Thursday, 15 March 2012

Terrain In HOTT Campaigns

Not A Good Place For A Battle 
The campaign rules in the HOTT rule book offer little guide as to how terrain should be determined for each territory, but it is interesting to assume that each one has an overall type, similar to the home terrains in DBA. These rules are guidelines on how to manage terrain in campaigns in a way that is relatively simple whilst allowing the players a certain amount of choice.

Each area has three terrain types defined for it. Each of the three types had to have a unique game effect. Examples of types are: woods, river, flat bad going, marsh, BUA, gentle hill, steep hill, road and so forth. One type is defined as compulsory, the other two as optional. At least one piece of terrain on the list must be bad going.

When a battle takes place in an area it must obey the following rules:
  1. It must have at least two items of the compulsory terrain for that area, unless this is a river, BUA or waterway in which case only one is required.
  2. It may have any number of the optional items.
  3. A terrain type not on the list may only be placed if there is at least one piece each of the two optional types. In some cases I would excude certain terrain from ever being placed in certain areas.
  4. The terrain rules in the book still apply (majority flat good going, at least four items, at least two of which are bad going 200p or more across within 600p of the centre, etc).
Example - An area is forested. It has compulsory woods, with an optional river and flat bad going. Any battle in this area must have at least two woods and can also have one or more rivers and/or one or more areas of flat bad going. If you wish to include a gentle hill (an item not on the list) then the terrain must include at least two woods, a river and an area of bad going first.

Example - An area is defined with compulsory river, with optional marsh and gentle hills. A battlefield in this area is only required to have one river (although it may have more) and may have one or more marshes and one or more gentle hills. To have a wood the terrain must already consist of a river, marsh and gentle hill.

The main trick of the system is to identify all of the different possible terrain items in terms of game effect, and ensure that there is only one of each in each area. This can be quite subtle; I would class fields and rough as different terrain. Both are flat bad going, but the former is rectangular whilst the latter is irregular in shape. This affects how easy it is to line the edge, so they have a slightly different game effect. Conversely an area of brush is the same, in game terms as an area of rocks or a bog; all are irregular shaped, flat, bad going.

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