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Gibsonm

Winter / snow - A topic with which I'm not familiar

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Not much call for this where I'm located, but RT'19 is set in FEB '91.

 

Various web sites tell me that white fluffy stuff tends to appear in FEB in Germany.

 

I've tried to apply a suitable theme but there does not appear to be a straight forward "deep snow" theme.

 

I can choose from:

 

EU_Winter_Fixed.thm - no idea what was broken

Europe_Winter1.thm

Europe_Winter2.thm

Europe_Winter2_alt.thm

Europe_Winter2_jpg.thm

FULDA-GAP_Winter.thm

Kouvostoliitto Winter Frozen Deep Snow.thm

Kouvostoliitto Winter Frozen Medium Snow.thm

Kouvostoliitto Winter Light Snow.thm

Kouvostoliitto Winter Medium Snow.thm

Kouvostoliitto_winter.thm

MED_Europe_Winter.thm - MED = Medium or Mediterranean (i.e. Greece / Italy, etc.)?

Munster2014winter_ice.thm

Pahka winter (frozen_deep snow_plowed).thm

Realism_Winter_(snow-heavy).thm

snow_fixed.thm

Suomussalmi Winter Frozen Deep Snow.thm

 

I've tried Each of the ones with "Europe" in the title and "snow_fixed"

 

But for those 6 attempts my test Truck remains unaffected (moves easily, wheels are not submerged in white stuff.

 

Do I need to resort to the Finnish option to get snow on the ground?

 

The scenario temperature by the way is -5C (so I'm assuming the snow hasn't melted). :)

 

Is there some sort of database / list that tells me Theme X creates Y effect?

 

Edited by Gibsonm

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"Deep snow" is a rate condition in Germany, at least in the northern lowlands. Up in the mountains (center, south), and closer to the Polish border deep snow conditions may occur with a higher likelihood; check out this site for historic weather data (e.g. Hannover, Friday, Feb 1st, 1991), if you want to replicate the conditions of the time (or use artistic license, of course).

"Finnish" winter themes tend to give you the deepest snow. If in doubt I'd edit one of these for quickest results, and reduce the depth of the snow cover to a few centimeters, with main roads to be cleared.

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1 hour ago, Bond_Villian said:

I would just change the bumpiness, drag and traction options in the theme editor until you get what you want

 

Thanks, but I don't have the patience / time to go through a thousand iterations. :)

 

Also I don't think any of those variables change the depth of the snow on the ground - that is the Truck tyre still sits "on" the ground instead of "in" the snow.

 

At least in the Finnish ones, the wheels sink in, but then there are other issues.

 

Edited by Gibsonm

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53 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

"Deep snow" is a rate condition in Germany, at least in the northern lowlands. Up in the mountains (center, south), and closer to the Polish border deep snow conditions may occur with a higher likelihood; check out this site for historic weather data (e.g. Hannover, Friday, Feb 1st, 1991), if you want to replicate the conditions of the time (or use artistic license, of course).

"Finnish" winter themes tend to give you the deepest snow. If in doubt I'd edit one of these for quickest results, and reduce the depth of the snow cover to a few centimeters, with main roads to be cleared.

 

Thanks for the heads up - I've given up on the Finnish options as they freeze the rivers and make them passable.

 

I was hoping for a brief description for each one of these multitude of themes but I guess they are based on people doing just what Zero suggested and not being able to include that description in the name.

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42 minutes ago, Gibsonm said:

Also I don't think any of those variables change the depth of the snow on the ground

Actually i think the 'Hardness' slider does that

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No, snow depth is a different setting for terrain types with the "Is Snow" option selected. Here a surface above the normal ground gets rendered, where the snow depth slider determines the distance between ground and snow height (up to 1.50m). Snow blocks line of sight, but doesn't stop bullets.

 

Hardness on the other hand determines how much vehicles sink in below the actual surface (which blocks both LOS and bullets), with the inverse of the hardness slider value multiplied by -0.5m. IOW, at hardness 0% vehicles sink 50cm deep into the ground, at hardness 100% not at all.

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You don't mention whether you've tried this one on your list, Mark, but, FWIW, the Realism_Winter_(snow-heavy) gives me the following result on the Hannover map. Rivers are unfrozen; paved roads have been bladed but remain packed-snow covered. Vehicles (like infantry) sink into the snow. I didn't compare traction effects, but wheeled vehicles seem to get around in it ok -- maybe too well, I don't know.

 

 

SS_15_11_09.jpg

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Thanks!

 

That looks close enough for government work.

 

I'll apply it and run some tests.

 

Thanks again - in advance. :)

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Traction is only part of the problem, actually. For some vehicles, ground resistance goes way up in deep snow because it builds up at the front (I once saw a comparison of Bradley and CV90...); but that's a level of detail unlikely to be seen in SB Pro within the next years. And of course, for military vehicles (IF the corresponding army prepares for operating in snow condition at all) there's snow grousers for tracks, and snow chains for wheels which help to increase traction again. So, I can but recommend to not overdo it with the reduction of traction. Yes, there may be a bit of occasional sliding but you'd need really SMOOTH ice and nothing but rubber track pads in order to create really dangerous conditions. Then again, the combination of icy roads and steep mountains...

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3 hours ago, Gibsonm said:

Thanks!

 

That looks close enough for government work.

 

I'll apply it and run some tests.

 

Thanks again - in advance. :)

 

Hmm, not so good.

 

Using "Realism_Winter_(snow-heavy).thm" I get this (note river still running, vehicle running gear is "on" the snow):

 

42126160294_6c58751231_o.png

 

Using "Suomussalmi Winter Frozen Light Snow.thm" I get this (note river covered in snow, vehicle running gear is "in" the snow):

 

41033144570_19785cfeb3_o.png

 

This is achieved by changing theme in the Mission Editor, should I be applying it to the Map Editor instead?

 

Guess its just trial and error.

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OK, not sure if this is the right way to do it but I duplicated the map and applied the theme there (I now have two maps - Summer and Winter).

 

Then I replaced the map in the Mission Editor with the Winter version and ended up with this (river flowing, running gear "in" the snow):

 

41942890535_ac8591578b_o.png

 

Next time the Soviets attack in Summer. :)

 

Edited by Gibsonm

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1 hour ago, Gibsonm said:

This is achieved by changing theme in the Mission Editor, should I be applying it to the Map Editor instead?

The option to edit the actual properties of the theme (such as ground & water textures, foliage types and map colours, traction, dust etc. is available via the map editor. I find it helpful to have two instances of SB running; one with the map editor ( and the theme editor therein) and the other with the mission editor. Make changes in the map editor & save, then switch to mission editor and refresh map. You can then see how it looks, and 'test' the scenario to check how vehicles handle it. The time consuming part is waiting for everything to load each time you make a change ( probably less of a headache if you have SB installed on a SSD ).

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1 minute ago, Bond_Villian said:

The option to edit the actual properties of the theme (such as ground & water textures, foliage types and map colours, traction, dust etc. is available via the map editor.

 

Yes I know. :)

 

I just wanted a simple check box to "add snow" (at a very simplistic level). :)

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Unfortunately, the Theme editor is a very powerful tool that prevents this type of simplicity.

Also, unfortunately there are a lot of less than useful theme files floating around and more or less bypassed QA, as inspecting them is a time-consuming process to detect (and eventually fix) internal inconsistencies.

I suspect that the Water tiles in the "Suomussalmi Winter Frozen Light Snow.thm" have the "Is Water" flag removed to make them solid/drivable, so the fix might have been as simple as putting that checkmark back on.

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9 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Also, unfortunately there are a lot of less than useful theme files floating around and more or less bypassed QA, as inspecting them is a time-consuming process to detect (and eventually fix) internal inconsistencies.

 

What about the themes that came with the sim? Have they been reviewed to ensure expected appearance/behavior?

 

In the interest of easing Mark's task, if the "stock" themes have been vetted, adding snow to a map is very nearly as easy as "a simple check box": Just pick a map in the Mission Editor, select "Replace Theme", save the mission.
That's what I did to get the above screenshot. (I'm not sure why Mark was forced to duplicate his map to get the desired result, but glad it worked out for him.)

 

In my ProgramData directory I have 20 "Realism_" files. I believe those came with the sim as-is. I have 5 "FULDA_" ones, but I'm not sure whether I downloaded those. And I have a couple of user-made ones I downloaded. That's it.

 

I won't even ask about the impact of the new terrain engine on all this. (Well, OK, I did.).

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Wellll... the (Realism) themes were an attempt to create something more useful, but were designed to maximize the utility value at the time of creation (for 3.0), so IMO they are hampered by a number of factors. Mostly, there's usually only 100% bumpiness in them, or 0%. At the time it didn't matter because you couldn't SEE it; typically only forested terrain types were set to have max bumpiness where vehicles drive slowly, so the incidents of suspension damage weren't so high as if a high value was used everywhere. Next, there's a lot of 100% hardness used, and/or 100% traction. Both are bad because they very rarely occur in natural terrain. Also, I often see 0% dustiness on grassland which does not necessarily reflect my own world view.

 

My recommendations would be to use

  • less than 40% bumpiness for open terrain (less than 15% for agricultural terrain); bumpiness >40% should be reserved for terrain that is very rough/unspoiled wilderness and a serious impediment to vehicle traffic; my design goal - not sure if we will get there - is to make terrain > 40% more or less impossible to traverse for wheeled vehicles (at least with only two axles, even if they are 4WD), >60% very difficult even for tracked vehicles; >80% bumpiness should be "infantry only" type of terrain and would be best combined with more or less large boulders as ground clutter objects, or applied by spray tool
  • Dustiness should be applied to everything that is not water, bog, or marsh land. For grassland my recommendation would be ~40%; it simply makes no sense to see a lot of dust raised by vehicles traveling at high speed, and then it completely disappears from one second to the next as the vehicle moves on a different terrain tile. In this world, everything is dusty, we're just talking about how much dust should be generated. If it's plain dirt or sand, 100% are justified. Otherwise use the range between 80%...20%. Keep in mind, these values are intended for perfectly dry terrain (think sun baked for three weeks, no rain).
  • less than 95% hardness for everything except rock. I'd expect loose sand like in a desert to be around 30% hardness, anything under 10% would be marshland, 5% or less represents IMO flowing mud where you can't properly dig anymore. This will become also an important factor with the dynamic terrain, as hard terrain will make the creation of emplacements a lot more time-consuming. Above 95% I expect that we restrict earthmover activity; we may allow preparatory blasting to then move the rubble, but without demolition charges: No dice.
  • Traction is another thing. in a lot of cases 100% is used, but this represents clean asphalt combined with rubber track pads at 20° ambient temperature. Realistically, for off-road conditions 80% or so is about the best one could hope for, dropping to 60% in rainy conditions (the sole exception might be sand where the addition of water greatly improves traction, actually; anyone jogging at a beach will immediately know the difference between loose sand and sea wash area)
  • Ground resistance would usually correspond to bumpiness. You can't have high bumpiness without increasing overall friction when driving across it. However, you could also have high ground resistance in bog/marsh land where the bumpiness would usually be low. So there's the point where you need to apply some common sense.

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Looks like even though I have a pretty screenshot, I'd better review the "Realistic" theme just to confirm how realistic it is. :)

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Worth noting here (if im not mistaken) that bumpiness determines how far the infantry 'sink' into the ground when stationary (simulating dudes getting into little folds and whatnot that isnt visually modelled on the terrain).

More bumpy terrain=harder to kill troops

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Yes... but that should not mean to abuse bumpiness as a band-aid to increase the troops' survivability. If they don't survive enough with 40% bumpiness, maybe we need to do something about the sink-in scaling, or take other measures. The problem is that in order to improvise with the survivability theme designers created a lot of 100% bumpiness terrain types, and now the argument is that we can't make really bumpy terrain so difficult that vehicles can't negotiate it because so many scenarios have these bad themes embedded. This is an ass-backwards subversion of the design process.

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One other thing to note about bumpiness is that it doesn't actually make the terrain bumpy in SB 4.023 as we have neither the new tesselated terrain nor the old simulated bumps from SB 3.

Edited by Rotareneg

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Yeah, but I can see the effects in the development version. So we have the choice to reduce the effect of bumpiness and thus limit what we can do visually, or to go to the full extent of what the render engine can do and then live with scenarios that are visually inconsistent. I'm leaning towards the latter. At least there's a clearly visible cue now that something must be done (and it's obvious that it's bumpiness related).

It's similar BTW with maps that aren't properly georeferenced. SB now applies a default coordinate (R'lyeh) which is as far off from human civilization as we could find on this planet, so that hopefully the odd time zone and the southern night sky are a clear indicator that something is off (except for Kiwis, Aussies, and those in southern Africa and South America where the only cue is the -9hr time zone)

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So, in line with the topic of the thread, what are the recommendations for a heavy snow environment? Especially regarding infantry?

 

I experimented a bit on a copy of the "Realism" theme with deep snow shown above, and achieved what I consider more-realistic behavior (at least of wheeled vehicles) by adjusting the traction and drag.

 

But I'm curious: Since the terrain type (grass, field, sand, rock, gravel, etc.) instead "is snow", do the variables apply to the "snow" or to the theoretical "ground" beneath it?

 

Particularly I'm wondering about the "sink-in" effect of bumpiness, since snow also effects line of sight and infantry can only fire from the prone position.

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It applies to the ground beneath it, but as far as vehicle mobility is concerned that point is, well, pointless - because at the end of the day the mobility parameters should be adjusted in a way to reflect deep snow conditions.

 

My recommendation would be to reduce the bumpiness values of deep snow covered terrain to near zero. That may not be entirely optimal for infantry seeking cover but then again they'll be out of sight most of the time because of the deep snow. Infantry "under the snow" should still be able to shoot.

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On 6/19/2018 at 12:22 AM, Splash said:

I experimented a bit on a copy of the "Realism" theme with deep snow shown above, and achieved what I consider more-realistic behavior (at least of wheeled vehicles) by adjusting the traction and drag.

 

Can you tell me what you adjusted it to?

 

Actual values / Numbers would help. :)

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