Home and Links
 Your PC and Security
 Server NAS
 DVD making
 Raspberry Pi
 PIC projects
 Other projects
 Next >>

What's in Crimson Fields 0.6.0 (.exe updated 18 Nov 2012)

CF 0.6.0
Note - CF 0.6.0 is an 'unsanctioned' demonstration of "what's possible" without making huge changes to the source code. It will be removed when the CF code is moved to SourceForge (a 'proper' Open Source repository) and 'taken on' by 'real' programmers :-)

What's in Crimson Fields 0.6.0 ?

Crimson 0.5.3 plus the changes mentioned in my previous pages, including :-

a1. My x2 'zoomed' tiles & units = a double size playing field for modern high res. computer displays

a2. The CoMET edit window defaults to 1280x1024 (if it defaults to something else, find and delete your existing '../My Documents/crimson/cfed.ini' file)

a4. New units

As of Jan 2013, 23 have been added (Landing Craft, Light Anti-Tank Gun, Transport Helicopters, Self-Propelled Guns, AA Missile, Cruise Missile, Engineers, SAM Missile, SAM Site, Rockets, Torpedo, Guided Missile Cruiser, A.S.W. Frigate, Depth Charge mine, Pontoon Bridge, Assault Boat transport, Coastal Defence battery, beach defences (minded anti-tank traps) & Pillbox)

a3. Reworked Unit characteristics (see units spreadsheet here).

Many of the existing units have been modified to carry Missiles. Aircraft move distances have been increased, 'Anti-Aircraft Guns' renamed 'A-A Missile Battery' (and given AA Missiles), Troop Trains given a 'medic' capability, Patrol Boats become Mine Sweepers, 'Mines' become 'Auto-guns', 'Aircraft Carriers' are renamed Assault Carrier and have their carrying capacity adjusted and so on etc. etc.

a4. Reworked standard mission maps to include some of my new units plus at least 2 new maps to really show them off

What's included in the 060-code_src-gfx-folder.zip package' ?

Only the (complete) '/src' source code and '/gfx' folders.

NOTE. To build, start by unpacking Crimson 0.5.3 tar-gz and then replace the /src and /gfx folders with the 2 folders from the above package.

What's included in the Crimson-060-EXE package' ?

The crimson.exe '060' executable for Windows, plus the 2x sized default.tiles & default.units (these replace the existing ones found in C:\Program Files\CrimsonFields) and a new Levels 'set' (to replace your existing C:\Program Files\CrimsonFields\levels folder, although you might want to move any 'saved' games before doing so).

What about a doubled sized WW1 tile and unit set ?

The original WW1 'set' never came with the original icon artwork (.bmp) files. Whilst the unit icons & terrain are undoubtedly embedded in the default.units & default.tiles files, I found no obvious way to extract them. However, with a bit of playing around I managed to deploy the ww1 units onto a dummy (white tile) terrain background and used this as a basis for a 2x sized Unit artwork set

The 2xWW1.zip package contains the ww1 2xWW1.units and matching artwork (2xWW1.bmp) and Unit definitions (2xWW1.usrc) files, which are required if you want to make changes.

The ww1 units are usable with my 2x modified Terrain Tile set (default.tiles from above) although the 'buildings' look well out of place :-)

What about the Battle Isle maps ?

I have not included bi2cf.exe with 0.6.0 because it will pick up my new unit and tile artwork but still use the old unit & tile ID numbers to do the 'conversion' - and thus it generates total 'nonsense' maps !

Instead I have edited the 'original' BI maps & put them through a 'map tile converter' to create '2x' sized maps. I include them here for play with Crimson 0.6.0.exe

The 3 sets are the original BI maps, 'data disk 1' set, and data disk 2.

NOTE - bi2cf adds an extra comma ',' at the end of each map-raw line. Whilst this does not upset CoMET, it did upset my 'tile-swap' script :-)

What's in the Crimson-060-SRC package ?

The units and tiles 'source' (CFUnits.bmp, default.usrc, CFTiles.bmp, default.tsrc) and all the map 'source' (levels\*.src)

You really only need these if you intend to build Crimson Fields yourself from the C++ source code, as per my previous pages, and want to use my '2x' sized units & tiles (and expanded unit set)

Any playing tips on the new maps ?

When playing against the computer "A.I" you should choose 'player 1' (the FNA) = the new maps have all been designed (and play tested) assuming you make this choice. If you do take player 2, ALWAYS set the 'handicap' option (which will adjust the scenario so that it is at least playable with the AI in the FNA role)

Image A1. Yes - first watch out for the computer AI's use of missiles ! (typically, it just 'fires' everything on it's first turn)

A2. Hovercraft are no longer the 'all powerful' unit they used to be - carrying capacity has been reduced and they are restricted to shallow water and 'good' ground

A3. Transport Ships can carry units too heavy to be 'unloaded' using Landing Craft - since transport ships are not allowed into shallowwater (and landing craft are not allowed into deepwater) you must plan your routes to suitable loading / unloading / landing craft 'launch' points in advance

Note that docking piers 'count as' both 'shallow water' and 'water' (even though the Tile artwork shows 'shallow water' sea colours)

A4. Landing Craft can be used as Rocket launchers - so check what's on board before 'storming the beaches' on my new map :-)

How do I use Missiles ?

Units with Missile capability are defined as 'transporters' .. and Missiles are just 'normal' units (with a high 'attack' value and a defense of 1 (a defense of 0 crashes CF)).

Units weights have been adjusted to limit 'what can carry what'. All the existing maps have been modified to incorporate the new unit capabilities, as well as the addition of a couple of new maps to 'show off' the new units

There is no provision for 're-arming' .. once the Missiles have 'been used up', units are back to their basic fighting capability. Some (eg Helicopter Gunships, Ground Attack aircraft) have decent 'secondary' weapons (Gatling gun), others (eg Submarine) have none

NOTE - I don't recommend allowing Missiles to be produced in a 'factory' (unless you like fighting on a battlefield with 'invulnerable' Missile bases)

The computer 'AI' typically 'fires' every missile it has on 'turn 1'. Preventing this behaviour will require changes to the AI (most likely the 'Artillery' target selection code can be used)

What (else) is next ?

A1. For one, the A.I. needs a few 'tweaks'. It's biggest failure is it's refusal to 'capture' enemy (or neutral) buildings even when there is no 'opposition' within sight and it's Infantry starts the turn outside the base - which makes the 'standard' 'Lost Factories' map unplayable if you choose the Imperial side and let the AI play as the FNA - not that the AI could ever win anyway, since it's also incapable of using Transport Planes to fly Infantry (or anything else) to the Islands (or anywhere) ...

To make Lost Factories playable by the AI as FNA, it has to start with possession of the base and with Transport Planes already landed on the islands & the factories captured & supplied with crystals. Even so, the AI is likely to choose to build land units that can never leave the islands (since it's also incapable of using Transport Ships or Landing Craft)

One easy way to improve game-play V's the AI is to modify the 'handicap' trigger code so it can automatically 'detect' the AI as a player (rather then rely on the human player to set the handicap flag)

To speed up play testing, there seems no reason why the AI can't be allowed to play both sides :-)

A2. Perhaps easier, is to allow aircraft (& missiles) to fly over other units.

Allowing bombers to drop bombs on the enemy as they fly over (rather than just the enemy the bomber 'lands' next to) is a bit harder, as is allowing enemy A-A guns to fire at aircraft (& Cruise Missiles etc) as they fly over.

A3. Another relatively easy 'tweak' is to allow Submarines to 'submerge' = the map is repainted between each players turn, so removing the other sides Subs from the screen should be easy enough - Torpedoes, of course, will be 'left in' :-). Automatically 'revealing' a Sub when something 'bumps into it' is a bit harder

'Sonar' is possible by using a ranged anti-ship capability (with attack=1) since the software will reveal the 'valid targets' when you select your unit to fire - depth charges, of course, are defined as a (new) transportable unit (with a move=0) that can be 'deployed'

What's the problem with large maps ?

On my Windows XP computer, the crimson 'A.I.' goes into an 'infinite loop' when called upon to move it's units if the combination of Units and map size exceeds some unknown limits (a small Map of 40x50 is OK with almost any number of Units, a 120x65 (my 'Dieppe' Map) is OK with a couple of hundred units whilst a 110x50 Map with about 600 Units 'locked up')

CoMET seems to handle almost any sized map just fine, as does crimson.exe in Human v Human 'Hot Seat' play mode.
It's only when you try to play against the AI that crimson.exe 'stops responding' = so I conclude that the "A.I" code some-how gets itself into an 'infinite loop' (it does not 'crash' as such, so is unlikely to be a 'array overflow' or 'divide by zero' type issue).
It's possible that the 'lock up' problem is caused by deploying large numbers of Units into landing craft (since they can't be 'unloaded' whilst 'at sea' I'm guessing the software does into some 'check every hex in the map' process trying to find somewhere for them to 'land')

CF source code is quite 'modular', so it should be possible to locate and discover exactly how the "A.I" makes it's decisions and exactly how this is effected by unit counts and map size. When time allows, I will 'work it out' (and 'post' details of my investigation), although two other issues currently have priority.

1) After adjusting move allowances and move costs (to allow better 'granuality') I found that Units with a move greater than 16 can 'move over' other units - good - but they can also 'stop' on top of otehr Units - bad, as CF crashes. This needs 'fizxing' first.
2) For Missiles and Bombs to 'work' as the should, they must have a 'defense' of 0 (so they always 'die' in the first turn of combat). Currently, a Unit with a defense ('armour') of 0 will cause CF to srach on the first round of combat :-) 

Clicking "Next >>" (nav bar, left) will take you to my 'Using {Events} for Bridging etc' page

Next page :- CF code mods