RHS Thread: Microupdate 6.425

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el cid again
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RHS Thread: Microupdate 6.425

Post by el cid again »

RHS Microupdate 6.426

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ap7XOIkiBuUwhb0jGIA ... g?e=MSFVdd

This update includes pwhexe.dat files, new aircraft art filmstrips,
and scenario files (aircraft, devices, air groups and ships).

el cid again
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RE: RHS Level II Development Report

Post by el cid again »

An interim update for RHS Level I involves some revised stock map panels
basically made for Level II. While I have decided to continue to use
stock art map panels for Level I, nevertheless a few of the most irritating of errors
have been edited out of them. These are mainly false location names. These
include Ruby, Alaska - a town no longer extant by WW2 because of destruction
by earthquake and fire. Also, a few locations did not have the names of the present
day in WW2 - including Urumchi, Sinkiang (which was Dihua), Changchun (which
was Hsinking), Chinnampo (often shortened to Nampo, it was Jinsen to the Japanese),
and Port Arthur (which was Ryojun). The capital of Mongolia is close enough to leave
the art name - but the location has the full, period name of Ulaan Bataar Khot:
today's Ulan Bator was shortened both in number of words and in spelling of the retained words.

One other change is that the border of India and Burma were changed by one hex SW of Imphal.
In that location - hex 59/42 - a new town appears - mainly because it is the end of a primary road.
Some Allied units can use strategic movement along a primary road - but only to a defined point.
In Level II, this location is actually on a trail in 1941. It disappears (as all trails do in
Monsoon in jungle hexes) seasonally! But by Spring 1943, the primary road reaches the hex and
from then on an all season secondary road serves Karlemyo (a potential Level 6 airfield built by
the British during the war) and Falem (protecting the Allied right flank).

For Level II we probably will move to a separate installer for maps and pwhex.dat files -
and eventually pwlink.dat and pwzone.dat files. Possibly this will also become the way we "switch"
these files. My plan is to start with 1941 maps - as stock kind of does (except a few places have
roads not yet built - see the road to Imphal above). Then, probably, to create annual map art for
later years - all using stock panels - except modified for Level II in several ways.

Map development of entirely new art is underway - but is not going to be available to issue soon.
So I am issuing modified stock art as a workaround.

Level II can not be issued until all locations are reviewed - so any that can be eliminated are gone
before ANY game begins. Also it needs a new set of pwhexe.dat files - and so far only the first one
has been made. Certain technical questions need to be answered, and these will determine the extent
to which presently "off map" locations can be developed - or in what sense? Level II also needs new
art panels. Missing islands will be added in art. New roads and rail roads (only a tiny number) need
to be added - for example the road art for the first few seasons around Imphal needs to be downgraded
from primary to secondary road or from either kind to trail. Also - up by Fort MacMurray - a rail line
extends two more hexes to the NW. There may be other cases - depending on location research developments.
But most of this will be in the "off map" area. It turns out the existing off map system works for
logistics (which I doubted) - so showing it in road/rail codes (and art) may help players understanding
what works better than all black does.
el cid again
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RE: RHS Level II Preview Details and Plan

Post by el cid again »

The way I generate installer links is operating near the limit of size capacity.
So I need to uninstall the Level I installer from the cloud in order to put the Level II
installer into it. Before I do that, I will issue a final techincal update for Level I -
likely today - incorporating the more important location/industry/base build revisions
found in Level II research. We are getting ever closer to a data model of the way things were in WW2, with some provisions for development of locations to the extent that was feasible with the technology and populations then available. Many - I hope most - of the important locations missing from the stock map system have been identified and added. [See for example Kao, a major Japanese air base, and nearby Daruba Island, which became the major forward base supporting the invasion of the Philippines by the US, in the Moluccas. Or Sibu (aka New FuChow) on Borneo, which got its present day international airport courtesy of Japanese wartime construction.] Many, I hope most, of the cases where things were not as developed as they appear in stock also have been identified. [See Brunei - which was not yet a major oil producing center so it is a more limited one.]

I have been able to work with the stock art well enough to create a usable
foundation for development and playtesting. This process has led me to
adopt four of Andrew Brown's five revised map panels as well as his
pwzone and pwlink files - we won't use panel 15 - which would require
changing all the pwhexe files for no useful purpose.

We will use the RHS pwhexe files - but I must modify them slightly to do that.
I have already folded in the changes on Luzon and at Shortlands - as well
as my own plan to correct the road to Imphal (which was not built until after
the war began) and to extend the RR from Fort MacMurray, Alberta. I need
to do some changes to deal with Andrew's 0 and 1 panels - and some others
to deal with my own plans - eventually.

I am using a mixed set of stock and (4) of Andrew's panel. These are modified
to get rid of incorrect place names for the period and to add some islands where
there was no art. I also moved the border in our panel 8.

I have not figured out how to draw on a panel - but I can copy and paste at pixel
level and so far that is good enough.

I will probably issue an interim art and supporting revised location files, pwhexe.dat file and (probably modified) versions of Andrew pwzone and pwlink files tomorrow. These will not include the future 29 panel with Madagascar on it - but instead use one with no art at all. The location files are set up for all Madagascar locations and units
to fold in (some units are already present but inactive - and the Vichy air units already exist but are not active as well). There will be several stages of this - and
the jury is still out on off map expansion. We may be making Andrew's art work
as if it were really an extended map - if programmers are correct about the effect of coding pwhexe.dat to say "on map" being all that is needed. If not - they will work
in the off map sense they do now. Stage one - called preview - is slightly modified stock - with the changes to Luzon, Shortlands and the NW corner area. Stage two will involve changes to the off map movement and locations on the right side. Note the
legend, compass rose and logo are all moved already - and I am doing both WPEH and WPEN versions of everything. Faster than expected. Stage three will add Madagascar and associated OB changes (or activate those units already done).

Next I will complete the unfinished scenarios.

I expect to release technical update 1.202 for Level I today. This is approximately the same as the Level II Preview release tomorrow - except it has different map art and different supporting pwhexe.dat, pwzone.dat and pwlink.dat files.

el cid again
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RE: RHS Level II Development Update

Post by el cid again »

I have issued Level ONE update 1.202. The corresponding 1.202 Level TWO update - the first to be issued -
is now in final integration of map art, map support files (pwhexe.dat, pwlink.dat, pwzone.dat), and location files.
It should release in a day or so. This is an extended map version.
el cid again
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RE: RHS Level II Development Update

Post by el cid again »

I have been successful at modifying maps. This will provide a development platform for testing as well as "real" map development - it is helpful to have a guide for where things are when developing maps and the road/rail networks which appear on them.
I used a combination of stock art, Andrew Brown's extended map art, and custom modified panels for both (deleting ahistorical names, adding or 'subtracting' roads and rail lines which are incorrect for game start). I have decided to develop five different sets in parallel - all for Winter - one each for 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945 - permitting working with the current game year at least (while we wait for the 'real' maps - which are at least six months out).

I have a problem because three locations have moved: Aden, Abadan and Peshawar. It seems ships and air groups follow the location when it changes hexes - but land units do not. And large numbers of LCU appear at Aden - so moving them all is a long and tedious process.

As well - although this issue is in suspense because I have asked for help (and was promised it before we began Level II development) - while I CAN get LCU to move on row 03 on the exiting movement track - I can not get them to work on row 03 or 04
in the extended map area added by Andrew. Never mind I generated what should be a proper pwhexe.dat file to permit that. Something else is necessary. As well, for reasons entirely unclear, my pwhexe.dat files do not work with Andrew's extended map pwlink.dat and pwzone.dat files. But they do work with HIS pwhexe.dat file. That means I need to modify his file in all respects required by RHS. To simplify that process, I have decided to use his entire extended map system. That in turn means I must modify the location file for some points in Malaya. [We already modified them for Luzon, Shortlands, Aden, Abadan etc.] Bear in mind that I maintain many sets of flies - there are essentially six scenarios under development - times two because of Levels I and II using different map systems. While Level I development is not as demanding - only big changes are worked in - it still means for an important record I must make it in 12 different files.

Wether or not we make the extended map area work as if it is on map - we should be able to do what we want in the off map areas. The remaining unknown is "how will the lower left corner area behave after we remove the blocked hex sides" - another tedious task. But preliminary testing - and answers to formal questions - indicate there should not be a problem.

It is clear there is more than "a day or two" of work involved. I was also slightly delayed by the effects of the largest earthquake in Cook Inlet since seismic instruments have been recording them.

el cid again
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RE: RHS Level II Development Update

Post by el cid again »

I have virtually completed the location file review for RHS Level II - repeat II.
The more important unit changes from that file are being fed back to the Level
I location file. The "final" Level I product - 1.204 - should release tomorrow.
It corresponds to the "preview" first Level II product - which should release
in 2-3 days - when I have a new pwhexe.dat file to go with the new location file.

Apart from many changes for Allied units (particularly those which appear at Aden)
so they better match their formations - there is a new location (Ras-Hilf, Misirah Island)
which was apparently added by Andrew - and technically IS off map (but does not look
like it any more) - and it works AS an ON MAP location (as do the nearby sea hexes).
This is a British auxiliary air base - unmanned - and minor port - not too far from
Abadan. There also are probably going to be some new Greek warships - two destroyers
have been identified in theater so far. They join the Georgious Averof, an ancient
CA already in the file set. The Greeks are very proud of her - and technically she
remains in commission (as a relic).
el cid again
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RE: RHS Level II Development Update

Post by el cid again »

This update is ready to issue except for "invisible" map issues related to the pwhexe.dat, pwzone.dat and
pwlink.dat file, and a few art modifications to a few map panels. A "preview" release will occur shortly.
It lacks later seasonal files and maps, and some off map location developments. The "full" release will
include more pwhexe.dat files and map art files. Work on it will begin as soon as the preview is issued
and will take perhaps 2-3 weeks. During that time, technical updates folding in reported eratta or
new information will be worked in to Level II files only. Level I files will no longer be updated.
el cid again
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RE: RHS Level II Preview ver 1.204

Post by el cid again »

Link to follow when it the cloud is ready. The msi file can be sent by email
on request.

RHS Level II Update Link 2.20
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=3 ... file%2cmsi

This update is a first look at RHS Level II. It uses a variation of the Extended
Map System (while RHS Level I uses stock maps). It roughly corresponds to
the last technical update for Level I in most on map respects. It is a Beta, untested.

It comes only with an undeveloped version of the start of game pwhexe.dat
file - for Winter 1941. And this itself needs to be developed with respect to
inland waterways not part of stock, as well as some inshore work defining
straits (most of which are undefined in stock). As well, contemplated "off map"
developments for Level II are (mostly) missing. There will be an extensive period
in which pwhexe.dat files, and pwlink.dat and pwzone.dat files, and map art
is developed and integrated, sometimes involving changes to location files.

Here we have a preliminary set of map art panels modified from stock or from
Andrew Brown's Extended Map System. As with the final versions of Level I,
Level II is intended to be played with the non-hex map art. If you want to see
hex sides, turn on the hexside details switch. This is because it is easier to
modify plain maps - no need to line up hexsides. In spite of that, some map
panels with hexside details are also included - mainly to show name changes
(where they are not historical for the period or were in error) - and sometimes
also to show important infrastructure (railroads in particular). This early
form of Level II only has 1941 map art - and that is common to all scenarios.

Eventually we contemplate a great deal more map art (and supporting files).
There may eventually be three different map systems: modified stock (shown
here, done by me), a boardgame style system and a topo map style system
(both done by our map artist). He estimates it will be at least six months until
he has a full set of panels - so I have made quick and dirty modified panels
to permit testing and to facilitate development. Eventually I expect the size
of the art files to be so large we will issue it in multiple forms. Right now I am making
map art for five different game years. It may be that each will have its own installer
in due course. It also may be we will develop a sophisticated art (and map support file) switcher program to make management of all this easier. Right now, players
must change pwhexe.dat files every season. Eventually that process may also
involve map art changes. One possibility is, if we can read save game file names
in a way that reveals game date, this process can be automated.

This version of RHS adds seven Greek Warships, all destroyers or escort destroyers. There was already a very famous and ancient Greek CA (a ship
which technically remains in commission to this day, never mind it pre dates the
First World War!). Four of these ships (a division of DEs) only becomes availabe
for a final Allied push to crush Japan in the fall of 1945. But that may be needed
in game terms: I do not think strategic bombing is effective in this game system.
And while RHS atom bombs do not affect victory levels, and come in realistic
numbers (the Allies get three per month - two Plutonium and on Uranium) - and while
RHS bombs will destroy vastly more targets than stock bombs do - they cannot achieve the massive effects of real atom bombs (and there is no game mechanism
to destroy a railroad, a road, a port or a bridge, or even to reduce their capacity).
For that reason the Allies may find an invasion of Japan is necessary.

el cid again
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RE: RHS Level II Preview ver 1.205

Post by el cid again »

RHS Level II Update Link 2.20
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=3 ... file%2cmsi

This is an update of the preview for RHS Level II mainly with an improved
pwhexe.dat file. It is a preview because some things are not functional in all
locations on the map (mainly inland waterways) and because, until validation
is completed, a location may be deleted - which would be a problem in a long
term game.

Case in point, one location WAS eliminated in this update. Four other cities
in India were moved to better model their economic interaction via railroads.

The most visible change is the "construction" of Adam's Bridge, linking Ceylon
to India. I had forgotten it was not present in stock. In stock, there is no way
for units to cross, nor for ships to pass either. Yet both were the case (until
a storm a generation after the war destroyed the bridge - with a train on it!).

The most important change is the "correction" of urban areas. Stock missed
a majority of these (although most are minor) - and a few cases were misclassified.
Because RHS uses an objective definition, it is possible to know what city qualifies?

The rivers of South and SE Asia were "dredged" so they work for shipping. There is
one new important one - the Red River (in Northern Viet Nam) - which goes all the
way to Yunnan. Before the French built the RR, it was vital. Because China wreaked
the Northern end of the RR, the river route is impotent during WW2, although neither
side used it. RHS models the truth - and players decide what infrastructure to use?
Rivers on Sumatra and Borneo also now work.

Rivers in China, Australia and North America still need to be made to work.

Most of the work went into making the road network "look better" - more like a road
map. Related to that is the "trails" - which RHS uses for several functions. These
may be real trails (often seasonal) which channel movement along historical LOC
(because it is faster). Or they may be "low capacity ferries" or "minor river traffic"
(which isn't seasonal in Winter, but seasonal forms may be added for non-Winter
seasons). And the rail network was "perfected" - all corrections and deletions have
been applied.

There will be one more update of the pwhexe.dat leading to 1.300 - which will
be suitable for playing. Next week.
el cid again
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RE: RHS Level II pwhexe.dat and art report

Post by el cid again »

The notice below went out to those on the RHS primary distribution list
today with the first totally completed pwhexe.dat file. When the Winter
file is done, the official release will happen. "Building ice" takes
a long time and endless review to insure no errors.

This is the first pwhexe.dat file to be completed: it is Spring 1942.
That because I needed to "build ice" for icepacks in the Sea of Othosk
and the Bering Sea, and Spring has much but not all of that ice. I
then got rid of the few Winter ice trails and ice roads in the file,
and added some navigation changes to rivers for Spring (which
are few - Northern rivers are as impassable in Spring as in Winter
due to what is called "break up" - Spring is the least mobile season
in the North - with neither ice roads/trails nor navigation. The
Winter file will follow shortly in its final form - and the already issued
form is playable if you understand it lacks some major ice roads
(in Russia - crossing Lake Baikal and to Sakhalin Island) and there is
ice farther South in those two seas named above. The nominal official
first release of Level II will come tomorrow - possibly with Monsoon
pwhexe.dat done as well.

For now we will only to the "standard" pwhexe.dat files - showing strictly
historical construction. I may or may not do the JES version - but it
isn't priority at this time. I want to do more map edge development
and get the full set of historical files out first, and probably also complete
one or two more scenarios (126 and 129).

You can identify a Level II pwhexe.dat file by the II prefix in its name.
This file goes in the Level II PWHEXRHS folder.

In general, the Level II pwhexe.dat files are substantially similar to Level I
files. However, they are a complete rebuild based on Andrew Brown's
Extended map file version. That forced a total review. This was more diligently
done, in the context of lessons learned by location research over the last few
years. The new files are somewhat cleaner, somewhat simplified, and model
the terrain somewhat better than Level I files do. Their main differences, however,
are that they work with the extended map panels.

At present the Level II map art is based on stock or Andrew's Extended panels,
and as such show what we consider to be the Monsoon Season. I am going to
make Monsoon panels as well - showing the Winter ice. But they do not yet
exist. That is very hard - pack ice being hard to show. When that is done,
I will probably split the installers so they can display files with Winter or Monsoon
art - or I will make a program to select art and associated pwhexe.dat files by date.
But I wish to clean up the Monsoon art a bit more first. The only thing with higher
priority is getting the rest of the standard pwhexe.dat files done. Report any
eratta found.

el cid again
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RE: RHS Level II First Relese 1.300

Post by el cid again »

RHS Level II Update Link 2.20
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=3 ... file%2cmsi

This update differs from the pre-release mainly in that it has fully developed pwhexe.dat files (for 1941 Winter and 1942 Spring). However, it is a comprehensive
update with data files, documentation files and even art file updates.

These may be the cleanest pwhexe.dat files I have ever done (or seen). Because they are the foundation for later files, I wanted them to be "clean" and reviewed and tested them over and over again. The 1942 Monsoon is very similar to these files - they were built on it - so when I get rid of things like trails in jungles that disappear in Monsoon - and update a bit of construction and navigation unique to it - another update will be issued, probably tomorrow. The Fall season requires "subtraction" of ice and considerable navigation work on six Arctic rivers. Mostly of logistical significance, they also permit invasion deep into North America or Siberia.

There are a few differences between this Spring file and the pre-release version. Mainly because I discovered that the road bridge across the Amur River at Khabarovsk was not built until 1999! [Thus every version of AE until now has wrongly had that city served by a primary road. The older RR bridge was completed in 1917. While the new bridge is both rail and road, the old one still stands and is about to be modernized.] Note also that no bridge - road or rail - crosses the Yangtze downstream from Wuhan - and that the RR bridge on the lower Yellow River is equally fictional. These rivers were served by ferries until the post war bridges were built - which are modeled in RHS in ways that reduce thru-put. The other change to the Spring file is related to the addition of polynya (spell checker does not seem to know that is an English word!). These are warm water bodies surrounded by ice which persist for years - because they relate to local thermal energy systems. A cache of old ice maps has been found and permitted building a reasonable model.

Two of these polynya matter for winter navigation. So two barge groups (in all scenarios) and two ferries (in full RHS or odd numbered scenarios) were added to permit Russian resupply using them. As well, the only Japanese military icebreaker
was added - to service a route near a third polynya where the ice is thin - because otherwise Sakhalin would not be able to export in Winter. In this new interpretation of map art, ice comes even farther South. In spite of global warming, even today the island is virtually surrounded by ice in Winter. Three other Japanese vessels changed locations because the ports they were in are not useable during winter.

A town was added North of Khabarovsk because it is a rail junction and also the end of a major road. It may well be useful in some games to be able to sent trains to that particular point - more efficient than sending them to Khabarovsk for some routings.

Generally little eratta has been reported or found. At this point RHS Level II differs mainly in respect to units that were at locations that changed. The most important of these was Aden. There were also changes in the Peshiwar area, on Luzon (where Clark and Subic are separated) and at Shortland. Other changes were made to the road/railroad/trail network - and also to how ferries and river traffic are modeled. US Army maps were consulted to get the jungle trails more correctly modeled. All the things added in Level I (e.g. the Ididarod winter trail system, the Tea and Horse Caravan Road, etc) have been added.

The final significant change was the addition of Tibet's third largest town (a city today) - and in Monsoon you will see a trail showing the ancient traditional route to Mongolia from India which passes through it. For now, only a river valley trail to the SE is shown - the only winter access. The entire Tibet Army is present - and static - and it has all of the 'heavy weapons' - six machine guns (2 per battalion)! These units are static for cause: two guard the two important 'capitals' - and keep an eye on the warrior monks who opposed funding the army (at their expense) - and to occupy a disputed part of China (with locals that must be kept in line) - this latter adding the third most important population center to the country.

Development is now completely focused on the map system. Slightly revised stock and extended map system panels are included - but only the non-hex versions are fully developed (because it is easier not to line up hexes). These panels are an interim to facilitate testing and development - pending the intended Level II maps. These come in two flavors - a board game type - and a geographic details display type. It is estimated it will take at least half a year for these to become available. The interim panels help the map artists as well as permit playing. Bye and bye, some additional development will occur in the off map areas, but for now the only changes are along the "NE" map edge where the extended map is somewhat extended.

el cid again
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RE: RHS Level II Development News

Post by el cid again »

Most of my time has been spent on creating the Monsoon seasonal pwhexe.dat file.
This is a vastly more complicated one than Winter and Spring because many rivers
become navigable for most or all of their length, and a few for the first time. The process also revealed a small amount of eratta, or at least better ways to present the material, than originally used by Winter and Spring files - so I reworked them to be consistent at the highest standard. THEN I learned about something new:

The Death Road. It is yet another of Stalin's mega projects for prisoners. Not one you would want to volunteer for - even if you had to pick one of them. Build in the coldest part of the inhabited world, the ground is always frozen. That being the case, it was regarded as impractical to dig graves. Since they had to dig frozen ground to make a proper road foundation anyway, they decided to put the bodies into that foundation. There were may, so the entire road is regarded to this day as one very long cemetery - hence the name. Locally it is often called merely "the road." Since there are NO others, its meaning is clear without any name. The route is from Yakutsk to Magadan going deep into the interior. It actually begins by going NE from Yakutsk until the Lena River (the main LOC in the region) meets the Aldan River, its main right hand tributary, and then follows that valley for a while. Not too far along is the only truly important point on the "road" (which is more or less a pioneer road, if that, for most of its length in 1941), we come to Khavdzhan, which was an important air base used in particular by US heavy bombers sent as aide to the USSR. It is why the base at Ul Kel on the very Eastern tip of Siberia was useful - planes from there needed to refuel somewhere to reach any place useful. It ultimately had an 8000 foot runway, although it is unlikely it was more than 5000 feet in 1941. Since it is on a river, this is also a river port - the part of the year the river is navigable. Working on this, as well as making the Lena and Alden partially navigable (full connection to the Arctic Ocean only happens in Fall), I decided also to add Tiksi - the Northernmost city over 5,000 population in the world - and a truly major air base during the Cold War era (when the community reached 18,000 and had three large airfields). If I can make it work, Tiksi will connect to off map areas - and in particular to Archangelsk - which I propose to add (but only seasonally). Tiksi is on the Eastern edge of the Lena River delta and it connects to Yakutsk by ice road (ONLY in Winter). It also can get ships from Yakutsk in Monsoon and Fall, and from Archangelsk in Fall. At the other end of the Death Road, the stub of which is shown in stock art, we have Susuman, mainly a gold mining town, but also an airfield. This gives some defensive depth in the event the Northern part of the Sea of Othosk is invaded. Otherwise it means many more types of aircraft can transfer to or from the towns at the Eastern tip of Siberia. Both Khavdzhan and Susuman eventually are connected to Yakatusk and Magadan (respectively) by a true "military road" (secondary road) - although they begin connected by seasonal "pioneer roads" (trails) which disappear in the harsh Winter. [The Khavdzhan area is served by ice road in Winter and by small ships in Monsoon and Fall. Susuman has no such luck and is seasonally isolated until its section of the road is completed.] But this work required redoing all three pwhexe.dat files yet again!

Investigating the major rail junction of Western Canada, I decided to add Saskatoon. This was a major air training base and it lies in a position useful if Western Canada
was invaded - about as important as Calgary would be. RHS development of the MacKenzie River area permits invasion of this area and justifies adding this location. As well, it facilitates the air transport effort used to develop Western Canada - for which we have added all the militarized civil airlines - they need to fly from somewhere. The MacKenzie River system is now fully developed and permits navigation deep into the region.

A few base forces were added (Russian and Canadian), and five Chinese political sections were added for large cities undefended by major ground units (except those far back in Szechwan). A few ships had to be moved because of changes of river port definitions. Just as in RHS Level I, Level II permits moving ships from the Lake Baikal (the North Sea in Chinese) area to the Northern map edge - seasonally. Because this is an interior waterway not normally open to the sea, it only gets ships in Full RHS (odd numbered) scenarios - and not in Simplified RHS (even numbered) scenario.

Although many of these remarks apply to the Far North of the map, most of the work is in the middle - where rivers that matter at least for logistics - and potentially for naval operations - exist in numbers. These rivers are as developed as possible - permitting landings along most of their banks (except when actually not possible or when game mechanics force a choice because of rivers close together). The idea is to create a map with all (almost all) possible movements defined and to leave to the players if and when to exploit the potential in a specific game situation. To insure this was done well needed seemingly endless rounds of testing, so every hex was checked to insure an actual naval unit could use it.

Except for the trails and road sections of the Death Road described above, and the not yet added ice road to Tiksi described above, the road and rail network is stable. The final phase of Monsoon development now requires I remove trails in jungles in the Monsoon area. That is last because the Fall file will not lose those trails - so I must create a foundation for it WITH them still present.

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RE: RHS Level II Comprehensive Update 1.31

Post by el cid again »

RHS Level II Update Link 2.20
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=3 ... file%2cmsi

This update is more comprehensive than expected, and includes a new documentation file (Level II Seasonal Construction) because of the Road of Bones, a new map art panel (to show the primary road does not cross the Amur River at Khabarovsk), slightly revised class, device, leader, location and ship data files, revised Winter and Spring pwhexe.dat files and the first release of the Monsoon pwhexe.dat file.

Most of the work went into the pwhexe.dat files, as expected. But discovery of the Road of Bones led to still other discoveries. The Kolyema Road was completed far into the interior of Siberia in 1937 and supported one of the important stating airfields. The Alden Road was also completed before the war, and also supported an important stating airfield - the most important one in Eastern Siberia. The Road of Bones runs between them - and essentially supports nothing - pretty much to this day! By the time we added the important bases along these routes, we had a completely different picture of Eastern Siberia. And the USSR now can send aircraft
(as it really could) to the Eastern Tip of the country WITHOUT using ships! You can see how? At the same time, I learned more about the Arctic areas of Russia, adding the peculiar ice free areas (due to latent heat) called polyemas - a couple of which matter in game terms (permitting Winter navigation in a limited way). And we added the most important town in the world above the Arctic Circle - Tiksi. Turns out this area is ice free by Monsoon and I hope to turn it into a map edge entry point. But it is serviced by an ice road in Winter and by navigation along the important Lena River in Monsoon and Fall. This is the only navigable river in the Far North during Monsoon. [Note, however, it is isolated from the Bering Strait by ice except in Fall).

More river systems were developed than previously. Hyderabad (Sindh) is now a seasonal port. So is Hsin Ning (formerly transliterated as Sinning) NW of Lanchow on the Upper Yellow River. While Monsoon usually improves river navigation, on the Irrawaddy it makes it worse (too much current through canyons) - so it is NOT navigable above Mandalay! India and China, where rivers matter a great deal, were carefully reworked to insure seasonal accuracy, as were Sumatra, Siberia and Alaska. A minor port in Thailand lost its port status. A few ships were moved or added to service the new port locations. A few (Soviet) base forces were added for the same reason. A few eratta were corrected and folded in. A few (Allied) units gained planning points for their locations, or had their experience levels revised. A few minor vessels or units were removed from Simplified RHS (e.g. even numbered) Scenarios. More records were revised for the not yet usable Downfall Scenario (126) - making them correct for 1945 (or they were 9999ed out - because they no longer exist in 1945).

Note that two of the included scenarios are NOT YET PLAYABLE. They are present for review and to generate feedback. Scenario 126 (Downfall) needs to be reworked for 1945. Scenario 129 - the very oldest RHS AE scenario - was never completed (by Mifune) and it uses an alternate history rationale assuming Japanese standardized ship designs were more widely used. It will complete as soon as I get the map revisions done. 126 will take a long time because there are over 100,000 records to change.
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RE: RHS Level II Micro Update 1.311 [pwhexe]

Post by el cid again »

RHS Level II Update Link 2.20
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=3 ... file%2cmsi

The vast majority of the work involved for this update went into creating the Fall pwhexe.dat file (technically the 42Fallpwhexe.dat file). However, the other three seasonal files were also redone slightly. Taken together, that is 99% of the new work.
Even a small ocean is large! I took the time to run ships everywhere to insure they can go there.

There is a new Level II Seasonal Construction file and a new Level II Urban Areas Defied file in the RHS documentation folder. These files are in particular useful to map makers - describing RHS definitions for cities as well as how road, rail and trail networks evolve over time.

Just as in RHS Level I, the next step is to produce a full set of "standard" pwhexe.dat files for the entire war. These will not alter the basic geographic data for the four seasons (now defined) - but they will show changes caused by construction of roads and rail lines. This is the next step. After that I will probably issue a special set of pwhexe.dat files for the Japan Enhanced Scenarios. These take more time as there is more construction to account for. Although not 'strictly historical' they do illustrate historical planning - and what might have been done if more resources had been committed to construction.

I did begin to do special seasonal maps. One of these is here. Rename WPEN03 as WINTERWPEN03 (so you can restore it later for start of game conditions). Then rename MONSOONWPEN03 as simply WPEN03 (preserving the extension of course). Put this panel in the AE Art folder. At the same time, rename II42MONSOONpwhexe.dat as pwhexe.dat and put it in the top level AE folder. Then start a game. Go to the Arctic Ocean and look to your right for the new town Tiksi where the Amur River runs into the sea at the very right edge of that ocean as shown on our map. There you will see how water has replaced ice. At the same time, assuming hexside details are on, you can see how the blocked hexsides are replaced by (generally) ocean hexsides in that area. This is a rough and ready solution to make the maps truly seasonal. In this case, there will never be any construction on the panel - so the same panel can be used for every year of the war.

Even so, it is clear that managing the large number of pwhexe.dat files, map panels, and in future some seasonal pwzone.dat and pwlink.dat files is going to be best supported by writing a program to manage them. The jury is still out on wether we can do so automatically - reading the game date for a turn - or not? Never mind it shows up in the game menu, I have not yet identified the date record in the save game file. The alternative is to manually enter the date I suppose. But I am investigating the mechanics involved. In old WITP days, someone wrote such a program for RHS. Unless that happens again, I will have to do it myself. Another ramification for using seasonal art is that we may eventually have to separate art packages from other aspects of the installation program - due to limits on file transmission total size. Time will tell. So far, it isn't a problem. But over time there are going to be a lot more pwhexe.dat files and art panels.

It is likely there are a handful of changes to the location files. Location files are intimately related to pwhexe.dat files and sometimes working on one causes a need to revise the other. As well, eratta are folded in when it is detected. I don't remember any since 1.31, but there may be some.

Please question anything that might be an error. RHS uses feedback as a mechanism to perfect the files. We do so rapidly, usually in the very next update.
And information theory dictates there must be errors. Even if this was not build on a foundation involving many different people working with many different standards (or, often, no defined standards at all) the sheer number of fields dictates there would be eratta.

Once the maps are "finished" (one can work on art forever), we hope these are only interim maps which will be replaced by two different map systems under development by a real mapmaker. One is a boardgame style map and the other is a "pretty" map more or less as the world looks to an astronaut. A month ago it was estimated that would take "at least six months" - and software always takes longer than estimated.
Anyway, once my "quick and dirty" modified stock panels are done, I will try to get Scenario 129 (an alternative JES scenario authored by Mifune) working and then Scenario 126 (a full map 1945 mini-scenario called Downfall - it runs through the end of Monsoon 1946).

In parallel with map development and scenario completion, I will experiment with pwzone.dat and pwlink.dat files in the hope of correcting some eratta and adding additional (Allied) entry-exit options. It may be possible to add Recife Brazil - an important navigation point - as well as to better model the routing of US submarines
(from Midwest USA down the Mississippi to New Orleans) - allowing players more control over where they appear when? [If you get the sub when built - with no delay - and you pick its route - you determine when it enters the map by selecting where it enters the map? This is entirely unknown by the enemy - they cannot look it up in the game data because they don't know your choices.] Other options are under consideration as well. Most such development will only apply to new game starts, but some (changing links for example) may increase options for them. Generally, such changes will only appear in new game starts. But the 'fresh start' for Level II means we have the slots needed and won't 'step on' existing locations, etc.
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RE: RHS Level II Barrage Balloons in game terms (expanded)

Post by el cid again »

At last I have learned how to spell "balloon"!

This is, of course, pure chrome. They have a slight game function - mitigating against a decision to fly very low (where more bombs hit the target IRL and perhaps too many do in germs of game algorithms). But not very many places.

They are surprisingly effective - and there were DOD proposals to bring them back in the 1980s - and they still get good press in some professional circles concerned with things like cruise missiles. [This is somewhat ironic, their greatest effect was in re the first cruse missile, the V-1. They either got 'about 100' - or 242 depending on your source.] But their real operational impact is, as with most air defenses, because of targets not hit (because the bombers flew higher or avoided the target altogether). They rarely have been credited with saving ships - even a lone LST unable to mount a proper 'barrage' - just one balloon!]

Barrage balloons were mainly an ETO phenomena. They also are surprisingly standardized. While the US Army did develop its own model just about when WW2 began, they quickly abandoned it in favor of the standard British type. This itself was simplified from a WWI design, and also flew lower. The Japanese and Russians had their own designs, but they were not functionally different enough (nor numerous enough) to justify unique, national devices. I standardized on the basic British model, which flies at up to 5024 feet (the cable was measured in meters rather than feet or yards). I expected to have different kinds because of parachutes cables and explosive bomblets, but they had no measurable impact on effectiveness - which remains remarkably constant.

I have created two devices - and implemented only one of them so far. These are variations on the same theme, modeling the same standard balloon - static and mobile (meaning truck mobile) - because that was the two forms used. They are peculiar devices, and show up as Flak with very little "range" and a modest "ceiling". They come in packages of 24 (British and Commonwealth), 30 (Japanese and Russian), and 45 (US). A variation is that LSTs can "convert" to a form with the after AA mounting replaced by a single barrage balloon (otherwise retaining all their cargo capacity and other AA guns). These are dual conversions - an LST can be normal or "with barrage balloon" - and can go back and forth as desired. This is because the most common application at sea was at landing sites where they were indeed flown by LSTs. There were some cases of merchant ship use - at least one in the Solomans - but until I have more information - it is unwise to model it.

Fixed barrage balloons are generally limited to major cities, usually ports. At the start of the war Japan had a single "company" (CW nations and USMC call them 'squadrons') at Tokyo, Osaka and Shimonozeke. Several more were formed (perhaps four or five companies) but where they were sent is not known (I have the official US Army report on them from the occupation) - so I will make them road mobile. The US had three deployed units when the war began (Panama, Bremerton, and San Diego), and deployed several more to Oahu, Seattle "area" (including Renton), and LA. Britain sent one unit each to Columbo, Trincomalee and Calcutta. Probably the Russians only used them over Vladivostok and the Chinese only over Chunking.
There is a chance the US might have deployed a battalion in 1945 - on return from Europe it was sent to Hawaii after service in France and other places - so in strictly historical games the US will get at least one very late war mobile unit. There are a few units with unknown histories that may add to the list - probably only 1 or 2 - probably 1942 or 1943. The UK could have sent mobile units after VE day - but more analysis is needed. More of these kinds of additions will be considered for Japan Enhanced Scenarios - where we are less constrained by history and Japan is presumably a bigger threat.


The US Marines formed two barrage balloon battalions just as the Pacific War began. These were eventually disbanded - along with almost all other special USMC units -
when pre-war plans did not work out and it became clear the war strategy required
major assaults by major combat units. But from late 1941 until mid 1943, the US has two mobile battalions. Late in the war, the 320 th was sent to Hawaii and available for PTO operations. Otherwise, although three battalions and three independent batteries were sent to ETO, only one other unit was maintained into 1945 - the 302nd. Originally a training unit, it apparently spent most of the war defending points in the Eastern USA, and was only disbanded in July when it was clear no need for it would develop in PTO. So these are the only two mobile US units late in the war.

Russia could have sent a mobile unit to the Far East after Germany surrendered - if there was deemed to be an enemy bomber threat. So I have put one in to give players the option, depending on the war situation. China used barrage balloons big time in the Korean War and clearly had a domestic industry. Pending more data, I have given China a static battalion at Chunking and a mobile one for use anywhere - but no more.

Since the USN and RN both use the same LSTs, RN LSTs may convert to the barrage balloon form just as the USN can - players choice. I have found photographs of RN LSTs flying them - so it is OK to let this stand. But I did not find evidence UK sent mobile units - which it could have done after Germany fell - it had 2000 deployed (mainly static) in the UK itself. I did find a call by Churchill to send them to Ceylon and photographic and documentary evidence they also went to Calcutta, but no where else.

In a message dated 3/3/2016 7:51:13 P.M. Alaskan Standard Time, Trevethans@aol.com writes:
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RE: RHS Level II Comprehensive Update 1.40

Post by el cid again »

RHS Level II Update Link 2.20
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=3 ... file%2cmsi

Most of the work in this update, something that will be true for a while, went into pwhexe.dat files. I began to work on out year (not start of game) Winter files. I discovered that the construction I was "adding" was already present. This is because these files are based on Andrew Brown's Extended Map System files, and those are full of compromises - since there is only one file for the entire war. Mainly, you don't get things built during the war. But sometimes, he put in things not yet built - so I need to "deconstruct" them for start of game files. While there were not very many such instances I had failed to implement, I had to re-do all the start of game files to correct them. As well, there was a slight bit of development because of the newly added Death Road - which turns out to be quite tricky with its variations (ice roads and trails in Winter, land roads and trails in most other seasons, no crossing of the Alden River in Spring, and ferry crossing in Monsoon and Fall). So while only two more seasons were added, all the pwhexe.dat files were reissued - hopefully providing a proper foundation for rapid completion of the rest of the out year files.

A different bit of development involved researching and implementing Barrage Balloons. This was done comprehensively because it addresses a technical game problem - oddly related to the real world function of these devices. I had ignored them before because (a) I did not know how to model them and (b) because I doubted they were important. Testing reveals that both sides will exploit the very low altitude attack option (with the probably incorrect game algorithms) too much. For years there was an RHS house rule against it - but it turned out not to be very practical. It is my hope these devices will help give players a bit of control over the problem: land mobile and LST based ones at least can go where you want them; static ones at least exist at important points you want to protect industry, harbors and/or airfields (just as IRL). What is not yet clear is that they actually work - or that players will care about the casualties. [IRL both sides accepted air casualties ruthlessly - in terms of human and material costs to themselves!] It was the discovery that someone had modeled them that gave me the idea how to do so? I also discovered that there was remarkable standardization in these devices, and not many units served, or could have served, in PTO - so there was not that much work involved.

I added two new Axis aircraft, and modified a third, and modified production upgrade details for several more. Working on the problem of dive bombers, I learned that the Ki-48 II A was NOT a dive bomber. Produced in parallel with the II B, it lacked dive breaks. This was precisely the problem I wanted to address in the first place. Dive bombers lead to excessive casualties, and Japanese players were running through their inventories too fast. IRL, over time, both sides tended to change focus, because the advent of serious AAA rendered dive bombing too expensive on land. Now the Japanese upgrade from Ki-48 I to II is not a forced upgrade to dive bombers - some units will be horizontal bombers - and with a human player - as many or as few as desired can be. I also added a horizontal bomber version of the Ki-30. This aircraft can be put into production because it is modern enough. Previously you could only buy dive bombers - it was a pure dive bomber (and a good one due to range and payload). Now you may build either (or both) dive bomber or horizontal bomber versions (while default remains none at all). These in turn upgrade to Ki-48 II dive bomber or horizontal bomber versions respectively. At the same time, Ki-30 air groups (with two exceptions) cross upgrade - so you may change a dive bomber unit to a horizontal bomber unit using the same aircraft (which is in fact identical - it simply uses different tactics - something you could order IRL). Finally, I added the Ki-81 version of the Ki-48. It is one of the several failed "escort fighter" versions of bombers tried by both sides. But Japanese players find they like the Ki-80 version of the Ki-49 due to better armament. So now they can have a better armed Ki-48 if they want one. That is less likely to be attractive - yet it might be in some circumstances. And we had picked up two plane slots by deleting French types from Level I which we won't be able to use, it turns out.

There was a bit of LCU development. First of all to add formations and units with barrage balloons. These in turn required adding two devices (static and mobile barrage balloons), modifying the device file. As well, they modified the class file with respect to the Type II LST - used by both RN and USN. In addition, a few US LCU lost some of their start of game exhaustion and disruption ratings (divided by 10) - which were unreasonable. A few more picked up planning for their locations and supplies or more realistic experience ratings.

I will now return to a focus on issuing out year pwhexe.dat files of the standard series (there are no JES versions yet - and those are much more complex). When I take a break I do some map art work. There is a tiny bit of new map art included here. These interim map art panels will cease development if and when we get the "real" map art under development by someone else. I also am experimenting to understand how pwlink.dat files work?
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RE: RHS Level II Comprehensive Update 1.41

Post by el cid again »

RHS Level II Update Link 2.20
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=3 ... file%2cmsi

As intended, this update was mainly related to pwhexe.dat files. But unintentionally,
all were reworked again - to deal with terrain errors in the stock and extended map systems. The significant cases are in China - the Yellow River flood area - and two
"mountainous" areas West of it shown incorrectly as clear terrain. [They are "rough"
in game terms, but considered mountains locally.] All these features matter in game terms - complicating the early conquest of the North China Plain. I forgot these were missing and failed to add them before. Once done, it was easy to add more seasonal files. The entire Winter series is complete through the end of the war (Winter, 1945).

A fair number of Russian ships, and leaders (naval officers) were added. These include liberty ships, some in tanker form. Some Soviet ships were relocated to deal with new information, and the new location Tiksi. This port, introduced in the previous release, picked up a shipyard. As well, the Eastern Arctic HQ of the Soviet Merchant Marine was added as a static unit at this location (which, mainly, supports ship repair on a small scale).

We got new Allied aircraft filmstrips. The Australian "Demon" fighter - the only fighter in country when 1941 scenarios begin - has its own art. So be sure to check if the installer art has ended up in your Art folder? [It depends on your install if it happens automatically or not?]

The static device was redefined so it does not generate a false report about "guns" in the hex.

Scenario 121 was missing 3 or 4 Canadian naval vessels - now it has them. Other scenarios already had them.

It is intended to add locations and modify pwlink.dat and pwzone.dat files so the Soviets can move between Tiksi, Murmansk, Tomsk (aka Soviet Union) and Krasnovarsk - seasonally. It is possible to move between Tiksi and the Pacific during Fall. But it is possible (with icebreakers) to move between it and Murmansk during Monsoon as well.

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RE: RHS Level II Comprehensive Update 1.41

Post by TulliusDetritus »

Hello Sid and everyone [:)]

Well, first of all, amazing job you're doing! I had already tried RHS back in 2007 or 2008. Now I will try it again.

Problem is: both in Level 1 and 2 Aden and Abadan bases are messed up I think. I used the map panels and pw files but to no avail. Look:

MAP.jpg (131.03 KiB) Viewed 422 times
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RE: RHS Level II Comprehensive Update 1.41

Post by ny59giants »

Have you ever looked into having "sticks" for bomb loads vs individual bombs? Back in old WITP days I heard about it. I never saw it in a mod, but thought the idea had validity.
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RE: RHS Level II Comprehensive Update 1.43

Post by el cid again »

RHS Level II Update Link 2.20
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=3 ... file%2cmsi

This update is very similar to 1.42 and roughly corresponds to Level I 1.42 as well.
That is, there are not additional pwhexe.dat files. However, all of them are now reworked to permit addition of the off map locations most important to add. I came
to understand that I was going to have to rework 100% of the pwhexe.dat files later
if I didn't work these locations in up front. Since most pwhexe.dat files are built on older ones, it is better to have as much as possible in the "foundation" files and never have to enter it again.

Corresponding to these new files, which define for the computer off map hexes,
the location files also define them. For this reason, the new locations (Recife Brazil, Murmansk; and Gulf Coast, USA) are also included. Technically, ALL existing off map locations were redefined in terms of their command assignment. An analyst believes undefined off map locations are responsible for (rare) teleportation problems. Most off map locations had 00 instead of the appropriate code; a few had an illogical code (e.g. UK was part of Tibet!). Although Port Stanley had a code, it was not used! I redefined Great Britain (Port Stanley) code to mean Great Britain (Atlantic) and assigned Western Europe, Capetown and Recife to it. Otherwise the pwhexe.dat files lost numbers of eratta in the former terrain code area and along the Eastern map edge. I may have found why the nominally on map corredors behaved inconsistently and, if so, they may now work better.

There was a tiny bit of on map development. The road to Lhasa from India was redefined to show how it follows the river "NW" from Lhasa before crossing it, then
zig zags. Shigatse moved one hex to the East. And the trail from Chamdo in Eastern Tibet to China now better reflects how it cuts across the heads of several river valleys before following one of them to China. The road is one hex longer, the trail is one hex shorter.

Some dozens of IJN ground units which appeared in Tokyo now appear at Yokosuka - where they really formed. One of these had Rear Admiral Tanaka as its commander (since stock) - this was changed to insure no problems if he is assigned to a naval command (if a second unit has the same officer, I gather that the dreaded "staff officer" will be assigned - with all 0 values).

A bit of map art was redone. In this installation, you get the start of game art for 1941. But I have slightly altered panels for other seasons and years in my set and at some point all will be issued - probably with some mechanism to help organize them. Many map art features remain to be done. Just now I am working on making the Arctic Ice appropriate to the season, as well as working on start of game roads and rail lines being entirely in sync with the pwhexe.dat files. I also have added a hex of rough beside Wuhan (famous for its mountains) and am working on another rough hex and some swamp hexes in the Yellow River plain area. [During the Sino-Japanese War the Yellow River dykes were broken, which is why the river is not navigable at all points.]

A few eratta were worked in. A number of Soviet ships were added, as well as Soviet officers. The Amur Flotilla naval headquarters, along with its historical commander, was added (at Khabarovsk). The Russian CA class had its torpedoes corrected so they are port and starboard instead of all on one side. The latest air art filmstrips are included, with pointer changes to take advantage of it in the aircraft files. Some aircraft changed their upgrade assignments, as did some air groups. A problem with immobile rail guns was corrected in Full RHS scenarios (odd numbered ones) - but allowed to remain in Simplified scenarios (because they have no railroad units - in this case the unit becomes a static CD unit for Vladivostok, its primary assignment - so we have a RR artillery unit in static form in simplified scenarios).

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