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Heart of the Dying Sun - WIP


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The name is my WIP reference name and refers to a rather confused action around the village of Jasienica and the town of Tluszcz in Poland mid August 1944.

This map is fairly large (4x3km) but has been giving me a bit of trouble to sort out. Its low laying terrain with a rather complicated rail network on often embankments. looks easy but trying to get everything to match up... Also progress has been glacial slow due to RL. Still getting there.

This is the real world location on period maps and aerial images taken before the actions occurred (though judging by the shell holes it was getting some hot attention from bombing raids I suspect!

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So first step was sketching out the map in CM.

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This was pretty quick to do as effectively this is just sketching using the overlay. I'm not a fan of zig-zag roads. So i end up making compromises to 'fit' the overall 'feel' of the road/track/rail. I think this makes it easier for the player in game to plot road movements etc. So I compromise map accuracy for ease of play.

The real work comes when you start adding the elevations... This was a tough one as there are also lots of water features. Lots of do and re-do to only re-do-re-do...

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So slowly taking shape. This is the railtrack at the north of the above maps looking west.

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Looking south, from the west edge of the north of the map, towards the large wood block (on Google earth they are marked as 'Budziska'.

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Looking back east from the above wood block - way in distanced will be Tluszcz (not started on that yet)

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View of current state of work of the map. Only about a 1/4 done regarding terraforming! A looong way to go yet. The view here is the same view as above but slightly higher. I'm just starting doing the village of Jasienica itself (top right), which will take a wee while.

Cheery! 

Edited by George MC
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35 minutes ago, George MC said:

I'm not a fan of zig-zag roads. So i end up making compromises to 'fit' the overall 'feel' of the road/track/rail. I think this makes it easier for the player in game to plot road movements etc. So I compromise map accuracy for ease of play.

I agree with this approach and appreciate very much as a player!! 

 

Looks great!

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58 minutes ago, Commanderski said:

Obviously from the "From the Realm of a Dying Sun" book, Volume 1. Hundreds of battles in the series (reading Volume 1 now), lots of tanks and artillery. Looking forward to seeing how this develops.

The maps look great!

Keep us posted.

Spot on. :)

I've had some correspondence with Douglas Nash (who BTW is a super helpful and really nice chap) regarding clarification with events which I was querying involving Fluegel's Knights Cross award. Caused me some confusion as Trang quotes the citation and places it in the 18-19 August timeframe. Confused me no end working out how the Panthers could motor about at will through the middle of a full on Soviet offensive. Long story short the original citation got the date wrong! Both Mr Nash and Ewald Klapdor were right in their framing of the time and place.

The map above is the location for the harrowing retreat that his small panzergruppe undertook the night of the 18/19 August and is mentioned in detail in the book. But thats not the action I'll be doing on this map - more the earlier local German counterattacks by Fluegal's panzergruppe against the attacking elements from 8th Guards Tank Corps (Part of 2nd Tank Army) led by Major General Vasily Vasilievich Koshelev (who was a Hero of Stalingrad) and 76th Guards Rifle Division (part of 114th Rifle Corps).

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7 hours ago, George MC said:

View of current state of work of the map. Only about a 1/4 done regarding terraforming! A looong way to go yet. The view here is the same view as above but slightly higher. I'm just starting doing the village of Jasienica itself (top right), which will take a wee while.

George, this all looks really great (as usual for your good self, no pressure 🤪).  Looking forward to it, and if you need any play-testing done...

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8 hours ago, George MC said:

I'm not a fan of zig-zag roads. So i end up making compromises to 'fit' the overall 'feel' of the road/track/rail. I think this makes it easier for the player in game to plot road movements etc. So I compromise map accuracy for ease of play.

This is much appreciated 😉

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5 hours ago, George MC said:

Spot on. :)

I've had some correspondence with Douglas Nash (who BTW is a super helpful and really nice chap) regarding clarification with events which I was querying involving Fluegel's Knights Cross award. Caused me some confusion as Trang quotes the citation and places it in the 18-19 August timeframe. Confused me no end working out how the Panthers could motor about at will through the middle of a full on Soviet offensive. Long story short the original citation got the date wrong! Both Mr Nash and Ewald Klapdor were right in their framing of the time and place.

The map above is the location for the harrowing retreat that his small panzergruppe undertook the night of the 18/19 August and is mentioned in detail in the book. But thats not the action I'll be doing on this map - more the earlier local German counterattacks by Fluegal's panzergruppe against the attacking elements from 8th Guards Tank Corps (Part of 2nd Tank Army) led by Major General Vasily Vasilievich Koshelev (who was a Hero of Stalingrad) and 76th Guards Rifle Division (part of 114th Rifle Corps).

Does Mr Nash play?

This new map looks great George, fantastic vistas, do like a railway embankment to drive Panthers along. Which reminds me, how is that other campaign coming along?

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12 hours ago, Lucky_Strike said:

Does Mr Nash play?

This new map looks great George, fantastic vistas, do like a railway embankment to drive Panthers along. Which reminds me, how is that other campaign coming along?

I don’t think so - never confirmed or denied. Reckon too busy researching his next book. 
 

Other one coming on thanks. Did some tweaks and about ready to do a test compile. RL has become tad busy so CM time in short supply at the moment unfortunately, hence progress has slowed somewhat. 

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14 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Cool!  B)

I'd love to follow the various processes you go through in building one of your maps.

He! Thanks. I have swithered but in truth I dick about a great deal when I make them - often scrubbing hours of work to restart something I cocked up early on and then it comes back to haunt me later (elevations and their relationship to terrain features e.g. roads, houses etc being the key one). Its not seamless!! Might even put people off...

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14 minutes ago, George MC said:

Its not seamless!! Might even put people off...

The very opposite I'd suspect.....Laying out the map itself isn't rocket-science, but the process of taking those raw elements and turning them into an attractive map that's both functional and playable, is the real art IMHO.

My first effort at a template based map for CM:CW didn't take terribly long to set up (major roads & river, elevations, settlement locations etc.), technically it was all correct, but my first viewing of it in the 3D Editor came as a bit of a shock!  :o

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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On 10/29/2021 at 11:22 AM, George MC said:

I'm not a fan of zig-zag roads. So i end up making compromises to 'fit' the overall 'feel' of the road/track/rail.

I don't think many of us are. It's a pity BFC decided to build a CMx2 engine which doesn't allow people to make roads that go like they do on the elevation maps they use when making scenario maps.

Has BFC ever explained why they decided that zigzag maps look better than strait ones?

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1 minute ago, BornGinger said:

Has BFC ever explained why they decided that zigzag maps look better than strait ones?

I'd suspect because it required a few less tiles back when the engine was first developed.....There are mods that add 22.50 roads, so presumably BFC could do the same in a global patch at some time?

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5 hours ago, George MC said:

RL has become tad busy so CM time in short supply at the moment unfortunately, hence progress has slowed somewhat. 

It happens. Which makes what you do create all the more precious.

1 hour ago, George MC said:

... swithered ...

That's a new one, thanks. Had to look it up!

49 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

There are mods that add 22.50 roads, so presumably BFC could do the same in a global patch at some time?

Made by Falaise. He says that vehicles follow them correctly as well, so it would seem to be totally doable. Sadly doubt it's a priority for BF but sure would be nice for how maps look and make you map-makers' lives easier. 

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Looks amazing. Looking forward to another GeorgeMC eastern front slog. :D 

My views on the map editor, "Easy to learn, difficult to master". I'm in the same boat as I try to avoid but always fall into the trap of trying to be perfectionist with maps. It's really tempting when you are looking at the overlay at the same time as laying out buildings, roads and elevations.

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Wee update.

Overview of (slow) progress from first post. Spent time creating village of Jasienica. Which is the long village bottom centre of the image below.

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Comparison with the map I'm working from (its a Russian 1:50 000 but also x-referencing with Polish 1:25 000 just contour inof and other stuff was easier to work with using Russian map as basis for overlay). I'm also checking in with Google earth but this place has changed a lot since 1944. It also shows the compromises I've made in creating the map within the game engine constraints. Few wee techniques used though. 'Dirt lot' tiles make good hard surface dirt roads you can run at any angle. With short grass at the edges it blends in well. Tad wider than required but means easier for player to plot movement orders. As I said I tend to avoid zig-zag roads from personal preference and aim more for the 'feel' of the road/track etc.

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View of Jasienica - looking NW.

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View of Jasienica - looking west along the main drag of the village.

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Looking SE towards the village from the northernmost railtrack.

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Overview of the map looking NE towards Tluszcz.

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Ground level view from NW corner of the mpa at the railtrack looking south.

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Oh and I intend to place lots of craters and then go back over and damage everything....

Edited by George MC
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3 hours ago, George MC said:

Oh and I intend to place lots of craters and then go back over and damage everything....

Oh for persistent map damage and/or the ability to load final turn saves in the editor, eh?  :rolleyes:

If we had those, that whole process could be so much more fun!  :D

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On 11/7/2021 at 12:50 AM, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Oh for persistent map damage and/or the ability to load final turn saves in the editor, eh?  :rolleyes:

If we had those, that whole process could be so much more fun!  :D

Yeah that would be good. Still I enjoy destroying stuff as well 🤪

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28 minutes ago, benpark said:

Those are some terrific looking maps. All those fields! Worth the pain, as it looks as much like real terrain as could be imagined.

Thank you :) Ah fields - aye they are finnicky for sure! As you say worth it though in terms of realism.

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Managed a wee run at terraforming. Might be it for a wee while, so pleased with this bonus progress.

Most of the work has ben tidying up around Jasienica and creating Borki and its surrounding fields.

So first image is overall view of the map looking NE. Jasienica is the long village in the top centre, and just behind is Borki.

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Slightly closer view of Jasienica.

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Looking through Jasienica to Borki.

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The wee village/collection of farms that is Borki

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So the scene above shows the main combat area where towards late morning/mid-day on the 18 August 1944  II. BtL./Germania's two other companies, (the 5. and 6), were nearly overrun southwest of Tluszcz near Jasienica by Soviet tanks and infantry that had broken through Jadwinin (which is off-map in the top left hand side of the map) before a counterattack launched by SS-Hauptsturmführer Hans Flügel II. Abt./SS-Pz.Rgt. 5, supported by a Schutzenpanzerwagen company from Ill Btl./Germania, drove them off after destroying 12 Soviet tanks . The SPW company pulled back  leaving Flügel's small panzergruppe on their own. This lack of infantry support would come back to bite them later and set the scene for his command's rather harrowing next 12 hours - an episode he describes in detail and printed in full in Ewald Klapdor's history 'Viking Panzers'.

Anyway before that 'adventure' his panzergruppe attacked from (through?) Borki, and the 7th and 8.Kp./SS-Pz.Rgt.5 were immediately engaged and cut to pieces the Soviet infantry who had pushed forward. Twelve Russian tanks were destroyed during this fight*. 

NOTE: I have the original combat diary of 8th Guards Tank Corps and my translation states they went into action at 1200Hrs -1230Hrs. It also mentions 1500Hrs but I'm unable to confirm what happened at that point as its very unclear. looking at what happened next i think they simply by-passed Flügel's command on its east side (it was becoming pinned by Soviet infantry infiltrating through woods to its side and rear) and headed over the rail embankment - but TBH the whole fight in this area was one huge sprawling dogfight.

*There is an interesting side note to this as I have found some evidence that his command was ambushed and lost a lot of Panthers BUT there is no record of this happening either from the German or Soviet side. So I do wonder if these images show his command pinned - he mentions they pretty much sat there watching Soviet infantry march past... Do the images show his command sitting tight and playing doggo? I turned this upside down so top of the image is north.

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There is this video also...

 

 

Edited by George MC
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5 hours ago, Lucky_Strike said:

Great stuff George, really great.

Looks like you'll have your work cut out putting in hay stacks!

He! Aye, yup if I was having my future foretold it be - “ I see haystacks…thousands of haystacks!”

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