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GreenAsJade

How to recognise terrain?

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Sorry is this is a dumb question, but how do you know, looking at the game, what various terrain items are, and whether they are even "anything"?

For example, in the demo tutorial there is a patch of brown in the middle of the field on the attacker's right flank. What is that? Is it significant?

Similarly: there are various kinds of walls and fences and hedges. How does one tell whether something that looks different is actually the same thing but variously decorated?

Thanks!

GaJ

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For example, in the demo tutorial there is a patch of brown in the middle of the field on the attacker's right flank. What is that? Is it significant?

I have so far assumed that it is soft ground and therefore not a good place to send your tanks. Correction welcome from anyone who knows otherwise.

Michael

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I've been wondering this as well - I was trying to deploy my men in a wooded/dark green area, but I couldn't work out if the terrain was supposed to be wooded or partially wooded or not wooded at all - all I had to go on was the tree trunks really. The greenery is just a little disconcerting. We could do with a little clarity on this subject. I was driving my tanks over every surface, not really knowing whether I could or not? At least in SF, you know where you can send your vehicles immediately. Then there are the streams/rivers - again I have almost no idea whether they are passable or not - I ended up positioning a waypoint, and then promptly saw the unit move in the complete opposite direction until they found a shallow spot I presume? But I couldn't easily identify this myself.

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In general I would like to have better planning tools, e.g. a LOS-tool that doesn't require me to first put a unit at a certain spot an then issue a target order. I'd like to see what the LOS is from *any* spot on the map, in order to better plan my advances.

Likewise, it's sometimes hard to predict what route my troops will take when given a move order (e.g. where ist the closest man-sized hole in that bocage?).

Again, this would greatly help new players. Maybe not totally realistic, but it's just frustrating to have to reload because that ridge I movoed to didn't end up offering the field of view I had expected...

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@MrPin

You know you can plot a move to any part of the map then check the LOS/LOF from that last waypoint eh? Possibly a bit gamey but will address the issue you mention about working out LOS/LOF from particular points.

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Sorry is this is a dumb question, but how do you know, looking at the game, what various terrain items are, and whether they are even "anything"?

Not a dumb question, more like a dumb game feature omission. This is a real step backwards from what we had in CMx1.

Why should a game feature that answers a fundamental gampeplay question like "what kind of terrain is that tile" be missing from this game? Given the larger range of terrain types in CM:BN this is even more a necessity.

NOTE: I noticed in the Panzer Command demo there is an option to toggle "view terrain types". It distinctly colours the map (tiles) based on discrete terrain types.

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Yeah, that is cool. Though ironically I _prefer_ the targetting line telling me what I'm pointing at while keeping the good graphics... they had it right in the first place :)

Yeah, I think the option to toggle the terrain to colour codes is good, but still, in the normal game view environment, I want the same CMx1 mouse-over terrain type feedback. Will add it to my other thread (knew I forgot to add this).

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Not a dumb question, more like a dumb game feature omission. This is a real step backwards from what we had in CMx1.

Why should a game feature that answers a fundamental gampeplay question like "what kind of terrain is that tile" be missing from this game? Given the larger range of terrain types in CM:BN this is even more a necessity.

NOTE: I noticed in the Panzer Command demo there is an option to toggle "view terrain types". It distinctly colours the map (tiles) based on discrete terrain types.

Two reasons:

The first is that the ballistics is handled completely differently in CMBN. You no longer have fire power values being diminished by a certain percentage depending on the tile you're in. Instead the path of each bullet is tracked, and if it happens to hit a tree or rock standing in between a soldier and the trajectory, the bullet will be stopped, deflected, etc... So the polygons of the trees give the cover. This also has the additional advantage that, in CMx1 intermediate terrain did not matter. The only thing that mattered is the tile you're shooting at. Now, bullets, tanks shells can stopped by *anything* in its path.

So in effect, you already have a good idea of the cover a terrain is giving you. Lots of trees = lots of stuff to stop the bullets.

For concealment and movement speed, this is not possible however and that's why there is reason number 2:

Terrain in CMBN is not a single tile (scattered trees, woods, etc...) instead it's build up of layers. You can have different types of trees + different types of undergrowth + different types of soil, representing that is complicated. This is a practical problem, but one that is not easily solved.

The game is however detailed enough to allow you to go with your gut instincts. Patch of mud, movement speed will be slow. Lots of trees and undergrowth, good cover and concealment. High grass, no cover, lots of concealment. Etc...

I took me a while to get used to it in CMSF, and sometimes there is some doubt, but generally it works really well.

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Not a dumb question, more like a dumb game feature omission. This is a real step backwards from what we had in CMx1.

Why should a game feature that answers a fundamental gampeplay question like "what kind of terrain is that tile" be missing from this game? Given the larger range of terrain types in CM:BN this is even more a necessity.

NOTE: I noticed in the Panzer Command demo there is an option to toggle "view terrain types". It distinctly colours the map (tiles) based on discrete terrain types.

Just to reiterate what StikkyPixie, terrain is made up of layers with, sometimes, additional features on top which may or may not be relevent to your needs at the moment you ask the question. For example a tile could be made up of basically boggy ground, but with light undergrowth and light woods and could contain a log pile. The light woods might only be one tree or it could be several, the number of actual trees will determine the amount of actual cover from fire there is in that tile (as might the log pile depending on the direction of the incoming).

Other games, including CMx1, have a far more abstract approach to terrain. Its light woods so a unit gets a defensive bonus of x and a movement penalty of y. For such games its easy to do a toggle terrain or report terrain type. In Cmx2 it is not and could, depending on the needs of the player at the time, actually be misleading to try.

It took me a fair while to grasp the fact that CMx2 is a whole new game, not a development of Cmx1. Once I got that into my, rather thick, skull I could see the game for what it is and learn to enjoy its new complexities and possibilities.

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I had no idea about this aspect of terrain detail.

It makes modding terrain a bit scary. You need to learn what things look like, so changing a terrain element is something to treat with new caution in this case...

GaJ

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I had no idea about this aspect of terrain detail.

It makes modding terrain a bit scary. You need to learn what things look like, so changing a terrain element is something to treat with new caution in this case...

GaJ

Well not really, because it's the polygon objects that determine cover (maybe concealment as well). So whether a log looks like a log or something really pink. You still see the polygons. Unless you start to use alpha channels to make everything invisible of course :).

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Blackcat and Stikky are both correct. An example, I use high bocage, with short grass, and randonly put trees within the bocage [or where I don't want it crossable]. So yes, the detail or the terrain is much more exact, and there would not be a simple way of defining the terrain. May seem a little daunting at first, but you get used to it after designing maps for a while.

Rune

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How to recognise different terrain from quite a long way away.

No1. The Larch. The Larch.

Aaaaanyway, I much prefer the detail offered by CM2. I've not dipped into the editor yet, but I'm looking forward to learning by a bit of trial and error.

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In general I would like to have better planning tools, e.g. a LOS-tool that doesn't require me to first put a unit at a certain spot an then issue a target order. I'd like to see what the LOS is from *any* spot on the map, in order to better plan my advances.

Likewise, it's sometimes hard to predict what route my troops will take when given a move order (e.g. where ist the closest man-sized hole in that bocage?).

Again, this would greatly help new players. Maybe not totally realistic, but it's just frustrating to have to reload because that ridge I movoed to didn't end up offering the field of view I had expected...

Place a waypoint where you want to check LOS from. Select the waypoint and then plot a target from there. Check LOS with targetting tool, then delete the waypoint.

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Terrain in CMBN is not a single tile (scattered trees, woods, etc...) instead it's build up of layers. You can have different types of trees + different types of undergrowth + different types of soil, representing that is complicated. This is a practical problem, but one that is not easily solved.

OK, but I don't see a reason why a mouse over couldn't just tell you explicitly what the terrain layers were, or even better, also have this listed somewhere on the unit info box. The most important terrain would be the base terrain I suppose.

eg. plowed field/soft/brush

It doesn't seem that complicated, jut give us SOME feedback on what the terrain type actually is.

The game is however detailed enough to allow you to go with your gut instincts. Patch of mud, movement speed will be slow. Lots of trees and undergrowth, good cover and concealment. High grass, no cover, lots of concealment. Etc...

I'm not so sure of this. In this respect, I "trust" CMx1 terrain more than I do CMBN terrain. I know that there are lots of "visuals" in CMBN that are there just for show. I can never be sure of what terrain features actually matter.

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I'm not so sure of this. In this respect, I "trust" CMx1 terrain more than I do CMBN terrain. I know that there are lots of "visuals" in CMBN that are there just for show.

Like what?

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I know it's a pain in the butt and a roundabout way of solving things, but it looks like the editor would be a good place to start. Looks like a job for some talent to take pictures of what is what and make a cheat sheet for the player.

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OK, but I don't see a reason why a mouse over couldn't just tell you explicitly what the terrain layers were, or even better, also have this listed somewhere on the unit info box. The most important terrain would be the base terrain I suppose.

eg. plowed field/soft/brush

It doesn't seem that complicated, jut give us SOME feedback on what the terrain type actually is.

Some feedback would be nice, yes. But I think it's not that necessary. You can see that's a plowed field. You can see that it has some brush over it. The impact of the terrain is also much more subtle. It's not like in CMx1 where you know it will reduce this and that by x% for sure. It's not as straightforward to display all this information. Say a tile has 3 trees. Should the display say 3 trees? Scattered trees? Forest? And if you have all this information exactly, how does it help you?

I'm not so sure of this. In this respect, I "trust" CMx1 terrain more than I do CMBN terrain. I know that there are lots of "visuals" in CMBN that are there just for show. I can never be sure of what terrain features actually matter.

I think (and I'm guessing here :)) is that you trust the CMx1 terrain more because you're familiar with it and it was far more simple. Believe me, there aren't many visuals in the CMBN that are there for show (except the interior decoration). That log you see, is there in the game, the tree you see will stop bullet, the vision slit on the tank will damage if a shell intersect that polygon. Give it some time, it will become second nature ;).

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It's one of the things that struck me. It's comparable to the lack of tooltips on the icons - a little feedback would help considerably. Not everyone is going to either read or memorise the manual, or the editor. The lack of these things adds unnecessary complexity.

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I kept having problems of geting stuck in the mud untill I did two things. 1, I got a mud terrain that was more distinctive than the stock version. 2, Unpacked all the terrain types and made a folder on desktop of the bmps as a quick reference to get more familiar with them in identification. Also, playing in the editor can get one more familiar with the base terrain tiles for easier identification.

Personaly, I have been able to adapt to the new system in its complexity, but if it were the other way of single terrain per tile as in cmx1 it would not bother me either.

Graphicly I think all terrains have nice texture overall. The only terrain I would like to see with larger doodads would be the rocky. I think by being larger "3d" rocks in cmx1 it made the terrai more distinctive, and less flat looking at ground level.

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