New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

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jtrinc
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New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

Post by jtrinc » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:06 am

The wait is finally over; I've decided as my first foray into modding to finally create perhaps the most anticipated campaign one can think of: The Estonian War of Independence!

In all seriousness, if I am going to devote time and energy into making a mod, I'd rather it be one that people would actually be interested in, so I'd like to get a feeling of the interest level in this project. I'm hoping that a more obscure topic is a good fit in this instance, as if I duplicated existing work I'm sure I wouldn't be able to create a better product than anyone else, and this offers me the opportunity to make the best Estonian campaign in the Panzer Corps community, no matter how terrible it ends up being.
Even so, the Estonian War of Independence is quite an interesting conflict, with Estonian/White Russian forces coming within miles of Petrograd at times and being on the offensive at many points, which hopefully will make for some more interesting gameplay as well as a couple alt-history scenarios.

Here's a short and interesting video giving an overview of the war for those interested.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBA0xDHZjko&t=518s

So far I've created one scenario just to see if I could get one working at all, since this is my first time doing any modding or custom scenario design. I've also added in the nations of Estonia and Bolshevik Russia to the game files, though so far the only actual unit I've created is the basic Estonian Infantry, complete with a "custom" unit model spliced together from the conscript and volkssturm unit models. I'd be flattered if anyone gave me feedback, suggestions, or advice on any of this.

I've attached a zip of both the scenario as well as the mod, which is GME compatible.

Update: I've reuploaded the mod and been brazen enough to christen it version 0.0:
Addition of Bolshevik Infantry and Finnish Volunteers
Tweaked Scenario and replaced placeholder units with proper ones
0.0.1:
Addition of Bolshevik/Estonian Cavalry, as well as Estonian Partisans, which are equivalent to Conscripts (the Kuperjanov Battalion aside)
Tweaked Scenario, replacing more placeholder units and rebalancing the unit composition slightly
0.0.2
Fixed bug where ships couldn't enter the port at Kunda because there was a river in that tile
0.0.3
Tweaked and slightly rebalanced scenario, replaced last placeholder units

If all goes well the first scenario should be in at least a playable state sometime this weekend.
Attachments
Est0.0.3.zip
(548.78 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Est0.0.3.zip
(548.78 KiB) Downloaded 9 times
Last edited by jtrinc on Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:40 pm, edited 24 times in total.

cw58
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Re: New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

Post by cw58 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:25 am

Hi jtrinc,

Enjoyed your humor and your mod sounds intriguing. It will be interesting to see it take shape.

In regards the disappearing nations, I had the exact same issue when I tried to add a nation to a mod. I eventually solved the problem but unfortunately I cannot remember how I did it. :cry: I doubt this is the problem but I did notice what appears to be a couple missing tabs in your nations file. I'm assuming you modded it with notepad/wordpad; I recommend using a spreadsheet to mod files, when possible. Best of luck with your mod.
nations.jpg
nations.jpg (168.91 KiB) Viewed 582 times
Edit: I did a quick test plugging in your nations and strings files into my game. The Bolshevik Russians worked correctly while Estonia continued to disappear. It did not seem to help when I fixed the tabs in the nations file. If I ever remember how I fixed my own problem, I'll be sure to let you know.
Last edited by cw58 on Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

Turtler
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Re: New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

Post by Turtler » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:38 am

Hey. It's nice to see another modder take their first steps into the field! And I will confess that I've been greatly interested in this subject as well; I still have fond memories of playing the Estonian Campaign that came out for PGII and Open General, so if you're looking for inspiration I'd suggest that.

I would also suggest you get in contact with BNC, because he did Kaiserschlacht/the WWI campaign. He made a lot of custom graphics that might be of interest to you, including for infantry (because the number of SMGs in the vanilla infantry look rather odd in this setting). While the Bolsheviks only had a cameo role, you could use the Imperial German units for Freikorps and the Imperial Russians for Whites.

Now onto your scenario:

Firstly, I'd suggest making the Estonians the Allied side; in the Russian Civil Wars they were by far one of the most loyal, heavily supported, and pro-Western Allied of the newly independent regimes. It kinda threw me to have them as the Axis side in this scenario.

But secondly and more importantly: *THIS SCENARIO IS SERIOUSLY BUGGERED.* Because both the Communist and Estonian flags present on the map at the start are marked as Allied, while the Estonian Player Character force is Axis. with the result that your planes can't refuel from the very airfields they start on. To say this is screwed up would be rather modest.

Please fix this.

On first blush the scenario seems pretty solidly put together, with good balances of forces. I'd be interested if you could name the units- especially the Estonian Armored Trains- but it looks fun, and the initial moves work well if not for the aforementioned control point problems.

I hope this helps.

Regards.

jtrinc
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Re: New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

Post by jtrinc » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:57 am

Hello cw58,

Sure enough, the problem was exactly what you pointed out. All I had to do was press tab instead of space before the numbers to get it working just fine. Thank you for finding that for me, I guess I'll try using spreadsheets from now on. And thank you again for the well wishes. That also seemed to fix the problem with the control points and airfields. I'll reupload the zip file with the new and improved scenario.

Hi Turtler,

I'm happy to see that another person was already interested in this specific conflict! I'll definitely take your advice about the unit models, and I hadn't found the Estonian campaign for PGII, so I'll be sure to check that out as well. Thank you for taking the time to review the scenario as well. Hopefully it will play a bit better now that the bugs are by and large fixed.
Last edited by jtrinc on Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

jtrinc
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Re: New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

Post by jtrinc » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:03 am

Tiny update on the unit models, I've tried to at least slightly alleviate the smg problem on the Estonian side by replacing the smg in the basic infantry with what I hope resembles a lewis gun, but I'm not entirely sure it's that obvious.
Estonian_Infantry.png
Estonian_Infantry.png (28.87 KiB) Viewed 571 times
Estonian_Infantry.png
Estonian_Infantry.png (21.31 KiB) Viewed 571 times
I decided to follow BNC's advice and whipped a cut and paste version with 3 rifles instead of the "lewis gun" Maybe if I can get that looking a little better in the future I could use it for a later version of the estonian infantry (ie. Inf 1918 vs Inf 1919) or some more elite formation
Estonian_Infantry.png
Estonian_Infantry.png (20.91 KiB) Viewed 483 times
Last edited by jtrinc on Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BiteNibbleChomp
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Re: New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

Post by BiteNibbleChomp » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:05 am

Hi Jtrinc,
Turtler wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:38 am
I would also suggest you get in contact with BNC, because he did Kaiserschlacht/the WWI campaign...
No need to seek me out, I still visit the forum from time to time and it looks like I've found something interesting 8) It's been a couple of years since I last booted up PzC so I've doubtless forgotten a whole bunch of stuff, but hopefully something I write here is helpful :D

If you haven't downloaded it already, here's the WWI campaign: http://www.mediafire.com/file/7o0bvpi59 ... 3.zip/file
Most of the unit icons in there aren't actually mine but I listed in the credits page who did make them, AFAIK the original artists would be happy for you to use their stuff as long as you include their name in the credits of your own mod. Anything that I made you are certainly welcome to use! In the mod there is definitely a rifles-only infantry (thus getting around the SMG issue) for all of the major powers, so take your pick for the Estonians. I did make a map for the Russian Civil War so the Reds certainly have something but I'm not sure how useful that would be, there's some chance I just copied the icon from the base game. If those aren't suitable, what you can do is photoshop a rifle onto the Soviet model with the SMG (the Lewis gun
is an interesting idea but in game I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between that and a regular SMG). Add in the appropriate entry to efx.pzdat and your good to go - as long as the guns are in the same place then the animation from one unit icon can be copied directly to another.

As for your scenario, I don't have the game installed so I can't look through it in detail, but based on what Turtler said I have one very useful piece of advice that will save you a ton of time when making future maps: set your nations to their side before doing anything with them. Go to that page with about 100 check boxes and click the checkbox for "Axis" or "Allied" for every nation you intend to use in that map.
This is because when placing a flag or something down on the map, the game reads what side the checkbox is on at that moment to assign the flag/unit/whatever to a side. So if you place a bunch of units for say Italy (which defaults to Axis) and then set the checkbox for Italy to Allied, then all those units will be considered as Axis unless manually changed. If the flags are playing up in your scenario, this is a likely cause.

Renaming units can be done by bringing up the unit specific menu. Pretty sure it was opened by shift-clicking the unit (could be wrong though, someone correct me if I am!)

Other than that, great work with everything you have done so far! I remember making my first map in 2012. Didn't have roads, terrain graphics (just the green and blue hexes) and units that were walking on the water for turn 1 because I couldn't figure out how to do transports. So adding new countries and units for your first mod is quite impressive! :D Let me know if you need anything, I'll do my best to help!

- BNC
Creator of American Civil War mod for Strategic Command WWI!
Discuss here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4504986
Download: http://www.mediafire.com/file/tj4t11z3ttl142w/SCACW.zip/file

jtrinc
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Re: New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

Post by jtrinc » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:11 pm

Hi BNC,

I'm familiar with some of your work and it's truly an honor to have your interest. While I'll certainly reach out about getting access to the White Russian infantry from the WW1 mod, it looks like indeed the communists were just represented with the basic soviet infantry. Nonetheless, this just gave me an opportunity to create a Bolshevik Infantry model. I tried to fit on something that looks like a budenovka, I think it doesn't look half bad.
Bolshevik_Infantry.png
Bolshevik_Infantry.png (25.89 KiB) Viewed 473 times

jtrinc
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Re: New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

Post by jtrinc » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:30 am

What is the proper etiquette for using someone's unit icons when they're no longer active? Halibutt's icons for the Russian Infantry and the Airco DH.2 would be especially helpful, but it appears they haven't been active since 2017. Would it be an overreach to just go ahead and use the unit icons and give Halibutt full credit for the icons?

Progress update: I've tweaked the scenario some more, but now I think I'm just going to leave it as is and concentrate on creating scenarios for the actual campaign proper. Depending on how busy I am this weekend I hope to be able to get at least a working prototype of the first scenario up sometime this Sunday the 15th. I'm almost done with creating/modifying and borrowing all the unit icons I need, though if time permits later on I might try to make a armored train unit icon and one for an Estonian armored car.

BiteNibbleChomp
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Re: New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

Post by BiteNibbleChomp » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:19 am

jtrinc wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:30 am
What is the proper etiquette for using someone's unit icons when they're no longer active? Halibutt's icons for the Russian Infantry and the Airco DH.2 would be especially helpful, but it appears they haven't been active since 2017. Would it be an overreach to just go ahead and use the unit icons and give Halibutt full credit for the icons?
Use it and drop him a credit. Plus if he let me use it there's no reason why he wouldn't let you.

- BNC
Creator of American Civil War mod for Strategic Command WWI!
Discuss here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4504986
Download: http://www.mediafire.com/file/tj4t11z3ttl142w/SCACW.zip/file

jtrinc
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Re: New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

Post by jtrinc » Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:54 am

Might have to move that Monday scenario release back a bit, I probably went a little overboard with making the actual terrain, the map is 85x50 hexes. Here's a preview, if anyone's interested.
mapimage.jpg
mapimage.jpg (625.21 KiB) Viewed 189 times
This is supposed to depict the northern part of the Narva Isthmus, from a little east of Narva itself West to Johvi. The scenario itself will feature trying to hold Narva for long enough to evacuate the garrison by rail to Johvi, in the face of Bolshevik flanking maneuvers, Red Estonian Partisans, and a naval invasion at the mouth of the Narva River supported by the Red Navy, with Estonian reinforcements (including an armored train) trickling in as the scenario progresses. The more core units the player is able to save, the stronger their forces will be in the defense of Tallinn (auxiliary militia units probably won't count).

Instead of plunging into filling the whole map right away, I might create a "training" scenario just cropped around the immediate vicinity of Narva depicting the Red Army attack on the 22nd of November that was successfully repulsed thanks to German troops still in the area.

cw58
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Re: New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

Post by cw58 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:44 am

Map looks good. Big...... but good ;)

jtrinc
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Re: New Project: Estonian War of Independence Campaign

Post by jtrinc » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:58 am

Another update: I've been pretty busy with my studies this past week, and it looks like that probably won't change for a month or so. However, I do hope to more or less finish the first scenario this weekend. Instead of trying to work with that giant map, which would result in a really long and complicated scenario that I'm not in a great position to put the necessary effort into, I've created a second map just focusing on Narva and its immediate surroundings, and have started to do a scenario just comprising the initial Red Army attack on the 28th of November, 1918.
NarvaDefense.jpeg
NarvaDefense.jpeg (701.24 KiB) Viewed 61 times
The goal here is to hold a gradually shrinking set of objectives while trying to avoid being cut off and surrounded by flanking attacks from both the North and South, and eventually retreating to the West before the Reds cut off the escape road from their amphibious invasion on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, in this scenario represented by events, messages, and the turn limit. Preventing the Reds from cutting the Tallinn-Narva railway will result in getting an extra artillery unit in the next scenario as heavy equipment is able to be evacuated by rail, unlike historically.

I'll definitely use the bigger map though, if not for the initial scenario then for a later one where Estonian forces retake the territory.

Thanks to McGuba for allowing me the use of some unit icons, including the artillery ones you can see here

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