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RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release)

 
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RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 7/30/2019 4:09:57 AM   
CCIP-subsim


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One thing you could always do is just provide an alternate lights.png file per scenario (heck, if you really wanted to - you can actually even just create new variations of maps for each scenario. It might get a bit confusing with a lot of map variations, but not totally unreasonable!)

I've noticed that adding a bit of a dark blue shade to areas of the light map is a good way to create the illusion of night-time mist in low-lying areas. I might actually do that for this map. The neat thing is that since (as far as I can tell), it's a 24-bit png file, meaning you can do lots of pretty creative shading.

(in reply to exsonic01)
Post #: 31
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 7/30/2019 5:28:55 AM   
CCIP-subsim


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And finished testing all the short scenarios tonight - just some finishing touches left now

Pretty proud of how my final run at the two Chechen offensive scenarios went - they are both tough but winnable with the right approach. I like them in particular because they're as asymmetric as it gets between the two sides, especially in terms of raw firepower, and yet the way to winning them is in most respects pretty realistic.

From "Pavlov's House" (head-on attack around sunset)







And same result from "Shot in the Dark" (flanking attack in early AM hours)





Same area seen in real-world photo (dated from 2002, after the war):

Buildings left to right: "Glory to Soviet Rail Workers" building (top left), "Volcanization" (small building midway down the left side), "construction site" (depicted in game as much smaller than in the real world), main rail station building at center, "Pavlov House" at top center just above it). Post office just off-screen on the right.



Managed to capture the station both times in today's attempts, and not without difficulties (especially in that head-on attack!)

< Message edited by CCIP-subsim -- 7/30/2019 5:44:52 AM >

(in reply to CCIP-subsim)
Post #: 32
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 7/31/2019 1:15:51 AM   
Rosseau

 

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Great project.

One thing I find helpful for those who are "modding" your modded units, is to put something in the comment box. For example, I usually mod with the xml files but can't find the "ambush" squad and others inside the new database. I see SU. but not CH or CHO for example. You can use the game's editor to search for words like "ambush" but a lot are just named generically.

Thanks again for all the work!

(in reply to CCIP-subsim)
Post #: 33
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 7/31/2019 2:45:01 AM   
CCIP-subsim


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rosseau

Great project.

One thing I find helpful for those who are "modding" your modded units, is to put something in the comment box. For example, I usually mod with the xml files but can't find the "ambush" squad and others inside the new database. I see SU. but not CH or CHO for example. You can use the game's editor to search for words like "ambush" but a lot are just named generically.

Thanks again for all the work!


Cheers, thank you!

Yes, that's the plan eventually - I've been putting it off until I have a chance to do more substantial work on the database (including hopefully isolating it from the original Cold War assets). It's still very much a work in progress - and since I have a near-photographic memory for things like that, it's been a bit low-priority right now, but that'll change as I flesh things out more Thanks for the note!



------

Meanwhile, I ended up exploring my "light pollution" concept more and while this is still WIP (though will probably be in the next update as-is), I'm already liking the result.

What I did was add a mist in low-lying areas near water. It's fairly subtle, but definitely there, and I think it adds some interesting depth to the look of the maps. The mist is mostly blue, but I've also thrown in some areas (like the refinery district, or areas where heavy fighting took place) where it has more of a reddish glow as well.

BEFORE:


AFTER:

Quite a difference there!










And it seems to work pretty well in winter, too!





Done all the terrain changes today as well, so it's just a few more minor things left till the update is ready.

< Message edited by CCIP-subsim -- 7/31/2019 2:48:37 AM >

(in reply to Rosseau)
Post #: 34
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 7/31/2019 3:32:18 AM   
CCIP-subsim


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And a couple more before/after shots...

















(in reply to CCIP-subsim)
Post #: 35
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/2/2019 5:05:53 AM   
CCIP-subsim


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And good news - I've finalized the update, just in time for the new patch which will (hopefully!) make mod scenarios completely trouble-free so I can just put them into the mod itself with no extra steps to the installation.

Had a pretty great run at playing the "full Group North from the Chechen side" scenario today to see how the new detectability changes for infantry affect things. So far so good - I do get the sense that they might make things a little bit more challenging for the separatists, but not by any huge amount. As far as I can tell, the whole "asymmetric conflict" idea behind the mode is still very much intact.


It was the sort of mess you'd expect, given the circumstances!

What I was against pleasantly surprised by that, despite everything being unscripted and the AI shuffling the Russian force around at the start - they still used more or less the historical approach routes downtown, and the timeline of their advance wasn't that far off either. Note the areas where the unit losses happened:

And hey, if I played a scenario for over 4 hours and only got a draw, yet still feel like that was a pretty good time - that's a good sign I think!

Anyway, just some final checks and the new version with this scenario pack will be good to go.
ETA: sometime tomorrow

(in reply to CCIP-subsim)
Post #: 36
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/2/2019 6:31:40 AM   
Rosseau

 

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Ha! The new map effect looks good. We also have a true urban warfare map that can technically be used with any database. The labels add immersion and zoomed in all the terrain looks wonderful. Congrats.

Can you mention an English-language book on the war that would be of some value when playing your mod?

(in reply to CCIP-subsim)
Post #: 37
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/2/2019 1:33:14 PM   
CCIP-subsim


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rosseau

Ha! The new map effect looks good. We also have a true urban warfare map that can technically be used with any database. The labels add immersion and zoomed in all the terrain looks wonderful. Congrats.

Can you mention an English-language book on the war that would be of some value when playing your mod?


Certainly!

If you'd like a good introductory read - this is a very good one. It's short and definitely useful if you don't have much background knowledge of this conflict: https://www.amazon.com/Russias-Chechnya-1994-2009-Essential-Histories/dp/1782002774

< Message edited by CCIP-subsim -- 8/2/2019 1:52:20 PM >

(in reply to Rosseau)
Post #: 38
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/2/2019 11:25:36 PM   
Veitikka


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The red light map is a very interesting idea. I had to get closer to the screen because I wasn't sure if that's really from the game

Extremely impressive overall!

I've been making great progress with removing the one-unit-per-cell stacking limitation. Currently we're testing it with max three units per cell, and it's working very well. I believe it will change how urban battles play out in this game.


_____________________________

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(in reply to CCIP-subsim)
Post #: 39
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/3/2019 12:20:13 AM   
budd


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Veitikka

The red light map is a very interesting idea. I had to get closer to the screen because I wasn't sure if that's really from the game

Extremely impressive overall!

I've been making great progress with removing the one-unit-per-cell stacking limitation. Currently we're testing it with max three units per cell, and it's working very well. I believe it will change how urban battles play out in this game.


Hows the path finding working out with more units per cell?
My major gripe is being able to tell elevation changes on the regular map quickly.

That is one outstanding looking map CCIP-subsim, i keep checking the forum for the release.Don't know a lot about that conflict, but looking forward to giving the scenarios a whirl on that map.

_____________________________

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.

(in reply to Veitikka)
Post #: 40
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/3/2019 5:34:47 AM   
CCIP-subsim


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Veitikka

The red light map is a very interesting idea. I had to get closer to the screen because I wasn't sure if that's really from the game

Extremely impressive overall!

I've been making great progress with removing the one-unit-per-cell stacking limitation. Currently we're testing it with max three units per cell, and it's working very well. I believe it will change how urban battles play out in this game.



Thank you (and Budd as well)!
And yes, I'll be curious to see how the stacking will work. In a way, I actually sort of like the way it is now - sort of! In a way, the fact that vehicles have trouble getting around each other is a bit relevant. But I imagine there's still going to be limits, and infantry and vehicles will behave differently - and if so, yep, that will definitely be really interesting to see in all sorts of ways!

Another thing I just thought of about light maps, by the way - if you have any interest in expanding that feature, I thought it might also be pretty interesting if "day maps"/"terrain shading" layers could also be created in basically the same way, just without being night-time (and possibly being "below" buildings and trees in the draw order). It could make for some interesting touches on maps (like, just having slightly different shades of grass or water in various areas as opposed to the "flat" look).


---------------------------

Anyway - the update is now live - check the first post of this thread for the details and download!

Among other things included are the (still experimental) new lighting layer for Grozny, the elevation map updates, the (relatively minor DB changes sans the SU-122 which I decided not to include after all), and the promised 10-mission package of scenarios.
Feedback and AARs always appreciated - I've played these a whole lot by now, but it'll be interesting how others tackle the missions!

(in reply to Veitikka)
Post #: 41
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/3/2019 7:09:13 AM   
budd


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Thanks for your work sir, this looks great.

I'm not much of a modern warfare guy, so I like the city battles with short LOS. Haven't figured out how to use my forces effectively yet on open maps with such long range killing.



_____________________________

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.

(in reply to CCIP-subsim)
Post #: 42
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/3/2019 11:43:10 AM   
Lowlaner2012

 

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Agreed, awesome work, gonna give the scenarios a wee try tonight 😀

(in reply to budd)
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RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/3/2019 1:59:58 PM   
Veitikka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: budd

Hows the path finding working out with more units per cell?


It will be massively different. Gameplay is much smoother. But like CCIP-subsim said, sometimes it can be better that the vehicles cannot bypass each other in narrow streets. I believe this feature will mature over time. We will possibly have a public beta for the feature.


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(in reply to budd)
Post #: 44
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/3/2019 2:42:18 PM   
budd


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I followed the instructions, unzipped to the main AB directory and enabled the database but the game crashes to desktop when i click new mission, so i cant get to the scenarios.

Forget the above, i'm knucklehead, thought i had updated AB already, seems i hadn't. Updating now, then will give it a go.

< Message edited by budd -- 8/3/2019 2:50:00 PM >


_____________________________

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.

(in reply to Veitikka)
Post #: 45
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/3/2019 2:44:27 PM   
Veitikka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: budd

I followed the instructions, unzipped to the main AB directory and enabled the database but the game crashes to desktop when i click new mission, so i cant get to the scenarios.


Update the game to 1.031.


_____________________________

Know thyself!

(in reply to budd)
Post #: 46
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/3/2019 3:13:09 PM   
budd


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Yea, the updating solved it, i'm a knucklehead.

I can't imagine the work that map took, awesome, that is a fine looking map. I opened the big scenarios to check things out, don't think i'm up to playing that size scenario, with all those forces but can see the work that went into it, Thank you.

got company coming to visit today, so cleaning and preparing to entertain is the order of the day. Probably won't get time to explore the scenarios. might try and sneak in a small one, don't tell the missus

_____________________________

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.

(in reply to Veitikka)
Post #: 47
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/4/2019 3:05:06 PM   
CCIP-subsim


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Cheers, glad you got it running!

And indeed, I'm very curious and hopeful about the update - one of the things that is a bit of a chore in my missions right now is the need to micromanage unit movements. Especially when crossing bridges is involved, it's a bit of work - and unless you order units to move one by one, you'll be constantly getting "unit path is blocked".

Now, I've mostly worked around this by making most of the scenarios themselves very close-quarters with a number of units that mostly makes sense to micromanage - but it'll definitely be a lot smoother if path resolution is one of the things made easier by stacking. With that, you can then do a lot more with a lot less orders and focus on the big picture!

(in reply to budd)
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RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/4/2019 9:51:34 PM   
Infierno


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Great work on this mod -- I am loving it so far. Looks like a labor of love, and clearly tons of research went into this.

However, I have to ask... Is there a hotkey for hiding/showing map location names? I find the Grozny map is just about unusuable from the mid-high level zoom heights because the whole map is obfuscated by dozens upon dozens of street names. Don't get me wrong, I love the attention to detail and level of effort, and I know there's an option in the menu to disable the text, but I'd like to know if there's a quick hotkey for hiding/showing names because I like seeing all the detail that went into mapping Grozny, rather than just keeping them disabled for playability's sake.

I guess this is more of a general tech support question, but I also just wanted to say -- absolutely fantastic work on this. I've already spent an obscene amount of time with AB, and I expect your new maps and OOBs to eat up a ton more

_____________________________

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(in reply to CCIP-subsim)
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RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/5/2019 2:18:42 AM   
CCIP-subsim


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Cheers, thank you!

And yes, the hotkey is Ctrl+L to toggle the names - I totally agree with you, the map is unusable when zoomed out with the labels on! I actually had a moment of panic when I'd first made the map and realized that unlike the ISO view (where at least the labels get filtered out when you zoom out), ALL the labels stay on in the standard top-down map). Fortunately, Ctrl+L has mostly made it a non-issue, but I'd love it if the map labels could be filtered per zoom level.

On the other hand, as long as I'm able to continue working on the map - there will likely eventually be a much larger, unified map of the entire country (it already exists - but very little of it has been worked on in any detail, beyond the parts released); and on it, the label detail is going to be somewhat less since I'll likely have to re-label everything for it.

< Message edited by CCIP-subsim -- 8/5/2019 2:22:01 AM >

(in reply to Infierno)
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RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/5/2019 7:31:34 PM   
CCIP-subsim


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Quick video break: https://youtu.be/fXiMXNFdVEI

1 minute of interesting footage - Chechen separatist armor, from the 1st (Shali) Tank Regiment on the streets of Grozny in December 1994, just days before the Russian assault. Seen in the footage are T-72A "White Crows" (4 or 5 of them - note the bleached turrets), and the MT-LB AA vehicle. Interestingly, that actually looks like an MT-LBU with 23mm (?) guns at the back, rather than the current vehicle in the game, which is a smaller MT-LB with 12.7mm guns. That I'll have to change for next version
Also note the presidential palace (RESCOM) in the background throughout the video.

< Message edited by CCIP-subsim -- 8/5/2019 7:33:45 PM >

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RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/6/2019 2:07:43 AM   
Infierno


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Thank you, that's great to know! I look forward to more!

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RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/6/2019 6:30:12 AM   
Booot


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Can't seem to download the mod from the link?

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RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/6/2019 1:16:36 PM   
CCIP-subsim


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Booot

Can't seem to download the mod from the link?


That's strange! It's a Google Drive link, and it even worked on my phone when I checked just now

I'll see if I can put up an alternate link on Dropbox or something when I get home tonight! (I'd add it as an attachment here on the forum, but it's a little too large for that).

(in reply to Booot)
Post #: 54
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/7/2019 7:31:57 PM   
Booot


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I managed to download your Mod using my phone. The link might be on some odd loop link that at times happens with Google drive since, your other Mod “Night Mist + Colour Light Maps” downloaded without a hitch,

Great work and challenging

(in reply to CCIP-subsim)
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RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/17/2019 8:15:58 PM   
muppetbaby

 

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Thank you so much for your time and effort in making one of the most enjoyable games i have played in years. Even in the 1st Scenario, when Russian Morale breaks down at one end and Troops do not want to move, whilst another part is fighting for its life, the game is acting so lifelike. Thank you again, this game rocks.

(in reply to CCIP-subsim)
Post #: 56
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 8/24/2019 8:42:24 AM   
HunterICX


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Hello CCIP,

Long time no see, well I got you to thanks for having made proper use of my Matrix ''being a member for so many years'' Coupon

AB was on my radar but was still a bit on the fence untill I saw the Matrix article about this mod. Good job! It gave me a good indication of the potential of this game and it's nice to see a conflict that isn't represented in any wargame I know of being put up.

Kind Regards.


(in reply to muppetbaby)
Post #: 57
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 9/3/2019 2:44:35 PM   
CCIP-subsim


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Sorry I was out for a while with no updates - been a stressful few weeks for me with full-time job + PhD + family issues. For now, the mod is comfortably paused where it is, but I'm looking in three directions for possible next steps, which will probably happen in this order:

1) Continuing the "New Year Storm" series, with scenarios for Group West, Group Northeast, and Group East. They all offer their own challenges - of the four groups, Group Northeast was the only one that actually succeeded in their objectives, while taking only 22 casualties (when Group North took around 1000 during the same period). Group East might be the subject of a scenario set as well as a map expansion eastward - that way, it can cover the Battle of Khankala that preceded the assault on Grozny, followed by the New Year's battle on their sector, where the heaviest Chechen forces were concentrated.

2) Going back in time a little, and covering actions of the Chechen Civil War, mainly the October and November attempts to take Grozny and a couple of related what-ifs. Another expansion of the map eastward is possible there, to cover the town of Argun just east of Grozny, and model the even earlier assault on it by pro-Dudayev hardliners against local boss Ruslan Labazanov's militia (who had several hundred men controlling the town, but ended up fleeing it with only about two dozen survivors and joining the opposition).

3) Fast-forwarding to "Operation Vengeance" and "Operation Jihad" in March and August 1996, with the separatists first launching a probe into Grozny, which would later to be merely a dress rehearsal for the "real" assault 5 months later, during which they'd succeeded at retaking the city, just before peace talks ended the First Chechen War in their favour.
In that project, I'll probably finally split things properly into 'eras' with different weapons availability. By 1996, the Chechen separatists had lost all their conventional capabilities, but gained pretty substantial support and dissimilar weaponry by way of Arab volunteers who'd arrived to wage a very different form of warfare.

quote:

ORIGINAL: muppetbaby

Thank you so much for your time and effort in making one of the most enjoyable games i have played in years. Even in the 1st Scenario, when Russian Morale breaks down at one end and Troops do not want to move, whilst another part is fighting for its life, the game is acting so lifelike. Thank you again, this game rocks.


Thank you! I'm glad that's the experience you've had with it - those moments are kind of the reason I made the mod, and I'm glad it provides that. I've definitely had my share of those kinds of games while making and testing the map where I had to stop and say "wow, this seemed strangely real!" for historical purposes. I hope to keep expanding this!

quote:

ORIGINAL: HunterICX

Hello CCIP,

Long time no see, well I got you to thanks for having made proper use of my Matrix ''being a member for so many years'' Coupon

AB was on my radar but was still a bit on the fence untill I saw the Matrix article about this mod. Good job! It gave me a good indication of the potential of this game and it's nice to see a conflict that isn't represented in any wargame I know of being put up.

Kind Regards.




Hi Hunter, long time no talk! Glad to see you pick this up, hope you enjoy it somewhat at least. Neither the mod nor AB are perfect games in any way, but I really do like the ease of moddability it offers.
I'll try and stop by Subsim and say hi sometime - contrary to my forum nick, I've not been on there for years!

< Message edited by CCIP-subsim -- 9/3/2019 2:47:11 PM >

(in reply to HunterICX)
Post #: 58
RE: Chechnya - maps and DB mod (v0.5 release) - 9/5/2019 12:25:45 PM   
nikolas93TS


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I haven't got the possibility yet to test the mod with multiple stacking feature, which should (in theory) significantly influence the way how heavily urban combat plays in Grozny.

(in reply to CCIP-subsim)
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