Korean Steep Hills Design Question

John Fedoriw

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Messages
338
Reaction score
119
Location
Kitchener, ON
Country
llCanada
Hi gents,

I have been playing some Korean War scenarios lately and enjoying them. Initially, I was not too interested in the KW module/scenarios the but happily I have changed my opinion there. I am having fun with it.

However, one thing I am curious about is what the justification for steep hills rule W1.31 is.

"W1.31 CONCEALMENT: Open Ground Steep Hills hexes [EXC: Steep Hills Road; 1.33] are considered Concealment Terrain for Infantry (and their possessed SW), Dummy stacks, entrenchments, and Emplaced Guns. An Open Ground Steep Hills hex is not considered an Open Ground (A10.531) hex for concealment gain/loss purposes (even though FFMO might apply)."

Everything else about the steep hills seems reasonable to me but I find this slightly strange. I am not trying to criticize or argue that it an unrealistic rule ... just curious why the designers did it. Obviously they thought is was better terrain to hide in but I wonder what the rationale is for allowing this? To my mind just because a hill is very steep wouldn't really mean is it any better to hide in. Does anyone else find it slightly weird?
 

John Fedoriw

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Messages
338
Reaction score
119
Location
Kitchener, ON
Country
llCanada
Sure lots of those of those pics look like they would make good places to hide but to my eye the ones that do look like crags or are covered with vegetation, not really just a steep open ground hill.
 

Carln0130

Forum Guru
Joined
Mar 25, 2006
Messages
5,831
Reaction score
2,251
Location
MA
Country
llUnited States
Hi gents,

I have been playing some Korean War scenarios lately and enjoying them. Initially, I was not too interested in the KW module/scenarios the but happily I have changed my opinion there. I am having fun with it.

However, one thing I am curious about is what the justification for steep hills rule W1.31 is.

"W1.31 CONCEALMENT: Open Ground Steep Hills hexes [EXC: Steep Hills Road; 1.33] are considered Concealment Terrain for Infantry (and their possessed SW), Dummy stacks, entrenchments, and Emplaced Guns. An Open Ground Steep Hills hex is not considered an Open Ground (A10.531) hex for concealment gain/loss purposes (even though FFMO might apply)."

Everything else about the steep hills seems reasonable to me but I find this slightly strange. I am not trying to criticize or argue that it an unrealistic rule ... just curious why the designers did it. Obviously they thought is was better terrain to hide in but I wonder what the rationale is for allowing this? To my mind just because a hill is very steep wouldn't really mean is it any better to hide in. Does anyone else find it slightly weird?
Funny you should bring this up as I just finished writing an article on the Forgotten War Module for Dispatches. Two more to come. This one covered, you guessed it, terrain, including Steep Hills. I had no heartburn with the rule at all.

ASL does not cover numerous undulations in terrain well at all. Slopes attempted to do so and received near universal scorn. This is a simple way to try to represent numerous dips and rises in the terrain and the innumerable small patches of terrain that a unit could maintain concealment in, without writing a page long detailed rule accounting for each one. It is an excellent Design for effect abstraction in my opinion. Much like the many abstractions that already exist in ASL.
 

Kenneth P. Katz

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
286
Reaction score
327
Location
Enfield, CT
Country
llUnited States
I designed that rule.

The motivation behind the rule was that existing Hills in ASL did not provide the desired effects, based on my research about combat in that terrain in Korea. Those effects were:
  • No off-road vehicle movement.
  • Degradation of mobility on foot above and beyond the existing Hills.
  • Uneven ground on those hills which provide concealment.
In the real world, steep hills are not smooth and featureless. There are lots of places to hide. My inspiration was not only accounts of combat in Korea and photographs of Korean terrain, but also photographs of similar terrain in Afghanistan and personal experience with terrain in both Israel and the United States that could not be adequately represented by the existing terrain rules within the ASL system.

The specific reason for W1.31 was to allow the large inventory of existing mapboards with hills to be used as Steep Hills. In the absence of W1.31, those boards would have required Hill/Crag overlays to adequately show the effects of Steep Hills that we wanted to portray.

Once we had defined the effect that we wanted, the general approach was that the relationship of Steep Hills to regular Hills was somewhat analogous to the relationship of Dense Jungle to Woods.
 

Kenneth P. Katz

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
286
Reaction score
327
Location
Enfield, CT
Country
llUnited States
Funny you should bring this up as I just finished writing an article on the Forgotten War Module for Dispatches. Two more to come. This one covered, you guessed it, terrain, including Steep Hills. I had no heartburn with the rule at all.

ASL does not cover numerous undulations in terrain well at all. Slopes attempted to do so and received near universal scorn. This is a simple way to try to represent numerous dips and rises in the terrain and the innumerable small patches of terrain that a unit could maintain concealment in, without writing a page long detailed rule accounting for each one. It is an excellent Design for effect abstraction in my opinion. Much like the many abstractions that already exist in ASL.
That was my intent, exactly.
 

John Fedoriw

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Messages
338
Reaction score
119
Location
Kitchener, ON
Country
llCanada
I designed that rule.

The motivation behind the rule was that existing Hills in ASL did not provide the desired effects, based on my research about combat in that terrain in Korea. Those effects were:
  • No off-road vehicle movement.
  • Degradation of mobility on foot above and beyond the existing Hills.
  • Uneven ground on those hills which provide concealment.
In the real world, steep hills are not smooth and featureless. There are lots of places to hide. My inspiration was not only accounts of combat in Korea and photographs of Korean terrain, but also photographs of similar terrain in Afghanistan and personal experience with terrain in both Israel and the United States that could not be adequately represented by the existing terrain rules within the ASL system.

The specific reason for W1.31 was to allow the large inventory of existing mapboards with hills to be used as Steep Hills. In the absence of W1.31, those boards would have required Hill/Crag overlays to adequately show the effects of Steep Hills that we wanted to portray.

Once we had defined the effect that we wanted, the general approach was that the relationship of Steep Hills to regular Hills was somewhat analogous to the relationship of Dense Jungle to Woods.
Thanks for the detailed explanation Kenneth. It really makes sense now especially in regards to making the rules compatible with the inventory of existing boards. Design for effect abstraction indeed.
 
Top