Errhile DIY Terrain – Cardbuilding #3.5: how much of it do I need?

As you remember, in Cardbuild Terrain #3’s end notes I was wondering about how much table coverage would it provide. Well, I took the four floors, eight walls and assorted stuff to the LGS today and let Szorstki Fred and Stavrogin use it to supplement the table (since some of our terrain is undergoing painting at the moment, it came out that we’re a bit short on terrain if we’d want two tables being run at the same time).

That’s what I brought, all neatly packed into four floors:


Observation #1: the terrain in question does really well on the tabletop.

Observation #2: it is a damn space-effective way of filling our table.

As you can see, the 2 buildings , 8 wall pieces and assorted scatter make for a pretty dense ¼ of a table (that is, 2×2” area):


For a ½ of a table, the fill ratio is less satisfactory. It would be better, though, if we haven’t wasted 5 out of the 8 wall pieces to mark the half-table line. Not perfect, but it would do. Especially if there were more roofs, and thus the buildings could’ve been made into individual, ground-level-only structures:


Topo Solitario’s Chickenhawk, of course, shouldn’t be there…

As a full table, the 4-room-set is, of course, unsatisfactory. Again, deploying the floors as individual buildings would’ve helped that a bit:


…no, this isn’t the actual table the game was played on – the guys have used some extra stuff to fill it, plus we have a large supply of iKubes and the like, so it looked like this:


Alas, to the point!

As you can see, two such sets (8 floors) are likely to make a table’s worth of terrain, probably with 2-3 double-stacked buildings, and another 2 or 4 ground-level ones. Adding bigger buildings (Russian Doll concept – ones that nest 4 – or more – floors inside) would also help balance this out.


A 150% bigger set (i.e. 6 floors) is going to make for a low-density table, though a building / holder for all these is again going to help a lot. I’ll definitely check it once I get to it!

Still, allow me to guesstimate it: a centerpiece building, measuring about 22cm by 33cm, and about 18cm high, should be able to hold the “150% sized set” providing a pretty portable Infinity urban battlefield.

For comparison, it means less footprint than the laptop I use to write this text. And not much more than an A4-sized sheet of paper (21×29,7cm) ! Actually a package small enough I could drop it into a mid-sized backpack (20-liter or a bit bigger) and hit the road for a game out… still having enough space for a figure case, dice, markers, templates and a rulebook, I guess.

…nope, I’m not likely to do that (especially – do that on regular basis), but perhaps one day I’ll check whether this prediction is accurate.

Sure, that’s not end all, be all urban terrain, but it should work. It would also need to come up with some more scatter terrain to fit into the remaining two floors (and no, double set of walls wouldn’t really do!). It would also be missing the Objective Room equivalent (which I envision as 4-floor holder).

That’s why I personally intend to go for at least 2 holders (4 and 6 floor), and 10 floor modules (or equivalent). Yup, that’s a lot, and with all the stuff I should make – even just to show you the ideas – I guess I might end with about 2 tables’ worth of Cardbuilding…

Also, I owe you an explanation as why I think of 4 floors as a “100% sized unit”. Basically, if you want two levels to stack, you need to provide them with a staircase. Two staircases fill a  single level pretty neatly for storage, and there is really not much space left. So – two staircases, four floors, three of them available as storage space for scatter terrain (and internal walls if you like them). You may also use the roofs to store small / thin terrain pieces: every v1.5 roof piece offers 20mm high space.

All in all, seems it comes out better than I initially thought. But let’s wait and see what we get – once we get there!


Thijs "Scorch" van Tienen

Infinity enthusiast and longtime cyberpunk fan. Also enjoys some good quality tea and Thai food. Runs Data Sphere together with Arachas.

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4 Responses

  1. Clever Handle says:

    Wowzer! That 1/4-table is even light based on what my group likes to play. Of course, we’ve purchased many MAS terrain pieces, one of our players has built a and painted a lot of rock formations, and I’ve assembled about 20 LCC shipping containers I was able to buy for about $2.50 CAD each… all told, our terrain fits into a large rubbermaid container that one of our players totes to and from the FLGS when we’re playing infinity.

    As our store also runs WM:H nights, 40K, and other gaming, we’re able to utilize terrain from those game systems as well. Also, since I regularly make it out for gaming through multiple game systems, I’m not opposed to leaving my terrain in the store – after all, these really are toys, and toys get played with, and broken from time to time; it’s simply part of existence as a toy. Hell, I even purchased a ForgeWorld Zone Mortalis construction & leave it for free gaming at the FLGS (works great for infinity!)

    • Errhile says:

      Well, our terrain is free to use by our local Infinity community. No problem if the WM/H or 40K guys need it, like, for a tournament – should they ask, they will be granted a permission.

      Regarding what you said about terrain density – sounds like the tables you play are a Chainrifle Paradise! 🙂

      • clever handle says:

        We use lots of multi-levels and buildings with interiors so template weapons don’t end up being THAT OP. I play JSA and my games are almost always won or lost by my spitfire aragoto being able to get into position. The Domaru never really accomplishes anything… I’m always petrified of the unopposed roll that results from shooting someone in the face with a direct template weapon

        • Errhile says:

          Ah, I see. Well, going more multi-level here is not yet possible (the buildings, made as separate floors, can be stacked as high as one wants, but I haven’t solved the problem of stackable, yet stashable inside, access).

          And I haven’t fielded a full table’s worth of it yet.

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