Thread for ideas on KWASL's Steep Hills rules addition.

Tooz

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I am currently designing scenarios that include KWASL's steep hills rules (W. 1.3). In addition to scenarios set in Korea the majority of these scenarios take place in WW2. The purpose of this thread is to discuss your views on these rules and if these should be expanded. I can use more feedback.
After six months of testing and playing nothing but Steep Hill scenarios I have really become fond of these rules. Your set up is different--no tanks can set up in steep hills unless it is on a road hex). Tactics are different. AFVs will not climb a hill and try to bypass freeze your opponent in a building on a hill that is not adjacent to a road hex. Steep hill hexes are concealment terrain. You assaualt move with a -1 DRM coming back at you.
Now, place caves in steep hill hexes and what type of game play does that bring forth.
So, this is the idea. I can use any feedback (yes, silly feedback is always accepted--I love a good laugh!) on this. Are there any other nuances you have uncovered through game play?
Thoughts? What is wrong or right about these rules?
Please, fire away.
 
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Tooz

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One aspect of the steep hills rules is how it changes the mindset on how to approach a scenario. I am reading many books on regions that would have mountains and continue to come across comments that the area is not tank country or "no place for tanks".
So, now try to play a Cassino style scenario in ASL. Without steep hills, your tanks are free to try to ascend any hill. Steep hills prevents that from happening, thereby retaining more of the historical "flavor" of that scenario. CH!'s Stonne Heights comes to mind as well. In that CG (very good by the way) you can try to avoid going up the one mountain road by trying to negotiate your tanks through a forested hill. Not historical and not possible in real life. Add in steep hills and that possibility is eliminated. With steep hills the HASL now becomes more historically accurate.
 

Justiciar

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Could a scenario have a combo of steep and normal hills? Say all level 1 is normal and 2-3 are steep or vice a versa? Could be interesting.
Yes, you could have Steep Hill at >= level XXXX. I am working on something like this.
 

Tooz

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Several of my proposed scenarios have this SSR: Hills >level 2 are considered Steep Hills (W1.3).
This affords the designer more options on how he wants the scenario to play out.
Steep dramatically change the dynamics of a scenario. With a road movement rate of 2 for AFVs and each road treated as one lane you have a totally different feel from scenarios with regular (Chapter B) hill rules.
 

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Over 140 views and yet no replies?
One aspect of the steep hills rules is how it changes the mindset on how to approach a scenario. I am reading many books on regions that would have mountains and continue to come across comments that the area is not tank country or "no place for tanks".
So, now try to play a Cassino style scenario in ASL. Without steep hills, your tanks are free to try to ascend any hill. Steep hills prevents that from happening, thereby retaining more of the historical "flavor" of that scenario. CH!'s Stonne Heights comes to mind as well. In that CG (very good by the way) you can try to avoid going up the one mountain road by trying to negotiate your tanks through a forested hill. Not historical and not possible in real life. Add in steep hills and that possibility is eliminated. With steep hills the HASL now becomes more historically accurate.
I have only played one FW scenario with Steep Hills. I was not a fan of the rules - I didn't like that they were concealment terrain, even to units at a higher level. I do like them being pretty much impassable to vehicles.
 

M.Koch

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Where does the steep hills happen in your designs ? PTO or ETO ? Both ? I'm working on some designs with steep hills in the ETO, though tanks may play a minor role, if any, in them.
 

Tooz

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Where does the steep hills happen in your designs ? PTO or ETO ? Both ? I'm working on some designs with steep hills in the ETO, though tanks may play a minor role, if any, in them.
All theaters possible--excepting Holland and Denmark. I currently am working on a pact of twelve scenarios for a TPP. So far three are in Asia (China two, Korean/Manchurian Border the other) as well as several for the ETO: Greece, Italy, Carpathians (think Transylvania), Caucausas, and even Tunisia are in the works. Then, perhaps, I'll dabble with Korea.
For so many years I had scenarios in mind that could not be done with creating the historical feel (or flavor if you prefer) of that situation. I played--and enjoyed the TPP HASLs Crete and Cassino but thought that the hills just were not accurately portrayed. Now, with steep hills, the whole dynamics have changed.
Now, add slopes to steep hills...
Feel free to pm me if you are interested in "batting around" some ideas. Confidentiality will be respected at all times as I am sure you will reciprocate with such.
 

Tooz

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I have only played one FW scenario with Steep Hills. I was not a fan of the rules - I didn't like that they were concealment terrain, even to units at a higher level. I do like them being pretty much impassable to vehicles.
I have some scenarios involving partisans that take place in both Greece and the former Yugoslavia. During my research over the years I kept on reading how units would dart to and from outcroppings in the exposed hills to cover their assault. Here is where the concealment terrain makes sense to me. I try to visualize units slowly leaping from whatever cover they can find as they bound up the hill. They pay the moving penalties and can get some cover as they try to get into a return fire position on the defenders. The scenario designer can also toss in a few crag counters (provided by BFP) and give the attacker that avenue of attack by moving from crag to crag.
I imagine hearing the bullets pinging off the rocks. Brings back memories of watching old American Western movies (Valdez is Coming jumps to mind here).
For me as a scenario designer in these situations, the steep hill rules are a game changer.
How you now defend and attack have changed from a conventional ASL perspective.
Steep hills are but a few paragraphs but they have a lot of effect on game play.
 

Eagle4ty

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All theaters possible--excepting Holland and Denmark. I currently am working on a pact of twelve scenarios for a TPP. So far three are in Asia (China two, Korean/Manchurian Border the other) as well as several for the ETO: Greece, Italy, Carpathians (think Transylvania), Caucausas, and even Tunisia are in the works. Then, perhaps, I'll dabble with Korea.
For so many years I had scenarios in mind that could not be done with creating the historical feel (or flavor if you prefer) of that situation. I played--and enjoyed the TPP HASLs Crete and Cassino but thought that the hills just were not accurately portrayed. Now, with steep hills, the whole dynamics have changed.
Now, add slopes to steep hills...
Feel free to pm me if you are interested in "batting around" some ideas. Confidentiality will be respected at all times as I am sure you will reciprocate with such.
Quite a few areas of the Pacific campaign could include Steep Hills especially The Philippines, New Guinea and the Dutch East Indies though even places like Saipan, Guam and Peleliu and other volcanic islands presented actions where that type of terrain was a factor.
 

FourDeuceMF

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I have only played one FW scenario with Steep Hills. I was not a fan of the rules - I didn't like that they were concealment terrain, even to units at a higher level. I do like them being pretty much impassable to vehicles.
The trick is that the concealment (when using AM) allows for the 'folds and deadspaces' in the hex that would otherwise not be covered by the 'layer cake' depiction of hills (and indeed, the 'Alpine Hills' rule by SSR never really conveyed that well-enough). By using whatever 'cover' there is in the steep hill hex, you're effectively halving the fire, but not eschewing the -1 FFMO DRM. Once you've lost your "?", however, you're just as much a sitting duck.

For the most part, the WWII battles tended not to be a 'king of the hill' contest - typically the hills were canalizing attack routes, the battles would take place amongst the foot/low levels of the hills, at strategic chokepoints...and the occasional 'strongpoint on the hill'. In Korea, once the real mobile part of the war died down (50-51), a large portion of the remainder was the 'hilltop and outpost' war, and there's reams of AARs and books explaining the intricacies of using the terrain to advantage there. The typical ASL hill was too 'plain' and open to model this well (not to mention the freedom of AFV movement over the same hills), so this terrain rule was born to better simulate - but in the same vein as another 'new' terrain type at the time (light/dense jungle), a nod to playability was retained.
 

Tuomo

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I concur with The Major. Steepness disallowing vehicle motion, great. But plain open ground that happens to be steep should not be concealment terrain. Shrug.
 

FourDeuceMF

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I concur with The Major. Steepness disallowing vehicle motion, great. But plain open ground that happens to be steep should not be concealment terrain. Shrug.
That's the rub...it's not 'plain open ground'...it's got many undulations and variations within the space...guess we could go and throw in a ton of slope hexsides, but who wants that??? :eek: (beware the Pumas in the cravasses)

It's no less 'controversial' than Winter Camo allowing assault move in open ground without concealment loss...and that's widely accepted. Game effect for a similar reason.
 

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That's the rub...it's not 'plain open ground'...it's got many undulations and variations within the space...guess we could go and throw in a ton of slope hexsides, but who wants that??? :eek: (beware the Pumas in the cravasses)

It's no less 'controversial' than Winter Camo allowing assault move in open ground without concealment loss...and that's widely accepted. Game effect for a similar reason.
I agree
 

FourDeuceMF

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"Don't cross the streams, man!!!" :p

But seriously...guessing it would have to be an 'either/or', or better yet, choose one (would recommend Steep), then add in the 'no LOS through' aspect in the SSR. It would likely happen so rarely (on top of Mt Elbrus?) to not be an issue in more than one or two scenarios one could think of. Folks typically didn't fight in that severe a terrain for a reason.
 
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