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The Guns of August» Forums » Variants

Subject: A green and pleasant land rss

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Paul Popejoy
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Hi!

I have been working on V3 of the Augmented Rules and wanted to sound out folks on the forum on the idea of updating the map of England. In the original game, the geography of England merely served as the source of British troops for shipment to France: there was no possibility of land combat on English soil, no Royal Navy to deploy, and the British blockade of Germany and the effects of submarine warfare on Britain's economy are handled abstractly.

The augmented rule include as optional rules several variants from the Avalon Hill General, Battleplan, and Boardgamer magazines that address naval combat (which can clear a path to British beaches), issues with the interaction of the supply rules and a somewhat sparse rail network, etc., so I'm considering revision the map of Britain to do the following:

1. Better reflect the geography of Great Britain, including invadable beaches. I know that the historical threat to Britain was starvation rather than invasion, but this gives the Central Powers some options should they manage to wrest control of the North Sea away from Britain.

2. Show all cities with a population of at least 100,000 people in the 1910-1911 census. The maximum number of British Infantry Replacement Points (IRPs) will be set to "5" and reduced as British cities come under enemy control.

3. Reflect the existence of "major cities" with a population of at least 1,000,000 people with greater effects on combat and on reinforcements. The major cities of Great Britain are London and Birmingham; Birmingham includes the population of the city of Coventry in the same hex.

4. Update the railroads to reflect the hub-and-spoke layout of the historical British railways centered on London.

The original map looks like this:


The proposed map of Great Britain looks something like this:


What do you think?
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Terry Lewis
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Go for it!!!!
 
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Tom Cundiff
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Yes, very good idea.
 
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Stu Carson
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I like the changes to the rail net, and the extra cities pose no issues.

Got some questions about the "major cities": Are these intended only for the UK? or are they part of a larger map revision for the whole game. There would be several other cities as large as the Coventry/Birmingham conurbation elsewhere on the European map, would there not?

Do you have some guidance on what (if any) you intend for these cities to mean i.e. combat/movement/supply etc. Let us know what you're thinking vis a vis your point 4.
 
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Paul Popejoy
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Evil Stu wrote:
I like the changes to the rail net, and the extra cities pose no issues.

Got some questions about the "major cities": Are these intended only for the UK? or are they part of a larger map revision for the whole game. There would be several other cities as large as the Coventry/Birmingham conurbation elsewhere on the European map, would there not?

Do you have some guidance on what (if any) you intend for these cities to mean i.e. combat/movement/supply etc. Let us know what you're thinking vis a vis your point 4.

Hi!

At this point I'm thinking of redoing the entire map in the style in which I rebuilt England (into Great Britain): it will be a lot of work but I've learned a lot working on Britain so I think it can be done. As a result, I also expect a number of other major cities to appear.

My initial ideas for the characteristics of a "major city" hex is as follows:
Quote:
- if it is a port it has a supply throughput capacity of 24, the same as an objective city's port in the basic game.

- It has a -2 terrain DRM vice -1 DRM. General Moltke planned to besiege Paris with at least 8 army corps in order to cover the approaches and force its surrender a la 1871, but I am not aware of any urban area assaults during World War I such as those on Stalingrad, Manila, or Berlin during World War II.

- Any rail line that leads into a major city hexside is connected to that city (shades of Empire Builder) to simplify the artwork for the historical "hub-and-spoke" layout of rail lines leading in and out of European national capitals.

- The loss of a major city reduces the IRF by two instead of one for a normal city.

- There is no difference between cities and major cities with regard to movement or supply - a major city has more supplies but at least 10 times as many civilians as soldiers (assuming three army corps with about 45,000 personnel each).


Other map-related ideas include:
Quote:
- allow same-hex terrain DRM to stack, e.g., a city in rough terrain has a -2 DRM vice a -1 DRM under the original rules. This would be a big change but I may also add technology investment options to counter them, e.g., elite infantry, chemical weapons, accelerated investment in tanks & aircaft,

- add "alpine" terrain which causes a -2 DRM to attacking die rolls.

- eliminate the "Masurian Lakes" as a terrain type. The lakes may block hexsides but not entire hexes.

- add more historical fortresses and distinguish between older fortifications (e.g., in Poland) and modern fortifications, e.g., those along the Franco-German frontier.

- adjust rail movement to reflect historical national characteristics such as the speed of rail travel on rail lines controlled by different countries. These changes would allow Germany to move troops between the Eastern & Western fronts and into combat in the same turn.

- add "towns" to mark historically important cities that don't have enough people to justify city effects on defense or supply; for example, a minor city port would have a supply throughput capacity of three (beachheads currently have a supply throughput capacity of six).

- Terrain and entrenchments may affect supply lines, e.g., rough terrain costs two hexes of supply line length; entrenchments & their attendant light rail lines) cost 0.

Those are the big map-related changes, anyways.

Hope this helps!
 
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Stu Carson
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Exciting.

If you're doing all that I wonder if the rivers could be altered to run on hexsides, not through hexes. I've never liked the present river hexes treatment.
 
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Paul Popejoy
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Evil Stu wrote:
Exciting.

If you're doing all that I wonder if the rivers could be altered to run on hexsides, not through hexes. I've never liked the present river hexes treatment.

Hi!

I'll have to think about that one. There are a lot of design trade-offs in deciding whether to put rivers "in-hex" or "on hexside" since each approach is a different way of simulating interactions across a river barrier.

- Real enemy units sitting across a river from each other are either trying to force a crossing of the river or are conducting small unit scouting, patrolling, and raiding actions to prepare for such a crossing and to detect if/when the enemy plans to cross in force. If combat is required when enemy units are adjacent, the "river in-hex" limits combat to things that happen when zones of control overlap unless a player commits to trying to cross in force by moving the unit counter onto the river; an "on-hexside" approach has the same effect if combat is not required when adjacent to enemy units.

- Real military units crossing an unknown river usually have to slow their progress to cross: they reconnoiter for possible crossing points and for any enemy units on the opposite bank; they may have to bring up engineering equipment to repair bridges or build their own if the local bridges won't support the weight of their vehicles, etc. The "river in-hex" in The Guns of August assesses a "tax" of one hex's worth of movement to cross the river, while the "on-hexside" approach would require a "one MF fee" for crossing a river hexside in order to make up the difference.

The Guns of August game map scale of about 30 miles per hex and the fact that combat is not mandatory between adjacent units makes an "on-hexside" approach appealing, but it raises the question of whether units would need to pay an additional movement factor penalty for crossing the river.

Another factor is that leaving rivers "in-hex" minimizes the work I have to do in shifting rivers around in order to follow the sides of the hex grain.

Still thinking about it...
 
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