Wargaming Terrain Tactics

Just what am I trying to do with this wargaming thing?

When we sit down at the table, models and dice at the ready, we are trying to create and enter an alternate analog universe.

One where we are at the command, changing the course of history, seeking tabletop glory and immortality, stepping outside of the space and time of the present to roll some dice and move miniatures around.

A simulation of sorts.

For that simulation, three things are needed.

Armies of course, and this is what most players tend to focus on. Collecting, building, and painting. Building armies with enough options and lists to grab that tabletop glory.

Can’t have a game without the army.


Rules are important to an extent.

They provide the framework of the simulation and build the narrative by shaping the tactics of what is allowed and not allowed.

Certainly some rulesets are better compared to others.


Wargaming Terrain- the silent important piece of the game that is often overlooked by new players to the hobby.

Just as you build your army or armada, work on building up a few sets of terrain.

On a base level, terrain is the window-dressing for the narrative. It frames your models, gives a visual of the narrative, and makes the game interesting to play- say compared to a generic hex game or board game.

Although more and more board games are using terrain…

On a tactical level you need to master terrain.

Terrain is a magnifier for your army- what you army does, the *plan* for your list is augmented or hindered by the use of terrain.

Certainly the are the basics to understand based on the wargaming ruleset you are using- cover, elevation, blocking line of sight, difficult or dangerous terrain, effects like that.

Building on that are a few KEY points- let’s look at the FIRST primary one to watch out for regardless of your army or the mission that you are playing.

Master this for an advantage in your next game.

Visualize the gaming table.

Most gaming tables and rulesets are fixed- meaning with the exception of a few special rules or cases, you can’t exit or leave the table.

The invisible boundaries of the gaming table itself are a tactic.

Identify a terrain piece that can give you an advantage in or near the center of the table.

Perhaps its cover making your units less likely to be wounded or removed.

Maybe elevation you can use to attack units further away.

Or if you are the type that seeks close combat glory on the charge, a piece of line-of-sight blocking you can hide behind and surge around in the moment.

Getting to this piece of terrain first and controlling it is KEY.

From the center of the table you can radiate out, and use the abilities of the unit holding it to best effect- be it movement, shooting, assault, or some sort of magical power.

Hindered by the natural boundaries of the gaming table- those invisible boundaries, opposing units that try and move past your center units can come under range or fire as a result of controlling the center.

Controlling the center also prevents your opponent from outflanking you by going down one of the sides of the gaming table- due to a simple shift from the center.

Always look to have certain units dominate the center as quickly as possible, using KEY terrain features that will give you an advantage in the ruleset.

What other elements regarding wargaming terrain do you think is important to gaining a tactical advantage in the game?

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