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Thu, 31 Dec 2015 12:04:00 +0000Most of the content related to the site has been happening on the related Facebook Page. No one should need a log in to view this material and really the majority of it usually consists of links to articles.
Earlier in the year I began working on some projects for JTS, one of which involves graphics coordination, so while this will eventually create (I think) a fair amount of content for the site, it hasn't this past year.
I don't think that it's really that fair to ask for donations under the circumstances.
That being said, I should be able to show some of the work that I am doing in that I can use it in some of the previously published titles as drafts.
Wed, 14 Oct 2015 10:00:00 +0000http://johntillersoftware.com/updates/BonaparteWar_101.txt
The main reason this is important, to me at least, is that it marks the first time (ok probably the second time -as I have done some minor stuff around the edges) -that some of my work has made it into a product title.
Put simply, I don't really 'mod' -leastwise I don't think so. And that this is more of an ongoing situation -so look for some future work being posted as 'mods' which really are working on something else.
That's all for now.
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 03:14:00 +0000Actually the official recommendation is that you just leave the churches out. I can do that, but I would like to see how things get mapped out.
I know it is more or less random, but I did do an experiment on a map in development, as I had an idea for using an alternate burning terrain look in place of a blocked hex -and wanted to see what hex was actually being drawn on a map - it turned out that in this particular instance it was the first hex from the bmp file. Who knows, maybe I will use that -maybe I won't - at the moment as there are no smoke effects in what I am using it sort of implies a level of complexity that is not available.
Anyway -look for less to no churches in the future.
Sun, 23 Aug 2015 00:46:00 +0000
In this particular situation I am only talking about the town, which represents a German town from the early 19th Century I am wondering if maybe there might not bee too much green space in towns, so in the coming weeks (probably months I guess to be honest), I will be seeing if there are some other ways to show this on the 3d map graphics. I will be working within the Napoleonic Battles series, to maintain consistency of approach.
Of course, the fields probably can use some attention and the green is a bit yellow I guess -but I am only going to deal with one thing at a time; I am probably most comfortable working with 2d graphics - but the discipline involved in the work would be identical.
And also there are too many churches showing up, and while I am not entirely certain how to deal with that (it isn't as simple as it seems .... because you get six images and you don't get to set which ones show up) - I will still have a look at it to see if I can come up with something which might be able to reduce the numbers.
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:14:00 +0000If you missed out earlier, they're back.
These are being sold by Rich Hamilton.
Sat, 23 May 2015 13:55:00 +0000It only occurred to me that I probably left the impression on the FB page that the only optimal formation was the one that I had done the graphics for ... e.g. one big long line, with horse on the wings -and the thing is, that wouldn't entirely be right ...
I guess that might be best described as the basic optimal formation... many armies of the time went with the 'checkerboard' type formation with their foot, and this is really just a way of deploying the reserves and spreading them out across the field. I haven't actually got anything to show regarding this yet (and I might not for a long while) ... however the main point is that this is definitely not something that I am oblivious to.
More as it happens or when I can find the time...
Sat, 09 May 2015 00:39:00 +0000
Since that time I have worked with an OOB file that separates the pike and shot units into distinct units. This style of OOB does require more attention to, for lack of a better term, choreography, as the pike needs to cover the shot, while the shot needs to cover the pike units. Pike covering shot to protect from cavalry, and shot covering the pike to protect pike from other pike and other shot. Pike units are big targets.
I still need to write up a summary of some of the unit coding, and idiosyncrasies of some of the units, for example, not all cavalry can charge, and those that do should not be able to pitch in like a massed Napoleonic cavalry charge. In fact some units can only shoot or defensively melee -so what purpose would these serve? Flank shots I think (not sure but that is the theory).
I am only half done with this first scenario's set up. In this instance the side shown has 3 armies (2 on the map, and one which is basically some irregular horse, which enters somewhat sporadically).
I am thinking about having the stronger side enter on the south edge of the board on the south side of the river and need to mount some sort of river crossing. The armies on the board need to assemble and deploy as they are basically encamped.
Disclaimer: all ratings are open to be changed... nothing is written in stone.
Tue, 21 Apr 2015 23:30:00 +0000
At the moment I am limiting this to the parameter data table (PDT), as I think that is where the most significant changes will come from. I am reducing the command range limits.
Brigade and Divisional leaders will have a reduced range from the stock REN PDT tables (although I have not actually gone through each and every one of them in the game, I am only talking about the Renaissance.pdt table); the idea here is to try to give any sort of incentive to keep formations compact. I haven't made much of a distinction per side (of which REN has 15), because this is more about showing end users that they do have the ability to experiment with this sort of thing.
I am going to reduce the fire range on the shot weapons that I am using; keep in mind that I am sticking with the stock scale of 100 meters per hex. From what I have read (although if pressed I probably couldn't give you a source off the top of my head), the weaponry was used more or less at about the same range as was still used through the Napoleonic period. Sure I am aware that there are tests here and there by re-enactors, and all sorts of claims of this, that, or the other thing could be used to whatever range, but my focus is solely on what range were the weapons used during the time.
I suppose this also leads on to order of battle (OOB) structure to a degree, as weapon effectiveness, by its nature is tied to formation type. Units during the pike and shot period were not the linear formations used in the 18th and 19th Centuries (indeed not even the later part of the 17th Century to be even more technical.). You have relatively deep blocks of men using their weapons in something similar to a rotational formation (think a volley ball team) that was designed to maximise fire volume. Formation depth eventually thinned out as weapon technologies allowed for quicker reload times, but that would come later - in this period you have big groups of people, more or less compactly aligned -which increased the fire volume, but it also at the same time presented a bigger target to hit.
As I mentioned (I hope) at the outset of my prior blog post, I am wanting to play around with a combined pike and shot capable unit, however, this sort of unit is -as has been written about elsewhere, a fairly abstract concept once considering the engine. I think, but have no proof, that this sort of concept works better at larger scales than it would to smaller scales. One of the things that is interesting about the M&P engine is that is can allow for a variety of different scales, which basically means that you would have to customise OOB construction about the scale that you are using. I think (but again cannot prove) that if one was to go with a much smaller scale that there is the opportunity to maybe provide a very granular type of gaming experience -however, the limitation is the map availability. In my situation I am not going to adjust the map scale, but just note that there is that potential in the engine. Of course too, the more detail used, then the AI would have an even tougher time handling things. Yes I have read all sorts of things about the AI, and I have played the games a fair bit so I know where people are coming from, however the one thing that I think is worth noting is that OOB structure can have a big impact on any hope that the AI ever had to start with -the more complex the OOB structure, then the less one's expectations should be. Of course, too what you are asking the AI to do also has a big impact as well- plus in my experience river crossings have always been an issue -and there is no real way that AI will work in a river crossing assault set of scenarios here.
I am going to go with a couple of different OOB styles when putting together this package, in that I also want to show separate shot and pike components of a larger unit. The one issue, aside from AI limitations that this formation style would impose, is that this type of set up, by its nature can create a bigger overall footprint on the map for a similar sized unit. Other considerations are that since now you would have a pike unit with no shot capability, this then makes for a more potent melee unit (although keep in mind that only so many guys are able to face off against each other in a combat, and a formation of this type is by its nature stratified- the front ranks may have a better quality than those in the rear ranks. . . at what point does this unit degradation kick in if significant losses are taken?). Who knows -maybe that is overthinking things based upon the scale being used. The benefit of separate shot and pike units, is that you need to work in conjunction with the other type in order to mutually protect each other. Or put simply, it is probably a big mistake to spread your forces out too much.
Of course, again the spreading factor is one thing too that if an OOB structure is too flexible, can maybe overwhelm a scenario. I guess what I am getting at is, that while you can structure an OOB to something very similar to what you might find in a Napoleonic series title, should you? It probably shows above that this is something that I come down on the, 'no' side of that debate, and want to design my OOBs in this experiment around how I see the fights as developing.
I think next time I will discuss the scenario style that I want to plan around.
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 09:30:00 +0000... so the blog here has become a bit static (my fault as well as too many medium choices) - I have had the opportunity to do some OOB work and it has me thinking that about a variety of possibilities.
At the moment I am not able to realise all of them (mainly because I need some maps ... period maps, to be precise). In other words, I would need a different style of population centers, as well as maybe a different pattern of forests, and less areas of cultivation if one were to try something with maybe a Roman type of era. I am not actually doing that -although I have thought about if it might work ... mostly this is about constructing OOBs and command structures. The Musket and Pike engine has a lot of flexibility ... and doing something like this would require a rethink of weapons slots in the weapons.dat file, as well as seeing how well one can switch around some of the settings to a more melee based combat system which would by necessity, moderate the impact of missile weaponry as well as mounted troops.
I think it can be done -and who knows, but it might be at some point ... this is mere spitballing on my part.Of course, by extension, this sort of thinking can also be applied to the published title; which is to say I am in the process of doing some OOB structure and command structure tinkering within REN. Mostly this is about experimentation with units that include pike and shot elements within a single unit. There has not really been a lot of testing of this sort of unit, although I think that this was included in one of the updates to REN, so it would be interesting to see how this would work out.I also read some about applying negative values to some of the modifiers and it would be interesting to see how these would actually work. I guess it is conceivable that if you accept that a shot component was going to avoid melee combat if at all possible and a pike component of that same unit would step in to protect their shot component; which basically means that a given unit with both shot and pike would not be meleeing with its entire manpower in the context of a standard scale of 100 meters and 15 or 20 minutes per turn.Why the Mookerhyde map? (See above) - whatever I do will be entirely hypothetical in the sense that this map is just a really useful map in that you can design a river crossing assault.defense or meeting engagements. You don't even need to use the river in some situations (which in effect means that there might be several scenarios using the same forces on this map).The other major reason is -this map is simply big -and armies in this period were not so big... you would be talking about 20-30,000 men per side ... tops with a more probable strength probably under 20,000... or more simply put ... should have a relatively (when compared to the map) smaller footprint -so there should be ample room to maneuver and set up a battle line. In fact I guess that is probably supposed to be the main point of these:Phase I: Both sides enter mapPhase II: Defending side determines where to site a battle line ... attacking side locates defending side and sites their own line (in effect think of this as a way to replicate a player determined battle set up). And yes, there probably should be some incentives to do this in something consistent with a given period.
Phase III: Battle - I expect that a solid battle line will trump a less solid battle line ... but at this point the maneuver and set up is expected to be a big part of the strategy of these.More as it happens ... it gives me something to blog about here.
Sat, 14 Mar 2015 05:09:00 +0000http://jtsdev.vbulletin.net/
This is Rich Hamilton's board; I have updated the link on the site but figured that I ought also to point out that it has a different url for anyone interested and might be needing to update links elsewhere.
Sun, 22 Feb 2015 05:56:00 +0000I wanted to thank Masséna for taking the time to discuss the concept of creating a custom OOB (for a campaign OOB of all things - not a small one).
And then taking the time to follow this up with an actual OOB file, and then a scenario in which to use his OOB.
In my experience, a lot of this process stops at the discussion stage (and I hadn't really ever considered that there actually *were* stages to this sort of process.).
I want to thank Mr Masséna for his contribution to the title; scenario editing, OOB editing, even submap editing, all are something that is available to users.
Check it out here.
Thu, 12 Feb 2015 10:41:00 +0000
All brought to you by Jeff Lapkoff's DigitalGamework's latest title, Vengeance.
Available from HPS Simulations.
I will get a page up on SDC as soon as possible, along with some screenshots to show a bit more about this new title. It has been available since 9th February 2014.
Sat, 07 Feb 2015 04:27:00 +0000The messageboard is changing hosts so Rich has posted a message with some instructions regarding this.We are in the process of transferring these forums to a new hosted solution. Please do not make any posts here from now on that you want to keep. The Support team will begin migration soon, and anything posted after the migration will be lost.Based on this I purposefully 'broke' the link to the messageboard until the other one is ready (which I imagine should be shortly). I am not involved in the setting up of this board, so I am not able to address anything specific.Once it is up and running I will add in the link coding (and possible retitle the link) -it will be (as far as I know) the exact same board, but I don't have any details about the technicalities at this point. What I am meaning is I cannot answer questions about passwords, user names, if you need a new registration -nothing like that - I assume all of that will be provided as part of this process (although I am only saying this as someone who has been through messageboard hosting changes over several different boards over the years.).So stay tuned. ;)
Sat, 31 Jan 2015 02:25:00 +0000
Gaius MariusBack to Colleen McCullough, for a second; she passed on earlier in the week - and readers might know her for the Thornbirds which was one of those big mini-series like they used to run on tv (in the US) -in the 80's - but my focus is on her Rome series.
At present I have only gotten through the first two titles, and had started the third several years ago but had to put it aside due to personal circumstances.
I have had some significant experience with the entire historical fiction genre, and one thing that I want to put out there right off of the bat - this series is much more similar to say, something Jeff or Michael Shaara, or even Allan W. Eckert wrote than say, John Jakes -or any number of authors that wrote serial historical novels pitching to a more generalised audience appeal. Basically take that to mean that some authors in this genre, in the past, have slipped a little '50 Shades of Grey' type of stuff into their historical 'plot lines'. Rest assured, that is not Ms McCullough's style.
I have had access to some of the material that she had written was some of her source material (as I don't have any of the books readily available to refer to at the moment -this is strictly 'iirc' territory.) material such as Livius, and Cicero -she referenced literature of the antiquities heavily. Yes, there are politics, social upheavals (face it - Rome of the Gaius Marius/Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix era was rife with it all -as it was with military reforms -which also entailed social reforms). I can't get into the details entirely, but basically this all starts with a period of societal change which was brought about by integrating Italians into the society of Rome; creating and maintaining a citizen army (prior to this it was more of a strictly Roman -meaning the immediate area of the city of Rome -and not the Italian peninsula thing) -and it also involved a hefty bit of class level politics.
While I don't entirely know how the Roman legislature worked, I do know that Ms McCullough described its functioning in things like votes as to how the Parliamentary system works in Australia (and probably the wider Westminster system of governance, although my main exposure to this has been in Australia ...) - meaning that when votes are held, the Senators get up and move from one side of the floor to the other as per how they vote prior to being counted. In the US it is just a roll call type system if it isn't accepted to have happened by a voice vote. In Australia -we do the voice vote and then sometimes a 'division' is required - this moving around is what a 'division' is -and it happened fairly frequently in the first two books (so if you are from the US -this is what that is all about.).
The first book relied a lot on reading correspondence (which I think probably exists in some form) to drive the narrative of the story. The second book did some of this, but relied on this method of story development a lot less.
The entire series basically tracks the rise and fall of Gaius Julius Caesar (and by 'rise' I mean birth), and the final volume was sort of one that fans (including some fairly prominent ones) appealed to have written.
In Australia it is pretty common to find these in op shops (op shops being like Goodwill, or a Salvation Army store in the US), so I have been pretty lucky in acquiring a set -I think even one of the titles I got hold of was a signed copy.
If I had more time, I would really love to spend some quality time in the Roman (ok and Macedonian too) period; for the record at the moment, I don't ... but someday... and revisit this fine series to give it the attention that it deserves.
Sun, 18 Jan 2015 05:06:00 +0000I don't actually have a part 2 yet, but just in case I do I will be ready for it, numerically speaking.
I tweaked the French 2d unit colour so that it is a bit lighter and provides a bigger contrast with the Prussians as well. I also changed it in BPW for no other reason than for maintaining consistency.
Tue, 06 Jan 2015 03:06:00 +0000
As it turns out I forgot to include the winter weather terrain. I have no added that to the mod download, although I will have to look into toning down the fields (read that to mean ditching the really bright green) in the non-winter weather terrain.
Tue, 30 Dec 2014 11:13:00 +0000
Click here for SDC's NB Mod page.
Been a long day, apologies for the lack of my ordinary prose ;).
Sun, 28 Dec 2014 01:55:00 +0000In prior years I have focused mainly on the titles, and now looks to be a good time to expand upon the theme, and begin adding in material by series topic, where it might not necessarily match up to an existing title.
With that in mind, folders are in the process of being added for each series, and I will restructure P Bruffell's Ancient Warfare area to be consistent with the new material I want to start bringing in to the site.
The above is a navigation menu for the Napoleonic Battles' series, and these categories will be specific to the series itself. In other words, the NB spotlights, NB strategies, NB mods, etc...
This is more about a plan going forward, than it is ready-made content. I might add a 'Bookshelf' category to add in links to material in the public domain, for example, Oman's Peninsular War volumes, or things like that.
I might also use this as something to replace the download area -in that I really don't have the time to manage that area, it would be pretty work-intensive so it might not happen, but I like the thought of being able to ditch that problem software.
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 21:49:00 +0000An precursor to content, and the thing is that when being a member of clubs can present some issues when creating content. I am not entirely sure that a club might not be counterproductive when it comes to providing content for the site.
It does provide a lot of good opportunities to network, as well as to get a wider exposure to, potentially, all of the titles.
I would like to provide more article oriented content, although for me, it only actually counts if it can be done to a certain standard.
My first try at this will be from one of the title's that has been around for awhile, Campaign Wagram. In this I will focus upon the day 1 French river crossings from Lobau Island.
Starting on the screenshots...
This will be involved talking to points of pioneer usage, and strategies ( ok, well mine anyways ;). plus also focusing on command control strategies ( paying attention to keeping your units together).
Some of this involves, prioritising and managing crossing points, which to a degree is not dissimilar to managing the follow on waves in Normandy '44.
I will also be making mention of certain environmental conditions ( mainly line of sight considerations) -and what the Austrians have that can impact your crossings. Granted, though, that my experience is coming against the AI as an opponent - but then again if no unit is able to reach an area then, really it does not seem to matter if you are playing the AI or a live person.
Ok- well this is sort of an intro into what is going on, and I need to start assemble some relevant screenshots for this. Part of this is due to an indirect request from NWC for some content.
~On another note, I am getting ready to put together my annual funding drive, and will be putting together a post regarding this. I was fortunate enough to get an early donation, so I already have $20.00 covered of the $125.00 goal that I have set.
Finally, a bit of a status update on what I want to accomplish in the next several weeks, outside of the above article, I also want to do some work on a general NB mod, that is centered around various JTS graphics that are already published. Note, however, that I might well take on the hexgrid to see what I can do - I guess that is a longer term objective.
Sun, 14 Dec 2014 01:15:00 +0000This one is ready for prime time now, so although I do plan on writing out some notes later now, that is probably more about providing content for the site as opposed to anything directly related to the mod itself.
http://hist-sdc.com/mdc/sdc_bpw_mod.phpThere are a few other mods coming for the Napoleonic Battles' series, however this is mainly going to be based upon making available BPW's stock 3d graphics.I suppose there is a little irony in these are some of the same ones that I just switched out of BPW... but, well ... yes I guess it did work that way. I don't think that there will be that great of a turnaround time for these -as I did significantly more on BPW's other than map work -things like the Phasebox, the Vertical and Horizontal Bankboxes, the Unitbox and Leaderbox files, unit counters... vp flags... flags themselves... even the Cover.bmp file...
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:09:00 +0000While I have been posting images to the site's Facebook page -I also wanted to add a finalised version of the Leaderbox and Unitbox image (in this case for the French).
What's new on this one? I added a bit of map background ala the method already used in the series, although I changed my approach to this a little in that I went with 2 half size map images so that the same map image would remain on the activated unit which it did not do before.
I guess, technically speaking, this is a finalised candidate in that while this image does show an activated leader with inactive units -it does not look all that different and I can tweak that a little bit more easily.
Sun, 30 Nov 2014 01:26:00 +0000... for traditions ... first, a family tradition (ok it is just mine really) - the Christmas Scud (made in China) ... for some reason one of those fly by night seasonal Christmas themed shops had this candy-filled Scud as one of its items for sale. Yes sure it was completely out of context to all of the other decorations there - so naturally I just had to get it. -And it has been a centrepiece of some sort ever since (maybe worse - I left the candy in the thing ... hey it wouldn't be as collectable ... tongue firmly in cheek)...So all marvel at the Christmas Scud - it truly is that time of year. :D
Fri, 28 Nov 2014 22:00:00 +0000As first mentioned yesterday, I wanted to point out a thing or two about working with bmp files in the JTS titles (or in other words graphics' modding); alignment in digital images is a technical issue that you might have learned about in mathematics classes.
An image is basically a big graph, and each pixel has its specific location, and of course the JTS graphics use bitmaps (bmp) as their images of choice although technically this information applies to any graphic file type.These locations are all determined by an x and a y location on any given digital image file. Some software will tell you where these are so that as a designer you can pinpoint an exact spot where you want to work in an image.
This becomes very important when modifying files like can be found in Tiller's titles as the images can be fairly small, and there is not always a lot of space to work with; that plus it is easy enough when working to just estimate a space and end up going outside of a set parameter.
For example, in the above image, the dot is a X:1, Y: -8 -and yes, this is also exactly the same concept used in identifying specific hex coordinates in the games.The basic impact of this is you get fragments of images being shown - a common example of this can sometimes be found in the 3d artwork as there are a lot of files for the artist to go through and like anything sometimes things get missed.
-so have a thought about the humble X and Y axes - they are a pretty important consideration.
Sat, 22 Nov 2014 05:14:00 +0000
Recently having acquired a screenshot app, as well as doing some work on North German Plain '85 (admittedly right at the very end of its development cycle) ... ok so there was the need for the screenshot app, as well as nutting out how to use it successfully.
There is the potential for some AARs/strategy content for the apps going forward. I imagine that I will be getting hold of ME67 eventually -and this promises to become a new fully fledged area for SDC in the very near future.
What with apps. there presents some complications to creating content that the PC versions just don't have - namely the ease of resizing the screen (inadvertently to be sure) which then messes up the ability to stitch together several shots - in the above case on my planning map -it happened on the very last couple of images which I decided to ditch since all of my units were shown on the map and that was the main point anyway. About the only thing that my own planning map does not have is the bottom hexrow which becomes relevant in that there is a supply source on the bottom of the map.
NGP '85 is another one of the apps developed by Dave Blackburn, and will certainly not be the last. One technique that you will notice that is used on the apps are the use of blocked hexes to restrict the useable area on the map - combine that with limited turns and you have an app that presents the player with situations that are designed to be brief, but challenging with (like most good apps) the opportunity to compete against your own scores.
In my own case, I am getting my feet wet with the MC series after a long hiatus (from the PC version), and am relearning all of the controls.
This one will transport you back to feathered hair and the synthetic drumming of the 1980's (or in my case -I guess you might call it Iron Maiden ... whatever ... the same thing :) - this one is about your classic Reagan-era Cold War turned hotwar confrontation.
Sun, 16 Nov 2014 00:33:00 +0000Apps:
I admit that I had been focused on working with my laptop/desktop even though I had gotten a tablet about 11 months ago, so I neglected working out how to take a screen grab on the tablet.
I fixed that little problem this weekend, so I am now good to go.
Ok, so what does this mean? Well. for one thing is means that there will be some content on the Apps start to show up on the site and on the FB page -things like AAR's and situational reports. All that, though is in the future, as first I want to stock up on the apps that I am missing.
I will do an entire write up for this when I go to release this - I have worked around the periphery this past week, and am really about there with things.
That's is - ok, the Phasebox will take the most time... mostly because it is about resizing images and developing easily readable text for the graphic file.
- Phasebox.bmp file
- Add texture/background image to unitbox/leaderbox.bmp files
- Add in some more palm trees into the 3d forest hexes
- Probably reinstall another iteration of the title so I can create backups of the stock images
I might need to adjust the size of the Spanish banner so that it matches the other nations' banner proportions. In the end I went with a banner without the coat of arms -as based upon where the leaders and unit portraits sit, they would mostly be blocked anyway ... call it 'artistic licence' on my part.Loading
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Scenario Design Center aims to provide you with utilities and ideas to create custom scenarios for use with titles released by John Tiller Software as well as John Tiller's and Paul Bruffell's games from HPS Simulations. Also supported are John Tiller's games through Talonsoft Games. This site is not owned and/or operated by any game company, and as such all material posted here should be considered unofficial; the above companies are not responsible for providing support for anything found on this site (although SDC may be able to assist in some cases).
Scenario Design Center/Centre (aka SDC) use and hosting of images/files of their respective product lines is done with with the expressed written permission of HPS Simulations and John Tiller Software.