Friday, September 03, 2004

Creating the Mod – Terrain Elements, Part One

The cornerstone of this mod is the new Hedgerow terrain element. To create it, I used the existing “Broken” terrain element, which I felt would be one of the least used in the maps I wish to create.

I adapted the speed and visibility values of the “Broken” terrain element to give it the feeling of hedgerow fighting. What I did was give the element the visibility of the city and the speed of polder. I’ve since tweaked almost all of the settings to make the element a little more forgiving, and a little easier to spot in, and this seems to provide the right feel. I hope to get feedback on this when it is released.

The most noticeable and difficult thing about this new terrain is how, even over short distances, a unit will increase dramatically in fatigue, while unit cohesion goes right down the tubes. It makes mounting an attack difficult and wearisome.

All of which seems pretty accurate. The difficulty of bocage fighting was one of the main impressions I took away from Glover S. Johns' book The Clay Pigeons of St. Lo.

In the modified game, the units constantly seek to use the roadways rather than attack through the hedgerows. It's not what I expected, but it might be "realistic." This is supported in the War Department’s history of the battle, which records a warning from the commander of the 2nd Panzer to his men: "the possession of dominating height is often not as decisive as possession of traffic junctions."

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