Winter Urban Table Review
By Kevin Hamilton
Our first guest blog post! I wanted to get some feedback from Kevin from the Loss Of Lieutenant (An Infinity The Game Podcast), who purchased a bunch of terrain for use in Infinity. He ended up writing a full in depth review! The snow city theme works well IMO, and the very dense table has a great urban feel. Check out the sweet pics and read on! - Ryan
In 2020, I dedicated a lot of my spare time to build a table for Infinity the Game.
Infinity is an immersive game set in the not too distant future and prides itself on having some of the coolest and most immersive tables of terrain of any miniature wargame.
So, during the long lockdown of 2020, I set out to make a table that would wow players once we could finally get back to face to face gaming.
I stumbled across Brutal Cities, a newcomer to the wargaming terrain scene and it wasn’t long before I was receiving 10kg of MDF at my door and beginning my terrain building journey!
In this short blog, I’m going to explain the following:
INFINITY TABLE DESIGN CONCEPT
So first up, I wanted to make a cityscape table which would look great with minimal effort. Other scenery manufacturers do really intricate, detailed pieces which look amazing if the effort is put into painting them.
I know we’re in lockdown, but I DO NOT have the talent or patience to spend hours painting a single building
Terrain from Brutal Cities is:
- Simple to assemble and paint
- The extra detail is optional
- Lots of big flat pieces for ease of spraying
- Large, tall buildings so technically less required to make a table with
This last part is what sold me on BC terrain. Too often, Infinity terrain is a kind of weird scale, with few buildings being much taller than twice the height of your normal trooper. When I walk around a city, every building is at least TEN TIMES my height. That sense of scale really helps build the claustrophobia you want to feel when fighting in a real city and something you just don’t see in miniature gaming.
Pictured: Vantann Office Buildings and Planter Boxes
I was also really impressed with how these buildings, being as big as they are, weren’t just inaccessible slabs of MDF. Not only are the interiors playable, they’re EASY TO ACCESS! Big, wide windows and easy to remove walls make getting your hand in and moving miniatures around a breeze! I firmly believe buildings are an important part of Infinity and internals especially, so any way to encourage and emphasise using them is good news to me.
Of course, the table still needed to be playable.
There is a reason why actual cityscapes don’t always work in miniature wargaming, a certain amount of abstract design needs to be considered, otherwise the table is pretty to look at, but terrible to play on. Bug hunt tables are a great example of this. Cool aesthetic and very narratively driven design (conjuring up images of Aliens), but can be a negative play experience for players at a tournament, not equipped to fight in such close confines.
Again, I feel Ryan has designed his buildings around playability. As mentioned before, access is addressed with large windows and easy to remove walls, allowing you to maneuver even the largest models through with relative ease.
Pictured: Vantann Office Building with rear wall removed for ease of access. So much space!
This isn’t to say you should just buy anything and everything from BC and slap it on a table and it’ll be great.
This stuff is BIG, bear in mind the footprint of these kits. Even half a dozen buildings will chew through a substantial amount of real estate on a 4x4 before you’ve even placed scatter.
Speaking of which, the inclusion of the trusty shipping containers and scaffold sets really helps to offset the larger footprint buildings, allowing players to sprinkle them around your table, or clump them together to represent “Capsule Housing”.
Providing this kind of modularity creates endless opportunities for the table designer so no two games are ever the same. By merely including holes and pegs on either end of the containers, you can spend many hours reconfiguring capsule sets to create weird and wonderful configurations, adding to the depth of this otherwise simple design.
Lastly, a feature no good cityscape should be without - planter boxes!
These were the final addition to my table and would provide the smallest “scatter” cover for your troops fighting on the ground but most importantly, would provide the splash of colour to my otherwise grey landscape.
Pictured: An Ayyar moves carefully beneath the shadows of Vantann Square
So with all the bits ordered, it was time to assemble and paint!
ASSEMBLY AND PAINTING
Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures during the assembly and painting stage but as expected, the design of the buildings made painting them a breeze!
Pictured: The Institute ready for priming
Pictured: The wooden pegs which come with the Capsule Housing helps hold them all together, allowing for a wide array of configurations
The only issue I came across during the building phase was believing they were SO SIMPLE to put together, I didn’t bother with instructions (available on the BC YouTube Channel), I ended up doing some wrong!
A prime example is the Vantann Office buildings. Not realising the brilliance of Ryan’s design, I ended up gluing the wrong part of the roof on, meaning the back of the building still comes off, but is a lot harder to put back on!!
Painting wise, I went for a simple yet effective zenithal coat using black, grey and an off white for the edges. Then muddied it up by smearing a mix of watered down black and GW Typhus Corrosion around the down pipes and windows.
Pictured: Capsule Housing taking shape
Pictured: The Institute; Planter Boxes and Vantann Office Building
The exception to this was the lab buildings which I wanted to look “cleaner” and the Data Centre which I spent more time masking up to get the red to stand out and be more a centre piece for the table.
Pictured: Eternity Labs
I’ve had about half a dozen games on this table and taken it to three tournaments and so far, it has been well received by players.
Pictured: One of the many configurations I’ve tried out since completing the table. This is 100% Brutal
It has a lot of verticality, making units with climbing and deployment skills very useful in obtaining the high ground to plunge fire on the enemy. At a glance, the table would appear dense, but always has a couple of end to end fire lanes, encouraging players to use the buildings to slip past AROs and drive the feeling of city warfare.
To encourage the use of interiors, I painted the doors red and created a “cheat sheet” to help players use the table as intended so they wouldn’t miss the many “Easter Eggs” around the map.
Pictured: The walkways add another interesting way to cross the table
The lab buildings provide players with familiar territory, and the walkways are useful in linking the table together.
Pictured: An Al Fasid defends the Eternity Labs from an encroaching Libertos
I’m really happy with the capsule housing in providing an easy to defend DZ from alpha strikes. Being able to double stack the containers at different depths and angles creates some really cool nooks to hide valuable pieces from getting sniped on turn one and forces your opponent to approach with care.
Pictured: Completed Capsule Housing and Scaffolding adds a variety of smaller, modular pieces to your table
One of my favourite bits to play in are the Vantann Office Buildings. With floors large enough for a TAG to stand in, and elevators to get you to the top floor, there’s always something fun going on around these buildings. I tend not to place them in either DZ - being the tallest elements on the table, they lend themselves to ARO links camping in there for the game. It also makes them tricky to leave, so having them in the middle for skirmishers to attack from is far more interesting. Their size breaks up fire lanes effectively too.
Pictured: A Ghulam picks his way through the planter boxes under the shadow of the Vantann Offices
With lockdown still omnipresent in Australia, I haven’t had as many games on this table as I would’ve liked, but some changes I want to personally try to implement on this table are:
- Tall buildings in the middle and smaller buildings in DZs can create firebases for the first player to move into and dominate from, making it nigh on impossible for the second player to leave their own DZ. Trial having fewer larger buildings in my set up.
- As with any Infinity table using buildings, some players just refuse to use internals. This is an important part of this table which tends to go under utilised. More emphasis on internals needed
- The tall buildings are fun, but it is uncommon for the roofs to be used unless in zone control missions since they are more than 8” tall, rendering hackers useless
- Furthermore, lack of ladders and walkways on these tall buildings prevents units from moving from one building to another. Toyed with the idea of having them close enough for a 4” jump skill, but this creates space issues on the ground floor
I absolutely love what Brutal Cities does: Providing striking, unique MDF terrain that is a breeze to put together what will be the centerpiece of any table.
It really bears a reminder of the SHEER SIZE of some of these buildings, utterly dwarfing anything other manufacturers make. And while this is extremely cool, factor it into any design as their footprint quickly eats up real estate on the table. I made a whole table out of BC stuff and honestly, you could cut what I have in HALF and it’d still fill a 4x4 nicely. Which is actually amazing, because it’s two tables in one!
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this write up, check out another table breakdown by guest Hugh - New Kermanshah Outskirts, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying (and won best infinity table)
BURN CITY BRAWL ANNOUNCEMENT
If you like what you see above and you're an Australian Infinity player, you can see this table at Burn City Brawl - a two day ITS event in Melbourne/Naarm
19 FEB AT 08:00 – 20 FEB AT 18:30
Burn City Brawl 2021
Collingwood Masonic Centre Inc.
Brutal Cities is happy to announce we are providing prize support and an custom terrain/award for best table! Find the facebook event link here and the OTM link here
I will be attending myself - very excited to meet the melbourne Infinity community and have some games finally!
HUGE EMAIL SUBSCRIBER GIVEAWAY
love the board and the description, great for winter force and the current ITS13.