el cid again
It appears that the game was designed with three levels of roads - these being
called major, minor and trail in pwhexe.dat files - but the latter is only rarely used
in AE (while it was widely used in WITP). The position that "there are trails almost
everywhere" between land hexes is not really related to this - there are not CODED
trails in fact. Rather without the coding of a trail in pwhex the movement between
hexes assumes a trail exists - and that is DIFFERENT from the case where a trail
Further, what a trail is really differs from place to place. In Northern Austrailia
the term "track" is used for what is called a "jeep road" in the Northern USA -
a path wide enough for one vehicle with a firm foundation - but no engineered
foundation at most or all points. This is vastly different from a "cow path" or
"deer trail" or the kinds of footpaths one finds in New Guinea and almost every other
place. A footpath trail is not the same as a jeep trail. A footpath need not have
a foundation good enough to drive on (it might be sand for example) - but a jeep
trail needs to be passable for a tiny number of vehicles - so it must lay over
a route where such a natural foundation exists. Nor can it be obstructed by
jungle so dense you must cut through - even if it is in such a jungle - it must be
cut through or it isn't a jeep trail.
Given we have three differenet codable kinds of roads - and the assumption of trails
everywhere when there is no code - I adopted the following definitions for pwhexe.dat
coding. Since I just prodused a series of 21 pwhexe.dat files - a basic one and 20
seasonal ones - that was necessary.
Primary Road: two lane, paved, road. Modeled on a US highway. From markings on those
built in the Phillippines that still exist (reading the cement carved 10 t) I gather these are
built for ten ton vehicles. In an era of 2.5 ton standard military trucks, that makes sense. With
care - one at a time - heavier vehicles may slowly cross such bridges.
Seconadary Road: One or two lane, unpaved, but proper military foundation roads. Where
bridges or culverts exist, these must be at least 5 ton capacity (in the engineering sense - it is
possible to cross one with a 10 ton truck - one at a time). These roads would be built using
gravel in most places - but sometimes use other materials (eg. crushed coral on an island).
They take much more time to build than just cutting through where a natural foundation exists.
They also involve formal bridging. In Monsoon areas, the Japanese and others might pave the
surface with logs - but it is still not a high speed paved road.
Tirtiary Road: One lane, unpaved, and generally not involving any engineered foundation. There
may be bridges or fords - provided the crossing is actually fordable. There are no cuttings of
hills at all - the roads follow the natural routes that exist - and do not go where there is none.
If a bridge exists, it is probably limited to about 3/4 ton capacity - and is barely usable by a
2.5 ton truck with great care. These roads will not handle large amounts of traffic without losing
their foundations - and in monsoon areas - they simply disappear during the monsoon season.
The assumption there are trails everywhere means one can still get through - but not with
any sort of road bonus. Ideally - even the normal movement rate cross country would be
reduced during the monsoon season in onsoon areas - but that would require code changes
I also used trails (and occasionally minor roads) to represent ferries. This is also done by stock - but
only very rarely. There are links between Honshu and Shikoku which are secondary roads - although
no bridge was built until a few years ago - for example I consider a secondary road a "high capacity
ferry" - and a trail a "low capacity ferry" - and use these mainly betwen islands - so restricted units
and some supplies - can flow automatically. This to mitigate the problem that even in NEI, with
a vast naval and auxililary flotilla and in place ferries at many points - units are stuck on islands they
really could travel between. Another usage is to simuate winter ice roads and river navigation
by minonr craft where and when rivers are not frozen. These are slow and inefficient - and they
disappear in the North during seasons the ice exists (which season depends on where). During spring
"break up" season, there is neither river navigation (either to ships nor to small craft) nor ice roads
- so in the North the rivers cease to exist. In Winter you have rather good ice roads (you can drive
very fast on them - at some risk) - and in summer you have water navigation - but in Spring you have
In the Monsoon all tirtiary roads disappear in the monsoon area - basically the Malaria area - and other
effects have not yet been imposed. But it might be reasonable to turn minor roads into trails - or to
do that near major towns - where too much traffic and too much water combine to mess up the foundation.
But until a consensus builds about how to degrade minor roads, I am not going to implement any changes
even during Monsoon season.