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jwilly last won the day on May 19

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About jwilly

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  1. A question I've had for 17 years: Was the "stuff around it was built up" terrain work referenced above, originally an experiment to see if the additional mount of Producer work involved and the CPU/GPU cycle cost of the more complex 3D location math would be a tolerable cost for having all the tiles say 10 meters higher relative to zero height, so that trenches, foxholes and craters would be possible?
  2. This game has a mostly volunteer staff, and you characterize their hard work as "doing nothing"...? Or maybe what you mean is that anyone else's diagnosis other than yours must be wrong, and therefore whatever they are doing to fix the problems they've diagnosed is also wrong, i.e. nothing? CRS has always had players that are negative about everything CRS does. CRS has always provided a soapbox, i.e. these forums, for those players to be negative from. Does CRS gain something from the negativity to offset the adverse impact? Endless, excessive, non-useful negativity, including prescriptions for how to fix the game that cannot be implemented, offered by persons that have been informed of why their ideas aren't practical/original/timely but persist regardless...used to be moderated.
  3. Also, in case it matters to research, I think Breda may have converted a few German SdKfz 7 to right hand drive as prototypes and Army test vehicles before beginning their own production of ~250 vehicles. The most obvious difference is the front fenders and track mud covers. Breda saved some money by bending theirs and welding the joints, rather than duplicating the expensive tools to make the rounded ones. The Breda version also has one row of engine louvers; the headlights are mounted differently, and the front bumper and upper radiator frame are different; the cloth top is somewhat different; and the second row of seats faces rearward resulting in two access openings per side instead of three. This is a German made vehicle, even though right hand drive: And this is a Breda 61:
  4. Like most other nations, Italy often put pintles on personnel-carrying vehicles so that if the troops had an LMG, it could be temporarily mounted for AA use or defense against a ground ambush. If other nations' gun tractors have mounted LMGs, it might be desirable to omit the convertible top from the Breda so that an LMG pintle would be usable.
  5. There have been hints that a set of infantry guns will be introduced sometime Soon. If that occurs, and the Italians get theirs, they'll need a gun tractor. That should be the Breda 61, a license-built copy of the already-modeled German Sd Kfz 7, but with Italian insignia and paint.
  6. Doc said at one point that the single bushes in otherwise open areas were algorithmically placed, based on a seed. (An algorithm starting-number, not a bush-vegetation seed.) I don't recall if he said whether the seed was per tile or for the whole world. He however did spend a lot of time fixing bushes that the algorithm put in buildings or the middle of roads.
  7. Yes, and all of that is important. But revenue results are the bottom line for the company's continued existence. If no-skills-yet noobs are too befuddled by the game's visual realism and never get a kill before being killed, too many of them leave...and don't get to the vet-experience of enhanced "level of fun and excitement" that you want...so CRS loses. It's the vertical learning curve again. The negative side of so many elements of realism. I say that as a proponent of maximum realism since the beginning. Layer this on top of the development cost to revise all the game-graphics for the visual look and functionality we're discussing, and it gets even tougher for CRS. To make the game "better", they have to make a huge-for-them investment, knowing that it'll decrease their ability to get new subscribers. Consider that there are other things on which they can spend those development resources, about which they have data showing a likely increased subscriber draw. I think probably that's a reason why the game world remains pretty much visually simplified.
  8. A number of years ago, in a discussion of how counter-intuitive game building and marketing is, the Rats told us that game changes to improve camouflage and the "hide-ability" of infantry and other game elements, resulted in their testing in fewer overall kills, and particularly in fewer kills by noobs and less retention of noob subscribers. The reason is that shooter games like this one have to be designed so that players have something to shoot at. Most players think of "better camouflage" only from their own perspective: they'll be harder to see, therefore they'll live longer, therefore they'll have more-fun missions. The design problem is that your targets are better camouflaged too, so you're less likely to spot them and kill them. Better camouflage tilts the game in favor of defenders, because camouflage only works if you're stationary. More effective defense means fewer successful attacks, and slower game action. In order to justify adding better camouflage, it'd be necessary to add factors that favor attackers. There are candidates for that: more and longer-lasting smoke and battlefield haze, taller vegetation, more artillery and mortars. But, all of these have other complications. None could be simply introduced.
  9. A detail: dual use of the FlaK 18 family was well known to the Germans from experience in Spain. Also, in fact the 88s were mostly useless at Arras, due to their Luftwaffe crews having set up on open ground and being scared of British machine gun fire from the advancing tanks. Rommel *wanted* them to man their guns, but he was mostly ineffective at that. Per the German battle diary, the actual AT gamesaver was an artillery junior lieutenant who on his own initiative moved his battery of 105s to the edge of town, which happened to be the British flank, and had his gunners load AP.
  10. The challenge with making French ports--used by the French to import war goods, or allocated to the British to support the BEF, or later allocated to US forces--attackable by the Germans is that those parts were predominantly far to the west, or even on the Bay of Biscay or Mediterranean coasts. All such ports were a very long way out of range of the longest-range German aircraft. German naval interdiction attempts against such French ports were almost entirely ineffective due to the fact that the French and their allies had vastly more military power in those areas than any German interdiction units that could get there. This map shows the ports used by the British, and what was moved through them. The Channel ports were only used until early 1939 for railcar ferries. Dover-Boulogne service continued into 1940 only for transport of German POWs to England. The Germans of course were informed and did not attack those ships. Nothing else was moved through the Channel ports, for the simple reason that the Germans could attack them and the British were not stupid. Hospital ships used Dieppe. They also were not attacked. Some ammo came into Fecamp, though most was moved through ports to the west. The closest port to the front with significant military-force relevance was Le Havre. And, most heavy movements by the British were through Cherbourg, St. Malo, Brest and St. Nazaire. The upshot of this is, French supply interdiction by the Germans at the ports just wasn't a possibility. Interdiction at railhead-supply-bases OTOH was possible. The French town of Arras figures prominently in 1940 history. The reason why there were British HQ units there to be initially routed by Rommel's 7th Light Division, and the British and French thought it so important to re-capture the town, is that Arras was the British forward railhead and the primary supply dump for all BEF activity on the Continent.
  11. Excellent idea, but to have basic realism the rail service between two major stations would have to required that all the intervening cities/towns be entirely in friendly hands and all the intervening railway bridges be intact. There have been various discussions over the years about other ideas for making movement or supply dependent on the status of map elements. The CRS response has always been that changes would be required to the Strat Database, in which the status of such game elements is managed. Maybe the time for such changes is now...?
  12. Any crewman dead, or even no one dead but a full penetration of the fighting compartment, should result in the rest of the crew immediately bailing out. No army, ever, had tankers that would voluntarily stay in a tank that had just taken a fatal hit. Every WWII tanker in every army always assumed that (1) the penetration they just got had started a fire, and they had a few seconds to get out before the propellant caught and they were burned to death; (2) someone had them targeted and correctly aimed with a weapon that could penetrate them, and the next round would be coming in a few seconds and would go through the ammo storage, starting a propellant fire and burning them to death. Tankers were very focused on not dying in a burning steel box. It was universally held that you were better off taking your chances against rifle and machine gun fire outside, than inside a burning tank.
  13. I don't know this authoritatively, but the trademark conflict probably was with Hasbro's Avalon Hill subsidiary, which introduced a Blitzkrieg board game in 1965. If CRS had done a minimal IP search on that name for a wargame, they could have avoided the issue, because it was pretty obvious. One doesn't have to like IP law or think it should work as it does, to still recognize that it's good business management to not get into avoidable lawyering situations.
  14. Reading the history, it seems to me that his "one trick to win" was to surprise the unimaginative British generals he faced after the capture of Richard O'Conner. Rommel lost when he didn't have the resources to do something unexpected, or the British positions had no flanks and were sufficiently fortified and manned that there was nothing available to Rommel that the British weren't prepared for. In 1941, he had the considerable advantage of equipment that was technically superior against British mobile tactics then in use. But he was totally dependent on his logistics staff, who did miracles moving gas and ammo to his front line units and got no public credit. Anyway, my point was that, unlike most of the other Germans-vs-Allies campaigns historically available to us, a pretty well balanced game could be crafted out of 1941 Libya without giving one side or the other a significant advantage or disadvantage they didn't historically have, or introducing a false time-scale. Sure, if your point about Rommel's mediocre-ness is accepted and the British aren't saddled with bad generaling, the Germans would have an inherent disadvantage. I think though that such an inherent imbalance would be smaller than just about any other campaign CRS could choose to model...including France 1940.
  15. 2. T0 begins in May 1940. The history you mention was through June 22, i.e. 43 days, as the Allies were rapidly pushed back. If instead the Allied hold the line, or even push forward, that's a change to history. Similarly, the British fear that shortly they'd have to defend Britain and therefore should not allocate more first line fighters to the Continent would be subject to historical change during the 192 days of 1940 after the historical Armistice, and maybe starting as soon as it's apparent that Germany isn't going to achieve victory in the first 18% of T0, or at all in T0. 3. This is incorrect history. Both sides had leg infantry divisions. Both sides had mostly motorized divisions. The most motorized army was the British, not the Germans. The army with the most horse drawn artillery and supply in its motorized divisions was the Germans, not the French. The two fastest advances near combat of significant forces in 1940 were German 7th Light from the Meuse toward the Channel and French 1st Light Mechanized into Holland. The French had almost the same number of highly mechanized units as the Germans, and the British Army was entirely mechanized. 4. Agreed. Also true for Panzer II. When this is implemented, each army should be re-scaled so that it has the right proportions of light, medium and heavy tanks in front-line units. For German light divisions, this was ~ 50% lights, 50% light-mediums and mediums. 5. Obviously it's impossible to implement any restriction on use of internet or external communications among game players. Aside from that, German radio density varied among unit types, as it did for the French, so for both armies any such restriction should apply more for infantry formations than for armored ones.