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Now I wasn't sure where to put this but I was wondering how kind of table set ups everyone uses and what they think is a fair table.
I normally set up a board which is traditionally set up with mostly 4+ Cover Buildings creating firelanes with 5+ cover throughout, lots of area terrain.
The thought came from reading the IG forum and wondering if its normal to have so much 4+ Cover, making 5+ Characters more survivable compared to 3+ not really not needing it as much...
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My local groups plays with a standard table of three forest, three hills and three buildings...city fight being the exception. For the RTT, the WWI trench warfare table comes out. It has very little cover, other than the trenches. This table is the counter to the city fight table. We also have two special tables that are for desert and alien landscape.
We use a randomizer to pick tables. This keeps arguments to a minimum. I mean, who wants to play the wood elves in the middle of the deep woods every time.
Terrain can, and does win games. It's important that terrain be fair for both people playing. Your friend is right... having tons of 4+ cover takes is a HUGE advantage for a 5+ save army, but it even gets more complicated then that.
So you guys play with lots of terrain all over the table? That means that CC armies have a much easier time against shooting armies, where there are no decent fire-lanes.
Too little cover does the exact opposite.
Where I play, we usually either have a 3rd person set up the terrain, or we roll off, and take turns placing 6 pieces.
The average cover save in the place I play at is 5+ except for CoD. Having so much 4+ cover negates the weakness of armies such as nids and IG. We just finished a CoD league at our club and a nids player won. When you should 20 bolter shots in a squad of gaunts and only take them down about a 1/3 it really hurts.
A note on the ammount of terrain. In non-CoD games we divide the table into quarters and fill a quarter with terrain pieces including cover, water, and buildings. Then we redistribute this terrrain across the board.
That being said, if you and your opponent are happy with the way you are doing terrain then there is no reason to change.
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Personally, when I play a game against my primary opponent (He plays 'Nids, I play DH) we start all terrain pieces off in the center of the board, then use the scatter dice and a few D6 to place all board features randomly. Dunno where we got the idea, to be honest, but it seemed a fair way to randomize things.
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the way I have seen terrain chosen is to fill a quarter of the table with a variety of pieces (as mentioned previously), then take turns in placing these pieces and finally roll for table edge. This is totally fair to me as far as the placement is concerned but the choice of what is chosen usually comes down to two buildings each, two forest and the rest whatever takes your fancy. Most of the time there is a building pretty well central on the table and forest leading up to it.
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lately I have been using about 1/4 of the table has terrain we take turns placing a piece at a time but we roll 1d6 plus the scatter dice for each peice. This way both players place it and it has a random effect meaning no one can blame someone for setting up the terrain.
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I like the way you set up your table Lyzaru. I think that I will have to start that at my place when my friends come over to game.
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For out standard battles we tend to play on a 6' by 4' board. We then divide it into 1'x1' squares and roll a die for each square. On a 5 we place a building, on a 6 we place difficult terrain. The terrain generally covers 80% of the square, with patterns being made or walkways through buildings/whatever giving some odd lines of sight. Sometimes the terrain swings one way or another, but then that's going to happen in wars so we leave it unless it's going to hamstring one player completely (an all tank army having the entire deployment zone as impassable or dangerous for example).