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Old June 1st, 2013, 09:42 AM
michaeltaylor michaeltaylor is offline
 
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Asymmetrical terrain?

It's kind of cool that you can build asymmetrical terrain, but does it really matter than much in a game?
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Old June 1st, 2013, 11:06 AM
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Re: Asymmetrical terrain?

I think you mean symmetrical, which is mirror image, rather than asymmetrical which is everything else. I think in a casual game it probably doesn't matter too much, but in a more serious game like in a tournament, it's good to try to eliminate the chances that an advantage the terrain gives you could tilt the game in one player's favor.

Height advantage, choke points, LOS blockers, water that can stop movement, etc. can make a significant difference in a game.
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Old June 1st, 2013, 11:44 AM
michaeltaylor michaeltaylor is offline
 
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Re: Asymmetrical terrain?

No, actually I mean asymmetrical.

Most wargames are set up roughly 'even-Stevens' on both sides.

But Heroscape isn't from the adventures I've seen.

I'm wondering how that changes the game?
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Old June 1st, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Re: Asymmetrical terrain?

Most mapmakers will try to keep sides even on a map so that players have an even shot of winning. Look at Dignan's Jagged Causeway, for example:



The height is set up pretty even distances from the starting zones, and one starting zone wouldn't necessarily be a better pick than another for the average army. If you want to get more asymmetrical, try for Gamebear's Arywode's bluff



or Killometer's Rising Pressure.



I've had the pleasure of playing on all three of these awesome maps. For the last two I've mentioned, it's worth noting that most players would prefer one starting zone for their army over another. Usually players will do a roll-off to determine how sides are picked. Also, both sides are pretty balanced. In Rising Pressure, one side gets height while another has easy access to the glyphs and can use road to get up the hill quickly.

I guess to conclude, highly asymmetrical maps make you think a bit more over which side you want to start on. Sometimes you'd rather camp on height with a ranged army than storm the hill. The games are also more interesting, but note that it is extremely hard to balance an asymmetric map because of the range of powers and abilities in the game that can take advantage of one side over the other.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 05:10 AM
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Re: Asymmetrical terrain?

An easy option for allowing you to make maps as asymmetrical as you want, without having to worry whether one start zone is advantaged or not:

Make your map, as asymmetrical as you want. Define the SZs. And then do a version of "how to keep two boys squabbling over who gets which slice of pie: tell one to cut the slices; then let the other pick the slice he wants".

In this case: one player looks at the map and the SZs, mentally compares their relative strengths, and then assigns army point values to each SZ. So if one SZ is much better (better access to height, more defensible, etc.), he might assign it 400 points for example, while the worse SZ he might assign 600 points.

Then the other player chooses which SZ and accompanying army point value he wants.

Won't work in a tournament setting of course (unless you're doing full draft), since you have to be able to draft an army of any point value. But for casual play it is AWESOMELY fun. Allows you to make cool maps, quirky maps, even geologically realistic maps, without having to worry about whether it's balanced or not. And the 'sizing up the map and SZs and assigning point values' then becomes an additional part of the strategy and fun: rewards the ability to read a map and SZ in advance.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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Re: Asymmetrical terrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltaylor View Post
No, actually I mean asymmetrical.

Most wargames are set up roughly 'even-Stevens' on both sides.

But Heroscape isn't from the adventures I've seen.

I'm wondering how that changes the game?
Asymmetrical maps can make a huge difference in play. For example, if one side has a height advantage from the start, that means it gets +1 Attack and Defense while the other team tries to climb up the hill.

Another example is starting on road. Figures on roads get to move 3 additional spaces if their whole move is on a road. If one side has figures starting on a road and the other doesn't, the side starting on the road can usually attack first.

Protection for reinforcements is another example. If one side has ruins and trees to protect their troops in their starting zone while the other side's troops are wide open, then that could cause an imbalance as well.

For tournaments, most of the maps are symmetrical to avoid these types of situations. They want both sides to have a fair chance. For example, take a look at the Battlefields of Valhalla maps.

The official Heroscape scenarios are often asymmetrical--but most were designed for specific armies and starting conditions. (For example, the castle scenario in the Fortress of the Archkyrie set has the army outside the castle starting with a larger army to make it fair.)
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