play area? 

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There is a fantastic Scariff board that's pretty static in the Painting section.

I think there you list all the reasons in your post.  Not many people have the space to store a board that big, and it's harder and a longer project than scatter terrain.  Also, it's a bit like sex with a long term partner.  No matter how good it is, it's always the same board.  People like variety.

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1 hour ago, AldousSnow said:

My question is, why don't we see or hear about diorama style playing areas?

Scatter terrain goes in a tub and each tub holds enough terrain for 2 tables.

I built a rather nice 6x4' table for Flames of War some years ago and loved the table, but transport and storage killed me. As my interest in Flames waned it became a den for all of the spiders around the place.

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So a couple of players in my area have made modular diorama-esque boards. The "ground" consists of six foam pieces that are laid out in a specific pattern, but then on top of that goes various terrain elements in different locations. So variation is possible while still keeping the "look" of a diorama. 

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I was really impressed with what you were doing with your Ord Mantel table way back when. As well as the short lived monthly terrain build challenges. Looking forward to updates on table progress. 

I was originally building 3D skirmish maps for Imperial Assault when Legion was announced and my mind just went into overdrive with the possibilities. I really like interior type battles and relied heavily on EA Star Wars Battlefront for inspiration. The Death Star and Bespin were at the top of my list. The survival maps for the Hangar Bay and Sullust that had a mix of interior and exterior combat were alternate choices.

Edited by C3POFETT

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17 hours ago, AldousSnow said:

My question is, why don't we see or hear about diorama style playing areas?

I can't speak for "we," but between the painting forum, the Legion reddit and what I see on YouTube channels, I see a ton of them.

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Many/most of the diorama boards I see look like they would bring difficulty during play to figure out cover and movement penalties. The cover parts of the terrain generally do not have distinct demarcations, making it difficult to figure out where cover/impeding terrain starts and ends. Now, I'm sure you can discuss this prior to playing, but it definitely doesn't seem obvious and exact from just looking at these gorgeous boards. It would be blasphemy to put any demarcation lines on these board to show where impacting terrain elements being/end.

Edited by Thraug

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Totally agree about the beauty - and inconvenience - of static boards.

Due to lack of time available, my primary playmate and I keep playing 350 pt games on a 3'x3' surface - got some foam last week and cut into 3 different 36" x 36" boards, I plan on making static boards for Tatooine, Hoth and Endor that are much easier to transport depending on whether we are at one of our houses or at our LGS. 

That said - 6' x 3' boards are a PITA to store and there's certainly a strong argument to be made for modular boards.

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My LGS uses diorama terrain with trenches and boulders then places scatter terrain on top to mix things up. Being able to have crevices and holes that go below ground level is something that most boards cannot do. It also looks more realistic than a mat having the details directly painted onto the board. I wish to have the storage for that

Edited by WillKill

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9 hours ago, C3POFETT said:

I was really impressed with what you were doing with your Ord Mantel table way back when. As well as the short lived monthly terrain build challenges. Looking forward to updates on table progress. 

I was originally building 3D skirmish maps for Imperial Assault when Legion was announced and my mind just went into overdrive with the possibilities. I really like interior type battles and relied heavily on EA Star Wars Battlefront for inspiration. The Death Star and Bespin were at the top of my list. The survival maps for the Hangar Bay and Sullust that had a mix of interior and exterior combat were alternate choices.

Thanks so much. I work full time and play/tour in a band. So free time is scarce. But the band is taking some time off and I can finally get back into the board. I've made some progress since the last time I've posted, but plan to do tons of work in the next two weeks. I'll post some stuff soon. 

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