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MBT (second edition)» Forums » General

Subject: MBT Maps rss

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Jim Day
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I just want to make few comments on the MBT maps and the terrain depicted on them. The base color aside, either you have an issue with it or you don't, the terrain is representative of the area that was occupied by the US V and VII Corps during the the time covered by the game.

The basic design of the maps is to have very clear terrain features for sighting and movement and to be representative of the game's scale (100 meters per hex). As one increases scale, the terrain features "pull in" giving the appearance of a denser area.

I didn't want situations to arise where players were forced to argue over whether a single bit of terrain was blocking line-of-sight or what terrain type was dominating a hex. In MBT, it's quite clear whether or not line-of-sight is clear and what terrain type fills a hex.

The original 4 MBT maps had to, in a sense, pull double duty since the game included both US and FRG forces. So, the maps needed to represent open or more "closed" terrain. That's why they had hexes with various shaded of green where it could represent different terrain types. The 10 maps in the new MBT are not forced to pull double duty, so they are "cleaner" and more precise in their terrain representation. Note that number of hexes per map board is exactly the same between the two versions. However, the map boards in the new MBT are larger because the hexes are larger to accommodate the larger counters.

I have always felt that maps in the original Team Yankee game did an excellent job of representing the West German terrain occupied by the US forces. The maps are very similar to the MBT maps even though the scale in Team Yankee is 2x larger (200 meters per hex).

When you look at a small scale map of the actual area, the terrain looks quite heavily wooded with a fair amount of hilly areas. However, when you look at a large scale map, you find a much more open area with some rolling hills and woods. That's the primary reason the NATO forces were lined up against the Fulda Gap with the Soviets poised on the opposite side.

It wasn't so that the Soviets could sneak through dense woods and around many hills, it was because they could pour through the tank friendly open countryside. Their goal was to split and eliminate the NATO forces as they drove to the coast.

With the FRG and BAOR expansions you will find more varied terrain along with a couple of urban maps. However, keep in mind that the North German Plain (where the British I Corps and the West German I Corps were positioned) is also very tank friendly territory.

Also keep mind that the 20 map boards currently available with the new Panzer series are fully compatible with MBT.
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Kev.
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I really appreciate you taking the time to comment on this. I had a blast with the game so far.

I think part of it for me was that the box art was SO EVOCATIVE that when the box was torn open and played on I was taken aback.

Once you start rolling dice the color palette and art fade pretty quickly.

A super effort!
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C Ramos
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Just got home from a business trip and found my copy waiting for me. A very nice welcome home present!

Overall I think it looks fantastic, and still owning the original AH MBT, I can't wait to dive in.

Since this post is regarding the maps, the only comment I would make as a first impression, I am a little disappointed that the maps are double sided for a geomorphic map set. Not really a complaint, just a disappointment.

Think there would be any chance that GMT would sell a second map set incase one wanted to use back and front combinations? I'd glady buy another set.

Thanks for the great effort in geting this classic redone and re-released to all us fans!

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Michael Wheal
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I asked GMT if it was possible to order a 2nd set of maps, "come back and ask us in 2 weeks, when all the pre-orders have gone" was the reply..

So, YES, you can... just get behind me in the line for them !

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groggy froggy
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banshy1 wrote:
...
Think there would be any chance that GMT would sell a second map set incase one wanted to use back and front combinations? I'd glady buy another set.


+1

Many maps are needed!
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Dario Domenici
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I find maps dull -and features like villages, towen, fields too much hex-grid shaped and unreal-.

Base colour is a drab, greenish light tan: these maps are good maybe for Afghanistan but they don't look like Germany at all!

I understand cost and space reasons have constrained the game to 100m hexes and small foldable maps, but I'm considering using my 50+ maps for ASL for design your own scenarios, giving each hex a 1/2 hex value...

And why huge AFV counters? In this game, most infos are in the AFV cards so there's no need to show much besides the vehicle picture on each counter; these could easily have been made same size as the infantry ones. Considering you can pile even more than six vehicles in a single hex (surely not the better tactical choice!), plus turrets and game markers, smaller tank chits would have been a much better choice.

I also find their dimensions somehow spoil my 'realistic feeling' of the game: they fill up the hex, hiding its terrain features while the real vehicle dimensions would be one or two millimeters in the scale of MBT maps! I'd expect counters this large for some Megarobot game...

Doing your own reduced-size counters wouldn't be too difficult but it's a pity because these are very well made, and even camouflage schemes look correct for the period, with latest US types in the new NATO scheme and the others stil in MERDVAC, and second echelon units (with older T-62 or T-55 tanks taken from depots still in standard all green livery.

Actually I believe that most of Graphics efforts has gone into Vehicle cards and vehicle counters (and these HAD to be huge do display their fine art), leaving very few work time for maps...



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Fernando Sola Ramos
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MBT maps are compatible with Panzer maps, which in turn are a tribute to the old Panzerblitz, sharing the colour palette and feel.

You may like them or not, but the maps are really clear and easy to read, with no terrain issues at all and with the feeling you've been there before. Possibly this last feature works best with Panzer, but it is the price you have to pay if you want them fully compatible (which in my opinion is a positive feature).

Regarding the scale, if in Panzer it was possibly a bit large, in MBT the scale is just perfect for modern tank combat. Take into account that ranges of 1500-2000m (even more) are normal for modern MBTs. That means 30 to 40 hexes if you use 50m/hex maps, which makes this totally unfeasible in game terms. And if you use ATGMs and helicpters, then the problem would be even worse (a 4km shot in 50m/hex maps?) In addition, the 100m/hex scale was not a cost/space decision, but a design decision given combat ranges, movement and time scale.

About counter size, it is a matter of personal taste. There are players that really like the new counter size. Some game decisions can't please everybody, as it seems it is the case here, but I think the game is more visually appealing with these counters.

Give the game a try as it is, I think you will appreciate it as you play it more and more.
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Dario Domenici
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For those players who have never been to Germany, you might get a few false notions from MBT maps: these should represent typical German terrain but...

Lakes and ponds are usually shallow or medium deep, they aren't deep blue ocean trenches (4N5,5U5). The country receives a good amount of rain and is much greener and wooded than the barren plains and bald hills landscape you get assembling any 2 maps. Cities usually have their historical old town center, not an empty area with crossing highways (3C6). German farmers do not grow their crops in hexagonal shapes fields (10G5, 10G8, 5L9) and Deutsche Bahn engineers and planners do not work when drunk, so German railways connect cities to other cities many miles away, not a house near city limits to another house on top of a nearby hill (10Z6) and even if they would build such an useless railway, they would buld it as straight as possible (10Z6 again). Oh, and river don't run in circles in Germany (map 8)!
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Kev.
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Gustav6 wrote:
MBT maps are compatible with Panzer maps, which in turn are a tribute to the old Panzerblitz, sharing the colour palette and feel.

You may like them or not, but the maps are really clear and easy to read, with no terrain issues at all and with the feeling you've been there before. Possibly this last feature works best with Panzer, but it is the price you have to pay if you want them fully compatible (which in my opinion is a positive feature).

Regarding the scale, if in Panzer it was possibly a bit large, in MBT the scale is just perfect for modern tank combat. Take into account that ranges of 1500-2000m (even more) are normal for modern MBTs. That means 30 to 40 hexes if you use 50m/hex maps, which makes this totally unfeasible in game terms. And if you use ATGMs and helicpters, then the problem would be even worse (a 4km shot in 50m/hex maps?) In addition, the 100m/hex scale was not a cost/space decision, but a design decision given combat ranges, movement and time scale.

About counter size, it is a matter of personal taste. There are players that really like the new counter size. Some game decisions can't please everybody, as it seems it is the case here, but I think the game is more visually appealing with these counters.

Give the game a try as it is, I think you will appreciate it as you play it more and more.
The nod to PB needs to end at PAnzer. MBT is a reboot....of MBT. Which in teh Avalon Hill version had visually thematic maps.
Its ok to be an apologist. But the comment aint accurate. Beside that is it thus assume I need all three/four Panzer modules and map sets in case at some point in the future some scenario come out.
We know that aint the case.
they could have been modular and fit, with a different or better or more suitable color scheme.

Happy with scale and such also. I would say the counters would ahve been better if they fit in the hex, I'm ok with them being large... but they are over sized.
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Mark Russo
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I can see valid arguments from both sides, I really do, both sides made their points.

There is enough talent in the Panzer/MBT community that can easily generate all kind of maps, especially for the Vassal module.

I say we focus on what can be done, not continue to argue about what can not be undone.
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Mark Russo
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Quote:
so German railways connect cities and towns many miles away, not a peripheral house to another house on top of a nearby hill (10Z6)


I thought that was a mine or rock quarry on a hill, with a railway running to a factory...blush
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Dario Domenici
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Hi, Mark, nice idea: mine railway taking the scenic route...

About what can be done (and having made my point about map art devil)...

One thing I'd like to see would be a large higway, with perhaps a large junction with other roads; on the map it should appear as a quite straight, elevated road (enough to block same-level line of sight and too tall to be used as a wall for hull down position): surely main motorways wouldn't have been ignored if war had come and would have been very much used, contested and bombed. Same could be said about (real) railway lines.

Another lacking feature (surely not needed in Panzer) would be high voltage power lines. These would be frequently part of the landscape and very interesting rules could be written about their effect on low-flying helicopters and wire-guided missiles...

One could also add industrial districts, heavily cratered areas, airbases, field depots, broken bridges, large rivers...

I'm not thinking of new maps with these features, but of overlays: these are cheaper, can be used anywhere providing variation and new challenges even on the dullest and overused map: if GMT offers them in P-500 (perhaps with a handful scenarios and rules to go with them) I'm sure they would be a hit...

 
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Fernando Sola Ramos
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moresby wrote:
Hi, Mark, nice idea: mine railway taking the scenic route...

About what can be done (and having made my point about map art devil)...

One thing I'd like to see would be a large higway, with perhaps a large junction with other roads; on the map it should appear as a quite straight, elevated road (enough to block same-level line of sight and too tall to be used as a wall for hull down position): surely main motorways wouldn't have been ignored if war had come and would have been very much used, contested and bombed. Same could be said about (real) railway lines.

Another lacking feature (surely not needed in Panzer) would be high voltage power lines. These would be frequently part of the landscape and very interesting rules could be written about their effect on low-flying helicopters and wire-guided missiles...

One could also add industrial districts, heavily craterized areas, airbases, field depots, broken bridges, large rivers...

I'm not thinking of new maps with these features, but of overlays: these are cheaper, can be used anywhere providing variation and new challenges even on the dullest and overused map: if GMT offers them in P-500 (perhaps with a handful scenarios and rules to go with them) I'm sure they would be a hit...



What you mention is already done by Nadir Elfarra. Look at this site:
http://heavymetaldrake.webs.com/groundwarfare.htm
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Dario Domenici
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Those maps look much better!
It's a pity GMT hasn't took inspiration by Mr. Elfarra's work for MBT official maps. However, I'd suggest overlays, not whole maps.
 
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Jim Day
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As luck would have it, BAOR and FRG include geomaps with new features, e.g., airfields, wider rivers and elevated villages. With more geomaps in the series, 26 total, some additional things can be done.
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B. B.
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Of course the player can make his own maps with colours he prefers.



EDIT: After playing my own created scenario on the self-made map, I decided to change the map. The new version is uploaded above.
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Kev.
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TheRealKid wrote:
Of course the player can make his own maps with colours he prefers.

I made a map during the last hours - just for fun.



EDIT: Update of the map.

Nice.
It would be cool to see some terrain features of the actual terrain in geo morph formats.

Kind of the point really other wise its just Panzer with nicer guns and thicker armor.
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B. B.
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The scenario to play on this map will be something like this:

MBT-Scenario A

West-Germany, 28 September 1987: Elements of the Soviet 247th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment, 79th Guards Tank Division, 8th Guards Army crossed the GDR - West Germany border at Trappstadt and captured the cities Bad Königshofen im Grabfeld, Sulzfeld and Stadtlauringen. Their order is to outflank the American drill ground Brönnhof and to secure a beachhead west of the river Main at Schweinfurt. A small task force of the US 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, VII Corps established a defense position at a bridge over the river Maßbach in the north-west of Ebertshausen. Their order is to stop the Soviet advance. Reinforcements of the 64th Armor Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, VII Corps are on the way.

Soviet-Forces: Infantry (as Passengers), BMPs and Tanks set up and/or enter from the east edge.
US-Forces: Infantry and some APCs set up within 4 hexes of K5. Some may be set up within 2 hexes of I13.
US-Reinforcements: Tanks enter at a later turn from the west edge.

Victory Conditions: To win the Soviets must have x VP at the game end. They get VP for controlling the bridge in K5 and the factory in I7 and for each unit west of the river fit for action. Otherwise the Americans win.
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Anthonii ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Anyone got the deminsions of a single map?
 
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The Captain
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My biggest concern with the maps is the five part fold. I wish that maps had been designed to only have one fold. More folds equate to more difficulty keeping the map flat.
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H.M. Woggle-Bug, T.E.
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Gustav6 wrote:
MBT maps are compatible with Panzer maps, which in turn are a tribute to the old Panzerblitz, sharing the colour palette and feel.


Panzerblitz maps were actually MOUNTED! It was a real boardgame.

GMT charges extra extra extra money for mounted boards...
 
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ardennes4412 wrote:
I can see valid arguments from both sides, I really do, both sides made their points.

There is enough talent in the Panzer/MBT community that can easily generate all kind of maps, especially for the Vassal module.

I say we focus on what can be done, not continue to argue about what can not be undone.


So what can be done? Use the rules and datacards for a tabletop (miniatures ) game?
 
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Fernando Sola Ramos
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livio wrote:
Panzerblitz maps were actually MOUNTED! It was a real boardgame.

GMT charges extra extra extra money for mounted boards...


I guess it's not the same selling 100.000 copies of a game than 500 (and being a printer company also helps, as it was Avalon Hill / Monarch). Not having mounted maps doesn't mean MBT isn't a boardgame. It's a board wargame, and one with a lot of classic feel indeed.

livio wrote:
So what can be done? Use the rules and datacards for a tabletop (miniatures ) game?


A lot of things can be done, it's a matter of being willing to. Take a look at the Panzer Pusher site and check what others have done

https://sites.google.com/site/thepanzerpusher/

 
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