The Battle Systems Tabletop Wargame Scenery, funded via Kickstarter, is now available for purchase. Although there are plenty of images of the assembled version, we thought we’d take a look at the Urban Apocalypse Terrain in its ‘raw’ form, just to provide a different angle.
Note: The text below is the transcript of our unboxing video (for those who would rather read than listen).
Those looking to buy scenery are sometimes put off by the idea of card as a building material. They stray towards MDF as ‘king’, unsure about the possibilities offered by non-MDF terrain. Well, Battlesystems have taken that concern and decided to turn it on its head by providing something that sets a standard for others to follow.
First of all, we have the main boxed set. Opening it up, we reveal a top quality neoprene gaming mat, printed with an urban street scene and four ‘interiors’. This is a great mat, full of little details, from scenic scatter and damaged floors in the buildings to broken paving slabs and cracked roads. The neoprene material used is flexible and foldable but pretty heavy, meaning that it sits very well on the tabletop. Neoprene and similar gaming mats are increasingly common but this is a ‘top end’ product.
The actual scenery itself is assembled using special plastic clips, which are included. They look a little flimsy, but are actually fairly flexible and tough. They are designed to aid assembly of the terrain, but become fairly unobtrusive once construction is complete.
The card scenery has double-sided designs, providing more than one option with every piece. The card used is sturdy without being too thick, ensuring durability in the long term but without excessive weight. Every piece is labeled, ‘front’ and ‘back’, so you can decide which pieces to use to create each building. Most of the terrain has duplicated sheets of easy punch out pieces, which are printed with very clear designs. All the main pieces, such as floors, walls, etc. have duplicates, so it is possible to create every building option available.
A nice touch are the ‘Really Useful Items’, two sheets of items designed to go within the buildings, such as stairs, shelving, exit signs and chairs, all able to be slotted together with or without clips. The floors sheet has billboards to assemble, with some odd movies advertised, wooden crates, street items such as mailboxes, barriers, advertising hoardings, vending machines, even old furniture, again in multiples so every type can be created.
Building exterior and interior walls are very well done, providing shop fronts, apartment entrances, various types of internal doors and odds and ends of scatter.
The set includes enough parts to create a ruined city block and stores, plus the option to add in a Police Precinct and a Fire Station. With the use of the mat, this provides a gaming area of around 2’ by 2’, making for a nicely cluttered urban skirmish game environment, Equally, the terrain could be used with a larger area in mind, with more than enough ‘extras’ to populate it and become obstacles or cover. Although largely themed around the USA, given the homogeneity of many modern, Western-style cities, it could be used for any gaming during the 20th or 21st Century, or even a little beyond.
After making a recent return to purchasing buildings and other terrain, I have largely focused upon MDF and plastic offerings. However, I’d not really seen much in the way of card based scenery, being aware in the past of the types of simple, slightly flimsy railway models. These card buildings are impressive due to the fact that there is little or no painting required, the quality of the card used is excellent and the clarity of the printing process is exceptional. Simply assemble, using the online instructions, set up the mat or other tabletop layout, and then add the terrain on top, and you’re ready to play. A great idea, excellently executed and a real bonus for the ‘time poor’ hobbyist.