[Abandoned] - Second Indochina War

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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby Victor Sullivan on Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:43 pm

grifftron wrote:
Victor Sullivan wrote:
Industrial Helix wrote:This map looks complicated as hell. When going for a more involved map a mapmaker has to be careful to make it clear what the instructions are and that the map can be easily read. You can still have a 'complicated' map and still be clear. This balancing act is what ties up most mapmakers when pursing something like this.

That said... I see all these symbols and the extensive legend and am put off. When I take my turn I know that I'm going to have to constantly be referencing the symbols with the legend, ect. I think this map has a level of murkiness that needs some work.

Love the graphics though.


I understand all the things in the legend, too, but like Helix said, you're still gonna have to keep referencing the legend to see what attacks what, what this route does/means, what symbols you need for the objective, etc. And I realize some of this can't be avoided, but I think you should take steps to make things easier on the players.

-Sully


No. Some people like myself enjoy maps that are a little more complicated then doodle earth. And if you play them a few times you get the hang of them and wouldn't have to look at the key so much. There are maps that are already out that are WAY more confusing then this map. And what is so bad at having to look at the key every once in a while anyways? that is what it is there for...

oh, and i might get yelled at for saying this but for those that really suck at looking at the key they have add ons for that you know... also what they are there for...

I'm not bashing your map at all, I actually think this would be a great map to play because of it's complexity. I just think there are some things that make it unnecessarily more complicated.
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby grifftron on Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:17 pm

like....?
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby Victor Sullivan on Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:39 pm

Sigh... Do I have to say it again? The back path, the North-to-South attack along the HCMT route, things I've already mentioned...
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby grifftron on Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:53 pm

Victor Sullivan wrote:Sigh... Do I have to say it again? The back path, the North-to-South attack along the HCMT route, things I've already mentioned...


sully.. we told you those WERE needed unless you had a different way around the back bath.

But i will also say it again...

the back path was needed instead of a normal 2 way attack route because it would create a 4 way crossing which would be confusing. And i know Farang just answered your question on his last post on the HCMT...

now if you have suggestions that would help it become easier to understand visually please let us know.

-griff
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby Victor Sullivan on Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:01 pm

grifftron wrote:
Victor Sullivan wrote:Sigh... Do I have to say it again? The back path, the North-to-South attack along the HCMT route, things I've already mentioned...


sully.. we told you those WERE needed unless you had a different way around the back bath.

But i will also say it again...

the back path was needed instead of a normal 2 way attack route because it would create a 4 way crossing which would be confusing. And i know Farang just answered your question on his last post on the HCMT...

now if you have suggestions that would help it become easier to understand visually please let us know.

-griff

I'm just saying, sacrifices must me made for solid gameplay or to get things to work. I say ditch the back path, the HCMT N>S assaults, and the Ta Veng>China bombardment.
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby grifftron on Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:28 pm

No. All of those help even out the map, without those you have an easy played map of no balance.
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby kengyin on Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:05 am

what year is this set in? any way to incorporate the carpet bombing over hanoi? operation linebacker 2 as it was called
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby Victor Sullivan on Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:59 pm

grifftron wrote:No. All of those help even out the map, without those you have an easy played map of no balance.

What exactly would be off-balance? Would one objective then be much easier to get over the other? Would one particular bonus be easier to obtain? I'm having trouble seeing the negative repercussions of ditching those aspects.

On a similar note, I'd like to say I don't mean to hate on your map (I may have said this already, but it's good to reiterate). Remember, I like this concept, if I didn't or had nothing to contribute, then I wouldn't ;)

-Sully
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby FarangDemon on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:38 am

Industrial Helix wrote:When I take my turn I know that I'm going to have to constantly be referencing the symbols with the legend, ect.


Actually I think it would require less time spent looking at the legend than when playing 3rd Crusade and many other maps. Usually, time spent looking at legend is to determine the value of bonuses - this is completely eliminated once one understands the simple rules used for obtaining bonuses (which is kind of similar to Holy Roman Empire except there are 4 instances of each symbol type instead of just 3):

3 of same symbol = +2
4 of same symbol = +4

(perhaps it would be easier to readily understand if the words in the legend that explain this were reduced to this more concise version?)

There is no need for further study of symbols to determine bonuses, only bombarding and the victory conditions (which I believe are intuitive).

The HCMT bonus rule is also very straightforward:
any 3 in a row along HCMT main artery = +2 (cumulative)

It is necessary to look at legend to determine bombardments, but we've tried to make it as clear as possible by using coloring and patterns in the bombardment zones. And there are only two different bombarding "behaviors", those of the RTAFB and US Airbases.

I share your opinion that the complexity of the map should be workable and that the legend is key. I appreciate your input and please advise on any particular suggestions for clearing anything up.

Victor Sullivan wrote:I'm just saying, sacrifices must me made for solid gameplay or to get things to work. I say ditch the back path, the HCMT N>S assaults, and the Ta Veng>China bombardment.


Would it be acceptable to keep the backpath looking how it is (dashed path) and just put a dashed path in the legend under "Two way attacks"? Or was the concensus to get rid of the mentioning of two way attacks altogether? I think it would ok to not mention the backpath and not mention two way attacks and just keep the dashed line how it is. Any words we can shave from the legend will have a great impact on legend readability.

I appreciate your concern regarding complexity of giving N->S HCMT assaults range 2. It may be the trickiest feature on the map (after bombardments which are not too tricky). However range 2 attacks are an established staple in the CC map collection and I believe that it will be easier to visualize where our range 2 attacks can go on our map than on others containing range 2 attacks because you have a clearly marked path to follow that is colored differently - the HCMT. In Austerlitz or Waterloo it can be a bit confusing or time consuming to try to go two spaces in every direction from every horse in your head. In our map, you only have to follow the HCMT north to south to see your options to attack with range 2. If the place you are thinking about attacking is not 2 away along the HCMT from N-S, you cannot hit it.

Re: Ta Veng -> China one way assault. To put it into perspective, our legend contains a single one-way attack - 3rd Crusade contains 5. And you can see that there is a Cambodian flag symbol on the territory being attacked so it is not totally surprising to see that a Cambodian starting position can one way attack it (again just like in 3rd Crusade one way attacks from starting positions).

I appreciate your support and concerns. They are all valid concerns regarding complexity. I hope you feel like we've addressed them and please contribute further to help us make a solid map.
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby army of nobunaga on Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:28 pm

FarangDemon wrote:
Industrial Helix wrote:When I take my turn I know that I'm going to have to constantly be referencing the symbols with the legend, ect.


Actually I think it would require less time spent looking at the legend than when playing 3rd Crusade and many other maps.



you forgot the Age of Heirogliphics map... My personal favorite when talking about legend cluster F's
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby FarangDemon on Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:31 pm

kengyin wrote:what year is this set in? any way to incorporate the carpet bombing over hanoi? operation linebacker 2 as it was called


Approximately 1970. I didn't want any starting position to be bombardable and since Operation Linebacker 2 was in 1972, it is a bit late.

Also I think for most of the war the US was not bombing Hanoi or Haiphong directly, so I didn't want to feature this.
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby grifftron on Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:03 pm

So whats the deal with this one?
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby Industrial Helix on Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:37 pm

Sorry about being aloof from this map, lots of time at work and recent hospital drama have been plaguing my time.

Clarity is the major issue at hand here and I believe this map is lacking it. It's not the complexity of the map that is hurting it though, I don't think its any more complex than some other maps, but it is my strong opinion that symbols are far more confounding than territories or regions. Speaking of which, where will the numbers go and what will you do to prevent one group of numbers from being confused with other symbols and names, ect.?

You're working on a complex game and I think that, as it is, the presentation of such complex relationships needs to be clearer.
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby grifftron on Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:57 pm

OK that sounds fair, I will let farang brainstorm some new ideas to make everything more clear, i myself am leaving for a week or so...

-griff
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby jigger1986 on Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:20 am

This map looks awesome, cant wait to play it.
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby FarangDemon on Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:14 am

Industrial Helix wrote:Sorry about being aloof from this map, lots of time at work and recent hospital drama have been plaguing my time.

Clarity is the major issue at hand here and I believe this map is lacking it. It's not the complexity of the map that is hurting it though, I don't think its any more complex than some other maps, but it is my strong opinion that symbols are far more confounding than territories or regions. Speaking of which, where will the numbers go and what will you do to prevent one group of numbers from being confused with other symbols and names, ect.?

You're working on a complex game and I think that, as it is, the presentation of such complex relationships needs to be clearer.


This map uses symbols, just like Holy Roman Empire and Ardennes. The latter is surely an example of one of the most difficult maps to learn - each group of symbols has a different bonus rule and many of the symbols look nearly identical, you need to really stare at it to see the difference in some cases. In spite of these drawbacks, Ardennes is still a popular map among the conquer elites and WWII buffs alike.

I just started playing Ardennes a few days ago and am now hooked on it. But to be honest, I had avoided playing it for years because I found it too difficult to distinguish between the symbols and the legend looked like a headache.

The Second Indochina War avoids these pitfalls of Ardennes:

By using a simplified bonus structure, you never have to consult the legend after you understand "3 of the same = +2, 4 of the same = +4".

By using symbols that are easily distinguishable from one another, and where common sense or geographical/historical knowledge makes it intuitive - i.e. the Thai flags are on Thai cities, Laos on Laos, Cambodian on Cambodian, the US Army icons are on places associated with the US Army, "Khe Sanh", "Long Binh", "Pattaya", "1st Cav Division".

I appreciate your concerns, but if we have mitigated the most confounding aspects of the symbols/bonus structure of Ardennes how can our map be considered as too confounding, especially when the more confounding Ardennes is a popular, staple CC map that features in almost every clan battle?

Like you and Sully said, the simpler we can explain things, the better. I was just thinking of a way to more clearly state the HCMT range 2 attack:

"Regions on HCMT May Attack with Range 2 if:

Attacker, Skipped Region and Target are connected by HCMT
AND
Attacker --> Skipped Region --> Target all go North to South"

So can we move this map thread to gameplay? :D
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby Industrial Helix on Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:23 pm

Well, i looked at Ardennes and I would venture to say that it might have been a mistake to pass that one as well. So saying its no more complicated than Ardennes isn't giving you much help. Overall, I think the Ardennes map does not portray the developments of the battle accurately and looks more like a classic map in the shape of the military movements of the Battle of the Bulge. Doubly complicating this are the bonus systems that do not accurately represent the military objectives of the battle. Historical maps are tough to do on CC because we've only got one unit to work with.... there's no tanks or infantry units, though airforce is somewhat well done with bombardments.

I'm afraid that this map is going to turn out like so many of the other historical maps and just be classic in the shape of whatever it is trying to portray. If that's the case then I don't see a whole lot desire to move this one on. A map on the Indochina war needs to playout over the course of the game like the war itself did. Looking at this map, I can not for the life of me decipher how its going to play out. Yes, it has all the features in the right and historical places but that does not necessarily mean the game will play out anything like the Vietnam War.

So, for example, this is what I need to know: I need it explained to me how a player with the starting point at Bangkok is going to rationally play the game and how close is that going to be to Thailand's role in the Vietnam War?

If I were to break it down myself, I'd say with a starting positon at Bangkok I've got some strange options... I can capture the king of Thailand but I see no point because I would need to have the king of Laos and Cambodia to ever receive a bonus. What's the logic in having a trio of kings? Perhaps the kings should enhance their own nations rather then need to be grouped with a foreign monarch, something like a King with its army is worth x amount. So the best course of action is to capture the flags and get that bonus, everything else in Thailand is a waste of time. The Thai airforce appears to be useless unless you want to use the territory as a choke point or something... they can bomb some hill tribes and cities which yield no bonus... wonderful. Speaking of hill tribes... somehow two hilltribes are equal in power and ferocity as the US or Vietnam Army... I don't understand how you came to that conclusion. And I just noticed the Viet Minh are conspicuously absent from any of this fighting... considering they were victorious army of the war I think this is a grave error on this map.

And again, I reiterate the problem with so many symbols. It's too much referencing back and forth and its a massively time consuming map. I think it can be streamlined to be more coherent and still retain the gameplay complexity you want. Why have Steel Tiger and Barrel Roll as separate colors when they're completely interchangeable. And furthermore, i can not figure out for the life of me what thsi double power business is all about. The variety of paths is also confusing... Is the Ho Chi Mihn trail a two way and are the infiltration routes two ways as well? What is the function of a back path?

In short... it has to more accurately portray the war in terms of how the game plays out. What are your ideal settings? The map needs to be more historically accurate, such as adding the Viet Mihn. The map also needs some better explanations, such as the attack routes. I see how you tried to streamline the bonus systems but I think you did an injustice to the war you're trying to portray in doing so. It needs to be done better and still retain accuracy. You need to address these things before this map moves to gameplay.
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby FarangDemon on Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:21 pm

Industrial Helix wrote:Well, i looked at Ardennes and I would venture to say that it might have been a mistake to pass that one as well. So saying its no more complicated than Ardennes isn't giving you much help.


I didn't say it was no more complicated than Ardennes. I said it is less complicated. My implication was that it is easy enough to understand and visualize even if Ardennes should never have been permitted.

Industrial Helix wrote:A map on the Indochina war needs to playout over the course of the game like the war itself did. Looking at this map, I can not for the life of me decipher how its going to play out. Yes, it has all the features in the right and historical places but that does not necessarily mean the game will play out anything like the Vietnam War.


Please consider the following features of this map that ensure that it plays out according to the realities of the Second Indochina War.

  • The Ho Chi Minh Trail facilitated rapid attacks into South Vietnam and eastern Laos and Cambodia. Most of South Vietnam was not under effective control of the Republic of South Vietnam because of the porous nature of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Even if some routes were stopped, men and material found their way southward. This is represented in our map by allowing attacks to range 2 going from North to South along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
  • Extensive bombing of Laos and Cambodia which killed many hill tribesmen, Laotians and Cambodians, in an effort to halt the flow of material down the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
  • US forces cannot invade North Vietnam for political reasons.

    • Ships from North Vietnam can attack South Vietnam (Hai Phong to Nha Trang). This represents infiltration of men and material from north to south. While they patrolled the waters, the US cannot attack Hai Phong because of political consideration to not invade North Vietnam.
    • US Army at Khe Sanh cannot attack into North Vietnam for same political considerations.
  • The Cambodian Incurison. 101st Airborne Division is allowed to violate Cambodian neutrality by attacking PAVN bases in Kratie. Destruction of this base means PAVN player has less resources (as it's part of the PAVN bonus) with which to harass the South and cannot launch further attacks from that particular region until it is retaken.
  • The Battle (and subsequent fall) of Lima Site 85. The Battle of Lima Site 85 was a battle of the Vietnam War which resulted in the largest single ground combat loss of United States Air Force (USAF) personnel in that war. In August 1966, to assist ongoing aerial operations against the DRV (Operation Rolling Thunder), the United States Air Force sited a TACAN facility on the peak of Phu Pha Thi to assist American aviators conducting bombing operations. While General Vang Pao's Hmong army tried to delay the inevitable, the base was overran by PAVN forces and the US personnel were shot and their bodies thrown off a cliff - this is represented by the 1-way attack from Dien Bien Phu.
  • Strategic Importance of Plain of Jars.

    "During the Second Indochina War Xiangkhoang was the scene of extensive ground battles and intense aerial bombardment due to its strategic importance. The provinces of Houaphan and Xiangkhoang had been the stronghold of Pathet Lao forces and their Vietnamese allies. The heavy aerial carpet bombardments to neutralize those forces or to drop off unused ordnances after returning from missions in Vietnam turned the Plain of Jars quite literally into the Plain of Scars and the most heavily bombarded areas per capita worldwide. In addition to bombs massive quantities of defoliants and herbicides were dropped." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonsavan

    We represent this by including it as a target of Barrel Roll and making it a bottleneck that must be fought over to gain Laos bonus.
  • King Norodom Sihanouk joins the Khmer Rouge. After Lon Nol's coup d'etat, Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk fled to China. He then decided to join forces with the Khmer Rouge, whom he had always been accused by the US and Cambodian generals as being too soft on. The support of King Norodom Sihanouk was instrumental in winning the hearts and minds of the people to the cause of the Khmer Rouge - many believed they were fighting to reinstate their beloved King.

    We represent this in our map by giving a one-way attack from the Khmer Rouge base, Ta Veng, to a spot in China that conveniently fits on our map, representing King Norodom Sihanouk. The Phnom Penh player, representing Lon Nol's regime, can still capture Sihanouk but has to go through more two additional territories first. So it is more likely that the Khmer Rough player will end up controlling him.
Industrial Helix wrote:So, for example, this is what I need to know: I need it explained to me how a player with the starting point at Bangkok is going to rationally play the game and how close is that going to be to Thailand's role in the Vietnam War?

If I were to break it down myself, I'd say with a starting positon at Bangkok I've got some strange options... I can capture the king of Thailand but I see no point because I would need to have the king of Laos and Cambodia to ever receive a bonus.


Depends on the drop whether or not you have the other kings already.

Industrial Helix wrote:What's the logic in having a trio of kings?


Simplification to make the game easy to play. You probably knew that.

Industrial Helix wrote:Perhaps the kings should enhance their own nations rather then need to be grouped with a foreign monarch, something like a King with its army is worth x amount.


That's a good idea and we have the following effects already - King Norodom Sihanouk (China) helps to gain Cambodian bonus because the region also counts as a Cambodian symbol. Likewise having the King of Luang Prabang helps to gain Laos bonus as Luang Prabang was one of the two most important cities of Laos. We would prefer to not add further complexity.

Industrial Helix wrote:So the best course of action is to capture the flags and get that bonus, everything else in Thailand is a waste of time.


Depending on the drop it may be beneficial for you to acquire some of the other symbols in Thailand. After consolidating the Thai flags, the next lowest hanging bonus fruit are the Royal Thai Airforce bases.

Industrial Helix wrote:The Thai airforce appears to be useless unless you want to use the territory as a choke point or something...


The Royal Thai Airforce bases yield the same bonus as all other symbol groups. The Royal Thai Airforce bases bomb places along the Ho Chi Minh Trail which are part of Ho Chi Minh Trail bonus (see legend, 3 in a row along main route = +2).

Industrial Helix wrote:they can bomb some hill tribes and cities which yield no bonus... wonderful.


Not true. By bombing from RTAFB, you can break someone's Hilltribes or Laos bonuses which yield the same bonus as other symbol groups.

Industrial Helix wrote:Speaking of hill tribes... somehow two hilltribes are equal in power and ferocity as the US or Vietnam Army... I don't understand how you came to that conclusion.


Two hill tribes do not yield any bonus, the bonus is the same as for all other symbol groups.

I understand what you mean, though. But consider that there are far fewer Americans in an army base than there are hill tribesmen in a given area. Before the war, there were an estimated 3-3.5 million hill tribesmen living in the Central Highlands alone. I also don't think we should underestimate their linguistic and terrain knowledge (limited to their indigenous areas) that outstripped that of the US or the ferocity with which many of them were committed to killing Vietnamese due to past grievances.

In this map, we used the name "hill tribes" as that is often used today. The French referred to them as montagnards, pronounced "mountainyards". They did not throw flimsy spears or just sit around making baskets, they were trained to use modern weaponry and infantry tactics by CIA and Thai "volunteers" in Long Tieng, the secret army base just south of the Plain of Jars. They had a reputation for ferocity, and my dad (who was acquainted with these people) told me that they were paid several dollars for every pair of ears by the CIA, presumably from fallen soldiers of the communist forces. After a firefight, the Hmong would cut the ears off of all enemy soldiers, even ones they didn't kill (a buck is a buck after all).

What's more, the highest ranking general in Laos (on the US-aligned side) was General Vang Pao, a Hmong hill tribesmen native to Laos. His hill tribe army was the only effective fighting force that the US had to work with in Laos, and were instrumental in guarding secret air bases and in aerial target acquisition.

Maybe we should change the name to "Montagnards", it was the term used at the time and implies more martial prowess and ferocity than comes to mind from the term "Hilltribes". So I appreciate that your concerns here have helped us improve the map.

Industrial Helix wrote:And I just noticed the Viet Minh are conspicuously absent from any of this fighting... considering they were victorious army of the war I think this is a grave error on this map.


Technically the Viet Minh is the national independence movement founded in 1941 to kick out the French. The army is the People's Army of Vietnam or PAVN. Although sometimes the armed forces that fought the French are referred to as Viet Minh. Also in the American phase of the Vietnam War, Viet Minh is sometimes used to refer to those living in South Vietnam that were supporting North Vietnamese unification. So as it's a confusing term, I'd prefer to stick with PAVN. I prefer the militaristic feel as well, as they are squaring off against other symbols representing the military - the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, US Army and US Airbases.

The official Vietnamese history of the war states that, "The Liberation Army of South Vietnam [Vietcong] is a part of the People’s Army of Vietnam". (Military History Institute of Vietnam,(2002) Victory in Vietnam: The Official History of the People's Army of Vietnam, 1954–1975, translated by Merle L. Pribbenow. University Press of Kansas. p. 68. ISBN 0-7006-1175-4.)

Industrial Helix wrote:And again, I reiterate the problem with so many symbols. It's too much referencing back and forth and its a massively time consuming map. I think it can be streamlined to be more coherent and still retain the gameplay complexity you want.


You just have to look if you own 3 or 4 of the symbol or not. I see you've played 3 games on Holy Roman Empire. Did you find it difficult to figure out if you held a particular colored cannon bonus? Our map is even easier because the symbols are not just different colors, but different patterns.

I believe it is an easier process than what you have on your Russian Revolution map. You have 23 territories with the same color and shading from which you need to count how many of them you have. Then you have to round it down to the nearest multiple of 3.

If you only have 3 or 4 of these 23, it is easy enough to count in your head. But if you have upwards of 7 you'll find yourself counting and recounting several times as you're unsure whether you've counted the same ones twice or neglected to count some of them.

Because of the layout of these territs on the Russian Revolution map, there is no easy method to use that would grant certainty that you hadn't double counted or skipped one.
I find it far easier to count 3 or 4 matching symbols as on the Second Indochina War or Holy Roman Empire, quantities of territories low enough to easily track and dispersed far enough apart to know that you haven't double-counted.

Industrial Helix wrote:Why have Steel Tiger and Barrel Roll as separate colors when they're completely interchangeable.


Good question. Because those were the names and geographical areas of the individual missions. We could just use the same colors for each pair. It would make the map a bit easier to read.

Industrial Helix wrote:And furthermore, i can not figure out for the life of me what thsi double power business is all about.


Like how Jerusalem in Third Crusade counts as Knight Templar bonus and Muslim bonus.

Industrial Helix wrote:The variety of paths is also confusing... Is the Ho Chi Mihn trail a two way and are the infiltration routes two ways as well?


Everything is two-way except one-way arrows. Since this is default assumption for most maps it is not stated in legend.

The distinction between HCMT Main Artery and HCMT Infiltration Route does not impact connectivity. The distinction regards the bonus - there is a bonus for 3 in a row HCMT Main Artery. No bonus for HCMT Infiltration Route.

Industrial Helix wrote:What is the function of a back path?


There have been many questions about this. It is a another non-issue (like "double power") that we just did not explain well and probably didn't even need to mention. I'll try to be very clear here so we can lay it to rest.

For game play reasons we want Saigon to connect to Da Lat and Long Binh to connect to the aircraft carrier. Based on their locations, the paths would intersect. We want to avoid having anyone see the intersection point as a vertex that allows any of the four to attack each other through it. I think if we just make one of them a dotted line then this is achieved and it is not necessary to mention anything about this in the legend, I think I've seen this in other maps.

Industrial Helix wrote:The map needs to be more historically accurate, such as adding the Viet Mihn.


Call them PAVN or Viet Minh (but not Viet Mihn), that is not a real blocking issue. There is simply not enough room to split the forces fighting to unify Vietnam into their individual constituents (like PAVN and Viet Cong).

I repeat, this is not a Vietnam War map. It is the Second Indochina War. That is why we don't want to delve into further complexities.

Industrial Helix wrote:The map also needs some better explanations, such as the attack routes.


Good point. This is my latest rewording of the HCMT Range 2 attack:

"Regions on HCMT May Attack with Range 2 if:

Attacker, Skipped Region and Target are connected by HCMT
AND
Attacker --> Skipped Region --> Target all go North to South"


Industrial Helix wrote:In short... it has to more accurately portray the war in terms of how the game plays out.

I see how you tried to streamline the bonus systems but I think you did an injustice to the war you're trying to portray in doing so.


We want to reasonably portray the entire set of conflicts in Indochina. These were not conflicts like in WWII with huge armies battling it out over sweeping fronts that lend itself more easily to such modeling. It was a chaotic conflict that remains steeped in some mystery, involving myriad parties, small scale battles, infiltration, bombings and secret operations.

We want to make a fun, informative and easily understandable map. I already stated how our map facilitates attacks down the Ho Chi Minh trail and bombardment of the Ho Chi Minh trail. The Ho Chi Minh Trail was one of the main strategic concerns if not the most important one of the conflict and our representation reflects this well.

Additionally, we have faithfully represented the political consideration of the US to not directly invade North Vietnam, the Cambodian Incursion, strategic importance of the Plain of Jars as a crossroads in Laos and the heavy bombing it endured, strategic importance of Lima Site 85 as a TACAN facility, the influence of King Norodom Sihanouk for control of Cambodia and his bias toward the Khmer Rouge, the secret army base of Long Tieng where the CIA and Thai trained Hmong auxiliaries. (For details please refer to the list I compiled at the top of this post)

I am holding out hope that you will be swayed by these historical elements that we have done our best to portray in a simplistic manner.

If you are still unconvinced because it doesn't fit your definition of a certain kind of map, please consider that there are so few playable SE Asia maps and no Vietnam war maps. I think this map, with game play as it is, would help to fill that gap and provide joy to the CC community.
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby army of nobunaga on Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:02 pm

FarangDemon wrote:
Industrial Helix wrote:Sorry about being aloof from this map, lots of time at work and recent hospital drama have been plaguing my time.

Clarity is the major issue at hand here and I believe this map is lacking it. It's not the complexity of the map that is hurting it though, I don't think its any more complex than some other maps, but it is my strong opinion that symbols are far more confounding than territories or regions. Speaking of which, where will the numbers go and what will you do to prevent one group of numbers from being confused with other symbols and names, ect.?

You're working on a complex game and I think that, as it is, the presentation of such complex relationships needs to be clearer.


This map uses symbols, just like Holy Roman Empire and Ardennes. The latter is surely an example of one of the most difficult maps to learn - each group of symbols has a different bonus rule and many of the symbols look nearly identical, you need to really stare at it to see the difference in some cases. In spite of these drawbacks, Ardennes is still a popular map among the conquer elites and WWII buffs alike.

I just started playing Ardennes a few days ago and am now hooked on it. But to be honest, I had avoided playing it for years because I found it too difficult to distinguish between the symbols and the legend looked like a headache.

The Second Indochina War avoids these pitfalls of Ardennes:

By using a simplified bonus structure, you never have to consult the legend after you understand "3 of the same = +2, 4 of the same = +4".

By using symbols that are easily distinguishable from one another, and where common sense or geographical/historical knowledge makes it intuitive - i.e. the Thai flags are on Thai cities, Laos on Laos, Cambodian on Cambodian, the US Army icons are on places associated with the US Army, "Khe Sanh", "Long Binh", "Pattaya", "1st Cav Division".

I appreciate your concerns, but if we have mitigated the most confounding aspects of the symbols/bonus structure of Ardennes how can our map be considered as too confounding, especially when the more confounding Ardennes is a popular, staple CC map that features in almost every clan battle?

Like you and Sully said, the simpler we can explain things, the better. I was just thinking of a way to more clearly state the HCMT range 2 attack:

"Regions on HCMT May Attack with Range 2 if:

Attacker, Skipped Region and Target are connected by HCMT
AND
Attacker --> Skipped Region --> Target all go North to South"

So can we move this map thread to gameplay? :D


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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby grifftron on Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:35 am

Yea... Farang im not gonna read that right now, you and IH fight it out for a while and email me what needs to be changed, Phom ja pai kin kaaw leew khrap... hiw maak maak

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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby TaCktiX on Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:39 am

I agree with Farang's points. As a whole, we're lamenting the fact that some XML changes that would make accurate portrayals of historical maps possible don't exist (e.g., designated starting positions with no randomness to represent sides at the start of a map, or the ability to alter attack rules as the game advances based on round count). And unlike Ardennes, this map doesn't have ridiculous bonuses like shoving together 3 or 4 units that may very well be spread halfway across the map from each other. And I'll take responsibility for vocally advancing that map before I was CA (old shame, that). There are possibilities with this map, and a lot of obvious thought has been put into making the map reflect the war as best it can, but keep in mind that it just might not play the way you want.
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby army of nobunaga on Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:44 pm

Industrial Helix wrote:Well, i looked at Ardennes and I would venture to say that it might have been a mistake to pass that one as well. So saying its no more complicated than Ardennes isn't giving you much help.



Incorrect.. it is a near perfect map. Love it.

Dawn of ages now, thats a diff. story... but we all have opinions, thats what makes up human and not robots.

I think for the melting pot this map is already heads and tails above others that made it out of this section.

It does need tinking with graphics and gamplay in my opinion... but not that much in this stage of melting pot. And really not a ton period.

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Re: The 2nd Indochina war

Postby FarangDemon on Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:22 am

Thanks for the feedback, everybody.

We are making some revisions to the map and legend and will post it again later.

We'll see if things look clearer by only using 1 type of HCMT connecting path, just calling it "Ho Chi Minh Trail" and using a graphical scheme based on the territs themselves (instead of HCMT path subtype in original) in order to denote the HCMT bonus territories, which are a subset of all territs along the HCMT. This may be clearer.

We'll also simplify the bombardment zones to make it more clear what is bombardable from what. One idea is to make all RTAFB targets the same color and make all US Airbase targets the same color. We can subtly vary the textures for the two different bombing zones that each airbase can target in order to show players where each individual operation took place. It should be a lot easier to see what you can bomb by just having to look for one color.

I have to discuss with griff if we want to consider scrapping the icons and doing a map that has contiguous regions. We could, for example, make half of Laos be Pathet Lao bonus and the other half be the US backed Laos government bonus (including Luang Prabang and Vientiane). Then the map would convey even more historical information, but would lose the simplistic look and players would need to check the legend more to determine what the bonuses were.

However, to convey the really interesting details where a faction is not contiguous to any of its own faction that are currently conveyed, like the battle of Lima Site 85 or the fact that Pattaya is a US Army sphere of influence, would still require the use of icons, or even worse, tons of verbiage in the legend. I want to avoid having a 3rd Crusade legend.

If we go this route, having contiguous bonus regions, we could add Viet Cong in South Vietnam along the HCMT. They could be a bonus in and of themselves and also part of a greater bonus with North Vietnam, South Vietnam or a few connecting HCMT territs.

One other huge concern: If we make this map like 3rd Crusade, as much as I love that map, it will be panned by most CC players as too complicated to bother learning. The way the map is right now (or will be after we make a few simplifications) is, however, readily accessible to all players.
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war (draft 2)

Postby grifftron on Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:41 pm

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Things changed / thoughts...

A few changes to make in the map:

1) IH suggested using same graphics for both bombing zones which are targets of the same symbol (RTNAF or US Airbase).
2) Remove mention of backpath from legend but keep map the same
3) Remove mention of double power territs and 2-way attack routes from legend
4) One way to simplify the HCMT Main Artery and Infiltration Route confusion: In legend, only have 1 type of path defined, call it HCMT and make it red. For territs that are currently on the HCMT Main Artery, can we use some sort of graphic, either different color of writing of the territ name or different thickness or something? This way, there is only one type of HCMT path and not two. The section under bonuses would explain that having 3 in a row of this type of territ is a bonus (whatever graphic/coloring we you decide on above - this replaces the Main Artery path definition that we are currently using to define this bonus).

I KNOW the graphics on the zones are not that clear, diff color white..I did this before i went to work and didn't have time to mess around with it so much, Farang and I just wanted to see if this would make the map less complicated...
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Re: The 2nd Indochina war (draft 2)

Postby FarangDemon on Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:31 pm

Excellent job, Grifftron. I think it makes things a lot clearer.

I'm starting to come around on the icon complexity issue as raised by Industrial Helix. Sorry for my initial stubbornness on this.

  • I think it may be ok to remove some non-essential, potentially cluttering icons - i.e. CIA and Kings. This single move also makes it so that no one territ has two icons on it.
  • I think we can keep China (and connections to Hai Phong and Aircraft Carrier), just rename it to Hainan. We can strip its Cambodian flag and move that to Stung Treng. This also eliminates the confusing 1 way attack from Ta Veng to China.
  • Also, per IH's recent suggestion, let's please move the Laos icon from Bolikamsai to Plain of Jars. This will make Plain of Jars more contested and bombed. As it was, there was not much reason to bomb it before, unless someone was stacking on it to bottleneck there. Players can still bottleneck there but now there is incentive to bomb it even if there is no stack.
  • Also please spell out "Ho Chi Minh Trail" under Attack Routes in the legend

The extra non-icon-filled space and reduced set of icons should then make things much easier to see. It also helps that after these changes, almost every icon set is either contiguous or confined to a small area.
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