Warcry Ruined City/Starter Set Terrain

“Ruined City”

One of the big draws of the Warcry starter set is the really lovely set of terrain in the box, plastic ruins designed to set the scene of a ruined city, long ago abandoned to barbarism by a retreating force of “good” guys.

For multiple reasons, I had been itching to get the set set painted since release, about a year ago.

Clockwise from top centre: Victory, Twist, Terrain and Deployment decks.

Editors note: a bit of a waffle about terrain generation follows. Skip to the “Warcry “Ruined City” Terrain.” image below, if you just want to see the terrain.

Warcry scenarios are generated by drawing a single card from each of a set of four “Battleplan” card decks:

  • Victory cards tell you what needs to be done to win the scenario.
  • Twist cards add an environmental effect like weather, or introduce wandering monsters, or determine if some of the characters have developed a grudge off-camera between games, that sort of thing.
  • Deployment cards show where and when elements of the forces from each side show up during the game, using a visual image that maps on to the…
  • Terrain cards, which show the precise pieces of terrain that make up the 22 * 30″ battlefield.
Clockwise from top left: Terrain, Deployment, Victory and Twist cards.

Warcry generates a lot of narrative context for games, quickly and easily. Rather than see this as perhaps stifling a certain amount of creativity/railroading, I find that these elements are great props and cues for hanging my own interpretation of events on while playing.

For example, when the ninja of the Paw Clan engage in the battle described on those four Battleplan cards above, the cards give me the what, where, why and to an extent how the game is happening. Similarly the specific Campaign Quest (below) gives the when and a little more why, while the selection, painting and naming of the toy soldiers themselves, gives me most of the who.

I find that having this information inspires me to mentally fill in the gaps and determine exactly the sort of character the little guys running around on the table have, during the normal process of goofing around while playing the game.

The current state of Ratsputum the Ecstatic and his Paw Clan warband, seven games into their first Warcry Campaign Quest.

Which finally brings me to this Ruined City terrain set. I love narrative in my games and I regard decent terrain as mandatory. Without a nice looking battlefield, the rules compromises present when playing tabletop miniatures games are not worth putting up with: might as well be playing a board game with tighter rules.

Warcry “Ruined City” Terrain.

Paradoxically, even though I love working on miniature terrain and playing miniature games with that terrain, after 30+ years of playing these sorts of games, I find trying to set up interesting battlefields a bit of a chore.

The Battleplan Terrain cards automate that issue nicely, but in order to work, the terrain to match the cards needs to be ready to go, which is why getting this set of terrain ready for gaming is slightly more satisfying than most.

Extra satisfying to me anyway. Hobby wise, I’m in pretty deep at this stage. “Obsessive” you could say, and if you did say that, you would be right. But I’m not obsessive enough to retake the photos in this with better depth of field, and light balance, no sir!

The Paw Clan pursues it’s nefarious agenda in the ruins of the Bloodwind Spoil…

Painting on this terrain followed a similar pattern to how I painted my [DEEP VIRTUAL BREATH] Arcane Ruins, Osgiliath Ruins, Garden of Morr/Sigmarite Mausoleum/Corpsewrack Mausoleum, Ophidian Archway, Magewrath Throne, Dragonfate Dais, Balewind Vortex, Eternity Stair, Dreadfire Portal, Numinous Occulum and Baleful Realmgates over the last eight years or so.

The terrain is intentionally not too gaudy, as the plan has always been for this terrain set to be a backdrop for miniatures, rather than directly competing with them. Hopefully I kept enough visual interest to avoid the terrain looking too dull. In hand, I think that it looks pretty tasty.

Clip-clopping through the ruins, purple goat-people contemplate the life decisions that have led them to this point…

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