Crossroads -> RE: Coder Diary #14 -- Dynamic Day/Night & Visibility (12/18/2013 2:23:12 PM)
Just one of many, many multi-day/night battles that the Campaign Series was unable to model ... until now!
We have implemented a new feature, Dynamic Day/Night & Visibility:
This is no doubt quite an exciting new feature, enabling scenario designers to more accurately represent certain events that do not fall into the basic category the Scenario Editor has so far supported.
The scenario I have struggled with time and time again has been the modeling of the Kuuterselkä breakthrough during RKKA's Summer 1944 Offensive at Karelian Isthmus. The events were a hodgepodge of attacks and counterattacks, confusion, and general mayhem:
The Kuuterselkä battle begun at 0800 hrs on 14 June 1944, after a two hour artillery barrage. The two pincers RKKA put on managed to break through a weak sector of the Finnish main defense line during the first hour of combat, but particularly with western pincer a series of local and limited counter attacks delayed the Red Army for the morning hours, as the battle see-sawed there. As the Eastern pincer gained momentum however, the defenders retreated in the western sector as well. By 1200 hrs, the whole sector of the defensive line was firmly on the hands of RKKA.
What followed then was according to RKKA doctrine of the time an advance to their immediate target objectives, where they dug in to weather the counter-offensive that they knew was to come. Only a major counter-attack never took place, as the RKKA 109th AC had indeed managed to decept the IVth Finnish AC who were expecting the major push further in the West, by the major Viborg highway, an area that was a proper tank country, Kuuterselkä being rather a desolated, marshy forest.
RKKA western pincer, showing independent thinking, or perhaps advancing to their next target sector, proceeded to roll to Northwest, while the Eastern pincer again advanced a bit and again dug into a hedgehog formation to resist the counter attack they were still expecting to happen at any time. Still, nothing happened, as Finns were feverishly allocating reserves to the sector where there were none.
After a relatively quiet evening, the Finnish counterattack suddenly exploded on them at 2245hrs, with support from strong artillery, and with airforce bombing the area, particularly heavily at 2350 hrs.
To regain the initiative, RKKA launched a local counter attack of their own, at 0045 hrs, and the confusing battle went on and off during the white nights of June. By 1000 hrs on June 15, Finns realised it was a lost cause, and manage to disengage by 1200 hrs.
My scenario research at AHF.
( [8|] Hmmm... I realise the original unit war diaries were not digitalised and published into Internet then yet. I need to download a few of them, still some unanswered questions remaining... )
All in all, that is some 28 hrs to model on a scenario, with a day - night - day sequence to portray. Also, the white nights of Nordics were a no-go earlier.
Turns: 1-12[d] 13-22[n] 23-30[d]
Visibility: 1-12 13-13 14-14 15-15 16-16 17-18 19-19 20-20 21-21 22-22 23-30
... although I think I will throw in some five turns more for this scenario, with emphasis on the darkest part of the night...
In the screenshot, you will observe (from Crossroads' forthcoming new East Front scenario of the Winter War, Arctic Front: On Familiar Ground):
Turns (circled in red): 1-6[n] 7-30[d]
Visibility (circled in blue): 1-2 3-3 4-4 5-5 6-6 7-30
Actually, that is not the 1st battle for Vuosalmi of Winter War, Feb-March 1940, but the 2nd one of August 1941. Yes, there is a 3rd Battle for Vuosalmi as well [:)]
The Finnish 5th division managed to pull off a quite daredevil regiment strong night crossing of river Vuoksi, catching the RKKA forces of the sector totally off guard, as they were expecting the major push some 10 kms more to the east, at Vuosalmi itself.
Previously, this would have been a dawn attack, with day appearing as dice will roll as of turn 6, while the lights would be swithched ON, into a full day light.
Instead, I can model the night phase to last exactly as long as I wish, and then introduce the gradual dawn in a manner of Variable Visible Done Right.
I have another 1941 scenario in the making, a more classic Dawn attack this time. Again it is appreciated I can control the day-night change and the visibility just as I wish to! [:)]
• For the first time ever in the Campaign Series (without having to resort to kludges, as in players hand editing the save game files), scenario designers will be able to specify day/night cycles to simulate:
• Dawn battles.
• Dusk battles.
• Day/night/day battles.
• Night/day/night battles.
• Multi-day/night battles lasting for as long as the historical situation requires.
This should be exciting, there's already some really impressive large scenarios out there, where it was required to manually manipulate the scenario file to control the day-night change. No more of that, hopefully!
Could care less if you do not "feel" that six minutes was set for the turn.
The entire game's scale is based upon it. From movement to gun ranges.
Yes, the units are modeled with the classic six minutes - 250 meters - platoon level units metrics. What has often caused confusion is to conclude that according to this, a certain amount of game turns would always equal a multiply of six minute turns: 30 turns = 180 minutes = 3 hours.
However, there is no strict correlation there, it all depends of the battle to be portrayed. In the Kuuterselkä example, I've succesfully modeled (as in being able to achieve the historic objectives) a 28 hour battle in 30 turns, although it could perhaps use another 5 turns in it.
There is no easy way out to figure out what the proper correlation would be. Instead, lots of hard work, trying out different variations, and then testing and more testing! [sm=sterb003.gif]
At least that's what I've observed so far.