I've done away entirely with wadis/dry rivers. When was the river dry? All the time? In the summer?. Was it bank full spring and fall?
I tend to just the opposite view. The volume of water isn't necessarily the most important aspect of a river. Except in flat country, they usually cut or flow through a canyon, and it's that canyon, and the high ground it offers to the defender on the opposite bank that is their most important attribute (unless we're talking the Don or something). Even with something like the Meuse, the critical factor in the crossings was the high ground and who controlled it as much as the river itself.
So viewed in that way, a wadi is essentially a river where there's either no water or usually so little as to make no difference. Something like the Litani in Southern Lebanon, for example, while a militarily significant obstacle, isn't one on account of its usually quite modest flow. Nevertheless, it essentially poses problems similar to the Meuse at Sedan. The attacker has to be driven off the heights, and water-filled or not, the jumble of rocks at the bottom has to be bridged before vehicles can be brought over. Militarily, it poses the same difficulties.
So I've actually replaced the tile for 'canal' with the tile for 'wadi' and gone over to just using 'canals' for wadis significant enough to offer the same military problems that most rivers do.
Then there's the, 'what constitutes a mountain'? A 100 square mile plateau can be at 10,000 feet with a 500 foot hill smack in the middle. Altitude 10,500 feet. But it's not a mountain is it? I tried to use the a military definition of anything over 2000 feet with a slope greater than 45 degrees is no longer a hill. But i only have a cheap map to go by so a lot of this thing was subjective at best. Otherwise it never gets done and your stalled at what is a forest and what is a woods.
I ignore the objective altitude completely -- I'm solely interested in the change from the surrounding terrain. Things can vary, but generally I go with 'mountain' if it's fairly steeply pitched, higher than any adjacent terrain except perhaps for a knife-edge ridge line, and at least 600 meters higher than most of the surrounding country.
Subjectively, I see a 'hill' as something that is of significant value to the defender and/or hard to drive up. A 'mountain' is something where the prospective attacker goes 'oh God.'
It's all extremely relative. When I visited Gettysburg, I was astonished at Cemetery 'Ridge.' Around where I live, that would qualify as unusually flat. It's perceptibly sloped -- but that's about all you can say for it. Make that a hill or an escarpment and 80% of the land within thirty miles of here would qualify as worse. Then what do I do with the actual hills? Make them mountains? Mount Tamalpais, I suppose, becomes Alpine -- which is ridiculous.
Then too, a lot of terrain simply doesn't match the choices the TOAW tiles offer. If, for example, you ever drive across Northern Nevada, it consists of chains of high mountains interwoven with flat valleys that are perhaps a mile or two across.
Now, assuming one was going with the grain of the valley, one could drive cross country at a good clip in a military vehicle -- certainly higher than any movement rate OPART will yield.
At the same time, any defender would have his choice of formidable defensive positions. From that point of view, the terrain is not just hill, but mountain. A troop of Boy Scouts with a heavy mortar and enough shells could stand off a battalion trying to cross those valleys.
Now, at 2.5 km per hex, you could probably distinguish the flats from the mountains easily enough (although I'm trying to picture the setting for a scenario involving Northern Nevada and done at 2.5 km/hex). However, certainly at 10 km per hex and above, most hexes are going to merge both the 'flat' and the 'mountain.'
So whaddaya do? You should be able to move across most hexes as if they were plain terrain -- but you should be able to defend them like they're mountains. Put secondary 'roads' in every hex?
There isn't a completely satisfactory answer.
< Message edited by ColinWright -- 4/25/2012 12:48:38 AM >
I am not Charlie Hebdo