Once again the guys from Armor Grid have exceeded my expectations. For $4.95, you can get yourself their new Armor Grid: Terrain Pack. Now, I’d gleaned some hints about what might been in the pack just from keeping up in the forum. However, I honestly had no idea just how much they packed into this less that $5 PDF!
What you get:
1) Expanded Terrain Rules--Makes sense, being a terrain pack. Not only are they pretty detailed, they also include some diagrams to further illustrate issues such as Line of Sight and Levels (or how elevation plays a role in the game, which is great, considering some units, such as Mechs, are taller than some terrain and can draw LOS over them). While I never found the rules too difficult to figure out, they have gone the extra mile with their explanations in the Terrain Pack.
2) Forest Terrain--I remember a request in the Armor Grid forum several months back in which one of the members thought it would be neat to have the forests terrain that was in a demo photo from the original Armor Grid game. Well, that request was heard and fulfilled! Now you can build your own 2.5D forests that leave you room to place your units inside of them. Simple, but neat.
3) Hills--Want 3D hills? Now you have them! They come in 3 forms, hexagonal, octagonal, and a modular system that lets you build a variety of shapes and sizes and levels. Easy to build.
4) Water--Need a small body of water or the coastline of an ocean? It's all here. Like the hills, you've got a 2D hexagon, octagon, and a modular system.
5) 2.5D Walls--Good for representing man-made barriers that affect movement and LOS.
6) 2.5D Smoke Clouds--Good to represent visually hindering terrain--and there are rules for using them with recently destroyed Mechs and Vehicles.
7) Buildings--Not only do they enhance the look of your battlefield, but they can be used for cover for Infantry or get them to the roof for better LOS as well as an obstacle that blocks LOS. Also, they make great objectives for you game. They come in both large size and small size, hexagonal, square, and ruins. In fact, there is a clever system of building them in such a way as to have the ruins "underneath" the actual building. If the building is destroyed, just pull it off and reveal the ruins below. And ruins count as rubble . . .
8) Building Record Sheets--If you want to be able to destroy builds, now you have an easy was to keep track of the damage.
9) Instructions--Even though the models are extremely easy to build, you are given instructions (with pictures) to help you along.
While I do not feel that this expansion really lacks anything--the components are complete enough for what they are, if I were to request (hint, hint) anything for another expansion, I think that I would ask for more Hexagonal tiles that match the size of the base of the hill hexes: plain Level 0 terrain, some with roads just to add to the "coolness" value of the battlefield (or perhaps rules for a movement bonus for travelling them), and some with rivers. I do have this thing for hexagonal maps (I have been war gaming since the 80s after all!) and would love to build a gigantic battle map made up of hexagonal tiles: hills, water, buildings, open terrain, etc. It would be easy to put up and take down and would, in effect, make the battle map itself modular. Another thing that I would request is different types of buildings--power plant, factory, etc. that could be used for specific objectives. Along the same lines as different type of buildings, some other texture work on the hills/trees just to add color--not that there is anything wrong with what you get--it looks great! Finally, like many others, I would like to see other units--gunships, bunkers with weaponry, perhaps an artillery piece. It really would not be hard to make my own (it is actually built into the rules if you can read in between the lines), I just happen to like the texture work of their models--they are so cool!
As you can tell, I really like this expansion as it is packed with wartime goodness. Not only do you get quantity, I feel that the "cosmetic" side of the terrain pack has a nice quality to it as it fits very well with the models that they have already released. The construction of the terrain is fairly painless and you should have a nice battlefield in no time. I feel that you definitely get your money’s worth out of this set. If you are an Armor Grid fan (or some other game that is of the same scale) and haven't bought the Terrain Pack yet, I definitely recommend it. If you are still on the fence about trying out Armor Grid, let me leave you with this: Some print and play games are great for what they are, but there is not future support for them and after a while become stale because of that. The developers of Armor Grid have their own forum that they use to interact with those who play their game, answering questions and offering ideas. Some of the items in this Terrain Pack came from ideas shared by the players. This is most definitely a supported game system with creators who understand their audience. I expect them to be around for some time to come.