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Essential tools for Allied players

 
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Essential tools for Allied players - 9/19/2013 9:26:26 PM   
TaggedYa

 

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I'm starting this in answer to a very good question in my AAR grand campaign thread by warshipbuilder.

To wit: How do you know when and where the clouds are going to be?

So to start here is a shot of my weather tool kit.




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TaggedYa

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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/19/2013 9:35:59 PM   
TaggedYa

 

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Before the deluge of "can you send me a copy" pms start. No I can't. The tools are specific to one monitor: mine. You will note on the wind ruler the notation 15.667 MM/half hour. That number is specific to my monitor at the full screen game resolution. You will have to figure out the number for your monitor and make your own rulers. I will, however, explain how and why they work and what you need to do to use them.

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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/20/2013 12:33:29 AM   
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I eagerly await the explanation and assorted how to's.

You may end up with a lot of hate mail from Axis PBEM players

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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/20/2013 3:43:42 AM   
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It's wall of text time. They don't call me verbose for nothing. There will not be a "too long didn't read". If you don't want to read it then don't.

I use an old 4 to 3, 24 inch picture tube monitor. I don't know if you can use these tools on any monitor that you cannot touch without damaging it. For a plasma screen, you'll probably need to get a sheet of 16th inch acetate or plexiglass to put in front of it to protect it.

The first thing to do is to square your monitor. Start the game in whatever configuration you play in. Start a game and end phase until you can use the map and display clouds. Pick a resolution for the map. I use the first click in from the farthest out.

Now using the tool tips find 2 sites, one at the top of the area you can see and one at the bottom. They should have the same first number in the location or off by 1 or 2 at most. Subtract the smaller second number from the larger. This is the pixel separation between the 2 locations.

Now lay a piece of printer paper on the screen with the edge from one location to the other. Mark the locations on the edge of the paper. Now take a metric ruler and measure between the marks trying to be accurate as possible. This gives you a distance in MM between them.

Now divide the distance in MM by the distance in pixels. This gives you the MM per pixel for your monitor in the vertical direction. It will be a small number and you need to keep all of the decimal places.

Now find 2 locations one at each side of the map. Find the pixel separation. Multiply this by the mm/pixel you just determined. This is the distance between the 2 spots in MM if your monitor is square. If it is not you will have to adjust it with the screen controls (the menu on your monitor or the software for your video card. You can be as picky here as you like. I have mine adjusted to a gnat's ass (a US Marine technical term meaning a tenth of a MM) :-). /* don't type smilies in your posts in a compiler editor. It keeps whining about no matching open prin */

You may want to adjust the vertical till it matches the horizontal. Whatever works for your setup.


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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/20/2013 4:57:01 AM   
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Edit Double post with huge pic



< Message edited by TaggedYa -- 10/21/2013 9:51:52 AM >


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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/20/2013 5:03:38 AM   
TaggedYa

 

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Now that the monitor is more or less square, we can make our first tool.

Take a piece of printer paper and fold it in half lengthwise being careful that it is square. Now turn in the sides to the center of the fold and crease the edge. You are trying for a perfect straight edge on each side. Cut the middle crease to give you 2 paper rulers with nice straight edges.

Now open the calculator in Windows (yea I know it sux use a handheld if you have it). Pic a spot in the upper left and one in the lower right. Invoke Pythagoras to determine the distance between them in pixels and use your metric ruler for the distance in MM. Find your mm/pixel and leave it with all decimal places in the memory.

The clouds move down and right at 30 pixels per hour. That is to say every minute of turn execution the game adds .5 to the X coordinate and .5 to the Y coordinate of each cloud bank. Cloud banks are square sprites and the actual sprite used varies randomly. The movement is slightly random but tends to average out so movement is predictable to within about one pixel an hour.

The hypotenuse of a 30 x 30 triangle is 42.4264. So the clouds move that far per hour in pixels. Multiply by your mm/pixel to get mm/hour. Divide by 2 for mm/half hour. Keep all decimal places.

Now take one of your paper strips and put a mark 10mm or so from the end. Label it 4:30. Now multiply your mm/half hour number times 3 and measure that far up the edge for the 6:00 mark. Keep figuring each half hour till the paper is full. Multiply each time, the number of half hours since 4:30 x your base and measure from the 4:30 mark every time. Do not just add your half hour distance to the last mark. If you do that you get compounding error and you will be far enough off that your ruler will be useless by noon.

Now fold a piece of printer paper into a triangle. It has to be perfect so the angle is 45 degrees. Now mark the angled edge the same way you did the first one.

The last tool is an acetate sheet protector with the center paper removed. Put your triangle ruler into the sheet protector as in the picture and draw a 45 degree line inside the sheet protector along the edge of your triangle. Mark the line like the triangle. Us a permanent marker like a fine point sharpie or a permanent transparency marker.






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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/20/2013 5:04:46 AM   
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Its still to big but at least it isn't ludicrous.

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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/20/2013 5:46:22 AM   
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Here it is turn one and we want to send a tiffy raid to Amsterdam Focker. The triangle tool with 4:30 at the target shows us that a 6:15 TOT is highly unlikely to find the target through the cloud even though it is 9% cloud cover. As the cloud shapes change every few minute we have a low chance any time from 6:00 until 7:30. Any TOT after 7:35 is highly unlikely to have a problem with clouds.




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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/20/2013 9:48:49 PM   
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speechless

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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/21/2013 3:30:40 AM   
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Okay, just a couple quick posts then I have to get to the turn I owe to Nick.

This one is self-explanatory, a paper map of Europe. The strip of paper in the upper right corner is a sweep range ruler for this map.




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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/21/2013 3:33:41 AM   
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Here we have the same for Italy.




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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/21/2013 3:34:47 AM   
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A close-up of the Italy map




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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/21/2013 3:40:50 AM   
TaggedYa

 

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Nick might recognize the pushpin pattern as his fighter dispositions from turn six.

These you don't have to make for yourself. If you want them p.m. me an email address and I will send them to you.

They are available as bitmap files, or as PDF files laid out with overlap, so you can assemble them.

Now I have to go do the turn for Nick. More tomorrow.

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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 9/21/2013 4:03:01 AM   
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Thanks for the new tool in the arsenal and the new nail in the Axis coffin.

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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 10/3/2013 1:35:19 PM   
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A quick item I forgot. If you are working with weather tools you have to launch something at 6:00 and have something in the air at all times until you no longer care where the clouds are. This is because the game engine will skip times when nothing is flying. To save updating the clouds it just randomizes them. So if you need to drop bombs through a hole in the clouds at 11:00 you need to put someone in the air to force a minute by minute processing. A fighter sweep to the north of England or a recon to darkest Africa will do.

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RE: Essential tools for Allied players - 10/3/2013 10:22:20 PM   
warshipbuilder


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Ah, that explains it. I thought my math was off. Thanks!

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