Best rules for hills on a 2D surface

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josta59
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Best rules for hills on a 2D surface

Postby josta59 » Wed May 24, 2017 9:33 pm

A general call has been sounded to post more stuff, so here goes.

Ever since I started fooling around with wargame design a few years ago, the question of how to handle hill rules has always been a little thorn in my side.

What I usually do is say that units on a hill can neither see nor be seen by units below unless they're on the "edge" (hull-down, so to speak), which I usually portray as an oval shape of some kind on my virtual table. I always imagine that if I were using a real table, I might use some flat oval objects to make my hills as I've seen many others do.

I'm not sure where I picked up that rule, but I definitely didn't invent it myself. Actually, yes, I got it from Lock 'n Load. I remember it being a crucial part of strategy when I played Nuklear Winter '68 here on the forum.

The problem is that it doesn't seem very realistic. One could potentially get a very good view of the surrounding landscape from the center of a hill. All hills are different, probably, so a one-size-fits-all rule like that doesn't really work all that well.

hills.jpg


Of course, this wouldn't be a problem if I used a real miniatures table, because I could use string or just eyeball it to see if LoS exists in 3D. One of the few real advantages to actual miniatures over virtual tables!

I do like the hill rule in Tank on Tank. In that game, units on hills (which are always on an edge) can always see and be seen, but they do get the advantage of having longer range than units down below. That doesn't seem very realistic either, but it's another way of doing it.

So what are your thoughts? Have you run into this problem? Ever seen a hill rule in a board game that made so much sense that it should be used for all 2D games?
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: Best rules for hills on a 2D surface

Postby Lucky Luke » Wed May 24, 2017 10:52 pm

Nice topic!
In tactical scale games the Los is simulated in many ways more or less complex as the rules are.
IIRC in Avalon Hill's Arab Israeli Wars you can see over lower hexes and you can get 'hull down' defensive DRM when fired by lower enemy units, in Squad Leader there is a 'blind zone' behind lower hexes where the Los is blocked. If you remember the Firepower Los rules all the others are very 'user friendly' in comparison...
In 2d games the hexes of a hills can be draw in different colored hexes with different height levels linked to every color.
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Re: Best rules for hills on a 2D surface

Postby josta59 » Thu May 25, 2017 6:56 am

That's right, Firepower also has it so only troops on an "edge hex" of a hill level can be seen, and yes, it got way more complex than I'd ever want to. I guess I'm trying to strike a nice balance between realism and simplicity that I haven't quite found yet.
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: Best rules for hills on a 2D surface

Postby Lucky Luke » Thu May 25, 2017 9:14 am

A rather simple but effective LOS ruleset is the one in Gunslinger....maybe you'll find it somewhat clumsy but with few tries it'll works like a charm!
Attachments
gunslinger los.pdf
(671.81 KiB) Downloaded 5 times
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Re: Best rules for hills on a 2D surface

Postby josta59 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:06 pm

I just now got around to reading that, Luca. Man, seems complicated! Can't really tell if it's any different than Firepower. Thanks for sharing!
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848


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