Terrain Awards Winner Interview!

We are going to do a short series of interviews with some of the entrants to our recent painted terrain contest. Starting off with the winner Bryce.

Q: What gave you the idea to build this awesome Legion wargaming table full of custom terrain, what inspired you?

A: By the time SOLO came out I had been playing quite a lot of Star Wars: Legion, so the Mimban warzone scenes stood out as being a great fit for the game, and I loved the WWI muddy battlefield look and gritty nature of it all.
It wasn’t until I saw an early pre-release rendering of the Command tent in the Imperial Terrain Facebook group that I started to think the build might be possible and began planning.

Q: What was your planning process like?

A: I actually pre-planned this quite a bit based around the dimensions of the Imperial Terrain Command tents, as I deemed these the focal points and most recognizable section of the build.
I knew I wanted these to be the centerpiece of the battlefield, and I started with some top down sketches and a checklist of the Mimban elements I wanted to display on the board, and worked this onto the MDF panels and shifted around the elements as it started to translate into the 3D terrain board.

Q: When you say top down sketches, did you draw out a rough sketch on paper with rough dimensions? At this stage were you thinking about how units would move around the pieces?

A: See below for one of the earliest sketches (prior to having the Command Tent dimensions). I drew the 6x3’ digitally with all the elements I wanted to include.

Even from this stage unit movement was thought out. I wanted to ensure large units like the AT-ST or Occupier tank could move across the table with enough freedom for enjoyable play (but not complete freedom), and ensure that other units could traverse areas or take cover while having enough room for cohesion etc.

Q: What gameplay aspects were part of your planning process?

A: Quite a lot. From the Legion basics I wanted to ensure that the board was roughly 30% covered in terrain, while still looking cinematic and remaining playable, but I was very conscious of certain characters abilities or Command Cards when laying out the elements of the build. As the terrain is built right into the surface it isn’t movable, so ensuring things like units having cover on Turn 1 from a Veers or Leia 1 pip Command Card was important.

Q: Looking back at the build now, would you keep all the static terrain elements and add some pieces that can be moved around? Would you use less static terrain elements, if so anything specific come to mind?

A: I think I’m pretty happy with the static elements being fastened down.

I do have a small tub of Scatter that is essentially a set of Barricades, plus the fallen AT-ST from FFG. This is to create some modularity or fairness for those wanting a little control over the set up. 

Of course the table is also divided into 4 separate sections with several different possible configurations, so the modularity was designed to allow for continual shifting around for variety and fairness. For example the ‘narrative display’ configuration is probably not the most fair/mirrored way to play, so panels can be flipped or shuffled to make it play better competitively.

Q: Can you share your top 3 lessons you learned while building your table?

A: - Proper planning saves you LOTS of time and sadness later. Usually I dive straight into stuff like this, but by taking the time in the planning stages I was saved a lot of headaches when it came to things like terrain placement and painting

- Break up your workflow. Especially on a big build I find it easy to get demoralised looking at 6x3’ of uncut foam or unpainted area, so switch it up to keep the motivation flowing. Spend some time on painting some details or terrain pieces, or aim to knock out one section of your build so you can picture the rest and get inspired.

- I can’t stress this one enough, cut AWAY from your body. Took some grievous slices to the thumbs on this build.

 Check out Part 2!