Saturday, 3 March 2018

Simulating War: FireMove - What (terrain) is in a Square?

I posted the AAR of my latest FireMove AAR along with my to the Simulating War Yahoo Forum and received a very insightful and stimulating response from Bob MacKenzie (see full text below):

Hi Mark
I don't have access to the rules set but I will venture some comments on the terrain
Unless the rules have some way of abstracting it the terrain looks too open. has some interesting graphs on maximum spotting ranges and maximum shoot in ranges. Theoretically  max LOS from any given defensive position is 300m or less (ie two of your hexes) 63% of the time. However that doesn't translate into shooting distances. 66% of engagements take place at 100m or less and 85% less than 300m. Of course it may be that the rules limit shooting to 2 hexes so take this into account?
I assume you are familiar with Army Operational Research Group report 17/52, An Analysis of Infantry Advance Rates in Battle (WO291/1159)? If not there is some info in: That piece of reserch would apper to be very relevant t your game.

Yahoo Forum: Simulating War

The research article links are interesting in themselves. From the Yahoo Discussion Forum posts I have been set to musing more on terrain. Looking back at some Squad Leader boards you can see how much low level details contained even in an "open" FireMove hex. A four hex by four hex quadrant is roughly equivalent to a one FireMove hex. Even something with predominantly "Open" terrain has a Wood, Building, Connecting Path, Hill as well as plenty of  Open  (see below):

A "Hill" hex contains Hills (naturally) of several heights, Woods, Open and even a Building plus there would even be paths linking terrain features together (see below):

A "Woods" hex has yes "Woods" but also a road/trail through the woods, a feature slope leading up rather than a hill per se, another inking of a building and clear (see below): 

Ultimately the terrain cost would be different and cover benefit would be different depending on the "side" you entered from.

US Colonel David Schroeder presented at Connections UK 2014 an interesting keynote address where he explained part of his WWI game design which took the Hexagon and broke it down into six triangles, each with their own terrain type. So the cost to enter and combat terrain benefits depended on which direction you came in from (see slide 57). 

Food for thought! I am thinking that the core Hex should have a terrain type (the predominant terrain type) but each Hex has its LOS and movement cost.


Anonymous said...

That's interesting article.

I like how you were using Battletech Hex map with it.

Do you play with that too aside from the historical stuff?

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

I am not sure what you mean exactly by "Battletech Hex map"

The short answer is yes I play anything:

Historical 2000BC to 2100+AD (Land and Sea and Air)
Fantasy - Not a problem, RPG to Mass Battles (just my collections would be assorted and small)
Science Fiction - not a problem either, from the 2100+ plausible to Star Wars and other film genres

Battletech is not one of the systems I have direct experience of (yet) but would be interested in your reference to Hexes