Sunday, 20 November 2011

Terrain Thoughts: WarmaHordes Forests

I actually wrote the second instalment of Terrain Thoughts? Yay me!

So, continuing on the subject of WarmaHordes, the next terrain feature up for discussion is forests.

So, the basics:

Forests are rough terrain, so you move at half speed through them. You cannot see anyone on the other side of a forest, and can only see three inches into, out of, or through one. While within a forest (even if you've just got a toe inside) you have concealment.

Basically, if you haven't got special rules, goin through a forest is slow work, and you'll be pretty useless while deep inside it, as you cannot shoot or charge anything you can't see.

The rule preventing you from seeing past a forest makes these collections of folieage good for blocking line of sight completely (especially if you don't have any suitable solid terrain, like houses or tall hills) and restricting firing lanes and charge avenues. They are also good for providing concealment if you don't like hedges (more on linear obstacles in a future post).

The first thing to take into consideration before placing forests is just how blocked the table should be, since some armieswill struggle with going through woods, and armies that like shooting but don't have special rules to ignore forests for LOS will have trouble not simply getting torn to bits. Filling your battlefield up to look like the pre-industrial Schwartzwald is probably not a brilliant idea...

Look at me, I'm hiding!

The second thing to consider is the armies that do have rules regarding forests (or the cosntituent rules of forests). Hunter, Ghost Shot and Eyeless Sight all let you ignore forests for LOS purposes. Pathfinder, Ghostly, Flight, and so on, give you an advantage when dealing with rough terrain. Some of these give benefits in regards to other terrain features, and there are others that work only off of forests. Placing no forests therefore has the same problem that not placing any water has; some models' rules are rendered useless.

Unlike water, however, forests are (seemingly and from my experience) a frequent feature; easy to make and useful for a variety of different games. This means that its is more a matter of balancing letting these armies benefit from there rules, and not giving them an unfair advantage. Imagine a Legion army (full of Eyeless Sight, and with ready access to Pathfinder) against a Menoth army (not so much) across a heavily wooded board. Rather than having a battle, the Menoth forces will inevitably be outmanouvred and ravaged.

'Cause apparently being blind is a benefit. Not being Blind, though...

 I usually place one, two or three forests (somehwhere around six inches in diameter), when I choose. Three is generally reserved for boards without other LOS blocking terrain and limited other movement-hinderers, and one pre-supposes that there are such substitute pieces. If one side plays one of the forest-loving factions (Legion and Circle, mostly), I'd probably go with two forests.

But we're still figuring the balancing act out...

And that's it, folks.

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