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      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:

      -showui

      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
    • Battlefront.com

      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them
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Saferight

Basements?

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May have been asked before but why are there no basement positions for buildings? Ive a read a few accounts from different wars of defenders making basements into excellent pillboxes. Usually ends up with them having a grenade tossed in on them or whole structure collapsing down but.... Just wanted to see BFC and everyones else take on this thanks.

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Has been up for discussions from time to time. Seems most people agree that houses need to be changed to include fortified positions and basements. Have not seen any official comment from BF on this but I think they would agree, there are just so many other things that have been more important so far.

I think BF must change how houses are modeled with the Stalingrad familly. They should also include sewers for movement between the apt buildings. That is if they want to model Stalingrad (city) fighting properly. I would also like to see more buildings and extra content so we can build cities that look and feel natural. In my opinion everything above village does not look or feel right in what we have in Normandy, Italy and Russia right now. That's probably why we don't see that many scenarios or campaign that involve fighting in Towns and Cities.

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Erwin   

An important (current) issue with dense urban scenarios is that it is hard to place the camera to see the action. Walls get in the way very easily and LOS of units can be "erratic" as one may be able to see a target easily, but the game system has trouble allowing one to target something that seems in plain sight.

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It seems it´s not that easy to code something, that cuts the basic ground terrain mesh, to provide a real below ground feature. If it´s just for a shelter and not fighting position (some basement types are still slightly above level ground and have windows), maybe something abstracted would do for the beginning. An invisble "container" type feature, similar to sewer movement in CMX1. Raises the question, how to handle collapsing buildings or enemy troops above, a direkt hit from heavy Arty and such. Guess it doesn´t quite fit BFC concept of the game. So then a true 3D solution in V4 or V5 maybe?

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the problem is that ground mesh changes must be visible to all players. So any house with a basement would have a very clear hole in the map. This is why we have above ground trenches and foxholes.

My wishlist item is fortified buildings or the ability to make a building fortified, much like you can purchase and place trenches.

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There is a workaround - try this in the editor. Place a two-storey building in the editor. Set the elevation to 17 on the tile containing the building. Set your surrounding tile heights to 20. Ditch lock all of the elevations. Your two storey building becomes a one storey building with a basement. Troops can enter and exit with no problems.

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Thanks for the replies, i see why this hasn't been done yet. I for one would be happy with just a bare box underneath a building with potentially windows to fire from. But i see how this and a lot of other stuff involving more realistic structures and fortifications would be a nightmare for the devs.

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Sequoia   

I think BF must change how houses are modeled with the Stalingrad familly. They should also include sewers for movement between the apt buildings. That is if they want to model Stalingrad (city) fighting properly. I would also like to see more buildings and extra content so we can build cities that look and feel natural. In my opinion everything above village does not look or feel right in what we have in Normandy, Italy and Russia right now. That's probably why we don't see that many scenarios or campaign that involve fighting in Towns and Cities.

It's also possible of course we may see urban fighting enhancements if they do a Battle for Berlin Module for the Red Thunder family along with a CMx 4.0 release.

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the problem is that ground mesh changes must be visible to all players. So any house with a basement would have a very clear hole in the map.

So? Why is that a problem? All players can already see the building. Why shouldn't they be able to see buildings with basements? It's not exactly as if they were hidden.

This is why we have above ground trenches and foxholes.

That's a different matter. Trenches and foxholes are not assumed to be a permanent part of the landscape, but were constructed relatively recently by the occupying troops who made some effort to conceal them. Basements and cellars were there before the armies came along.

Michael

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womble   

I think it just seems a bit odd that "looking at a map of a village" would tell you which buildings had basements... It's just that bit more weird than being able to see all interior connections...

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Erwin   

Of course looking at a map of the village wouldn't tell you how the rooms are arranged and where the doors are either, and waypoints wouldn't tell you what you can see from them, roads wouldn't zigzag etc. So, it's more of a game issue... at what point on the spectrum of unrealism does verisimilitude break down.

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womble   
Of course looking at a map of the village wouldn't tell you how the rooms are arranged and where the doors are either, and waypoints wouldn't tell you what you can see from them, roads wouldn't zigzag etc. So, it's more of a game issue... at what point on the spectrum of unrealism does verisimilitude break down.

You can't tell how the rooms are arranged... that's all below the abstraction layer.

Most of the time, IRL, you can tell where one building ends and the next begins quite well once it becomes important.

Cellars less so. I feel that the line of verisimilitude breakdown lies somewhere between "being able to tell that it's one big house" and "knowing there's a cellar under the east wing from a mile away"

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76mm   

Cellars less so. I feel that the line of verisimilitude breakdown lies somewhere between "being able to tell that it's one big house" and "knowing there's a cellar under the east wing from a mile away"

But at a range of one mile (or whatever), who cares if a building has a cellar or not? Until you're within small arms/assault range, you're presumably simply aiming at the building (or assuming that the enemy has defenses there), so the existence of the building, which is obvious, is the main thing.

Foxholes are different, since their presence is more of a direct inference to the presence of enemy troops that you wouldn't otherwise know about.

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poesel   

I'm no cellar expert but AFAIK having a cellar very much depends on the region and type of structure.

Where I live every house has a cellar and barnes would never have one. If you have a rocky underground or water nearby no one would have a cellar.

So IMHO not much information would be given away if you would be informed about a cellar or not. You would already know by looking at the house from the outside.

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Erwin   

What I was referring to was that we really shouldn't be able to have the camera enter the room of a building to see the layout until a friendly unit is already in the room.

But, it's a game and we need these abstractions.

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I'm no cellar expert but AFAIK having a cellar very much depends on the region and type of structure.

Where I live every house has a cellar and barnes would never have one. If you have a rocky underground or water nearby no one would have a cellar.

That was my thought as well. In rural European areas with lots of farming a cellar was a necessity. It was where you stored vegetables over winter. Without a cellar your diet would be impoverished. They might be a bit more optional in urban areas, but there too there were often very good reasons for having one. Entire neighborhoods would be cellarized. It wouldn't be a case of one here or there and having to explore to figure out which house might have one or not.

Michael

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An important (current) issue with dense urban scenarios is that it is hard to place the camera to see the action. Walls get in the way very easily and LOS of units can be "erratic" as one may be able to see a target easily, but the game system has trouble allowing one to target something that seems in plain sight.

Amen. My rig also seems to have trouble with levels above 2 or 3 - starts to look like Hitchcock's Vertigo. Clicking on a unit in a church tower is very disorienting.

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