|2012-01-15||Cold Winter Wars with CWR2, Vilas' P85 (all for Arma2:CO)|
This update has a 'winter' theme: it adds added a winter map (CWR2's Winter Kolguljev), it adds units in winter camouflage (also from Cold War Rearmed 2). In addition, this update adds scripts that that add snow, add breath plumes, and that change camo net patterns to 'snow', for a more immersive winter combat.
Aside from that, this update adds FRG (West-German cold war era) units and US Army cold war vehicles from Vilas' Project 85 mod.
The images (from PlannedAssault generated missions) in this news update show the CWR2 Soviet infantry, Soviet Spetsnaz and US Army infantry with in winter battle dress or coveralls. PlannedAssault's' database now also includes TOW launcher teams, mortar crews and howitzer crews in winter camouflage.
Since the previous update, PlannedAssault's missions order defending units to employ camo nets (provided HcPookie's camo net add-on is loaded). In the previous update, all defending units were configured with camo nets in matching size, style and camo pattern.
With this 'winter' update, I've added a map specific override that changes all camo net patterns to 'snow'. This 'snow' override is enabled on winter maps such as Winter Kolguljev.
The benefit of this 'snow' camo net override is that regular 'wood land' units are less conspicuous on winter maps, which makes it more attractive to combine snow and regular units on winter maps. See for yourself in the 'P85 M109A3 Palladin' screen shot.
The addition of map specific scripts (such as snow, breath plumes, camo net pattern override) and mod specific scripts (camouflaged faces for some cold war era forces) reflects a recent improvement to PlannedAssault's design. I've transferred almost all scripts and script dependencies from the mission planner to the web UI and database. This makes it easier for me to introduce mod and map specific scripts, and to support mods that heavily rely on their own scripts.For this update, I've had great fun adding CWR2's snow, breath plumes and snow camo nets. Let's see what opportunities come up.
Finally, I've begun adding units for Vilas' P85 add-on, starting with the cold war West-German forces and US vehicles, and according to historic TO&E. Vilas' add-on is pretty unique in covering the cold war era with such a wide variety in forces and vehicles. And with PlannedAssault it becomes real easy to create the large armor battles that never were.
|2011-12-24||Defenders concealing themselves with camo nets, and CWR2's Kolguljev (all for Arma2:CO)|
Camouflage nets have been part of Arma 2 since its release. In the real world, these camo nets are frequently used to hide units and vehicles, enabling defenders to surprise attackers. However, camo nets have seen little use in Arma2...
This PlannedAssault update attempts to change that. Building on, and inspired by, hcpookie's 'Deployable Camo Nets' add-on for Arma2:CO, PlannedAssault now generates missions that include include orders for selected defending units to deploy camo nets. As a starting point, all Arma2:CO crew served weapons, all crew served artillery, and all light-armored anti-tank vehicles and all anti-air vehicles are configured with camo nets.
The screen shots here clearly show what a camo net can do: hiding a defender or break up its shape making detection harder.
Hcpookie's 'Deployable Camo Nets' add-on introduces camouflage nets in different sizes and colors, along with a script enabling human players to set-up a net for a vehicle in a 30 second animation.
I have written a new script that makes a group of AI vehicles deploy their nets one-by-one. In many cases*, you'll see a crew member dismount to set-up the net using an animation and afterwards remount. I have added orders for each 'camo-net equipped' defender group to trigger this 'deploy camo net' script when they are to hide or perform a 'guard' action. Unlike hcpookie's script, camo nets won't automatically disappear when units move out of their camo net position.
I have reviewed all Arma2:CO units in PlannedAssault's unit database, and added camo net matching the unit's size and camouflage where applicable.
Just to clarify: the Arma2 AI doesn't decide on its own to the deploy a camo net. It is the additional orders in missions generated by PlannedAssault that make the AI units use the camouflage. It's been a simple addition for PlannedAssault and me, because PlannedAssault generates orders from a larger battle plan from which it is obvious when and where it make sense to deploy camo nets.
This update also includes a new map: Cold War Rearmed 2's Kolguljev island.
As an experiment, I've chosen a larger area size than for previous maps. The (North) Kolguljev map is 8 x 6 km, whereas all earlier maps were four times smaller at 4 x 3 km. Larger maps provide more room and freedom to define battles, but making positioning units in your browser more difficult. Larger maps used to take too much computing time on my side, but with a faster planner now in place I'm ready to explore this.
For testing CWR2's Kolguljev, I've added and used the new CWR2 AH-1F Cobra. It is available in the unit database with and without shark nose graphics.
*: In case the vehicle has cargo or has a gunner that is not a commander. This follows from Arma2 AI limitations: if the driver dismounts, all other crew will dismount as well. If the commander dismounts, other vehicles will move around, potentially leaving their camo net position.