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General Staff Support Forum / Re: Changelog
« Last post by Andy ONeill on Today at 03:49:10 AM »
Map Editor

I've been looking into the work which needs doing on the Map Editor.
This is very much a prototype stages app.
Some work will see it stabilised, improved and sharing common code.
Short of dedicating my life, this is always going to be a relatively basic sort of a drawing tool.
I think also that drawing the map is by far the hardest part of scenario design.

Which got me thinking.

Some of you may of course be graphics designers so it'd be nice if you could use specialised software.
Others may want more sophisticated functionality but don't want to pay a couple of grand and spend 2 years learning how to use it.
Maybe some are like me - a developer but not so much of a designer.
Some others will be OK learning a little and doing some manual editing for something to work
Maybe some are even wpf designer/developers and already know XAML.

My plan is to try and include all these groups and offer more.
More is always good.

There's a free piece of software called InkScape.
This allows you to produce "vector" graphics by drawing or tracing.
I use it a fair bit for tracing stuff.
You can also convert graphics files to InkScape friendly format.
Once finished you can save the result as a .XAML file.

That can itself be edited and previewed in xamlpad or visual studio.
Xamplpad is a very lightweight self contained exe you just copy onto your machine, it's free.
You text edit in one pane and see the results in another.
Visual studio community is a pretty big install but also free.
I develop using visual studio.

As an experiment I modified the map designer so you can optionally load such a file.
I then fired up my copy of InkScape.
Because someone already expended some years working on InkScape there are a huge number of options available.
I picked a "pen", width and fill colour.
I then drew a wiggly blue line in inkscape.
When I drew this freehand it gives me totally smooth curves.
There's huge flexibility.
I could move, rotate or manipulate that little drawing in almost infinite ways.

I didn't bother with any of that because I'm just experimenting now.
I just saved my wiggly line as xaml.

This gives a bunch of stuff in a text file which I had to eyeball.
From that I picked the "Path" out of my saved file and put it in a canvas tag of a new .xaml file.
I did this in NotePad as a .txt file and then renamed to .xaml.

Ran my modified map editor and clicked the button.
The result was as expected and I get a line on top of my picture.
Because it's a control of sorts I can add some functionality to the map editor to work with it.
You can't just use any old picture as is because the map isn't just a picture
Each pixel is a type of terrain - a field / road / woods etc.
With such a path I can write code works out which bits of the map it covers.
Allowing the user to say this area here is water.

Conclusion

This looks to be a good way to offer optional functionality for the power user.
Not everyone will want to bother but those that do will get a very powerful tool with huge flexibility.

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General Discussion / Re: Pictures of Greatness!
« Last post by mirth on Today at 03:43:11 AM »
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Digital Gaming AARs / Re: C:MANO AAR: Bay of Bengal 1999
« Last post by IICptMillerII on Today at 01:55:44 AM »
Elusive Submarines, a Carrier Sunk, and a Crazy Udaloy

We finally return to the action!

Things have quieted down a lot now that the BCGN has been taken care of. The last report was that it was sunk by the HARM missiles, however there is still a contact showing up on radar. This is likely the sinking ship. To be sure, and to get a slightly better picture of what’s going on out there, I decide to launch a Sea Shadow aircraft to snoop around. My screen force is still moving towards the BCGN. I’m planning on having them close with the last location of the BCGN and making sure she is sunk. Then, they will get a chance to sink the Viraat  with direct fire. This is a bit unconventional, but the Viraat is entirely unprotected and should prove to be an easy kill. Besides, it’s going to be at least 5 hours until I have any ASuW aircraft rearmed.

Elsewhere the Olympia continues its hunt for the enemy submarine.



All of a sudden, a new submarine contact appears. It is detected by ELINT equipment, meaning the submarine is close to the surface and using its radar. It is likely trying to get a fix on my Task Force’s location. This sub is a diesel powered SSK – Hunter Killer Submarine. According to the database, it only carries torpedoes. No anti-ship missiles. Plus, the contact is 96nm away at its closest estimated position. This is hardly a threat. However, this is no reason not to sink it quickly. I’ll task a Viking to head out and drop a torpedo or two on top of her and dispatch the threat. Based on the activity of the various Indian naval vessels, it would appear that the Indian navy is becoming somewhat desperate. The fact that they are not turning around their aircraft carrier, but the 4th surface group of DDGs has turned around clearly advertises a state of confusion.

Both the Shadow and Viking are launched at the same time, and each aircraft head to their respective mission stations.

Shortly after taking off and turning its surface search radar on, the Shadow confirms that the BCGN has sunk. There is no longer any radar return from the vessel. However, I am receiving jamming. I believe this jamming is coming from the group of three DDGs milling around to my North. This is a nuisance, but it will do little to interrupt my current operations.



Shortly after I realize the jamming is coming from the Viraat. The Viraat has also changed her course to run parallel with my Task Force. The DDG group farther North has done the same. It appears both the DDG group and carrier have adopted an intercept course with my Task Force. This is not very concerning though, as it will be a long time before such an intercept closes to a dangerous range. By then my ASuW aircraft should be back up and ready.


The enemy submarine continues to emit radar as the Viking closes in on her. This should be an easy kill.



The Viking first drops an active sonobouy to ensure the torpedo has the best guidance parameters, and then drops a Mk50 nearly on top of the submarine. Seconds later, its all over. The enemy submarine is sunk, simple and painless. For me that is.

Instead of sending the Viking back to the carrier, I decide to send it over to where the Olympia is stalking the other submarine contact. Its been over an hour since the contact was last spotted. With any luck I’ll be able to fix its location with the Viking and take it out as well.

As the Viking begins transiting to the last known location of the other enemy submarine, the Indian surface vessels again turn directly towards my Task Force. This is rather odd behavior. Soon my screening force will be in weapons range to engage the Viraat.



As my screening force closes in to engage the Viraat, it detects 3 ASW helicopters on the deck. No matter, these helo’s do not pose a threat to my ships, and my own submarine is over 100nm away, and so no threat is posed to it either.



Shortly after, my two ships begin engaging the Viraat with their deck guns. While this should be an easy kill, it will likely take a while. The Viraat will be able to absorb a decent amount of damage before she goes down.

The first volley scores a number of hits, and my ships determine the enemy has suffered light damage. My ships maneuver and fire off a second volley. Just as the second volley is being fired, my Hawkeye detects VAMPIRE launches. They’re coming from the enemy DDGs farther to the north.



While the launches of the missiles are detected, the missiles themselves are not tracked. This likely means they are sea skimming. This is dangerous, but not overly so. There is a good chance the enemy DDGs do not possess ASMs in abundance, and the combined missile and point defenses of my DDG and FFG should be more than enough to defeat the few incoming VAMPIRES. As an additional note (one that I would never admit in front of the Captains of my screen ships) I would rather have the enemy DDGs firing VAMPIRES at the screen force than directly at my carrier. A few minutes later, the two VAMPIRES are picked up and engaged by my FFG. Moments later, both VAMPIRES are shot down. Seconds later, a larger volley of VAMPIRES is detected. This time its 4 missiles. Again, this should be easy enough to deal with.



The second volley of VAMPIRES is dealt with and they cause no damage.

Strangely, the enemy group of DDGs has come to a full stop. They’re just sitting there in the ocean, not moving. It would appear that they do not know what to do.

My screen continues to pound away on the Viraat, and the damage is beginning to add up. They are now reporting the enemy carrier has suffered medium damage, and a fire has been spotted on her decks. It should take a bit more to sink her.



After some more punishment, the Viraat is dead in the water, heavily damaged, on fire, and is no longer jamming or emitting any radar. She is officially a dead stick, will not pose any threat to my Task Force, and will likely sink if the fires are not gotten under control. With this, I task my screen force to move on an intercept course with the Task Force to rejoin. Meanwhile, the Charlie class submarine continues to evade both my submarine and Viking. The search continues for her, but as for right now I am confident my Task Force is far enough away from the possible location of the enemy submarine so that it does not pose a threat to me.



After some more searching, Olympia finally picks up the enemy Charlie submarine again. It is much farther to the north than expected, but still well out of position to cause my surface ships any harm. What likely happened was, while Olympia was moving south to the Charlie’s last known location at a very deep depth, the Charlie must have slipped overhead, above the layer at a shallow depth. No matter, now that we have an idea of where she is, it should be easy enough to kill her.

The first Viking hits Bingo fuel and has to RTB. I launch another Viking to go hunt down the enemy submarine. As I am doing so, I get the report that the Viraat has succumbed to its damage and is now sinking. Scratch another enemy ship!



The Udaloy is then detected breaking away from the other two DDGs and heading straight for me at flank speed. It seems like the skipper of the Udaloy is not happy about the Viraat being sunk and is coming in for vengeance.



With it getting closer and most of my ASuW aircraft still turning around, I decide to do something a bit unconventional. I launch a single F-18 armed with SLAMs against the Udaloy. The hope is that at least one of the SLAMs is able to get through and hinder the Udaloy long enough for a more appropriate strike to be brought against it.

While the SLAMs close in on their target, the Viking and Olympia continue to search for the elusive Charlie submarine. It appears it has slipped through our search nets once again, as both of my assets continue to reacquire the contact. Other than that, it has been smooth sailing ever since the BCGN was destroyed, and it appears that it will remain that way. Once the three DDGs are taken care of, it will be a straight shot to the Sri Lankan coast. Task Force Nimitz is almost out of the fire.
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GrogHeads Feedback / Front Page news Feed section
« Last post by Pinetree on Yesterday at 11:50:37 PM »
The first link of the feed is broken. It shows:

http://grogheads.comhttp//grogheads.com/featured-posts/17466

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Computer Wargaming / Re: DCS Discussion
« Last post by Skoop on Yesterday at 11:37:21 PM »
VKB is a Russian company and for years they produce these elite level controllers with powerful programing software. You could do things like make your aircraft trim on axis that didn't even have trim in RL.  I could never do much with the software cause the manual was always released in Russian until last month they finally released one in English.  It's still super complicated to do some of the technical programing. 

I really just use the in game programing like every one else and it works great for that.

I also like the spring / Cam system they use, far smoother than the warthog.  Comes with sets of different cams and springs with built in dampeners so you can dial in exactly how much tension / resistance you want.
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Computer Wargaming / Re: DCS Discussion
« Last post by Toonces on Yesterday at 09:51:49 PM »
You need to expand on that.  I'm not seeing a lot of non-English stuff, and this is something the hardcore will be interested in.
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Computer Wargaming / Re: Front Office Football Joins OOTP
« Last post by FarAway Sooner on Yesterday at 09:44:21 PM »
Man, if they can bring this to the college game that would be awesome.  I've heard that copyright issues are what pushed EA out of the XBox and Nintendo markets for college football games.  I would buy this in a heartbeat if they had a college version.

So long, of course, as they featured my 2017 Sooners as a playable team!   :bd:
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Computer Wargaming / Re: DCS Discussion
« Last post by Skoop on Yesterday at 09:42:52 PM »
^ Have it, works great. The programming software manual finally got translated from Russian.  It's insane the amount of stuff you can program it to do, I don't even use most of it cause it's almost like cheating. 

I really just got it it because I wanted the smoothest feel possible, and it definitely has that.
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I didn't notice, really.  Am intrigued by the plane selection offered up for the Brits.  I've never played the board game, but I'll definitely keep an eye on this one!
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Forum-Based Games / Re: "Six Days in October" -- Game Time Is...
« Last post by Cyrano on Yesterday at 09:36:08 PM »
Game Time Is: 1600, 19th October 1806!

Somewhere -- those that know know where -- Thuringia is on fire.

S!

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