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View Full Version : What ideas do you have for generating DBA terrain


colinrice
01-29-2011, 02:24 PM
I am interested in other people's ideas for generating terrain for DBA. Ideas that I have heard and seen are variants on the DBM approach and DK's current proposed rule change.

What suggestions do you have?

Rich Gause
01-29-2011, 09:27 PM
I am interested in other people's ideas for generating terrain for DBA. Ideas that I have heard and seen are variants on the DBM approach and DK's current proposed rule change.

What suggestions do you have?

The DK terrain adjustment rule. By far the best DBA terrain generation system out there, and if anyone discovers a way it could be improved it will probably be modified quickly. The current rule is pretty different from the origional proposal, but David was very open to debate and improving his origional idea and didn't just go with his first thought without brainstorming with other DBA players. If the improvement is actually an improvement that is. I doubt if "improvements" will be made without significant debate and scrutiny to make sure they really are improvements. I trust David will continue to be open to the input of other DBA players who are very active in the DBA community and won't just make changes to his great optional rule without allowing others to point out potential problems with said changes.:silly

Pavane
01-29-2011, 11:51 PM
I am partial to the semi-random placement of terrain by both attacker and defender as in DBR, but it is far more complex and time consuming than DK's suggestion. DK's proposal is the best for DBA that I have seen put forward so far.

I do have reservations about the Florida addition of being able to move the smallest piece of defender's BGo toward the centre. It might very well prompt GGo prefering players to always place a 1BW x 1BW BGo near the centre to partially neutralize the rule. I understand that this addition was to mitigate the need for the attacker to bring a set of BGo terrain appropriate for each topography, but I worry that this might promote a new repetitive terrain practice itself.

I also wonder about the central BGo rule in general. As mentioned earlier, there is no historical basis; it is just for game balance purposes. I suppose that if neither player wants the BGo piece, or just the attacker with a 2/3 chance of failing it will occur in a minority of games.

In any case, playtesting is the best way to proceed fron here.

Rich Gause
01-29-2011, 11:53 PM
I am partial to the semi-random placement of terrain by both attacker and defender as in DBR, but it is far more complex and time consuming than DK's suggestion. DK's proposal is the best for DBA that I have seen put forward so far.

I do have reservations about the Florida addition of being able to move the smallest piece of defender's BGo toward the centre. It might very well prompt GGo prefering players to always place a 1BW x 1BW BGo near the centre to partially neutralize the rule. I understand that this addition was to mitigate the need for the attacker to bring a set of BGo terrain appropriate for each topography, but I worry that this might promote a new repetitive terrain practice itself.

I also wonder about the central BGo rule in general. As mentioned earlier, there is no historical basis; it is just for game balance purposes. I suppose that if neither player wants the BGo piece, or just the attacker with a 2/3 chance of failing it will occur in a minority of games.

In any case, playtesting is the best way to proceed fron here.

The central bad going was DK's idea...........

david kuijt
01-30-2011, 12:06 AM
I understand that this addition was to mitigate the need for the attacker to bring a set of BGo terrain appropriate for each topography, but I worry that this might promote a new repetitive terrain practice itself.


Fair enough -- but I'd point out that it doesn't add one, it transmutes an existing one.

The previous practice with pooltables is to put a single 1BWx1BW BGo square on the center line of one edge. That fulfills the requirement that there be "BGo in at least two quarters" of the map.

Now the people who would be doing that, will have to put the piece at the 1/4 mark on the centerline, rather than at the edge of the map. Big whoop. :)

My point is that this doesn't add a new repetitive terrain practice -- it is a forced modification to an existing one.

But either way, playtesting is the only way to decide whether this sucketh or not.

Pavane
01-30-2011, 10:10 AM
The central bad going was DK's idea...........

Of course I might be mistaken, but DK's original suggestion was the attacker placing a 2BW x 2BW BGo, but the Floridia trial additionally allowed the complete repositioning of one of the defender's BGo. In any case, that is a significant addition.

Rich Gause
01-30-2011, 12:15 PM
Of course I might be mistaken, but DK's original suggestion was the attacker placing a 2BW x 2BW BGo, but the Floridia trial additionally allowed the complete repositioning of one of the defender's BGo. In any case, that is a significant addition.

That was his origional suggestion but he came up with the central Bgo idea which was better.

Pavane
01-30-2011, 03:31 PM
That was his origional suggestion but he came up with the central Bgo idea which was better.
Yeah, I was too lazy to read through dozens of posts again and just zoomed to the beginning.

colinrice
01-30-2011, 09:10 PM
Give the option of the choice of a 24 or 30 inch playing board to the defender.

david kuijt
01-30-2011, 09:36 PM
Give the option of the choice of a 24 or 30 inch playing board to the defender.

Why? Did Darius have that power, when he graded the battlefield at Gaugamela? Should the defender have the ability to say "on this battlefield, Kn do not QK Auxilia?"

The edge of the world is an arbitrary artifact of the game -- not a shrubbery.

Rich Gause
01-30-2011, 11:09 PM
Give the option of the choice of a 24 or 30 inch playing board to the defender.

I would actually give the choice of 24 or 30 inch board to the attacker if one player got to choose. Since the edge of the board only exists because it is a game, if the attacker doesn't want to manuver around the flanks you can use a 24" board and if he does then you can use a 30". That would be an improvement over a straight 24" board. It might be simpler to just do 30" all the time.

colinrice
01-31-2011, 01:09 AM
Why? Did Darius have that power, when he graded the battlefield at Gaugamela? Should the defender have the ability to say "on this battlefield, Kn do not QK Auxilia?"

The edge of the world is an arbitrary artifact of the game -- not a shrubbery.

Actually Darius, metaphorically and literally had that power. He picked the site of the battle field at Gaugamela. Oh, and he did remove all the shrubbery. :D

The intent of the rule is to mimic the fact that some battlefields are more limited in effective operable space than others. I am sure that I don't have to explain that to you. The operable space of Thermopylae was different than that of Gaugamela.

And it is not the edge of world... it is the edge of the battle field, and some battlefields are smaller than others offering more limited manouvre opportunities. So if you go and attack in Greece in ancient times, the effective area in which you could deploy your troops would be less than what you would have available while chasing Parthians across the plains outside of Carrhae.

This is just a way of allowing those poor little warband armies that get invaded in their woodlands to limit the tactical options of those big nasty knight armies.

And the decision and the setup is quick, simple and easy.

And the impact for tournaments would be to force players to think about their options for fighting in either open or close terrain. Both would be a challenge.

david kuijt
01-31-2011, 01:50 AM
Actually Darius, metaphorically and literally had that power. He picked the site of the battle field at Gaugamela. Oh, and he did remove all the shrubbery. :D

Picking the site of the battlefield at Gaugamela (and grading it to remove obstacles) certainly did nothing to influence where the edge of the world was -- in fact, none of the commentators of that battle mentioned the edge of the world at all. Certainly nobody recalled the point at which Darius fled off the edge of the world.


The intent of the rule is to mimic the fact that some battlefields are more limited in effective operable space than others. I am sure that I don't have to explain that to you. The operable space of Thermopylae was different than that of Gaugamela.

You are using circular reasoning, Colin. You say the edge of the world is terrain, because terrain around the battle field is the (creates the) edge of the world.

The edge of the world is not terrain. Terrain is terrain. One flank on Thermopylae was the OCEAN. Another was (almost) impassable mountains. The other two sides... had no edge of the world. I can prove it to you -- if you go to Thermopylae, there is a road there, and it goes both ways, far past where the edge of the world would be.

Repeat after me: the edge of the world is not terrain. Waterway? Terrain. Steep Hills? Terrain. Edge of the world? Not terrain.



And it is not the edge of world... it is the edge of the battle field, and some battlefields are smaller than others offering more limited manouvre opportunities. So if you go and attack in Greece in ancient times, the effective area in which you could deploy your troops would be less than what you would have available while chasing Parthians across the plains outside of Carrhae.

"effective area" -- you mean space LIMITED BY TERRAIN?

Because I can assure you, google earth doesn't show any edge of the battlefield on any battlefield you can mention -- and if you have appropriate transport (sometimes a ship) you can travel any direction from any battlefield, without running into any edge of the world. You might run into some terrain, though.


This is just a way of allowing those poor little warband armies that get invaded in their woodlands to limit the tactical options of those big nasty knight armies.

And the decision and the setup is quick, simple and easy.

And the impact for tournaments would be to force players to think about their options for fighting in either open or close terrain. Both would be a challenge.

Your logic works as well for any rule change. For example: Defender chooses whether Warband get QK by Knights or not.
This is just a way of allowing those poor little warband armies that get invaded in their woodlands to limit the tactical options of those big nasty knight armies.

And the decision and the setup is quick, simple and easy.

And the impact for tournaments would be to force players to think about how to deal with warband having a QK or not. Both would be a challenge.

Foge
01-31-2011, 10:42 AM
I think either random placement or alternating placement would be better than the current situation. The fact that certain match ups are dominated by a single die roll at the beginning of the game is awful, as is the fact that certain armies are only viable if they win that roll (where "win" is roll low).

Maybe 30" boards are the answer, but I wouldn't count on it. Hopefully Phil will allow us a preview of what he has in store for us.

EDIT: Two things I want to make clear. First, terrain placement isn't a deal breaker for me. Its just the rule section that I dislike the most. I still like the game, though. :) Second, when I said I don't think 30" boards are the answer, I meant that I doubt that we will see them in the official rules.

ferrency
01-31-2011, 11:05 AM
I agree with DK.


Using 30" boards isn't about making it impossible to use the "edge of the world" as if it were terrain (but it isn't). Using 30" boards simply makes it possible to avoid the edge of the world if you want to.

The general's command radius provides as much limit on playable space as the game needs.

Alan

Pavane
01-31-2011, 11:19 AM
The fact that certain match ups are dominated by a single die roll at the beginning of the game is awful, as is the fact that certain armies are only viable if they win that roll (where "win" is roll low).


Good point. The aggression factor is a measure of how frequently the army historically fought outside of the home territory. This is a strategic factor between historical adversaries. In an open tournament setting, the aggression factor is as realistic as the "edge of the world".

It would be better that the both players roll an unmodified die roll, unless they are listed as Enemies in the rulebook.

colinrice
01-31-2011, 08:12 PM
You say the edge of the world is terrain, because terrain around the battle field is the (creates the) edge of the world.


Actually I never said that. What I wrote was "And it is not the edge of world... it is the edge of the battle field, and some battlefields are smaller than others offering more limited manouvre opportunities."

Dave, if you insist that the edge of the board is the edge of the world, and you absolutely insist there be no edge of the world in the game, then you should burn all the boards. :rotfl

david kuijt
01-31-2011, 08:30 PM
Actually I never said that. What I wrote was "And it is not the edge of world... it is the edge of the battle field, and some battlefields are smaller than others offering more limited manouvre opportunities."


Picking nits, Colin. You say some battlefields are smaller than others. What makes them smaller, Colin? TERRAIN.

If you could prove that every ancient battlefield was fought on an upthrust square mesa, with cliffs on all sides threatening imminent doom to any element that might be pushed off the edge... then you might have a point. But since no ancient battlefield looked like that (except perhaps one scene in "300", which has only relevance for HotT or comic books, not history, and would only mark one part of one edge anyway, not all four sides), you have no point.


Dave, if you insist that the edge of the board is the edge of the world, and you absolutely insist there be no edge of the world in the game, then you should burn all the boards. :rotfl

It is hard for me to express how tired I am of people saying "if you think 30 is better than 24, then you should play on an infinite table!" It isn't very clever.

colinrice
02-01-2011, 01:43 AM
Picking nits, Colin. You say some battlefields are smaller than others. What makes them smaller, Colin? TERRAIN.

True, but irrelevant. We are talking about a game of a battle fought on a board representing a battlefield with stuff that mimics terrain.

If you could prove that every ancient battlefield was fought on an upthrust square mesa, with cliffs on all sides threatening imminent doom to any element that might be pushed off the edge... then you might have a point. But since no ancient battlefield looked like that (except perhaps one scene in "300", which has only relevance for HotT or comic books, not history, and would only mark one part of one edge anyway, not all four sides), you have no point.

Again irrelevant hyperbole with an arguement that I did not make. But I have seen game terrain that kinda looks like that. In fact I have a couple mesa pieces that I could sell. I actually don't like them because my little toy soldiers actually do fall off of them.

"if you think 30 is better than 24, then you should play on an infinite table!"

Another thing I did not say.

What I did say was "if you insist that the edge of the board is the edge of the world, and you absolutely insist there be no edge of the world in the game, then you should burn all the boards." If you don't like the rejoinder then don't make the edge of the world argument and the assumption that the edge of the board represents the edge of the world, because that is where it ultimately leads.

My point is that some people prefer 24 inch boards over 30 inch boards for valid game play reasons, and vice versa. The size of the boards has impacts on play and those impacts do affect peoples' preferences and present players with different, distinct opportunities and challenges, especially when the type of army they are playing with is considered.

Personally, I am happy to play on either size board and feel no dogmatic attachment to either. I do know that they are different and reward and penalize different armies and different styles of play.

I do have a dogmatic attachment to letting players have a choice in the size of board they prefer.

john meunier
02-01-2011, 08:34 PM
What are the problems now?

1. Billiard table terrain.

2. Clogged table terrain.

3. Symmetrical terrain.

The first two are game play and game-balance issues. The last is largely aesthetic, but it also eliminates the point of a game mechanic designed to give the attacker some control over sides.

These are untested thoughts, but in the spirit of the thread, what about.

Changes in terrain size
Minimum area feature raised to 2 bw x 2 bw.

Only one area feature can have a combined length + width greater than 6.

One additional terrain placement rule
At least one area feature must be placed so that it is at least 600 (or maybe 300) paces from any board edge.

Here is my thinking.

The third rule in combination with the first one gets rid of the total billiard table, while still leaving a mounted defender lots of room to play in.

The second rule cuts down on the clogged board problem - although it does not eliminate it.

Neither of these eliminates the symmetrical terrain problem. I'd be happy to include some sort of die roll to allow the attacker to shift terrain as in DK's proposal.

I'm sure this is flawed and not completely thought out. My problem with play testing is two-fold. My opponents are all away at college. When we play, we rarely set up terrain in any of the three problem ways listed at the top.

Anyway, I throw that out there for people to chew on, chew up, and spit out if they like.

Rich Gause
02-01-2011, 10:19 PM
What are the problems now?

1. Billiard table terrain.

2. Clogged table terrain.

3. Symmetrical terrain.

The first two are game play and game-balance issues. The last is largely aesthetic, but it also eliminates the point of a game mechanic designed to give the attacker some control over sides.

These are untested thoughts, but in the spirit of the thread, what about.

Changes in terrain size
Minimum area feature raised to 2 bw x 2 bw.

Only one area feature can have a combined length + width greater than 6.

One additional terrain placement rule
At least one area feature must be placed so that it is at least 600 (or maybe 300) paces from any board edge.

Here is my thinking.

The third rule in combination with the first one gets rid of the total billiard table, while still leaving a mounted defender lots of room to play in.

The second rule cuts down on the clogged board problem - although it does not eliminate it.

Neither of these eliminates the symmetrical terrain problem. I'd be happy to include some sort of die roll to allow the attacker to shift terrain as in DK's proposal.

I'm sure this is flawed and not completely thought out. My problem with play testing is two-fold. My opponents are all away at college. When we play, we rarely set up terrain in any of the three problem ways listed at the top.

Anyway, I throw that out there for people to chew on, chew up, and spit out if they like.

I like the DK rule better. It allows a pool table if both players want which your rule would not. It also allows a chance for there to be some relevant BGo rather than just terrain near the center of the board whether the defender would prefer it or not which is important for the agrression roll to not be the decisive roll of the game with BGo averse vs BGo dependent armies. The DK roll allows the attacker to mess up symetric terrain which your rule has no effect on. Some terrain size limits could be a promising direction to look into if further modification is needed to the DK rule after more play testing. We have only tested it in 30 games in FL + any that I am unaware of elsewhere so far and the idea was to try a minimal approach first before seeing if more radical changes might be needed. So far it seems to be working well with the defender still getting to mostly but not quite have the battlefield he would like.

john meunier
02-01-2011, 10:43 PM
I like the DK rule better. It allows a pool table if both players want which your rule would not. It also allows a chance for there to be some relevant BGo rather than just terrain near the center of the board whether the defender would prefer it or not which is important for the agrression roll to not be the decisive roll of the game with BGo averse vs BGo dependent armies. The DK roll allows the attacker to mess up symetric terrain which your rule has no effect on. Some terrain size limits could be a promising direction to look into if further modification is needed to the DK rule after more play testing. We have only tested it in 30 games in FL + any that I am unaware of elsewhere so far and the idea was to try a minimal approach first before seeing if more radical changes might be needed. So far it seems to be working well with the defender still getting to mostly but not quite have the battlefield he would like.

All valid. I was not trying to level a criticism or even offer this as a rival to DK's idea. I was just responding in the spirit of the thread as proposed by the initial poster.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Rich Gause
02-01-2011, 11:14 PM
All valid. I was not trying to level a criticism or even offer this as a rival to DK's idea. I was just responding in the spirit of the thread as proposed by the initial poster.

Thanks for your thoughts.

There is nothing wrong with criticising or offering alternate rules and I do not get offended if people tell me one of my ideas is bad. Without free exchange of ideas and debate and criticism things don't improve as much as they could.........

Foge
02-02-2011, 08:34 AM
Rich,

Have you guys tried all of the degenerate combinations? I'm very interested in what happens when you have a pool table army vs loads of terrain army.

Also, you guys are playing on 30" boards, right? I wonder how much the rule affects 24" boards.

Later,
Kevin

john meunier
02-02-2011, 12:04 PM
Rich,

Have you guys tried all of the degenerate combinations? I'm very interested in what happens when you have a pool table army vs loads of terrain army.

Also, you guys are playing on 30" boards, right? I wonder how much the rule affects 24" boards.

Later,
Kevin

I play on 24 inch boards. I'm not opposed to 30 inch boards, but I don't ever make it to the places where they are used.

Rich Gause
02-02-2011, 12:15 PM
Rich,

Have you guys tried all of the degenerate combinations? I'm very interested in what happens when you have a pool table army vs loads of terrain army.

Also, you guys are playing on 30" boards, right? I wonder how much the rule affects 24" boards.

Later,
Kevin

FL is mostly 24" but lately moving more towards 30". We just did 30" for both events last time to see how it would go. The only thing I don't like about 30" boards is the little bit of table overhang with our strandard tables. Maybe I should start a new heresy , the 28" board.

broadsword
03-23-2011, 07:45 PM
Regarding terrain sizes, I read in the WADBAG guide, and it seems implied in the rules, that an area terrain feature ought to be "generally oval", which we take to mean egg-shaped, or elliptical. My group certainly does not allow polygonal area features other than a BUA.

If that is true, the requirement that an area feature be at least one BW across in both directions (I take that to involve the semi-major and semi-minor axes of an elliptoid shape) does enforce restrictions already.

We play (and I'd recommend this as a tournament special rule) that an area feature of any kind must be "generally oval" (ie. approximately a circle, an egg, or a football) AND capable of ENTIRELY containing a Barker Marker. That would imply the minimum area feature is a circle of diameter at least the square root of two times a BW, or about 1.41 BW across. Not quite 2BW, but better than a 1BWX1BW square (which is illegal in my reading of the rules, or if not, then at least frowned upon in Barkerese,).

Additionally, a "maximally linear" Marsh or Rough feature is now shorter than 8BW, and wider than 1BW.

Redwilde
03-23-2011, 11:46 PM
Regarding terrain sizes, I read in the WADBAG guide, and it seems implied in the rules, that an area terrain feature ought to be "generally oval", which we take to mean egg-shaped, or elliptical.

I interpret the "generally oval" stipulation very liberally, and make a number of area terrain pieces that are very gentle C or S shapes, but still "generally oval" for a more naturally irregular look to the terrain.

Redwilde
03-23-2011, 11:52 PM
FL is mostly 24" but lately moving more towards 30". We just did 30" for both events last time to see how it would go. The only thing I don't like about 30" boards is the little bit of table overhang with our strandard tables. Maybe I should start a new heresy , the 28" board.

Well, actually a 32" board gives the same proportional distance to base width ratio for 15mm as the old standard 48" board for 25mm. But 30" is a very common size for folding tables, especially as used at US convention sites. Hence the change to 30" to avoid the annoying 2" overhang.

So, a local 28" heresy makes sense, at least it gets you closer to the proportional battlefield width that's long been the standard for 25mm play.

Rich Gause
03-24-2011, 12:22 AM
Well, actually a 32" board gives the same proportional distance to base width ratio for 15mm as the old standard 48" board for 25mm. But 30" is a very common size for folding tables, especially as used at US convention sites. Hence the change to 30" to avoid the annoying 2" overhang.

So, a local 28" heresy makes sense, at least it gets you closer to the proportional battlefield width that's long been the standard for 25mm play.

I was only kidding about the 28" board.................... 30" is the way to go for table size reasons, otherwise I would not mind 32"

BigMadAl
03-24-2011, 01:31 PM
I have to admit that the current method of generating terrain has always worked fine for me.

I'm also perfectly happy with the current board size.

I realize my opinion may be the minority, but I feel like someone needs to say that the current situation is OK & doesn't need (much) changing.

broadsword
03-24-2011, 01:48 PM
Except then you have "bad armies" with poor terrain choices (high agression, consisting mostly of Ps and Ax) and also you get the problem of 'X' terrain in the four corners. When you play against people who really are trying everything possible to win, and not just immersing themselves in the general experience of it all, you start to see the quirks and problems.

BigMadAl
03-24-2011, 01:51 PM
When you play against people who really are trying everything possible to win, and not just immersing themselves in the general experience of it all, you start to see the quirks and problems.

Perhaps I should have made clear that I'm entirely in the "general experience of it all" camp, as are all of the people with whom I play.

I realize that does nothing for the other group, but again, it's just my modest opinon. I don't mean to be dismissive of the issue; I'm mostly saying that new methods of terrain generation are very, very low on my list of priorities.

OTOH, my friends & I could always just stick to the old method, regardless of what changes are made, so I guess it doesn't really matter to me :)

broadsword
03-24-2011, 01:53 PM
As far as "generally oval" I get the "more natural look" idea, and that's fine, but we like the requirement that a Barker Marker be able to fit entirely inside the area feature. We also take it as a rule that only a BUA is allowed to have "corners", ie places where the tangent vector is zero (and David, I mean that in the coordinate-free setting!). Every other area feature has to have a boundary that is a smooth (no sharp corners) curve.