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Golan Heights 1973 (3.011)


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As soon as the upload file is approved, there is a Golan Heights map coming up in Downloads. It is a clean sheet based on 3.011. I've worked on this myself over the past week or so. It is not done but I am seeking reviews and comment.

Is it perfect and everything to the last detail? Hardly. Most of it is an educated sketch based on what maps I could get, plus pictures, and Google Maps of the area.

The filled in areas include the Hermonit and Booster Ridge area, down through the Israeli side to about Tel Saki in the south. El Al (today Eliad) is sited but the map is mostly bare at that point. Parts of the Syrian side are filled in as well, including two populated villages.

From this point, I'd like to continue working on it but it is a huge map and I'm wondering where most value lies.

The late-war Israeli advance went way across the map in the northeast side, which is an option to pursue. On the other hand, the maximum Syrian penetration was in the southwest side, which could be fun as well. Or, there is always more detail to add in the central areas such as detail roads and tank ramps, although those may be best left to the needs of individual scenarios. If one wanted to do June 1967, work would be needed down to the Jordan River valley.

I tried experimenting with different terrain patterns to get a mixture of the semi-rocky, yellow-grassy, sparsely-treed areas that most pictures show. The artwork may look a bit odd when viewing in the map editor but I think it works out when you view the 3D world. Different areas have different treatments as I was trying to find a way to get a good diversity of terrain without spending too long at it. The map editor could sure use some shortcuts in laying down diverse terrain and object groups in a quick and efficient manner.

I am still trying to get the theme sorted out. The theme editor has some tricks behind it, such that I can't always believe what I'm seeing until I fire up an actual scenario. I'm going for the late summer/autumn look, but I think it is still a bit too green. However, it appears that in other seasons the Golan gets very green, so finding out exactly what October looks like in any given spot is a trick. It would be nice to have multiple themes in case one wanted it to be June 1967.

As far as I can tell, if this works then we'll have the first really decent publicly available Golan Heights map, which is long overdue.

Please fire away with comments. I will respond as I'm able.

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I've sort of got an update to the heightmap planned. I also have data for all of the major and most of the minor roads in the area. Its modern data rather than 1973 but its a lot easier than doing it all by hand.

Oh and I have tools for adding rock to all the steep places on the map too if it helps.

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Ah, those tools would be handy. The modern maps may not mesh accurately with the landscape of 1973, but I think it would be easier to start at the modern era and regress the map to 1973 or 1967 rather than build it all up from hand.

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Looking good. But yes, it is probably better to start with a procedurally generated start point, and degrade it (or enhance it), rather than hand draw the entire map. :eek:

But in the absence of that, I went for it anyway. I did learn a lot about the terrain and features, and I think that when you hop in a tank and start a scenario, it passes off fairly well except for the lack of minor roads. For a Tapline Road scenario southeast of Nafekh, I think the terrain is in good shape for a really fun and immersive scenario. I think that when you get tactical, the nit-noidal details pass away and you have fun dealing with what you have in front of you.

I was certainly trying to avoid the "golf course" effect of a plain map. I do wish there were map editor tools that could splatter a mix of terrain, as well as make village and city block construction easier. I wish that as well as having individual buildings, there could be pre-made city blocks. Better yet, the scenario artist could create and save a terrain and object snippet which could be pulled into different scenarios. A snippet could be like a city block, or a country farm, etc.

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You are brave to start from a height map and you have done a nice job. The theatre and time period is not my fancy but I'm sure many here will appreciate your selfless contribution. As I'm not familiar with the area I can't comment on accuracy of the map, but I can offer you criticism from an aesthetic point of view.

- For circular or curving roads, add nodes to create nicer bends. This would also apply to streams to give them a more natural flow as opposed to jagged, mechanical lines.

- I like how in some areas you used line items (like fences or trees) to segment or contain varying field terrain. It gives fields clean borders to otherwise washed-out and over-lapping edges. I prefer to use line items in the same manner even if I have to stray from real-world circumstance.

- For concrete/asphalt terrain placed around buildings, use concrete path to create nice, squared-off borders. Left alone, the splash of terrain around a building is off-putting.

- Don't leave gaps between intersecting roads (I saw tiny gaps here and there).

- When roads are placed on a slope, place buildings far enough away from those roads so that the roads are not deformed by the buildings.

- I like to make sure electrical posts are nicely perpendicular to adjacent roads.

- Nice job on the body of water and the rivers flowing from them. Looks very natural on map and world view.

- Nice natural placement of foliage throughout.

Keep up the good work, LtGeorge! :luxhello:

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Thanks. It's a process. The roads are still the first placement from when I was looking at various maps and trying to find their approximate locations and routing. I do see a bunch of the issues you mention, especially as I was playing a test scenario.

I am hoping that I am close to some tools that may cause me to try a rev 2, with better results. We'll see.

The exercise was also to learn about the area. I'm a history buff and was reading a book on the Yom Kippur War, and studying the terrain like this has really helped to understand what it may have been like on the ground. And I was playing the SB Egyptian campaign as well, which validated that playing in that time period is now viable in SB.

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  • 2 weeks later...
There is a sb Egyptian campaign ? Can you elaborate on what that is, like a string of linked missions in Egyptian t-72s ?

Well its Sinai in 1973 so I doubt any T-72's, since AFAIK Egypt never used it.

So T-62s at best.

You could always play it? ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Well its Sinai in 1973 so I doubt any T-72's, since AFAIK Egypt never used it.

So T-62s at best.

You could always play it? ;)

I could send you my info. I researched the 1973 campaign in the Sinai quite extensively for a game I made a few years back called The Star and the Crescent for ProSIM. Let me know.

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