Home Forums Terrain and Scenery What are your favourite environments in miniature?

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
  • #20902
    Avatar photoRhoderic

    What kinds of environment are your favourites in miniatures gaming? As in, what kinds of battlefield or adventure location, in terms of landscape, climate, terrain, structures, etc? A slightly peculiar question, I’ll admit, but I figure it’s as good a jumping-off point for a pleasant miniatures gaming-related discussion as any.

    Do you like the rubble and stark contours of a wartorn city? Are you of the opinion that the most interesting wars in history were those fought over idyllic European landscapes strewn with old-timey farmhouses and rustic country roads? Are jungles more your thing? Or deserts? Maybe you’re more of an adventure gamer who likes a good Caribbean pirate town or the futuristic decks and bulkheads of a large spaceship? Do you spend hours studying the photos in LotR SBG publications admiring that sublime depiction of the wild hills, rolling plains and majestic mountains of Middle Earth? Do you tut-tut to yourself over the incorrect depiction of the trenches of Verdun in this or that WW1 pictorial battle report?

    In other words, what kinds of location does your mind go when you’re enthusiastically planning your present favourite projects? What scenes are you striving to craft as you slave away over your hobby workbench building terrain or lay out hard cash buying ready-made terrain?

    Feel free to motivate your answer any way you like. Maybe you enjoy the creative process of scratchbuilding the terrain in question. Maybe you find the environments in question to be particularly exotic and inspiring, or for that matter comfortably familiar. Maybe you like how the terrain affects gameplay and tactics. Or maybe the environments are simply part and parcel of your favourite historical conflict. There’s no wrong answer.

    Avatar photoRhoderic

    Here are three of my favourite environments:

    Savanna. I don’t see it done often, even in fantasy and sci-fi, which has made me determined to build my own pseudo-African style savanna board with terrain to go with it. After a few false starts and failed experiments making acacia-style trees and tall grasses, I feel I’ve learned enough to get it right next time. I’d mainly use it for my 28mm and 12-18mm sci-fi and fantasy projects.

    Wetlands. Another case of my wanting to do something that I haven’t often seen done by other people (that is, an entire landscape of wetlands, as opposed to isolated patches of marshy ground which are common enough in wargaming). On those occasions I have seen it done, I’ve studied it closely. I’ve progressed a fair deal with my own wetlands terrain project, but it’s a big project. The plan is to have enough interchangeable terrain pieces to let me represent any kind of wetland from the treeless tundra peatlands of the Arctic to tropical alien swamps. This, too, would mainly be for my 28mm and 12-18mm sci-fi and fantasy projects.

    Red planet. Actually, there’s two environments I like that partly overlap under the “red planet” theme. The first is a VSF “Barsoomian” depiction of Mars as a place that’s kind of like a redder version of northern South Asia; a world of red scrublands and exotic old architecture (think spires, domes, decorative finials and all that). This is mainly for my Martian Empires project. The second is the planet of Caprice in the Heavy Gear universe; a “beautifully ugly” planet of rust-red deserts and blackish mountains, sparsely dotted with brutalistic-looking resource-extraction facilities and the occasional military installation or research station, and having no indigenous life beyond some primitive lichen-like vegetation clinging in scant clumps to crevices in the rock. A very austere, astringent, monochrome kind of setting which nevertheless keeps buzzing in my mind. It’s a bit like the planet of Sunsa in VOTOMS, from which HG draws much of its inspiration. This environment, of course, is mainly for my Heavy Gear Blitz project (not that I couldn’t use it with my other sci-fi and fantasy figures).

    Avatar photoDan Kennedy

    I dream of a game in a kind of “intensified version” of the environment found in northern Arizona. I visited many years ago and came away with an idea of desert land but with huge towering rock formations that serve as outposts, maybe with communities clinging onto the sides, rough valleys cutting through the land (and of course what could be done with the Grand Canyon!), not much in the way of vegetation, but hard, dusty terrain that juts and twists obscuring line of sight.  The occasional town, some roads running through it, but mostly an unforgiving land that’s as dangerous as the enemy.

    Avatar photoJohn McBride

    David has an awesome collection of city ruins, Osgiliath style, but we have yet to develop rules to play in them.

    I like forests, both for fantasy and for FIW skirmishes and such.

    We have some great desert terrain, too, but as yet have not gamed on it!

    Avatar photoRules Junkie Jim

    Wetlands are interesting to me also, not so much from a modelling perspective, but in the problems and opportunities they create for gaming. They can allow some interesting interactions between land forces and water craft, and I’ve always been drawn to that.

    Avatar photoMr. Average

    Ice Planet definitely tops my list, with Cityscape as a close second. I really couldn’t say why, really. I just find the two very interesting.

    Avatar photogrizzlymc

    Rolling green hills with woods and farms and small streams.  Sort of Normandy south of Caen.

    Avatar photoCerdic

    For me, it is sort of dictated by the historical time and place. So mostly pre-industrial European countryside!

    Avatar photoMike

    I like grubby terrain.
    Think Bladerunner rather than Star Trek shiny.
    Overgrown, beat up dirty falling down stuff with lots of little touches that show people live there.

    Avatar photoSpurious

    When not abiding by historical constraints; high tech urban mixed with open areas. Making use of that to have layers rather than just a flat table. It gives an interesting environment to fight over whilst allowing for a lot of creativity in architecture and avoiding yet-another-pile-of-grey-ruins.

    Avatar photokyoteblue

    All of it, if I had the money !!!

    Avatar photoRhoderic

    Another environment I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is enclosed subterranean spaces. One of the big advantages here is that as long as one doesn’t get carried away it can be quite easy to model. For sci-fi, a set of almost-featureless concrete walls could represent all kinds of locations like a bunker complex, an asteroid base or the “down below” of a cyberpunk mega-city. Where fantasy is concerned, I’m not terribly into the “kitsch” dungeons of games like Dungeons & Dragons, but something more like the Mines of Moria or the catacombs of Paris (as portrayed in a fantastical way) would be awesome.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.