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Individual infantry icons on the CM control bar, why not?

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It occurs to me that the empty black area on the control bar at the bottom of the screen in CM could be better utilized.

It seems like a good idea to me that this area should show a graphic of an infantry squad when such a unit is selected. That is to say, a full strength squad of eight soldiers would show eight stock icons of eight individual soldiers when selected. A squad reduced to five soldiers would show icons displaying five soldiers etc.

As the physical area on the bar is about an inch tall, a lot of information about a selected unit (and it's individual soldiers) could be easily and graphically displayed. For example, an inch tall color drawing could easily display a standing Fallshirmjager holding an MP-40. That's a lot of info at a glance-he's a paratrooper, armed with a submachine gun, and as he's standing his morale is good (If he was crouching he would be cautious etc). Each individual soldier in a squad could be displayed as an icon in this manner side by side on the (presently) unused portion of the control strip.

I would think this would be very do-able as a similar thing is done with armour units, i.e., the armour thickness chart in the center of the CM control strip. A hundred or so extra bmps shouldn't be a huge burden on a resourceful company like BFC. ;)

When I try to convert people to CM the hardest obstacle to overcome is the three person display of the infantry units on the map. By graphically displaying each soldier (In a very low maintainance way) I think it would get the point across that the infantry models on the map are just representative, which would make the game have a wider appeal with no playability costs. It would also add to the enjoyment of a humble player like myself.

I don't know if this idea has been posted before, it seems so simple I can't believe it hasn't. If it actually is a new and do-able concept I fear that it may have come too late to be included in CMAK... :eek:

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At 800x600, there is almost no 'black space' on the 'toolbar'. That means that whatever additional items you would like to display would come at a higher minimum resolution or result in different screens for different resolutions, which may not be the most advisable thing to do with a fixed command interface. CMBB was increased from 640x480 as the minimum to 800x600 as the minimum primarily to add additional information panels. While it would be nice to 'decide' what exactly you wanted to display, CM currently isn't designed to be that flexible at this point. Perhaps CMX2 will give users the option to order and select what sort of information panels are displayed.

I don't mean to disparage your idea. It's just that CM in its current incarnation (CMBO, CMBB, CMAK) probably won't accomodate what you're looking for.

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Point well taken, Schrullenhaft . I had a feeling that something like this would be the case.

I was remembering CMBO when the squad leader's photo would appear when a Inf. unit was selected, it seemed like an area of that size could accomodate a simple icon of a soldier. So instead of having just one slot for the leader, a slot for each soldier seemed plausible.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how difficult it would be to impliment something like this in CM's present incarnation. One can always dream though smile.gif

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