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Sunday, 25 August 2019

Playing around with my terrain generator

In the section entitled Some thoughts about the terrain generator in my blog entry of Monday, 19th August 2019, I wrote:
'There are some people who might ask why I located the rivers first, and then the roads, when in the real world the hills will generally affect where rivers run, and roads are built. My answer is a simple one; I'm not trying to devise a system that shows how the terrain influences rivers and roads; I'm designing a system for generating terrain maps for wargamers, and as most armies use roads and rivers as their main axes of advance, it made sense to place them on the map first.'
Since then, I have had a bit of a rethink, and decided to try locating the hills first, followed by the river and/or road. I selected undulating, rural terrain that was also forested, and which had a track running through it. The result was as follows:


The effect of placing the hills first was interesting. The track should have run straight from the centre of the top edge of the map to the right-hand bottom edge, but because the line of hills was in the way, it had to go around them, making it a more interesting potential battlefield. I used a D6 die to decide whether the road would go to the left (a D6 die score of 1, 2, or 3) or to the right (a D6 die score of 4, 5, or 6) of the hills. The score was 3, hence the track went to the left.

8 comments:

  1. I like the fact that the hills made the road deviate, along with the random roll to the right or left. It works for me:)

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    1. Steve J.,

      Having tried it, I think that I may well keep this change in the next version of the terrain generator. It certainly makes the resulting terrain look more realistic.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Bob,
    Certainly a pleasing solution you have evolved here- most successful for your hex terrain modules. When I build terrain -I place my polystyrene 'hills' and 'contours' first on the table, then cover all with a heavy green blanket- then I place my felt blue colored river onto the flat between hills and following contours. All this works well and will be the method used for my forthcoming Spanish-American 1898 battles in 15mm. Cheers. KEV.

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    1. Kev Robertson (Kev),

      Placing the hills first seems to work better than doing the rivers and roads before the hills.

      The method you use is similar to the one I used in my pre-Hexon II days. I always found it to be easy to set up and very effective to use.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Hi Bob

    My campaign maps are related to historical maps, but only to the extent that cities and towns are in similar locations, and also major rivers. I found it very difficult to plot mountain ranges, so I abandoned the attempt.

    I start with the cities and towns, and then add major rivers. Then I connect the capitol cities with red (major) roads and the other major cities with yellow (minor) roads. The towns and minor cities are not connected. These roads are then the major supply and communication routes.

    I then add the hills for wargame effect. I want them to provide channel movement and also for tactical deployment. But where possible I also place them to explain curves or bends in the rivers.

    I would agree with you that on a wargame campaign map hills and mountains should be for tactical, rather than historical, purposes.

    Completely different is one wanted to wargame an historical battle or campaign of course.

    regards

    Paul

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    1. Thistlebarrow (Paul),

      Thanks very much for explaining how you devised your campaign maps. It makes perfect sense, and suits your set up very well.

      Rivers and roads provide excellent routes for armies to follow, and rivers can be great defensive barriers. Hills and mountains can channel advancing troops along certain routes, and hills and woods can form crucial elements of a line of defences. Terrain can make the difference between a good wargame and a great one.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. I was interested to read 'Thistlebarrow's' input. I think there might be a difference between plotting a battlefield, as here, and plotting a theatre of war, as he does!

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    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      Thistlebarrow's method for creating an entire map of the European campaign area is an interesting one, and he describes it in some detail on his blog. Although his maps are not intended for quite the same purpose as mine are, reading about and understanding his thought processes is very informative, instructive, and inspiring.

      All the best,

      Bob

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