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Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather

 
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Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 12/17/2020 8:46:03 AM   
RedLancer


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In this second showcasing of War in the East 2 we are going to focus on the weather system. We’ll describe it in three elements – how weather is generated in game, the impact on air operations and finally the impact on ground operations.

WitE2 has a highly complex and dynamic weather model that generates realistic weather in an ever-changing manner. Few games will see identical weather patterns adding a new dimension to your wargaming experience.

The playable area of WitE2 is part of a much bigger map that stretches from the Atlantic to the Urals. Within this large area are eight different climate zones that define the accustomed prevailing weather characteristics within that area across the normal cycle of the seasons. These can be seen on the weather screen.



To add yet more variation the weather in the climate zones can be further modified by the passage of weather fronts that move across the map. There are five different weather fronts that reproduce the Earth’s customary meteorological behaviour: entering the map and influencing the weather across hexes in a characteristic fashion. The screenshot above shows a Low Pressure Maritime Arctic Front over southern Sweden.

For example a Polar Continental Front will change a hex that would have been Clear to Cold in November to February but will leave the weather as clear at any other time of the year. If the hex would have had Rain in the period November to February this will change to Snow. In the same period, if the hex would have had Snowfall, a Polar Continental Front will replace this with Blizzard conditions.

The weather screen shows the movement of these fronts across the map. The weather changes before the Soviet phase (in other words the German turn uses the same weather as the preceding Soviet turn). This reflects the Soviet Union’s (and its Allies) better weather forecasting capability. You are able to see a prediction of the following turn’s weather but true to form it is not wholly accurate.



As the five types of front move across the eight zones they create a range of six different air conditions: Clear, Rain (representing light rains - summer rains, no more than 2-3 days a week), Heavy Rain, Cold (light snow, clear sky most of the time), Snowfall (more regular snowfall with more cloud cover) & Blizzards (snow storms and very low temperatures). These air conditions are tracked by turn in each individual hex; allowing the impact on the ground to be calculated. Rain will lead to mud, cold will result in freezing, whilst clear will dry the ground. There are six ground conditions: Clear, Light Mud, Heavy Mud, Light Snow, Snow and Heavy Snow that result from the air weather. The actual hex conditions are tracked by the water and snow value of the hex which you can see those values in hex popup.

The weather screen allows you to see a summary of either the air or ground weather across the map. The composite image below compares screenshots of air on the left with ground on the right.



The map art also changes with the weather as this created picture shows.



Of course, all the effort that has gone into creating this system is to make the game a more enjoyable and realistic experience. The air and ground weather impacts combat and movement for air and ground units. You can see the precise weather in a hex via the mouse popup.



The air weather in a hex sets a percentage of cloud cover. This not only can reduce the effectiveness of an airstrike (particularly ground support) but also lead to higher operational losses. Cloud cover also has an effect across an entire air mission’s flight path. When we look in more detail at air operations you will see that you can set your air units not to fly in worsening conditions.

Ground weather has more of an impact but only on each individual hex and you will find that adjacent hexes will often not share the same conditions. Essentially mud and snow make movement more difficult and costly. Frozen rivers and lakes are easier to cross. Now that we have road values set in every individual hex we have been able to factor them into the equation too. Hexes with roads are less effected by the ground conditions. Together with admin movement (which we looked at in the last post) and the impact of weather costs, you get a much more sophisticated grid of costs for moving through hexes depending on terrain, roads, weather and admin or tactical movement. Moving a motorized unit into a good road swamp hex in heavy mud via admin movement will only cost 3 MPs, while if it was a bad road hex it would cost 13 MPs. Moving tactically would cost the unit 6 MPs in good roads or 14 MPs in bad roads. This shows in bad terrain and heavy mud, admin movement doesn’t gain you much. However, with a good road, things can be very different. Here a unit in heavy mud conditions will pay only 1MP to move one hex.



So planning with roads in mind is a good idea. You can also see an overview of the road system via the Weather screen.



Finally there are a few special rules that are worth mentioning and which we can elaborate on if you want to ask questions. Firstly, although blizzard may not be guaranteed in December 1941 up until the end of March 42 the Axis player will pay double the normal weather movement costs and rail is affected by the amount of snow and blizzard. Additionally there are increased attrition rules to reflect the impact of extreme cold, weapon malfunctions and frostbite. The winter of 1943/44 was un-seasonally mild so during that time the weather model is more clement with snow and blizzard. Both Lake Ladoga and the Sea of Azov have special supply rules for when they are frozen and this happens irrespective of the wider dynamic weather system.

Next time we’ll look more at logistics.


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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 12/18/2020 3:44:15 AM   
Light4bettor

 

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Nice, many of the Barbarossa accounts I've read mention the occasional short summer rains in late June/July 41, and how they affected movement. Nice to see that weather taken into account and implemented in what seems to be a reasonable manner.

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 12/18/2020 8:44:35 AM   
loki100


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yeah, there is less of binary weather from WiTE1 and more of short annoyances - or opportunities. Also as shown, good roads make a huge difference to the impact.

This is probably a bit of a limited issue if the action is around Moscow in autumn 1941 but it gives the Soviet late winter/spring offensives in Germany in 1945 a very different feel - a subtlety missing from WiTE1

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 12/19/2020 10:29:24 PM   
No idea

 

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Dont you think mud and clear terrain look the same? It is difficult to tell the difference at a glance. I know this is controversial, because some people have asked for a less “intrusive” mud, but I think you have gone tto far the other way.

< Message edited by No idea -- 12/19/2020 10:30:41 PM >

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 12/20/2020 8:06:30 PM   
76mm


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For whatever it's worth, I would agree that the mud is a bit too hard to distinguish from clear.

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 12/21/2020 9:44:02 AM   
RedLancer


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Don't forget we have Light and Heavy Mud. The comparison screenshot above shows Light Mud. You can see Heavy Mud in the penultimate screenshot. As the map now shows elevation we have had to carefully select the shades. Too far in the opposite direction and the map will look just like it was built from its individual tiles. With the hex popup as a fall back we think we have got the best balance - especially when you see the art in game and not losing definition in a screenshot.

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 12/22/2020 9:26:31 PM   
No idea

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: RedLancer

Don't forget we have Light and Heavy Mud. The comparison screenshot above shows Light Mud. You can see Heavy Mud in the penultimate screenshot. As the map now shows elevation we have had to carefully select the shades. Too far in the opposite direction and the map will look just like it was built from its individual tiles. With the hex popup as a fall back we think we have got the best balance - especially when you see the art in game and not losing definition in a screenshot.


The penualtimate screenshot is light or heavy mud? Because I cant tell the difference yet. Perhaps it is that I have been reading old texts too much in the last hours (paleography can “break” your eyes sometimes) but I cant see any difference

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 12/23/2020 1:42:37 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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It's quite distinguishable in-game, at least to my eyes. Perhaps a larger shot with clear/heavy mud shown would help?

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 12/23/2020 1:50:43 PM   
loki100


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Here's a view from my current test game with the air weather turned off. Basically to the west of the Vistula is light mud, to the east is heavy.

They are not that different but you can see them well enough for practical purposes. Usually when deeper into the Soviet Union you don't get this more subtle mixing, its one or the other reflecting the air weather. Basically here the weather varies so the amount of mud reflects the variable rain.

As Erik says, its clear when you have it on screen.





edit - note also the tree art varies as the seasons change, so we are now having some autumnal browns

edit 2 - when we come to tell you about logistics, there is a clue in that image as to how to make the WiTE2 logistics model work for you and how you can supply a tank heavy, 3 million man force in E Prussia and NW Poland ...

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by loki100 -- 12/23/2020 1:53:38 PM >


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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 12/25/2020 5:40:10 AM   
robinsa


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The weather looks great, but more than that I really have to say you did a great job with the map. I take back my criticism of the map I had a couple of months ago. It really does look great and is a step up from the WITW map! Thanks for all the hard work.

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 1/24/2021 2:05:20 PM   
steevo38

 

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Is there/will there be any influence of extreme weather on AFC reliability scores. Eg, Overheating tiger/panther engines at kursk. Frozen mk3 engines outside Moscow?

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 2/5/2021 5:19:42 PM   
steevo38

 

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I think that extreme heat should also be a possible weather affecting unit performance. Overheating panzers could slow down an advance.

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 2/5/2021 10:37:18 PM   
Zorch

 

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Any chance of an animated weather forecast for each player, with uniformed weather girls? I mean weather women.

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 2/6/2021 2:58:04 AM   
DekeFentle

 

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Suggest you Google, larissa-sladkova-weather-girl-russia

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 3/23/2021 7:13:42 PM   
James80

 

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I have searched the manual but I haven't found it. What does the "-1" "-2" mean in the weather overlay?

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 3/23/2021 7:16:00 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: James80

I have searched the manual but I haven't found it. What does the "-1" "-2" mean in the weather overlay?


if you mean in the weather maps? Then its simply to differentiate the fronts as the game needs to track them across turns. There are a few rules where how long a given front has been in existence has some bearing on its impact (I think just around the mild winter concept)

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RE: Showcasing WitE2 #2 - Weather - 3/23/2021 7:20:33 PM   
James80

 

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I hope these are the weather screens. I mean, eg, "L(mA)-2"

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