Ever played one of those games where you just wished you had something to hide behind?
I did last night. Twice. It got me thinking, how much scenery is enough? Can you have too much? Do some armies benefit more from it than others?
The first game was, quite frankly, over by turn two, at only 1000 points, my army consisted of two troops units, a cheap HQ, half a dozen reaver jet bikes and a razorwing. One of my troops units was destroyed almost entirely when their transport was blown up on turn one, and the second suffered a similar raider malfunction followed by being shot at by the whole of the enemy force in turn two. Follow that with fire dragons shooting at reavers and a lucky shot taking down my razorwing and it all ended pretty quickly. The only bright side was my warrior unit showing a wraithlord what it means to fear poisoned splinter rifles.
But I digress. Scenery. There wasn't any with the exception of two bastion-like buildings in the table centre, a couple of craters and some small rocks. I lost the roll for turn one and with nothing to hide behind my units were sitting ducks. Couple that with a complete failure to pass flickerfield saves and you've got a recipe for disaster. So in short, scenery is crucial, particularly when it comes to deployment for a fragile army, if I had been able to hide my raiders behind a nice big building I might have stood a chance to do some damage even without going first. I'd go so far as to say that for an army like the dark eldar you should ideally have scenery in two waves, some to hide behind when deploying (and hope they don't have smart missiles), and a second 'line' down the centre-ish of the table to shelter behind at the end of your turn one. You should hopefully then be able to get your charges off in your turn two.
Ok, so can you have too much scenery? Probably, eventually if you fill the board with tall buildings then your weapons won't have line of sight, and that's not good, because most armies rely on a certain amount of damage from shooting. You'd have to have a lot for it to become a problem though I would say.
Finally then, do some armies benefit more from cover than others? Absolutely. It's true, a land raider you can't see will last longer than one you can, but probably not by that much. On the flip side the ubiquitous dark eldar raider definitely lasts longer if it can't be shot at, even if the thing doing the shooting is the humble bolter.
That's all for now, hopefully I'll get a couple of battle reports up over the weekend.