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Broadsword56

Tunisia?

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One cool thing about CMFI is that once we get the mainland Italy module, we also will effectively have the TO&E needed to make Tunisia '43 scenarios, it seems to me.

I don't know who's interested in Tunisia, but it could be a fun alternative to Italy -- the same way that some found that Italian Campaign mod pack in CMBN to be a fun alternative to Normandy.

If we could just get LongLeftFlank's palm tree mod into CMFI that would be the icing on the cake. One would have to be careful with building, to use just the ones that don't look too Italian. The only thing I'd miss is Allied AA guns to keep the Stukas at bay.

I'd be curious to see the differences in the way El Guettar plays out in CMx2, since I made that user-made historical scenario for TOW2 Africa. One thing that frustrated me then was the 2km limit to maps, which limited the maneuver in armor engagements because they could be under fire immediately from the other end of a map. In CM 2.0, with the ability for a map twice the size, accurate TO&E, and a more authentic infantry tacAI, it could be quite a spectacle, and the infantry aspects could become a lot more realistic/interesting.

A mini-campaign using the same master map of that valley could have 4 good battles on it for March 1943:

1. Patton's lead recon elements bump into the Italians E of El Guettar. Fluid probing action.

2. The famous night attack by the Rangers that took the Italian positions and cleared the way for the advance.

3. The big battle of El-Guettar itself: German armor-inf counterattack and the last-ditch US stand with the M-10s.

4. The US resumes the advance along the valley and tries to to capture key hilltop objectives against dug-in Germans.

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Yes, 41-42 wouldn't work as well, so Crete and the classic Western Desert stuff might not be doable. But Tunisia was not much earlier than Sicily, so that ought to work fine once the rest of the 1943 forces and equipment are added with the mainland Italy module.

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You'd be missing the sand dunes. And perhaps the palm trees. If indeed they were present during those battles.

Actually, this wouldn't be an issue. It's a common misconception about Tunisia that it was sand dunes and desert, like Egypt and Libya. Much of Tunisia, especially in Feb/March 1943, was very green, with wildflowers, etc. Rommel often remarked on its beauty and thought it would be a great place to bring German farmers to settle after the war.

Early 1943 was one of the rainiest rainy seasons in many years, and in fact the mud is part of what delayed Patton's spring offensive. The north of Tunisia is arid, like Sicily, but quite agricultural.

The real desert only just begins down south near El Guettar -- but again it's more arid than desert -- lots of scrub bushes and trees, and sandy patches interspersed with green grass. Olive groves, etc.

Check out archival color LIFE magazine photos and newsreels online of US troops in Tunisia, and you'll see what I mean. Here's a view of the nearby area in modern times -- amazing compared to what we typically think of as North Africa terrain:

elguettarview.jpg

A key terrain element at El Guettar was a big wadi (seasonal streambed ravine), which wasn't passable by vehicles except in some places. Dunes would be easy with just the elevation tool to make mounds, then sand terrain tiles on top. But, other than the palm trees, I can't see any terrain that wouldn't be doable with what's already in CMFI. It's mostly the man-made element that would be missing (North African buildings, objects, etc.).

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Still makes me sad every time I see a Steve comment about how AK sold less than the rest of CMx1.

I love the desert. Nothing more fun than a bunch of non-uber tanks throwing up dust, shooting their shorts off at long range, and missing,...a lot.

Don't know if they will ever revisit N Africa, but I hope they will, too.

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I love the desert. Nothing more fun than a bunch of non-uber tanks throwing up dust, shooting their shorts off at long range, and missing,...a lot.

Don't know if they will ever revisit N Africa, but I hope they will, too.

Fully in agreement. Would love a NA game with the 2.0 engine.

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What I miss is the long range combat that was typical in the desert (and East Front). I would like to think that 88's and lightly armored TD's like Nashorns, Marders etc would come into their own.

But, am not sure if the engine handles long range combat well. CM1 did not. The 88's were useless as they were so inaccurate at 2Km+. Maybe one has to make em Elite to get them to perform close to historical.

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Still makes me sad every time I see a Steve comment about how AK sold less than the rest of CMx1.

I love the desert. Nothing more fun than a bunch of non-uber tanks throwing up dust, shooting their shorts off at long range, and missing,...a lot.

Don't know if they will ever revisit N Africa, but I hope they will, too.

Same here. I loved the open terrain of tanks moving through the desert like ships at sea. There were some awesome battles I still remember from CMAK.

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With CMFI you can easily make a map of 4km x 4km of nothing but sand and rocks, with blazing sun and hot temperatures.

We don't have the British and Commonwealth forces in CMFI yet, or desert uniforms for inantry, but... if you don't mind a bit of work-around, you've got Honey tanks and Mark IIIs and a number of things to make some pretty decent early-war style desert battles just to satisfy that craving.

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One thing I see would really help with my Tunisia map would be a different horizon image.

The Italy one isn't horrible, but it would make the immersion way better to see some rough and dry desert mountains in the distance.

@erwin: I think it's a no-no to pull things from a different game into CMFI, since some players of CMFI don't own that game.

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Broadsword, you should be able to use the horizons from CMSF. If you don't have them, I can send them to you.

Thanks MJ, and yes, please do send me those horizons. I think I saved some instructions from an old post about how to change the horizon files. What I want is to be able to make one folder that will contain the scenario and subfolders with all the other mods like palm trees, cactus, and horizons, so that a user only needs to place the single Tunisia folder in the Z or mods folder to use it, and has an easy time removing it to play vanilla CMFI again.

I have the entire elevation contours mapped in the editor, at 5 meter intervals, for the entire 4 x 4 km map already, thanks to the ease of the new overlay function. Took me perhaps 4 hours or so, total, over a few days. Already the topography of the valley and hills look amazingly identical to the color post-battle photos of El Guettar from LIFE magazine.

The basic Italy default ground tile assortment is a mix of yellow grass, sand, and rocky, it seems to me. So most of my map work will be painting in a LOT of custom ground -- whether it's mud for the wadi and low areas, rock for the mountains, or zillions of green grass patches alternating with sand and mud. Then there will be lots of brush vegetation scattered all over, plus low scrub bushes, cactus, and finally the occasional palm trees and olive groves ( the little orchard tree will work fine for that).

This map will test how well the new 2.0 game handles a really huge map, with a huge amount of troops on it. If it doesn't work the map and battle can easily be cut down. But I'm optimistic because there are so few trees. The stress on the system will be all the detailed terrain contouring.

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I'll do that when I get home tonight. IIRC, it's simply a matter of naming the file correctly. I also imported CMSF trees for CMBN, and modded the stock CMBN trees as well, to create a Med-like atmosphere for my own benefit. Then sdp did his superb Italy mod, and he had changed the CMBN trees as well. So I have a mix of his, mine, his and mine, and stock CMSF trees.

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But, other than the palm trees, I can't see any terrain that wouldn't be doable with what's already in CMFI. It's mostly the man-made element that would be missing (North African buildings, objects, etc.).

Hate to play the wet blanket card, but wasn't snow present during some of the battles?

alain844vipblogcom82371.jpg

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No, not at El Guettar. Certainly in the high mountains there could have still been some snow, but this battle happened centered on a valley and surrounding foothills.

I've read lots of the AARs and accounts and they all say it was very muddy ground after extremely heavy rains. No mention of any snow.

What the accounts do mention is the way the valley was practically devoid of any useful cover -- not even much in the way of scrub or rocks -- just a vast rolling plain of 6-inch-tall green grass, occasional wildflowers, etc. The grass wouldn't have been solid and lush like Normandy, but interspersed with sand and mud patches like an arid place would be after a good Spring rain. The foothills get progressively rockier, rougher, and less vegetated as they rise. And then the other key terrain was the great Wadi, impassable to behicles except on the road bridge, and defended by a wire and mine belt.

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Well, bummer...

Started tiling terrain on my 4km x 4km Tunisia map. All seemed fine after I laid in large swaths of grass and of rocky terrain. Then I went in and broke up the grass with many little splotches of mud.

Suddenly the 3D preview of the map will no longer load. It hangs every time on the loading screen with the progress bar frozen at 46%.

If I try to load it as a battle scenario, it hands with the progress bar at 39%.

I'm puzzled by this, since full-sized maps with no units or foliage on them yet wouldn't seem to be something that would make CMFI crash. A slow load would be expected, perhaps, but I don't know what would be causing this.

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