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Limiting Vision Proposal
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Author:  Joe Meyer [ Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Limiting Vision Proposal

What would you think if HPS/JTS modified the visible hex capacity a little further by limiting vision to only along and within the axis/arc of the three, frontal hexes of a unit? I'll grant you that it certainly seems to fly in the face of realism to a degree: but it would certainly cut back on the enormous, unrealistic vision capabilities the game engine now allows, while introducing a new element of operational strategy and uncertainty. If you wanted to see what's out there behind you in the other three-hex arc, you'd have to spend some movement points swiveling around, wouldn't you?

Maybe it could be instituted as an option?

Your thoughts?

Author:  M. Aldrich [ Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Limiting Vision Proposal

While I agree that the existing LOS range is a bit much, I think limiting to three hexes is not realistic enough. Also, could there be a way to take elevation into consideration?

Author:  KWhitehead [ Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Limiting Vision Proposal

Using just facing would just create different problems and probably some really strange positioning of regiments. Better just to cut the maximum hex range from 70 hexes to something that better corresponds to the distance troops could see and still identify what they are looking at which is about ten hexes.

Better yet would be changing the amount of detail the observer could see with distance. Like currently you can identify the unit if adjacent. At distances of up to say 5-6 hexes get the same detail we now get. After that nothing but a "?" counter like wagons see now. It would be nice also after say ten hex range a random die roll thrown in. Some units you might see. Some "?" counters would be on empty hexes.

Author:  John Ferry [ Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Limiting Vision Proposal

'Scuse me for seeming to make light of the suggestion, but I chuckled when I thought of this (COL???) so I thought I'd send it on. Man in theater says, "Do you know there really is an oldest trick in the book?"
General says, "Looketh over there!" The entire regiment about faces to look in the appropriate direction. "Har Har madest thou look" :D
I would think in a regiment, somebody would be covering the rear.

John Ferry
LTC 2/20th Corps

Author:  Joe Meyer [ Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Limiting Vision Proposal

Why of course they would, John! At least you'd think that someone would to some degree, especially if the regiment was merely stationary. Or would they? But if a regiment were deployed and advancing under orders into the teeth of a defense, I don't believe that many of the soldiers would be paying attention to what they could see behind them, unless it was something so apparent that it couldn't be ignored. I suppose that historical rationales could be presented for each side of the discussion. :)

But as I said, while the suggestion would seem to fly in the face of realism, it does offers to reduce the unrealistic, 360 degree, 70-hex range we currently have with any unit. What we have now is essentially too much of a view: the "God's Eye!"

Elevation and terrain effects are currently factored into the vision capabilities. And that's good! You cannot see through forest hexes and you can't look over an intervening ridge. The line-of-sight has been pretty well constructed. But as Kennon points out, you still have eagle-like vision throughout the entire range that you currently can see! His particular suggestions seem very sensible to me. In fact, I'd like the chance to play a game with his suggestions and mine implemented. I'd bet you the challenges and some of the uncertainties that we've all been craving would really become evident and serve to open up the realism of the games.

I suggested the three-hex, frontal arc reduction because the HPS/JTS game engine already employs the arced range capability for mounted cavalry in forests, although it is limited to only two hexes outward! (The BG games allowed a three-hex arc, three-hex distance in forests for skirmishers on foot.) It shouldn't be too difficult to adapt and expand those existing codes within the suggestion. But, of course, I am not a programmer.

Author:  John Ferry [ Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Limiting Vision Proposal

Just so you know, I am not a programmer either. As a designer, I make suggestions, and they are all vetted before being turned down. The 70 hex view is easily adjusted in the pdt. That's five miles! It is pretty rare that you get a glimpse of something that far away, because of all the things blocking LOS. If I were the programmer king, I would only show those enemy units visible from each individual unit as you click on it instead of all things visible to all units or leaders.

Havest thou a nice day :)

John Ferry
LTC 2/20th Corps

Author:  KWhitehead [ Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Limiting Vision Proposal

The problem of course is the difference between "seeing" and "looking". Someone in the regiment probably is looking to the rear. But for the regimental commander this is meaningless until the "looking" is turned into information sent to him. Then their is the "seeing"; that is, understanding what you are looking at. And it is here that our games run into the 200 foot General concept. On the game map we "see" with 100% accuracy everything that the most ignorant skirmisher up to the most brilliant general "sees". Not only that but we react instantaneously to it.

There is no delay while the lower levels try to sort out whether the observer was spooked, drunk, or saw a friendly unit. There is no delay while messages are sent up the chain of command to get orders on whether to respond to the sighting. No misinterpretation of the messages due to other conflicting messages coming in. No delay as the commander sends his response.

A great discussion of this is at:

For us with what we have to work with limiting LOS is the best way to address the problem. In the parameter file the 70 can be cut down to anything we want. Also in games that support weather the weather commands are great ways to control the LOS during the game. Getting consensus on how much to limit LOS is a bit more difficult.

But it would help if Tiller added a way to define certain ranges of LOS to return "?" like wagons do.

Author:  John Ferry [ Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Limiting Vision Proposal

Talk about infallible observations, one of my favorite WWII anecdotes is from Italy, where a forward observe supposedly reported there were three battalions coming down the road. Four artillery battalions laid a TOT on the road, only to find out the FO actually said there were three ITALIANS coming down the road. No word on how those three guys made out.

John Ferry
LTC 2/20th corps

Author:  K. Koch [ Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Limiting Vision Proposal

As a player, I would definitely be interested in a game with more limited visibility variables. For what it is worth.


Author:  Doug Burke [ Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Limiting Vision Proposal

Along the same lines I wish the game engine was set up where a player could not check LOS from a hex unless a unit/leader was in it.

Gen. Doug Burke

Author:  ken jones [ Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Limiting Vision Proposal

I suggest that "eyes" be limited to Corps commanders and above. This not only limits the games' all-seeing vision to something less than 100% but it can also be serve as a way to introduce "communications". For example, something "seen" by a regiment doesn't really register at the command level until it is "seen" by the Corps commander.

This sight limitation would also introduce some tactical surprise. A player may advance his brigade to the attack but "discover" that there are enemy units in their front. These units would have been hidden from the commander's sight. This is more realistic -- after all, a player should not have total control over every little tactical engagement.

One could play with this system by limiting LOS only over far distances -- say over 12 hexes. This allows the tactical battles to occur with 100% vision but farther off only the Corps commanders could gain the knowledge of sight. Giving sight to Division commanders is another option.

Ah, just thinking outside the box.

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