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DarkAngel

Fulda Gap revisited

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Oh, seems I have to quote a few posts ;)

My only concern is that if the map is too accurate we may well encounter usability problems with the current Infantry path finding as well as vehicle related issues (concrete dividers on highways, etc.)

The map works well with 20x20km for a normal scenario and standard settings on my desktop (2,5y old). Only when really "big" cities like FULDA (pop. 64000) or BAD HERSFELD (pop. 30000) are included you will feel an effect.

The main problem would be, as you already mentioned, a large ammount of vehicles.

On the other hand, I´m sorry Germany looks like this in reality :clin:

Let me get this straight though, you were able to merge two separate terrain files to combine portions that were created separately???

I worked with 2 layers, not with copy&paste or similar techniques as you perhaps would assume. Almost better then building this sector completely new.

In and around Fulda city: Soviet 79th GTA vs US 11th Cav and US 3rd Armor.

Also consider the German Panzergrenadierbrigade 5 "Kurhessen" in the northern sector near BAD HERSFELD.

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Fnerg.

Now all I need to do is all the frickin' research likly ORBATs (US & USSR) and the likely routes Glorious Soviet Liberators will take.

Any ideas on where to start?

Just quick pointer so we don't drag this thread too off topic.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3441322

try the google earth set there. It seems to be a fairly well researched set of markers. From there go to those FM soviet titles we were using in SVU.

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My only concern is that if the map is too accurate we may well encounter usability problems with the current Infantry path finding as well as vehicle related issues (concrete dividers on highways, etc.).
The map works well with 20x20km for a normal scenario and standard settings on my desktop (2,5y old). Only when really "big" cities like FULDA (pop. 64000) or BAD HERSFELD (pop. 30000) are included you will feel an effect.

The main problem would be, as you already mentioned, a large amount of vehicles.

On the other hand, I´m sorry Germany looks like this in reality :clin:

Sorry I wasn't meaning the impact on the computer of rendering all of this, LOS checks, etc.

What I meant was the issues with AI path finding in such complex environments. Ideally navmeshing etc. will address this to a point but then you'll have issues with the scenario file sizes becoming very large.

Yes I know Germany is "cluttered" and again I thank you for all the work that has been put in to recreate this sizable part of it. :)

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Sorry I wasn't meaning the impact on the computer of rendering all of this, LOS checks, etc.

What I meant was the issues with AI path finding in such complex environments. Ideally navmeshing etc. will address this to a point but then you'll have issues with the scenario file sizes becoming very large.

Yes I know Germany is "cluttered" and again I thank you for all the work that has been put in to recreate this sizable part of it. :)

lol, got you Mark :)

As you could see at the last LNOT, it can work properly - also with nearly a complete AI regiment. But you´re right, it took several weeks/months to "program" the AI to avoid possible major obstacles and to test its behaviour.

Eisenschwein´s original HUENFELD-map is even more detailed than my work, exspecially concerning the multiple vector lines (fences, walls etc.).

Besides the obstacle awareness of either mounted or dismounted vehicles/units in a most realistic urban environment, we figured out in some scenarios on this map that those vector objects can be a real PITA.

Therefore I decided to not include them in my map with this degree of detail.

In general you could expect combat ranges of 200-2000m in this area, which can´t be compared to the wide open areas in the northern German plains. But the huge ammount of possible tracks and roads also gives scripters the opportunity to avoid villages, use the wooded and hilly terrain at its best.

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lol, got you Mark :)

Besides the obstacle awareness of either mounted or dismounted vehicles/units in a most realistic urban environment, we figured out in some scenarios on this map that those vector objects can be a real PITA.

Therefore I decided to not include them in my map with this degree of detail.

Falli, would you mind elaborating? I don't know what vector objects are (I'm guessing mission editor feature), but if this has something to do with how I create my virtual world in the map-editor, I'd sure appreciate any pointers as to what to avoid doing.

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So, middle of the year and a small update on the editing process:

attachment.php?attachmentid=24505&d=1436626979http:

N-W of the map is completely done, I´m heading back east on the northern edge of the map to finish the Hessian part along the Highway A4 to the former FRG-GDR border and the Werra river. :cool3:

Hope to finish this area by year-end for a new version.

Here´s a small Google maps link: https://www.google.de/maps/@50.917011,9.8098533,12z/data=!3m1!1e3

Then it´s time to expand in the south again towards Bad Neustadt a.d. Saale (home of the 2nd Sqdr/11th ACR) and the Bavarian-Thuringian border.

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I appreciate your compliments, thank you. Let´s see if I can make some impressive screens from the area :)

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I thought you were going to take a break after tacking on Hunfeld, Falli, so this is a very pleasant surprise! That is a lot of meticulous work and I'm grateful for your efforts to say the least. I'm looking forward to Bad Hersfeld!

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Falli,

It is indeed a great work.

Can I ask why may seem a question in bad taste given the effort you have put in?

Is the map "practical" (in terms of SB limitations) as well as accurate?

I know in the First Clash campaign that 12Alfa ran there were issues in that the map looked great but played "not so well".

For example the concrete road centre barriers had to be breached by artillery / tank HE fire as the North-South road became an obstacle to East-West movement.

There were also examples where when moving North-South a vehicle of the PL would end up on the wrong side of the barrier and a gap had to be blown to get all the tanks on the same side.

Similarly Infantry would wander into walled front yards and take forever to get back out again?

I'm hoping its accurate, picturesque and practical. :)

If not, two out of three aint bad. ;)

I can always remove "bits" as required for any scenarios I make.

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Aloha Mark,

you won´t find a more accurate and detailed map atm. :cool3:

But what you mentioned with "practical" is indeed a difficulty. The more detailed the terrain gets, the more AI wants to go insane.

For example Eisenschwein´s Hünfeld map was quite a lot more detailed than my integrated version of that area. Lots of fences, barrages... everything that is there in reality, looks amazing and makes virtual environments looking more "real".

But... we found out in several scenarios based on that map, that the AI won´t handle it. Respectively, scripting the AI around those "obstacles" is just a pita.

So I decided to leave some details out and reduce e.g. vector lines, update the old areas of my map and use less details --> more benefit.

Nevertheless, the terrain is full of details and small scenes and simulates a typical German secondary mointain landscape.

Best examples (which I always try to mention) are the villages/towns/yards... those communities don´t consist of 3 to 10 houses. It would be just ridiculous to simulate it this way just in order to be "practical".

On the other side you get a feeling what it´s like to drive through small German villages and terrain without 3-6km effective sight/combat range (compared to the Northern German Plain) :clin:

You mentioned some barriers causing problems in a scenario... could you please provide some screens from the map and ingame to proove this sector?

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You mentioned some barriers causing problems in a scenario... could you please provide some screens from the map and ingame to proove this sector?

Falli,

Firstly these aren't from your map (all are from the "Ratta_DA_Edit.ter" map used in 12Alpha's First Clash campaign) but are examples of what I'm talking about:

1. Walled suburban yards (GR 4112 0725):

19663067291_b811f32164_o.png

These certainly look "nice" but infantry once inside take forever the get back out again and even when "out" leave one or two behind "inside".

The easiest solution I've come up with (not necessarily tactically sound) is to drive their APC into the compound (knocking the wall down with the vehicle's weight or HE), load up the Infantry, then drive to their next position and drop them off.

As I say not ideal if you are trying to infiltrate the town on foot. :)

2. Divided roads (GR 4436 1222)

a. Looking NE:

19663076241_ea2a27db66_o.png

b. Looking SW:

19632434496_137a6d38c0_o.png

The central barrier extends for kms in either direction with only small gaps.

In one mission we had to advance from West to East (left to right) and to cross the road we had to fire HE missions onto the centre part of the road to breakup these "Jersey Barriers".

The alternative was to fire main armament HE.

I suspect the AI wouldn't do that and it would become an almost impenetrable barrier.

In another mission moving along the road, one tank in a player's platoon went through this gap and continued down the road but on the wrong side of the barrier (IIRC, it was doing its collision avoidance "dance" and went through the gap).

When the platoon turned off the road, the individual couldn't follow. The owner had to back track the vehicle to the single gap and then come back down the road on the "right" side.

As I say I don't know if your map has these "features" but I think they need to be considered when doing the accuracy Vs practicality/playability trade off. :)

Edited by Gibsonm

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Ah, I see. Then I misunderstood you, thought that the Fulda Gap map was used.

But I can calm you, it´s not that hard on my map. I tried to avoid such problems but surely I also used such vector lines - just not in the shown extend.

I try to use some typical patterns, walk-arounds or utilities to simulate the terrain and its appearance.

For example there are only 3 real natural water obstacles in this area, 3 major rivers (Fulda, Haune, Werra). Everything else are only water-"road" lines, because those little brooks and creeks are only 0.5 to 3m wide.

Here are a few samples and also imaginations from the beautiful landscape :bigsmile:

Vector lines are mostly used in bigger urban areas, railway stations, graveyards or industrial complexes.

attachment.php?attachmentid=24517&d=1436787217

attachment.php?attachmentid=24516&d=1436787216

attachment.php?attachmentid=24521&d=1436787219

Highways don´t have much limitations (except guard railings or perhaps noise protection walls)

attachment.php?attachmentid=24508&d=1436787211

attachment.php?attachmentid=24507&d=1436787210

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And now some "normal" screens...

attachment.php?attachmentid=24515&d=1436787215

ROTENBURG a.d. Fulda, in front "Alheimer Kaserne" (home of the former PzGrenBtl52)

attachment.php?attachmentid=24511&d=1436787213

Landscape south of BAD HERSFELD

attachment.php?attachmentid=24510&d=1436787212

View along the Fulda valley over REILOS/MECKLAR

attachment.php?attachmentid=24514&d=1436787215

Landscape west of BAD HERSFELD

attachment.php?attachmentid=24519&d=1436787218

The village SCHNEIDEMÜHLE

attachment.php?attachmentid=24520&d=1436787219

WEITERRODE, east of BEBRA along the Ulfe valley

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Looks fantastic! I continue to be in awe of those who put so much effort into creating maps and the scenarios to run on them. The discussion about reality v. practicality and the work-arounds that can produce a good compromis is also fascinating. Many thanks to all contributors. :luxhello:

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Ah jeeze. Round the clock feeding/diaper-changing of my children over the last four years has definitely taken its toll on my memory. Sorry for being repetitive.

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