This Week in the ITC: 12-12-19 Let’s Talk About Terrain, Again.

Hello, fellow Warhammer 40k fans! SaltyJohn from TFG Radio, and one of the Las Vegas Open Senior Judges, here to bring you my weekly article on the ITC.

Two weeks ago for my weekly article, I wrote an “Open Letter” style post to Tournament Organizers about what they need to do to make sure their events are worth the premium price they are charging. With the proliferation of tournament 40k in an exponential manner the last few years, TOs have been hard-pressed to keep up with the growth, or even to meet the basic expectations of an event out the gate. Several people took umbrage with one aspect of the article, that I posted pictures of events with bad terrain and didn’t showcase any good examples. To that end, I wanted to take the chance with this article to post some photos of events with good to excellent terrain. Then talk about it a bit and restate a few of the points I made that got lost in the wake of the internet rage machine.

These tables showcase several events and different styles of terrain. They all represent what players attending a GT or Major should expect from their organizers. Some are certainly in the adequate, or bare minimum, category while others are definitely in the upper levels of “good” terrain. The important thing is the terrain is finished. It is more than just built and thrown on a table and the mats are all quality mats. People who pay for a GT or Major deserve to be treated to that quality of an event and it is the responsibility of the Tournament Organizer(s) to make sure their customers get what they paid for.

Something that got lost from my previous article was my second point about terrain set up. So I want to reiterate it here: This is a separate problem from item number 1, the terrain in general. While the terrain itself needs to be of high quality the way it is set up is also very important. You can’t just throw standardized, cardboard thin, MDF terrain out on tables and expect it to provide a good experience. I wrote another article all about this topic here. While MDF terrain done well looks good, the issue is really with the placement of terrain and creating boards, notice the plural, that work well within the format and game. Having a single set, and standard, board for every table is not a good idea, and I discuss that further in the article linked above. A variety of board setups is best, for multiple reasons. This is probably enough discussion of something I’ve covered more than once, so I would like to move on to some good news, that’s non-competitive 40k related!

If you love 40k, which I assume you do, you’re probably aware of the YouTube channel dedicated to an animated series on Space Marines. It recently was hacked and taken down by YouTube but it is back!

If you haven’t watched any of the “Astartes” series go check it out on YouTube it is both phenomenally well done and entertaining. I can’t wait to see more of his content now that the mess with YouTube has been sorted out.

The ITC rankings remain unchanged from last week. The Atlanta Open results are not in the system yet, so we can’t see officially that Richard Siegler has overtaken Jim Vesal as the number one in the ITC.

Hopefully, the event will be in the scores so we can see a more accurate picture of the top 10 as we get closer and closer to the Las Vegas Open and the end of the season.

In Las Vegas Open news, expect a few posts in the coming days about the event. Specifically with news about the event(s) and format(s) and updates from the staff. One of which will be the video I make every year to discuss the 40k Championships, another will be a post from Reece dealing with some of the same points but also expanding on other events and details. I hope to see many of you at the Las Vegas Open in a few weeks!

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About SaltyJohn

John has been playing Warhammer 40k since the 3rd edition box set with Space Marines, Dark Eldar, and weird green palm trees were in the set. He is currently a 40k Head Judge for the Las Vegas Open, the largest 40k tournament in the world. An avid board gamer, a huge fan of video games, and a guest spot on Geek and Sundry as a "Historian" during an episode of "Game the Game" round out his geek credentials. You can catch "Salty" John on TFG Radio's Twitch Show, and Podcast, as well as find him streaming video games on Twitch on the TFG Radio Twitch page from time to time.

5 Responses to “This Week in the ITC: 12-12-19 Let’s Talk About Terrain, Again.”

  1. JVail December 12, 2019 12:07 pm #

    Thanks for the positive examples, while I understood your message, a lot of people took offense to you calling out terrible boards, thinking you’re making fun of Home-Run RTTs, when it was directed at people charging upwards of $50 per entrant and pocketing most of it, while not upping their standards, simply because people will pay for it.

    I hope some of my questions about sisters are revealed in the coming weeks, as some of the models/options are not out yet and I plan on bringing them to LVO. Thanks again guys!

    • SaltyJohn December 13, 2019 8:38 pm #

      To be clear, the pictures from the last article were not from local RTTs. They were from GT/Major sized events that charged premium prices.

      • JVail December 15, 2019 8:58 am #

        Oh I’m aware. A lot of the comments though seemed to be referencing RTTs, which wasn’t what you were talking about. On a side note, if were to have an 8.5, terrain rules are the #1 thing I’d like to see updated. Cities of death Cover, and dense boards adding -1 to hit. It would make games last a little longer, or at least mitigate the amount of T1 blowouts.

  2. gvcolor December 12, 2019 2:49 pm #

    I don’t know what internet flak you took for that previous article, but those tables shown in the previous write up were total crap. Even a small local tournament TO should be flat out ashamed – it’s not how the game is ment to be played at all, even for a $10 entry. Cry me a river, there’s plenty of on the cheap ways to make a good looking table with not a ton of effort and a can of spray paint! Or we can just be lazy and all play with gray plastic models too.

    • SaltyJohn December 13, 2019 8:38 pm #

      People feel attacked very easily, it’s an unfortunate truth of our internet-based world.

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