Sadly, the trend in todays miniature gaming is to use True Line of Sight and what I call "Terrain Micromanagement". In this environment each piece of terrain is placed on the table and becomes an immovable object; a force that even the gods cannot move. We then spend much of the game arguing what one can and cannot see from the vantage point of a 25mm tall plastic/metal figure. Absurd.
In days gone by, wargames used another system. The designers knew that the tabletop battlefield was only a vague representation of the actual location. We need not be concerned with the placement of each tree, rock and bush. We only need to know what might be in a general area of the battlefield, as indicated by a specific area. Perhaps a piece of felt, cardboard or MDF would represent this area. The point is that the zone represented contained a certain type of terrain: rocks, jungle, water or even buildings (yes buildings). Even GW's 40K used such a system in the days of old. Designers knew that today perhaps your forest area represented but a light wood, whereas next week it may be an impenetrable jungle. All we need concern ourselves with is how big the area is.
|Woods and Rocky Areas|
Below are two examples of area terrain and how they can be used on the tabletop: a wooded area and a rocky area. The area of each is indicated by a piece of flocked MDF. The pieces of terrain inside this area can be moved around at will, or even removed. We need not be concerned with their placement. If a miniature or unit does not fit inside the area we simply remove terrain pieces until they do. This method allows us to create dioramas and terrain features which are modular and are user friendly.
|Rocks found in my backyard, repainted and based on 60mm bases.|
|look, more trees|