Attention Mapmakers: Soviet villages

holdit

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One a visit to Waterloo with my brother (who isn't a French speaker) some years ago we had visited the Carrefour Supermarket at Mont St Jean to get some nibbles after a day traipsing around the battlefield. Next day we hired a car to visit Ligny and Quatre Bras and as we I drove through St. Amand near Ligny I noticed one of these:

17075

Me: "I'd better slow down a bit...dangerous crossroads ahead."
Bro: "Ohhh...right...a crossroads...I was wondering why they'd be warning you about a dangerous supermarket..."
 

Philippe D.

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Me: "I'd better slow down a bit...dangerous crossroads ahead."
Bro: "Ohhh...right...a crossroads...I was wondering why they'd be warning you about a dangerous supermarket..."
Reversed, similar story. When I was about 11 (I knew about 20 words of English, and my brother even fewer), I traveled to England and Scotland with my mother and brother, and we saw signs on empty store windows that said "for sale" - pretty close to French "fort sale" ("quite dirty"). This amused my brother and I a lot, and for some time we'd write "sale" with our fingers on dusty car windows - preferably my mother's car.
 

FrankH.

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I want to make just a few comments about this thread, of which the initial question/request is an entirely valid one, but I think it has not been adequately answered.

My comments will be distinct by themselves, and therefore each ought to be subject to its own specific analysis, but certainly they are all related and build upon each other to make a final argument.

Firstly, in reference to the photos in the thread attempting to show Russian, and/or Soviet, village terrain, it is debatable whether what has been shown actually are in fact "roads" (in the sense that roads are depicted and used in ASL). Mostly they are not. An ASL road has enough of a hard and solid surface, at least at the time a scenario takes place, to allow wheeled vehicles to travel as up to eight times the speed of "open ground". Most of the "roads" shown in the photos are merely a type of land (a passageway) that was made available and has been frequently used by vehicles and presumably, wagons. As they lack hard surfaces the consequence of their use over time is shown by the erosion of this land into slight depressions, into potholes, and ditches, and so on, caused by the weight of wheels, horses, and other users.

In common English parlance at the time the photos were taken these "roads or streets" (certainly many of them will have appeared on local or military maps designated with a number or a name) might best be termed "lanes", certainly unpaved, and certainly not roads as defined by the ASL rules.

Secondly, the photos do show, mostly small, mostly agricultural-related buildings (and fences and the like) in rather close proximity to each other (closer than the ASL game boards with a scale of 40 meters to the hex would allow), to what I have defined as "lanes", to bodies of water, and to "open ground" and/or grainfields nearby. I am not sure what might constitute, in strict ASL terms, a second story building, but some of the buildings in the photos appear to have more than one livable floor level. Well my point is that it is the close proximity of the various components that constitutes, or that should constitute, a type of terrain depicting a small village, at that time, during that era, in the Soviet Union (or in fact just about anywhere in Europe similar conglomerations of constructions existed). The fact the some of them may have been centrally planned, while certainly of historical interest, is more or less besides the point if one's concern is how to depict them within the parameters of the ASL game system.

Thusly one key point is the very narrow geometry (width) of these "lanes", at least in reference to the other features of interest, the "buildings", as to what may be depicted in ASL terms... of a places - the lanes - a vehicle may fairly easily, and with some advantage, enter, in combat conditions, and of places - the buildings, etc. - that infantry may easily and preferably, with some advantage, nearby, enter. If, that is, one is thinking of how to depict a battle between one military force, fielding mostly both infantry and vehicles, against another military force, fielding mostly more along the lines of infantry, their weapons, and perhaps light field guns.

The existing ASL village rules will not allow for a realistic depiction of villages, at least of these types
of villages, with narrow village "lanes", certainly not any narrow lane that does not constitute (even a
narrow) "road" and certainly not one that is not shown traversing along hexsides, at regular intervals
(roughly every 40 meters) veering left and right about a sixty degrees turn, placed between buildings, the sum of which we are expected to accept as constituting a "village". A village lane, to be depicted in ASL terms, as has been shown in this thread's photos, would have to allow for straight, and perpendicular (roughly ninety degree angles) accessible entry and movement of vehicles, wagons, etc. Such a lane can be depicted now, but only as a "road", in a "road hex", mostly devoid of buildings and of other features in close proximity to this "road".

The next result of all of this is that, due to the defined scale of the hex (40 meters), and to the building, road, and village terrain rules as they currently exist, it is not possible to properly depict such a (small, densely built) village (or town or city), and when one attempts to thusly depict one it tends to give undue advantages via the mobility and accessibility of vehicles, and specifically armored vehicles, which by the rule so many by now know, may "freeze" defending infantry from doing as much as they might otherwise do, if and when (during a player turn) one side is allowed to move, and the other is not.

There may be a solution: but it is likely to involve new rules.... which might be worth it. The game is
interesting as it is, and it might be made better if this sort of key terrain could be better/more accurately/more plausibly be depicted.

(Please note: due to my schedule at this time I probably will not be able to respond to comments other than on weekends.)
 

Actionjick

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I want to make just a few comments about this thread, of which the initial question/request is an entirely valid one, but I think it has not been adequately answered.

My comments will be distinct by themselves, and therefore each ought to be subject to its own specific analysis, but certainly they are all related and build upon each other to make a final argument.

Firstly, in reference to the photos in the thread attempting to show Russian, and/or Soviet, village terrain, it is debatable whether what has been shown actually are in fact "roads" (in the sense that roads are depicted and used in ASL). Mostly they are not. An ASL road has enough of a hard and solid surface, at least at the time a scenario takes place, to allow wheeled vehicles to travel as up to eight times the speed of "open ground". Most of the "roads" shown in the photos are merely a type of land (a passageway) that was made available and has been frequently used by vehicles and presumably, wagons. As they lack hard surfaces the consequence of their use over time is shown by the erosion of this land into slight depressions, into potholes, and ditches, and so on, caused by the weight of wheels, horses, and other users.

In common English parlance at the time the photos were taken these "roads or streets" (certainly many of them will have appeared on local or military maps designated with a number or a name) might best be termed "lanes", certainly unpaved, and certainly not roads as defined by the ASL rules.

Secondly, the photos do show, mostly small, mostly agricultural-related buildings (and fences and the like) in rather close proximity to each other (closer than the ASL game boards with a scale of 40 meters to the hex would allow), to what I have defined as "lanes", to bodies of water, and to "open ground" and/or grainfields nearby. I am not sure what might constitute, in strict ASL terms, a second story building, but some of the buildings in the photos appear to have more than one livable floor level. Well my point is that it is the close proximity of the various components that constitutes, or that should constitute, a type of terrain depicting a small village, at that time, during that era, in the Soviet Union (or in fact just about anywhere in Europe similar conglomerations of constructions existed). The fact the some of them may have been centrally planned, while certainly of historical interest, is more or less besides the point if one's concern is how to depict them within the parameters of the ASL game system.

Thusly one key point is the very narrow geometry (width) of these "lanes", at least in reference to the other features of interest, the "buildings", as to what may be depicted in ASL terms... of a places - the lanes - a vehicle may fairly easily, and with some advantage, enter, in combat conditions, and of places - the buildings, etc. - that infantry may easily and preferably, with some advantage, nearby, enter. If, that is, one is thinking of how to depict a battle between one military force, fielding mostly both infantry and vehicles, against another military force, fielding mostly more along the lines of infantry, their weapons, and perhaps light field guns.

The existing ASL village rules will not allow for a realistic depiction of villages, at least of these types
of villages, with narrow village "lanes", certainly not any narrow lane that does not constitute (even a
narrow) "road" and certainly not one that is not shown traversing along hexsides, at regular intervals
(roughly every 40 meters) veering left and right about a sixty degrees turn, placed between buildings, the sum of which we are expected to accept as constituting a "village". A village lane, to be depicted in ASL terms, as has been shown in this thread's photos, would have to allow for straight, and perpendicular (roughly ninety degree angles) accessible entry and movement of vehicles, wagons, etc. Such a lane can be depicted now, but only as a "road", in a "road hex", mostly devoid of buildings and of other features in close proximity to this "road".

The next result of all of this is that, due to the defined scale of the hex (40 meters), and to the building, road, and village terrain rules as they currently exist, it is not possible to properly depict such a (small, densely built) village (or town or city), and when one attempts to thusly depict one it tends to give undue advantages via the mobility and accessibility of vehicles, and specifically armored vehicles, which by the rule so many by now know, may "freeze" defending infantry from doing as much as they might otherwise do, if and when (during a player turn) one side is allowed to move, and the other is not.

There may be a solution: but it is likely to involve new rules.... which might be worth it. The game is
interesting as it is, and it might be made better if this sort of key terrain could be better/more accurately/more plausibly be depicted.

(Please note: due to my schedule at this time I probably will not be able to respond to comments other than on weekends.)
As interesting as some of your points are the length of your sentences makes it difficult to read. One sentence alone had @ 114 words.

As far as your points about these depictions I'll leave it up to others to debate the merits of your various arguments.

Please don't take my comments about your long sentences the wrong way, it's meant as constructive criticism. ๐Ÿ˜‰
 

von Marwitz

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I am fine with long sentences. A small story to go with that:

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading a book of fairytales to my little one. The book was rather old, around some 100 years and in Gothic print (Fraktur letters) which was the standard in Germany at the time. But without doubt, it was intended as small-child fare by its very nature.

It struck me, that the sentences were very long by today's standards. Much longer than what you find in most contemporary novels for grown ups. The complexity of the sentences was higher in the same way.

Obviously, this was not an issue at the time and - more importantly - thought fitting for children.

As it happens, yesterday when we talked about movies, my wife told me that she remembered a scene of "War and Peace" (after Tolstoy's novel), in which the actors had a dialogue of five minutes without a single cut. This stands in stark contrast to anything that you will find in any movie today. In a dialogue - which is highly unlikely to ever last even close to five minutes - there are countless cuts. In fact, bytimes so many cuts that there would simply be not enough time to fit in anything beyond most simple sentences. This flurry of cuts is, not even regarding the unbearable amount of commercials, why I have almost ceased to watch TV or movies. They can't tell a story any more, they are reduced to presenting a row of 'effects'.

Why do I bring this up?

I wish to illustrate in which extent the chase for our attention has led to ever more stimuli in ever shorter intervals. Commercials first, movies second, the written word and language last.

I daresay the contemporary style of writing and talking would have been considered that of simpletons by the standards of a mere century ago, in which you would not even have addressed children in the fairytale age that way.

Of course, style and language is always subject to change and fashion. I believe, though, that the evermore desperate attempts for our attention with ever more stimuli at ever shorter intervals are not beneficial. They deteriorate the capability of the individual and society to concentrate. Newspaper articles get ever shorter because people won't read anything any more which is beyond a certain length. People would not consider a book, which is written too 'complicated'. Even teaching staff at universities are reporting, that some of their students struggle with what was no issue not too many years ago. Computergames, Tinder, smartphones, whatever you want - the trend is towards instant gratification.

It seems to be somewhat of a downward vicious circle.

The danger I see is this:
Life is not simple. You cannot explain many things with sentences made merely of subject, verb, object. At the same time, if one cannot cope with sentences beyond subject, verb, object, one will not be able to grasp many important things in life. Of course, I am intentionally overstating a bit to make my point stand out.

If you never train to cope with things beyond the very simple, you will not learn it.
If you have never learned to cope with things beyond the very simple, you will look for others to 'do it for you'.
If you are dependent on others to do things for you which you don't grasp, you can be sure to be taken advantage of by those that can.

Ultimately, this is harmful for equality and justice in society. A look into politics should teach us:

For any difficult, complex and challenging question, there is at least one clear, simple, easy to understand, and wrong answer.

Therefore, I make a stand for not trying to make things ever more simple in an attempt to retain our attention.
Instead, I advocate to take up the challenge to understand things complicated, because I am convinced that we are in dire need to train this. If children one hundred years ago were up to the task, so should we.

That said, again, I am fine with long sentences. ;)


von Marwitz
 
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Actionjick

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I am fine with long sentences. A small story to go with that:

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading a book of fairytales to my little one. The book was rather old, around some 100 years and in Gothic print (Fraktur letters) which was the standard in Germany at the time. But without doubt, it was intended as small-child fare by its very nature.

It struck me, that the sentences were very long by today's standards. Much longer than what you find in most contemporary novels for grown ups. The complexity of the sentences was higher in the same way.

Obviously, this was not an issue at the time and - more importantly - thought fitting for children.

As it happens, yesterday when we talked about movies, my wife told me that she remembered a scene of "War and Pease" (after Tolstoy's novel), in which the actors had a dialogue of five minutes without a single cut. This stands in stark contrast to anything that you will find in any movie today. In a dialogue - which is highly unlikely to ever last even close to five minutes - there are countless cuts. In fact, bytimes so many cuts that there would simply be not enough time to fit in anything beyond most simple sentences. This flurry of cuts is, not even regarding the unbearable amount of commercials, why I have almost ceased to watch TV or movies. They can't tell a story any more, they are reduced to presenting a row of 'effects'.

Why do I bring this up?

I wish to illustrate in which extent the chase for our attention has led to ever more stimuli in ever shorter intervals. Commercials first, movies second, the written word and language last.

I daresay the contemporary style of writing and talking would have been considered that of simpletons by the standards of a mere century ago, in which you would not even have addressed children in the fairy tale age that way.

Of course, style and language is always subject to change and fashion. I believe, though, that the evermore desperate attempts for our attention with ever more stimuli at ever shorter intervals is not beneficial. They deteriorate the capability of the individual and society to concentrate. Newspaper articles get ever shorter because people won't read anything any more which is beyond a certain length. People would not consider a book, which is written too 'complicated'. Computergames, Tinder, whatever you want - the trend is towards instant gratification.

It seems to be somewhat of a downward vicious circle.

The danger I see is this:
Life is not simple. You cannot explain many things with sentences made merely of subject, verb, object. At the same time, if one cannot cope with sentences beyond subject, verb, object, one will not be able to grasp many important things in life. Of course, I am intentionally overstating a bit to make my point stand out.

If you never train to cope with things beyond the very simple, you will not learn it.
If you have never learned to cope with things beyond the very simple, you will look for others to 'do it for you'.
If you are dependent on others to do things for you which you don't grasp, you can be sure to be taken advantage of by those that can.

Ultimately, this is harmful for equality and justice in society. A look into politics should teach us:

For any difficult, complex and challenging question, there is at least one clear, simple, easy to understand, and wrong answer.

Therefore, I make a stand for not trying to make things ever more simple in an attempt to retain our attention.
Instead, I advocate to take up the challenge to understand things complicated, because I am convinced that we are in dire need to train this. If children one hundred years ago were up to the task, so should we.

That said, again, I am fine with long sentences. ;)


von Marwitz
Ok. Got it! My bad. Read post. Needed coffee. Grumpy. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰

Sorry just me being a total jick, or jerk if you prefer. ๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”

I was interested in the post but the lack of caffeine made me more grammar police than was necessary. My apologies to you and the OP.

Still his sentences were a bit long.

Yours was an interesting post with some intriguing observations. Perhaps something to be considered in the Shanghaid thread at a later date.

Again a nice post from you and the OP both.๐Ÿค—
 

FrankH.

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Ok. Got it! My bad. Read post. Needed coffee. Grumpy. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰

Sorry just me being a total jick, or jerk if you prefer. ๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”

I was interested in the post but the lack of caffeine made me more grammar police than was necessary. My apologies to you and the OP.

Still his sentences were a bit long.

Yours was an interesting post with some intriguing observations. Perhaps something to be considered in the Shanghaid thread at a later date.

Again a nice post from you and the OP both.๐Ÿค—
No problem. :) My sentences can certainly be long, depending on my felt need for attention to detail, full context, etc. Ever try to read and absorb all the nuances of the ASL rulebook? (All but impossible - there are entire websites devoted primarily to deciphering, understanding and explaining it.) These rules may (will) have you jumping around parts of multiple pages to get to (or towards) a full understanding. In a sense the ASL game together with its rulebook style are a key challenger to the otherwise prevailing tendency of the last several decades towards shorter and simplified communications, explanatory and descriptive styles. Ironically ASL and the principles of its rules system may be contributing something of value to society, in demonstrating that many things are not, or should not, be understood in an oversimplified manner.
 

Actionjick

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No problem. :) My sentences can certainly be long, depending on my felt need for attention to detail, full context, etc. Ever try to read and absorb all the nuances of the ASL rulebook? (All but impossible - there are entire websites devoted primarily to deciphering, understanding and explaining it.) These rules may (will) have you jumping around parts of multiple pages to get to (or towards) a full understanding. In a sense the ASL game together with its rulebook style are a key challenger to the otherwise prevailing tendency of the last several decades towards shorter and simplified communications, explanatory and descriptive styles. Ironically ASL and the principles of its rules system may be contributing something of value to society, in demonstrating that many things are not, or should not, be understood in an oversimplified manner.
Thanks for your understanding of my pre caffeine grumpiness. ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—
 

Robin Reeve

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Style is difficult to judge.
I know that German academic writers love to string extremely long sentences, with the genius of German which allows to create new words agglomerating several others : a sentence of five to ten lines is current in German theological works (where the reader is challenged to find the governing verb and secondary elements).
In French and in English, people usually prefer to go right to the point. Too long sentences are often viewed as a sign of lack of clarity of thought, which drowns one's point in words.
So our cultures explain some style preferences.

After that, writing a novel, rules explanations or developing a scientific view are different excercises.
I tend to prefer not too long sentences and, if being long is necessary, I am a promoter of the semicolon; which allows the reader a short pause; after which one can move further with renewed concentration.
I have learned to get over my instinctive tendency to write long, intertwined sentences, and to be more synthetical (having to reduce a thesis' size by 50% without losing the essentials and writing magazine articles with size limit requirements have been excellent real life experiments).
All in all, it is not a question of right or wrong.
Just a question of style and of different mental wiring.
 

Actionjick

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Style is difficult to judge.
I know that German academic writers love to string extremely long sentences, with the genius of German which allows to create new words agglomerating several others : a sentence of five to ten lines is current in German theological works (where the reader is challenged to find the governing verb and secondary elements).
In French and in English, people usually prefer to go right to the point. Too long sentences are often viewed as a sign of lack of clarity of thought, which drowns one's point in words.
So our cultures explain some style preferences.

After that, writing a novel, rules explanations or developing a scientific view are different excercises.
I tend to prefer not too long sentences and, if being long is necessary, I am a promoter of the semicolon; which allows the reader a short pause; after which one can move further with renewed concentration.
I have learned to get over my instinctive tendency to write long, intertwined sentences, and to be more synthetical (having to reduce a thesis' size by 50% without losing the essentials and writing magazine articles with size limit requirements have been excellent real life experiments).
All in all, it is not a question of right or wrong.
Just a question of style and of different mental wiring.
Nicely and succinctly put.๐Ÿค—
 

Philippe D.

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I have absolutely no experience with theological writing, but I've supervised a few PhD students (in Computer Science), and one thing I know I have to tell them early on is that, when writing (almost always in English), they have to cut their sentences short. Something like, "one idea per sentence". If there's a comma, it should be two sentences.

It might be different when English is your first language, but it's not for me, and it's not for my students. So we have to work on our writing, and on making our ideas clear. So far, short sentences seem to work OK.
 

Actionjick

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I have absolutely no experience with theological writing, but I've supervised a few PhD students (in Computer Science), and one thing I know I have to tell them early on is that, when writing (almost always in English), they have to cut their sentences short. Something like, "one idea per sentence". If there's a comma, it should be two sentences.

It might be different when English is your first language, but it's not for me, and it's not for my students. So we have to work on our writing, and on making our ideas clear. So far, short sentences seem to work OK.
Didn't really intend to hijack this thread and turn it into a discussion of English composition and writing. Oh well. ๐Ÿ™„
 
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