The Great Terrain Freakout

by | Sep 23, 2020

Why, Games Workshop why?

It is a question I often ask myself, as I had warned about months ago, terrain could become problematic for 9th edition. While everyone wanted better terrain rules for Warhammer 40k, it didn’t necessarily mean we wanted MORE rules. So in Games Workshop infinite wisdom they decided to release a rules packet for terrain, intended not for just narrative play, but also competitive play. In doing so, they are already giving nightmares to competitive players who could be forced to remember another layer of rules to “properly” play 9th edition. 

The specific post that has gotten many players in tizzy is the following… with this portion being the most concerning part.

Tournament Ready

All of these new missions and terrain rules are brilliant for all games of Warhammer 40,000, but they really shine when it comes to competitive play. No longer will you be at the mercy of random terrain placement – you’ll now bring your own and have just what you need when you deploy your army. Choose the exact terrain you want to complement the units in your force and lead your army to tournament glory!

According to the upcoming The Chapter Approved: Tactical Deployment Mission Pack, players will be asked to bring their own terrain and forced to “deploy” it according to these new rules. Games Workshop is a master at trying to convince you shit sandwiches taste great, but this level of hubris is pretty amazing. The idea players heading to a tournament should bring not just their army, but terrain is a priceless level of ludicrousness. How much time would be wasted by players first going back and forth placing terrain (according to a new terrain point system) and then the same for their armies? Already, many players are super annoyed by the return of back and forth unit deployment, as waste of time, but doing the same with terrain as well is likely a bridge too far. 

How is it possible terrain is even balanced for this to work? It looks like many of these terrain pieces have special rules, which give buffs to armies, so having this extra layer is fraught with so much danger. What about players with their own custom terrain, from the article it doesn’t look like we have rules for size parameters of terrain. Now I am assuming their is a section for non-GW terrain rules, but this is GW, and it really REALLY might just be Games Workshop terrain. 

Of course, this is just another cash grab to try and convince players to buy GW only terrain sets and use these rules. Though if they do good full speed greed, it will only assure no TO or event ever uses these rules. The brightest side one could make with this new addition to the game, is events using the The Chapter Approved: Tactical Deployment Mission Pack as a guideline for table terrain to be set up. If the Mission Pack gives examples and explains what a balanced amount of terrain looks like then it will actually go along way to help players figure out the best balanced way to play 9th edition. As it stands though once the hysteria dies down a bit, I suspect for the most part these new terrain rules are dead on arrival, with no respectable store or tournament using them in there events. 

This though should be another warning sign for 9th edition; we have not even gotten our first codex and rules bloat is already being shoved down our gullets. As you can see from the article, they are already adding new secondaries for missions, which will only grow exponentially with each new codex and supplement.

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