Tabletop wargames, along with requiring miniatures to represent your forces, always look better on a battlefield filled with terrain for the forces to fight over. Along with keeping games fresh and interesting by changing up the battlefield, they also make your games look great. Making your own scenery, especially making it look good, can require a lot of time, skill, and tools and some pre-made scenery can be expensive, or bulky to store and transport.
Luckily, Battle Systems produces a range of awesome-looking card scenery for a variety of battlefield types. Their scenery is not only durable but also includes an insane amount of detail that really adds depth of character to your tabletop. In this article, we're going to take a look at the Northern Settlement and Ruined Monastery sets, looking at what each set contains, and some of the wargaming miniatures they work with.
Battle System's Northern Settlement contains an incredible amount of terrain for the size of the box. All of the scenery is modular and can be used to create a variety of different types of structures, but working through the tutorials the set buildings that can be built out of the box are:
- 1x Two-storey Mead Hall
- 2x Homesteads
- 1x Stable
- 2x Lookout Towers
- 1x Palisade Gate
- 11x Palisade Walls
- 8x Fences
- 2x Barricades
- 1x Cart
- 1x Well
- 40x Assorted Furniture Pieces
- 133x Scatter Pieces and Accessories
The Mead Hall is the largest structure in the Northern Settlement. It's built as a two-storey building with a removable roof and upper floor. We've photographed it above so you can see the basic structure and layout, but with the furniture and scatter terrain that comes with the scenery box it looks even better.
The Mead Hall can also be built with an open balcony on the roof, instead of the full roof, which is great for games that make use of multi-level terrain and for positioning ranged fighters on.
The two homesteads not only act as line of sight blocking terrain to space out your battlefields, but they also have removable roofs if you want to have indoor options for wargames or roleplaying games. They both have optional balconies if you want more multi-level terrain.
The Stable is a long building that makes a great centerpiece when built around with fences. Like the homesteads, it has a removable roof if you want to take the fighting indoors, but also has some covered outside areas if you don't want to take the roof off, but still have cover options during the game.
The well and bucket are a fantastic 3D piece of terrain that really stand out for such a small piece.
The lookout towers and palisade walls are great for putting together some large defensive structures. Three of the palisade walls also come with platforms built into them, giving the defenders a position to attack from. The addition of the torches on the lookout towers is a fantastic detail.
The additional furniture and scatter terrain included in the Northern Settlement set adds the little details to your battlefield. As well as being great cover terrain, it looks great. The barrels can be stacked to create walls in your battlefield, or scattered around the cart. The chests and treasure chests have removable lids, to put in tokens, or notes. There are also a whole host of weapons that can be added to the weapon racks if you want specific equipment types in certain locations. My personal favorite piece of furniture is the great table, which can be split in two and used as barriers for when the mead hall gets particularly rowdy.
We used the palisade walls in a game of Lasting Tales, using the Fantasy Series 1 miniatures from Blacklist Games. The giant towers over the walls, as some of our heroes try to bring it down, while the rest of the heroes wait behind the gate for its inevitable fall.
Radukar the Wolf and his warriors from Games Workshop's Warhammer Quest Cursed City attempt to enter a village defended by our waiting heroes. The Northern Settlement really suits the ascetic of the enemies in Cursed City if you're looking at using them in games of Age of Sigmar.
A group of priestesses defends themselves against a band of rowdy knights in a multi-level battle using the mead hall. The scenery is perfect for games or Mordheim using Heresy Lab's Citizens of the Old World range. The side roofs can be peeled back to get to the action inside, and the second level left on or off to measure ranges.
Battle System's Ruined Monastery contains a large amount of modular terrain that can be used to create a variety of different types of structures for a huge variety of ruined religious style buildings. Contained in the box is:
- 54x Wall Panels
- 3x Floor Tiles
- 3x Ruined Turrets
- 1x Grand Entrance
- 1x Ruined Grand Entrance
- 3x Balustrades
- 3x Steps
- 1x Ruined Strut
- 38x Scatter Pieces and Accessories
Because the buildings aren't complete, it's a very cost-efficient and effective way to fill a battlefield with line of sight blocking terrain that looks incredible. Doors are attached on card hinges, so can be opened during play, windows can also be popped out or left in, or smashed during play to get to an enemy on the other side.
The Ruined Monastery is so well suited for games of Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms, that Modiphius sell it alongside the game products on their website. You can see above the Dragonborn and their Imperial allies defending themselves as the undead climb out of their graves to attack them.
Even though the Ruined Monastery buildings aren't complete, there are still ruined floors to be added to the walls for multi-level terrain, which the Stormcloaks are using to their advantage to stop the advance of the Imperials. I love the ruined entrance, which has a huge amount of character.
Battle Systems Fantasy Terrain
These are just two of the sets available under Battle Systems Fantasy Terrain line. They have more traditional buildings available, along with a huge watchtower and an incredible Blacksmith's Forge.
All of their terrain to very simple to put together with clips, so it can be taken apart for storage and transport. Full tutorials are available online for each set, and once you've put together a few structures, it's very easy to start playing around to create your own buildings.
The Northern Settlement box is enough to fill a 3x3 gaming board, giving limited line of sight, and up to a 4x4 if you're looking to space the buildings out. The Ruined Monastery fills a 2x2 very well or offers an awesome section for larger boards, or if you're just looking to use the walls as line of sight blocking terrain, can be used on larger battlefields.
The copies of the Northern Settlement and Ruined Monastery used in this preview were provided by Battle Systems.