13 April 2011

Growing the collection: Terrain Edition

Since the pile of unpainted figures and vehicles seems to be growing much faster than I can paint, I decided to slow down on my miniature purchases for awhile.  Instead, I decided to focus on expanding my terrain collection.  For quite some time now I've been playing on vinyl tiles, using just a few painted-and-flocked styrofoam hills... maybe the occasional clump of Ground Zero Games shacks.  But the same old terrain was getting pretty old... definitely time for a change!

The GZG shacks are great little buildings (see Dropship Horizon's writeup)... lots of possible gaming scenarios in that type of environment.  I grabbed a second set of them before GZG went on hiatus.  In the midst of his packing and shipping chaos, Jon accidentally gave me a double batch of the side walls.  So now I have spare bits, possibly to make a walled compound (similar to the old Gorkamorka forts).

And a couple weeks ago, Battleworks Studios announced an second series of their own Startown Slums line.  The first series had been on my list to buy when the budget allowed, and the extra buildings were too good to pass up.  After selling some old Rogue Trader lots on TMP, I was able to buy both sets!  I'll post a detailed review when they arrive.

But what about the terrain itself?  My old styrofoam hills and floor tiles are okay, but I want some variety.  For some time I've had my eye on Zuzzy's Despoiled Reaches line.  Well, I took the plunge and ordered a 2'x2' mat, a large hill, some sulphur vents,  and some limestone spires.  If this stuff is half as easy as it looks to paint, I could easily see myself expanding it to a 4'x4' mat and some additional pieces.

There are still a few items I'd like to add eventually.  These are some of the bits I'm hoping to add to my collection over the next year or so:

  • A War-Zone GTS Bloodstone tabletop and some acute hill packs (to do a Mars-style board).  In theory I could make most of that stuff on my own, but War-Zone's stuff is cheap and good enough that I would rather spend my time painting miniatures.
  • A JR Terrain muddy river set.  I've seen these in person at a few shops, and again, they are far better than anything I could produce myself.
  • Some S6 Engineering city streets and canals.  I assume they will be a big hit with the Gruntz demo board at Salute this weekend... hopefully we'll see some good photos from those games.
  • Critical Mass Games also has a set of pyramid-styled alien buildings in the works.  I've been kicking around a sci-fantasy setting to game, and I could easily see these as being the rulers' fortresses. 
There's a lot of other good stuff out there (Old Crow has their urban buildings, and Combat Wombat just released this modular building) that I'll probably pick up in small doses when I get back to ordering minis.  

Cheap homemade terrain was nice while it lasted... but for someone without much spare time, I say bring on the good stuff!