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What is a perfect table?

Discussion in 'Scenery' started by ChoTimberwolf, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. ChoTimberwolf

    ChoTimberwolf Artichoken Friend

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    So inspired by a discussion in another part of the forum I would like to know what actually counts as a perfect table?
    What is needed?
    What should be avoided?
    Examples?
    What are bad tables?

    I know this primer: https://forum.corvusbelli.com/threads/a-primer-or-table-structure-and-setting-up-the-game.22949/

    So the question is more is there anything to add?

    Personally after looking at some tournament pictures it seems like I built my table with way more scatter than normal. I mostly have one or two long range paths and some close range paths to the other side. Also got lots of scatter are even on the long range parts so that short range weapons still get to find cover. The scatter is not high enough for full cover so not blocking line of sights
     
  2. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    When we build Infinity tables, we tend towards making them pretty dense at ground level ("Warband's Paradise" dense) with longer sight-lines across the rooftops. Only a few places where those longer sightlines dip down into the streets, though.
     
  3. Cannon Fodder

    Cannon Fodder Well-Known Member

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    I find the size of your terrain pieces tend to dictate the density. I lot of our LGS terrain is 4x4 or 4x8 building which make for dense tables, since you need a minimum amount of LOS blockers. If you have larger building 8x8 or 12x12 with interiors you have fewer buildings but the same number of in game options in regards to covered areas.

    I posted my table notes in this thread.
     
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  4. Armihaul

    Armihaul Well-Known Member

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    There is no perfect table, because differebt factions have a different need. But in my opinion, what it needs is a bit of everything

    A bit of long shoot lines, but not easy to access them. A bit of dense areas, which could make move important. A bit of high zones with some high midland building that block part of its sight. And so on. Accesible buildings that being new tactics when using doors, windows and walls inside of them

    The only thing I think is needed in a big number is the small scatter terrain that can bring some cover, block some access or some deploys, both at floor and rooftop levels
     
  5. EccentricOwl

    EccentricOwl Active Member
    Warcor

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    The perfect table is one that you and your friends enjoy, one that looks cool, and one that everyone agrees felt reasonably interesting to play on without being overpowering.

    Many of my tables have larger pieces of terrain or things that go tall - blocking LoF from snipers. Other metas I've played in have lots of terrain at ground level and are very open if there's any kind of sniper tower.

    Just make sure to have reasonable amounts of scatter and areas that models can actually walk around so they can get from place to place.
     
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  6. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    A table that tells a story. That looks like an actual chunk of city. That has a mix of range bands available, where some places are tight 'Warbands Paradices' and others are open sniper shooting ranges.
     
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  7. FireFangs

    FireFangs Space Oni

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    You have two camps. Gameplay and Story.

    Gameplay tables will be set for, you guessed it, gameplay. That means they will have lot of clutter for cover, equal distance for both sides and general "fair" decor. So that no one has a clear advantage. It will likely not look very realistic either.

    Story tables will represent the environment the game takes place in. It will have clutter, but more sensible ones like a bench or rock (for city and wild table respectively). Care will be put into making the place look like it's real and believable. It will likely not be a completely fair table for both sides (one might have an advantage in their starting position).
     
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  8. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Even a 'gameplay' table should be set up so that one side of the table favors going first and the other one favors going second.

    Symmetrical tables can go die in a fire of boredom!
     
  9. FireFangs

    FireFangs Space Oni

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    Oh I agree. Pure gameplay tables tends to be boring as they don't push to adapt or figure out tactics. Much more fun to go through a more real situation!
     
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  10. Tourniquet

    Tourniquet TJC Tech Support

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    If a pure gamplay is symmetrical the guy setting it up has screwed up hard, and should go back and fix it. Part of going second (scoring advantage aside) is that you can dictate engagements via the terrain and have a more defensible position. Or deny the opponent from putting their forward deploying doom squad on that tower in the midfield.

    That being said I would take a boring symmetrical map of some completely unbalanced and unfair pile of narrative garbage that doesn't have have sufficient DZ cover, nothing to hide anything larger than S5 and bare table edges. There is a special place in hell for people that build tables like that.
     
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  11. Vanderbane

    Vanderbane Well-Known Member

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    Isn’t this discussion of gameplay tables vs. story tables a false dicotomy? I don’t think having a table that tells a good story means it’s going to play less well (or more well, for that matter). If I make a table playable, does that mean it has to be story-light? If my table tells a story, does that mean my gameplay has to suffer? I’m just don’t see these ideas as interdependent.

    To the OP, there’s lots of things a table wants, but I target these elements: 1) to play well and 2) a unique character.

    For a table to play well, it should be clear to both players the state of the game at all times - both players need to able to intuit the situation on the board with the minimum need for arbitration or dispute. It also needs to offer options and challenges. A lot of players think about table layouts as being either symmetric (balanced) or asymmetric (lopsided favoring one deployment zone). I think you actually want to avoid both as you plan the layout. I try to think in terms of trade-offs. One way to check if a table has good trade offs is to imagine you have deployment after the WIP: which side would you choose? If it doesn’t matter, that’s not interesting. If it’s always one side, also not interesting. The best is if you would choose one side for one of your armies, and the other for another of your armies not because they are better or worse but because they offer different advantages depending on your faction or list. Then think of it in terms of three different missions. Would that change your choices for deployment? If so, the table is providing interesting choices (trade-offs).

    The last thing that's important for me for a good-playing table is one that (un)packs well. It's a little thing, but my first table took ~90 minutes to set up (fiddly modular paper terrain corridors). I love that table once it's set up, but I don't play it much because setup takes about as long as the game, and with break down longer. The other pain point for time is scatter terrain. Definitely find scatter elements that give you options, but I'd suggest you rethink dozens of fiddly barrels and traffic cones that are going to move as you play and take forever to set up and break down.

    As for unique character, this is partly what others have said about story. You want a table to have or evoke a personality. If it doesn’t, then you might as well be playing with tissue boxes and soda cans for terrain. The table is a key part of the hobby - you want to invest in it the same way you did when you painted up minis to look like a cohesive and unique unit. At a larger level, a table exists within a set of tables that defines your local meta. I’d be looking to have each table offer something that the others don’t. This is partly a new story for the table, but critically it also means gameplay elements. Picking different settings for the tables may make this easier - a seaside resort will have different elements (both story and gameplay) than a gritty urban night cityscape.

    The short version is I don’t see why you'd give up story to get gameplay (or vice versa), b/c those two aren’t in opposition.