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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:


      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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CMAK vs CMBB Improvements

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I am not interested in the desert itself but I believe there is a mod for playing Western Front scenarios using the CMAK engine. So instead of getting the older CMBO I might be interested in getting CMAK. How did the game change going from CMBB to CMAK briefly? Or maybe you can point me to an article comparing them?


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I can't recall the exact differences between the CMBB and CMAK engines. To my recollection the differences were fairly minor. I think vehicle dust clouds was one of the more significant changes (that some people also didn't like for FOW reasons).

Here's a discussion from 2004 about the differences between CMBO, CMBB and CMAK:


A bit of this discussion mostly focuses on the difference between CMBO and the latter games, with a number of people preferring the somewhat unrealistic nature of CMBO over the latter titles.

Remember that CMAK does NOT have all of the units of CMBO (different units and TOEs in each theater). So while CMAK will be quite a bit more realistic than CMBO, it will lack certain units.

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There is a "TOTAL CONVERSION MOD" to convert CMAK to enable play of 1940-43 West Front (Sea Lion etc) & and ETO IIRC.

This is what I found 4 u Gerry:

"This is a massive collection of bitmaps that changes CMAK into a Sealion & ETO game. The "All Combined" theatre from 1940/41 to the end of the war is changed into England or (with some swapping of bitmaps) France, and from the winter of 1943/44 onwards, the "Italy" theatre also becomes England or France. The "North Africa" theatre also becomes an Operation TORCH or Mediterranean or winter-Africa (i.e. greener, cold-weather uniforms etc), but in this version 1.0 the Med/winter-Africa conversion is imcomplete (but playable).

Why a "Total Conversion"?
Many of the bitmaps are desatuarated (less colour) and so probably won't match most other mods very well, and they are converted to 8-bit colour where possible. Also, although in the past there were several good efforts on Sealion (such as CMWest), it was never 100% complete and looks-wise the rest were a bit of a mish-mash of ideas and theatres/periods.

Anything not included?
I'd liked to have included Gurra's Westfront Interface mod but I haven't yet heard from him. But I recommend you use it as it matches very well with my conversion.

Why also add your cockamaney version of ETO?
Because my conversion is desaturated, you couldn't use it for Sealion and yet also keep Inglett's current ETO in the same BMP folder without some disparity. And my ETO is not identical to Inglett's, though it reuses a tweaked form of many of the ETO mods. And I've gone for looks, and matching tri-camo where possible, tweaking for visual consistency, over any concerns of historical precision. My version also includes new snow-versions for some models not previously provided for.

Me (took 2 years), but I also re-used ideas, and recoloured or tweaked many other modders' works as well. And so they should share all credits:
 Major credits (in no particular order): MikeyD, Andrew Fox, David Inglett, Mark Ezra, Wicky, Tanks-a-Lot and Juju.
 Other important credits (in no particular order): HeinzBaby, Gurra, Alexoscar, Gordon Molek, Aristoteles, Marco Bergman, RockinHarry, Caffino, badjuju_4, Gautrek,Junk2Drive, Pat, Vossie, Ypenburg, Navy, Sequoia, Limey, Tracer, Samurai_man, Lucky_Strike, Daffy, UncleTgt, and probably others too (please let me know if I've missed you out! and I apologise and will add you in).



How do I install it? And what are all those optional folders?
Preferably install another copy of CMAK, or at least make a fresh copy of your current BMP folder. Then simply unzip and load all the various bitmaps into the BMP folder that you intend to use for Western Front. NOTE there are some optional folders and optional bitmaps. These are mostly just eye-candy for you to swap around to change the look of the "All Combined" region for different seasons and locations. But there are also a few alternative uniforms and armour models to look at.

1) A very few German internal armour bitmaps from the early (desert) war are re-used in the later (Italy) war. Given the similar colouring in the original game that was not a problem, but it becomes noticed when you change all the German desert-yellow models to European Grey. As a work-around, I've produced a compromise-set of those few bitmaps, which are a sort of greyish-beige. Also, one of the early German guns gets re-used as another late-war gun, so it will appear grey when the other guns are all gelb-based. Whilst I personally just leave it as that, I've provided an optional folder containing two versions (one grau, one gelb-camo) for you to switch around when moving from the early to the late war.
2) When going from the early war (using "all combined") to the late war (using "italy"), you have to remember to switch back your optional terrains to the default-summer set, because these bitmaps appear in both theatres. And when using the winter-snow set for the "all combined" theatre, its probably best to force the weather over to snow (or at least rain and/or fog), and force the temperature setting to cold or freezing so as to best model the weather. Of course, the all-combined region is drier than England, and dustier. There's not a lot you can otherwise do about it. However, I have tweaked the dust-cloud bitmap to look more exhaust-like or smokey, and English air is quite humid with a generally much lower cloud level, and poorer visibility than say France or Italy. And (unlike today) we had urban smog problems back then. And I've been in re-enactments where the English air soon gets clogged up with haze and smoke, so you'll just have to tell yourself all that dust is in fact thick English air!
3) I recommend that you play the "all-combined" theatre on through the end of 1943 (rather than switch to the "Italy" theatre as soon as possible in July43). The reason for this is that the Italy theatre in 1943 uses a colouration filter (changes how some bitmaps look) unless you force/select the weather to snow. I've tried re-tweaking the affected bitmaps but am not 100% happy.
4) My early-war Italian army is a guess and compromise because you can't change the shape of their pith helmets into steel helmets, so I swapped their desert jackets for their mid-war blue ones and recoloured the armour to a shade of green that sort-of matches some illustrations I've seen. Messy, but better than nothing if you want to play them in Europe in 1940-43.
5) If you want to save BMP folder space, or otherwise just want to keep the early armour models in the game as long as possible, just delete their higher-numbered late-game version and the early game model will appear in the late game. But note, the snow-versions only relate to the higher-numbered late game versions, so you might want to at least keep those snow versions."

Edited by Erwin

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