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why some islands are and some not

 
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why some islands are and some not - 10/9/2010 12:17:45 AM   
David The Great

 

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I have been cruising around the pacific ( with Google Earth ) and was wondering why certain islands have such limited values in the port and airfield values. Tahiti has 3 for its airfield while it seems to be able to house several large airfields if needed. Is this because of gameplay or is it based on geography ?


< Message edited by David The Great -- 10/9/2010 12:19:12 AM >
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RE: why some islands are and some not - 10/9/2010 1:21:28 AM   
rtrapasso


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quote:

ORIGINAL: David The Great

I have been cruising around the pacific ( with Google Earth ) and was wondering why certain islands have such limited values in the port and airfield values. Tahiti has 3 for its airfield while it seems to be able to house several large airfields if needed. Is this because of gameplay or is it based on geography ?


At least in the original WITP, it seems to be based on history... what is possible is based on what historically was accomplished.

There are places on the map that could easily be 9+ airfield (based on available terrain) that in the game are relatively small*... even some airfields in the game are probably under-represented in the game.

*Kona comes to mind from personal observation: there are dozens of miles of lava flats that could be made into airfields had the need arisen. The fact that the need never arose meant they didn't get made, and so are relatively small in the game. The US had the ability to make large airfields out of shallow water (by dredging) - witness Bermuda. The (quite large) airfield now present used to be mainly underwater with only the edges of the airfield originally being a small island.

(in reply to David The Great)
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RE: why some islands are and some not - 10/9/2010 2:14:32 AM   
topeverest

 

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David,

Of course, you can mod the port and airfield SPS and starting value to suit your needs. Keep in mind that a level 2 airbase can fly all types of planes. you just want to add air HQ's / stuff to expand the number of planes and squadrons you can fly. That goes for larger base sizes too. A SPS 1 airfield at level 4 with air HQ and certain other things can be effectively as awesome as that vaunted level 9 superbase...you just have to plan and assemble your assets to make it so. Its quite a trick once you learn how to do it.

Lower base SPS also can be a way to slow down the war, making buildups take longer, and forcing the owner to think about ways to expand the limited capabiltiies of the 'standard base'

please read the air HQ and Bases part of the manual for more information.

I am not aware if it is possible to change the island size...at least I dont know how to do it.

_____________________________

Andy M

(in reply to rtrapasso)
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RE: why some islands are and some not - 10/9/2010 2:30:27 AM   
TOMLABEL


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rtrapasso


[At least in the original WITP, it seems to be based on history... what is possible is based on what historically was accomplished.



Your answers are why I am glad you are still active in answering these types of off-the-radar questions! Please don't excuse yourself again!!!!!

_____________________________


Art by the ROUGE-USMC

WITP Admiral's Edition - Ship Art/Base Unit Art/Map Icon Art

"If destruction be our lot - it will come from within"...Abraham Lincoln

(in reply to rtrapasso)
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RE: why some islands are and some not - 10/9/2010 2:54:47 AM   
Torplexed


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Johnston Atoll is a beautiful, if freakish example of how an island and it's airfield can be built up if time is no object. It increased almost tenfold in area over the decades. However, the game only runs about four and a half years at most.


(in reply to TOMLABEL)
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RE: why some islands are and some not - 10/9/2010 3:31:07 AM   
Andrew Brown


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quote:

ORIGINAL: David The Great

I have been cruising around the pacific ( with Google Earth ) and was wondering why certain islands have such limited values in the port and airfield values. Tahiti has 3 for its airfield while it seems to be able to house several large airfields if needed. Is this because of gameplay or is it based on geography ?



For AE, the airfield SPS values were based on terrain, rather than what was accomplished at any particular location in Real Life. It is based on terrain type, the presence of roads/railways, and for islands, the island size. It is all calculated from the map data (objectively) rather than having any subjective judgement included.

Andrew

(in reply to David The Great)
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RE: why some islands are and some not - 10/9/2010 4:38:03 AM   
rtrapasso


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Torplexed

Johnston Atoll is a beautiful, if freakish example of how an island and it's airfield can be built up if time is no object. It increased almost tenfold in area over the decades. However, the game only runs about four and a half years at most.



Interesting... but there was no "burning need" to build up the island during the war... if there had been (as in the case of Bermuda), the buildup might have gone a lot quicker...

EDIT: Notice the massive increase in area in just 2 years from 1962-1964 to see how quickly things can go if need be.

The post-war buildup of the island was presumably for use as a missile test station (among other things).

(in reply to Torplexed)
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RE: why some islands are and some not - 10/9/2010 4:45:59 AM   
rtrapasso


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Andrew Brown


quote:

ORIGINAL: David The Great

I have been cruising around the pacific ( with Google Earth ) and was wondering why certain islands have such limited values in the port and airfield values. Tahiti has 3 for its airfield while it seems to be able to house several large airfields if needed. Is this because of gameplay or is it based on geography ?



For AE, the airfield SPS values were based on terrain, rather than what was accomplished at any particular location in Real Life. It is based on terrain type, the presence of roads/railways, and for islands, the island size. It is all calculated from the map data (objectively) rather than having any subjective judgement included.

Andrew

OK - explain Kona then: dozens of miles of lava flats that could be relatively quickly converted to airfield... shoot, they could have a 25000 foot runway there now if they had the need, and expand over thousands of barren acres for a base. In 1941 - 1945, there was pretty much nothing to prevent an expansion (now there are some resorts and a state park and light industry nearby). The town of Kailua-Kona is ~10 miles or so from the airport.

Similarly, there is currently an Army airfield up on Mauna Kea in the middle of several thousand acres that could be vastly expanded - if there was ever a need (there wasn't afaik).

(in reply to Andrew Brown)
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RE: why some islands are and some not - 10/9/2010 9:55:00 PM   
JeffK


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Some of the problem comparing NOW to 70 Years Ago could be in the technology & machinery available.

French Frigate Shoals also got a major reclamation job to turn it into an unsinkable CV.


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(in reply to rtrapasso)
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RE: why some islands are and some not - 10/9/2010 11:59:50 PM   
Andrew Brown


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rtrapasso
OK - explain Kona then: dozens of miles of lava flats that could be relatively quickly converted to airfield... shoot, they could have a 25000 foot runway there now if they had the need, and expand over thousands of barren acres for a base. In 1941 - 1945, there was pretty much nothing to prevent an expansion (now there are some resorts and a state park and light industry nearby). The town of Kailua-Kona is ~10 miles or so from the airport.

Similarly, there is currently an Army airfield up on Mauna Kea in the middle of several thousand acres that could be vastly expanded - if there was ever a need (there wasn't afaik).


Looking at Kona specifically, the factors used in calculating the airfield SPS were (from my SPS script):

Hex 182,111 contains US Navy base Kona
Terrain type: Jungle + rough (17): -2
Island size: Huge/Not an island (0): 5
Best road type: Primary Road (3)
Best railway type: No railway (0)
SPS value according to terrain: 3
Transport modifier: +2
* Proposed new airfield SPS value: 5

So, the base value is 5, which is increased by 2 due to the presence of a primary road, then decreased by 2 due to the terrain type being jungle+rough, giving a final value of 5.

There are a few considerations here:

- Terrain values are averages over the whole hex. In this case I chose to represent the Kona hex as jungle+rough. That terrain type imposes a penalty on SPS values to represent difficulty of construction.

- SPS values do not only represent the maximum size of airfields in a hex, then also represent another thing: how hard it is to construct airfields in a location due to terrain and the availability of overland transport (for moving workers, equipment and material around). As there is one value (SPS) representing two different things, the final value chosen is inevitably a compromise which has to take both factors into consideration.

- These are automatically calculated values that do not take into consideration particular circumstances of each
individual location (I was not going to spend the time to individually assess every base hex in the game).

Fortunately the editor allows others to change SPS values as they see fit, which is perfectly OK with me.

Andrew

(in reply to rtrapasso)
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RE: why some islands are and some not - 10/10/2010 12:43:49 AM   
Pascal


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Andrew does have a copy of "The World War II Pacific Island Guide" by Rottman. That's probably the best source on what was done and the problems encountered in base development. It has been the source of a number of base data modifications as compared to the original WitP database and the CHS database.

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So much WitP and so little time to play.... :-(


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RE: why some islands are and some not - 10/11/2010 4:16:04 AM   
rtrapasso


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Joined: 9/3/2002
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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

Some of the problem comparing NOW to 70 Years Ago could be in the technology & machinery available.

French Frigate Shoals also got a major reclamation job to turn it into an unsinkable CV.


As i have mentioned, the Bermuda airbase was created during WW2 using pretty much the same methods that apparently Johnston Island was later expanded by: i.e. - dredging up the seabottom from shallows and piling it up until it was above water... this could take months, but it was do-able within the time frame of the war (and was done when the need came about).


(in reply to JeffK)
Post #: 12
RE: why some islands are and some not - 10/11/2010 4:59:28 AM   
rtrapasso


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Joined: 9/3/2002
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Andrew Brown


quote:

ORIGINAL: rtrapasso
OK - explain Kona then: dozens of miles of lava flats that could be relatively quickly converted to airfield... shoot, they could have a 25000 foot runway there now if they had the need, and expand over thousands of barren acres for a base. In 1941 - 1945, there was pretty much nothing to prevent an expansion (now there are some resorts and a state park and light industry nearby). The town of Kailua-Kona is ~10 miles or so from the airport.

Similarly, there is currently an Army airfield up on Mauna Kea in the middle of several thousand acres that could be vastly expanded - if there was ever a need (there wasn't afaik).


Looking at Kona specifically, the factors used in calculating the airfield SPS were (from my SPS script):

Hex 182,111 contains US Navy base Kona
Terrain type: Jungle + rough (17): -2
Island size: Huge/Not an island (0): 5
Best road type: Primary Road (3)
Best railway type: No railway (0)
SPS value according to terrain: 3
Transport modifier: +2
* Proposed new airfield SPS value: 5

So, the base value is 5, which is increased by 2 due to the presence of a primary road, then decreased by 2 due to the terrain type being jungle+rough, giving a final value of 5.

There are a few considerations here:

- Terrain values are averages over the whole hex. In this case I chose to represent the Kona hex as jungle+rough. That terrain type imposes a penalty on SPS values to represent difficulty of construction.

- SPS values do not only represent the maximum size of airfields in a hex, then also represent another thing: how hard it is to construct airfields in a location due to terrain and the availability of overland transport (for moving workers, equipment and material around). As there is one value (SPS) representing two different things, the final value chosen is inevitably a compromise which has to take both factors into consideration.

- These are automatically calculated values that do not take into consideration particular circumstances of each
individual location (I was not going to spend the time to individually assess every base hex in the game).

Fortunately the editor allows others to change SPS values as they see fit, which is perfectly OK with me.

Andrew


Kona is/was within a several miles of 3 ports (Kailua-Kona, Hilo, and Kawaihae)... the Saddle Road (from Hilo to Kona) was put in (quickly, and according to some, laid out by drunken surveyors ) during the war, but there is/was another road running around the island, allowing transport by truck in a few hours (not days), so no RR was needed... no jungle near Kona (although i suppose the other (wet) side of the island MIGHT be called jungle, depending on one's definition). Kona is considered desert, iirc, average rain something like 10"/year.

The terrain around the airport is flat, and could be called rough, i suppose, although the lava is/was easily crushed to cinders running something with either big heavy tires or better a track over it. From what i know about WW2 technology, i am guessing they could have set up a sizable airfield (i.e. 2500+ foot runway) in a few weeks even early in the war. As i've mentioned, the COULD have made the airfield much, much larger had it been desired... (i.e. - if it had been needed. As it turns out, it was not needed, and therefore not developed). But, if history had not gone as it did (and it generally does not in the game), the player MIGHT need to develop some weird spots into bases that never were built up in the course of the war. For instance, had the US lost Hilo to the Japanese, but still held the west side of the Big Island, Kona probably would have had a huge airbase.

i doubt they bothered to do so: not much to primarily defend on that side of the island except a few rather small beaches, and the bays/ports. Most of the old defenses (fortifications) i've found on the Big Island tend to be at South Point, the southern most tip of the island where there are large beaches... several old bunkers still found out there. Apparently they considered that the prime area for landing sites. BTW, Maui seems to have had a lot more in the way of bunkers and beach defenses than the Big Island.

As i have mentioned, there is an Army airfield inland on the slopes of Mauna Kea, far enough inland (and high enough in elevation) to have made it very difficult for any naval gunfire to disrupt. This is also just off the Saddle Road, and would have been more difficult to build than Kona, i think (more isolated, though within an hour or so of Hilo by truck, and it pretty good elevation). If a hexes are arranged by terrain, this should probably been in the Kona hex (desert, as opposed to Hilo which is WET).

i have looked into a few other instances of some airfields in the game that seemed off: Norfolk Island comes to mind. It had a 5000' airfield that was a major trans-shipment center in flights to Oz during the war (from what me readings told me), but is quite small in the game (iirc).

(in reply to Andrew Brown)
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