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Building blocks for battle

One of the things I really enjoy about the Mad Gaming Terrain stuff is how modular it is. It all fits together so neatly, and the magnets force everything into place with a satisfying click. There are many ways to configure it all - both when you're building, with the choices you have around the hole network, but also when you actually put it together on the tabletop.

In this week's blog post, I wanted to show you some photos of different setups using the same basic terrain. So before I show you anything else, here's a photo of the basic hab blocks I'm going to use.

Eight hab blocks of varying sizes.

Now this already looks pretty good. You might want to play with the spacing a bit, but this is already a small outpost on an alien world - ideal for a skirmish in 40K or whatever your sf wargame of choice happens to be. But I want to show you just how versatile these hab blocks can be - they are really a bit like building blocks, which allow you to create a whole bunch of configurations. I'm going to show a few here - but this is by no means the only ways (or even the best ways) you can configure these buildings.

All the photos in this post (except the final one) contain just the buildings shown above - three standard sized hab blocks, three half hab blocks, one double height, and one double width.

So here's a possible way of combining them.

Combining hab blocks into one building, with various heights.

This new building has a variety of heights, lots of line of sight blocking potential, and plenty of cover (you'll notice that the 'spare' roof panels have become ground-level enclosures - futuristic yards, if you like). It looks like a crammed together set of housing, and you can imagine the sort of squalor that people living inside there might encounter.

Another configuration of hab-blocks.

The next set up is a bit different - everything is arranged in a rough 'u' shape, and although it's all clearly joined together it all feels a little bit more separate. A slightly better quality of housing, if you like!

It's worth noting that under the current 40K rules for hab blocks (which I chatted about in last week's post), both these configurations would mean that you'd treat the entire building as one hab block. There's a bit of discussion in the comments from last week about whether the rules need tweaking - one possibility is that although you'd treat it as one building from the point of view of control, firing, wounds and so on, the number of individual hab-blocks in the compex would determine how many models it could hold (at the moment it's a flat 12).

A skyscraper!

I'm not sure I'd want to live at the top of that! This is very definitely a sky-scraper, and you can see how tall it is from the relative size of the Imperial Knight standing next to it. I'm not sure how practical it would be from a gaming perspective, but I can imagine that in the centre of a table this would be a fantastic feature! Great for snipers and assassins, too...

Getting a bit clever with the roofs

Another tall building, but you'll notice something quite clever happening with the roofs - by using the double width one on top of a standard hab block, you can create an overhang. It clips into place magnetically at the side (onto the stack of half sized blocks), and so is pretty robust. You can get small models underneath it onto the roof below, and it looks cool too.

The next couple of shots carry on with the idea. Here's the first of them:

More of a complex now

It's beginning to look less like living quarters and more like military building now. The space underneath the overhang is formed, as you can see, from two normal sized roofs butting up, and they jut out because I've put a half-sized hab block on top of a normal one on either side. I can imagine that this is a kind of car port (although, as we all know, everyone will have hover cars in the future). The section of building at the back encloses the rear of the space, so it is effectively a little room under there. In 40k, I reckon you could hide a rhino-sized tank in there quite nicely.

Our final compound, with a couple of bridges

This set up is beginning to show how easily a handful of hab blocks can begin to fill a substantial area of your table, without just putting them down as separate buildings. There's plenty of scope here for units to hide, take cover, peek out for shooting, and block movement of bigger stuff by running under the bridges (again, formed by overhanging roofs).

I hope you're beginning to see how versatile this all is. Just to remind you, every single picture you've seen so far has used the same eight hab blocks, and nothing more. This final shot adds a couple of other bits - some walkway kits (including stairs, crossways, and extensions), and some walls. You can really see how well this terrain works together, and how effectively you can build a tabletop which looks unique and plays really well.

I hope you've enjoyed looking at the pictures as much as I enjoyed making them. It really is fun slotting all this stuff together, and it doesn't take long, either. I didn't time it, but I reckon I built all the setups in this post, and photographed them, in about an hour to an hour and a half. Not bad, really. Putting the stairs together for the final shot was a bit tricky - there's a lot of balancing of walkways until all the magnetic bits and so on are holding together - but apart from that it's so easy to use.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments, and I'll see you again soon!

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