Uxbridge -> Uxbridge Mod Europe (6/16/2021 2:27:59 PM)
This is the set of modded graphics I currently use for WarPlan, in this case the European version. They were made for my own benefit, but have reached such a developed state, that I feel confident to post them here as a proper mod. Either you like it or not. If it’s the latter, just remove the offending files from your campaign folder.
The five files changed, which can be used in combination or any set-up desired, are: Logistics, Resource, Terrain, Units and Weather.
This was the last file I corrected, and the one that I have been at odds with the longest. The original rail line was quite sufferable, but the convoy ships just looked odd and the roads scratched the map as inadvertent strokes with a watercolour brush. I do, however, sympathise fully with the work of the original graphics designer; the roads and rails are extremely difficult to get good. They live in a layer above the terrain features, and must by this be visible over a variety of changing background tones. At the same time, they need to be distinguishable and harmonize with the overall map layout. Not an easy task, I can asure you, and one that I will never claim to have mastered. What you get is my compromise. The convoys are mere dots–the magic ”Y” key will now light them up if covered in bad weather–and the land communications is made by a double light tone that, for most cases, can be easily spotted while it still blends into the map without causing annoyingly strong lines. Sometimes, in some regions, you will have to turn the units off and look carefully–the price to pay for a non-intrusive logistics design.
Resources was one of the things I changed almost as soon as I got my hands on the game, even long before actually playing a campaign. Granted, the symbols for populated areas and resources are nicely made, very much so, but I had grave problems telling them apart, and also thought that they resembled something from a Civilization-type game rather than a hardcore war game. They had to go. The simple symbols I turned to are like those seen in GMT boardgames. Booring, but easily spotted.
I haven’t done much to the terrain, truly, it has been so minimal, and so gradual over time, that I can’t even remember. The foilage of woods and jungles have a higher saturation, I think, and the swamps have gone the other way. There may also be some increase in contrast on hills and montains, mainly on the Pacific map, but that should be all.
The units is something that I have changed gradually from the first time I played WarPlan some 18 months ago, up till now, with the sister game Pacific as it’s companion. Therefore, the alteration from the vanilla set-up, to the present look of the units, wasn’t as much a choice of design, rather a slow evolution in my mind as me and my PBEM-opponent spent the last year in daily competition. I have made a somewhat drastic change the last months, however. While making units for Pacific, I thought of doing something extra for the otherwise rather dull hidden-unit counters, adding a short descriptive note on them. The same was done for the garrison graphic. They were also blessed with the silhuette of a soldier. While adding nothing in particular as regards information, this minor change gave the units a certain detailed ”look” that surprised me. In fact, these units now had a more pleasant appearance than the more important frontline units. Capitalizing on this, I made the decision to add text to all units in the set-up, the result that is now included in this mod.
There is one additional change with the conters worthy of note: some of the majors air units have their basic counter colour blue instead of the normal national colour. This is to better tell them from ground units on crowded fronts. I know this won’t be to everyone’s taste, as clarity in one field sometimes leads to confusion in another. But this is how I prefer it best myself, and if you’re likewise minded, you probably like them.
Lastly, I made a radical change in the colour codes of the air units too. Earlier they were red, green, blue and some last, rearranging colour for strategic bomb units. This has now changed to: Blue=fighter, Green=support, Grey=level bomber and No-background=strategic bomber. Main reason for the change is that it’s so hard to get the red colour right. Either it screams like someone drowning, being to bright, or blend inte text and lines on the counter if made too dark. The removal lessened the number of colours to use, but I feel it did the appearance of the mod a favor.
Weather graphics is difficult to get good. Informatively, the vanilla symbols does the job. I always want something extra. When the rainy season starts, I like to feel the want of an umbrella, and when winter comes, it should race across the map as the breath of the Grim Reaper. If you use my weather graphics, expect weather, not a soft drizzle or something from a Christmas carrol. It covers everything, and at times you may sense the need to turn it off, cause the brain can be confused by the weather patterns, making reading the units difficult even thought these are located above the thunderstorms and blizzards. Or use the vanilla version.
The graphics for Europe can be located here. It’s a link to dropbox and the files there will always be the most updated ones:
The graphics for Pacific, and a copy of the text above, is located at the Pacific forum:
To use the graphics, merely place the files in the campaign folder of the scenario being played.
Not to confuse anyone, I decided to make one post on each forum. By this I will also reach users that may only own one version of the WarPlan game. Any comments on the mod, as regards something particular to either WP Europe or WP Pacific, better be placed in the proper forum, lest I may be confused which one is refered to.
Hope you like the mod.