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Four Seasons with Models - 10/25/2016 7:52:59 AM   
Ormand


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I've been working on a new version of the FourSeasons mod. I think it is ready for prime time, but I suspect there might still be some errors deep in the model system that I designed that makes use of new features that Vic has put into v221y.

Atzip files have been uploaded to the repository. Vic has also graciously allowed me to store the complete map graphics, which includes the higher resolution BIG graphics. This is "Four Seasons Full Graphics Pack" and the file is FourSeasons-Models-All-Graphics.atzip. This contains ONLY the map graphics.

Scenarios are found in "Four Seasons AT2 Files", with the file being FourSeasons-Models-at2.atzip.

These can be installed in the usual way with the atzip files after they are downloaded. Installation will put the FourSeasons files in the graphics directory, at2 files in the atgoldscenarios directory, a base TOE template in the saved games directory, and a mod file to give the option to autoload the mod. There is a 19 page manual in pdf format in the graphics/FourSeasons/manual directory describing the system in detail.

The system is intended to be used for both random games and scenarios.


In addition, the map graphics from before, there are several new features:

1. Map scale is ~ 15 mi/hex, and turns are two weeks. Movement is basically inspired by the GDW Europa series.
2. SFType units represent roughly company sized units so that unit counters represent division sized units.
3. Several scenario variants
4. Extensive use of the models system to increase variety.

I relied on the models capability in recent versions to give the player the ability to tailor their army in a manner to not only their liking, but also for the terrain at hand. I used alterations to create new types of units. For example, instead of tank destroyers or assault guns being a fixed SFT in the game, these are now an alteration on tank units that are available after certain techs are researched. The same is true for several infantry types.

The alterations available for tanks are:
Increase Armor/Decrease mobility (all tanks)
Decrease Armor/Increase mobility (all tanks)
Tank Destroyer (all tanks)
Assault Gun (medium tanks)
Self-propelled Infantry Gun (medium tanks)
Self-propelled Infantry AA (medium tanks)
Self-propelled Artillery (heavy tanks)

The alterations available for fighters are:
Increase Ground support/decrease fighter combat
Decrease Ground support/increase fighter combat
Carrier Fighter

The alterations available for dive bombers are:
Carrier Dive Bomber
Carrier Torpedo Bomber

The alterations available for infantry are:
SMG - similar to ATG unit
Airborne - Paradrop, starts with increased morale and exp.
Mountain - enhanced movement and combat in mountian terrain
Marine - enhanced combat on beach hexes and increased moral and exp.
Jungle - specially trained to fight in jungle terrain
Desert - specially trained to fight in deserts
Combat Engineer - enhanced combat against forts and urban, also has anti-structural points
Recon - Incr4eased recon & hide, increased moral and exp.
Light - weight of 1 can use bicycles or motorcycles, lower combat
Commando - high morale and exp, can do paradrops, small combat bonus in special terrains, expensive

Each of these are unlocked when the appropriate tech is researched.

Once designed in the Models Design window, these units will have a unique reinforcement type that will allow them to be used in the TOE system.

For vehicle alterations, I appended an abbreviation so that you can quickly see what the unit is, for example, for a light tank destroyer alteration on the light tank model "Elephant", this will appear as "Elephant (LTD)". In addition, for the time being, the first instance of creating on of these alterations, will be used as the reinforcement type for subsequent vehicles. Namely, if you make a second light tank destroyer model, it will use the "Elephant (LTD)" as its reinforcement type in the TOE system. This is being looked at for future modifications to perhaps make the name user definable, but is in the future.

For infantry models, you can make ONLY one model for each alteration, and you cannot build a non-altered infantry base model as its cost is 99999. (The reason for this is primarily because the AI does not use models, and if the player is meant to use the rifle model, they cannot be built on the first turn in a random game).

There are several scenario variants:
1. Start with diplomatic block
2. Use Models Only - Human player uses only models (regular SFT costs 99999 to produce)
3. Limit AI Factories - AI builds subsequent factories slower
4. One Week Turn - Instead of two weeks (experimental)
5. No Factories - Neither human or AI players can build any factories

Lastly, there is the option to have weather be in the Southern Hemisphere. This had to be a separate at2 file as this has to be done at map generation before the player selects a variant.

I am very interested in opinions and ideas for other models.
Post #: 1
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/10/2017 8:11:45 PM   
roy64


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Hello Ormand & what a great mod this is.

I have found a few small problems I don't know how to fix.

The 1st one is Engineers can't build shipyards & the second one is when I build ports my ships can't enter them to resupply.

The last one is when I build the SMG model I get this error message
"Did not find D:\Steam\steamapps\common\Advanced Tactics Gold\graphics/FourSeasons/SFT-Pictures/Gary-SFT/SMG/ Do you want to continue?".

If you click continue the SMG model is created Okay but without the SMG model picture, I checked to see if the folder was there & it is so I'm not sure what the problem is. All the other models that I have made have worked Okay. Any help would be appreciated.



(in reply to Ormand)
Post #: 2
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/12/2017 4:43:47 AM   
Ormand


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Hi roy64,

I'm sorry! Somehow, I missed your post. Hence, I am much later in responding than I should be. Somehow, when I checked the site, I didn't see the little yellow ball on this thread.

At any rate, thanks for your report. I have actually been working on things, and fixing a few things as well. I uploaded a new Four-Seasons-at2.atzip file on the Scenario site.

On your list:

1. I found the SMG picture issue to my surprise as well, and was waiting for some other changes to upload (plus there didn't see to be much traffic on it). This is fixed.

2. Shipyards. This was a bit of stupid design idea. I thought that it was unfair to allow human players to build shipyards since the AI can't. And, I didn't say anything about it. And, of course, this affects human v human games too. I changed this back to normal.

3. Ports. This was a misunderstanding on my part how this worked. I made the movement in non sea hexes 9999, so that ships can't go there. But, this actually controlled by the "Is Sea" button. Thus, when a port was built, you couldn't enter. This is fixed.

A few other things fixed:

1. I realized that I forgot include the hex bonuses for the specialized infantry units in the corresponding storm hexes. This should be fixed.

2. Added specific "dummy" SFTs to represent the Reinforcement units for the models.

3. Fixed a movement error for infantry in urban and winter urban hexes.

4. Fixed reinforcement SFT for Recon Infantry alteration.

An addition:

1. Added ski troop infantry specialization as an infantry model.

A design change:

These might be a bit more controversial. I am working on a scenario (fictional but inspired by historic events) where I came to the conclusion that artillery was clunky. In particular at 15-20 miles/hex, the base units should be divisions. And, in ww2 each division had an artillery regiment attached to it. In this case, there would be a separate artillery unit with each division unit. But, this tends to clog the map, and, with a range of two hexes, they are behind the lines, This really tends to clog things up, and inhibits breakthroughs. So, the only solution would be to collect the artillery into a conglomerate unit, but this makes historical games difficult to design. In addition, it is not clear that any land-based artillery unit should have a range of two hexes anyway. While a 210 mm gun did have a maximum of about 20 miles, this is pretty much an extreme range and hard to see realistically giving artillery a range of two hexes in the game.

So, looking at DC-3, I decided to try and embed artillery in the division units, and give them a range of 1 hex. Their AI score is changed to support. They still move with artillery movement, and should be mobilized with either horses or trucks, In addition, I made them more effective in defense. For random games, the initial units will now have artillery inside the infantry divisions. (For some reason arty in DC-3 has a range of two hexes).

Of course, this leads to a new issue: running up against the 8 SFT limit. To address this, I combined the machinegun and mortar units into a heavy weapons company. For the most part, the SFTs are intended to represent company sized units. I admit that this is stretched a bit for artillery and aircraft.

A reasonably historic infantry division would like:

27 Rifle
9 Heavy Weapons
3 AT Gun
3 Inf Gun
3 Artillery
9 Horse or 6 Truck

Let me know what you think and if you find other things I have to fix!

(in reply to roy64)
Post #: 3
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/12/2017 6:02:57 AM   
Ormand


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I wound uploading a new file at 11:00 PM PDT. After changing to the heavy weapons SFT, I forgot to change the initial production, which was set to produce MGs and mortars.

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Post #: 4
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/13/2017 3:41:22 PM   
Ormand


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Uploaded Four-Seasons-at2-v1.1.1.atzip

v1.1.1
- Fixed errors to make Ski Troop operational
- Fixed missing picture for Ski Troop Theory research
- Changed Shipyards so that they cannot be built on "Hilly" or low-mountain terrain
- Fixed African regimes so that they are not asleep in Southern Hemisphere version.

I'll try to keep fixes, etc. up to date in the FourSeasonsNews.txt file in the Graphics/FourSeasons directory.

Previously,

v1.1
- Fixed SMG graphics error
- Fixed port movement error
- Allowed building of shipyards
- Fixed hex bonuses for specalized infantry in storm hexes
- added "dummy" sft for reinforcements for model alterations
- Fixed movement error for Foot in urban and winter urban hexes
- Fixed reinforcment SFT for Recon Infantry alteration
- Added Ski Troop Infantry alteration
- Changed artillery to range of one hex, made supporting unit
- Combined Machinegun and Mortar SFT into Heavy Weapons SFT

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Post #: 5
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/14/2017 1:58:20 AM   
Bombur

 

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Your analysis on artillery is excellent, I´ve run in the same trouble while making my new scenario with the Bombur mod. I would add that the AI have a big trouble in figuring how to use artillery, they use artillery as if they were regular infantry, making frontal attacks and taking huge losses in return. I also considered the fix you created, but I see a trouble, if you make an artillery bombardment, then you cannot move your unit, so it´s, maybe, even more difficult t make an advance. This could be fixed again by removing the ability to make bombardment, artillery would be then used as if they were infantry guns, but more powerful. I think this could be used for strategic scenarios (Bombur mod has a 50km hex and 15 day turn), and it already removes the AI weakness, but I´m not ready to implement such a big design change.

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RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/14/2017 8:28:52 AM   
roy64


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Hello Ormand

Thanks for fixing things so quick & great news your still improving on your mod. I will not be able to test it for a couple of weeks but I will as soon as I can.

A did notice a couple more problems with the old version thou.

The first one is the AI didn't seem to build any infantry just militia & loads of machine guns & I mean loads of them.
The second one was the AI was very passive. I played against 5 AI players & not once did they declare war on anyone.

Thanks again for your excellent mod.

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Post #: 7
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/14/2017 3:10:30 PM   
Ormand


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bombur

Your analysis on artillery is excellent, I´ve run in the same trouble while making my new scenario with the Bombur mod. I would add that the AI have a big trouble in figuring how to use artillery, they use artillery as if they were regular infantry, making frontal attacks and taking huge losses in return. I also considered the fix you created, but I see a trouble, if you make an artillery bombardment, then you cannot move your unit, so it´s, maybe, even more difficult t make an advance. This could be fixed again by removing the ability to make bombardment, artillery would be then used as if they were infantry guns, but more powerful. I think this could be used for strategic scenarios (Bombur mod has a 50km hex and 15 day turn), and it already removes the AI weakness, but I´m not ready to implement such a big design change.



Bombur, yes this has been something that I have been thinking about since the beginning, and realizing that the hexes were really too big to use artillery in the way the game is set up (realistically at least). I started with the thought that one could separate out the artillery from each formation, and still give them a range of two hexes as a design decision. But, in a test game where I had an artillery regiment for each division, it was a disaster. The artillery set up behind the lines clogged the breakthrough and made everything a mess.

A solution would be to "shrink" our concept of the SFT and combine the artillery for several divisions into a single unit. Conceptually, this would like putting all the artillery from the infantry in a corps into a "corps" artillery asset. This could work, but makes a historical scenario at the division level rather messy.

I looked at DC-3 and the artillery in embedded in the units. They seem to have a range of two hexes, though, which is absurdly long for such that hex size. But, to do this, artillery would have to be support unit, like a super infantry gun. Which kind of begs the question why have the two of them? Most definitely, the infantry guns should not have an artillery range since these are typically smaller guns with ranges typically at most 5000 m (for example the 15 cm sIG 33). So, artillery would give you a unit you could use in a static line situation, where you don't want to attack, but want to pound the guy across the way to reduce readiness. But, I suspect, and haven't checked, that this might affect the unit's entrenchment. The main problem is that the concept of reducing readiness prior to an assault can then only be done with air units. I don't know how this would work in the game just yet, and might be unworkable with the current engine.

The scale at which artillery in the game would work reasonably well is 4-5 mi/hex, which each formation representing a regiment, much like DC-1 and DC-2.

With larger hexes, like the GD1938, artillery is even more vexing. Perhaps one way is to just give the artillery a range of one hex. Then, it must be up front, sitting on the unit.

I think this needs to be experimented on. I am in the midst of trying to make a division-level scenario, which is how I ran into the problem of artillery for each division, but I suppose I will have to experiment some first.

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RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/14/2017 3:22:59 PM   
Ormand


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quote:

ORIGINAL: roy64

Hello Ormand

Thanks for fixing things so quick & great news your still improving on your mod. I will not be able to test it for a couple of weeks but I will as soon as I can.

A did notice a couple more problems with the old version thou.

The first one is the AI didn't seem to build any infantry just militia & loads of machine guns & I mean loads of them.
The second one was the AI was very passive. I played against 5 AI players & not once did they declare war on anyone.

Thanks again for your excellent mod.


Hi roy64,

Interesting observations. I had never seen the militia issue. I haven't played a random game in awhile as I had some travel, and got focused on trying to make a historically-based fictional scenario (inspired by history, but not constrained by actual history and use some the economic engine to allow players some flexibility). So, I need to go back and look at this. And see what the AI is doing.

The passive AI is something I have seen, especially with the diplomatic delay. Talking with Vic, the AI does calculations to determine if it is in their interest to declare war. If you get a well-defended front set up, more often than not, it will go passive on you. In some sense, it is better to play with a short delay or none at all. The AI gets significant advantages with strategic movement, so it can put together a good front quickly, and will then attack. It is also possible to dial up the AI aggressiveness, which I thought I did. Even still, if you have a decent front set up, it will often decline.

This was also the best way to defeat the AI before Vic tweaked it. Before the AI would commit suicide on a well defended line by making attacks at poor odds. Thereby reducing its unit's readiness. Combined with artillery and their attacks the AI would be primed for a counter attack from which it could never recover. Unfortunately, the AI doesn't have a good sense of how to attack a line like that (to be fair, this is hard to get right). In some ways, the best games are: the AI attacks before you are ready, and you have to scramble to defend yourself, or you assault a well defended AI.

I will take a look at some of this, and the artillery. I might wind up going back to the previous concept, and abandon "historical" units.

(in reply to roy64)
Post #: 9
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/14/2017 4:52:03 PM   
ernieschwitz

 

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I got some experience with the AIs DOW abilities when I made the 2nd Civil War. Decided to code my own DOW event for the AI. Basically I used a different philosophy: that of Machiavelli. The idea is to have the AIs join in on attacks on the strongest player / AI. It works pretty well, and is something you might want to consider. The AI (Vic made) will in general not attack a nation that is bigger than itself (power points) is what I found out.

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RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/14/2017 4:56:57 PM   
ernieschwitz

 

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quote:

With larger hexes, like the GD1938, artillery is even more vexing. Perhaps one way is to just give the artillery a range of one hex. Then, it must be up front, sitting on the unit.


Actually in GD1938 artilly has a range of one hex, that is the hex it is next to. And the many smaller units of artillery have been squeezed into a corps like artillery formation.

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Post #: 11
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/16/2017 10:34:10 PM   
roy64


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Unfortunately I can't play the latest version because you are using a different ATG version to me. I'm using version 225c

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Post #: 12
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/16/2017 11:36:53 PM   
ernieschwitz

 

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The new version (2,26) is available here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4282102

Just follow the instructions :)

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Post #: 13
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/17/2017 2:48:21 AM   
Ormand


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Forgot to mention that. I try to keep up-to-date. There are improvements with each one.

I have been trying to look at the passivity issue. I made a random game, and as you found, the AI went all Desmond Doss on me. I think this is being caused by the AI thinking that it is not in its interest. In addition, there is a random AI personality. Sometimes the AI is more passive. Combine this with a strong opponent, and it is a bad mixture. The AI fix to make it less aggressive with stupid attacks may also be in play. I think that the start units are a bit too strong, so when you have time to bring them to the front, the AI goes passive. Of course, a human player isn't all that interested either since they have a harder time getting forces to the front (the TOE actually makes this easier than it used to be as it is automatic, you can do much more than manually, and there isn't a readiness loss). I need to experiment with a few things to make the AI more aggressive.
1. Fewer troops to start
2. Remove random personality
3. Give the AI SFT bonuses to give it more forces to start off with (of course AI+ would do this, but watch out).

Regarding militia, I didn't see this in a couple of games I started, but I didn't go too long since I couldn't get a war started. Is this a "feature" with Chinese regimes?

I am also thinking about the artillery, and how the AI will react. The AI does seem to leave the arty in the unit, and sometimes adds more. But, one feature of the game is to use arty to "soften" a defender. The AI may need this. (In real life, I actually think arty is more valuable in defense since it can be rather devastating to units out in the open conducting an attack). Another thing that would likely help the AI is increasing the maximum stack points in an attack.

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Post #: 14
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/17/2017 5:22:36 AM   
roy64


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Ahh, I have the Steam version

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RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/17/2017 5:26:09 AM   
roy64


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It might have been the Chinese I can't remember sorry.

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RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/17/2017 6:48:40 AM   
Ormand


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Darn, I was afraid of that, the Steam version, that is. I thought that perhaps there wasn't anything specific to 2.26, but there is. Structurally, it doesn't have to be, but I use the category ID for the heavy weapons to keep me from having to delete the machine gun and mortar techs. I wanted to leave them so that I could make simple modifications to go to a regiment, as opposed to divisions, sized units. This way I had much less to edit, and I had the flexibility to easily do something else.

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Post #: 17
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/17/2017 9:19:27 AM   
roy64


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No worries, I'll just have to wait.

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RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/17/2017 3:29:29 PM   
Ormand


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Darn, I was looking forward to some feedback!

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RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/17/2017 5:15:34 PM   
roy64


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I guess you get use to being treated as an second class gamer when you have Steam.

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RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/28/2017 1:03:12 PM   
ArmouredLion


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I was playing your mod--very, very cool BTW--and I noticed once I upgraded my specialist infantry (Commandos, Recon, ect.) to level II they production cost became 999999 and were unproducable. I am using Steam version... which I'm finding out isn't optimal. I purchased AT through Matrix when it first came out, then lost the info, so I bought it again on Steam so I wouldn't lose it-- now I'm in another predicament. I don't want to buy this game a third time--although I love it greatly-- to fix the issues, so I'm hoping there's a remedy for this Steam version... if that's the issue. Excellent mod. As a commander who loves his infantry, it was a lot of fun to see so many different infantry types. Thanks for the hard work.

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Post #: 21
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/28/2017 2:59:08 PM   
Ormand


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I will take a look at this tonight. I have to get to work.

I think I have a handle on the AI passivity as well, but I have to test it through a few games. In a nutshell, I mistakenly changed a rulevar to make the AI garrison cities. This takes too much of the AI force off the front, so it will never feel that it has the ability to challenge you.

I am seeing a lot of trials and tribulations from the Steam community because how long it takes to get the private betas into the Steam main stream. I will see if I can deprecate to the latest Steam patch.

However, you should be able to recover your matrix version, or any matrix purchased product. I have done this myself a couple of times after having to do a virgin install of windows. Log in to your matrix account on the www.matrixgames.com (edit: silly me stupid misspelling!!!) web site. Then click on "My Orders" in the righthand panel, this will show all your Matrix purchases and allow you to download them again. Then, click on the "My Serial #" link to get your serial numbers for the games. At which point, you will likely have to install some patches. This is a real nice feature!

< Message edited by Ormand -- 6/28/2017 10:40:50 PM >

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RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/28/2017 5:31:21 PM   
ArmouredLion


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I'm trying t get a battle with ernieschwitz going, so AI isn't an issue for me... yet. I'll def. starting playing your mod for my AI games, but right now trying to get it rolling in a mono e mono game is my concern. I've tried to get the Matrix download, but you need to know the last few digits of your CC... I have trouble remembering my name most days, and that card is long since defunct. I emailed a query to try and get it through solely my email. I wished I had known Steam can be a hassle... ohh well. Thanks for your effort and a excellent mod!!

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Post #: 23
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/28/2017 5:44:02 PM   
ernieschwitz

 

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.. and by Ernieschwitz he means Bombur :) See... he really can't get names right :P

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RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/28/2017 5:56:10 PM   
ArmouredLion


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hahahhaha... Not too bright, but truthful. :O

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Post #: 25
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/28/2017 10:45:37 PM   
Ormand


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ArmouredLion

I'm trying t get a battle with ernieschwitz going, so AI isn't an issue for me... yet. I'll def. starting playing your mod for my AI games, but right now trying to get it rolling in a mono e mono game is my concern. I've tried to get the Matrix download, but you need to know the last few digits of your CC... I have trouble remembering my name most days, and that card is long since defunct. I emailed a query to try and get it through solely my email. I wished I had known Steam can be a hassle... ohh well. Thanks for your effort and a excellent mod!!


Funny, I can download ATGold-SetupRelease-v200c.exe without any trouble at all, i.e., them wanting anything from the CC. Also, all my Serial Numbers show up when I click there.

I'll try to look at the issues tonight. I suspect that it might be difficult to deprecate. The reason being that in 2.26, new data is added to the SFT's, so I am not sure how that would work. It might ignore it, but it is a question of how they are stored and read back in. It is likely that there will be an alignment problem in the read. It will take some time to check this.

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RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/28/2017 11:02:06 PM   
ArmouredLion


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The set up wasn't a problem... well until after I read I needed to load the graphics separate. The only issue I have is with the infantry at level II... the specialty infantry of Commandos, Recon, Light, and Combat Engineers have a production value of 99999 and are unproducable. I lose two or three graphics using 225, but that's no problem. The production of the infantry though is a big one. Not sure if it's because I'm using Steam version, or 225, or on your end. Thanks... and my issue with the code is I don't remember the last 4 digits of the CC because it's been years. Tanks brother.

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Post #: 27
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/29/2017 7:04:25 AM   
Ormand


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OK, I believe that issue is fixed. I have uploaded v1.1.2. This came about because I didn't want you to be able to build the "rifle infantry model" since it already exists. I screwed up the logic and didn't check for an SFT upgrade, so it changed the cost for the upgraded unit to 9999 as if it were a new rifle model to be altered.

The passivity might be fixed as well, but I haven't had time to test this.

Hopefully, I didn't induce any bugs in the EU and SH versions. Since I made several core changes, I had to modify the rulevars for the regimes all over again.

I also advanced the month by one, so that it starts in May in the northern hemisphere, and November, down under.

(in reply to ArmouredLion)
Post #: 28
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/29/2017 9:34:26 AM   
ArmouredLion


Posts: 651
Joined: 9/18/2015
Status: offline
SWWWWeeeet. Built a Battalion of Combat Engineers... can't wait for them to torch a bunker or root out a city full of enemies. I'll get that battle with Ern... err, I mean Bombur--played a little too much football in this life--going and toss my two cent to you as we go. Thanks for all the hard work to give me a good time! Really looking forward to this...

(in reply to Ormand)
Post #: 29
RE: Four Seasons with Models - 6/30/2017 4:54:48 AM   
Ormand


Posts: 607
Joined: 2/17/2009
Status: offline
Just fixed a new bug that I hadn't noticed. It likely would affect AI regimes, but there were two items as jeeps, but one was pointing to the dive bomber concept.

I am still working on the AI issue.

(in reply to ArmouredLion)
Post #: 30
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