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Heaven & Earth: Project discussion thread


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35 minutes ago, Aquila-SmartWargames said:

@37mm The Reshade settings of your latest CMSF2 video, are they available for download?

Unfortunately I upgraded my reshade to the latest version &, although I'm pleased with the increased efficiency & the new effects to play around with, it has left my profiles in a bit of a mess... I'm trying to find out what the issues are & fix them.

However, I do know that I've generally been getting subtler & simpler with the reshade effects and I'm all but certain that, for that vid, I was using just the Barbarico movie mode that comes with H&E, a pirate bloom set on a high threshold* (which also gives a quasi ambient light effect), SMAA & one of the default multi-LUT options (I think option 2)... nothing else, no sharpening, no colour correction, no AO.

 

*Which is pretty standard with most of my previous .ini's.

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The mod package is for scenarios set in a fictional country. Either way, here's another look at what we've come up with so far...  

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@Sgt.Squarehead - as I've said before I think, stop noodling around with your stuff.  There comes a point where chasing the 1% is counter-productive.  Tidy them all up, write the briefings and square

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On 7/6/2020 at 10:34 AM, 37mm said:

Unfortunately I upgraded my reshade to the latest version &, although I'm pleased with the increased efficiency & the new effects to play around with, it has left my profiles in a bit of a mess... I'm trying to find out what the issues are & fix them.

They decided to move alot of the effects into "legacy" when installing which isn´t downloaded anymore by default but has to be selected manually, perhaps thats the issue.

Edited by Aquila-SmartWargames
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  • 5 weeks later...

I've been having numerous hardware issues these past few weeks but I did manage to scrape together the first draft of another H&E conversion...

... no prizes for guessing who made the original.

The patch seems to be working well with the less than crack troops & various types of strange terrain features*... I will have to update the scripts text file again though (anybody using 0.96 will have to delete the scripts file if they've patched up).

 

 

*We speculated that the flooded ditches effect might have been a bug however you only seem to get that effect if the underlying terrain is particuarly damp (muddy or marshy)... so it does seem to be a terrain design feature.

Edited by 37mm
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On 8/6/2020 at 10:33 AM, 37mm said:

I've been having numerous hardware issues these past few weeks but I did manage to scrape together the first draft of another H&E conversion...

... no prizes for guessing who made the original.

The patch seems to be working well with the less than crack troops & various types of strange terrain features*... I will have to update the scripts text file again though (anybody using 0.96 will have to delete the scripts file if they've patched up).

*We speculated that the flooded ditches effect might have been a bug however you only seem to get that effect if the underlying terrain is particuarly damp (muddy or marshy)... so it does seem to be a terrain design feature.

I had to look at this twice to recognise it as mine, and that was only because of the title.  That's a really nice and effective conversion of that map.

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On 6/8/2020 at 4:14 AM, 37mm said:

I noticed there were a few missing ground textures (ground brush red, hard ground brush red, gravel & heavy rock)... this has now been fixed.

Only just spotted this.....It might create some issues on my maps (I've used the varying [brush/no brush] textures for certain effects), but it shouldn't be anything I can't fix promptly. 

Also noticed that some of the Flavour Objects seem to have changed at some point.....Take a look at the 'Bien Dong Co Plain' map, the petrol pumps at the garage in the village have turned into ATMs for me. 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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4 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Only just spotted this.....It might create some issues on my maps (I've used the varying [brush/no brush] textures for certain effects), but it shouldn't be anything I can't fix promptly. 

Also noticed that some of the Flavour Objects seem to have changed at some point.....Take a look at the 'Bien Dong Co Plain' map, the petrol pumps at the garage in the village have turned into ATMs for me. 

I did a quick scoot around some earlier maps... I saw no major changes.

As for the flavour objects they've been switched up a few times... presumably I reintroduced the ATM's when we decided to cover the modern era too.

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22 minutes ago, Combatintman said:

Do we need cashpoint machines?  I don't think I've ever used it for its intended purpose and can't recall many scenarios where they appear.  For me that was a flavour object slot that Battlefront could have put to much better use.

Possibly not... but once we decided to go the full conversion route I decided to (by default) revert to the modern era as best as possible. Anything 60-70's esque requires the [bhcw] tag.

Besides, thanks to @RockinHarry, we still have way more potential flavour object slots than currently needed.

 

2 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

No worries, I'll fix everything after the next update and put links to any updated maps here.....In the mean time, I've got plenty of tall & strangely shaped islands to make.  ;)

Again, I'd advise trying to complete the 3-mission modern drug war campaign first.

At the current pace, I'd imagine the People's Beta 0.97 should be released around Halloween... factoring in the usual delays that likely means Christmas... enough time?

Edited by 37mm
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  • 3 weeks later...

My scenario depicting the Battle of Ap Bac on 02 January 1963, entitled 'A miserable damn performance' after the comments made by the senior U.S. Army advisor to the ARVN 7th Infantry Division, Lieutenant-Colonel John Paul Vann following the battle is now finished.  It is with @37mm who I'm sure will make it available in the next release of this excellent mod.

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So to add a bit more flavour - these are the orders for the Ap Bac scenario which is called 'A miserable damn performance' ...

SITUATION

The development of the ARVN is progressing well, and 7 Division has had a number of recent successes against the VC.  Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) has provided the location of a VC transmitter which offers an opportunity to locate and destroy enemy forces in Ap Bac.  Operation DUC THANG 1 (Operation VICTORY 1) is the 7 Division plan to destroy identified VC elements in the vicinity of Ap Bac, 40km southwest of Saigon.  The time is now 0630hrs on 02 January 1963.  Weather conditions are generally favorable in the area of operations with warm temperatures, hazy skies and a gentle west to east wind.  Early morning fog is affecting airfields meaning heliborne and parachute elements are subject to delays, but this should burn off soon.

MISSION

The 7th Infantry Division attacks at 020630 January 1963 to seize or destroy a VC radio and a VC company in the vicinity of Ap Tan Thoi.

Tasks:
Secure Ap Bac (Occupy 50 VPs)
Secure Ap Tan Thoi (Occupy 50 VPs)
Defeat VC within boundaries (Destroy 515 VPs)
Protect sites of worship (Preserve 96 VPs)

FRIENDLY FORCES

TF Alpha/17 Civil Guard Battalion (174, 842 & 892 Civil Guard Companies)
TF Bravo/17 Civil Guard Battalion (171, 172 & 839 Civil Guard Companies)
2/11 Infantry Regiment in three coy lifts
4 Mechanized Squadron/2 Armored Cavalry Regiment
1/8 Airborne Battalion on DZ ZULU
7 Infantry Division Heavy Mortars (6 x 120mm mortars)
A Battery/7 Infantry Division Artillery (4 x 122mm howitzers)
2 x Skyraider attack aircraft

ENEMY FORCES

SIGINT has identified a radio transmitter associated with 514 Battalion.  This transmitter is assessed to belong to a company-sized unit of this battalion.  Local force units from Ap Bac, Ap Tan Thoi and Ap Tan Hiep, each numbering no more than 30 guerrillas each are also likely to be encountered.  In previous engagements, the VC has adopted standard guerrilla tactics by seeking battle in terrain of choice and initiating ambushes prior to withdrawing once initial surprise has been lost and friendly fire superiority begins to take effect.  It is likely that the enemy will adopt a similar course of action and initiate contact in the vicinity of Ap Bac and Ap Tan Thoi before withdrawing to the east. 

PLAN

TF Alpha and TF Bravo attack from the south. 174 Company/TF Alpha is already in position and has just come under fire from the north.  842 Company/TF Alpha will arrive at 0640hrs and 892 Company/TF Alpha will arrive at 0650hrs.  171 Company/TF Bravo will arrive at 0650hrs, 172 Company/TF Bravo will arrive at 0700hrs and 839 Company/TF Bravo will arrive at 0710hrs.

2/11 Infantry air assaults and attacks from the north.  1 Company will arrive at 0640hrs, due to fog 2 and 3 Companies are delayed.  ETA for 2 Company is 0710hrs and 3 Company is 0745hrs.

4 Mechanized Squadron/2 Armored Cavalry Regiment should be in position to attack from the southwest at 0730hrs.

1st Company/8 Airborne Battalion is scheduled to drop on DZ ZULU west of Ap Bac at 0800hrs.

Air and artillery support will be on call from 0640hrs.

Resupply trucks will arrive from the south at 0745hrs.

Objectives are to be secured no later than 0900hrs.

NOTES

While you have a large force, they are of variable quality and arrive in dribs and drabs.  The area of operations is also large, and the large expanses of paddy fields will combine to quickly tire your troops.  Remember that the VC is a dangerous foe and where possible you should try to bring overwhelming firepower to bear as this tactic has previously forced them to break contact and withdraw.  Once the enemy is on the run, you should be able to finish them off with firepower.  You have four TRPs to assist with the coordination of indirect fires and air support, do not forget to place them appropriately at the start.  Remember Saigon does not reward commanders who take casualties.

Orders end ...

Scenario Image ...

1910010509_ApBacScenarioImage.jpg.4461e9dd22dcbaf4c725edf7c67fd62f.jpg

This is the Strategic Map Graphic ...

312754485_ApBacStrategicMap.jpg.0e964c5efd32b707fbb1ba7adab4829f.jpg

This is the Operational Map Graphic ...

1454302878_ApBacBlueOperationalMap.jpg.6ccc3c424b9c875301f8be739567302b.jpg

 

This is the Tactical Map Graphic ...
2058585954_ApBacBlueTacticalMap.jpg.e0e1ac49c0a2407262b6fd1bcf246bd5.jpg

 

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Wow, @combatintman - so this is the whole thing. Really looking forward to try this. I have never bothered with total conversion mods, but this is just too good to pass. I'd love to see CM in Indochina / South East Asia. There's plenty of material to explore (the two Vietnam Wars, the Konfrontasi in Borneo). This maybe the closest we ever get to that.

It is a very different type of battlefield (and tactical problems) than what we're used from our European and Middle Eastern haunts.

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2 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

Wow, @combatintman - so this is the whole thing. Really looking forward to try this. I have never bothered with total conversion mods, but this is just too good to pass. I'd love to see CM in Indochina / South East Asia. There's plenty of material to explore (the two Vietnam Wars, the Konfrontasi in Borneo). This maybe the closest we ever get to that.

It is a very different type of battlefield (and tactical problems) than what we're used from our European and Middle Eastern haunts.

I once toyed with doing the Limbang Raid - so yes, you're right.

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11 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

It is a very different type of battlefield (and tactical problems) than what we're used from our European and Middle Eastern haunts.

Indeed, the 'open beta' has already provided sufficient proof of concept... @Aquila-SmartWargames has even gone so far as to say that H&E is the best "Vietnam" wargame available (although, admittedly, that's a short list).

 

@Combatintman's "Ap Bac" scenario is the largest scenario produced for H&E (the only other possible contender for that title being a conversion of another of his scenarios).

 

Perhaps the primary playtester, @MOS:96B2P is best positioned to give you a teaser for how "A miserable damn performance" plays?

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8 hours ago, 37mm said:

Perhaps the primary playtester, @MOS:96B2P is best positioned to give you a teaser for how "A miserable damn performance" plays?

@BletchleyGeek it plays very similar to the RL battle.  I don't want to give any spoilers but it can be kind of like "herding cats" to keep your troops in the fight.  Then there is the terrain.  The combination of the troops you'll command, the terrain and the H&E conversion will provide a unique, challenging, experience.  Good luck.       

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5 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

@BletchleyGeek it plays very similar to the RL battle.  I don't want to give any spoilers but it can be kind of like "herding cats" to keep your troops in the fight.  Then there is the terrain.  The combination of the troops you'll command, the terrain and the H&E conversion will provide a unique, challenging, experience.  Good luck.       

Exactly right - the Designer Notes below say similar ...

As soon as I was invited to take part in 37mm’s Heaven and Earth project, I wanted to see if I could bring the battle of Ap Bac to Combat Mission.  The main reason is that it was such a pivotal battle in the second Vietnamese war and many aspects of the battle are reflective of why South Vietnam failed, and the communists prevailed.

Sadly, I was unable to bring all of the elements to this battle, notably the downed helicopters depicted on the poster used in the scenario image carrying ARVN troops which were then pinned down for most of the day.  This was mainly due for gameplay reasons.  I was also unable to map the area at its true scale because it would be too big to load so the map area has been scaled down approximately 50% to an area of 2km x 3km.  Nevertheless, the map is derived from the relevant U.S. Vietnam War era 1:50,000 scale map and even at this scale it is a large map.

The scenario’s title ‘A miserable damn performance’ comes from the comments of Lieutenant-Colonel John Paul Vann who was the lead U.S. advisor to the ARVN Division that fought in this battle.  My design philosophy for this scenario was to replicate the frictions which led to Vann’s frustration and his subsequent comments.  For this reason, I must emphasize that many players may not find this a fun scenario to play but there is plenty in it for those that enjoy a challenge.  If you achieve any sort of victory in this scenario, you have done well.  After playing the scenario, I would recommend reading about the battle and the Wikipedia article is a good place to start:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ap_Bac

Finally, this mission would not have been possible without 37mm’s superhuman efforts to bring such an ambitious project to Combat Mission and my good friend MOS:96B2P for taking up his time to assist me in testing.

I hope you enjoy the challenge of Ap Bac.

 

 

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