I originally published this article on Dropship in the 90’s and is part of the archives I brought across when the site was retired. As a result many of the images won’t be that high a quality by today’s standards. That’s progress for you ~ CW
Objectives play a huge part in games of Epic Armageddon, so it’s well worth creating your own unique pieces to go with your armies. Simple to make they can be anything from a small wood or fuel depot, to mini dioramas in their own right. This article looks at just a few examples of what can be made with a little imagination and a bits box.
Games of Epic Armageddon aren’t just about annihilating your opponents army (although it helps), but about securing strategically important points on the battlefield and denying them from your opponent. In Epic points are awarded to players for securing them. Objectives can be marked on the battlefield with pretty much anything, a scrap of paper, a small flag or a counter. However it adds a bit more interest to the game if the objectives are actually modelled as little pieces of terrain.
The following examples are objective markers I’ve constructed and used in my own games. They are by no means a complete list of what can be done with a little imagination, but just a few examples to hopefully inspire you into having a go at making some yourself.
My first category is what I call ‘generic’ objective markers. These are ones that can be easily incorporated into games, as they will be a common site on most battlefields.
The Fuel Storage Depot is simply constructed from a few parts found in my bits box and some model railway fuel drums. Pretty much anything can be used to make the two fuel silos, in this instance I used a couple of pieces from an old Imperator Titan kit and some spare tank wheels from a 40K Leman Russ kit. The pipes were all made from either brass rod or plastic tube and the fuel drums and palettes were added from a model railway scenery kit. The model was based on two Warmaster bases stuck together lengthways keeping the size nice and small.
The Observatory was made from the metal engine section of a 40K scale Thunderhawk Gunship (The original metal kit rather than Forge Worlds current resin version), which I then topped with a 40K Rhino hatch section and radar dish from an Epic Hydra. The generator and air filters on the outside were simply parts from the Rhino accessory frame. Although the body of the building is possibly a bit extreme, there are plenty of components that could be used to create a small structure like this one. Like the Fuel Depot the entire objective is only 40mm x 40mm and was textured with a sand and gravel mix to match the bases of my Imperial armies.
The Vox Relay Station was constructed from one of Forge Worlds Epic Dugouts and a few pieces from the bits box, such as the scanner piece from the 40K vehicle accessory frame and resin pillbox. This is a much larger piece and although there are no recommended size limits to how big an objective can be it is always worth agreeing with your opponent in advance what is sensible. In this instance the command dugout and Vox Relay also make a handy piece of scatter terrain.
But woods and trees are just pieces of terrain not objectives I hear you say. History has shown that natural terrain formations are often one of the most important strategic objectives on the battlefield. Small woods and groups of trees therefore make great objectives and are easy to produce.
Similar to the trees above, a small set of ruins also make a good objective and are easy to make. Ruins can be made from a small piece of modelling clay, into which sections of ruined walls from the infantry bases frame are embedded whilst the clay is still soft. The plastic walls aren’t essential however and can be replaced with sections cut from plastic card or balsa wood. The entire section can be built onto a piece of plastic card to protect it from the rigours of use and keep the base flat. To finish the ruins a small tree or two can be added to help blend the objective into the gaming table.
The list of possible objectives is almost endless and could also include features such as bridges, defence lines, hills and lookout towers. I’ll include a few more examples of these in future updates.
Army specific objectives
In addition to the generic objective markers above, you could also make ones specific to your own army making them great for use in campaign games. These could be pretty much anything from downed aircraft to wrecked vehicles and ancient artefacts. Here however I will show just two I have recently made; the crashed Thunderhawk and downed Warhound,
This is a very simple objective to make provided you don’t mind destroying a perfectly good Thunderhawk Gunship model. For this I used one of the Epic 40,000 edition Thunderhawks to which I left off all of the undercarriage sections and then set the model at an angle to look as if the craft has been shot down and slid to a halt on crash landing. When I stuck down the sand with PVA glue I added more sand to the front to look like it had piled up the earth in front of the cockpit as it slid to a halt. The model was then painted in Salamander colours to match my army creating an instantly recognisable army specific objective.
The Warhound wreck was created following pretty much exactly the same steps as the Thunderhawk. Firstly a large round base was used to accommodate the size of the model over which one of the original metal Warhounds was arranged to appear as if it had been felled by a critical shot. The earth and wreckage were piled up around the model and additional damage was scored into the metal to simulate armour breaches and weapon impacts. The great thing about this model is it can also be used as a wreck marker when a Titan is destroyed adding even more context to the game.
Up to now I have talked about small objective markers that can be placed onto the table by the players. There is another possibility, however one that requires more work initially. If you have or are planning on making a fixed terrain gaming board such as is the case with my Epic Cityscape, give some thought as to the likelihood of key terrain features being considered objectives. As long as these are distributed reasonably fairly and provided your opponent agrees, there is no reason at all why you can’t simply decide before the start of the game which areas on the board represent objectives. Naturally of course you will have to agree a sensible range under which the objective area is considered under control of a player, however that shouldn’t prove difficult with a little common sense.
In battles fought over my cityscape quite often both the cathedral and curtain wall are considered objectives for example.
At the end of the day the list of possible objective markers/models is almost limitless and only restricted by your imagination. Everything from a small flag or gemstone to a soaring cathedral can be considered. Just make sure when you start to make a few, you remember to stop once in a while to paint the armies to go with them as once you get a few ideas I tend to find things snowball from there. Happy modelling.