Games Workshop 40K Tournament Table

Tournaments like the Games Workshop Open, have very specific terrain pieces.  Claim home field advantage by building a tournament table to match!

Terrain comes in all shapes and size, much like tournament tables.  Depending on what event you are attending, tables will vary greatly.

Practicing on a table that looks like the one that’s going to be used yields a lot of advantages, from knowing how much cover you have, how lines of sight are drawn, and just how restricted movement is.

Luckily, it is now standard practice for a lot of events to show what terrain looks like beforehand.  Games Workshop’s tournament are no different.

Games Workshop 40K Tournament Table

So, this gave us the template for what we needed to build.

When building terrain, it’s a good idea to focus on either form or function, because you will often need to compromise.  Knowing which way to steer these situations is key.

In this case, our focus was on function, making the pieces the right shapes and sizes over how pretty it is overall.

Also not to be neglected, speed.  This project took 5 hours start to finish so roughly an hour a day over the week.


Besides paint, we need roughly 3 things:

  1. Bases.  All pieces are on a specific-sized base, ours are made of balsa wood.
  2. Foam core.  Most of the terrain is walls, and foamcore is a great option.  Sturdy enough, easy to use, and it won’t break the bank.
  3. Cans.  4 of the pieces are built with odd terrain, like cranes and trees.  We’re using empty soft drink cans to make water/gas reservoirs.

The last part of planning is picking a theme for our board.   We have a weird orange-pink-ish mat that doesn’t get much use, so I picked paint to match (well, at least fit) with it.

Large Ruins

Large Ruins are on big square plates, and are essentially U-shaped ruins with no windows.  Most of them also have a floor where units can stand on.  Ours are all practically the same, and have dumb little things written on them.

Small Ruins

The official pieces for this was a lot more scattered, but essentially it’s a single wall with a lot of holes.  So ruined walls with windows and doors fit the bill nicely.

Small Debris

In game terms, these pretty much act as woods, but are represented by a plethora of things on the official tables.  Ours are can painted to look like reservoirs, because they are simple to do and convenient for game play.

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