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Warcry Terrain: How to Use it, What to Buy, & How to Paint it

Since the original Starter Set for Warcry is no longer in production, new Warcry players are faced with a confusing amount of options for choosing their first battlefield terrain.

Luckily, I am here to help. This article takes you through the pros and cons of each available Warcry Terrain box, as well as a few other methods for building battlefields for your Warcry games.

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What is Warcry Terrain, and how does it work?

Terrain is very important in games of Warcry: some fighters benefit from attacking from a higher position than their target, and terrain provides cover from ranged attacks as well as blocking line of sight. It also gives you a way to move vertically, making the battlefield larger than the small area it is played on.

The rules for the game state that you create battlefield by randomly drawing terrain cards from at terrain card set, and then subsequently drawing battleplan cards that tell you what to do in each battle, so terrain interacts with the game’s rules and objectives in a myriad of ways.

You can just use whatever terrain you can find if you don’t mind bending the game rules a little, but if you want to get the full experience of the games rules, here’s a guide for the different terrain options available at the moment.

Find the right terrain for you:

1. Find a starter set

The original starter set for Warcry is no longer in production, but if you’re lucky enough to find a set at a local game store, it is still definitely the best option. In the starter set, you get:

  • Full terrain for Warcry battles, in the style of old ruins with wooden stairs, bridges and spikes added to them. It’s a wonderful set to play on, with plenty of vertical gameplay where you can jump down onto enemies from bridges and towers, or create chokepoints on bridges or stairs.
  • A two-sided battle map
  • all the cards you need to generate battlefields and missions for the game
  • Dice, ruler and tokens for the game
  • The Warcry Core Rulebook
  • The Untamed Beasts warband
  • The Iron Golems warband
The warcry terrain from the original starter set
The warcry terrain from the original starter set

That’s really all you need to play Warcry for many hours! You can find my review of the warcry game and the starter original starter set here.

Another upside to owning the starter set is that some of the terrain cards in the other sets actually require you to use elements from the starter set. You can get some of the terrain resembling the stuff from the starter set in the Age of Sigmar scenery boxes Azyrite Ruined Chapel and Azyrite Shattered Plaza, but there’s just at lot more of it in the starter set.

Also note that the starter set terrain is the default terrain for many of the campaign battles for different warbands as well – it’s just really good to have this set if you’re getting into Warcry.

Luckily, it looks like the upcoming Catacombs set is bringing some of it back, but more on that below.

2. Buy one of the Ravaged Lands boxes

If you already have the starter set, or you want terrain with a different style, the next product to get is one of the Ravaged Lands sets. They all come with 36 terrain cards and a set of tokens, but not with the battleplan cards that you need to generate your missions.

The following Ravaged Lands sets are available at the moment:

  • Shattered Stormvault: a set of temple-like terrain with two big platforms and one small one, with the option to build a bridge between them, as well as some pillars and statues. It’s a lot more straight-forward than the starter set ruins, with plenty of space for big melee fights, and with fewer opportunities for dropping down on your enemies from up high (which can be good or bad, depending on your perspective).
The Warcry Terrain from the Shattered Stormvault box
  • Defiled Ruins: A set of ruined walls where two of the ruins have two levels, so while there isn’t as much verticality as in the starter set, the two sets are very alike with plenty of cover and ways to build maze-like setups great for close quarters battles. It’s featured in the Games Workshop Webstore’s Warcry Starter Collection, so for now it’s being marketed as the new starter terrain.
The warcry terrain from the defiled ruins box
  • Souldrain Forest: Very different from the other sets, the Souldrain Forest contains 6 trees with a great canopy of branches (that fighters can climb onto and jump from), and a bunch of ruined statues and pillars. It’s great if you want a completely different visual style to your battlefields, and some of the terrain cards in the box mix the trees and starter set ruins in really interesting ways.
The warcry terrain from the souldrain forest box
  • There is one more Ravaged Lands set that’s no longer in production, but which you can still be lucky to find in a game store somewhere:
  • Corpsewrack Mausoleum: Consisting of small Mausoleum buildings and a set of fences, walls, and gates, this set was great for creating tight spaces for melee fighters to get locked in combat. The Age of Sigmar scenery box Sigmarite Mausoleum still has all of the terrain (twice), but none of the terrain cards.
Warcry Ravaged Lands: Corpsewrack Mausoleum

3. Use the optional terrain rules from Tome of Champions!

The expansion book Tome of Champions for Warcry is a great resource for exciting battles, fighter cards and campaign additions, but in my opinion, one of the coolest sections of the book is a set of three ways to generate Warcry battlefields without adhering to one of the official terrain boxes.

It suggests that you either:

  • let one player design the battlefield with whatever terrain they see fit – and then you draw the battleplan cards. This is probably best for Open or Narrative play, since the terrain not being randomized can create a sense of unfairness that doesn’t make for a great competitive game.
  • roll for scenery on the Terrain Generator table presented in the book: This generator doesn’t require you to have specific pieces of terrain, but uses general categories (size and density of the terrain features, for example) instead. It’s much more randomized than the standard method, for better or worse.
  • Finally, the book includes a guide for photographing your own set of 36 terrain cards with whatever terrain you have.

All of these ideas let you use terrain that’s not covered by the Warcry range, like all of the weird Age of Sigmar faction scenery, and even third party scenery from other companies, and I think it’s a great, and often more affordable, option.

If you are looking to get some terrain made for you, you can check out our review of the terrain we had commissioned from Go to Ground Wargaming.

4. Buy the Catacombs expansion

Finally, you will soon be able to buy the new starter set, Warcry: Catacombs!

This set features a new way to play underground, indoor battlefields with lots of sharp angles and corridors, but with less verticality, as well as a second battlefield with what looks like half the terrain from the original starter set.

The Catacombs set also includes the core rulebook, a new expansion book for Catacombs battles, as well as two brand new warbands, the Scions of the Flame and the Khainite Shadowstalkers. We’ll update this article when we know more about the new game mode and how terrain works in it, as well as a release date for the set.

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