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Tactical Icons - FOW icons using NATO Unknown symbol


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Here is a little thing I am working on for my floating icon NATO tactical symbols mods (CMBS Blue Force, CMBS Red Force, CMSF NATO). Right now I am getting it ready for CMSF2 but I'll make the same additions for CMBS too.

Based on my own experience and @Bil Hardenberger's highlighting of how hard it is to tell the difference between FOW tank vs FOW light armour I am planning to augment my existing mods to include some options for the FOW icons based on the NATO Unknown symbol.

Here is what the current iteration looks like.

For those that like to play on Elite and lower there are yellow icons for the FOW (yellow = unknown). This is not really a good choice for iron because all the FOW icons are yellow and you cannot tell friend from foe.

20180828063946-92d8f4e6.png

After a couple of minutes of fading.

20180828063950-749994ed.png

 

As an alternative and a good choice for Iron players I plan to have a version that uses red and blue colours but uses the unknown symbol shape.

20180828063940-f24ec848.png

And again after a couple of minutes fading.

20180828063944-3a93cabc.png

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3 hours ago, IanL said:

Based on my own experience and @Bil Hardenberger's highlighting of how hard it is to tell the difference between FOW tank vs FOW light armour I am planning to augment my existing mods to include some options for the FOW icons based on the NATO Unknown symbol.

As an alternative and a good choice for Iron players I plan to have a version that uses red and blue colors but uses the unknown symbol shape.

+1  Very cool, timely idea.  I use all your floating icon mods and look forward to this.  I was thinking of the AAR you and Bil played reference the stock FOW icons.  Your updated mod should solve that problem.  Thanks for taking the time to do this.    

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From my perspective, the unit would be Suspect rather than Unknown. FM 1-02 defines Suspect as 'An identity applied to a track that is potentially hostile because of its characteristics, behavior, origin, or nationality'. The reason I think this is more applicable than the Unknown symbol is because any unit that is not a friendly is by default an enemy as CMSF only has friendly and enemy units modelled in a visible to the player sense.

The correct symbol therefore would be an empty red diamond with a question mark to the right of it although whether or not that would work visually and add more clarity for the player, which is the desired endstate of the mod, is another matter.

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1 hour ago, MOS:96B2P said:

I was thinking of the AAR you and Bil played reference the stock FOW icons.  Your updated mod should solve that problem.  

Yes, I think so. I am not sure what to do with the WW2 icon sets. I am not aware of any forces using an unknown symbol. J should go back to my research but I might have to be creative. That will be later.

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53 minutes ago, Combatintman said:

From my perspective, the unit would be Suspect rather than Unknown. FM 1-02 defines Suspect as 'An identity applied to a track that is potentially hostile because of its characteristics, behavior, origin, or nationality'. The reason I think this is more applicable than the Unknown symbol is because any unit that is not a friendly is by default an enemy as CMSF only has friendly and enemy units modelled in a visible to the player sense.

Interesting. You are correct. I'll have a look and a think. 

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1 hour ago, Combatintman said:

The correct symbol therefore would be an empty red diamond with a question mark to the right of it although whether or not that would work visually and add more clarity for the player, which is the desired endstate of the mod, is another matter.

This is is a good point.  It also occurs to me that since I play on Iron I probably should not be looking for ways to reduce the FOW.   "Sigh"

It's almost as though in RL you get paid to analyze and point out facts to people...................... :)       

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4 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

This is is a good point.  It also occurs to me that since I play on Iron I probably should not be looking for ways to reduce the FOW.   "Sigh"

It's almost as though in RL you get paid to analyze and point out facts to people...................... :)       

Facts are just ways to limit your creativity. 

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2 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

This is is a good point.  It also occurs to me that since I play on Iron I probably should not be looking for ways to reduce the FOW.   "Sigh"

There are only a certain number of FOW icons. This mod does not increase the detail in any way. Just a little clarity.

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On 8/28/2018 at 6:30 PM, Combatintman said:

From my perspective, the unit would be Suspect rather than Unknown. FM 1-02 defines Suspect as 'An identity applied to a track that is potentially hostile because of its characteristics, behavior, origin, or nationality'. The reason I think this is more applicable than the Unknown symbol is because any unit that is not a friendly is by default an enemy as CMSF only has friendly and enemy units modelled in a visible to the player sense.

The correct symbol therefore would be an empty red diamond with a question mark to the right of it although whether or not that would work visually and add more clarity for the player, which is the desired endstate of the mod, is another matter.

This is good stuff. I used the document App-6aHandbook "Land Component Handbook" from April of 2001. That book has nothing about suspect symbols. But based on your comments I did a new search and came up with two more modern ways of marking suspect units:

ADRP 1-02 Terms and Military Symbols from 2015 - this document shows suspect icons as using dashed lines. Below is a sample showing that. I am not sure if the dashed lines would only be on the frame shape or the symbol content too.

ADRP1-02Sample.png.ca76466e25db6d081f2561c875b93877.png

 

FM 1-02 Operational Terms and Graphics from 2004 - this document shows using the same symbol frame but with an additional ?.

FM1-02Sample.png.4f0925e652465e1f665b478e08e2df3f.png

 

Both of those show promise. I will ditch the unknown plan and move to the creating both of these options. I strongly suspect the ? version can be made to work but the dashed lines might be workable too. I'll try those out.

 

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6 hours ago, IanL said:

This is good stuff. I used the document App-6aHandbook "Land Component Handbook" from April of 2001. That book has nothing about suspect symbols. But based on your comments I did a new search and came up with two more modern ways of marking suspect units:

ADRP 1-02 Terms and Military Symbols from 2015 - this document shows suspect icons as using dashed lines. Below is a sample showing that. I am not sure if the dashed lines would only be on the frame shape or the symbol content too.

ADRP1-02Sample.png.ca76466e25db6d081f2561c875b93877.png

 

FM 1-02 Operational Terms and Graphics from 2004 - this document shows using the same symbol frame but with an additional ?.

FM1-02Sample.png.4f0925e652465e1f665b478e08e2df3f.png

 

Both of those show promise. I will ditch the unknown plan and move to the creating both of these options. I strongly suspect the ? version can be made to work but the dashed lines might be workable too. I'll try those out.

 

Dotted icons and graphics are not new - most intelligence maps have dotted icons, boundaries and other graphics. As I was taught in 1985 dotted = assessed, solid = confirmed.

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  • 3 months later...
2 hours ago, IanL said:

Just a quick update. I will be releasing a new version of icons for CMSF and CMBS in the near future (no idea when exactly) that will in corporate the feed back from @Combatintman. In the mean time I have been using my older CMSF icons just fine in v2: http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=2684

Yes, it does. I've also been using your mod on the demo release.

A big thank you to you sir.

Edited by Howler
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