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FoW Maps

Critique and discuss the design maps on AWBW

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FoW Maps

Postby Walker » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:44 am

I think we can all agree that one of the problems with the FoW League is that a lot of the maps aren't very good for FoW. For instance, something like this...

Wilderness Warfare


...just isn't well-suited for fog games. The HQs are too open and there are way too many forests. So that begs the question: what features does a good FoW map have?

The discussion came up with some of the Colosseum FoW maps I made, which involved a lot of predeployed units for vision, scarce forests on the fronts, and conveniently placed mountains for infantry to scout from. For example:

Black Dawn


Shades of Gray


I also just made this map, which I think could allay some of the concerns ichbin and other people had with the above style of FoW maps.

Masked Fury


Any thoughts on this? What do you think makes a good FoW map, and along with that, what type of gameplay do you think a FoW map should encourage?
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby marxistplot » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:00 pm

In general, i like fow maps to be larger and more open then the usual map, as one of the things i really enjoy about fow is not knowing how many vehicles your opponent has at a particular location. Having to make assumptions biased off of imperfect knowledge is the real attraction fow has over a clear game, and there's no fun if it's just "is his artillery in this bush or that bush?".
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby hetchel » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:56 am

marxistplot wrote:In general, i like fow maps to be larger and more open then the usual map, as one of the things i really enjoy about fow is not knowing how many vehicles your opponent has at a particular location. Having to make assumptions biased off of imperfect knowledge is the real attraction fow has over a clear game, and there's no fun if it's just "is his artillery in this bush or that bush?".

I agree.
This is also why alternate ways between the bases can be interesting. A longer or otherwise impractical path can see some use in FoW, because it is a bet, and it can yield scouting on the bases, for example. Maybe I'll create a map to show what I mean.
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby headphone » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:24 pm

hetchel wrote:A longer or otherwise impractical path can see some use in FoW, because it is a bet, and it can yield scouting on the bases, for example. Maybe I'll create a map to show what I mean.


I get exactly what you mean, and it just gave me an idea...
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby hetchel » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:41 pm

Walker wrote:I also just made this map, which I think could allay some of the concerns ichbin and other people had with the above style of FoW maps.

Masked Fury

It seem good, I'd try if I had more time.

headphone wrote:I get exactly what you mean, and it just gave me an idea...


I think one map you have made already could have a bit of the idea: http://awbw.amarriner.com/prevmaps.php?maps_id=56120
If there was no subs, a way to spy on the forest-side base is to sneak a 1HP tank on the other side of the mountains.
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby Grit Snipe » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:40 pm

So the Subs let you see your enemys units when they get built.
Well i'm a snipe loving Grit fan who loves Rocket.
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby headphone » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:20 am

Well, the whole point of the clumps of forests in the top left and bottom right are so infs can sneak a capture of the comtowers.
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby ichbinsehselber » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:44 am

Most standard maps can just be played in FOW as they are. With the exception that big clumps of forest may be a problem in some cases.

I do not think that open HQs are a big problem for FOW. You have to guard your hq. And you have to decide how much you want to guard your hq.
One more decision based on incomplete knowledge.

That is what FOW is all about. (as marxistplot also wrote) Decision making based on incomplete knowledge.

walker's idea with putting "vision units" onto the map is in my opinion an option for another different style of play. it is kind of a semi-fog of war or light version or soft version. With the meaning that there are not all aspects or reduced aspects of FOW.
I appreciate another variant of the AWBW game.

These predeployed units are often "map tricks". Some people may not mind. But it is at least a tiny bit of strange putting a ship, when there is no harbour, putting a recon to a place where it cannot really move to. Or a more extreme case of putting a ship on plains, mountains etc. It may be necessary and fun in some cases, but these tricks should be the exception, not the rule.

I personally like this variant less than the standard FOW without vision units. Especially the vision units should not be on the ground (= on the side) of the enemy showing his units on their way to the front or showing the bases. I think it should be part of the decisions how much you want to do to try to get your vision.

Walker wrote:I also just made this map, which I think could allay some of the concerns ichbin and other people had with the above style of FoW maps.

My main concern is about the predeployed units. If they were removed, the map would probably be great for FOW.

As said before, many standard maps can be used for FOW as they are.
If we take a simple example: North Star http://awbw.amarriner.com/prevmaps.php?maps_id=38064
There are way to get vision from the forward base of your enemy ( Infantry on mountain or recon)
This is very nice because you can work to get your vision. This aspect is taken away if there are pre-deployed units already giving the vision.
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby Azzaphox » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:20 am

That is what FOW is all about. (as marxistplot also wrote) Decision making based on incomplete knowledge


amen to that.

FoW is less predictable and can be dorky, but, I think, more fun and challenging for that.
More Strategy, less Real Time
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby Walker » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:20 pm

ichbinsehselber wrote:That is what FOW is all about. (as marxistplot also wrote) Decision making based on incomplete knowledge.

Yes, I agree with that perfectly. But there is a big difference between incomplete knowledge and complete lack of knowledge. The way I see it, in a standard FoW game you have a complete lack of knowledge about what your opponent does until about day 5-8 (depending on the size of the map and where the properties are, of course). They could be saving up for a megatank, have done nothing but build and delete units, you don't know anything until you start seeing their units.

After you run into your opponent near the end of the capture phase, you have incomplete knowledge based on your vision. A big part of the strategy is using figuring out how to get vision on your opponent then without leaving yourself open to attack. But this is why you can't have too many forests on the fronts for a FoW map - it makes it way too hard to get any kind of reasonable information about your opponent. If they can hide all units very easily, that takes away from gameplay.

ichbinsehselber wrote:My main concern is about the predeployed units. If they were removed, the map would probably be great for FOW.

Which brings us to the point about the predeployed recons on Masked Fury. My idea for FoW is to give incomplete information about your opponent's capture phase, instead of no information as in normal FoW. That's why the units near the enemy bases can never see everything, they only have vision on say 2 out of 3 bases, or the area immediately surrounding the bases, etc. In the case of Masked Fury, the recon can be destroyed very quickly if you choose to send a mech over the mountain, or camp an arty for 2 turns. It adds just another little bit of strategy, in that you have to decide how quickly you want to get rid of your opponent's vision on your capture phase and what resources you want to divert for that. I would guess that after about day 4-5, you'll destroy your opponent's recon, and then the map will play exactly as a normal FoW map.

The reason I think this is better is that now the first few days of a game aren't total guesswork. You can kind of see where the infs are heading, or what vehicles were built first. You don't know much beyond that, but it gives you just a little extra information to base your own capture phase off of. I really don't think that's enough to significantly change any of aspects of FoW that you enjoy. I can see how some of the maps I used in Colosseum provide a bit too much vision, but I think something like what I did in Masked Fury is closer to the correct way to do it.
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby ichbinsehselber » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:04 pm

Walker wrote: They could be saving up for a megatank, have done nothing but build and delete units, you don't know anything until you start seeing their units.

That knowledge is unnecessary. All these options are obviously so inferior to more standard tactics that an average player does not need to know about it. He will win vs those inferior build orders.

Walker wrote:The reason I think this is better is that now the first few days of a game aren't total guesswork. You can kind of see where the infs are heading, or what vehicles were built first. You don't know much beyond that, but it gives you just a little extra information to base your own capture phase off of. I really don't think that's enough to significantly change any of aspects of FoW that you enjoy.


I can see what you mean. And we are / will be testing this in the Colosseum.
I don't think this knowledge is necessary because you can assume that the opponent pursues the best strategy (or the one which you consider best) and fight that strategy.

Walker wrote: the correct way to do it.

What do you mean here?
1. There is not just one correct way of doing a FOW map.
2. You probably are looking for the way to provide the best total game experience. Again this will be different for different players / preferences.
It seems there are at least 3 different tiers here:
a.) normal games
b.) your semi-FOW games (maybe this can be split even in different tiers)
c.) pure FOW

I would be in favour to really see these 3 different map types. You have invented type b here. And now this type is fighting to get its proper place in the AWBW game world. I think it should be tested and if it works well should be kept.
But I also think that type c should be kept in any case. Even if type b will be a success.
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby Walker » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:48 pm

ichbinsehselber wrote:I can see what you mean. And we are / will be testing this in the Colosseum.
I don't think this knowledge is necessary because you can assume that the opponent pursues the best strategy (or the one which you consider best) and fight that strategy.

The problem is that there isn't a "best" strategy. It comes down to what Hellraider mentioned in his post in the Colosseum thread. I can't really explain it any better than him, so I'll just quote it again here for reference:

Hellraider wrote:A very simple example which I think I already brought up somewhere, is a capture phase triangle. Recon + normal capturing beats rushing for contested properties + delayed tank beats normal capturing + tank beats recon + normal capturing. Outside of FoW normal capturing + tank is the norm because you can punish the overall funds loss from rushing for contested properties, but in FoW you can't. Another situation is that on maps where fronts are completely separate from each other, you can just get screwed over by a recon killing infantry because you built the tank on the wrong base. The predeployed units are basically there to avoid that.


ichbinsehselber wrote:
Walker wrote: the correct way to do it.

What do you mean here?

Correct was a poor choice of words. I simply meant that it was a better way of doing it, based on your feedback.

ichbinsehselber wrote:2. You probably are looking for the way to provide the best total game experience. Again this will be different for different players / preferences.
It seems there are at least 3 different tiers here:
a.) normal games
b.) your semi-FOW games (maybe this can be split even in different tiers)
c.) pure FOW

I would be in favour to really see these 3 different map types. You have invented type b here. And now this type is fighting to get its proper place in the AWBW game world. I think it should be tested and if it works well should be kept.
But I also think that type c should be kept in any case. Even if type b will be a success.

Well, I'm trying to provide the best total game experience for the largest number of players, not everyone. It's not practical to try to make everyone happy, but there are a lot of people who don't play FoW because of the problems I've mentioned. I'm trying to make FoW appealing to people who don't like FoW as it is now, while not losing the key aspects of FoW that people do like.

As for your concerns about keeping different types of games, I'm not even sure how we would get rid of "pure FoW", and that's not my goal anyways. My overall goal is to try to establish a form of FoW that can be used for competitive purposes. A lot of people who play FoW games now might enjoy it and think that it's fun, but that doesn't change the fact that there are problems that have prevented FoW games from being used in competitions up to this point. That's where I'm trying to go with this - it's not about getting rid of pure FoW, it's about being able to use FoW for more serious games as well as casual ones. :wink:
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby ichbinsehselber » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:44 pm

My vote goes to type c pure FOW for competitive play
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby Walker » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:00 pm

Walker wrote:but that doesn't change the fact that there are problems that have prevented FoW games from being used in competitions up to this point
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Re: FoW Maps

Postby hetchel » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:26 pm

ichbinsehselber wrote:My vote goes to type c pure FOW for competitive play


Yeah, we demand a type B league and a type C league to complement the existing A league! (so I can join both). :D
... Not likely to happen, I guess.


Walker wrote:but that doesn't change the fact that there are problems that have prevented FoW games from being used in competitions up to this point


I don't know what happened, but I suppose "prevented" is too strong a word. Don't you rather mean "annoyed people that don't like to lose because of luck" ? :D
We could solve this by not having them participate in type C tournaments.
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