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In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/29/2017 8:19:30 PM   
Lobster


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From an earlier thread:

quote:

ORIGINAL: PaulWRoberts

One aspect of TOAW that has always been unusual is that rivers/canals/etc exist in hexes rather than along hexsides.

I remember debates about this is the past, but I've forgotten the details. Can someone give us of the rundown: what are the issues, and are there any downsides to the way TOAW does this?

How does TOAW decide which side of a river a land unit in the hex is on? How do the combat procedures take into account the defensive benefits of rivers, and how are cross-river attacks handled? etc.

Has anything changed here in version IV?

Thanks!



To be honest the way TOAW handles rivers through the hexes does nothing but add confusion and illogical conclusions to TOAW. Moving down the river costs you as though you are crossing the river with each hex you enter. That is just stupid. It's as though you are crossing the river time after time after time as you travel down it instead of staying on one side.

Then there is the lack of logic when attacking from a river. It costs +2 to enter a river hex without any ferrying aid. At that point you have crossed because it cost you the additional movement to cross. But if you are going to attack someone after you entered the river hex you are still hit with a .7 value to your combat. Why? The points to cross the river have already been expended. Doesn't that mean I crossed the river? Now, after I've expended movement points to cross the river, I have to attack across the river I just crossed???

It would be more logical to apply movement points for crossing a river when you leave the river hex. As long as you are on a river hex you still have not crossed it. Only after you leave the river hex is the river crossed. That would make attacking across a river make more sense. And if the defender is on the river hex they have not yet crossed it either. If you attack a defender while they are on the river hex they are still on the same side as you. That would add some much needed logic to the river through the hex issue. Otherwise you have to make excuses like the river has a bend in it...in every hex...all the way up and down the river...that the defender is defending in. But only when there's a defender there. Otherwise the river runs through the hex as straight as an arrow.

One more point. If I'm on a river hex and the defender is on an adjacent hex of the same river I'm hit with a .7 attack value because I'm attacking from a river hex. So I guess the defender is somehow assumed to be on the other side. Yet if I attack the same defender that is on a river hex and I'm NOT on a river hex I am not penalized at all. Somehow the defender is no longer on the other side of the river. Where is the logic???

Even more screwed up, the defender has paid movement points TO CROSS THE RIVER in the second example!!!!

< Message edited by Lobster -- 12/29/2017 8:27:47 PM >


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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/29/2017 8:40:56 PM   
Oberst_Klink

 

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As one of my grandfathers (dead as a dodo now) would say... stay behind the Orne river and let the Tommies cross it... Jack, each wargame has it's 'flaws', or shall we say... has to admit that it can't reflect 100% the reality of combat... it's just the way it is. So, river hex or not... I am sure we still can reach Moscow before the winter, nicht war? ;)

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 3:32:35 AM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Oberst_Klink

As one of my grandfathers (dead as a dodo now) would say... stay behind the Orne river and let the Tommies cross it... Jack, each wargame has it's 'flaws', or shall we say... has to admit that it can't reflect 100% the reality of combat... it's just the way it is. So, river hex or not... I am sure we still can reach Moscow before the winter, nicht war? ;)

Klink, Oberst


The naval part of TOAW was flawed. So according to you it should not have been fixed. And Battle Time Stamps should not have been bothered with. And the new supply should have been left alone. And the new turn order should have been left as it was and not changed. And all of the different UI improvements were not needed. And every flaw in the game starting with TOAWI were ok and should not have been bothered with. And we should still be driving ox carts and living in hovels because fixing things that are flawed should not be done. Nice attitude.

Fixing the way rivers are treated is a very simple thing. If the entire naval portion of the game can be reworked then inserting some logic into the way river hexes work would be a walk in the park. Hell it probably wouldn't even effect existing scenarios.


< Message edited by Lobster -- 12/30/2017 3:33:27 AM >


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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 8:31:41 AM   
Oberst_Klink

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

The naval part of TOAW was flawed. So according to you it should not have been fixed. And Battle Time Stamps should not have been bothered with. And the new supply should have been left alone. And the new turn order should have been left as it was and not changed. And all of the different UI improvements were not needed. And every flaw in the game starting with TOAWI were ok and should not have been bothered with. And we should still be driving ox carts and living in hovels because fixing things that are flawed should not be done. Nice attitude.

Fixing the way rivers are treated is a very simple thing. If the entire naval portion of the game can be reworked then inserting some logic into the way river hexes work would be a walk in the park. Hell it probably wouldn't even effect existing scenarios.


Jack

I am not a professional programmer (though I once did manage the basics of PASCAL, BASIC now PHP, but that's it) :P AFAIK Norm and now Ralph use C++; so it's a question of coding. I never cared for the naval aspect (it's well known here) and as for the river hex. If there's an option to use it, sure, why not? But again, I am not a coder.

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 11:23:24 AM   
Devast8or

 

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I agree with the OP. The logic is skewed. I have some experience with programming but I have no idea how the code is structured in TOAW so speculating in how easy/difficult a fix can be incorporated is difficult without deeper knowledge of the code.

I do however agree that there should not be penalties applied for entering river hexes.
Keep the current system with defending river crossing behind the rivers so penalties are applied when exiting river hex into a non river hex and when attacking a unit from a river hex. Eliminating penalties for entering river hexes will allow movement along the river without penalties.

If penalties for entering rivers need to be kept for some reason then a solution might be to implement logic that looks for where a unit comes from, so if the unit moves from a river hex into a river hex then no additional penalty is applied since the unit already received the penalty when it entered a river hex originally.

I guess the first option would be easier to implement.

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 11:36:55 AM   
Oberst_Klink

 

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Just the helpful Oberst der Freiwilligen, no OP :)

Another example about river hex tiles... Look at the Steel Panthers series... they got them, but at ASL rivers/streams run 'between' hexes. So, different designs and nobody ever complaint about the river hexes at SP ;)

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 12:30:32 PM   
Devast8or

 

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Well it doesn't mean we should stop to improve. I think we all agree that we want TOAW to simulate operational conflicts as accurately as possible. Now I know TOAW has 20 years on its neck and that we have to live with decisions made back at that time.

We do however also have more CPU power today than we had back in the 90s allowing us to do more advanced calculations which allows us to increase the accuracy of simulations we create. We have also gained a lot of experience in how to create models to accurately create objects that behave in a realistic way. I think we all can agree that rivers are an important part of operational planning and are considered important for both attackers and defenders. As such they should be simulated in a manner that they make sense from an operational point of view something that they don't really do today.

One another important thing is that a game should be logical from a players point of view. This means that results presented are in-line with the ones you would expect to see IRL. You really shouldn't need to be an expert on under the hood calculations in order to understand how to play properly. I bet that most players don't even pay attention to stuff like river hex to river hex movement. They just do it if it makes sense to them.

Look at the operational games that have come out fo the last few years, most of them have advanced in important parts like supply, air and naval simulations. Heck DC Barbarossa even implemented staff handling with different personalities which they have received a lot of praise for.




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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 12:30:34 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Oberst_Klink

Just the helpful Oberst der Freiwilligen, no OP :)

Another example about river hex tiles... Look at the Steel Panthers series... they got them, but at ASL rivers/streams run 'between' hexes. So, different designs and nobody ever complaint about the river hexes at SP ;)

Klink, Oberst


Oh no, you didn't just do that did you? I would expect you of all people to understand the difference between a tactical game and an operational game. One dealing with 50 meter hexes vs one with 2.5 km to 50 km hexes.

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 1:00:42 PM   
Oberst_Klink

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster


quote:

ORIGINAL: Oberst_Klink

Just the helpful Oberst der Freiwilligen, no OP :)

Another example about river hex tiles... Look at the Steel Panthers series... they got them, but at ASL rivers/streams run 'between' hexes. So, different designs and nobody ever complaint about the river hexes at SP ;)

Klink, Oberst


Oh no, you didn't just do that did you? I would expect you of all people to understand the difference between a tactical game and an operational game. One dealing with 50 meter hexes vs one with 2.5 km to 50 km hexes.

Sigh... Jack... I should have known better, from my personal experience, not to start a discussion about river hexes with a Deutsch-Amerikaner :P

Come up with few lines of code then, relay it to Bob and Ralph, and there you got your between the hexes river thingies ;)

Klink, Oberst

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 1:38:43 PM   
Lobster


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If I had the ability to change the code for TOAW I wouldn't need Ralph or Bob or suggestions. But alas, unless Bob agrees to something being changed it doesn't get changed no matter how much sense it does or doesn't make.

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 2:13:58 PM   
TheGrayMouser

 

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I think the key is the game is "operational". The logic is that rivers are generally not simply "linear obstacle" but wiggle and waggle and have "mass" with in the confines of a hex. Since the game is modern combat with dispersed formations that generally do NOT want to clump up, everybody being all on one side or the other of a river wiggle or waggle doesnt really matter. The penalties represent barriers to communications and movement, ie it is not a moat.




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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 2:35:40 PM   
Oberst_Klink

 

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Some jolly good points! I do salute you, sir!

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 2:38:39 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheGrayMouser

I think the key is the game is "operational". The logic is that rivers are generally not simply "linear obstacle" but wiggle and waggle and have "mass" with in the confines of a hex. Since the game is modern combat with dispersed formations that generally do NOT want to clump up, everybody being all on one side or the other of a river wiggle or waggle doesnt really matter. The penalties represent barriers to communications and movement, ie it is not a moat.


Wait a minute! Are you suggesting that a unit could be on both sides of the river at the same time? For that to be the case, I'd have to get out my scissors and cut that cardboard counter in half.

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 2:44:14 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Look: it's a river hex. We just know that the river is in there somewhere. We know that rivers meander and wander around. What they don't do is follow a hex grid. If I order my force to carry out an operation up a line of river hexes, is that the same as ordering the same operation up a line of open hexes? No defender would be able to derive any benefit from the river? It would be the same as if the river wasn't there? Remember, we don't carry out operations in single file - we are in battle formation.

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/30/2017 5:47:10 PM   
mccartyg

 

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Hex's and staggered squares are used for simplicity. Hex side rivers do model river location for operations better. In hex rivers models geography better. The above picture is of the Kusko river at Bethel Alaska during the summer thaw. Generally, rivers are linear or try to be linear over millenia but, seasonal rivers will meander more near their delta due to heightened waterflow. I think TOAWs model of attacking out of a river hex with a greater combat penalty rather than attacking into a river hex is nonsensical. While attacking between river hexes having the same penalty is just as illogical. The unit is making the physical crossing when attacking into the river hex and engaging enemy formations that are before and then behind the river. The unit attacking up/down the river should be considered to have accomplished a crossing and receive a smaller or no penalty for it's attack due to the enemy force being likewise cut by the obstacle. Generally, the game's terrain logic values and modifiers need to be exported to an editable database that designers can tweak to implement their desired effects. For instance using escarpment logic for river hex sides while preserving that feature of terrain sides with different values. The basic qualities are there but just hard coded which is bad.

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/31/2017 12:09:05 AM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheGrayMouser

I think the key is the game is "operational". The logic is that rivers are generally not simply "linear obstacle" but wiggle and waggle and have "mass" with in the confines of a hex. Since the game is modern combat with dispersed formations that generally do NOT want to clump up, everybody being all on one side or the other of a river wiggle or waggle doesnt really matter. The penalties represent barriers to communications and movement, ie it is not a moat.



For every picture you show of an exaggerated meander I can show you one that does not. Here's the Mississippi. What's your point?






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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/31/2017 12:24:26 AM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

Look: it's a river hex. We just know that the river is in there somewhere. We know that rivers meander and wander around. What they don't do is follow a hex grid. If I order my force to carry out an operation up a line of river hexes, is that the same as ordering the same operation up a line of open hexes? No defender would be able to derive any benefit from the river? It would be the same as if the river wasn't there? Remember, we don't carry out operations in single file - we are in battle formation.


Right now I don't really care about the down river movement problem because it's a can of worms. Making sense of it would be such a jumbled mess of programming that it probably isn't really worth it when rivers run through a hex.

The other problem that is more easily solved is when should a unit be charged for crossing a river in a way that makes sense during both movement and combat.

It's a river hex. I've paid +2 to enter the hex. That represents crossing the river. If I didn't cross the river upon entering the hex why am I paying extra movement points? Further, if I have enough ferrying units that cost is negated which tells me that upon entering the river hex I've most certainly crossed that river. If I've crossed the river, and I have because I've paid extra time for the effort, why am I than penalized for attacking across something I've already crossed?

We need to be charged for river crossings when we leave the river hex. The game is telling me I've crossed the river because I'm charged for that when I enter the river hex. How can I then be charged for attacking across something I've already crossed? Charge for river crossing when leaving the river hex. Then being penalized for attacking across a river makes sense because it has not yet been crossed.

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/31/2017 5:38:26 AM   
76mm


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Ah, one of my favorite TOAW topics! As Lobster points out, for every windy river you post I can post twice as many which flow along gentle curves, at least within the scale of most TOAW maps. When hexes are 10-25-50 km I don't get the logic of having rivers occupy an entire hex.

Moreover, I understand from previous discussions that the code for hexside rivers had been more or less completed, and that the failure to include it stemmed mainly from the desire to avoid breaking old scenarios. But what about including hex-side rivers as an optional rule for the creation of new scenarios?

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/31/2017 9:29:33 AM   
larrybush


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I've done just enough maps using Google Earth and Hexthingy to see that about half the river is in the hex side the other half is in the middle of the hex. So either way can be justified.
My big issue is the wasted space in the map, especially with super rivers! Some maps lose 10% or more of their width or length due to the off limits nature of the river rules set.
If this could be tweaked it would be an improvement.

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/31/2017 1:38:08 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

Ah, one of my favorite TOAW topics! As Lobster points out, for every windy river you post I can post twice as many which flow along gentle curves, at least within the scale of most TOAW maps. When hexes are 10-25-50 km I don't get the logic of having rivers occupy an entire hex.

Moreover, I understand from previous discussions that the code for hexside rivers had been more or less completed, and that the failure to include it stemmed mainly from the desire to avoid breaking old scenarios. But what about including hex-side rivers as an optional rule for the creation of new scenarios?


A switch, Old River Method, New River Method? Worked for other things. In fact, it would add even more variability to this grand old game. True it would add volume to the game's files but with multi terabyte hard drives and multi gigabyte games that's hardly a problem. Variety is the spice of life.

Dear Lord it's cold outside. East Front winter 1941.

< Message edited by Lobster -- 12/31/2017 1:40:20 PM >


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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/31/2017 2:42:43 PM   
TheGrayMouser

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster


quote:

ORIGINAL: TheGrayMouser

I think the key is the game is "operational". The logic is that rivers are generally not simply "linear obstacle" but wiggle and waggle and have "mass" with in the confines of a hex. Since the game is modern combat with dispersed formations that generally do NOT want to clump up, everybody being all on one side or the other of a river wiggle or waggle doesnt really matter. The penalties represent barriers to communications and movement, ie it is not a moat.



For every picture you show of an exaggerated meander I can show you one that does not. Here's the Mississippi. What's your point?







Sure, much easier to flippantly post a pic than to discuss what I actually said.

This game was a wargame construction kit with a huge range of hex scale. For rivers to be hexside, you likley would need unique rules for every scale. Obvioulsy opinions will vary over the abstractions, yet the mechanic as is now hardly seems flawed.

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/31/2017 4:44:23 PM   
RFalvo69


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Talking of paradoxes, if I do pay the MP penalty after I cross the river - i.e. when I do leave the river hex, why should pay it when I do retreat back to the original hex? After all, I still had to cross the river...

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/31/2017 7:16:46 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69

Talking of paradoxes, if I do pay the MP penalty after I cross the river - i.e. when I do leave the river hex, why should pay it when I do retreat back to the original hex? After all, I still had to cross the river...


You've pointed out yet another of the paradoxes presented by in hex rivers. What side of the river are you on? No way of knowing. It's so abstracted that there's no way of knowing. There is so much abstraction surrounding rivers that you can basically make up whatever excuse you want to cover what happens. Rivers are fairly formidable obstacles. They should not be abstracted.


< Message edited by Lobster -- 12/31/2017 7:17:49 PM >


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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 12/31/2017 9:18:26 PM   
Nicholas Bell

 

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It's pretty sad we're having this discussion at all. The "argument" over in-hex vs hexside rivers was decided almost 50 years ago by board wargame designers. Even Avalon Hill stopped using in-hex rivers in non-tactical games (where they may at times make sense). Since the 1970's, out of the 100's of operation/strategic level board wargames published, how many use in-hex rivers?

What we are dealing with is a poor decision by Norm Koger made over 20 years ago. All his previous designs also used in-hex rivers. His explanation of why he made the choice is so laughable it smacks of nothing more than an excuse to cover something. Whether that is his out-of-step distorted design philosophy or his inability to figure out how to code it, or whatever, is anyone's guess.

That being said, it's obvious that for whatever reason, Ralph and Bob decided to not change this aspect of TOAW, and certainly are not going to now with this version.

So how about revising the design in the next iteration, ie "TOAW 5"? Maybe it's time to break away from the series (a new name included), use the existing code (much which is brilliant) to the fullest extent possible to come up with a truly up-to-date version which fixes this issue and many of the others people have noted over the years. Wrap that up with an easy to use editor which permits deeper user modification and I'll lay down $60-80 without hesitation. For sure, the scenario pool would be unusable, but with a good editor I can see that problem disappearing over time.


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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 1/1/2018 1:19:22 AM   
winkr7

 

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shouldn't roads be on hex sides too then?

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 1/1/2018 3:27:50 AM   
jwarrenw13

 

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With respect to all, this reads like a Steam thread that will be argued for three months or longer and in multiple threads (there are already two here) with no changes being made, since it appears it would be very difficult to make the change. My way of dealing with it is just working with the rule. It is a game, after all, and a really great game. Yes, hexside rivers would seem to be a better way to do it, but we have in-hex rivers and have to deal with them. Ironically, I just finished a Blitzkrieg 1950 scenario and then looked online at the original AH board game, which I truly loved a long time ago, and it used the in-hex river hexes. Yes, I know how old the board game is, about 55 years now. I just found that to be kind of funny.

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 1/1/2018 3:55:03 AM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: winkr7

shouldn't roads be on hex sides too then?


Good thing you're just joking.

You are joking right?

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RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 1/1/2018 4:01:14 AM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwarrenw13

With respect to all, this reads like a Steam thread that will be argued for three months or longer and in multiple threads (there are already two here) with no changes being made, since it appears it would be very difficult to make the change. My way of dealing with it is just working with the rule. It is a game, after all, and a really great game. Yes, hexside rivers would seem to be a better way to do it, but we have in-hex rivers and have to deal with them. Ironically, I just finished a Blitzkrieg 1950 scenario and then looked online at the original AH board game, which I truly loved a long time ago, and it used the in-hex river hexes. Yes, I know how old the board game is, about 55 years now. I just found that to be kind of funny.


The naval changes had been discussed for years. Battle time stamp was the result of a long discussion about time and movement. Many if not all of the changes are there because they were hashed over for a long time. Years and years. Problem is, you can change a board game's rules with a few hand written paragraphs. A computer game is not so easily changed. So a programmers time has to be budgeted based on what is easiest and more reasonable that improves the game to function in a real world manner as much as is possible with a IGOUGO very very old game. There is more to come, you can be sure of that.

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(in reply to jwarrenw13)
Post #: 28
RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 1/1/2018 4:47:25 AM   
jwarrenw13

 

Posts: 1329
Joined: 8/12/2000
From: Monroe, LA, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster


quote:

ORIGINAL: jwarrenw13

With respect to all, this reads like a Steam thread that will be argued for three months or longer and in multiple threads (there are already two here) with no changes being made, since it appears it would be very difficult to make the change. My way of dealing with it is just working with the rule. It is a game, after all, and a really great game. Yes, hexside rivers would seem to be a better way to do it, but we have in-hex rivers and have to deal with them. Ironically, I just finished a Blitzkrieg 1950 scenario and then looked online at the original AH board game, which I truly loved a long time ago, and it used the in-hex river hexes. Yes, I know how old the board game is, about 55 years now. I just found that to be kind of funny.


The naval changes had been discussed for years. Battle time stamp was the result of a long discussion about time and movement. Many if not all of the changes are there because they were hashed over for a long time. Years and years. Problem is, you can change a board game's rules with a few hand written paragraphs. A computer game is not so easily changed. So a programmers time has to be budgeted based on what is easiest and more reasonable that improves the game to function in a real world manner as much as is possible with a IGOUGO very very old game. There is more to come, you can be sure of that.


It really is a great game. I played starting with TOAW I, then II, then COW. I rarely played III, but only because I was playing other great games. But I supported the effort of TOAW IV by buying it as soon as it came out, and over the Christmas holiday I've been playing it and remembering why it is such a great game. Continued improvement would be great.

(in reply to Lobster)
Post #: 29
RE: In Hex Rivers Revisited...Yet Again. - 1/1/2018 12:52:00 PM   
larrybush


Posts: 574
Joined: 11/17/2005
From: Florida nowdays
Status: online
One last parting shot!

The screen shot does not need explanation.

99% of all board games use hex side rivers - why because it makes more sense.
Sure it makes the map look like a hex grid, but it is a hex grid, no way around that.

Hex grid based war games whether board or computer have distortions in the map irregardless of what math you use to determine map coordinates.

Now that being said,the effort to rework all scenario's in this game would be a monumental task! So I don't expect it.





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(in reply to jwarrenw13)
Post #: 30
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