So, to re-evaluate the requirements of the battlefield, I decided that my ideal terrain would:
- Minimise turns spent moving to engage in combat
- Discourage Camping in deployment zones (although provide the option for Snipers)
- Force both squads to fight for valued terrain (elevated, with cover)
- Provide firing lanes for Snipers
In tweaking the current terrain, we needed more motivation to leave the deployment zones - as they were elevated and in cover, camping was viable. The elevation from the deployment zones had to go!
The 3 pillars in the mid field also blocked firing lanes, but cover is a necessity - so removing the pillars and replacing them with half-cover walls seemed like a good compromise.
So here is a comparison of the maps:
|The original map|
|Our modified map|
The colors represent the same elevation changes:
- Ground - the actual sewer channels, this is lowest ground (light green)
- ER1 - elevated above running sewerage, the concrete walkways of the sewer (light brown)
- ER2 - low-walls for half-cover on the walkway (dark brown)
- ER4 - pillars extending to the roof of the sewers, hence completely blocking LOS (black)
- The orange marks on either side represent the ladders of the manhole entrances, which mark the deployment point for each MERCS. MERCS don't deploy in the standard way in this scenario - all MERCS start off the board, and on turn 1 when they are activated, they begin their turn from that point. This represents each MERCS dropping down the manhole as they come into play.
Opening up the battleground with a central firing lane allowed a higher-level of tactics to be applied to the game. Having too much terrain, and LOS blocking elements on the original battlefield, really made the game about rushing to the center, holding and then wearing down your opponent. The fact that there was no firing lanes for viable suppression or overwatch, meant that the USCR would HAVE to rush. This would be a battle that the USCR would always lose due to their inferior speed, and their ability to slow down their opponents neutralised.
Also, removing the elevated ground at the deployment zones provided more incentive to move from the deployment zones, and made the only really viable 'camping units' the Snipers with lower base FNs.
After a game on the new map, we unanimously decided the modified version was better!