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Campaign Planning
http://www.wargame.ch/board/acwgc/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=20920
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Author:  Walt Dortch [ Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Campaign Planning

Good evening gentlemen.

I am about to engage in a multiplayer game and have been asked by the Commanding General to prepare a plan of operations. The scenario we are about to launch is the Struggle scenario and is fought over a huge area. Hence my questions which follow.

1) How do I find out what the underlying map for this scenario is?
2) Once I do find it, I assume it will be a "map" file. Does anyone know how I can download this file into net.paint or some other software wherein I can draw routes of march, concentration points, etc. on it and then send it to my comrades on our team?

Author:  KWhitehead [ Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

Whoever is setting up the multiplayer game has to tell you what scenario is being used and what forces are available, then you can open it in whichever game series it is part of. They pretty much decide how much information you will have on the game. They may also make you wait until the first turn of the game to get this information.

The HPS/JT games use a ".map" file that is pretty much unreadable except by the game engine. If they give you a copy of the map file you can use one of the scenario editors included with our games to open the file as a new scenario and take a look at it.

Author:  C. Hecht [ Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

For the map, you can take screenshots with the settings that gives best visibility(hex off, contours on, maybe completely zoomed out), and than put them together in a graphic program so you have a full planing map, it's a bit work but for bigger scenarios in an multiplayer game surely beneficial.

Author:  Walt Dortch [ Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

Thanks for the replies.

I know what scenario we are playing and can view the map--which is huge (which is great BTW). My question in that regard relates to where I can find the map file as there are a number of map files which show up in the directory. I am hunting around for a program that opens .map files and will post up the info if I am successful. screenshot copy and paste exercise would take a lot of time.

Author:  C. Hecht [ Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

If you now the scenario I guess you can find the scenario file, open that one with the editor and you should see in the first few lines what map, OOB and PDT is used.
For example, opening the 03 Wilson's Creek_Histscn.scn file will show you:
Wilson's Creek.map
0Wilson's Creek_OB.oob
W-0August_pdt.pdt

Author:  S_Trauth [ Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

When constructing the screenshot I find it useful to turn off auto-scrolling, and moving the cursor the very edge of the image you have visible at the time. I am a heavy user of opacity to make things align correctly, and rarely turn off the hexes (it helps with alignment not to mention if you are wanting to judge distance -you'll want to know how many hexes are between points of reference.

You aren't going to find a program that does the 'opens .map files and will post up the info ' -even the map editor doesn't do that -afaik, your only option is screen shots and assembling them. Depending upon the size of the map file in question, that can be easier said than done (depending upon the size of the map file in question).

In extreme cases I have had to plug in a big portable hard drive to use as as scratch memory disk, switch to Photoshop, and then construct the map by creating columns or rows as separate images and then aligning those as if they were the screenshot - what sucks up memory to cause those situations would be all of the nudging that gets saved to history files in case you have to go back in doing them. I think the largest one that I ever done (and I generally am saving most everything as a 256 colour gif to save some file size ... which works with an 8 bit map - maybe not so well with a 24 bit map) -was the Quebec map from French and Indian War - it was something like a 300 mb gif even after added to a zip folder (iirc -- it has been awhile)...

Who knows, if you can get the map file name I might already have done a screenshot for it.

Author:  Walt Dortch [ Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

Hi everyone

Rich Hamilton came through with the answer.

Big campaign maps that can be written on can be produced using the snapshot feature. Here's what he says and it works!

"I had totally forgotten the "Snapshot" feature. Go into Gettysburg and open up a scenario. Then go to the File menu and choose "Snapshot". It will generate a .bmp file of the full map and current situation.

Looks like that feature is in the current CWB, Nap & EAW engines."

Great tool for planning and order writing in big multi-player games.

Thanks Rich!

Author:  C. Hecht [ Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

Cool, totally overlooked that feature as it is only mentioned in the main program manual, thanks.

Author:  Joe Meyer [ Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

It is possible to reduce the amount of bit memory used for graphics by converting the bitmap (bmp) file into a graphics interchange format (gif). You can do that by downloading and using any of a number of free programs, such as IrfanView (http://www.irfanview.com/). Done correctly you can shave about 75-80% of the bit memory used. You wouldn't want to use this conversion process on intricate or complex art images, but it certainly will suffice for game map reproductions.

Author:  Walt Dortch [ Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

Great advice General Meyer

The BMP "Snapshot" file for the Struggle scenario is 66 MB. The GIF file for the same map is 12 MB.

Author:  Walt Dortch [ Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

Another tool for those into this kind of thing is a software program called Military Sketch which I am just starting to experiment with. You can import .gif or .bmp map files as a base map and then create maps showing proposed force movements, etc., with NATO symbols.

The free software can be found here: http://www.historicalsoftware.com/downloads/

Author:  S_Trauth [ Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

Walt Dortch wrote:
Hi everyone

Rich Hamilton came through with the answer.

Big campaign maps that can be written on can be produced using the snapshot feature. Here's what he says and it works!

"I had totally forgotten the "Snapshot" feature. Go into Gettysburg and open up a scenario. Then go to the File menu and choose "Snapshot". It will generate a .bmp file of the full map and current situation.

Looks like that feature is in the current CWB, Nap & EAW engines."

Great tool for planning and order writing in big multi-player games.

Thanks Rich!


Excepting that I don't think it works that way in NB, EAW, or MP - you just get what you have on your screen. It did what you said for Gettysburg though so that ought to save some time.

Author:  C. Hecht [ Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

S_Trauth wrote:
Excepting that I don't think it works that way in NB, EAW, or MP - you just get what you have on your screen. It did what you said for Gettysburg though so that ought to save some time.

I can confirm this for the Napolenic Battles(Austerlitz), you just get what you currently have on screen and not the complete map, what a pity.

Author:  Walt Dortch [ Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

Yes it is a pity.

Rich, I know nothing about coding so will ask you if changing the snapshot "code" in the NAP series to perform as it does in the ACW series would be a big deal?

Author:  Rich Walker [ Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Planning

Walt Dortch wrote:
Yes it is a pity.

Rich, I know nothing about coding so will ask you if changing the snapshot "code" in the NAP series to perform as it does in the ACW series would be a big deal?


If you asking me, I don't know, I would address that in an email to support@johntillersoftware.com

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