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Old 01-16-2019, 11:15 AM   #11
offsides
 
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Default Re: Cat's M2 Map Rules

The more I think about it, the more I like making mountains like swamp. Heavy vehicles on steep inclines (which is what mountains really represent) with uneven terrain are just one misstep away from a rollover, and that to me is what stuck represents here. You don't take the risks associated with driving heavy tanks up a mountain unless you really have no other choice, and that's tactically similar to avoiding swamp for the same reason.

I'd also scrap the SHVY bridging rule for 2 reasons: First, it fundamentally adds something to the unit that isn't already there, and second it basically turns a SHVY into a VERY expensive ramp, because it can't move while bridging. Instead, I like the rule about scarps being gradable like ridges, and either you grade them to allow your vehicles to climb the mountain, or you don't. Again, vehicles climbing mountains should be the tactical exception, not the rule.

Additionally, without major engineering help, most vehicles aren't going to find much cover on a mountainside, and INF have limited options, so the 2xD for INF and no bonus for armor makes sense to me. I'm still internally debating if mountains should slow INF down or not - I can see reasons for both, but KISS tells me to leave it alone and let them move normally.

The only thing left is the question about firing through mountains. Here, again, the lack of differentiating between heights makes it tricky. I think that firing over the mountain should be disallowed (pick your reason, though the one about having to fire high enough that its easy to intercept is probably the best within the confines of the existing backstory), but firing through mountain hexes on the same side should be pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, while using the graphic and saying, "firing across the peak of a mountain is prohibited," it's very open to interpretation and falls flat when using a non-contoured image (e.g., a map with simple colored hexes vs. graphical images). Using ColBosch's rule layers, this falls in between the Map-specific rules and Scenario-specific rules, in that the rules need to be specific to each specific map. For example, on M2 you could draw lines along the peaks that block fire, but that's specific to the graphic on M2 and doesn't translate to any other map that might have mountain hexes. Or, you could specify in a scenario on M2 which hexes cannot be fired across, but that doesn't necessarily apply to any other scenario.

I still think that the closest I've come to what I think makes sense is to define high and low mountains, where high mountains are surrounded by mountain hexes, and low mountains have at least one non-mountain hex adjacent to it. High mountain hexes may be fired into or out of, but not through, whereas low mountain hexes have no such restrictions (so you can fire along the side of the mountain but not over it). It's not perfect (e.g., a graphic of mountain hexes could have a large valley surrounded by high peaks, and those internal hexes should really be considered low rather than high), but it's pretty close. And since once you get deep into the mountains you're unlikely to be using anything but INF, and most INF are R1 anyway, the range limitation almost entirely affects units that are outside those hexes anyway. And if this definition gets adopted, perhaps future maps (or even M2 reprints) can adjust the coloring on the mountain hexes to differentiate between the 2 types. I don't know whether to restrict high mountains to INF only, or if the movement risks and slow speed are sufficient to keep it sane...
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: Cat's M2 Map Rules

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Originally Posted by offsides View Post
I still think that the closest I've come to what I think makes sense is to define high and low mountains, where high mountains are surrounded by mountain hexes, and low mountains have at least one non-mountain hex adjacent to it.
I'm laughing so hard right now...I've got a draft post at home that was toying with a similar idea. That there are a few of us on similar pages gives a sense of pride. Means I'm learning. :)

It gets really, really deep into the realm of "This should be at ColBosch's 'scenario specific' level, if not a layer beyond that yet", but would allow for more mobility without making them too similar to existing terrain types.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cat's M2 Map Rules

After meditation, I've been leaning towards dropping the SHVY bridging purely on the basis of simplicity and avoiding rules clutter. That had been my first approach to giving a means for smaller vehicles to get across the scarps. It was afterwards that I hit on crewed Heavy Construction Vehicles which are more affordable than than the highly priced Vulcan Drones to allow grading. The grading option does circumvent the need for bridging.

Given the scale of the hexes, and the vast expanse of map covered by the mountainous area, I am not inclined (ba-doom-ch) to view mountain hexes as all exposed slope. The major expansive slopes are the scarp and cliff hexsides. I see the full breadth of the hex containing many contours as well as passable areas with plenty of opportunities for infantry cover and natural hull-down positions for vehicle cover too.

The 2MP to enter for tracked vehicles can be viewed as them having to pick there way through the best natural pathways and lesser roads that they can find. The big question is how restrictive or permissive you want the map to be during game play. How to describe and rationalise the choice is hand-wavium applied after the design decision, whichever way you want to go with it. As mentioned before, I may come back to 'like Swamp' later after trying the more permissive approach first.

I wish the map had come with clearly defined ridge hexsides within the mountain area. The shading and contour areas provided meander across some hexlines and through the middle of other hexes. Alas, as-is the artwork within the mountains is not at all helpful for nuanced terrain definitions. I will slowly meditate on eventually taking a marker to some of the hexsides to clearly define them as actual ridge hexsides and apply the standard rules for Ridges to them.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: Cat's M2 Map Rules

I can't argue with playtesting! :)

I look forward to hearing what does and doesn't work.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:08 PM   #15
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Default Re: Cat's M2 Map Rules

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Originally Posted by Cat View Post
After meditation, I've been leaning towards dropping the SHVY bridging purely on the basis of simplicity and avoiding rules clutter. That had been my first approach to giving a means for smaller vehicles to get across the scarps. It was afterwards that I hit on crewed Heavy Construction Vehicles which are more affordable than than the highly priced Vulcan Drones to allow grading. The grading option does circumvent the need for bridging.

Given the scale of the hexes, and the vast expanse of map covered by the mountainous area, I am not inclined (ba-doom-ch) to view mountain hexes as all exposed slope. The major expansive slopes are the scarp and cliff hexsides. I see the full breadth of the hex containing many contours as well as passable areas with plenty of opportunities for infantry cover and natural hull-down positions for vehicle cover too.

The 2MP to enter for tracked vehicles can be viewed as them having to pick there way through the best natural pathways and lesser roads that they can find. The big question is how restrictive or permissive you want the map to be during game play. How to describe and rationalise the choice is hand-wavium applied after the design decision, whichever way you want to go with it. As mentioned before, I may come back to 'like Swamp' later after trying the more permissive approach first.

I wish the map had come with clearly defined ridge hexsides within the mountain area. The shading and contour areas provided meander across some hexlines and through the middle of other hexes. Alas, as-is the artwork within the mountains is not at all helpful for nuanced terrain definitions. I will slowly meditate on eventually taking a marker to some of the hexsides to clearly define them as actual ridge hexsides and apply the standard rules for Ridges to them.
Might I suggest using the ridge map mods from ODE with a little picture putty to hold them in play. Just until you complete your playtesting and are sure it's what you want.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: Cat's M2 Map Rules

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Might I suggest using the ridge map mods from ODE with a little picture putty to hold them in play. Just until you complete your playtesting and are sure it's what you want.
Yes, you may. ^,^

There will certainly be a number of games with some assortment of vehicles crossing the scarps and roaming the mountains before I start to delve into interior ridge lines. And then some games with internal ridge hexsides before the Sharpie comes out!

By default, potential ridge placement would be along existing artwork that by happenstance crosses hexsides in a way that lends itself to visual enhancement.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: Cat's M2 Map Rules

Sidenote: conversion work done on making Heavy Construction Vehicles with Karl Gerat models from Historical Board Gaming and Lego claws, plus assorted felt overlays to use on M2. Photo over here on BGG.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:47 AM   #18
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Default Re: Cat's M2 Map Rules

I'm partial to giving units in high mountain hexes a defense penalty, possibly a hefty one. Their emissions are visible from much further away, they may be accidentally skylining themselves, and near-misses that would only be minor inconveniences on level terrain can drop thousands of tons of rocks on your head and/or collapse the mountainside beneath you.

Picture a heavy tank half way up this. That is not a healthy place for a combatant to be when everybody is slinging nuclear weapons around. If you have to cross terrain like that you do it in a bloody hurry and hope nothing hostile is in range while you do it.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:30 AM   #19
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Default Re: Cat's M2 Map Rules

Interesting thought on defense penalty, or at least no bonus, for armour.

Fighting for a remote outpost on a high alpine peak is quite different than fighting around the populated areas of the alps. Here in New England, very little of our mountainsides are that exposed. The Golan Heights are somewhere in between.

Some mountain fighting is indeed like The White War, and no place for armoured vehicles: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/histo...ins-180959076/

That's interesting for a scenario, but by and large Ogre doesn't shine at its best with a pure infantry slog; that's not what it was designed for.

The big underlying question for all the different approaches of how to play on M2 is what type of gameplay do you want.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:48 AM   #20
offsides
 
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Default Re: Cat's M2 Map Rules

Hmm... I see your point about reduced defense, though it also makes it easier to intercept anything incoming. So how about this: Treat all mountains like swamp, with the addition of a cumulative 1/2D penalty to all units in high mountains. INF get no bonus, and armor that risk going up that high are at 1/2D. Heck, now that I think about it, let's call low mountains 'foothills', and then can just call high mountains 'mountains'.

Alternately, just treat foothills as swamp, and mountains as clear for INF and impassable for all others. And I still like the idea that (high) mountains cannot be fired through, just into and out of, for reasons I've previously given. Though as an alternative I'd permit some sort of attack penalty (1/2A?) for firing through mountains to represent the greater interception chance while still allowing things like HWZ to fire over them. In fact, perhaps that's the solution - non laser attacks passing through one or more (high) mountain hexes are at a 1/2A penalty due to increased interception chances. It's not exactly the same as the HWZ/Ogre Missile attacks on submerged units rule, but it is similar...

(And for lasers? I think it has to be essentially a SSR that you can fire up the mountain, but LLOS is blocked at the first visible ridge - you can fire into that hex, but no further. Yes, I know this has the potential for abuse when the ridge is close to the near hexside, but it's simple.)
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