For those that don’t know, TEC stands for Terrain Effects Chart. Practically every military board game has one of these charts. These TEC charts are used by the players to work out what effects the map board terrain will have on their units.
Last week I discussed in detail what it was I was trying to do with regard to Ancient Armies’ terrain effects. This week, I put my money where my mouth is and actually show you some of the early results of my work in the form of a video demonstration which can be seen at the end of this blog post.
In many respects this is a bit of a milestone as this is the first time that the units in Ancient Armies have become aware of their surroundings. Prior to this they just wondered around the map without fully appreciating what was on it – but not anymore! 🙂
For those that can’t play videos, here are some screenshots to illustrate some of the things that Ancient Armies is now modelling.
First up is impassible terrain:
As can be seen from the above two screenshots, the system deals with impassible terrain by stopping the unit and then cancelling its orders.
It also does one more very subtle thing…
It ‘bounces’ the unit off of the impassible terrain so that it is no longer on it. This bounce off is tiny, but is required to ensure that a unit does not become ‘stuck’ on impassible terrain.
Next up, are stream crossings:
In the above set of images we can see that water obstacles can have varying depths which can affect a unit’s ability to negotiate them. Different unit types will be able to cross different depths of water – for example cavalry units can cross deeper streams than infantry units.
The speed impact of the water on the unit is based on the depth, the unit type, its cohesion and its density. So as one can see even for a simple stream crossing we are modelling a lot of variables.
Now for some hills:
Ancient Armies works out the hill slope at every point. The steeper the slope, the harder the going.
For units proceeding downhill, there is a speed bonus, but this is based on the steepness of the hill and the unit’s cohesion. Low cohesion units such as skirmishers can take full advantage of the run downhill, whereas tightly packed highly cohesive formations like a Greek Phalanx, would only get a modest boost as they will be striving to maintain order in their formations.
Finally I’ll cover a complex woods example:
So as one can see Ancient Armies models many factors with regard to terrain interactions. With one of the biggest contributors being the formation characteristics of the unit itself. This is only made possible because of Ancient Armies highly detailed formation modelling – something that other Ancient Wargames simply lack.
As good as these pictures are, I urge you to watch the You-Tube video below so that you can see things happening for real. Plus as an added bonus, I tend to go into a lot of the mechanics in greater detail.
So what’s left to do?
Well, I still need to model the affects of equipment weight and I need to enable the impact of traversing terrain on a unit’s fatigue and cohesion. In addition, I will also be modelling the effects of a unit’s training too! Highly trained units are more likely to carry out their drills without their formations falling apart 🙂
That’s it for this rather busy week.