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Cranky

The Western Desert in the CMAK Editor

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Hello All -

I've just been doing a bit of work on a Scenario for CMAK set in the Western Desert in April 1941, and wanted a bit of advice about representing the terrain as realistically as possible.

I've done a fair bit of preliminary research, but thought I'd see what other people think.

Note please that I'm NOT asking about the topography of the Great Sand Sea, but more about the area around Msus or Bir Hakeim.

Specifically:

ELEVATION : how to best represent dunes - how high, how much space between their peaks? How flat is this part of the desert?

SOFT SAND : would there be areas best represented by 'Soft Ground ' tiles?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help (been there?) or point to useful links....

Cheers.

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Hello All -

ELEVATION : how to best represent dunes - how high, how much space between their peaks? How flat is this part of the desert?

This is a tough one given that the terrain is constantly changing. Your best bet is to google various images of the area, or even general region, to use as reference. I would suspect the topography of Bir Hakeim is not much different than say Gazala or Sidi Rezegh.

SOFT SAND : would there be areas best represented by 'Soft Ground ' tiles?

That's your best bet

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Thanks, Kingfish, for that tip -

When I said "Soft Sand - Soft Ground tiles" I really meant:

ARE THERE AREAS OF SOFT SAND IN THAT AREA (that would represent a greater chance of bogging, as the Soft Ground Tiles in CMAK do?)

thanks,

Matt

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Around the road (which is where most of the action was) the area is quite ridiculously flat. Featureless, almost. No dunes, just flat ground. When you go 10-40 km north, there is some sloping and some more rocky terrain. Then near the coast, there is a small strip of quite steep mountainous terrain where the plateau ends - sometimes into the sea.

Dunes only come into it if you go into the Reg Sahara, and elevation only becomes noticeable when quite a bit off-road. Near the road, everything is best modeled with a LARGE map, with gentle curves, dry and dusty, with one long straight road going from one end to the other, and flat with a few dimples of one level. Completely open ground for most of the surface. Sprinkle very sparsely with brush tiles, and serve.

Tank country. Bring long range guns.

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Near the main tracks (trighs in Arabic) the going was usually good. But there were sometimes fairly extensive patches of either sand or rocky ground. The escarpments were only passible in certain locations, but that's where the road or tracks would be crossing anyway. The areas were not always adequately mapped and units crossing the desert might be able to travel for scores of miles at almost highway speeds (for that era) only to hit a patch of bad going and get bogged down. It all comes down to where you place the action.

Michael

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Thanks so much for all your replies - I've been locked out of the BFC Forums for 2 weeks or so by that 'Admin Has Banned Your IP Address' thing :(

I was lucky enough to find a fellow CM player online (at WeBob) who had only recently driven out into the Libyan desert to look at WW2 battle sites.

He sent me some photos which very much confirm what people have been saying here.

http://webandofbrothers.yuku.com/

Look in the Forum 'Scenario Discussion', and the Thread 'The Western Desert in the CMAK Editor' for the pics and discussion.

The same WeBob member also provided me with the URL of a website maintained by a Libyan General who has an interest in Rommel and WW2 history - it's well worth a look:

http://www.rommelinlibya.com/

Thanks again to everyone for their help -

cheers,

Matt

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