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Window, TC, Tool, and other UI tips?

 
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All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [Modern] >> Harpoon 3 - Advanced Naval Warfare >> Window, TC, Tool, and other UI tips? Page: [1]
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Window, TC, Tool, and other UI tips? - 9/29/2007 10:50:00 AM   
MarkShot


Posts: 6611
Joined: 3/29/2003
Status: offline
I was wondering if we could start a thread of UI style tips?

I am just getting started with the game, but it seems that there are lots of possibilities for efficient play.

What preferences do you set? Why and when?

What windows do you create? Why and when?

How do you make best use of the Formation Editor and Mission Creation/Editor?

What is the best use of staff options?

Do you make heavy use of missions/formations and the AI or do you everything through plotting and individual units?

What are good techniques for using the sensor settings?

What difficulty levels give the best play? (I recently found out that AUTO LINK is preferred for sub heavy play.)

Do you use the AAlog? How much detail do you put into it?

What is the best way to review the battle: VCR, TimedSnapShots, or manual screen grabs?

---

I am only beginning to get used to all the things which you can do. On one hand as has been said the UI is very archaic (compared to standard Windows interfaces). On the hand, the UI does offer lots of ways to do things both through simple windowing and settings to more powerful intelligent features.

Thanks for sharing!

_____________________________

Panther Games (RDOA/HTTR/COTA/BFTB) Beta Tester
Post #: 1
RE: Window, TC, Tool, and other UI tips? - 10/1/2007 5:25:46 PM   
BurntFingers

 

Posts: 156
Joined: 6/28/2004
Status: offline
Short answer - it depends on whether I'm playing a human or not.

If I am, I'll do pretty much everything by hand. Even launch individial aircraft (because you can't split air units up).

Against the PC I'll use the Mission Editor and usually allow Formation Air Patrols (let the PC handle the CAP because it won't do anything sneaky).

Most of the features you mention are there to aid the beginner/intermediate player.

You can do pretty much all of them manually.

Anyway, that's my 0.02 worth. It's a very individual question with no "correct" answers.

_____________________________

I don't work here. I just collect the glasses to get a beer quicker.

(in reply to MarkShot)
Post #: 2
RE: Window, TC, Tool, and other UI tips? - 10/1/2007 8:11:39 PM   
FreekS


Posts: 436
Joined: 5/12/2006
Status: offline
I often set the option to warn me of new contacts (in scens with not too many)

I usually create two windows next to the game and unit window; oftentimes with different pref-settings (one may be sensor range rings, the other weapon range rings. They are both zoomable windows, I leave the main window minimized.

I never use the mission editor - ever - in the game engine. I know how much time I spend calculating TOT to optimise the missions in the Scenario Editor and I know I cannot do that in the GE. So all is Plotted.

I use the formation editor for formation patrols - in almost all scens you need to enlarge the formation patrol boxes to avoid the formation to slow down too much. I always set the HVU on ASuW patrol so they don't rearrange when the formation changes course. The only planes I ever set in formation editor are ASW helo's.

Only play auto-datalink (thats pretty much recommended)

I grab manual screens sometimes for AARs and have autosave and AAR log on.

O yes - I always read the orders very carefully, just in case the designer was someone like myself!

Freek

< Message edited by FreekS -- 10/1/2007 8:15:07 PM >

(in reply to BurntFingers)
Post #: 3
RE: Window, TC, Tool, and other UI tips? - 10/2/2007 12:43:44 AM   
MarkShot


Posts: 6611
Joined: 3/29/2003
Status: offline
I didn't know that AUTO DATA LINK was the generally accepted standard for play. I thought that was just for sub only missions? So, is that what most people use?

Also, is there anyway to make the game autosave with v3.6.3? I would like to be able to do that and especially combined with a utility I would provide to rename the files such that I would get a set of timestamped save games files of the game session.

For myself at this point, I find that I often have three windows defined:

(1) Tactical action window (usually one of the defaults defined by the scenario designer).

(2) Formation editor window. I use this for the most part to quickly do fixed spacing of my ships by using the the ASW dimension. Also, it is good for quickly dettaching ships from the formation.

(3) A tracking window on my main ship or group. I do this so that I can quickly get focus my unit or group. From there, I can use the the F1 key in another window to set up a missile strike without worrying about zooming in/out and scrolling.

(4) I bind F12 and NUM ENTER to my mouse buttons so that I can rapidly pause the game or reset to 1:1.

(5) I am only using the nav staff option.

(6) I have pop-ups for everything, but contact changes. However, sometimes for some scenarios, I think this causes to many interruptions.

(7) I mainly use the AA log with all the detailed options turned on along with timed snapshots at 60 seconds. I have combined the timed snapshot feature with a file viewer application that I have (Power Desk). This works so nicely for reviewing the battle that I find it even more powerful than ANW's VCR feature. My file viewer approach gives me much better random access to the action. Also, the VCR appears to only capture action in the main window. It does not record information seen in the message window unlike time snapshots which capture whatever you the player is doing. Of course, one thing very nice about the VCR is ability to lift the FOW.

(8) I use the water marks for rough depth and distance estimations. However, if I need something more accurate, then I go with the F5 toggle.

(9) I tend to drop contacts which are sinking to keep the map from getting cluttered. I like in H3 how contacts which are lost and reacquired are treated as new. This is compared to Sub Command/Dangerous Waters where the engine magically maintains the continuity of contacts for you. I wish H3 had SC/DW's DDI roll over capability to reduce map clutter of having so many data blocks displayed.

(10) I tend to prefer weapons tight and controlling my own weapons. This allows me to decided whether I need to overwhelm the enemy defense's with lots of missiles or if I need to carefully husband my precious cache of long range missiles.

---

I put the above down to try to encourage the conversation to continue. Please excuse my ignorance and presumption, since I am just a simple noob.

Thanks.

_____________________________

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(in reply to FreekS)
Post #: 4
RE: Window, TC, Tool, and other UI tips? - 10/2/2007 11:30:33 PM   
Jan Masterson


Posts: 905
Joined: 3/8/2006
From: Belgium
Status: offline
Hello Markshot,

interesting thread that you started here, it seems so natural to many of us that it's often overlooked.


quote:


What preferences do you set? Why and when?


i usually don't display the Borders and the Ice datas, but like you i like to use the Water Depth or the Land Elevation to have a rough visual range aid, i also like to have the Lat/Long lines displayed with 1° interval.

i tend to not display the weather datas but i like to have all the nav zones displayed.

If units are well spaced i display All Datablocks and All Paths but i don't display the datalinks, the sonobuoys only when i manually plot an ASW search plan and, off course, i display the Ref Points.


quote:


What windows do you create? Why and when?


i usually keep only one window and zoom on hot points when needed. That habit is certainly due to the MP gaming where the resources used by a second window slow down the game.

quote:


How do you make best use of the Formation Editor and Mission Creation/Editor?


i tend to use the Formation Editor and the Mission Creator only when there is too much unit to manage them manually, certainly when i have to remain hidden and respect a restricted EMCOM.

quote:


Do you make heavy use of missions/formations and the AI or do you everything through plotting and individual units?


By the way, when i use them it's mostly for the ASW and CAP tasks, i tend to do manage all strikes mission by myself to perform coordinated strikes.

quote:


What is the best use of staff options?


simply because i like to manage everything by myself, i tend to not use any staff assistance. If i had to choose, i would use the Navigation and Weapon Allocation assistance to keep my platforms under control.

quote:


What are good techniques for using the sensor settings?

the EMCOM policy is very variable and is really specific to the given tactical situation so i tend to manage it all by myself.

quote:


What difficulty levels give the best play? (I recently found out that AUTO LINK is preferred for sub heavy play.)


i tend to play on Hard settings versus the AI and Hard setting with Auto Datalink on versus humans or when it's a sub only scen.

quote:


Do you use the AAlog? How much detail do you put into it?


i set all verbose options available and tunr the AA log on, it detail all the combat details, it's interesting to see what really happened when something happened too fast to let you understand during the game.


quote:


What is the best way to review the battle: VCR, TimedSnapShots, or manual screen grabs?



i prefer the VCR because of the Playback Controls and the ability to check the Unit Status.



hope it helps,

Jan

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