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  #1  
Old May 16th, 2008, 08:56 AM

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Default Newbie Editor Questions

I recently started making a few maps based loosely on the area in which I live. Doing so brought up some questions, please forgive me if they've been asked before, it's my first attempt at creating maps or scenarios.


1) Is it possible to place walls on the map or do I have to use hedgerows as a substitute?

2) Can I place fences during map editing or only during scenario design?

3) Is there a way to add random noise to level terrain, to counter the flatness of the predefined levels?

4) Currently I use a copy/paste 'brush' of clear terrain and the two short grasses to create some visual variety, I guess this is the correct way in order to liven up the flat green areas of a map?

5) Are fields always a rectangle north by east, or can the be placed slanted like roads? The reason is the hedgerows or roads on the outline of fields can't be placed in a smooth north-south line.

6) What is the commonly accepted representation of an airfield runway? So far I use pavement hexes with a primary road placed on them. For smaller airfields (non concrete runways) I'm a bit undecided what would look best. Bare earth with a secondary road maybe?



And some more scenario questions:

7) Is the AI better at assault or defense? I guess that for a proper assault I have to use waypoints to guide the AI, can I define 'hold' points for defense as well?

8) I already found out that by placing an ammo container with zero crew, I get a nice explosion on the first turn - can this be used with reinforcements to create a timebomb that will go off some time into the game?

9) Any rule of thumb about the length of a scenario, based on force and map size?


I hope the questions aren't too dumb, I tried reading through the various posts on the SPMBT and SPWW2 scenario boards. It seems that with every question I see answered, two more pop up when I think about what I could do on a specific map.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: Newbie Editor Questions

Quote:
First off there are no stupid questions if youve read the rules and other help items and it looks to me you have, there is much to this game so much so I still learn things and Ive been at this since SP Mark 1.

Ill tackle these one by one please remember these are my humble opinions someone may have better answers.

1) Is it possible to place walls on the map or do I have to use hedgerows as a substitute?

Some versions have walls IIRC winSPWWII doesnt do to the scale its built into the terrain as cover available Hedgerows are a different problem and if youve seen one in person youd know why, they are a real hindrance to movement and excellent hiding places. I would not use Hedgerows to simulate walls or fences.

2) Can I place fences during map editing or only during scenario design?

Do you mean Barbwire and Obstacles? if so only in scenario design or setup.


3) Is there a way to add random noise to level terrain, to counter the flatness of the predefined levels?

No, remember there are terrain variations built into Clear hexes. See walls


4) Currently I use a copy/paste 'brush' of clear terrain and the two short grasses to create some visual variety, I guess this is the correct way in order to liven up the flat green areas of a map?

Liven up yes, but is does change the effects of the terrain.


5) Are fields always a rectangle north by east, or can the be placed slanted like roads? The reason is the hedgerows or roads on the outline of fields can't be placed in a smooth north-south line.

Try laying your fields first then laying road over them.


6) What is the commonly accepted representation of an airfield runway? So far I use pavement hexes with a primary road placed on them. For smaller airfields (non concrete runways) I'm a bit undecided what would look best. Bare earth with a secondary road maybe?

Me Ive used Double Paved roads or even doubled to tripled cobblestone for an airbase and for forward airfields Ive used earth 2 hexes wide. Roads are easier but other options are more pleasing to the eye.



And some more scenario questions:

7) Is the AI better at assault or defense? I guess that for a proper assault I have to use waypoints to guide the AI, can I define 'hold' points for defense as well?

Me Ive used Double Paved roads or even doubled to tripled cobblestone for an airbase and for forward airfields Ive used earth 2 hexes wide. Roads are easier but other options are more pleasing to the eye.


8) I already found out that by placing an ammo container with zero crew, I get a nice explosion on the first turn - can this be used with reinforcements to create a timebomb that will go off some time into the game?

Interesting and let me know about this time bomb if you find away to make it work.


9) Any rule of thumb about the length of a scenario, based on force and map size?

HHHMMM, as for size of map to core ratio use this link as guidance when planning frontages.

Unit Frontages

Bayonet Strength

If you are trying for a historical scenario, do research and find out the rough size of were the battle was fought, remember 20 hexes is 1 km.

There are certainly many schools of thought on this. Me I prefer bigger maps no matter the core size.



I hope the questions aren't too dumb, I tried reading through the various posts on the SPMBT and SPWW2 scenario boards. It seems that with every question I see answered, two more pop up when I think about what I could do on a specific map.

Tis the nature and beauty of the game.
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  #3  
Old May 17th, 2008, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Newbie Editor Questions

Quote:
reverend said:
...can I define 'hold' points for defense as well?

Well, yes - it's possible to have some of the AI force attack and some defend, but it will be hard to get the AI to attack an objective and settle in for defence once it has been taken.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 07:31 AM

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Default Re: Newbie Editor Questions

Thanks for the answers. I think I'll stick to either defending or assaulting AI, not a combination.


[quote]
8) I already found out that by placing an ammo container with zero crew, I get a nice explosion on the first turn - can this be used with reinforcements to create a timebomb that will go off some time into the game?

Interesting and let me know about this time bomb if you find away to make it work.

[quote]



Well, the ammo containers arrive as destroyed, but the explosion doesn't get triggered like on turn 0. I suppose they are destroyed offboard during that first turn, and the remains then get placed as reinforcements.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Newbie Editor Questions

Quote:
reverend said:

5) Are fields always a rectangle north by east, or can the be placed slanted like roads? The reason is the hedgerows or roads on the outline of fields can't be placed in a smooth north-south line.

You can build straight roads in the Up/Down direction if you click the road start (hex A)hex and then go to the adjacent hex (hex B) and click again ( road endhex). Now use the end hex (hex B) as a new road start hex and choose your next end hex (hex C). If hex A and C are on the same vertical your kinked three hex road will become straight! The same technique for hedgerows results in a wavy pattern, though.

Quote:


6) What is the commonly accepted representation of an airfield runway? So far I use pavement hexes with a primary road placed on them. For smaller airfields (non concrete runways) I'm a bit undecided what would look best. Bare earth with a secondary road maybe?

First things, first. Game maps are Up-Down, Left- Right. You choose if the upper map edge is North, South or Northwest. Why do I say (remind you) this? Runways are exceptionally linear (and usually long) terrain features. If you are trying to map an actual location you must rotate the game map so as to preserve the linearity of the runaway (at least the main one) through all its length. I would use pavement hexes for all permanent airfields oriented in Up/Down or Left/Right Direction. For improvised/dirt airstrips Id use clear and /or red or bare earth hexes depending on the rest of the map, with a width of two hexes (or one if you want a more stealthy effect). The latter airstrips can be also oriented towards the primary diagonals of the hexagon grid without any kinks or adverse visual effect.
No roads. Pavements act as roads (movement cost) and are a good aesthetic approximation for permanent airstrips. I prefer to use road terrain as roads.

Quote:


7) Is the AI better at assault or defense? I guess that for a proper assault I have to use waypoints to guide the AI, can I define 'hold' points for defense as well?

Look the AI is an item of the game engine. The adjective dumb is almost a standard qualifier for AI in the gaming community. As a player who plays almost entirely against the AI, Ive concluded that this so called dumb AI in the hands of a good designer can produce interesting scenarios. But you must utilize all the tools you have at your disposal:
A Good Map, Judicial unit selection (both in quality and quantity), Victory objective placement and value, Initial deployment of forces, Reinforcements (position & turn of arrival), Reaction turns, Op Fire filtering (CD version), playing around with unit or even OOB parameters. and finally Waypoints. Youd better go first to the manual, then do a post search and then come back with more specific questions.
For starters a small to medium sized map, with the AI on the defense would be fine, I think.

Quote:


9) Any rule of thumb about the length of a scenario, based on force and map size?


Scenario Length depends a lot on what you want to do. A short scenario doesnt allow the player to do proper reconnaissance and/or probing nor long flanking moves etc. It favours the AI (on the defense). It is a fundamental designer decision.

Quote:

I hope the questions aren't too dumb,

How does the saying go? No dumb questions only dumb answers
Mine included!
Quote:

I tried reading through the various posts on the SPMBT and SPWW2 scenario boards. It seems that with every question I see answered, two more pop up when I think about what I could do on a specific map.
And as Johnny Walker says Keep Walking !!!!
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Old May 17th, 2008, 10:47 AM

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Default Re: Newbie Editor Questions

Quote:
hoplitis said:
You can build straight roads in the Up/Down direction if you click the road start (hex A)hex and then go to the adjacent hex (hex B) and click again ( road endhex). Now use the end hex (hex B) as a new road start hex and choose your next end hex (hex C). If hex A and C are on the same vertical your kinked three hex road will become straight! The same technique for hedgerows results in a wavy pattern, though.


Interesting. Doing it hex-by-hex indeed places straight road. The automated function (end hex several hexes away) produces wavy patterns.


Perhaps I shouldn't have used 'north-south' as a qualifier. It was meant more as an orientation on the game map than actual directions. Sometimes, however, no matter how you rotate a map, you end up with a straight pattern that should run up-down ingame. And since some features (fields, pavement, roads) have straight up-down sprites, I thought I was simply doing something wrong.

You're right: Makeshift airfield made of bare / red earth look indeed a lot better than with a central road down the runway.



I know the AI isn't the most intelligent in this game. Still, the basic coding either works in favour of attacking or defending - for one mission I have to do more during scenarion design, for the other less. I'll try defending first, though.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Newbie Editor Questions

Quote:
reverend said:
...
I know the AI isn't the most intelligent in this game.
...
Maybe... but it's getting better all the time. AI creation, testing and fine tuning isn't a priority in most commercial games (believe it or not). One reason is that you have to have an almost complete game engine and player interface to develop and test the AI. And having those usually means that the "release date" is approaching fast.
But this game (long past its initial release) continues to evolve, its AI included.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 05:49 PM

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Default Re: Newbie Editor Questions

Well, thankfully there are exception, such as Stardocks Galactiv Civilisations. By not including multiplayer, they could focus on building the (IMO) best AI yet.

I just found out something incredible helpful: The copy/paster function of the map editor not only works on the same map, but you can also copy stuff from one map to another!

That should allow me to build a couple of features alone (such as airfields) and when needed, copy them to the 'real' map. That feature alone was worth the CD order.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Newbie Editor Questions

Quote:
You can build straight roads in the Up/Down direction if you click the road start (hex A)hex and then go to the adjacent hex (hex B) and click again ( road endhex). Now use the end hex (hex B) as a new road start hex and choose your next end hex (hex C). If hex A and C are on the same vertical your kinked three hex road will become straight! The same technique for hedgerows results in a wavy pattern, though.

Thanks for the info, always something to learn. I love this game!!!
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