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Defending a river line - 9/3/2007 3:24:44 AM   
murphstein


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Assuming that forcing a river crossing against entrenched defenders is (in real life) a significant tactical challenge...

I'm confused about whether to place defenders ON a river line, or behind it.

The TOAW-III manual says:

"13.9.6 Unit Strengths in Water Assaults
Land units attacking from River, Super River, Canal, Suez Canal, or
Deep Water (Amphibious Assaults) have all Strengths multiplied
by 0.7."

This implies (to me) that I should defend from the hexes *behind* the river. This makes the attacker pay a 30% penalty (above) and also take a movement penalty to get into contact, as well.

The manual doesn't mention rivers as one of the terrain types to affect defensive strengths, so it seems that the rule in 13.9.6 is the only game function to affect this tactical decision.

Elmer, however, seems to like setting up defensive lines on the river hexes, not behind them. Why is that?

Or is this somehow dependent on variations in scenario design?

Thanks...
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RE: Defending a river line - 9/3/2007 4:39:34 AM   
Ian R

 

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Always thought you dug in behind, not on the river.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/3/2007 4:59:48 AM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R

Always thought you dug in behind, not on the river.

Most of the time, that's best. There are times though, that sitting on a river hex is called for.

As far as Elmer goes, I'd say he is looking more at defending at some interval between objectives, and less at what the nature of the hexes in the area. Teaching him to defend properly is much tougher than teaching him to attack properly.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/3/2007 5:13:03 AM   
Veers


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Behind.
What happens is that a unit attacking from a river gets a penalty. Therefore, you need to be behind that river for them to be attacking from it and taking the penalty.

As to Elmer. Well, I don't play him often, but if he is in fact defending on a river, the design team might want to take a look at that.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/3/2007 9:21:03 AM   
Silvanski


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Veers
As to Elmer. Well, I don't play him often, but if he is in fact defending on a river, the design team might want to take a look at that.


..and scenario designers... I've seen objective tracks for formations set in "defend" mode with intermediate objectives in a river instead of behind them


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RE: Defending a river line - 9/3/2007 11:18:53 AM   
murphstein


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Thanks for the confirmation...see you on the Road to Rimini sometime next week?

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/3/2007 1:24:28 PM   
Trick37_MatrixForum


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM


quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R

Always thought you dug in behind, not on the river.

Most of the time, that's best. There are times though, that sitting on a river hex is called for.

As far as Elmer goes, I'd say he is looking more at defending at some interval between objectives, and less at what the nature of the hexes in the area. Teaching him to defend properly is much tougher than teaching him to attack properly.


The best tacical advantage is to defend BEHIND the river. However, if you wish to keep your bridges in tact for any reason (i.e. counterattack), then I wold suggest placing a unit or two onto the bridge hex. Thsi way, if you survive the attack, you can then blow the bridge before retreating (or forcing the attacker to take that point by force---why not?). Most of your forces would be behind the river, though.


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RE: Defending a river line - 9/3/2007 1:28:18 PM   
Heldenkaiser

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Trick37
However, if you wish to keep your bridges in tact for any reason (i.e. counterattack), then I wold suggest placing a unit or two onto the bridge hex. Thsi way, if you survive the attack, you can then blow the bridge before retreating (or forcing the attacker to take that point by force---why not?). Most of your forces would be behind the river, though.


That's what I do, defend the bridge hexes as "we may need them for our counterattack" .

However, if there are many bridges (as on the Weser in the BAOR 1990 scenario which I'm just now playing) you pretty much end up defending ON the river rather than behind it.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/3/2007 2:47:23 PM   
Trick37_MatrixForum


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Heldenkaiser

quote:

ORIGINAL: Trick37
However, if you wish to keep your bridges in tact for any reason (i.e. counterattack), then I wold suggest placing a unit or two onto the bridge hex. Thsi way, if you survive the attack, you can then blow the bridge before retreating (or forcing the attacker to take that point by force---why not?). Most of your forces would be behind the river, though.


That's what I do, defend the bridge hexes as "we may need them for our counterattack" .

However, if there are many bridges (as on the Weser in the BAOR 1990 scenario which I'm just now playing) you pretty much end up defending ON the river rather than behind it.


Why not defend on a river/bridge if you have the forces to do it? Why give free land to the enemy.

That's un- Patton of anyone.


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RE: Defending a river line - 9/3/2007 7:39:53 PM   
ralphtricky


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Silvanski


quote:

ORIGINAL: Veers
As to Elmer. Well, I don't play him often, but if he is in fact defending on a river, the design team might want to take a look at that.


..and scenario designers... I've seen objective tracks for formations set in "defend" mode with intermediate objectives in a river instead of behind them


Atcually, that shouldn't matter too much. Obejctives are more like a cloud for Elmer, he doesn't use them verbatim.

Ralph
.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/3/2007 7:40:58 PM   
ralphtricky


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Veers

Behind.
What happens is that a unit attacking from a river gets a penalty. Therefore, you need to be behind that river for them to be attacking from it and taking the penalty.

As to Elmer. Well, I don't play him often, but if he is in fact defending on a river, the design team might want to take a look at that.

I will.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/3/2007 7:43:51 PM   
Veers


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ralphtrick


quote:

ORIGINAL: Veers

Behind.
What happens is that a unit attacking from a river gets a penalty. Therefore, you need to be behind that river for them to be attacking from it and taking the penalty.

As to Elmer. Well, I don't play him often, but if he is in fact defending on a river, the design team might want to take a look at that.

I will.

You da man.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/27/2007 1:36:46 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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Isn't the real issue the fact that rivers aren't a hex side?

Sorry if this has been raised elsewhere hereabouts, but I vaguely remember Norm on a forum somewhere many years ago saying that but for problems with the game company who originally owned this, a patch allowing hex river sides was already built and on his machine for release.

Now, I appreciate this might require re-doing, but in some scenarios where both sides want defensive benefits, some hexes are effectively out of play because they are river hexes and no one wants them. That is hundreds of square kilometres effectively empty on a map because there are no hex sides for rivers.

Is this on anyone's list?

Regards,
IronDuke

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/27/2007 1:13:35 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke


Isn't the real issue the fact that rivers aren't a hex side?

Sorry if this has been raised elsewhere hereabouts, but I vaguely remember Norm on a forum somewhere many years ago saying that but for problems with the game company who originally owned this, a patch allowing hex river sides was already built and on his machine for release.


I have seen a screenshot of TOAW with hexside rivers, but I believe that this was never fully implemented.

Anyway, because of the need for backwards compatability, hexside rivers would have to be added alongside in-hex rivers. This could make for some very complicated situations.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/27/2007 6:26:48 PM   
ColinWright

 

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I've never liked the idea of hex-side rivers, anyway. Ugly.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/27/2007 6:34:35 PM   
Karri

 

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Not necessary IMO. Plus it would bring on a new set of problems...like if the rivers are hex side, then where are engineers supposed to be for them to allow the river crossing?

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/27/2007 7:03:18 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ColinWright

I've never liked the idea of hex-side rivers, anyway. Ugly.


Agreed.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/27/2007 7:04:08 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Karri

Not necessary IMO. Plus it would bring on a new set of problems...like if the rivers are hex side, then where are engineers supposed to be for them to allow the river crossing?

Exactly.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/27/2007 7:06:37 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious


quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke


Isn't the real issue the fact that rivers aren't a hex side?

Sorry if this has been raised elsewhere hereabouts, but I vaguely remember Norm on a forum somewhere many years ago saying that but for problems with the game company who originally owned this, a patch allowing hex river sides was already built and on his machine for release.


Anyway, because of the need for backwards compatability, hexside rivers would have to be added alongside in-hex rivers. This could make for some very complicated situations.

Yes, it would add a host of complications, and engine refitting, for what is essentially an aesthetic (and IMO, a poor one) concern.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/27/2007 7:58:29 PM   
ColinWright

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM


quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious


quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke


Isn't the real issue the fact that rivers aren't a hex side?

Sorry if this has been raised elsewhere hereabouts, but I vaguely remember Norm on a forum somewhere many years ago saying that but for problems with the game company who originally owned this, a patch allowing hex river sides was already built and on his machine for release.


Anyway, because of the need for backwards compatability, hexside rivers would have to be added alongside in-hex rivers. This could make for some very complicated situations.

Yes, it would add a host of complications, and engine refitting, for what is essentially an aesthetic (and IMO, a poor one) concern.



Something that's vaguely related -- and that would be nice to see changed -- would be if wadis worked the same as rivers. After all, in real life they largely do.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/27/2007 8:32:51 PM   
Boonierat


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Karri

Not necessary IMO. Plus it would bring on a new set of problems...like if the rivers are hex side, then where are engineers supposed to be for them to allow the river crossing?


And it would kill riverine units. Talking about riverine units, has the riverine placement bug ever been fixed? VCO volume 5 will see the arrival of the Mobile Riverine Force and I can't remember if this problem had been adressed already in a previous patch...


< Message edited by Boonierat -- 9/27/2007 8:34:59 PM >


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RE: Defending a river line - 9/27/2007 11:49:55 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious


quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke


Isn't the real issue the fact that rivers aren't a hex side?

Sorry if this has been raised elsewhere hereabouts, but I vaguely remember Norm on a forum somewhere many years ago saying that but for problems with the game company who originally owned this, a patch allowing hex river sides was already built and on his machine for release.


I have seen a screenshot of TOAW with hexside rivers, but I believe that this was never fully implemented.

Anyway, because of the need for backwards compatability, hexside rivers would have to be added alongside in-hex rivers. This could make for some very complicated situations.


Why?

Assuming the system understood the rules in both circumstances, I don't see the problem.

My guess is that scenarios would either work in one way or the other, with designers not mixing the two. The only requirement would be for players to understand the rules they were playing under. Given the rule "be in the hex behind the river" would work in either circumstance then I don't really see any showstoppers.

regards,
IronDuke


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RE: Defending a river line - 9/27/2007 11:51:50 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM

quote:

ORIGINAL: ColinWright

I've never liked the idea of hex-side rivers, anyway. Ugly.


Agreed.


I'd disagree, but would not judge the issue graphically anyway. the game play is surely the thing with this title.

Regards,
IronDuke


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RE: Defending a river line - 9/27/2007 11:56:55 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM


quote:

ORIGINAL: Karri

Not necessary IMO. Plus it would bring on a new set of problems...like if the rivers are hex side, then where are engineers supposed to be for them to allow the river crossing?

Exactly.


Not a problem. They'ed have to be in whichever hex you tried to cross from as they would be in real life. The rule would be that an infantry unit couldn't cross a river hex side unless it did so from a hex containing engineering assets. that's basically the way it works now.

Regards,
IronDuke

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/28/2007 12:22:18 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM


quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious


quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke


Isn't the real issue the fact that rivers aren't a hex side?

Sorry if this has been raised elsewhere hereabouts, but I vaguely remember Norm on a forum somewhere many years ago saying that but for problems with the game company who originally owned this, a patch allowing hex river sides was already built and on his machine for release.


Anyway, because of the need for backwards compatability, hexside rivers would have to be added alongside in-hex rivers. This could make for some very complicated situations.

Yes, it would add a host of complications, and engine refitting, for what is essentially an aesthetic (and IMO, a poor one) concern.



I'd disagree here as well (nothing personal ). I think the aesthetic reasons for doing it are irrelevant and not why I'd promote it at all.

firstly, in mid war FITE scenarios for example, where both sides might want the Dniepr defensive bonus, you have a 10 kilometre gap between the two front lines, rather than the width of the river if they want to achieve this. It becomes a dead series of hexes.

Secondly, sides not wanting to waste movement points moving into the river hex to launch an assault on the assault turn have to pre-stack in the river hex and are much more vulnerable to counterattack than they would ever have been on their own side of the bank because stacked in the river hex, they won't get a defensive benefit if attacked. This is completely unhistorical because in real life, any counterattack would have had to cross the river to get at the attackers and suffer the penalties associated with that.

Thirdly, defending behind the river hex (to get your defensive bonus) gives the attacker the ability to seize bridges in the river hex and repair them unhindered. In real life, how many bridges can we think of that were repaired whilst the far bank was infested with enemy machine gun and AT emplacements?

I think as a change it is far from aesthetic.

Are the functional (as opposed to bugs and look and feel stuff) changes being considered published anywhere?

Regards,
IronDuke

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/28/2007 12:27:57 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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Does it also complicate disengagement?

Whether a unit is on or behind the river hex, it's notional position is the same (it's own side of the river). However, is it harder for a unit on the other side of the river to disengage if the opposing enemy unit is on the river hex rather than behind it?

regards,
IronDuke.

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/28/2007 1:16:36 AM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke
firstly, in mid war FITE scenarios for example, where both sides might want the Dniepr defensive bonus, you have a 10 kilometre gap between the two front lines, rather than the width of the river if they want to achieve this. It becomes a dead series of hexes.

Which is as it should be, since this will prevent pesky zoc's from influencing movement, creating disengagement attacks, etc. Precisely as it should be, for two sides passively taking advantage of the defensive aspects of a river.

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke
Secondly, sides not wanting to waste movement points moving into the river hex to launch an assault on the assault turn have to pre-stack in the river hex and are much more vulnerable to counterattack than they would ever have been on their own side of the bank because stacked in the river hex, they won't get a defensive benefit if attacked.

If a side is on the river, it is assumed to be in transit to, or a position in which to attack, or occupying some small bridgehead on the enemy side of the river. They shouldn't have full use of time as the crossing of a river in the face of the enemy is a logistical and operational hurdle.

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke
This is completely unhistorical because in real life, any counterattack would have had to cross the river to get at the attackers and suffer the penalties associated with that.

No, any attacks against units on the river are assumed to be local counterattacks against crossing parties and bridgeheads.

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke
Thirdly, defending behind the river hex (to get your defensive bonus) gives the attacker the ability to seize bridges in the river hex and repair them unhindered. In real life, how many bridges can we think of that were repaired whilst the far bank was infested with enemy machine gun and AT emplacements?

Only if they're held are they of any use, and if the hex is held, again it is assumed to be a suitable bridgehead covering the hex and its features. Like bridges, for example.





< Message edited by JAMiAM -- 9/28/2007 1:21:05 AM >

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/28/2007 1:39:05 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke
firstly, in mid war FITE scenarios for example, where both sides might want the Dniepr defensive bonus, you have a 10 kilometre gap between the two front lines, rather than the width of the river if they want to achieve this. It becomes a dead series of hexes.


quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAMWhich is as it should be, since this will prevent pesky zoc's from influencing movement, creating disengagement attacks, etc. Precisely as it should be, for two sides passively taking advantage of the defensive aspects of a river.


Yes, but surely issues with the disengagement rules shouldn't be an influence? Wouldn't river hex sides with rules negating ZOC across the hex side do the trick more efficiently? in other words, the issue you're highlighting is with the ZOC rules not rivers. Are we using another feature (rivers) to cover ZOC issues rather than addressing the root cause itself and amending ZOC?

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke
Secondly, sides not wanting to waste movement points moving into the river hex to launch an assault on the assault turn have to pre-stack in the river hex and are much more vulnerable to counterattack than they would ever have been on their own side of the bank because stacked in the river hex, they won't get a defensive benefit if attacked.


quote:

If a side is on the river, it is assumed to be in transit to, or a position in which to attack, or occupying some small bridgehead on the enemy side of the river. They shouldn't have full use of time as the crossing of a river in the face of the enemy is a logistical and operational hurdle.


Yes, but then a unit is losing clock time moving onto the river and clock time crossing it. In real life, poised in the trees on the friendly side as the turn started, canoes at the ready, they surely shouldn't lose 10 or even 20% of the clock moving into position. The crossing time is surely reflected in the clock time lost during the combat?

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke
This is completely unhistorical because in real life, any counterattack would have had to cross the river to get at the attackers and suffer the penalties associated with that.


quote:

No, any attacks against units on the river are assumed to be local counterattacks against crossing parties and bridgeheads.


But this means that a unit on a river is behind it if attacking, but in front of it if defending. The same unit has multiple conflicting rules applied for and against it depending on what it attempts to do. Or rather, when attacking the unit has to cross the river because it is assumed to be behind it, but the same unit when defending (without doing anything else) is assumed to have already managed the feat of crossing in the face of enemy fire without incurring any casualties whatsoever because movement into the river hex was free.

Does this mean we need combat modifiers that restrict unit losses when they are attacked on a river hex, on the basis that small crossing parties are the only ones likely to be shot at? We wouldn't want to see entire regiments occupying river hexes being badly mauled because their crossing parties were annihilated by a counterattack.

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke
Thirdly, defending behind the river hex (to get your defensive bonus) gives the attacker the ability to seize bridges in the river hex and repair them unhindered. In real life, how many bridges can we think of that were repaired whilst the far bank was infested with enemy machine gun and AT emplacements?



quote:

Only if they're held are they of any use, and if the hex is held, again it is assumed to be a suitable bridgehead covering the hex and its features. Like bridges, for example.


But this means the defender has to defend the bridges from the far side in effect, or concede a bridgehead without firing a shot. They effectively defend from the far side because to hold the bridge hexes, they have to be in river hexes and are therefore deemed (for defensive purposes) to be on the enemy's side of the river. Additionally, a bridge hex defender is presumably open to flanking modifiers in addition because the only way a defending unit can cover its flanks is to place further friendly units on adjacent river hexes which are in turn deemed to be on the opposing side if attacked and are therefore unable to get any defensive benefits.

In other words, to prevent bridge hexes you are defending being flanked, you have to fight on the other side of the river. the only alternative is to give the hex up and concede the bridge.

Regards,
IronDuke

< Message edited by IronDuke -- 9/28/2007 1:54:25 AM >


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RE: Defending a river line - 9/28/2007 2:33:01 AM   
rhinobones

 

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Go Duke!

Regards, RhinoBones

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RE: Defending a river line - 9/28/2007 3:42:00 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke


Isn't the real issue the fact that rivers aren't a hex side?

Sorry if this has been raised elsewhere hereabouts, but I vaguely remember Norm on a forum somewhere many years ago saying that but for problems with the game company who originally owned this, a patch allowing hex river sides was already built and on his machine for release.

Now, I appreciate this might require re-doing, but in some scenarios where both sides want defensive benefits, some hexes are effectively out of play because they are river hexes and no one wants them. That is hundreds of square kilometres effectively empty on a map because there are no hex sides for rivers.

Is this on anyone's list?

Regards,
IronDuke


It is indeed on the downloadable wishlist (item 2.1), for what that's worth.

However, it's debatable whether hexside rivers are more realistic at these scales than river hexes. Rivers don't generally run in straight lines for 10km stretches. They meander. You really can think of them as filling the hex, and can't really think of a given hex as being entirely on one side or the other of the river.

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