Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Operation Desert Storm theater

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Snake Man
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Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by Snake Man » 2009-01-31, 01:07:30 PM

There has been long slow discussion about rivers in Falcon 4 terrains and especially in desert theaters, for example in ODS. Some say we just absolutely need to cut out all the rivers as there is no real water in them anyways, only leave Euphrates/Tigris and some other larger ones. This would also help the ground war as there is no more thousands of bridges.

So lets get the discussion going, how should we handle the desert river situations in ODS theater?
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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by Polak » 2009-01-31, 02:17:35 PM

Since I have raised this subject lately, let me have a go first.

I am obviously postulating the review and removal of ALL perennial rivers and streams leaving those only where the water flow is present all year round. And I am not perhaps saying that this would necessitate any major changes in the maps.

Those currently present and agreed upon as perennial might just receive different kind of texturing. Something perhaps like some discrete "running" rock formation which may continue along what used to be a river tile. They all will be placed on underlying base tile to eliminate need for any transitions.

Still some among them now existing rivers could be still left in form waadis or old river beds. They just be not so frequent as they are now. Tiles already made could still be used.

Some will remain as well pronounced rivers and perhaps we even could vary its sizes (all contained within the same tile ).

Bridge and crossing tiles will be only necessary for the last category. Rest will be just the road

Removal of those actually maybe even not existant in the RL water formations may improve and ease the problems of obstacles for ground movement in campaigns.

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by Polak » 2009-01-31, 02:33:59 PM

Showcase deleted. Have nice life.
Last edited by Polak on 2009-01-31, 04:16:46 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by Snake Man » 2009-01-31, 03:37:18 PM

This topic is not about the visual look of rivers, rather their strategic importance regarding the realistic terrain, the desert is pretty dry, as said there isn't so damn many rivers as the DCW data indicates (or they aren't wet at least).

So lets please keep the discussion about the strategic nature of rivers instead their visual / graphical side.

Eh, what I mean is, I don't want this topic to turn into showcase of new river tiles. We must focus on the ground unit movement and strategic decision that do we really need these feature tiles at all in the theater (besides euphrates/etc). :)
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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by toonces » 2009-01-31, 05:50:47 PM

If they're not serving any strategic purpose, then I don't see any reason to keep them.

It sounds like the rivers are just making a mess of things right now WRT the ground war.

Polak has some nice ideas for the purists that insist on having every river in place- a way to have your river and eat it too so to speak.

So I vote: remove.

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by 87th_striker » 2009-01-31, 10:35:35 PM

Remove the bridges, keep the wadis as something crossing the road.

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by Polak » 2009-02-01, 03:10:12 AM

Some time ago I came across the map of Middle East from NIMA (National Imagery and Mapping Agency). It is not ideal map, and perhaps by now somehow outdated, but after some reconsideration I find it the best and most informative map of ME for purpose of strategy in computer simulations. Perhaps you knew about it already.
Still, here is the link:
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_e ... c_2003.jpg

Notice the network of rivers and network of roads.

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by ccc » 2009-02-01, 12:34:03 PM

Snake Man wrote:There has been long slow discussion about rivers in Falcon 4 terrains and especially in desert theaters, for example in ODS. Some say we just absolutely need to cut out all the rivers as there is no real water in them anyways, only leave Euphrates/Tigris and some other larger ones. This would also help the ground war as there is no more thousands of bridges.
yes, totally agree.

ideally, leave few major rivers in Euphrate and Tigris area with water-river tiles. for those dry river bed - a new set of tiles with dried river bed texture would be great.. and this set will allow all ground units moving freely.

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by Polak » 2009-02-02, 11:16:55 PM

I have substituted set of the desert wadi/river with some rock configuration. Thanks to the fact that the elbows of the rivers go always together in pairs they can be substituted by adjacently seamless tiles. That suddenly makes quite a difference introducing into the terrain something larger than just one tile.

By renaming dry river bed textures to different names we can have and use still them in the theater. Locate them in certain places of our choosing. It is matter of choice and decision where.

Perhaps, in order to limit possibility of campaign bottlenecks - all rivers which cross the roads should be eliminated. But then there is another question.What really affects this campaign unit flow: a bridge on the road/river crossing, or maybe lack thereof, if there is just the river on the AI unit path? Do we know that for a fact?

One more set of the tiles for the large rivers is in the making.

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by Snake Man » 2009-02-03, 10:32:41 AM

Apparently common feeling is to remove the small useless rivers. This cuts out many bridges and means quite much of re-linking in Tacedit for me.

Then we must tile the Euphrates and Tigris with the "two tile" method, actually I'm embarrassed to even say this but I believe they are already done like this, hell man its been SO long time since I've flown in ODS theater that I just cant remember! :)

Anyways nothing is decided yet, keep the discussion flowing and throw in ideas or opinions. We need to talk through this completely before we nuke the rivers, because I surely won't go adding them back once they are gone. They are gone forever then. So this is not a decision I'm going to make lightly or quickly.
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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by ccc » 2009-02-03, 11:22:52 AM

Apparently common feeling is to remove the small useless rivers. This cuts out many bridges and means quite much of re-linking in Tacedit for me.
another thought,
- replacing all river tiles with Polak's new tiles, including Eupharates or Tigris.
- removing river and bridge junction definition on those river/road tiles.
- removing bridges in limited area ( mainly ODS combat area ), and re-linking objectives.

Could it help reducing the workload?

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by Polak » 2009-02-03, 01:30:22 PM

Anyways nothing is decided yet, keep the discussion flowing and throw in ideas or opinions. We need to talk through this completely before we nuke the rivers, because I surely won't go adding them back once they are gone. They are gone forever then. So this is not a decision I'm going to make lightly or quickly.
No question the decision is with consequences , but surely there is something like backup, ?
Is there anything in form of the practical tests which can assist you in reaching this decision?
Are there any other possible reasons for the campaigns not to play out as they should?
I might be wrong, but it looks to me that this issue is "to be or not to be" for ODS. Does this help?

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by 87th_striker » 2009-02-04, 12:05:14 PM

ccc wrote:
Apparently common feeling is to remove the small useless rivers. This cuts out many bridges and means quite much of re-linking in Tacedit for me.
another thought,
- replacing all river tiles with Polak's new tiles, including Eupharates or Tigris.
- removing river and bridge junction definition on those river/road tiles.
- removing bridges in limited area ( mainly ODS combat area ), and re-linking objectives.

Could it help reducing the workload?
Why not just run Wadi-tiles on all rivers, then make the tiles non-rivers, then handtile the big rivers and place bridges on these. The we have the terrain features for the looks, and we keep those 1000's of bridges to a minimum ?

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by ccc » 2009-02-04, 12:53:59 PM

Why not just run Wadi-tiles on all rivers, then make the tiles non-rivers, then handtile the big rivers and place bridges on these. The we have the terrain features for the looks, and we keep those 1000's of bridges to a minimum ?
ha, sounds like a good idea.

so the work is..
- create one or few sets of Wadi tiles, Wadi-road tiles.
- edit Wadi tile definition.
- then do bridge obj tweak.

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by Polak » 2009-02-05, 04:17:46 AM

so the work is..
- create one or few sets of Wadi tiles, Wadi-road tiles.
- edit Wadi tile definition.
- then do bridge obj tweak.
-done 2 NEW sets of Wadi tiles, Wadi-road tiles
-created one set of what used to be desert river now desert elements
-additionally created --- 1 set of large/broad river tiles

so now we have:
broad desert rivers (new element needs hand tiling) ,
wadis (also new element which needs placement)
just additional desert elements which used to be a river tiles .

Is this the most economical as far as terrain editing workload is concerned ? Or something else?

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by ccc » 2009-02-05, 12:52:59 PM

Good job Polak.
i hope SM could have your new tiles and show us what it looks like in sim. say, the Wadi tiles need tile definition tweak with Pathmaker tools. once new tiles added, autotiled, and tile definition edited, the focus of work may trun to obj-relinkng/ removing bridges in major combat area.. honeslty ODS512 is a hugh theater that covering various types of terrain..i dunno if such tile-replacement or autotiling could mess up those non-desert areas.

BTW, regarding new watering river tiles for Eupharates/Tigiris.. did you check Google Earth or other SAT image to determine the width of river? >> i just check it .. the watering river width about 250-500m, from Google earth.

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by 87th_striker » 2009-02-05, 02:25:57 PM

For wide rivers we can use coast tiles also ?

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by 16th Speed » 2009-04-28, 05:46:15 PM

It is not sufficient justification to remove a bridge just because the riverbed/streambed is dry. If you have ever been to an arid region, you will notice that dry riverbeds and streams are always bridged. This is so that when it DOES rain, the road is not washed away (and of course, impassable for the duration of the flooding even if the road is NOT washed away and destroyed). Furthermore, bridges aren't ONLY built to span across a spanse of water. Finally, all the bridges in the ODS theater help to define national borders. Remove a significant fraction of the bridges, and the borders between neighboring countries becomes less clear.

Thus, my opinion:
Maybe create a new tiling system for dry streambeds, BUT keep the bridges because bridges must be built across dry or seasonal streambeds.

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by ccc » 2009-04-29, 01:50:02 AM

my recent tests suggest we may keep few important ones, and delete the rest.. also erase bridge/river definition on roa-river tiles. This move may help the rolling in 2d war.. while keeping the playability in 3d world.

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by ccc » 2009-04-30, 03:02:55 AM

my recent tests suggest we may keep few important ones, and delete the rest.. also erase bridge/river definition on roa-river tiles. This move may help the rolling in 2d war.. while keeping the playability in 3d world.
i want to modify my thoughts about this subject..

Unless you can disable "strike bridges from air power" or have "engineer units keep repairing bridges", i suggest have one main combat route free of bridge obj, to ensure ground war contact can happen- and ground units can move to their final obj in the end. Other secondary routes are open to have or have no bridges.

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by toonces » 2009-09-15, 03:48:15 PM

How do you remove a river definition from the .thr? file?

What I mean is, leave the graphics and everything else, but have the rivers just be completely graphical and have no impact on movement as a water obstacle?

What is the actual process to do this?

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Re: Rivers in desert terrain, remove them or not?

Post by ccc » 2009-09-15, 04:07:15 PM

well.. time flies..
Unless you can disable "strike bridges from air power" or have "engineer units keep repairing bridges", i suggest have one main combat route free of bridge obj, to ensure ground war contact can happen- and ground units can move to their final obj in the end. Other secondary routes are open to have or have no bridges.
after checking cam file with TacEdit, i finally realize that Bridges can be removed from target/priorities list, with TacEdit. Once you reduce Bridge priority to zero, nobody will attack bridges.
How do you remove a river definition from the .thr? file?
use Phenoix711's THR creator. when river removed from THR file, your 2d war map will not show any rivers.. the only choking points are bridge objectives.( in 2d map)
What I mean is, leave the graphics and everything else, but have the rivers just be completely graphical and have no impact on movement as a water obstacle?
in 3d world, you still need to use Pathmaker to deleter river/bridge definiton on TILES, so ground units can move across them freely, treat them as pure graphics.

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