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IanL

Pathfinder mission + areal photos of Sicily

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I can certainly proceed with Google Earth but I was just wondering if anyone found a source for areal photos of Sicily in the 30s, 40s or 50s.

I want to try out the 2.0 editor features and want to start with a small scenario rather than the grander plans I tried last time. After participating in this thread: http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=105105 I thought I would do some research into pathfinders and their missions.

At first I found out that the British did use pathfinders in Sicily and the US did not. Rats. We do not have the Brits yet. But I could always start with the US paras and switch it to the Brits when the next module comes out. Then I discovered that the US used pathfinders for a mission during the invasion of the main land.

I got all excited and started compiling information. The mission was a success and was a template for how the Normandy pathfinders operated.

http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p4013coll8/id/103/rec/17

There wasn't any wind. The chutes came straight down near the center of the DZ. Groups assembled as planned without difficulty and without casualty. In three (3) minutes Lt Konar's radar set was in operation. Cpl Huth (standing by) had his set ready for operation. The flash lights were not needed as the gasoline sand flare signals were operating in good order.

But I glossed over the fact that the Italy jumps by the 504 and 505 from the 82nd were behind *friendly* lines. Not much of a scenario there. Back to looking at the Brits again. But the pathfinder missions did not go as planned at all. The pathfinders landed after the main force:

http://www.pegasusarchive.org/arnhem/batt_ind_coy.htm

Naturally the pathfinders were to be the vanguard of this assault but there was such confusion in the air that most of them were dropped miles from the zone, and those who were delivered on target did not arrive until an hour and a half after the main body of parachutists had already landed. By this time the area was on fire and visible for miles, and so marking the drop zone in any way seemed to be quite unnecessary.

So that leaves me no where really - at least in terms of historical reality.

So, I have decided to go with a bit of fiction. US path finders in the invasion of Sicily. Pretend their Italian main land invasion plan was executed during the Sicily invasion. Forget the fact that the reason that it worked were because of what they learned from the failure of the British pathfinder plans during the same invasion. Primarily that you need to use specially trained pilots and air crews for your pathfinder drops.

I have found a nice order of battle for the three planes that made up the group for the 505th (from the same pdf scan of the 82nd after action reports as above):

Planes to be loaded as follows:

First Plane: Piloted by Lt.Col. Grouch - Jump Master Col. Gavin

Lt Konar, with one (1) radar set to be put into operation immediately

Lt.Col. Billingslea, with one (1) SCR 536 to notify plain No. 2 in case of accident.

Cpl Housten, to assist Lt.Konar

Cpl Fitzgerald, with team of two (2) men equipped with flash lights to augment DZ markings if necessary

Two (2) rifle men from the 307 Engr Bn to provide security

Second Plane: Pilot unknown - Jump master, Major Muleahy with SCR 536 to provide communication with plain No. 1

Cpl Huth, with one (1) radar set to be ready for operation pending mishap to team win plane No. 1

Cpl Girodo, to assist Cpl Huth

Same Light and security teams as Plane No. 1

Third Plane: Piloted by Maj Brown - Jump master Captain Norton Capt Wight

Lt Cooperider, in charge of light crews

(Crews to assemble on center of DZ or center of "T" of lights)

Same light and security teams as plane No. 1.

But really I am looking for any areal photo sources for Sicily.

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I have to start by saying I love the map making enhancements in 2.0!!!

I am actually enjoying creating the contours and the farms. Having the overlay is a god send. I have been able to work for hours at a time and just beaver away without the context switching that I could not deal with. So far I have created the basic elevation and the road network. I have detailed two farms and the stream that runs through the map. I am working with a 1km by 1km map just to be sure that I have enough to tweak it later once I start playing with the actual units.

Here are a couple of screen shots:

The view from the stream up towards one of the farms.

PathFinderMissionViewFromStream.jpg

This is the view down the sloping open ground that will be the DZ. The only detail that has been done are the two farms and the stream you see still lots of work to do.

PathFinderMissionViewDownTheDZ.jpg

Hummm I think that orchard and vineyard need a little something more...

I am having fun creating this map - thanks BFC.

The road and wall drawing tool is also very helpful but it is no silver bullet. I used it to layout some of the segments of the road network but I still needed to learn how to create roads because it made a few odd decisions and short hops were pretty much never the way I wanted them.

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I have three overlay bmp files I am using. One for details, one for the contour lines from 53m to 85m and one for the contour lines from 90m-120m. I had to split up the contour lines because the higher elevation layers pretty much whited out the lower elevation layers.

PathfinderOverlayContours53-85.jpg

The detail overlay:

PathfinderOverlayDetails.jpg

If you want to see my bounding box and overlay polygons here is the Google earth file that holds it all. It contains a folder called Sicily DZ with the places, lines and polygons I used to create my overlay images.

http://www.lesliesoftware.com/forforumposts/2012/SicilyDZ.kmz

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I am getting close to finishing my map. Before I start playing with AI plans I will release just the map. However this evening I decided to do a bit of virtual ground truthing and looked a a few views from Google Street View. Ooops I wish I had done that earlier. I miss interpreted the size of the vegetation from the aerial shots. What I took as trees were just bushes and marsh.

The bridge over the creak looking down the creek you can see I put trees growing along its banks...

BridgeOverLookingCreakMap.jpg

but the tallest thing there is tall grass and a few shrubs.

BridgeOverLookingCreakStreeView.jpg

The house at the intersection between the high way and the side road...

HouseAtIntersectionMap.jpg

was not a house at all but a very run down barn.

HouseAtIntersectionStreeView.jpg

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The vinyard next to the road turned out pretty well...

VinYardMap.jpg

but the creak behind again shows way too tall trees.

VinYardStreeView.jpg

I think I will finish my work on the current map. All I have left is micro terrain adjustments and flavour objects. Then I will do a reduced vegetation version and release that too. I quite like the map as it is but I think I want my scenario to use a more realistic version.

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Try replacing the trees with bushes...or bushes plus the smallest tree, here and there. Might work out better for you.

Very nice btw.

Mord.

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Try replacing the trees with bushes...or bushes plus the smallest tree, here and there. Might work out better for you.

Yes, that is my plan. Actually I think I will finish my micro elevation work and place flavour objects and then save the big tree version before doing as you suggest.

Very nice btw.

Thanks, I actually had fun making it. And I learned a lot - ending with "do a virtual ground truthing session first" :)

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All done - the map that is. I will be posting the map to the repository later today or tomorrow morning.

The bridge over the creak looking down the creek...

BridgeOverLookingCreakMap2.jpg

real life.

BridgeOverLookingCreakStreeView.jpg

The barn at the intersection between the high way and the side road...

HouseAtIntersectionMap2.jpg

real life (I kept a few randomish trees but not necessarily where the real ones are).

HouseAtIntersectionStreeView.jpg

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I can't wait to get the map, Ian. Great job! One suggestion, though, would be to turn the building in pic #3 on its axis 90 degrees. In the real pic, it looks like the end of the building is facing the camera, whereas in yours it appears to be the side facing the camera.

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I can't wait to get the map, Ian. Great job! One suggestion, though, would be to turn the building in pic #3 on its axis 90 degrees. In the real pic, it looks like the end of the building is facing the camera, whereas in yours it appears to be the side facing the camera.

Yeah I hear you. Truth is if you looked at any of the buildings they would not really look the same. And you would have the same comment. I built them and positioned them to fit the lot and fields I had created.

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I've found it's better to get all the elevations done, then get all the terrain tiles exactly the way I want them, before planting any vegetation or placing any objects. It's fun and tempting to get into details right away to see how it will look, but it often means having to erase and undo things later, adding more hours to the creation time. The vegetation and objects can get in the way and make it harder to see what's really going on with the evolving map.

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I've found it's better to get all the elevations done, then get all the terrain tiles exactly the way I want them, before planting any vegetation or placing any objects. It's fun and tempting to get into details right away to see how it will look, but it often means having to erase and undo things later, adding more hours to the creation time. The vegetation and objects can get in the way and make it harder to see what's really going on with the evolving map.

Yes, I always follow this order.

-Elevation

-Roads

Then I partition the map into sections using the roads as separation lines and go from there.

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Thanks to JonS and his excellent guide I have AI plans for the Italians pretty much working and one graphic left to create. This will be playable as US against the AI.

I would like a couple of play testers if possible. Send me a PM if you are interested.

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No play testers surfaced so you have to suffer with me doing it a few more times. Mad a few tweaks and uploaded it to the repository.

My first scenario!!!

This will be playable as US vs the AI only.

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I created a place for where you can find all my mods, maps and scenarios.  Don't worry I'm still going to be posting things to http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/ and http://www.thefewgoodmen.com/tsd3/ I just wanted there to be a place where you can find everything.  While I was setting the page up I noticed a few icon mods never got added to CMMods so I did that too.

Check out http://www.lesliesoftware.com/mods/ for the whole list.

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