Hack’s Hardcore Hints #6: Initial Battlefield Craters

Vietnam | Hacks Hardcore Hints

In Hack's Hardcore Hints series, David Galster shares some of his scenario design toolkits for Campaign Series: Vietnam, a work-in-progress tactical platoon-scale wargame.

It’s a pleasure, Campaign Series Wargamers,

Have you ever played a scenario, starting with a pristine battlefield, yet knowing that there had been previous combat at the location? Not realistic right? Well, there is a way to put artillery craters on the game map – right from the start. So now you can see, (in 3D mode,) shellholes on the very first turn. This is like the Campaign Series Vietnam scenario editor option to rubble cities. However, the craters must be added by manipulating the *.scn file itself, and not with the scenario editor.

Crater Code Basics

In the game engine, all crater codes start with 13, then have the X coordinate, Y coordinate, and a firing points number. (12, 16, 30, 48, are a few.) There are single spaces in between. The code line for a hex with craters looks like:

13 2 10 48

So to “pre-crater” a scenario, first open the scenario file, (*.scn) using Notepad ++ or jEdit that has the ability to add or modify text. Then add the code lines in the “Unit Data” section.

Generating with EXCEL

These can be generated by an EXCEL spreadsheet if you have a pattern that you want, and can define by coordinates. The variation numbers can be picked from a column file using a random number generator.  Be careful not to put craters over trench hexes, or it will negate the trench. Since they are there for visual effect only, be careful not to put them on top of other functional scenario elements like trenches, mines, etc.

A set of crater codes in a scenario file looks like this:

13 2 12 16

13 2 14 48

13 2 16 30

13 2 18 36

13 2 20 30

The spreadsheet will generate codes in a group of cells. These can be pasted into Notepad++, using unformatted text, but they will be tab delimited. They will look like this:

13              2          10        48

13              2          12        48

13              2          14        16

13              2          16        36

13              2          18        68

 

To replace the tabs with spaces, (you can see the tabs by toggling the "paragraph" key, ¶,) perform a “find” on “→” and replace with a single space. Use the "replace all" option in Notepad++. Then, they will be in a form that can be copied an pasted into the *.scn file. These need to be located in the “Unit Data” section, and can be placed just before the “data footer” part of the scenario file.

Crater Density

You may wonder about the significance of the fourth number, like 48, 16, 36, etc. That number is the cumulative number of points fired on that hex. From 1 to 23, there is a smaller pattern of five craters. From 24 to 47 the pattern has 11 craters, and for 48 and above it has 14.

In CS Vietnam, they look like this:

Vietnam | Hacks Hardcore Hints

Trio of Possible Crater Patterns

Sample Scenario File with Craters

Here is an example of a scenario file and what it looks like with the crater codes added. See the boldface codes near bottom, just above the data footer.

[-------------------------------- data header ---------------------------]

26

Laos Test Map

0 0 0 1-30[d]

0 0 0 0 1-30[20]

9 0 2 5 80 80 80 80

0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

100 100 0 -1

0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0

Testmap.map

Testmap.org

Testmap.ai

Testmap.lua

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

0 0

0 0 0 0 20

1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1

[--------------------------------- unit data ----------------------------]

0 0 0 P136508 87 1 1 4 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 0 1 P132101 44 1 1 6 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 0 1 P131004 35 1 32 3 0 0 100 5 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 0 10 P103014 29 1 1 2 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 1 0 P106523 28 1 1 2 0 0 100 5 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 1 0 P131013 88 1 32 4 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 1 1 P138015 74 1 1 1 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 1 8 P132109 32 1 2 6 0 0 100 5 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 1 8 P136802 43 1 1 6 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 1 11 P106564 30 1 1 1 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 2 0 P106504 24 1 1 2 0 0 100 5 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 2 1 P132104 77 1 1 6 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 2 3 P212090 84 1 1 6 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 2 11 P104001 73 1 32 1 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 2 11 P132109 33 1 1 6 0 0 100 5 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

2 2 17 524288

2 2 18 1

0 3 1 P102091 41 1 1 6 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

2 3 5 65536

2 3 9 524288

0 3 18 P212002 79 1 1 6 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

 

 

0 5 3 P138809 75 1 1 6 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 5 4 P211033 40 1 1 3 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 5 5 P217025 2 1 1 3 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 5 5 P211029 1 1 32 3 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 5 5 P212021 37 1 2 3 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 7 8 P212004 6 16 8 6 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 7 8 P211013 7 16 32 3 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 7 8 P212009 8 16 4 3 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 7 8 P212004 5 16 1 6 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

2 7 8 128

2 7 9 1

0 8 8 P218012 45 1 1 3 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

0 8 8 P218011 46 1 32 3 0 0 100 6 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

2 8 9 8192

7 5 0 1 0 100 1 1 0

P132096 36 8 8 2 0 0 100 5 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 -1 -1

19 P105037

19 P105037

19 P105037

19 P105037

19 P105037

19 P105037

19 P105037

19 P135001

19 P105044

13 2 10 48

13 2 12 16

13 2 14 48                       Crater Codes

13 2 16 30

13 2 18 36

13 2 20 30

 

[-------------------------------- data footer ---------------------------]

0 -1

1

David Galster

05 September, 1970

Admiring Your Work

So after you modified the scenario file, go ahead and start a new game, and in the 3D mode, look at the area where you wanted craters. There should be artillery crater holes of various patterns, making the battlefield look like the random, tattered mess that any should look like after only a few hours combat.

Campaign Series Vietnam | Hacks Hardcore Hints

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