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Three Days of Gettysburg (third edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Fighting over hills and ridges rss

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Menin Gate at Midnight, Will Longstaff, 1927.
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"At the landing, and here ever since" - Anzac Book, p. 35.
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[I've posted this on CSW, but it's very, very quiet over there, so I thought I'd try for a response/discussion here instead]

Fighting over hills and ridges

I'm accustomed to hills and ridges providing some defensive advantage to military units. When playing 3DoG, I've naturally sought to establish defensive lines on Herr's Ridge, then McPherson's Hill, then McPherson's Ridge, and now Seminary Ridge.

It looks nice to see those units lined up on the ridge preparing to 'defend the heights'. But in actual gameplay, the heights provide virtually no advantage to the defender, and no penalty to the attacker.

I'm without my fire tables at the moment, so much of this is from memory:
Firing up a hill provides no disadvantage (no modifier) to the attacker.
Firing down a hill provides no advantages (no modifier) to the defender.
Shock combat up a hill provides no disadvantage (no modifier) to the attacker, and no advantages (no modifier) to the defender.

Modifiers do apply when conducting shock combat up a steep hexside, but it is a relatively small modifier (-1 or -2 from memory).

In sum, it seems that, for the most part, elevation doesn't matter when conducting a defence. It only really matters for artillery pieces in order to give them good fields of fire (granted, an important consideration).

So then, in looking to line up Union defences along Cemetery Ridge to the south, the only reason to do so in 3DoG is to enable defensive artillery to have decent line of sight out to the west. The terrain (with few steep slope hexsides) actually doesn't provide any benefit to the infantry defending there. I mean, they'd may as well defend down in the gullies further to the west to give them space to fall back.

Or am I missing something?
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Al Maguire
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Firing artillery at a target at a lower level gives a +1 bonus.

That was the only bonus I could find on the chart but I'm looking at the one for Dead of Winter so I add the caveat that I don't know if there is a difference between these charts and 3DoG.
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There is no bonus, but there do seem to be a couple of other substantial reasons (from what I can see) to do the usual:

1) Breastworks seem very powerful and easy to build in this game. And breastworks on top of a hill give you the +1 bonus you are looking for.

2) If you have to retreat, you can descend down the opposite side and hide away and rally. It kinda reminds me a little bit of squad leader in that way, but that rallying is easier.

3) Stacking artillery and infantry in these hexes provides a devastating one-two punch, and of course, as mentioned before, the artillery does get a bonus.

Those are my barely-educated thoughts...what are yours?
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philreh wrote:
There is no bonus, but there do seem to be a couple of other substantial reasons (from what I can see) to do the usual:

1) Breastworks seem very powerful and easy to build in this game. And breastworks on top of a hill give you the +1 bonus you are looking for.


Yes, but not because they're 'on top of a hill'. You could build the same breastworks in the gullies and they provide exactly the same defensive benefit. There is no added benefit to building these on, for example, McPherson's Ridge.

philreh wrote:

2) If you have to retreat, you can descend down the opposite side and hide away and rally. It kinda reminds me a little bit of squad leader in that way, but that rallying is easier.

I agree. When I do this it is mostly to provide cover from artillery (small arms fire is also a concern), but this is more a 'LOS Benefit', compared to a specific 'defensive bonus' benefit.

philreh wrote:

3) Stacking artillery and infantry in these hexes provides a devastating one-two punch, and of course, as mentioned before, the artillery does get a bonus.

Yeah I agree, the main benefit to hills is the LOS benefit; but again, there is no added defensive benefit/bonus with that.

I could be wrong here, but I just feel that troops [infantry] defending on a hill had both a small arms firing advantage, and a cohesion benefit advantage, from being higher up than their opponents.
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