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Originally posted by rune:

I defer to those tankers here that served in the Gulf, how high did your dust trails get?

Rune

I don't think this issue is in dispute. Vehicle columns can, in certain regions and under certain weather conditions, darken the sky with dust. Not to mention landing and starting aeroplanes and so on. And it was manifestly used as ruse, to kick up large clouds in order to confuse the enemy.

I think the issue is that vehicles do not always, regardless of weight and speed, terrain and weather, darken the sky with dust when moving in a desert.

The invoked tankers will have been driving vehicles twice the weight and speed of WWII tanks, in the regions along the banks of the Euphrates, which technically is not all desert, and the desert region being fundamentally different from the Sahara. Deserts are not generic but regionally unique. The US used to excercise a lot in Egypt, experiences from here would seem more highlighting, and probably more so from MCV than MBT drivers.

Myself I am a peaceful tourist of the Sahara, with vehicular experiences limited to Japanese type jeeps (i.e. small). The Sahara herself boasts no less than nine major types of terrain (I have been in only three). Not all areas sport the necessary fine layers of particles as topsoil. Topsoil can be heavier sand particles instead, providing only thicker and smaller cascades - though still enough dust to get between your teeth when eating and so on. Or crusted surface, or a rock surface with a dustlayer so thin it is unable to form into significant clouds. If there is enough Hammada around, the tires simply will not grab into the topsoil very much. In morning hours the ground gets pretty wet as the nightchill evaporates, binding dust rather effectively for a few hours. And some regions are outright moist for periods of the year, and surrender no dust at all during this time. So not all deserts provides dust at all times. Wind actually is a major factor. Dust behaves largely like smoke, except the particles return to earth rather than evaporate.

And conversely, Macchia regions right up to central Italy, and similar terrain types, can provide as much dust as deserts can, save outright khamsins.

The Paris-Dakar race runs regularly on Eurosport - and probably on US equivalents. It provides highly relevant input on driving in various types of desert, and one can study interesting dust phenonema without having to travel oneself.

I think Marcus and us others would have wanted a more flexible, nuanced and realistic modelling of dustclouds. One reacting to speed and weight of vehicles, to windconditions and groundconditions, season and region in a more advanced manner than present, and one with a LOS check capacity. That's all.

And like Sergei writes, had it been possible to include in the engine, we would have probably had had it too.

Cheerio

Dandelion

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I think the issue is that vehicles do not always, regardless of weight and speed, terrain and weather, darken the sky with dust when moving in a desert.
Which is precisely what happens in CMAK. Dust generation does depend on ground conditions, the type of ground travelled over and even speed.

I think Marcus and us others would have wanted a more flexible, nuanced and realistic modelling of dustclouds. One reacting to speed and weight of vehicles, to windconditions and groundconditions, season and region in a more advanced manner than present, and one with a LOS check capacity. That's all.
Hehe, is that all? Sheesh, that's too simple, we want some REAL challenges for Charles, so we left this out... ;)

Seriously though - simulating dust in a full 3D environment (and with this we don't mean simply simulating it visually like most games do) including LOS checks, wind movement, spread and all... that's quite some advanced stuff we're talking about here which the engine (no engine in existance that I would know of) is able to handle. It was clear from the get go that we would have to make compromises with dust, but at the same time we knew that it was too important to simply leave out altogether. The current abstractions seem to be a very good compromise between realism and what the engine can handle, and while not 100% perfect for all possible situations (remind me to next time script missions for you guys so the game does simply not allow players to face "all possible situations"; makes life easier for us it seems ;) ) it does give a credible performance of both the limited visibility and the long-range spotting of movement. If you ask me at least...

Martin

Martin

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Dust grog!!!! ROFLMAO!

Again, it seems we are on the "it ain't perfect, but darnit if we don't love it anyway" argument again.

Does the wind setting affect how long dust clouds linger? Do they "drift?" I haven't noticed it, but that's only from being fresh to the desert campaigns, and being in Russia so long.

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Martin

" it does give a credible performance of both the limited visibility and the long-range spotting of ovement. If you ask me at least..."

I think it would be dramaticaly improved for little coding effort by making dust clouds not appear for "Move". Or not appear for Move for lighter vehicles.

The completely indescriminate production of always visible dust dimishes the credibility IMHO.

GaJ.

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"At the moment, it feels so gamey to turn on F&C during each movie to make sure I'm not missing something (how can I not do that when my opponent surely is?!)

GaJ"

Aha! So that's how you nearly beat me! ;)

But I repudiate the suggestion that I might have been using F&C dust to my advantage - do you think I spent all this money on my fancy CM machine only to look at blocky 90s graphics? :rolleyes:

Of course I agree that seeing dust behind dust is not ideal, but I'm willing to put it down as another endearing CM quirk, like the CMBO dead guy appearing in the woods after a steel shower.

As far as I'm concerned if you're willing (or forced) to descend into low-res purgatory, you can have whatever spotting advantage it gives with my compliments, you big-brown-sausage-examiner you!

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I found the book, and it has photos of vehicles causing dust moving at slow speeds. Kubelwagons, trucks, motorcycles in three columns moving across the open desert at slow speed [all having a dust trail. No mention of where the photo is taken, but the ground is sand. Another is a picture of a vehicles going through soft sand and kicking up a cloud. I am not sure how the scans will turn out if on a web site, but if someone wants to see them, will email them to you.

However, as someone pointed out, it is going to depend on wind, terrain, and other things. To say that vehicles would never cause dust at move speed is wrong too. *shrugs* I can see both sides of this. Since it can be controlled by terrain type [dirt/rock/sand] I guess leave it as is, as the scenario designer in me says let me setup if I want dust or not.

Rune

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Maybe coding it that a "move" or "reverse" order up to 20 or 30m lenght would not cause a dust cloud? That would mean the careful repositioning of a vehicle for a short distance would not kick up a visible dust cloud.

As said I do agree that vehicles and groups of vehicles on the move kick up dust and can be spotted that way.

But backing up a vehicle for a couple of meters?

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I can remember a lot of trips down what used to be "Gravel" roads at Ft. Drum in New York. Over a few decades of tank travel, it's all been ground down to a find chalky substance and just a couple people walking can kick up a 20ft high dust cloud. A couple of Trucks or tanks at 5mph could block out the sun! Not an easy thing to be the 2nd guy in the convoy, and a real risk to be further back.

And from experience... yes, even backing up 20-30m WILL kick up one hell of a dust cloud, especially if you loose traction and start spinning a tire.

-Hans

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Originally posted by REVS:

Try using dust to your advantage - incorporate it into your tactics, because it's a fact of CMAK desert life.

eg, use something like Universal Carriers/HTs etc running around behind hills on one flank while tanks go down the other flank. This can create quite a bit of indecision on the part of an opponent, causing him to split his forces – and for you to concentrate yours.

Second that. It's amazing how useful trucks, kubelwagens, etc., suddenly become on the front lines when they can kick up extra dust clouds for your opponent to worry about.

Steve

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Originally posted by tools4fools:

...GreenAsJade means that the ENTIRE small dust cloud is behind a hill and smaller than that hill and therefore can not be seen by his units. As it is out of LOS it should not show up at all.

Green as Jade

Thanks for the heads up on this. I agree... If the vehicle is out of LOS, then the small dust clouds made by a Move command should not be shown either.

Even if vehicles are moving on Fast command, the larger dust clouds should NOT be visible to the enemy if there is a high elevation blocking LOS.

My 2 cents,

Ken

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Originally posted by kenfedoroff:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by tools4fools:

...GreenAsJade means that the ENTIRE small dust cloud is behind a hill and smaller than that hill and therefore can not be seen by his units. As it is out of LOS it should not show up at all.

Green as Jade

Thanks for the heads up on this. I agree... If the vehicle is out of LOS, then the small dust clouds made by a Move command should not be shown either.

Even if vehicles are moving on Fast command, the larger dust clouds should NOT be visible to the enemy if there is a high elevation blocking LOS.

My 2 cents,

Ken </font>

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"I flew fighters during Desert Storm, so my view of the battle field was somewhat akin to Views 4-9."

Interesting statement.

I find it amusing that there would be a complaint about FOW issues by someone who admits to playing from elevated views... unless he imagines himself circling the battlefield in a Storch or Peiper light plane, radioing messages to the troops below. If you want FOW to work realistically try playing only at view 1 (view 2 in a pinch) and NEVER move beyond your own troops forward lines. Suddenly distant dust acts like distant dust, a tree line on a ridge is a tree line on a ridge, and artillery targeted out of LOS really does fall out of LOS!

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Originally posted by Joachim:

With Borg spotting, everything is in LOS that at least one of your troops can see.

With Uber-Borg spotting, we know every damaged building, every intact bridge even if none of our troops can see them! So with Uber-Borg spotting we can see any small dust cloud behind a curtain of dust clouds, too.

True. This issue can't be dealt with until the next game engine (at the earliest).

A cure might be to have different map tiles for unobserved territory... but which part is unobserved? Can we see the nothing, treetops, bell towers, 2nd stories or huge dust clouds? Different map tiles for different heights we can see? Is hull down ground visible or invisible?

Gruß

Joachim

Great idea. Sign this man up for the BFC design team! Screw the fancy graphics and fix the FOW/Borg, I say.

That would fix all the Uber-tank purchasing... to find out your 50-60 ton heavy can't get over the 20 ton load rated bridge!

My 2 cents,

Ken

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A FOW/Borg fix (next game engine of course) could involve having a rough overhead 'map' in a separate window to keep track of your troops over the terrain, but limiting your movement/elevation on the 3-D playing field to only what your troops can see (shooter game-style). If that Tiger can't be seen by the unit you've got selected, you won't be able to see it from their view point. Maybe clicking on units on the rough map would let you jump around the battlefield on the 3-D screen. That of course would mean no more flying over the battlefield to spot the very best hull-down positions. It would GREATLY complicate artillery strikes, that's for sure!

In other words, be careful what you wish for. The results could be pretty painful.

[ June 22, 2004, 01:54 PM: Message edited by: MikeyD ]

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Originally posted by MikeyD:

A FOW/Borg fix (next game engine of course) could involve having a rough overhead 'map' in a separate window to keep track of your troops over the terrain, but limiting your movement/elevation on the 3-D playing field to only what your troops can see (shooter game-style). Maybe clicking on units on the rough map would let you jump around the battlefield on the 3-D screen. that of course would mean no more flying over the battlefield to spot the very best hull-down positions. It would GREATLY complicate artillery strikes, that's for sure!

In other words, be careful what you wish for. The results could be pretty painful.

I like that idea... but maybe (for the sake of time savings in scenario/battle set-up) you could fly around the battlefield in the set-up phase only.

Maybe they could incorporate this idea as an option, so BFC doesn't scare away first time buyers (beginners) of the game.

Good idea MikeyD

Sincerely,

Ken

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Hmmm... I just realised. It looks like my idea was little more than TacOps married to CM... or married to (shooter game) DOOM... I don't know which.

I wonder, if you cut 3-D processing to just individual 'shooter' viewpoints while doing your planning and overview on a flat map perhaps you could push the game closer to 'real time' Ugh, I think we may be skating a bit closer to the game "Medal of Honor" than we had ought.

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Considering how seldom a small dust cloud ends up completely behind a hill I would say the recode wouldn't be worth the effort. But it would be nice if they showed up only when in LOS, not continually like buildings do.

As for all the other ideas, I say let's not depart from the game philosophy. It's not realistic, it's fun. It does have a sense of realism to it, but it is also dramatic, and your different moves seem to result in a lifelike result. Afterall, a truly realistic game could only be seen through one pair of eyes.

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Originally posted by Sergei:

... To fix borg spotting, there would have to be some kind of restrictions on concentrating fire of all units on a target that has been spotted by only one unit.

The way I imagined a fix for borg spotting was that each unit would hold a register of all enemy units, with a spotted flag. If the friendly unit had spotted an enemy unit, it could directly target it (like now). If not it could only use area target against the ground under or near the enemy unit.

That would lower the effective FP against any unit, make AP fire ineffective, and simulate orders like 'he's over there' or 'fire on everyone elses tracer'. Also, the AI doesn't use area fire anyway, so it would be up to the player to individually set area-fire orders for any units with LOS to the area but which hadn't yet personally spotted the enemy.

IMHO, the game shouldn't prevent you area-firing to somewhere within LOS just because that unit hadn't yet spotted an enemy in that location.

It wouldn't be a perfect fix of course. But it would cut down on the "I feel like a sunburst" sensation.

Regards

JonS

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