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Have the official campaigns been updated to incorporate the area fire capability?


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Yes, it is a big change. For that reason no the campaigns have not been updated. :)

It would be a worthy project but traditionally scenario devs have not gone back and reworked campaigns or scenarios after an upgrade. Mostly because people are busy with new content.

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I have a lot on my plate right now, but I might take a swing at adding some 4.0 AI hijinx to Aachen at some point. That said, the scenarios were designed with the tools that we had at the time of making them. "Withdraw" and the facing AI orders would be the ones that I could see using most. I think "area fire" is something that I would design around, rather than add in after the fact.

I also do like the idea of revisiting my older scenarios ("Hilltop to hilltop" and "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" for GL in particular), but as Ian said- the wheel pushes forwards.

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3 hours ago, benpark said:

I have a lot on my plate right now, but I might take a swing at adding some 4.0 AI hijinx to Aachen at some point. That said, the scenarios were designed with the tools that we had at the time of making them. "Withdraw" and the facing AI orders would be the ones that I could see using most. I think "area fire" is something that I would design around, rather than add in after the fact.

I also do like the idea of revisiting my older scenarios ("Hilltop to hilltop" and "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" for GL in particular), but as Ian said- the wheel pushes forwards.

It's good to hear that the wheel is pushing forward (and I'm guessing you are writing some es scenarios to help the wheel along?).

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5 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

How does the area fire capability work in practice? As a scenario designer, how do I implement it? Do I select specific target points or do I paint an area to distribute fire over?

Each movement order can have a fire zone attached. You paint the area so fire is distributed.

5 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Can I have units do area fire while on the move?

They probably can but area fire is their lowest priority. Since once the game is running the AI script generates commands just the same as we do it depends on exactly how the area fire commands are set - if they only get set after the unit stops moving or is set before. Even if they are set before then they will behave just like our troops - they might fire a bit while waiting for their buddies to catch up but moving will be there top priority. I cannot remember in detail what the actual generated commands are but if you try this out and run the game in scenario author mode you can find the answer to that.

Relevant section of the manual (pp 103 of the CMRT v4 Engine manual):

Fire Zone

Each AI Order can designate a Fire Zone for area fire. This is done by painting on the 2D map just like a Movement Zone, but by CTRL-left-clicking instead. The tiles designated as targets will be colored red instead of yellow. While that AI Order is being carried out, the AI Group will attack the Fire Zone with suppressive area fire if it doesn't have any spotted enemy units to engage or other important tasks to do.
It is important to note that the Fire Zone is the lowest priority task for the AI Group. Other tasks, such as moving, unloading, attacking a spotted enemy unit, etc will take priority over shooting randomly at the Fire Zone.

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Just got a scenario updated with V4.0 AI features. Should be ready for release until coming weekend. New features are fairly simple to add, if they´re just to complement existing orders, like adding face or AF. For more complicated AI plans with many orders and triggers, it´s more work, as you can´t simply insert new orders between the existing ones. I´d like to see an insert feature added in the future. Another improvement could be making the action spots marked for face, retreat and area fire to betters stand out in 2D map editor. Either by shape or blinking. (IE blinking blue, red and black diamonds)

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