Goonhammer Review: Bandua Aldan Terrain bundles

Today we’re checking out the Aldan terrain range for Warhammer 40,000/Horus Heresy from Bandua Wargaming. The buildings in this range are available individually or as two collective bundles – the latter is how we will be reviewing them today.

We’d like to thank Bandua Wargaming for sending out this terrain for review. For the sake of transparency, Bandua Wargaming are the terrain partner for the UK Goonhammer Open. We’ve invested significantly in their WTC terrain sets, although what a tournament/event organiser looks for in terrain is not necessarily the same as someone looking for a personal set.

What does make good terrain for a personal set then? While personal preferences differ, there are several key factors that you need to consider and balance up which terrain is worth your time and money:

  • Functionality – Are there enough pieces with variety shapes and size to allow for a fair and balanced game, providing line of sight blocking to different kinds of units
  • Appearance – After spending countless hours making your army ready for the table, the table itself needs look the part – it would be a shame to be use bits of cardboard or styrofoam to set the scene for your battle (we’ve all done it at some point though)
  • Durability – If you’re sharing your terrain with others at a gaming club, not everyone will treat the terrain as nicely as you will.
  • Cost/Time – Pretty self explanatory and in direct opposition to everything else.

With that out of the way, lets get into it.

Bandua specialize in MDF terrain with preprinted designs on them. This means you can get these ready on the table very quickly as you don’t have to paint them up. Being MDF, they are reasonably durable for shared use. As mentioned earlier the Aldan range is divided into two bundles, which as it turns out are very different from one another.

Indomitus Aldan

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The Indomitus Aldan set is aimed at the higher end of the market. It’s a full table of gothic ruins, in various sizes and footprints, the latter being quite relevant for 10th edition 40K.  It contains:

  • Two small Ls
  • Three Large Ls – personally I would have liked an upper floor on these, although this does make storage easier
  • Two large U-shaped two-story buildings
  • One massive leaning tower, reminiscent of the old Tower of Redemption, with stained glass windows. It’s good centrepiece to park in the middle and provide line-of-sight blocking for all units great and small.
  • Fifteen tank traps, suitable for general table dressing or marking out area terrain.

From a functionality perspective, this set gives you plenty of terrain for a 6×4 table or the modern 44×60 that 40K uses. To give an idea of what it looks like in action, here’s a game of on a 44×60 using most of the elements.

World Eaters and Sisters of Battle scrap over the Indomitus Adaln set

What makes this set special compared to others is how solid it is. MDF terrain typically uses a single sheet of MDF for it’s construction of terrain elements, which keeps costs down. In this kit the walls are triple ply, giving them some serious heft. Once the additional layers of trim and other features are applied it gives the buildings a real sense of depth. This three ply approach does mean that the terrain takes a significantly longer amount of time to get ready and requires you to have a set of clamps for assembly. Each wall needs to be glued together and left for at least half an hour to bond together, which meant that it took me a few evenings to put together in stages.


Give ’em the clamps!

One other tip for assembly – on some of these kits I’ve noticed that the tolerances on some of the slots for tabs are very tight. I’ve found that simply scoring along the tab with a scalpel and peeling off like the below make these fit nicely otherwise it can be a bit of a struggle.

If you don’t score those tabs off, you’re in for a bad time

While a bit more time consuming to assemble than some of the other MDF kits out there, the end is a worth it with a solid set of MDF terrain to serve as a good backdrop for your games. All the texture and depth does  price this set at the higher end of 300€. As a result, this set isn’t ideal for those minimising time and costs for people running a club or events. If you are looking for a unique set that will last you forever, this one is worth checking out.

Sanctum Aldan

One each of the items from the Sanctum Sector Bundle

The Sanctum Aldan set was quite the contrast after assembling the Indomitus set for a number of reasons which I’ll expand on. The bundle contains:

  • Three Ls (with upper floor)
  • Two U-shaped two story buildings
  • One large church structure to act as a centrepiece
  • Three craters to act as area terrain

If your opponent takes a Knight to a Combat patrol game, they might be cheating…

Straight away, you’ll notice that this bundle has less line of sight blocking terrain elements, opting to go with the crater area terrain to give some variety while also keeping costs down. This difference means that this set is best aimed at smaller Combat Patrol or skirmish sized battles as anything larger will be too open.

Construction of this kit was very easy and fast. I was able to dry fit all the buildings together in half an hour – although you want to glue things in place before using it properly. This set uses the normal single sheet construction, with printed designs on the walls and windows with raw MDF floors. Features like the stained glass windows help it really stand out and give the buildings some texture.

If you’re getting into the hobby with Combat patrol this set is a good option at the price point of 125€. Although if you are looking to expand to full sized games of 40K or Horus Heresy, I would strongly suggest spending a little bit more for on the Dark Millennium sets, which will give you a full table of terrain with more elements with more interesting visual designs printed on them.

Always outnumbered, never outgunned.

Closing Thoughts

Terrain is vital to ensure fair and fun games. Thankfully, its now easier than ever to get a decent looking table ready in a short time  and cost with preprinted MDF kits like the ones that Bandua specialise in. While people wanting terrain for competitive 40K practice are better suited with other options like the Dark Millennium/WTC sets, both of these bundles offer a bit of variety at opposite price points.