From: Houston, TX
ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay
River hexes could be made better for a little effort. River hexsides seem too expensive for a dubious benefit. I just don't see the case for them. For that amount of effort we could get better stuff.
I think the linked thread from 2007 lays out the case for them, I won't repeat it here.
It also laid out the case against them. I gather I will have to repeat it here.
And the amount of effort? It sounds like a patch was coded years ago...
What that consisted of and what became of it, no one knows.
For sure, this will be an expensive change. It requires unique graphics that no other tile has (hexside display). It requires that bridge blowing, bridge attacks, bridge repair, ferry support, and riverine movement will all have to be devised for hexside implementation. Each of those implementations will have to have UI mechanisms devised for them.
And what do we get for that? For all existing scenarios, nothing. Even for that small fraction of existing scenarios that can expect future designer revision, the answer is still probably nothing. What designers will rip out the river hexes from their maps to replace them with hexside rivers? Few if any. Only a fraction of brand new scenarios will even employ hexside rivers. What benefits will they enjoy from them? A x0.7 attack multiplier will be applied in a slightly different place. Whether that is an improvement or not is dubious.
What do we lose for switching to hexside rivers? The transverse benefits of rivers. Rivers meander and have oxbow lakes (see attached). That gives them a transverse benefit just like an entrenchment does by zig-zagging. River hexes have those benefits. Hexside rivers don’t. Rivers really can be thought of as occupying an area. An enemy unit can be on the same side of the river as its friendly target and yet still have a wide meander between them.
Any "fix" does not account for the basic fact that a unit is generally on one side of the river or the other, while this is not true of a unit in a (potentially 50 km wide) river hex.
That isn’t a “basic fact” but a basic fallacy. Contested front lines do not, in general, follow river boundaries . Bridgeheads do not start out 2.5 km long, much less 50km. In the real world, operational sized units will be on one side of the river in some places while being on the other side in others.
It might be helpful if you could explain how to properly defend a bridge with in-hex rivers, because right now I don't get it; to defend a bridge I'm supposed to occupy the river hex (with no defensive bonus for the river), which makes the unit stick out of the defending line, without any benefits from the river, rendering the defender very vulnerable. If the defender doesn't occupy the bridge hex, the attacker can just waltz in and take it. Doesn't make any sense to me…
Most scenarios expect the player to defend every hex tooth-and-nail. The front line will gradually advance to the river, onto the river, and beyond the river. In that process, the 0.7 multiplier will be received at some point (exactly the same for river hexes as for hexside rivers). Generally, even if there is the margin to abandon a defense line (suffering disengagement in the process) to fall back to anything, other terrain will be superior to any river line and will trump such considerations.
Nevertheless, if the changes in the Wishlist item 3.2 are made, then defenders could receive the river benefit while ON the river hex, not behind it. That change would impact all existing scenarios, by the way.
Coding time is precious. Graphic Designer time is expensive. We have to be judicious in our employment of them. Changes must make cost/benefit sense.
< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 7/21/2015 8:40:41 PM >