August 29, 2014 by brennon
Battle Systems are a small terrain making company that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with on multiple occasions and I remember our first chance encounter at the UK Games Expo last year. At that point they were discussing going to Kickstarter with some awesome Sci-Fi Terrain and it looked fantastic. Now, in 2014 they have just finished sending out the Sci-Fi terrain to backers and the future is bright and very busy when it comes to their range of Fantasy Dungeon Terrain too…
The first of their Kickstarters was based, as mentioned above, in the depths of space or on some facility on a planet not unlike our own (or indeed totally alien if you wished). It bought together a cool set of terrain made out of well wearing and incredibly well detailed card stock. The Kickstarter did incredibly well and they were able to fund not only the base set but a wealth of additional options that took the form of scenery and props to put on your tabletop. All of this served to give the pieces a lived in feeling and meant that you could create some very cool set pieces for your corridor crawling.
As mentioned above the card stock they use and the methods for putting together make these pieces incredibly resilient and while you can work on them to be permanent fixtures you can also chop and change to your hearts content making entirely new sets at whim. I like to think of their terrain as the cool Dungeon Tiles you used to get for 3.5 and 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons which to this day is still all fine despite being stored in a basement!
One of the draws of the Battle Systems Sci-Fi Terrain however was that it was amazingly well realised and really told a great story. Much like the kits from companies like World Works it actually ended up telling a narrative of it’s own; from the burst open research chambers to the burnt out and hulking power generators. Everything helped add to the narrative and it only took a faction of the time to get onto the tabletop compared to say plastic kits.
With that in mind it was inevitable they would bring out some Fantasy terrain sooner or later.
Dungeon Delving Danger!
Their newest Kickstarter focuses in on the thing that’s all the rage right now, dungeon delving, and making amazing terrain that would be perfect for all those new role-playing adventures you’re going to be going on with things like Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition now making a resurgence on the tabletop scene. So what do you get?
With the basic pledge you get access to an awesome looking game mat (which in it’s own right is well worth picking up for any Dungeon Master) and then a whole bunch of scenery to make walls, doors, ramps, chests, torch braziers, wells, and plenty of other props. It all comes with a massive pile of plastic clips for putting it all together and making things as sturdy as an actual dungeon would be.
Added to that their current stretch goals have unlocked a whole lot more scenery from extra walls and door sections to more props and even the Mines of Minerva package which takes your dungeon delving into a more industrial portion of the underground where you get access to mining carts, tracks, rickety old wooden structures and even a pile of gold that would be perfect as an objective for your heroes or indeed a skirmish game.
This brings me onto what you could use this scenery for. With the Sci-Fi terrain it was easy to point at it and say that it would be great for things like Warhammer 40,000 and other far future games. You could easily use it in sections on a larger board if you wanted to show off small outposts or indeed just go entirely interior and fight within closed walls. Added to that you could even tweak it for things like MERCS and the near-future tech setting or something as far flung and alien as Infinity.
With the Fantasy Dungeon Terrain you’re obvious use is to pick this up for your dungeon delving; there’s a reason there are Otherworld Miniatures sitting on the terrain in all the pictures! As well as that however this is the kind of terrain that would be perfect for games like Mordheim (if you’re into your specialist games), Malifaux (a bit of fighting underground in a mine?) or practically any fantasy skirmish game you can think of. I think DGS Games’ Freeblades would be perfect on something like this.
Personally my idea would be to use this with some Warhammer Skirmish or Mordheim down at the local store to play some indoor games and break up the amount of outdoor wargaming you tend to do. That and of course using it for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. The Starter Set campaign actually has a narrative focused on a mining/dungeon complex (as you might image) and this set plus the Mines of Minerva add-on would be perfect for Phandelver.
Bear in mind that a lot of the props that come with the game can also be taken away from the actual terrain itself and used as markers in other games on a bigger tabletop; and I’ve already mentioned how cool some of their props look. It all boils down to this terrain and scenery being robust and very re-useable across a myriad of different systems.
So, I Should Pledge Right?
Yes I believe you should. I’ve picked up and had a play with this terrain and to belay peoples concerns this stuff is nice and well worth the investment. On top of that these guys really are a small operation and these Kickstarter campaigns are making this stuff a reality when it would have taken them months to do it otherwise. If you want some good looking dungeons then you can’t go too far wrong when it comes to this stuff and hopefully we’ll be able to show you off this terrain on camera soon.
A big pat on the back from us here at Beasts of War to Battle Systems, keep this terrain coming!
Check out their Kickstarter!