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PhilThib
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The Larger Europe Map Project

Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:40 am

Here is a new project we would like contribution from the modders and players :thumbsup:

The idea is the following:

* we would like to offer players/modders a map of Europe that could fit quite a lot of eras and potential games of strategy in Europe, using the AGE engine...no need to list them, you can imagine how many we could find :w00t:

* to do so, we could produce a nice map, using the NCP map base and cut, but at a larger scale: roughly, the map size itself would be 30% bigger, and the number of regions should be more or less doubled...

You could find the map base here: http://www.mediafire.com/?enp1aw92dzyd8qp

* We will provide a ready-to-use set of regions using this new map, plus all relevant game data, so that future games and mods can use it. Ideally, those games can work with a 1-week to 1-month turn length (this will depend on the time period chosen), and with twice as many regions we can achieve a very interesting operational challenge for a lot of campaigns..

* As an example of what we would like to get from you, check this file:

Image

Some tips here:

- new cut into old regions (like cut into 2 parts): red lines, 2 pixels
- new draw of regions (like overlapping older one): purple lines, 2 pixels
- old borders to be removed: use yellow slashes over sections to be removed

* How to proceed further

- we would like group of volunteers to take over the task of drawing the new regions borders on the map
- each group can tackle a certain geographic area, in order to be more efficient
- once an area is produced, we can start making the cuts into an official map section
- when all is finished, the map is ready and will be given for players to tests in future mods
- we may find use of the map in future AGEOD projects too :)

I'll be glad to receive as many volunteers as we can
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Leibst
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Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:51 pm

You can count with me.
Arent you thinking in WWII in Europe?? :cool:

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PhilThib
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Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:01 pm

The realm of possibilities is so vast indeed.......everything is open !!!
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veji1
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Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:13 pm

great, this is what I have wanted you guys to do all along. The key is to get the proper provinces drawn that would allow the right kind of campaigning and make the key choke points where there were fortresses that had to be seized for example. Done well It could open the door for at least all wars in Europe between 1600 and 1850. With proper Railroad overlays, it could even extend to 1880 or 1920.

Lots of work though...

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PhilThib
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Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:34 pm

You can undertake this bits by bits...in addition, there are some keys areas that can get priority look, like Low Countries, Northern Italy or France, etc...
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wosung
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Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:08 pm

From:
http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?24740-Paradox-Interactive-amp-Paradox-France&p=236075#post236075

Quote Originally Posted by PhilThib View Post
Lol...and right........but then we would need your help on the Europe map project

wosung
Sure. But I'm not sure I do understand exactly what volunteers would have to do, even after reading this:
http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthrea...pe-Map-Project

Is it drawing new borders with a painting program? According to which criteria? Borders changed during the centuries.

Best regards


PhilThib
Yes, this is just that, drawing borders with a painting program...as the end result will be used to cut the map regions... borders are just "physical", i.e. we want homogeneous regions of similar size/terrain/whatever....we don't care about who owned what or when...this will depend of the game........just consider those regions as "hexes" in a classical wargame...

Next discussions on this to be moved on the map thread to keep the logic of it...

wosung
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Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Downloaded the map.

It's REALLY beautiful! And large.

May I ask, why making it even bigger, even doubling the number of regions? IMO, this would (only) make sense, if you'd plan to do only really small scaled wars - not those covering (major parts of) the continent. Wouldn't that result in niche products, pleasing Ageod's core fans, but not a broader audience?

Is there any free painting programm you can recommend to work on that map?

Ok, quasi-hexes.

If the volunteers each starts with his/her own part of the map how in the end to put those regions together?
At the latest when somebody needs to name those regions, probably some of those sub-divisions could appear weird.

Best regards

Baris
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Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:57 pm

Yes which century should take priority? it is not really important for regions but for theatres if it will use RUS engine .With AJE I think medieval warfare can be also simulated if WW1 can be a problem. But first I think there should be poll or your idea about the next game should be. So that volunteers can start working on the map and maybe unit graphics. Because map project idea a little vague and disorganized right now.

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Sepul
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Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:25 pm

Pretty small isn´t it?? :mdr: I think i could help with this if u only need homogeneous regions.

Baris
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Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:42 pm

It is great map and some towns also added but for specifically operational level,maneuver game some villages can also be added. Depends on the desired next game.

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PhilThib
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Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:40 pm

Let's consider the 18th-19th century...It would not fit much for a medieval era, plus a lot of names should be changed...but it could be good for a WW1 game... or a Thirty Years War game... :thumbsup:
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Baris
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Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:40 pm

Alright but why not medieval era though it would be wonderfull that I could try to research even family names. :mdr:
(:thumbsup :) means onward to research "thirty years war" . It can be very good project.

veji1
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:34 am

PhilThib wrote:Let's consider the 18th-19th century...It would not fit much for a medieval era, plus a lot of names should be changed...but it could be good for a WW1 game... or a Thirty Years War game... :thumbsup:


I haven't downloaded the map yet but the way I see it, priority in terms of drawing of provinces should be given to the important natural and man made features (fortresses) that made some provinces key in the likely time frame of future games, ie "modern times" 1600-1850, with potential expansion into WWI territory.

As an example there are the key fortresses and passes in the Alps and northern Italy : We should draw the map in a way that gives value to places like Pignerolo, Alexandria and Mantova, as in real history. Same for the Low countries/Flanders. One question : will there be provinces straddling a major river or only rivers as Provinces boundaries ? I ask this because such provinces straddling a river could than become a natural key objective in a campaign : If the Alexandria province straddles the Po, it becomes a key objective for any warfare in the area... Although I suppose it could have major distortion effects...

I'll have to sneak on the family computer and download the big map and start drawing some ideas, unbeknownst to my wife who would rather me doing useful stuff (if only I could do that at work...).

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PhilThib
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:34 am

You got the point right, we want to have those key locations indeed...

In AGE games, we don't have regions straddling over major rivers...in our games, rivers are always a border btween two regions...they can be minor rivers, or major rivers (like the Po in Italy) which can be navigable...to take the Alexandria example, the city will be on one side of the river only... remmember however that we have a feature in our games that allow some key provinces on rivers to be "blocking"...i.e. their control is mandatory if you want to move ships past them...and, depending on the game era, artillery can also block navigation.....so, in the end, you can therefore devise those key locations...just make sure they don't straddle...
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veji1
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:01 pm

Hmm Ok. I suppose what I mean is that in many of those important locations, the control of the fortress / city meant control of the bridgehead, ie controlling the city of Alexandria would have meant controlling the bridges on the Pô. representing the whole bridgehead issue in such a game is not easy, but maybe control of the city / fortress (not occupation of the Province but actual control of the fortress) would allow to mitigate massively the penalty for attacking across the major river ?

I don't know how you could code that, but whether for rivers of for passes (Pignerolo for example) , the control of the fortress would mean control of the waypoint, the bridgehead over the river. In modern warfare (ie 16 to 19th century) it was key to have control of key bridgeheads over rivers or passes that would enable one to project his forces forward. It made the whole strategic values of such strategic cities. In Napoleon times, in peace treaties one would ask for control of such and such city on a river to have control of its fortified bridges over the Rhine, Po, Isar, or else... Same in the Flanders with the Escaut during the 17 and 18th century warfare.

Such a feature : Control of the city gives control of the bridges ie the major river penalty is now lowerd to small river penalty level to such or such neighbouring province (to emulate the still real difficulty of deployment over the actual crossing) would ensure that players give the right priority to sieging and seizing certain location before continuing its campaign.

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PhilThib
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:27 pm

Yes, good remarks...but that means new code, not currently in AGE... but I'd love we could make it...Will send that to Pocus
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veji1
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:59 pm

PhilThib wrote:Yes, good remarks...but that means new code, not currently in AGE... but I'd love we could make it...Will send that to Pocus


It is a bit like "hexside" control that you find in some hex based games. If in games based on this european map, there could be structures (cities, fortresses) with such an ability to lower movement/combat penalty because control of the structure is deemed to be a bridgehead, it makes the structure vital: now I suppose the hard bit is to code such an effect so that it applies only to the proper "hexside".

For example say the Alexandria province is on the north side of the Po but borders 2 provinces and the south side, the control of the city should allow the player to have bridgeheads accross to one of the provinces, emulating bridge control by lowering the major river penalty to small river for example, but not to the other.. I don't know how that coul be coded, but this plus the supplies issues posed by ennemy controlled fortresses would ensure that the sieging necessity of the periods warfare is well emulated, with key chokepoints that have to be seized (one could alsor remember the strategic importance of the city of Ratisbonne on the Donau in the 1809 campaign...).

Best regards.

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PhilThib
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:32 pm

This would probably work using the "links" concept already present inside the engine...don't know how yet :)
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veji1
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:29 am

So i have downloaded the map. Great stuff and lots of work to get the best out of it... I have looked a bit at the main campaigns in the Lowlands between 1635 an 1795. A few strategic places come up. Depending on how on can emulate the control of crossing points on rivers, there importance could be well underlined and the map traced accordingly. For example Maastricht as the key crossing of the lower Meuse, Namur controlling the confluence (sp?) between the Sambre and the Meuse... Louis XIV fought long and hard to try to get footholds on the right bank of the Rhine ( Kehl for example ) that eventually had to relinquish.

Hmm.. All this thinking leads to a tough question relating to the map. Would it be in anyway possible to depict some key cities on major rivers or passes as the old forts in AACW (Island 10, fort Henry and Donelson, the coastal forts), ie as a mini province in itself ? For example a city like Kehl could be city-province on the right side of the Rhine, without any territory attached to it. But with control of Kehl as a "point d'appui" a Turenne, Condé or later Saxe could easily get on the right side of the Rhine... Might be too complicated, and one would have to think a list those possible City-provinces or Fortress-provinces, with some necesary simplifications.

I might be going overboard here, but in a way such considerations are key when trying to draw a map that is going to be used mainly for a type of warfare where control of such and such fortress was the most important aspect of the war (17-18th century wars) as opposed to the more battle oriented war that developped following the french revolution.

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PhilThib
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:43 am

The map should be flexible enough to cover various subjects, and we can't make exceptions for local cases...e.g. Kehl could be important till 1713, then it is no longer...plus if we do this for this case, then dozens of others will pop up... let's keep in mind our games are strategic and partly operational, and we can't go at the level of details we have in AACW here, because we need versatility and re-usability over a wide period of time and a great diversity of conflict.

But don't worry, I kept a good note of the importance of bridge(head)s...so something will be done in the future engine :cool:
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veji1
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:37 am

Fair enough, I get your points.

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Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:36 pm

Hmm, if we could add anotheer 'row' of regions to North Africa [inland], I have some other possibilitues in mind! :siffle: :turc:
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PhilThib
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Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:44 pm

lodilefty wrote:Hmm, if we could add anotheer 'row' of regions to North Africa [inland], I have some other possibilitues in mind! :siffle: :turc:


That's the idea, there is enough room there.... :)
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Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:06 pm

PhilThib wrote:That's the idea, there is enough room there.... :)


I tried to do a markup, but I'm so graphically challenged that it rapidly deteriorated into a rage!
Hopefully someone with talent will step in :)
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Leibst
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Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:40 pm

As a possibilty i think that bigger map. Better scale for a modern war i think. And with turns of one week duration imo more doesnt fit to a modern war. So, if we are thinking in the wwii then in the total campaign game we had around 300 turns ¡¡¡ :blink:

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OneArmedMexican
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Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:53 pm

Leibstandarte wrote:As a possibilty i think that bigger map. Better scale for a modern war i think. And with turns of one week duration imo more doesnt fit to a modern war. So, if we are thinking in the wwii then in the total campaign game we had around 300 turns ¡¡¡ :blink:


300 seems still managable. Yes it is long but at 10 min a turn a campaign could be done in 50 hours. If you play the Hearts of Iron series, campaigns can reach a similar playing time. Moreover this is still a lot less than PoN which was indeed scary (or at least too much for my taste).

Besides, I don't think WW II is at the top of the list for possible projects. The engine would need a major overhaul to simulate the concepts like pockets and tank spearheads. The air and naval modules would need to be changed drastically, ...

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PhilThib
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Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:36 pm

I confirm WW2 is NOT on the list for the time being....may be later, but OneArmedMexican is 100% right in his evaluation... :bonk:
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veji1
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Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:44 am

Yep. The way I see it such a map would be the base for wargames ranging from 1500s (more likely 1600s) to 1850, and maybe later if the railway aspect can be incorporated.

I have been trying my hand at redrawing some provinces in the Lowlands/Rhine region and Northern Italy/Alps, but I find it very hard on a map that is already fairly clustered. I suppose I should try draw clean provinces on a regular map print ant then compare / transfer to this map.

One question : what is the limit in terms of adding of new provinces and extent of redrawing. Can one go quite far away from the current map or should it be more limited like in your example : Aka try to keep the same provinces only smaller and complete redraw of a province only when really felt necessary ? In the Lowlands the flat terrain makes it not too difficult, but in the alps just visualising what one wants to do is hard...

To help myself in the drawing I have tried to look at the historical title-boundaries and the different campaigns from the 17th and 18th centuries mainly, to try to find the key strategic chokepoints and how these provinces should have value (for example Maastricht should give you the key to crossing the lower Meuse and getting to the Rhine middle Rhineland, because control of it allows you to cross onto flatter land while crossing at Liege further south means crossing onto hill/woody better defensive terrain, hence a player would be better of going for Maastricht).

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PhilThib
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Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:13 am

The initial idea was to "re-use" as much as possible of the old map, for two reasons: cut the amount of time required by 50% and possibly recycle existing setups without having to re-write data if locations/names have changed...

But when you feel it is necessary, you can make new cuts, especially if they allow a better rendering of key places (those chokepoints places you mention).
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Narwhal
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Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:57 am

Are there plans to expand the map North to include Northern Sweden and Finland (it would be important for a GNW game - which would be my dream just below a TCW game) ?

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