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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
Apocal

Getting back into scenario making.

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Apocal   

I've decided to stop talking about it and be about it when it comes to making small(er) scale scenarios and (possibly, in the future) a full FMB-style campaign. Just one minor hiccup: I don't really know how to make maps very well in CMx2. That's OK though, practice makes perfect and all.

The scenario I'm aiming for:

On 5/26/2014 at 6:53 AM, JasonC said:

Russian exploitation vs alarm units. The small Russian force should be based around a single platoon of T-34s with SMG riders. They may also have a couple of BA-64 armored cars, recon infantry split into 1/2 squads in jeeps (simulates motorcycle infantry), maybe 1 US halftrack carrying heavy weapons. The Russians are in road column - there should be more than one road route across the map and the Russians should have a choice of routes available. The Germans should get a grab bag - a reduced pioneer platoon e.g., Flak guns (potentially both heavy and light, but only 1 88 if they have heavy), a few tank hunter teams with panzerfausts. Give the Germans a "reaction" force based around 1 StuG and 1 infantry platoon that arrives from side or rear in the middle of the fight. Russians are trying to shoot up the Germans and punch across the map, Germans to stop them.

So the broad "concept art" of my first map, after twenty minutes of work. 1600x832 meters. I haven't yet begun placing trees and the map itself is basically flat (just a bit over 10m total elevation difference throughout and all of it gradual) but I basically have two routes through a sunken wooded area broken by marshes. The German setup zone is basically three-quarters of the map itself with the Soviet starting areas largely restricted to the roads.

1) What kind of trees should I use for this map supposed to be set in Belarus?

2) Should there be marshes involved or are they superfluous/incompatible with heavy forest in real Belorussian terrain? Should they only correspond to locations that are at or below "sea level" in CMx2 map terms (I know you can't get 0 elevation) or is a slight rise to them acceptable?

3) Did the Russian mech actually exploit against opposition through such terrain? This is the third question instead of the first because I'm not too hung up on historical reality as I am interesting tactical situations but I still want some plausibility involved. I know they had to traverse it at some point, but I'm unsure if it was actually against forces that could check them or simply an admin move through broken, minimal and uncoordinated resistance.

edit: I just realized I sort of forcibly split the player force, particularly reinforcements, with the big mass of heavy woods in the far eastern side of the map, so I'm going to cut some routes through that, using roads so bogging isn't as much a concern.

 

parallel pursuit map.png

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6 hours ago, Apocal said:

 

1) What kind of trees should I use for this map supposed to be set in Belarus?

My suggestion would be to load some of the stock CMRT scenarios into the editor and have a look at what kind of trees the 'pro' designers used...

And as a personal prefrence atleast...Try to mix the trees somewhat...Don't use only one type of tree all over the forrest...That looks a bit 'cartoony'/ boring imo...

Even if its a pine forrest...some variaty would be welcome...

A Little something i found...

bellarus_zpscxf0vnav.jpg

Good luck with the scenario ! Good initiativ to get cracking with this..:)

 

 

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I use Google Earth to get a flavor of the local kind of vegetation along with one of the editor object guides to pick trees/bushes as well as the most appropriate kind of buildings. Regarding marshes, it depends, but consider the massive Pripyat Marshes in Belarus and one can imagine that marsh terrain might be commonplace in certain areas.

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I'd have a look at @George MC's Tankovyi Desanti (or sumfink like that) in the editor which bundled with the game.  It has a similar force mix and a superb map and like all of his work, inevitably is a superb scenario.

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Apocal   

Map is done-ish. I cut a few footpaths through so forces can shift from one side to the other. Not in ideal locations though, which is something I'm sure real commanders dealt with. The terrain doesn't look anywhere near as good as George's though; mostly because I'm not a great map-maker but in small part due to the fact it is hard to make a forest look "good" without breaking it up a bunch and most accounts of Belarus stress that there were huge stretches of completely untamed forests, even in the vicinity of population centers. Whole areas left untouched just because no one could be bothered. It isn't readily apparent from the screenshot but I included two different types of trees in my woods.

Outside of the map, I realized one situation during Bagration applies; the early breakthrough battles around Bobruisk as Soviet's 1st Byelorussian Front raced to encircle and take the city before the German Ninth Army could stage a breakout attempt with the assistance of the 20th PD. In real life, the 20th PD was swiftly withdrawn to launch a counterattack further to the south but I'm guessing there were still StuG battalions operating with the Ninth Army. I gave the German force a fictitious designation of KG Roth to avoid having to dig deep, not exactly unreasonable that there would be all sorts of kampfgruppes and alarm units popping up all over the place. The Soviets still have a generic force name, but I'm thinking I might just title them "Forward Detachment."

Now I've just got to finish the briefings and it will be H2H ready. AI play will have to wait a bit longer while I deal with triggers and pathing and silly AI tricks, etc.

 

parallel pursuit map.jpg

parallel pursuit map2.jpg

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hello...

A few observations/thoughts...

- Although i'm pretty certain that swamps could be found at different eleveations i do belive that the terrain of the actual swamps will need to be fairly level. Looking at your last pictures it seems as if the map is slooping a fair bit to the left (even the swamp areas) ....I may very well be wrong about this though...but slooping swamps looks a bit strange to me.

- A bit of vegitation in- and around the larger swamps might be a good idea...not to much...but a few bloobs of small trees and some bushes maybe.

- Maybe a few scattered, small trees/bushes along the left road in the wider areas...

These would be my suggestions...something to considder ;)

 

 

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Even in an untouched forest, there are usually patches that are open and patches that are dense. So it's better to break up forests and not only use light/heavy forest tiles, but also include tall grass and weeds in places, combined with patches of shrubbery.

Also I would recommend being careful not to place too many trees in each tile. I find fewer trees make for better looks and gameplay and also it's easier on the computer.

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Apocal   
2 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

hello...

A few observations/thoughts...

- Although i'm pretty certain that swamps could be found at different eleveations i do belive that the terrain of the actual swamps will need to be fairly level. Looking at your last pictures it seems as if the map is slooping a fair bit to the left (even the swamp areas) ....I may very well be wrong about this though...but slooping swamps looks a bit strange to me.

The actual marsh (deep marsh) is level. The light, sorta blue-green stuff I use as the precusor, to show where the transition where gross boggy stuff kills off most vegetation before becoming actual marsh.

46 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

Even in an untouched forest, there are usually patches that are open and patches that are dense. So it's better to break up forests and not only use light/heavy forest tiles, but also include tall grass and weeds in places, combined with patches of shrubbery.

Also I would recommend being careful not to place too many trees in each tile. I find fewer trees make for better looks and gameplay and also it's easier on the computer.

There are actually sparse breaks and such throughout the forest, but it isn't really clear from the screenshot. But I'll take it up a notch. And only maybe 10% of the wood tiles have the dense tree setting, the majority are sparse with perhaps 25-33% being middling dense. It's just hard to find an angle where that much is obvious.

Taking the rest of the stuff into account and fixes being made as I type this.

 

 

marsh.jpg

Edited by Apocal

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Apocal   

I have been working on the scenario. I've already run through about 3 complete self-playtests in hotseat mode, everything looks good on that front. Now I'm at the part where I manage scoring. Someone on the forum had a scoring calculator that could determine how to weight things without having to do endless repetitions to make the points sit right but I'm not able to find it at a five minute search of the various maps and mods forums*. Can anybody help me out with a link?

At any rate, it is basically ready for H2H play; I had to tune the forces a little and it is definitely a very shoe-string affair on both counts. Total unit count for both Germans and Soviets is on the low side of things, at least until the first batch of reinforcements show up, and all forces on the field are in various states of worn-and-torn. Hopefully that captures more of the flavor of the east front than TO&E units with TO&E attachments fighting it out with other units, also conveniently at TO&E. As soon as I get scoring figured out (which might take a bit more than planned; it is time-consuming to arrange all the various "knobs" that control victory or defeat so that I have a good idea of what effect they have) I'll upload it at the Proving Ground.

 

*This is why I think we should merge the forums (most of them, anyway) and use a thread tagging system when people are discussing theater/title specific issues.

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3 hours ago, Apocal said:

<Snip>  Now I'm at the part where I manage scoring. Someone on the forum had a scoring calculator that could determine how to weight things without having to do endless repetitions to make the points sit right but I'm not able to find it at a five minute search of the various maps and mods forums*. Can anybody help me out with a link?  <Snip> 

My guess would be @JonS or @Combatintman.  If it wasn't them they will probably, at least, know about it.

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IanL   

The forum search sucks. Combining everything into one forum will likely not help with that problem. Use google's site: feature alla:

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Acommunity.battlefront.com+victory+calculator&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

First two hits on that search are the original thread announcing the calculator and the last time someone found a link to it for another poster in the same boat.

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Apocal   
30 minutes ago, IanL said:

The forum search sucks. Combining everything into one forum will likely not help with that problem. Use google's site: feature alla:

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Acommunity.battlefront.com+victory+calculator&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

First two hits on that search are the original thread announcing the calculator and the last time someone found a link to it for another poster in the same boat.

I actually did a search, but for "scoring calculator" and "points calculator." <_<  With the caveat I didn't use Google.

49 minutes ago, Pete Wenman said:

Not mine - I only saved a copy when it was first produced. There may well be later versions I'm not aware of.

Combat Mission Victory Calculator v1.0.xlsx

P

 

32 minutes ago, IanL said:

This is something that @Ithikial_AU created and you can get the latest here: http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=4236

 

Thank you both.

Edited by Apocal

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4 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

My guess would be @JonS or @Combatintman.  If it wasn't them they will probably, at least, know about it.

Not me - I only understood VPs after the WW2 titles came out and the sums appeared in the manual. Consequently I was rubbish at VPs for years ... I can make them work now but I still do it mandraulically.

Taking the pure mathematics out of the equation though ... it is important to test, test and test so that you know what an 'average' result is and then compare it with your narrative/mission concept/vision for what would equal a loss/draw/victory (the art in the science of mission making ;)). I usually end up making tweaks here and there during this process.

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Apocal   

That's a bit more involved than my own process. I simply ran through the scenario a bunch of times in hotseat mode whenever I shifted the points around, seeing what happened with complete victory, abject failure and the two side conditions involved. There were about a half dozen tweaks before I got the Victory Calculator, then two more after. Right now I'm sort of sick of looking at it, so I hope I can upload to TPG sooner rather than later.

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Apocal   

OK, I had one helpful person run through a test of my scenario. His feedback here, under the spoiler tag:

Completed the scenario yesterday, played single-player as the Soviets on Iron. The result was a draw. My plan was to concentrate my forces, but still scout both approaches (one to the West, two to the East) as in the case one might be heavily defended I could still shift my tanks to the other side using the smaller communicating roads. I progressed at maximum speed until I had my first contact, towards the middle of the map. Surprisingly, the jeeps could handle themselves pretty well, but I made my tanks pour fire into the suspected enemy positions as they moved for good measure. I did not take a single casualty until I spotted the StuG, I sent my tanks and infantry after the reinforcement group and lost a tank to an unknown HEAT projectile and a few men to machinegun fire. I engaged those units so that my forces on the opposite road could escape safely. After they exited the map, I pulled back and went straight for the other exit zone. The last unit vanished with about 30 seconds left on the timer.(edited)
 
 
[1:34 AM] Baron: Map - There are some spots where Dirt Road and Footpath tiles mix, I don't know if it's intentional, but I know that for some reason Dirt Road and Footpath tiles share the same icon in the editor (there's a mod to fix that). - Since this is a road that leads to a major city, maybe you could add signs of the German retreat being harassed by the VVS : busted trucks and staff cars, craters... - At many points, the roads snake around for seemingly no reason, I think you should give a reason for the roads to have been made this way like some patch of marshy terrain, denser forest, or a small rise in the elevation. It would also provide better defensive positions for the German.
 
 
[1:34 AM] Baron: Units only played in SP, maybe the balance is much more even with a good German player - The Soviet side seems a bit too experienced, especially given that the PPsH reigns king in forests, firefights were pretty easy. - Maybe the Germans could get one or two traps, like a mine or an obstacle. - The Soviet support weapons in the Studbaker served no purpose since they give no points and come too late for most of the action.
 
 
[1:34 AM] Baron: Mission - Maybe you could add more Triggers for the German rear-guard that would give them a more cautious stance once Soviet armor has gone beyond a certain point. Those that are in place give a Quick command all the way to the back, the enemy basically ran in my machineguns. - The StuG arrived face to face with my tanks and then went on to its assigned position (spotted for just a second), no feedback, just a funny anneectode - Perhaps you could give a more cautious move order to the StuG and make its facing (upon reaching its destination) dependent on the Triggers that were activated by the Soviet tanks. In my run, he was facing the wrong way. - I think the mission could use 0-5 minutes of Variable Extra Time. I quite liked the scenario, but I think it might be better for H2H play.

Good feedback and all, but it is very hard to script a competent AI that can react to a player with two choices of attack routes in an intelligent fashion. At least without loading it up with units on both routes, which I don't want to do, since I want the scenario to stay viable for H2H play. On the plus side, the result means it wasn't a complete wash in terms of difficulty. Any tips for creating a better AI on the defense?

Edited by Apocal

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Creating a good reactive AI is difficult.  Taking the terrain objective trigger for example...
You could use it to get the AI to shift forces from one possition to another ones the enemy 'tripps' the trigger. The problem with this though is that the size of the enemy unit triggering that move could be anything between the entire enemy force and a lone sniper...

No way of controlling this.

If the player moves a large part of his force through that terrain objective it would look like a good move by the AI to shift its forces to counter that threat. If it's on the other hand  just a lone scouting sniper triggering that objective it will not look quite as nice to se a large part of the AI repossitioning its forces to that location.

I guess that one way of dealing with this could be to set-up the terrainobjective in a location behind the forward line of AI troops. If the player manges to reach this terrain objective it will most likely be a sizable force that is doing it...A lone sniper would have been killed by the AI outpost-line.

I have not played this particular scenario yet so i don't know how you have it set-up...
My suggestion below might be totally wrong here...but looking at the map something like this is something i would give a try...
 
Having two simular forces covering each road and set-up to partially shift possition if the player decide to attack along the opposit road...

0. Outpost line
triggered to pull back to reverse slope possitions ones (or slightly after) enemy armour poses a threath.
 
1. static
Part of the MLR that will remain static and defend its part of the front (north road and south road respectevly)

2. first reaction force
Part of the MLR on the opposing road and the first force that will shift possitions to the opposit road if that terrain objective is triggered. If the terrain objective is not triggered it will remain in its defensive possition at its original road.

3. counter attacking force
Reserves ( behind the MLR). A force that will do a counter attack/ reinforce along the same road the MLR forces are defending ones an that terrain objective (another one asigned to the counter attack) is triggered .

4. second reacting force.
Part of the MLR on the opposing road. This force will reposition to the opposite road ones an additional terrrain objective  further into your possitions have been triggered. If this does not happen it will remain in its defensive possition at the first road.
 
mapPIC_zps0e3aa5qn.png
 
This way you will have a forward possition along both roads that may be able to deal with a light enemy recon force coming down that road.
You will have 3 static 'forces' at the MLR defending the road  regardless of wich road the player  is advancing along (1, 2 and 4)
You will have 3 AI 'forces' from the opposing road reinforcing the one road being attacked .

- 2. The first reinforcement from the opposit road
- 3. The reserves (from behind the MLR) advancing along the same road.
- 4. the second reacting force from the opposit road.

You could also have the counter attacking forces (3) set to do its counter attacking using the game clock (at a late time in the scenario if the player is attacking the opposit road) and give it enough movement  orders to allow it to swing around and attack the opposing road from the rear if the player does not attack along the AI-groups original asigned road.

You could perhaps also  have a terrain objective close to the very end of the roads to allow the 'static' (1) AI forces to move forward and attack the road itself (atleast if thoose 'static' forces does not originally have good LOS/LOF to the road itself) if the player reaches those locations.

The outpost force could also be given additional move-orders set off by either time or trigger to fall back and attack along the same or opposit roads towards the later part of the scenario if they are still alive at their fallback possitions.

The number one problem with a solution like this i think would be if the player indeed decides to attack along both roads. This would result in alot of repossitioning on the part of the AI and might look a bit strange.

If possible maybe the AI could be strong enough to prevent the player from being able to attack along both road simultaniously. He would have concentrate his forces along one road or else the player attack will fail...

The AI forces along the opposit roads should obviously not be part of the same AI-groups...(AI-group 0-4 possitioned along one road and AI-groups 5-10 along the other set up in a simular situation...

Something like this might not be at all what you are considdering but it is atleast a small suggestion of how it could perhaps be done. This way regardless of wich road the player choses the AI will have both a decent static force as well as a sizable reinforcing strenth...

/ RepsolCBR
 
 
 

-

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Apocal   
On 7/29/2017 at 11:26 PM, RepsolCBR said:

Creating a good reactive AI is difficult.  Taking the terrain objective trigger for example...
You could use it to get the AI to shift forces from one possition to another ones the enemy 'tripps' the trigger. The problem with this though is that the size of the enemy unit triggering that move could be anything between the entire enemy force and a lone sniper...

No way of controlling this.

That's already how I have it setup, basically. A bit smarter about the one lone sniper bit though.

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