Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mav1

Map size choice

Recommended Posts

BD6 - actually Google earth gives exact height in feet and shows minor relief just fine. You scan over the map with the cursor and get the terrain height readout. You can also see the tree lined features easily. But they aren't the fields, which farther east don't have a tree in them (leftover areas between them, odd angles, lowland along rivers - all forested certainly).

West of Kiev is not Kursk. 1944 is not 1943 let alone 1942. Of course there are locations where a 2 x 2 km map would be fine, but half the war was not fought in them. Go to Google earth or take the trip if you have the time, and look at the terrain over which Winter Storm was delivered - along the rail line SW of Stalingrad. Or look at the north face of the Kursk fight from Ponyri to about 20km north of Ponyri, stretching 30 km west of the town as well.

Guessing between 1 km and 5 km is not measuring. On an actual satellite photo or map you can actually measure, or get exact deg min sec and calculate, etc.

Being able to hide a stationary tank is not the same as being able to drive continually from A to B without being seen from C. Sure there are ruts in the ground from drainage, and they were key tactical features of steppe fighting. Equally there are open areas that have to be crossed to get from one such to another, outside of a few "stopper" locations etc.

Terrain varies. The idea that there is one type of terrain over which the whole war was fought is just silly.

Does anyone care to defend the idea of 2x2 km maps as the right thing for a CM campaign set in Stalingrad? How about for a CM campaign with mostly infantry forces set in Finland in winter? How about just the forests and swamps of white Russia?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled spin campaign.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JasonC,

I have shown that there are problems with the ideas you've put forward, yet you ignore those postings. I don't know of anyone who has said the 2x2 km maps are perfect. Sure, you can take the extremes - Stalingrad is certainly such - and show that the scale of CMC may have issues. Yet, your solutions bring just as many intractable problems. You're not SOLVING anything - you're substituting one problem for another.

So, WHAT is the RIGHT map size? If you'd like to be as thorough as you present yourself to be, I invite you to look through this thread and the "Piling in one battle map" thread for the specific objections I've raised to your preferred solutions. I will not re-pose all the issues I've raised, as they're documented in the threads I've listed.

If you don't wish to answer, then you're just as guilty of waging a "regularly scheduled spin campaign" of your own.

Regards,

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The right map size is the map size the campaign designer picks from the set (500x500, 750x750, 1000x1000, 1500x1500, 2000x2000). I'm calling for variety not one answer. None of the problems you have alleged are actual problems for a fixed map size for each campaign, varying from campaign to campaign as the campaign designer directs. Nor a problem for point limits for forces starting on the map and rates of arrival, likewise set by the designer and optional. Since anyone who wants 2x2 can have them under my proposal, there is no way to allege any loss of functionality - anything a rigid system can do can be done by just artificially deciding to be rigid as a campaign designer. I am uninterested in watering matches with fools. I addressed BD6's separate comments on a secondary issue raised along the way because he isn't one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JasonC,

Thanks for the quick response.

You say, "None of the problems you have alleged are actual problems for a fixed map size for each campaign, ..."

Yes, there is a problem. Using your Stalingrad example, and the map size choices for a Stalingrad campaign, you would limit the CMBB map to 500x500 meters. Admittedly, much of the Stalingrad fighting and manuevering took place under MUCH tighter distances. However, limiting a map of Stalingrad to 500 meters MAXIMUM dimension completely eliminates longer range overwatch. Are my guns to be limited? Why can't I set up a tank at an intersection and interdict a boulevard?

You would limit EVERY battle of the campaign to a range less than the tactically effective range of many of the weapons. That is not an "alleged" problem, it is a real problem. (Inasmuch as anything being discussed about a piece of software, released or not, can be called "real".)

You don't like the long-range "to-hit" modelling in CMBB. That bias seems to pervade all your map-sizing criteria. You have NEVER suggested that 2x2 km is too SMALL of a size.

As far as "watering matches with fools", I am unfamiliar with that phrase. Is that an insult? Are you my intellectual superior? Please clarify so we can continue an open discussion of your "solutions".

If your "solutions" are flawed, then simply continue to hold yourself above explanations.

Thank you,

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no spin campaign. There is only you seemingly stuck on the idea that this must be a discussion on what you propose, whereas most people have already come to the conclusion that what you propose isn't what it's going to be and are trying to move on to discussing what the merits and demerits might be of what it actually IS going to be, namely 2x2km squares.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JasonC,

Well, I think we've stated both our positions with sufficient energy so let's move on.

I'll say this: I think your suggestion varying size square depending on the campaign (and so prevailing terrain) is as far as I am concerned an excellent idea.

Hunter's last post seemed to make clear that it was not going to happen.

So one question obviously is how serious was Hunter about 2 x 2 being the basic cell of the game engine, and another is how much sense would it make to enable the game engine (continuing the metaphor) to mutate its basic cell size so as to adapt to various campaigns, and far more importantly terrain?

As I mentioned earlier I freely concede 2 x 2 is far from wonderful for steppe engagements. Nevertheless, I still maintain it would be generally fine for: the Baltic region, west Russia, White Russia, Right Bank Ukraine, the Caucausian foothills, and most points west of the Soviet Union right up to Berlin. Perhaps I might except the Hungarian plain, but otherwise I'd say 2 x 2 could do the job in terms of providing enough space for the weapons to be used roughly according to the prevailing tactics.

Thus, if the issue is what's the best way to depict the basic terrain "cell" that makes up the CMC campaign area, the question becomes one of historical judgement: How much of the action we want to replicate in CMBB/CMC, took place in areas where 2 x 2 fit the bill?

That's hard to answer as what "we" want - gamer tastes - vary alot. As for me, I suspect most of the readers of this forum are tired of most of my opinions so I'll spare them this time.

Instead, here's my take on how to deal with the massed troops/unwieldy battle/piling on problem. I offer this more as an idea to be shot down, than as the definate best solution. That said, it seems feasible to me.

I suggest a compromise, not to make any one happy, but just from the POV of practicality.

If it were left up to me to design the game I would allow all the armored vehicle concentration the player wanted, but limit the infantry to a density of say 1 infantry battalion per km, the rest come on as follow-on reserves pretty much like Jason suggests.

Probably the simplest way to do this is to have a max numerical count of infantry units allowed on a battlefield, every squad, HQ, section, everything. If there are more units available than allowed numerically, the player picks. The rest come on as reinforcements.

Armor doesn't fall into that category, nor do anti-armor weapons. You want a bazillion, I say fine, K yourself O.

My logic is that armor density is a lot easier to deal for both players and CPUs than infantry density. And indeed, WW2 weapons punished infantry battlefield density a lot more than armored vehicle density.

True this suggestion basically takes away from Soviet players the option of overwhelming masses of almost pure infantry, and so would inherently make a CMC replication of Typhoon '41-'42 pretty much impossible. Oh well, war is sacrifice.

Still, Stalingrad's street battles by this system would be possible: there is a certain density of troops in a given area and once they are killed off, each side gets to shove in more troops if they have them. So RL is more or less replicated there.

But the main selling point I think is that this approach allows a player, if he wants to, to cram a whole panzer division's worth of armor in a 2 x 2 square to get his breakthrough, if that's what's important to him. In almost all situations that would be stupid, and I am in favor of wargames allowing players to be as stupid as they want, so long as the simulation gives results similar to the results of RL stupidity.

Make the player pay the log penalties and build in intelligence bonuses for his opponent - armor usually does not concentrate in great stealth - but give the player the option of cramming all his eggs into one basket if he chooses.

The Panzerkeils at Kursk, after all, were armor ueber-stacks pretty much in pure form. They were nothing more than a bald-faced effort to blast through a prepared defence by a silly concentration of armor - silly being defined as "way, way more than you need to win any armor battle".

Of course, for any self-respecting game to allow the ueber-stack, it has to be able to depict the counters to a mass of armor, to wit obstacles, layered defenses, and the opposition's ability to take advatage and to strike where the armor is not.

In my experience in meta campaigns it is not always the biggest stack that wins. That's simplistic.

Rather, the winner is the side that manages to concentrate a decisive force superiority somewhere - but no more than decisive. If the opposition is halfway on the ball too much concentration is suicide, as your line gets whomped everywhere else. The essence of the operational art is the art of sensing the right balance, knowing what you need to do, how much force you need to do it, and applying it. That means you need to avoid but half-efforts but overkill as well, as overkill is wasteful of limited resources.

Or more simply put, give the players their armor stacks if they want them, but give their opponents the ability to retailiate against a mass of armor using proper tactics.

So that's my pitch. If you have to stick to 2 x 2, limit the infantry numbers to some form of waves, place no limits on armor concentration, but be very faithful on replicating the costs of armor concentration, and the counters to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As well thought out as JasonC's posts have been, BigDuke6 has combined eloquence with a sense of reality vis a vis what the game will likely offer as opposed to what we might like it to be. Well done BD6. A very interesting conversation from both of you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bigduke6

I'm happy to host the photeez on my blowtorchscenarios website (bandwidth no problem) - want to drop me an email (in my profile) and we can get it up and going. smile.gif

Cheers fur noo

George

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mav1,

One thing to remember is that all steppe is not created equal. Some of it is cultivated, some of it wasn't ever cultivated, some of it is as flat as a gridiron, and some of it is pretty impressive rolling hills. Some of it supports dense populations, and in some of it there's pretty much no one.

As a very general thing the example I like to give to Americans is the Little Bighorn battlefield in Montana. Like that. No trees anywhere except where the water flows. Rolling hills. Excellent to superior LOS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All

Just got the Ukraine photos from Bigduke6. I'm in the process of re-sizing and uploading em onto my website. Give me a couple of days and they should be ready for viewing. I'll post an announcement here and at the CMBB forum.

Cheers fur noo

George Mc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The photos from Bigduke6 are now up on my website. You can see em HERE

All the images available for download below were taken by Bigduke6 from the BFC forum.

It's fine for some one to download or copy them for private use, but commercial use is not okay unless you have sought written permission from Bigduke6.

"General:

Pictures taken with a NikonD70 in early October 2006, using a 28-85mm Nikkor lens. Automatic light and focus settings were used exclusively. Pictures were taken between 1600 and 1900 local time, roughly. None of the images has been retouched.

Most shots were at taken at maximum wide angle, and so distances appear farther in the pictures than in real life.

All the shots were taken through a fairly dirty window of an Ukraine National Railroad train car. First class, I'd hate to see the windows on 3rd class. Also bear in mind the rail is on a berm averaging 2 meters above the level of the ground.

The horizontal lines in many of the shots are high-power wires running parallel to the railroad. The train's average speed was about 80 - 90 kmph.

Bigduke6"

Cheers fur noo

George Mc

[ October 23, 2006, 03:45 PM: Message edited by: George Mc ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Bigduke6:

Besides the obvious limitations in Google's ability to depict minor relief, here here is a list of some of the stuff simply not invisible on the sattelite photographs, that really bust up LOS on the ground:

1. The larger roads are raised like a RR right of way, and for practical purposes can serve in most places as a tank berm.

2. Manmade vegetation - Trees are planted along pretty much all roads, major and minor. It's almost absolute law, the Ukrainians will cultivate just about any spot of open ground. Often trees lining a road are thick enough to prevent easy passage of armor. One must qualify here: there certainly were less roads in the SU than in modern Ukraine. But that brings me to point 4.

3. Natural vegetation - Yes there are forests, especially roughly speaking inbetween Khmenitsky and Zhitomir. Again, this ain't steppe, it ain't even close to steppe. But it is in the hearland of some of the most intense armor fighting of the entire East Front.

3. Agriculture - Private garden agriculture is alive and well all along this route. Within walking distance of pretty much any inhabited location there are networks of small fields tilled by the locals for their own use. (This based on my experience in the region, rather than checking every town along the way.)

This was the case pretty much for all of the SU except than the worst days of collectivization. More imporantly, the Ukrainian population in the wartime years was roughly 2/3 rural-dwelling. All those millions of people growing corn and planting orchards and building stuff for the local kholhoz had an impact on LOS. It still does today, and today only 1/3 of the population is rural.

I will note that nowhere did I see any 8 km fields. 1.5 to 3 km., very roughly was the norm.

4. Drainage - The region I rode through, as is most of right bank Ukraine and generally East Europe, has been intensively tilled for millenia. That means ditches, vegetation by the ditches, garden plots taking advantage of the water, buildings for equipment for the gardens, yada yada yada.

5. Visibility - This isn't a LOS issue per se but still I think bears on my contention. In the mornings from about 0500 - 0800 (yes I was up that early) there was thick icky fog, and when I got back to Kiev it was drizzling. This reminded me that, by US standards, the weather sucks in East Europe, usually by means of fog or rain or snow, and almost always when the weather sucks LOS is reduced.

All you reading this can take these impressions or leave them.

I don't post so often , but I really want to thank Bigduke for these precious informations.

That is the kind of things I'm always looking for ! Of course, I use Google Earth software and consult topographic maps when creating an accurate map for a scenario. But I always prefer when I can also gather some informations from photos and people who live near the site I'm trying to recreate in CM !

Keep up please smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Bigduke6:

JasonC,

I'll say this: I think your suggestion varying size square depending on the campaign (and so prevailing terrain) is as far as I am concerned an excellent idea.

Hunter's last post seemed to make clear that it was not going to happen.

Regardless of what Hunter does, wouldn't it be possible to fake the game to get the size of tiles that you want?

By default it is 2km x 2km, and the underlying maps are as stated. Great, we know that.

What say you want 1km x 1km? Well, just do that, and in the CMC OoB double the speed and range of all units.

If you want 4km x 4km, do that. Make the underlying maps that size, and halve all the relevant values in the CMC OoB.

If you want smaller, or larger, then do it, and adjust the OoB as appropriate.

The only thing that would 'break' the hack - that I can see - is if CMC only works if the underlying maps are exactly 2km x 2km.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Regards

JonS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...