Saturday, June 05, 2010

Harrowing Halls -- A Brief Review

I know I'm three to six months late to the party on this one, but since I went out and spent some money on a product the other day, I thought I'd give it a very brief review.

If you read my blog regularly or follow me (@deadorcs) on Twitter, then you know I'm a DM that's pretty into terrain.  My go to stuff for this is Hirst Arts, but of late, I've been thinking about how to make terrain building go a little quicker.  Tiles of various kinds (while pretty) didn't hold my interest because they were only 2D.   Early this year, though, Wizards of the Coast released "Harrowing Halls".  Harrowing Halls contains tiles that are primarily geared towards the interior rooms of inns and castles.  The set contains a large assortment of the standard 2D tiles you normally get.  However, Harrowing Halls also contains new elements - 3D elements.

I won't go into a lengthy review here.  For that, please visit my fellow blogger, NewbieDM.  He's got the full low down here.  Feel free to go read that and come back.

Back?  Great!  I was pretty sure (being into the 3D) that I was going to pick a set up, but instead I picked up two sets instead.  I wanted to see just how much terrain you could build with a couple of sets.  Beyond getting two sets of the regular pretty tiles, you can also build the following:

Stairs (10' x 20')  - 2

5' tall Platform (20' x 20') - 1
5' tall Platform (10' x 20') - 2
5' tall Platform (10' x 10') - 1

10' tall Platform (20' x 20') - 1

10' tall Platform (10' x 20') - 2
10' tall Platform (10' x 10') - 1

Table (5' x 10') - 2
Table (5' x 5' square) -1
Table (5' x 5' round) - 1

Doors (closed) - 2

The wins?  Well, with two sets, that's actually quite a bit of terrain.  They're sturdy enough for miniatures, and will even hold sections of plaster terrain that I make with the Hirstarts stuff.  The stairs create a nice platform for miniatures to stand on, and I'm thinking I'm going to reverse engineer the design so that I can build better Hirst Arts stairs.  Overall, I'm impressed with the sets I got and look forward to future 3D offerings from Wizards in the future.

The drawbacks? Well for me, to get a comfortable and flexible amount of the 3D terrain, you need to really buy two sets.  One set just doesn't give you the flexibility you should have when designing set pieces.  The door pieces are basically flat "closed door" pieces with stands that prop them up.  I thought they were a bit cheap looking and poorly designed.   They knock over way too easily.  The tables were pretty slapped together as well, but if I sacrifice some flexibility in construction, I can use glue to stabilize the tables, and they'll work pretty well.

I'm looking forward to utilizing this terrain in the future, and I might even start collecting more of the 2D pieces as well.  They are very pretty and with two sides, can  be pretty flexible for table top use.

Until next time...

Game excellently with one another.


  1. Thadeous Cooper7:11 PM

    I agree with you on the two sets. I only have one set and I really wish I had picked up two.The amount of terrain you can build with just one set is limited and really feels like one room with movable stairs and a platform. Next payday I guess.

  2. R.M. Walker7:24 PM

    @Thadeous Thanks for the comment! The nice thing about these is that the two sets weren't really too much of a heavy investment. Also, with two sets, you have a great deal more flexibility.

  3. Asmor8:10 PM

    I always buy two sets of the dungeon tiles. Just seems more prudent, and they're cheap enough and come out infrequently enough... Definitely more important with these sets, since you only get 4 sheets of regular tiles and 2 sheets of 3d tiles, both of which just seem really skimpy but are perfectly fine doubled up.

  4. James1:59 AM

    I agree that the 3d elements are a wonderful addition to Dungeon Tiles, I picked up 2 sets as I always do with Dungeon Tiles, but later I actually picked up a third one. I think the set is flexible as mansions, inns, dungeons and ruins.