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Tips on Terrain Selection and Placement

Mike Sanderson posted the following query to the DBA Mail List: "What mental processes do you go through in deciding where to place the terrain pieces? By this I mean what guides you in obtaining an advantage by the placement of the terrain.?" The following is a collection of tips and techniques in answer to this and related questions:

Tom Graves: This is how I approach terrain selection:

  1. I look at my army and count the Bw, Aux, Psi, and Bd (in that order). The more I have, the more bad terrain (generally) I would want to put out.

  2. I look at my army and see the number of Mounted that I have. The more mounted, the less terrain (generally) I would want to put out.

  3. I look at my opponent's army and count the Bw, Aux, Psi, and Bd that s/he could potentially have. I then compare them to my own. If I have more, then more terrain is (generally) a good idea. If I have less, then less terrain is generally a good idea.

  4. I look at my opponent's army and count the potential/likely number of mounted elements that s/he has compared to my own. If s/he has more, then more terrain is generally better, if less, then less terrain is better.

With respect to placing terrain:

  1. Since you are not sure from which edge you will start. And in fact, the odds are that you will not get a favorable edge if you deploy terrain in a manner that has a favorable edge or edges, I tend to try to deploy in a way that all edges are roughly as favorable to your army.

  2. If I deploy funneling terrain, I will generally deploy it on all 4 edges. If I deploy bad terrain in the center it will be a large, centrally located piece.

  3. If deploying 2 or more smaller pieces in the center, them I will off set them around the center so that no matter where you enter you will be able to claim some terrain.

  4. If it is a massively terrain-oriented army (with 6+ terrain elements) and little or no mounted, then I tend to place many small pieces of terrain all over the board.

  5. Another factor to consider is command and control, I tend to avoid terrain that limits your command distance to 6".

DBA v2.0 makes many of these "strategies" more difficult to accomplish because of required and limited numbers of terrain pieces.

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Last Updated: Sept. 2, 2001

Comments, questions and additions welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.