A Battlefield Worth Fighting For

Welcome back fellow commanders! It has been some time since my last post. In part because it was sort of a Legion off season for me. I’m prone to burning myself out on a game. To avoid a burn out on Legion, I took some time to explore other games such as Keyforge and Tangle Deep.

Much of the time I did put into Legion, was towards creating a map for the Battle Lines competition. This competition was for creating the best map on Table Top Simulator. I’ve always loved creating maps in other games, so I couldn’t pass this competition up.

Today we’re looking at an important part of Legion quickly forgotten about once the shots start flying. That is the creation of the battlefield.

Creative vs Competitive

There’s a creative approach and a competitive approach to creating the battlefield. Most people are going to favor one over the other for one reason or another. Some people are wired to think more creatively. Others think more competitively. Balancing the two is doable.

I’m a competitive mind and when I create a map, I focus more on the balance of sides, and balance of units. This means that regardless of which side of the field you’re on, things feel fair, and no certain units are going to dominate due to certain elements of the field. Looking at you Luke and Boba.

A Centered Focus

When creating a battlefield, I start from the center and work outwards. The center is so often a focus point of matches. In part, because 3 of the 5 objectives, interacting with the center of the battlefield. This means, be conscious of what the key position will be and where the center supply crate will sit. And for intercept the transmissions, be conscious of what the range one circle around the center of the field looks like.

Try to predict plan how you want the center to play out. Do you want it to be difficult to get to but hard to hold? Or maybe, its an open center but with heavy cover from all directions of fire.

And lastly, I consider a few different units and how they will interact with the center. Snow troopers and Vader can dominate when they can move around walls at close quarters. Boba and Luke love to have high ground to camp on. Pathfinders and Jyn are unique with their infiltrate keyword. They do well when they can deploy in the center in safety or heavy cover.

An example of a map I created on TTS for the Battlelines Competition, where I started with the center. The center point of the field falls in the dead center of the crates on the metal platform. This center is closed off though, there are four entrances to give a player choices. The two larger openings face towards Advanced position and Major offensive deployments allowing long ranged weapons to shoot from far away, into the center.
After the center, the rest of the map was filled in with scatter terrain and some buildings to block line of sight.

Break it up, 3×3

After the center of the battle field is made, I look at it like two 3×3. Splitting the field down the center, how does each side of the battlefield stand as its own? Its completely possible both armies clump up on one side and fight in a 3×3 area. At the game tourney I went to this past weekend, this happened twice for me, on the same table.

This table is aesthetically very appealing. However, both matches for me took place on the left side the tape dividing the center. Why? Well, here’s two pictures focusing on each side.

A look at the side of the table both matches were mostly fought on. Lots of LOS blocking terrain. Some cover for both sides of the board.
The side not fought for. The walkway paths in the trees while awesome, don’t interact well with the game for troopers that don’t have jump. Take the walkways out of this side of the map, and its very barren, with just a lone tree in the center or larger LOS blocking trees. Those storms were deployed on those walkways by rapid reinforcements. While the position was strong, they were stuck up there and unable to interact with the rest of the board or objectives.

Both matches that took place on the same side of the field, were battle line deployments. It likely would have played much differently corner to corner on a deployment such as major offensive.

Here’s a look at another map I created for the Battle Lines competition. I laid out the center of the map to be focused on a building with a platform connected to it. From there, I focused on each side as a 3×3.

The red line down the center is the middle of the map. Both sides, look like the kind of 3×3 field I could play a match on. With there being enough terrain on the board in entirety and each side having near equal amount.

Deploy Here, Deploy There, Deploy Everywhere

Wrapping up with another obvious issue that arises during map making. The deployments. The way my mind works, its easiest to plan for and consider advanced positions, battle lines, and major offensive. Disarray and long march throw a wrench in a lot of battlefields.

Planning for long march isn’t too bad, just make sure not all your terrain is squared up as if you’re playing battle lines. For example, don’t make all barricades face the long edge of the battlefield.

The biggest issue with disarray, is what kind of cover or LOS blocking terrain is there between the corners down the long edge of the battlefield. Focusing on the two 3x3s that make a whole sets disarray up for good play on each side of the field naturally.

This is another very aesthetically please battle field. But imagine playing disarray or long march, and pushing up along the side of the field on the long edge. That’s a 72 inch long fire lane. Just a single piece of area terrain can help this.

In closing

Creating the battle is part of the fun of Legion. It can be thrown together in minutes, or a you can put an hour of thought into it. I hope to touch on this subject again in the future. Until then, happy planning commanders.

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