Attention Mapmakers: Soviet villages

Eagle4ty

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I've hoped to see something like this for a long time - a village that looks like a real village in the WWII Soviet Union.

Tom Repetti colorized this idea below. I've sketched several such - smaller geoboard type ideas. Currently doing some northern Kursk terrain. Hope to see it published someday :)
Has there ever been any thought of doing something like adding wooden fences? I could envision something like that with them existing as a hindrance only and perhaps a movement cost penalty of a 1/2 MF to cross and perhaps no additional MP COT for vehicles (or when designing boards do you not get into the terrain effects too much as opposed to just the terrain depictions?).
 

bprobst

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Has there ever been any thought of doing something like adding wooden fences?
I believe it's in this very thread that this thought was brought up and quickly dismissed. At ASL's scale and given the existing terrain types and their effects, we can reasonably assume that every single building on every single mapboard has a "wooden fence" around it, and from that you can judge their effectiveness and relevance.

You might as well suggest that we add gutters, street lights and street signs to the game.
 

Robin Reeve

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One could depict some significant walls and fences nevertheless.
Not just the usual palissade but, as in already existing boards, more consistent separations.
ASL topography is sketchy for the least: what is a "hedge" or a "wall", after all? Not speaking of the diversity of heights, of thickness, etc.
It is up to a designer to discern the impact of that type of obstacle (one also could simply add 0.5 MF cost for some type of terrain, to represent slightly more difficult terrain to maneuvre in, etc.).
But indeed simple fences that are easily crossed should not be indicated.
 

Tuomo

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Yep, the map has been VASLized; that's what Don's showing in his pic. I want to say it's even been done in Illustrator, but I'd have to doublecheck. There were a lot of maps done for Don at that point in time :)

And yes, Don likes Wooden Fences, so if he wants 'em in, they go in.

Productizing these things is a matter of one of the Usual Suspects being interested in publishing it. Meaning, provide scenarios for it and playtest them.
 

DWPetros

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There's lots of reasons to do boards that resemble the Russian front. We don't have many now at all - and definitely not as many as warranted given the amount of fighting on the Eastern front. We're 'Russian poor'.

The issue is about Russian terrain / ASL - the relatively more open spaces, the spread out villages, unique terrain (ie. Wooden fences, Balkas) etc., should be used in board design in order for designers to recreate a more realistic battles. But such board design needs to also be 'ASL fun' - namely, give players the ability to hide, skulk, rally, etc, without having to use 3+ boards all the time. Currently, or geoboard mix doesn't allow them to have more and better (realistic & fun) Russian boards to work with. That kind of design is my goal.

The example of the No. African terrain (at least those tan boards that we currently have - not others that we might have), shows that guys don't like playing this theater - probably because of the fact that it is just too foreign for most players (whole new rules, weird and too open terrain). Most players feel better with the more ASL friendly terrain type boards - lots of places to hide, rally, easy set up, and so on. So Russian terrain and scenario development must walk the line between getting more realistic looking Russian terrain while still giving enough ASL terrain to be comfortable with. That can be done and that's exactly what I've been doing for the past couple years (among other stuff).

Tom R. and I have collaborated on several such geoboard renderings (much smaller than the one above) that help move this in the right direction. Currently, I'm painting 4-5 Russian theme boards, inspired by reading a lot lately about the northern Kursk battles (many of which in themselves were very large engagements and every one warranting more scenarios). This crop includes Villages, a new Hill, Open field, Grainfield boards which I someday hope to convince MMP to publish - provided I find some guy(s) who have as much interest as I do about doing more Russian stuff!

More. Russian terrain was unique. Not like France. Think of generally two types of architecture that aren't well represented in ASL: 1) Old Russia - isbas (like pic above): crude, square, wooden - no elaborate thing here. Not Huts, but not like the sturdy European structures. 2) New Soviet - the 'Brutalist' architecture style of the Stalinist 30's. Heavy, concrete, plain, ugly. Yea, there were other kinds of older European looking architecture too in more urban places in Russia, but we already have that in spades.

The upcoming (hopefully) Slaughter at Ponyri tries to illustrate these two types. Ponyri was an excellent example of this blend in one place. Gotta have more of this!
 
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Robin Reeve

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Is Slaughter at Ponyri an MMP project?
 

The Purist

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There's lots of reasons to do boards that resemble the Russian front. We don't have many now at all - and definitely not as many as warranted given the amount of fighting on the Eastern front. We're 'Russian poor'.

The issue is about Russian terrain / ASL - the relatively more open spaces, the spread out villages, unique terrain (ie. Wooden fences, Balkas) etc., should be used in board design in order for designers to recreate a more realistic battles. But such board design needs to also be 'ASL fun' - namely, give players the ability to hide, skulk, rally, etc, without having to use 3+ boards all the time. Currently, or geoboard mix doesn't allow them to have more and better (realistic & fun) Russian boards to work with. That kind of design is my goal.... <snip>
More open space would be welcome and not just on the Russian front. A walk across country in most of western Europe away from large cities will find quite open spaces, often 500 meters or more between stands of woods between farms. I was surprised in the Ardennes how much open space there was around the small towns and villages (often up to a kilometer), used by local farmers.

These open spaces between 'objective' nodes would explain how companies of a 120 men could be reduced to large platoons after having to attack across open ground (or wheatfields) against a position held by a reinforced platoons. Even in the early battles in Dec 44, for example, the Germans paid a stiff price trying to take villages or crossroads from US infantry.
 
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Manilianus

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This type of village as presented in the OP by Pitman is/was quite common in that part of Europe, starting from Eastern Poland (I believe that those are what remains of old Rus village architecture) and moving further to the east. Very old type of settlement. But until now I didn't realize that there are no ASL maps that depict it (or very small amount of them). Still, geo boards are very "symbolic" - but maybe some future HASL that deals with fighting in rural Soviet Union?
 

Michael Dorosh

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This type of village as presented in the OP by Pitman is/was quite common in that part of Europe, starting from Eastern Poland (I believe that those are what remains of old Rus village architecture) and moving further to the east. Very old type of settlement. But until now I didn't realize that there are no ASL maps that depict it (or very small amount of them). Still, geo boards are very "symbolic" - but maybe some future HASL that deals with fighting in rural Soviet Union?
I think the issue with that is those villages were probably not that important as objectives. The exception being the Kursk module being developed by Advancing Fire, the map of which I posted recently. I get the feeling that area was more just an open area that both sides could bring their armour to bear in order to force a decision, rather than a geographical objective to be fought over like Stalingrad, Pegasus Bridge, etc. as depicted in other HASL CG.
 

Manilianus

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I think the issue with that is those villages were probably not that important as objectives. The exception being the Kursk module being developed by Advancing Fire, the map of which I posted recently. I get the feeling that area was more just an open area that both sides could bring their armour to bear in order to force a decision, rather than a geographical objective to be fought over like Stalingrad, Pegasus Bridge, etc. as depicted in other HASL CG.
Yes, I also think they were treated more as terrain obstacles/advantages than actual significant objectives per se. Eastern village in steppes isn't comparable to French village in bocage.
 

DWPetros

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More open space would be welcome and not just on the Russian front. A walk across country in most of western Europe away from large cities will find quite open spaces, often 500 meters or more between stands of woods between farms. I was surprised in the Ardennes how much open space there was around the small towns and villages (often up to a kilometer), used by local farmers.

These open spaces between 'objective' nodes would explain how companies of a 120 men could be reduced to large platoons after having to attack across open ground (or wheatfields) against a position held by be r3einforced platoons. Even in the early battles in Dec 44, for example, the Germans paid a stiff price trying to take villages or crossroads from US infantry.
Agree. We have too little of the open, 'in-between' terrain. Space is needed to compliment the forms (villages, hills, etc.) that are used for the goal.
 

Mike205

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LFT just addressed the fence issue in their new scenario pack, which comes with a map and rules for the new terrain feature. Interested to see what people think about them!
 

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Did they also add gutters, street lights and street signs?
As a matter of fact, not only did they add street signs, but the symbol itself introduces size of the sign and orientation. I mean, who would represent a sign as a giant block with the same effectiveness from all directions? In addition, height off the ground plays an important role. With the intermediate height levels, there is a whole new section on math and blind hexes introduced. Because ASL has no real representation of what a level is, each new scenario card now has a "Level 1 is X meters" notation. With this, you can plug the elevation difference, distance to target (remember, a hex is 40 meters), and range to sign to determine if you LOS is ACTUALLY blocked by the sign. Fortunately for us, Xavier has mathematical geniuses on staff and the produced a 1000 page pamphlet were all the math is done for us and all we have to do is cross reference these values in the chart to get a true/false for LOS. It's all quite clever.

The impact of street lights on night scenarios is also interesting. They have a whole new ASOP step to determine blackout conditions and blackout levels. It's all revolutionary stuff.

They considered gutters but decided to put that off until after the upcoming Chapter E re-write but don't fret. I have seen the initial draft of the gutter rules and they are quite exciting. The only issue the reader has to consider though is your own states position on collection of rainwater. In those states, the gutter rules will be NA so as not to run afoul of the local ordinance. -- jim
 
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