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Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!!

 
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Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 10:09:46 AM   
Crossroads


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Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!!

Or: A How-To Guide in making of how to bring a look and feel similar to your favorite Boardgame into CS: Middle East

So what would it take?

  • New terrain tiles. Only two (or three, if you count the LOS-blocking ridges on top of hills) elevations
  • New city tiles
  • New vegetation tiles
  • New counters (Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan included in the original game)
  • New Black 2D Profile unit sheets, with NATO symbols for all infantry units (with white background).

    What else? Sounds doable...



    < Message edited by Crossroads -- 12/6/2015 8:38:24 AM >


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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 10:10:32 AM   
    Crossroads


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    What else? Sounds doable...


    So let us consider the resources available to assist me.

  • Boardgamegeek's Arab-Israeli Wars page has lots of images and information on the game.

  • Imaginative Strategist has a plethora of PanzerBlitz and Panzer Leader counter and map art available. While they do not have a AIW page as such, their Panzer Leader Desert Boards page has in addition of their version of the four original mapboards no less than 29 (!) other map boards available as well

    What else?

    Alan R. Arvold, a true boardgame grognard who's been involved with these PB / PL / AIW titles and written several articles and scenarios, has created a plethora of "Ode To..." scenarios for West Front, East Front, Rising Sun, and also for Talonsoft's Divided Ground version of the Campaign Series game. His scenario sets including his most excellent Design Notes are available at the Matrix Games' JTCS Forum:

  • Alan R. Arvold Divided Ground scenario sets, including his "Ode To AIW" scenarios

    They are worth the download for the Design Note PDFs alone, but what is even nicer the Divided Ground map files open with CS Middle East Map Editor (although scenarios and OoB files do not!).

    Worth mentioning is of course also the Greg Moore's PanzerBlitz site, with tons of material on PB and PL, albeit nothing on AIW but still worth a visit for sure.


    OK, it is not like we have to start empty handed here. Time to get cracking...



    < Message edited by Crossroads -- 12/12/2015 12:05:42 PM >


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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 10:15:25 AM   
    Crossroads


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    First mock-up!

  • Clear terrain done
  • City / village tiles done
  • Hills done
  • Orchard / forest tiles done

  • Israeli units done

    To-do:

  • Sand dunes and ridges as in AIW map.
  • Counters with original colors
  • Markers such as mine fields as with original ones.
  • And plenty of other detail...

    Yet...

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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 10:16:33 AM   
    Crossroads


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    Yet...


    Let us begin with coloring CS hex terrain tiles with a beige color, and put the dots in the middle too. Then, fill in the paved road tiles with one color only. This alone should make quite a difference.

    Not too bad for one morning's work?

    Map tiles:




    Attachment (1)

    < Message edited by Crossroads -- 12/6/2015 8:40:02 AM >


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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 10:19:08 AM   
    Crossroads


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    To be continued!



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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 10:27:39 AM   
    berto


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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 10:28:33 AM   
    Crossroads


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    Then, replace all foot infantry unit icons with NATO symbols in 2D Unit sheets. Map with Israeli units. Counters not done.




    < Message edited by Crossroads -- 12/6/2015 8:40:46 AM >


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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 10:28:50 AM   
    Crossroads


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: berto






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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 12:25:09 PM   
    Warhorse


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    Petri, That is pretty darn cool!

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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 1:46:25 PM   
    Big Ivan


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    It is pretty darn cool! A very cool concept!

    However, who actually owns the rights to Avalon Hill's Arab-Israelis Wars and in so doing are their copyright issues?

    When I read of AH's demise long ago, I thought Hasbro got the bulk of AH.

    If so, do they still own the rights and is it only for the board game and its images or for any images going forward too?

    I guess the same is true for Panzer Blitz and Panzer Leader.

    I don't know that is why I am asking.

    Thanks
    Big Ivan

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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 2:58:40 PM   
    Crossroads


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Big Ivan

    It is pretty darn cool! A very cool concept!

    However, who actually owns the rights to Avalon Hill's Arab-Israelis Wars and in so doing are their copyright issues?

    When I read of AH's demise long ago, I thought Hasbro got the bulk of AH.

    If so, do they still own the rights and is it only for the board game and its images or for any images going forward too?

    I guess the same is true for Panzer Blitz and Panzer Leader.

    I don't know that is why I am asking.

    Thanks
    Big Ivan


    Edit2: So what indeed is the latest on this venerable franchise! PanzerBlitz Hill Of Death Boardgame was released a few years ago, so it seems it is still going strong

    Wiki informs us in their PanzerBlitz article that

    quote:

    The rights to PanzerBlitz are currently held by Multi-Man Publishing, which developed and released PanzerBlitz: Hill of Death on March 27, 2009. This title was an attempt to invigorate the franchise, and a plan to release other titles using the new rules, which utilize new game mechanics such as chit pull activation, has been announced.

    In the meantime, new units and scenarios for the classic version continue to appear in such venues as The Boardgamer, VAIPA, and Old Soldiers magazine, primarily through the efforts of Alan Arvold. There are even new maps and counters, created by Ward McBurney.

    My side note: "There are even new maps and counters by Ward McBurney" refers to Mr McBurney's Imaginative Strategist website. Have a look! Alan Arvold of course is still active, as for instance I am in the process of uploading his Ode to PB / PL / AIW scenarios to Blitz Wargaming Club's Scenario Database to have them available to public. The latter I am doing in co-operation with him.



    Multi-Man Publishing then in their part keeps a number of boardgame classics alive, including Advanced Squad Leader, and PanzerBlitz 2 as the new titles are called. Great news! No mention of Arab-Israeli Wars or for Panzer Leader for that matter though.

    And now that I looked PB HoD is out of print and not in their MMPs 2015 catalog at all, even quoting the price. Bummer


    As for are there copyright issues to this Mod?

    I don't believe so, no.

    I am not using any parts of the original works, now that I removed the AIW Box Art text from the side bar.

    The mod is created from scratch by me in a style reminiscent to AIW, but then again hexes and map symbols, and counters and NATO symbols have existed long before AIW came out and are public domain in nature. Also, I don't believe for one second that this mod would confuse some one to "buy this mod" instead of buying the AH AIW boardgame that may have been his original intentions. Besides this mod is not a commercial product and AHAIW in turn has not been available in the market either for some good twenty years at least I guess.

    The AHAIW box art snippet in the Blankbox is a recognisable image of the board game. This is an area where Fan Art meets the commercial products and I guess can be problematic as such, especially if AH Arab-Israeli Wars boardgame would continue to be on sale they might be upset about it. Who knows?

    However even then, "Arab-Israeli Wars" is a historic event, and as such it cannot be exlusively owned by any one gaming company, not any more than say "American Civil War" or "Second World War" could be owned by anyone. Nor could any geographic location be own, so we for instance cannot copyright or trademark "Middle East" as our copyright. Of course not.

    So I'd assume it would have been OK to even keep the AH AIW box art in place as a tribute to original series (this is fan art).

    But just to be on the right side I created a new CS: Middle East Blankbox to go with this mod.

    I am not a Lawyer but a boardgame geek so these are my thoughts only of course.

    < Message edited by Crossroads -- 12/12/2015 12:01:36 PM >


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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 3:19:58 PM   
    Crossroads


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    Map with Israeli units. Counters not done.



    Israeli counter set done. 46x46 pixels seems to be the proper size (CS:ME Std counters are 44x44 and Alt ctrs 48x48).





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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 3:34:03 PM   
    berto


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    I have no idea who owns the copyright to Avalon Hill's boardgames to be honest. Copyright should be an issue only if selling them commercially though. This is not part of the CS Middle East product, so not an issue as a separate freebie.

    Maybe just be careful not to use any images, such as the Infobox "The Arab-Israeli Wars" logo you showed in a screenshot elsewhere. Oh, and yes, this is a fan mod only, never to be incorporated into, or packaged with, the official CSME game.

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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 3:45:45 PM   
    Big Ivan


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    A link to Avalon Hill

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avalon_Hill


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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 4:08:57 PM   
    Crossroads


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: berto


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    I have no idea who owns the copyright to Avalon Hill's boardgames to be honest. Copyright should be an issue only if selling them commercially though. This is not part of the CS Middle East product, so not an issue as a separate freebie.

    Maybe just be careful not to use any images, such as the Infobox "The Arab-Israeli Wars" logo you showed in a screenshot elsewhere. Oh, and yes, this is a fan mod only, never to be incorporated into, or packaged with, the official CSME game.


    I don't believe Arab-Israeli Wars using that font it is a registered trademark, so we are good there. As for Copyright, their rulebook for AIW for instance would be under their Copyright, and counters as such too. Since we are using our own unit profiles and have nothing to do with their rulebook either we are not infringing that either, should this be a commercial product. Good points of course.

    And I am flattered of course too that this quick mod is considered on par with the original art

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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 4:58:05 PM   
    Crossroads


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    Egyptian, Jordanese and Syrian forces close in on an Israeli bridgehead.

    And that's it for today. Tomorrow; markers for instance mine fields, more work with terrain including escarpments and enbankments, and so on. Maybe actually converting one or to AHAIW situations to see this out as it is intended to.






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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/5/2015 6:40:23 PM   
    pzgndr

     

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    Yes!

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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/6/2015 5:12:38 AM   
    MausMan2


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    very cool. I was hoping someone would start trying to convert some of those scenarios.
    I have my game still, but not quite sure where the map boards ended up over the years.

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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/6/2015 8:14:26 AM   
    Crossroads


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    And that's it for today. Tomorrow; markers for instance mine fields, more work with terrain including escarpments and enbankments, and so on. Maybe actually converting one or to AHAIW situations to see this out as it is intended to.


    Sand dunes are an element in CS maps as well, but I've struggled a bit as how to portray the Ridge terrain type here. So what better than to look at Alan R. Arvold's Design Notes for AIW situations he converted to Talonsoft's Divided Ground. Divided Ground, if you'r not familiar with it, was the final Campaign Series title Talonsoft was able to bring into market. Talonsoft, on the other hand, was created by the guys behind Avalon Hill when it went out of business. Talonsoft was bought by Take Two, which later sold the Talonsoft games to Matrix Games, so here we are. It is obvious I am standing in the shoulders of giants here and want to stay true to what was before.

    This is what Alan wrote about Sand Dunes and Ridges:

    quote:

    The next problem was unique to Arab-Israeli Wars. On the mapboards are elevation hexsides representing sand dunes, ridges, and hill crests. The hill crests which were on hills I treated like the brown hexsides on the Panzerblitz boards, they are merely obstacles to observation and not to movement, therefore I ignored them as the computer will figure out the visible hexes through these hexsides. The sand dunes were also easy as there is a symbol for them in Divided Ground. This left the ridge hexsides. These would represent raised portions of the otherwise flat ground which block line of sight., plus give a defensive benefit. I could not use embankment or escarpment hexsides in the mapboard manu because these only work when there are height differences between hexes these hexsides border. So what I did was to put terrain in the hexes that these hexes would board on the AIW mapboards. Where a hex had ridge hexsides on three or more sides of the hex, I put in rough terrain. Where the hex had ridge hexsides on one or two hexsides I put in hammada terrain. This gave these hexes a very natural rough look. Looking back on the boards with the sand dunes on them, I found that they looked a little bare. So in hexes which had sand dunes on three or more hexsides I put soft sand.


    So he was struggling with this too. I will follow the design principle he set, so all I need to do next is to color the Sand Dunes towards the more yellow hue used in the AIW map boards.

    Incidentally, what I did with the Hills and elevations, and with orchards, was what he did too, so we are good there. From the same Design Notes:

    quote:

    The next task was to establish the hills. These only existed on AIW Board D. Based on rules in the AIW Rulebook I established a delta level of 20 meters between each height level. Fortunately, there are not very many height levels. Just about all hills are level 1 in height with one hill having a level 2 hex. Vegetation was rather simple, I used the orchard symbol for any woods hex on the AIW boards.


    OK, time to get the hammer and chisel out again!





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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/6/2015 9:15:14 AM   
    Crossroads


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    OK, time to get the hammer and chisel out again!


    With new Sand Dunes tiles, and with all Soft Sand terrain changed to clear terrain, for that crisp boardgame map look. You will note the new CS:Middle East Tank Battles in the Mideast 1948-85 blankobox too. Some map markers, the selected few done too: Mines, wrecks. So maybe not much more to do here?




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    < Message edited by Crossroads -- 12/6/2015 10:40:38 AM >


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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/6/2015 9:52:30 AM   
    Crossroads


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Maus Man

    very cool. I was hoping someone would start trying to convert some of those scenarios.
    I have my game still, but not quite sure where the map boards ended up over the years.


    I am hoping Alan Arvold to start transfering his various Divided Ground scenarios including all Tribute To AHAIW situations to CS: Middle East. I know he is considering it, but he's got quite a few projects he's busy with to finish first. That would be the greatest thing eh!

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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/6/2015 1:36:04 PM   
    Warhorse


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    I already did remake one of his, Khan Yunis, day 1, part 1, because it was so cool to play in DG!!

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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/6/2015 1:53:37 PM   
    Crossroads


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Warhorse

    I already did remake one of his, Khan Yunis, day 1, part 1, because it was so cool to play in DG!!


    Cool!

    Too bad Khan Yunis has lots of elevations so won't work with this map mod... Maybe when packaging this mod together I'll do a map with the desert boards A+B aligned together.

    I just looked at the AIW situations, there's three scenarios for that map placement: B-1 "Bir Gifgafa" 1956; S-9 "El Firdan" 1973 and S-13 "Chinese Farm" 1973. I'll convert those three to be included in this mod.

    I should have this all out the next weekend I hope.

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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/6/2015 3:40:15 PM   
    Warhorse


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    So the elevations graphics don't work with the AI mod?

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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/6/2015 3:45:50 PM   
    Crossroads


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    Since I am modeling the tiles with the terrain present in AIW map boards, all's good as long there's two elevations: ground, and slopes (hills). And ridges in hilltops make it three, actually.

    Elevations 0, 1 and 2, in other words

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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/6/2015 5:44:03 PM   
    Crossroads


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    Final screenshot before calling it a day. Hot Seat game with the random mechanized units I put to the test scenario. Map boards A and B, as before. Here's a Reverse map view depicting the Arab Alliance determined to push the IDF forces back to their side of the canal.

    In previous turn, the few IDF tanks retreated to firing positions at the friendly side, taking advantage of their better range. Time to close in, then!




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    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/12/2015 6:44:55 AM   
    Crossroads


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!!

    Or: A How-To Guide in making of how to bring a look and feel similar to your favorite Boardgame into CS: Middle East

    So what would it take?

  • New terrain tiles. Only two (or three, if you count the LOS-blocking ridges on top of hills) elevations
  • New city tiles
  • New vegetation tiles
  • New counters (Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan included in the original game)
  • New Black 2D Profile unit sheets, with NATO symbols for all infantry units (with white background).

    What else? Sounds doable...


  • So let's have a look at the effort required. First, terrain and marker tiles. From left to right:

  • Roads7d.bmp All black roads as in boardgame
  • Sides7d.bmp Sand Dunes as yellowish blocks
  • Vegetation7d.bmp Orchards, in the style as in the map. This was a difficult part to get right, especially as in CS:Me orchards are a full hex tile
  • Terrain7d.bmp Cities, Suburbs and Villages in style as in the boardgame. All have the same tiles, as the boardgame has generic "towns" only.
  • Markers7d.bmp Minefields in the style as in the game, then simply recolored the existing IPs, Bunkers and Pillboxes together with Wrecks with color similar to used in the boardgame.
  • Des-Green7d.bmp, Des-Brown7d.bmp Elevations. Boardgame has only two elevations, but since it uses ridges in top of slopes to block LOS, I added a darker Slope to reflect those hexes. Elevations 0, 1 and 2 only!




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    < Message edited by Crossroads -- 12/12/2015 7:45:09 AM >


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    ---
    CS: Vietnam | CS: East Front 1939-1941 IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 Fully reimaged v2.0 available now!

    (in reply to Crossroads)
  • Post #: 27
    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/12/2015 6:53:51 AM   
    Crossroads


    Posts: 15285
    Joined: 7/5/2009
    Status: offline

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    So let's have a look at the effort required. First, terrain and marker tiles.


    Then, Counters and Units, and a new Blankbox sidebar to top it all.

  • Counters7d22.bmp Israel (and 7d23 Egypt, 7d26 Syria, 7d25 Jordan) I replaced the stock Alt Counters (48x48 pixels with a border and a unit type bar in the bottom) with new 46x46 pixel counters that I resized from the Std counters. The CS:ME French counters had a hue similar to AIW Israelis, while Syrian counters were used for boardgame Egyptian and Syrian forces, and the Pro-East gold for Jordanians.
  • Icons7d22.bmp Israeli (and 23 Egypt 26 Syria and 25 Jordan) I replaced all foot infantry unit profiles with NATO icons with white background. AIW boardgame had the symbols directly on counters with no background color, could have done the same here, but thought this might look better.
  • Blankbox0.bmp Finally, a Unit List background graphic paying tribute to the boardgame. Based on the comments on the thread I did not want to use original AIW box art here. If you want to do that, just create a Blankbox of your own and replace mine.




    Attachment (1)

    _____________________________

    Visit us at: Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: Vietnam | CS: East Front 1939-1941 IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 Fully reimaged v2.0 available now!

    (in reply to Crossroads)
  • Post #: 28
    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/12/2015 6:56:42 AM   
    Crossroads


    Posts: 15285
    Joined: 7/5/2009
    Status: offline
    As always, any changes to graphics or data files that ship with the game are strongly advised to be packaged as a JSGME mod, and to be put into /Mods folder.

    That's what I did here too:




    Attachment (1)

    _____________________________

    Visit us at: Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: Vietnam | CS: East Front 1939-1941 IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 Fully reimaged v2.0 available now!

    (in reply to Crossroads)
    Post #: 29
    RE: Let's build - Avalon Hill's Arab-Israeli Wars !!! - 12/12/2015 6:58:14 AM   
    Crossroads


    Posts: 15285
    Joined: 7/5/2009
    Status: offline

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    As always, any changes to graphics or data files that ship with the game are strongly advised to be packaged as a JSGME mod, and to be put into /Mods folder.

    That's what I did here too


    Then, when you fire up your JSGME you will see something like this. Note the tool tip text, that becomes available if there is a text while with the .jsgme file type in the mod, as what I did here.





    Attachment (1)

    _____________________________

    Visit us at: Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: Vietnam | CS: East Front 1939-1941 IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 Fully reimaged v2.0 available now!

    (in reply to Crossroads)
    Post #: 30
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