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Article by Paul Nortness

Fantasy role play gamers have a lot of options for terrain. Many companies provide folding poster style terrain maps, there are paper models you can download and print, and on this site I have shown you how to create your own dungeon terrain using insulation foam. While the foam renders an excellent looking dungeon, it is very time consuming and without proper care is susceptible to damage.

Last year, World Werks Games launched a new product called "Terra Clips". The line features three separate products, Sewers of Malifaux, Streets of Malifaux and Buildings of Malifaux. While the sets are sold separately, they can be used in conjunction to create an entire city. I have been eyeing these ever since they came out. Today I was running some errands and popped into my local game shop.

To my surprise they had the full line in stock. Also to my surprise, they were sitting on the "50 percent off" table. So, I picked up the complete set and three boxes of clips. Each set requires one box of clips.

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The boxes are heavy, a good indication to all the gaming goodness contained within! Opening the box reveals beautifully printed semi gloss cardstock with precision die cutting. World Werks has really pushed die cutting to new limits by fitting tons of pieces onto each card. The pieces come off the card very easily and are double sided, so floors have a stone finish on one side and a wooden finish on the other. The nice thing about this is the walls have an inside and an outside so your characters can explore both inside the building and the area around as well. There are so many pieces in the box, it took me over 30 minutes to completely punch out the set!

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The previously mentioned clips come in a pack of 120 translucent grey clips in three different shapes. These three shapes are all you will need to create just about anything you can imagine. The clips are in a translucent grey color because they blend in with the terrain better than a clear clip does. In my pictures, the clips are quite visible because the plastic is reflecting the camera flash. But without the flash the clips are actually quite invisible and blend very nicely.

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Putting the pieces together is very simple. Each piece has several "receiving slots" for the clips to attach to. I decided to quickly build a room to see how easy everything snapped together. After finding the pieces for a small six by six inch room, I inserted "L" clips into the receiving slots of the floor. Then I put the 4 walls together with a few more L clips and slid the walls down into the floor clips. The process took me about 3 minutes total. After watching a demonstration video on the website, they actually suggest "short clipping" in places. Short clipping is where you don't add clips to all the slots. The clips are actually strong enough to support a structure without needing all the slots to be filled, and it also allows you to quickly and easily remove pieces like walls if you need a little extra room during play.

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The set also includes stands for doors, so all your doors can open as adventurers go through them. You will also find accents like stairs and ladders, chimneys, hand rails for balconies as well as various tokens for objectives and treasures. I would love to see some sort of "accessories" set come out to include things in the buildings like tables, chests, etc.

The sets strengths are many. From the beautifully designed terrain with natural 1 inch grid to the brilliant engineering in the design of the clips, Terra Clips really shines. World Werks has really paid attention to detail with these sets. The biggest downside is the price. At $50 a set and $18 per box of clips, the cost can add up quickly. However, if you play in a group you could easily reduce the cost by having everyone chip in.

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I would strongly recommend Terra Clips to any fantasy gamer out there hunting for a great looking modular terrain system. The amount of pieces you get are staggering, which can be a bit overwhelming. World Werks suggests laying out your floor plan first prior to building and that is an excellent suggestion. Experienced terrain makers should really be able to make a stunning map by combining these sets with some nice looking custom terrain to make the wilderness around the town.

Have fun and happy building!

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