River Valleys and such

The Purist

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With 80(?) standard boards and 11 of the #a/b configurations ASL can represent most terrain types with perhaps the exception of steep sided valleys and other escarpments that would have roads that 'switchback' or have long exposed descents along the slope. We do have board 25 and the Escarpment overlay from WoA/FKaC but the terrain depicted is decidedly north African and does not necessarily translate well to European terrain.

There are a number of situation is Europe where this could add to the scenario 'cache'. For example, the Don west of Stalingrad or the west bank of the Dnepr river had areas where the west banks had a significant height advantage over the eastern bank. In such cases 'level 0' above and below the escarpment would very much follow the pattern found on Board 25 and the Esc overlay. In Italy, the Carpathians, near the Roer, etc., the terrain near the bottom of river major valleys often had fairly wide flood plains that possessed villages, farms, vineyards, orchards and so on.

With the current board selection, scenario designers either need to make do with Boards 25, use other hill maps and 'hex numbers 6+, or the heights can be ignored and the troops enter from board edges already down at the 'new' level 0.

So,... the questions for the players are as follows:

1) Is board 25 and it overlay sufficient to represent river valleys or "steppe changes"? Would changing crag and scrub to woods and hammada to brush be acceptable to attract players to a scenario?

Or,

2) Is the colour difference too much for aesthetics and players prefer to use other options mentioned above (other hill maps, entry at valley bottom)?

Finally,

3) Should MMP (or a TPP) perhaps design two or three "European escarpment" boards (or overlays), perhaps two standard and one a/b, that could be used to show abrupt elevation changes near river valleys?

Cheers.
 
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witchbottles

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Meet Board 8. One bank decidedly higher in terrain than the other, place overlays if needed to remove or add woods or buildings etc. all in ETO terrain colors already.
 

Brian W

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There are a number of situation is Europe where this could add to the scenario 'cache'. For example, the Don west of Stalingrad or the west bank of the Dnepr river had areas where the west banks had a significant height advantage over the eastern bank.
I designed a scenario that never got published that used an SSR that basically created a double crest on one side of a river (using ocean overlays IIRC) by adding one level to all hexes west of the river. It wouldn't have made too much difference, but would make the German crossing easier to approach and provided overwatch positions. Just couldn't make it anything but a German shooting gallery, so I abandoned the idea.
 

The Purist

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View attachment 9681

Meet Board 8. One bank decidedly higher in terrain than the other, place overlays if needed to remove or add woods or buildings etc. all in ETO terrain colors already.
Yes, I have this board (three or four copies, I think). I was thinking along two tracks. One would be in Russia where the terrain drops down to a river (but not as abruptly as board 8), a river assault is launched and the advance continues across the steppes on the other side.

The other version is for smaller, deep valleys such as found in Italy (mountainous terrain in general), the Hurtgen Forest or the Ardennes. I was fortunate enough to spend five days last December in eastern Belgium and Luxembourg. The Ourthe River (to name one) cuts an extremely deep ravine from where it rises near Houffalize almost all the way to Leige. I was amazed at La Roche how both sides had to fight down into a ravine, cross a river (no more than one or two hexes wide), clear a town and then fight their way back up the other escarpment. The entire breadth of the valley/canyon/ravine might be little more than a kilometre (maybe 1500 metres) and would need perhaps 3 boards (two escarpment and the "valley bottom".

These overlays/boards would be a bit specialised but functional as they could retain their 'geomorphic' properties on three sides (if not all four). A little bit of imagination could have one descend from level 3 and 4 heights, with one or two others descending from level 2 to the new level 0. This whole project could be part of an Action Pack or WO bundle that included a board or overlay.

The more thought I give this the more I see it as an opportunity to fill a gap in the terrain types offered. Perhaps with vasl board design/modification? ...hmmmmmm 🤔
 
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The Purist

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That was good thread and covered some of the ideas I had regarding steppe terrain and 'coulee' terrain.

For more abrupt elevation changes I offer you the road leading out of Clervaux in Luxembourg. I took this shot on 16 December last year a little less than half way up the serpentine road that leads to Monarch. Note that the church and chateau in the backround are already on elevated ground and that the town runs mainly along the river road and at a lower level. The road I was standing was quite steep and had three major (180 deg) switchbacks as well as the final ascent to the Monarch Road and final descent to the Clerf bridge, the upslope was little more than a cliff and in between lower switchbacks were graveyards (as seen in the attached). Google maps shows a good example of the river valley I am talking about.

9689

In Houffalize and La Roche the roads descending into the valleys have a different approach. The valley 'walls' are higher (still mostly cliffs or double crests) and the roads are 500-600 meters of a long straight line descent into the town above the river level. From inside the town with a LOS to the road or from the opposite side of the valley any vehicle would be presenting a very nice 'side-on-view' as a vehicle climbs or descends the escarpment.

Here is a shot from the Ourthe River bridge in Houffalize on 18 December (gives good idea of LOS in winter).

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For comparison sake, here is a shot of the terrain "up" on the level 0 terrain approaching Houffalize from Troisvierges

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This sort of terrain (elevation) change is why I think such valleys would need either 2-3 escarpment overlays or even dedicated boards.
 
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Michael R

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I believe this thread is more appropriate to the Designers forum. I will attempt to move it there.
 

Carln0130

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Yes, I have this board (three or four copies, I think). I was thinking along two tracks. One would be in Russia where the terrain drops down to a river (but not as abruptly as board 8), a river assault is launched and the advance continues across the steppes on the other side.

The other version is for smaller, deep valleys such as found in Italy (mountainous terrain in general), the Hurtgen Forest or the Ardennes. I was fortunate enough to spend five days last December in eastern Belgium and Luxembourg. The Ourthe River (to name one) cuts an extremely deep ravine from where it rises near Houffalize almost all the way to Leige. I was amazed at La Roche how both sides had to fight down into a ravine, cross a river (no more than one or two hexes wide), clear a town and then fight their way back up the other escarpment. The entire breadth of the valley/canyon/ravine might be little more than a kilometre (maybe 1500 metres) and would need perhaps 3 boards (two escarpment and the "valley bottom".

These overlays/boards would be a bit specialised but functional as they could retain their 'geomorphic' properties on three sides (if not all four). A little bit of imagination could have one descend from level 3 and 4 heights, with one or two others descending from level 2 to the new level 0. This whole project could be part of an Action Pack or WO bundle that included a board or overlay.

The more thought I give this the more I see it as an opportunity to fill a gap in the terrain types offered. Perhaps with vasl board design/modification? ...hmmmmmm 🤔
When the Dinant module appears, it has exactly that type of terrain, in that the river is faced by cliff a few hexes inland with roads running through twin re-entrants.
 

The Purist

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When the Dinant module appears, it has exactly that type of terrain, in that the river is faced by cliff a few hexes inland with roads running through twin re-entrants.
I will definitely be purchasing the remake of CdG. Gawd knows how many of us have a truck load of Russians, Germans, Yanks and Brits from the Campaign Games. More French would not hurt especially for "Squad Bleeder" non-campaign campaigns and/or the three linked scenario offerings such as "Line in the Sand"

In any case the Escarpment maps would be worthwhile. I'm currently working on an '44 Ardennes' set that has the first scenario just going into play test. If it bears fruit perhaps a discussion could be opened with the MMP crowd.
 
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