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Terrain Info Needs To Be Put Back Into This Game


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I love CM...but my biggest pet peeve about this great game has got to be the complete lack of detail about what type of terrain is on the battlefield. This info was in there before in the old games and served its purpose well but for some dumb reason was taken out in CMBN. 

 

Case in point, there is some kind of brown grass between my tank and where I want my tank to go. Is it harmless or a swamp I just don't recognize because I'm not a scenario designer or coder for Battlefront?

 

Now, to find out what terrain is what you have to open up the friggin' editor to see what you're looking at...and that is ridiculous. Why can't there be some tool tips that pop up when you target each hex just like there was before?  This is an easy fix and I would like to lobby for this change in the next update. It's frustrating not to know what you're even looking at on the battlefield.  Please do something about this.

 

 

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The "dumb reason" it was taken out for CMx2 is that the terrain is far, far more complex than it ever was in CMx1. Case in point - you can have more than one type of terrain feature in one grid square - how is a tooltip text supposed to represent that? Small tree on grassy ground with a small helping of scrub brush and with a dirt road running past it on one side?

 

Case in point, there is some kind of brown grass between my tank and where I want my tank to go. Is it harmless or a swamp I just don't recognize because I'm not a scenario designer or coder for Battlefront?

 

Choose a movement order and put your mouse cursor over the terrain in question. That'll tell you right there whether or not the terrain is passable. 

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I think he isn't asking for the usual, "what degree of concealment am I getting", but rather simply what is the base terrain tile.  It can be a little confusing at times.  I mostly just roll with it and I have also experimented with rubbled towns where there are mud tiles disguised as rubble (think bogging in rubble piles).  I'd rather the player not know in those cases.  :D

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The "dumb reason" it was taken out for CMx2 is that the terrain is far, far more complex than it ever was in CMx1. Case in point - you can have more than one type of terrain feature in one grid square - how is a tooltip text supposed to represent that? Small tree on grassy ground with a small helping of scrub brush and with a dirt road running past it on one side?

 

 

Wait...how can you have both grass and scrub brush on the same tile?  I'll admit, I don't know the editor that well but I didn't think that was possible.

 

 

 

 

Choose a movement order and put your mouse cursor over the terrain in question. That'll tell you right there whether or not the terrain is passable.

 

Passable maybe, but prone to bogging?  No.

 

Maybe tool tips aren't the best solution. But a color layout of some kind...on the Battlefront site that shows what each tile is would help a lot.  The sepia pics in the manual do not help as I can't tell one thing from another.

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brush as it is called in the editor is something you can add, it isn't a base tile. It doesn't fall under foliage (trees and shrubs).  It is it's own little thing. It is kind of cool how many variations you can make in a tile.  You can put brush in just about anything except XT grass.  At least I can't see it in XT grass.

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It is kind of cool how many variations you can make in a tile.

 

37x base tiles = 37

plus 1x brush = 74

plus 44 x foliage = 3,330

plus 9 x road = 29,970

plus 374 x wall/fence/hedge = 11,208,780

plus 16 x modular buildings = 190,549,260 (I'm going to ignore independent buildings)

(I'm also going to ignore flavour objects, which do affect concealment)

(I'm also going to ignore elevation, which affects quite a bit)

plus 22 x bridges = 4,382,632,980

 

Roughly 4½ billion different terrain tiles. That's why there's no tool tips.

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This is one Action Spot...Yeah, most likely a map won't look this stupid but it's to illustrate what's already been stated.

 

Action_Spot.jpg

 

1. House

2. Cart

3. Firewood

4. Tall Yellow Grass

5. Stone wall

6. X3 Trees

7. Garden

8. Brush

 

Every one of the things in the picture has an effect in the game, from cover to spotting to movement. This ain't CMX1 that's for sure.

 

EDITED: Not to mention bleed over from one tile to the next.

 

Mord.

Edited by Mord
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All the above...but I do sympathize with Colonel_Deadmarsh.

 

Just throwing out ideas...I like the idea of an in-game Terrain Effects Chart. Some sort of toggle which would pop open a window showing a single grid of each type of terrain with a brief description of its effect on vehicle and infantry movement and possible LOS/LOF issues. I'm an idea guy. I'll leave the implementation to someone else. ;)

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the forest heavy forest thing is easy. look at the actual ground. if it looks like theres swirly moss grass there its dense forest. if its trees on plain grass imagine more like a well kept apple orchard

 

Hm, will try to look for moss grass next time. I usually focus on the colour of the shrubbery, seems heavy forest has darker shrubs.

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the forest heavy forest thing is easy. look at the actual ground. if it looks like theres swirly moss grass there its dense forest. if its trees on plain grass imagine more like a well kept apple orchard

Ummm... Not really the difference between Light Forest tiles and Heavy Forest tiles. They both have "swirly moss grass", just Heavy Forest (impassable to vehicles) has more of it. Mostly. There are sometimes patches of Light Forest which have nearly as much "undergrowth" as the least-dense patches of Heavy Forest, and when it's the odd few AS of Heavy, scattered around in Light, it's really difficult to identify for certain without selecting a vehicle and checking for impassability. You're right, though, that trees can be sprouting out of other types of tile, from dirt to long grass.

Edited by womble
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well as a rule of thumb at least. i honestly didnt even know there was light dense and heavy dense but whatever any time i take a tank in woods i try to have infantry with it and it driving slow and i do lots and lots of mouse movement arnd the area i plan to drive through so i dont drive into a wooded dead end. same with crossing any type of hedge wall or fence unless its emergency haull ass time i slow over those obstacles helps greatly with track damage.

also i dont know if it was ever fixed but long ago i pointed out that if you drove tanks over AT mines on slow theyd not get immobilized at all and suffer minor track dmg.

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well as a rule of thumb at least. i honestly didnt even know there was light dense and heavy dense but whatever any time i take a tank in woods i try to have infantry with it and it driving slow and i do lots and lots of mouse movement arnd the area i plan to drive through so i dont drive into a wooded dead end. 

Then you are aware of the primary salient difference between Light and Heavy Forest (even if you hadn't quite realised it): Light Forest is passable to vehicles, and Heavy Forest is not. The differences in cover and concealment would be more significant if Heavy Forest was more widely used. Mostly, though, it seems to be scattered in small patches in Light Forest, which means it's often not where you're fighting, so those differences aren't as important.

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Ummm... Not really the difference between Light Forest tiles and Heavy Forest tiles. They both have "swirly moss grass", just Heavy Forest (impassable to vehicles) has more of it. Mostly. There are sometimes patches of Light Forest which have nearly as much "undergrowth" as the least-dense patches of Heavy Forest, and when it's the odd few AS of Heavy, scattered around in Light, it's really difficult to identify for certain...

 

Thanks for underscoring my point of why we need some kind of identification system like tool tips for the 37 bases. 

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Thanks for underscoring my point of why we need some kind of identification system like tool tips for the 37 bases. 

I disagree. There are only a few types which are difficult to distinguish, and displaying the ground type gives only half the story, which, in the complicated web of factors, has as much chance of being deceptive as the information you get from the ground textures.

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Thanks for underscoring my point of why we need some kind of identification system like tool tips for the 37 bases. 

 

It takes but a couple of minutes to paint a test map with all the different terrain tiles, and that's one of the best ways to see what the different terrain tiles to look like. Really, it's not that hard. 

Edited by LukeFF
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https://www.dropbox.com/sh/c6h9av8gykyru4n/AABbOn-tLEgqbX2godY7OE5pa?dl=0

Here is LukeFF's idea in practice.  This is a link to a scenario with all the tile types as 4 action square boxes. There is a landmark over each terrain box to help you identify the tile type.  I have also included a small forest with light forest cover and one with heavy forest cover.  I also made a forest similar to those in game with brush tiles and tall grass, moving to bushes, brush and tall grass to light forest with trees and then heavy forest with trees. 

 

There is a tank, halftrack and jeep included so you can drive around and see how the terrain effects vehicle movement and lines of sight.

Edited by Heirloom_Tomato
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https://www.dropbox.com/sh/c6h9av8gykyru4n/AABbOn-tLEgqbX2godY7OE5pa?dl=0

Here is LukeFF's idea in practice.  This is a link to a scenario with all the tile types as 4 action square boxes. There is a landmark over each terrain box to help you identify the tile type.  I have also included a small forest with light forest cover and one with heavy forest cover.  I also made a forest similar to those in game with brush tiles and tall grass, moving to bushes, brush and tall grass to light forest with trees and then heavy forest with trees. 

 

There is a tank, halftrack and jeep included so you can drive around and see how the terrain effects vehicle movement and lines of sight.

 

 

I don't have the new CM upgrade so I can't view the file, but once I do I'll load it and take a look.

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For the most part in most situations 'what you see is what you get' - or WYSIWYG. The tall yellow grass is tall yellow grass The plowed field is a plowed field. The sand is sand and the mud is the mud. You can spot distant no-go areas by dragging a movement icon over it and watch the color change.The biggest factor in vehicle movement isn't terrain type so much as climate conditions. Green grass behaved very differently depending on whether its very dry or muddy ground conditions. If you don't know the ground condition give a quick check down in the Menu panel in the lower right. If you find you're operating across wet terrain plan accordingly.

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  • 1 year later...

Just a little point I've stumbled over (CM:Black Sea, Engine 4): Astonishingly, different kinds of ground-type also seem to influence elevation and the sharpness of terrain-edges. When I used the ditch-lock function (ctrl+click to alter elevation) to create a depression, I noticed that when I filled the depression with "mud", the edges were far less sharp than, e.g. when I used "clover". Mud is no good for trenches.  "Dirt" and "hard" works okay, but my impression is that I get the sharpest and most narrow trenches with grass or clover.

Edited by Kaunitz
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2 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

Just a little point I've stumbled over (CM:Black Sea, Engine 4): Astonishingly, different kinds of ground-type also seem to influence elevation and the sharpness of terrain-edges. When I used the ditch-lock function (ctrl+click to alter elevation) to create a depression, I noticed that when I filled the depression with "mud", the edges were far less sharp than, e.g. when I used "clover". Mud is no good for trenches.  "Dirt" and "hard" works okay, but my impression is that I get the sharpest and most narrow trenches with grass or clover.

I did some tests for BN way back (can't find the thread) in which I concluded which terrain features that smooth out the terrain. As you noted, mud does. It can be very useful for easthetic purposes also because diagonal constructions such as a tank ditch or a riverbank can be made to look much better (see my Assault on Merville Battery for an example).

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