Posted by: markfender | July 30, 2014

Terrain

Corvus Belli showed pictures of their new Infinity starter box, Operation: Icestorm, last week.

Operation-IcestormIt looks pretty cool and I want it. But it got me thinking about terrain.

I’ve always sort of preferred building terrain to painting miniatures. I come from a long line of crafty people and so I find myself continually drawn to the crafty aspects of miniatures games more so than the painting aspect. I don’t do it a lot because you then have to store the terrain somewhere and it takes up a lot of room. My current living situation doesn’t work well with even having a workbench type area where I could make any terrain.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t think about it! I could even learn SketchUp and make some plans for when I do have room (Note: I will not do this). No, instead, I’m just going to state some preferences and some random musings. Like, I’m really glad that we’ve seen some MDF manufacturers start to make more modern looking terrain. Infinity has apparently caught on enough and the tools to create that sort of terrain has gotten cheaper/easier that we’re seeing more sci-fi looking terrain. Because I am really sick of the gothic ruin look.

I’ve made my own fair share of gothic ruin terrain. In many ways, ruining a building is easier than building one that’s still together. It’s a good way to get your foot in the door and develop some skills with terrain-building. But, why can’t we have miniature battles in bright, shiny cities of the future? Even a lot of papercraft terrain, which can have any sort of picture on the side of it, still go for the heavily weathered, battle-damaged look.

There are quite a few MDF manufacturers who are making non-gothic ruin buildings now and that’s awesome. But even most of those buildings have a very “industrial” look to them. It’s better than the alternative, but I’m just wondering, where are the skyscrapers? Where are the arcologies? Where’s the city from Mirror’s Edge? Where’s the advertising-encrusted look of Blade Runner? It still seems to me that there’s a whole gamut of buildings that haven’t even been attempted yet by terrain builders.

Maybe they still play that gothic ruin game. Maybe building a skyscraper is a terrible idea for being able to move models around (probably). But it sure would be impressive looking. Let’s stop spackling sand on all of our buildings. Let’s start carving billions of windows. Let’s explore signage. Let’s expand our terrain options.

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