Welcome back to Goonhammer’s series for aspiring Titan Principes. We here at Goonhammer’s own Collegia Titanica know that Adeptus Titanicus can seem intimidating to players unfamiliar with its particular quirks, but this series aims to equip you with everything you’ll need to play out epic clashes on the battlefields of the far future with your very own Titan Battlegroup. In this series, we’ll be taking a more in-depth look at the various Legios of the Collegia Titanica – exploring their origins and how to use them on the tabletop, from maniple selection and their loadouts, through to how to command them on the field of battle to secure ultimate victory.
We’ve mentioned in the past how vital it is to have the right terrain to set the scene for your Titanic battles of the Horus Heresy. This week we’re taking a look at TTCombat’s 10mm Sci-Fi X terrain, which they were kind enough to send us some kits to review.
TTCombat are known for their MDF terrain, and the Sci-Fi X range falls into this category. I like to think of MDF terrain like getting flatpack furniture from IKEA – it’s relatively inexpensive and a great way to fill out some space, with some assembly required which may involve some swearing when you’ve realised you’ve read the instructions wrong. I say this as someone with a household full of IKEA furniture which came with a strange amount of spare screws and bits…
When making a table to play Titanicus, it’s important to have a good mix of silhouettes in different sizes – on one end having terrain that will only provide partial cover to Knights or a Warhound all the way through to massive barriers that will prevent even a Warmaster from drawing a bead on it’s prey. The TTCombat range has a variety of different options in this scale to get you covered.
I must admit I ended up getting too much to start with as I didn’t have a suitable frame of reference. I’m a visual person and the lack of Titans for scale on their website made this challenging. I’ve done this for you though, so you can get an idea on what we are dealing with.
Some quickfire thoughts on the different kits:
- I’m a fan of the Sphere Containers; they aren’t yet another squarish profile and provide full cover to Warhounds and Knights at the right angle but don’t full obstruct larger engines. These come in a three pack, which is the right number to have before you get bored of them.
- The Industrial Accessories kit comes with a good number of stackable crates, which can be used to provide significant cover. Overall these are cute for overall table dressing, but would ultimately come last.
- The Administratum Decimus is a great big building which will block LOS on a Warlord if positioned right. I like the amount of texture on this kit and the angle on the ruin providing partial cover to larger engines.
- The Medicae Civitas Kit slots together very quickly and has some small bridges to connect them to one another. The Chimney at the top gives it a bit more interesting profile for blocking some of those larger engines. This comes in a set of two.
- The Domicile Civitas is similar to the previous kit, coming in a set of Ls with two bridges for connecting them together. These kits go together really quickly and are good for bulking up a table but are very samey beyond the first two.
- The Leviathan District comes in a set of three buildings which are very close in aesthetic to the Civitas Imperialis kit from Games Workshop. Compared to the other kits so far mentioned, these take a bit longer to assemble due to the extra texture and bits on this kit which nicely hide the cut edges of the MDF.
A quick note on bridges – sadly a single bridge isn’t quite wide enough for a Warhound to fit under, this isn’t the end of the world as the kits come with two so you can have two concourses connecting each building. I’ve lopped the ends off and joined them to make a larger bridge like so.
One of the chonkiest bits of terrain is the Shrine Mechanica, a forge for refitting your engines in. This is a fantastic LOS blocker to pop in the middle of your table and prime for building a scenario around. One thing I will warn to read the instructions clearly before gluing it together – I’ll use Covid as an excuse here as I made plenty of mistakes, as there is meant to be alternating textures on the outside of the building.
There are some caveats I came across with these kits as I put them together:
- The room you assemble it in will smell like an ashtray for a week, I have heard some strategies on airing it out before assembly but this passed eventually
- Some of the instructions don’t fully hold your hand and assume you are paying attention.
- These won’t ruin them, but they won’t look as good as they should. I’d suggest double checking the instructions and looking at the images on their website to fill in the gaps where you are unsure.
- Painting MDF can be a bit tricky as well, due to how thirsty it can be without priming –
- I am a lazy person and opted to airbrush inks straight onto the MDF which absorbed the colours immediately, which I then followed up with a good old fashioned dry brush, giving me results I am happy to play with.
Setting the scene
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – Good terrain is essential to the Adeptus Titanicus experience. As to what terrain you get though is a very personal question and often it can be a challenge finding the money to invest in terrain for a scale different from other popular systems after you’ve just picked up a battlegroup.
This is why I normally recommend the Dropzone Commander Card buildings to new players as this is incredibly cheap and a quick way to get one or two tables worth of terrain for your new playgroup. The issue with these over time is that they aren’t quite the right sizes and their square nature makes terrain a very binary equation.
Once you’ve figured out that this system is for you, you’ll likely be eyeing up your options for your next step:
- GW Terrain
- The GW kits are really nice and fully customisable in terms of layout but add up very quickly when you start needing Warlord LOS blockers.
- 3D Printing
- This option definitely isn’t open to everyone as it requires either you or someone who owes you to have the right skillset and access to suitable printing setup to make a table.
- MDF terrain is affordable at the expense of detail compared to the above two options, although some this can be addressed/hidden with weathering. I’d personally spend my limited hobby dollars on more Titans, so I fall into this category.
TTCombat’s MDF terrain is a very affordable way to build up a table for your games, with most of the simpler kits costing between 6-10£ such as the Sphere Containers or Domicile/Medicae Civitalis or the more detailed Leviathan District coming in at 20£ for three buildings.
With just a few of these kits you’ll find you have enough terrain to fill out your table and keep cover from your opponent’s Belicosas. I’d recommend them to anyone looking to have their own battlefield at home or at their local club.