West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.4

Forum for discussion of the next iteration of the BA engine. This time with a all new open development approach!

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Paul59
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West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.4

Post by Paul59 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:38 pm

This is a Skirmish Generator Mod for battles between German and British forces in Western Europe from 1940 to 1945. Obviously from July 1940 to May 1944 it is mainly for hypothetical battles, but the unit availability has been worked out accurately for the whole time period.


Image


Features include:

1) New Units added:
Sherman
M10
6pdr
17pdr
25pdr
Archer
Brencarrier
Bishop
british_truck
churchill
churchill_crocodile
cromwell
Kangeroo
matilda
priest
Sherman_firefly
SP_bofors
StuartM3
Wasp
2pdr
2pdr_portee
MKVI_AA
British Sniper
british_para
british_engineer
british_flamethrower
british_piat
british_bren
british_mortar
british_vickers_mg
British_Infantry
British_Scout
M3_HalfTrack
MatildaI
British_Boyes
para_piat
para_bren
para_vickers_mg
para_mortar
para_flamethrower
para_Scout
Daimler
6pdr_para
Airborne_jeep
Bren_Carrier_Boys
Guy_armoured_car
MkVI_light_tank
A10_Tank
A13_Tank
Humber_MkIII
Valentine
Valentine_6pdr
18pdr
Sherman_Rhino
Sherman_76
Sherman105
m24_chaffee
75mm_GMC
M8_Greyhound
Challenger
R35
S35
panzerjager_Bren
H35
H35_Wuframen
15cm_Lorraine
Char_bis_flamm
M3_LEE

These are mostly straight from Battle Academy 1, with a bit of conversion work, apart from the M3 Lee, and Challenger, which are modder created units. Many thanks to Amaris and Petcat for these. Thanks also, to Tim1966 for the 18pdr model.

2) In the absence of a suitable late war British fighter model, I have given the late war British a fighter plane by converting the P47 Ground Attack plane into a fighter.

3) There is a FRANCE terrain pack included which you can select. It uses the western European houses from BA1.


How to install

The mod is available for download within the game using the Download Community Scenarios button.


How to use

Open BA2 and select "Skirmish" from the main menu. Click the "Advanced" button in the middle of the screen. Click "Use Default Data" in the bottom right of the screen. This will bring up a list of campaigns and mods that you have installed, so select "West Front British Skirmish 1.1". Then just select your Skirmish preferences in the normal way and click "Create".

This mod also includes the Improved Engineer Mod by Amaris:

http://amaris-games.com/ba-amaris/improved-engineer/

Engineers, including Engineer vehicles such as the Soviet PT34 and US Sherman Rhino, can now use the following new functions:

Add Tank Traps: Select Engineer unit. Right click and select "ADD TANK TRAP" icon.

Remove Tank Traps: Move Engineer unit into Tank Trap Tile. Right click and select "REMOVE TANK TRAP" icon.

Cut hedgerows: To use, start the Engineer unit adjacent to a hedgerow and right click on the other side, select "CUT HEDGE".

Burn High Vegetation: Move Engineer unit into a High Vegetation Tile. Right click and select "BURN" icon.

Destroy Bridge: To use, start the Engineer unit adjacent to a destroyable bridge, and right click on the bridge tile, select "BLOW UP".

Remove Wire: This option is redundant in Skirmish games because the Skirmish generator does not place any wire.

Add Minefield: To use, start the Engineer unit adjacent to a tile you want to mine, and right click on that tile, select "ADD MINEFIELD".

All these actions uses up all the Engineer unit's APs for the turn.

For more instructions and screenshots, see Amaris' page above. Note that I have not added the "Add Pontoon Bridge" function, as it was not working properly in this mod.

The AI does not appear to use these Engineering functions, so it is up to the player if he wants to use these or not. Some may feel that it gives the player an unfair advantage, so just don't use them.

Engineers retain their vanilla abilities of laying smoke and clearing minefields etc.



Enjoy!

Paul
Last edited by Paul59 on Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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AlexDetrojan
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by AlexDetrojan » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:47 pm

Great mod, thanks. Although I've got to say that the Churchill tank against anything other than infantry or lightly armored vehicles...is well...interesting for the crew...:)

Paul59
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by Paul59 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:49 pm

AlexDetrojan wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:47 pm
Great mod, thanks. Although I've got to say that the Churchill tank against anything other than infantry or lightly armored vehicles...is well...interesting for the crew...:)
It's meant to be quite heavily armoured! You are not finding that so?
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by PoorOldSpike » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:48 pm

The Churchill's thick front armour of 100 is above average for a medium tank, for example a Pz IVG is 80.
But the Churchill's 75mm gun is surprisingly weak with an AP rating of only 47 compared to the Pz IVG's 81, so I wonder if the BA devs mistakenly gave the Churchill a 57mm gun instead of 75mm?
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by Paul59 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:12 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:48 pm
The Churchill's thick front armour of 100 is above average for a medium tank, for example a Pz IVG is 80.
But the Churchill's 75mm gun is surprisingly weak with an AP rating of only 47 compared to the Pz IVG's 81, so I wonder if the BA devs mistakenly gave the Churchill a 57mm gun instead of 75mm?
`
Yes, this does not look right to me. It might well be a Churchill with a 6pdr gun, a lot of Churchills were armed like that, but it has the 75mm gun sound effect, and it's firepower stats are less than the 6pdr! It's firepower stats are also less than the Lendlease Churchill III (with 6pdr gun) from BA2!

I am inclined to change this in a later update.
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by TankerOne » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:17 pm

Thanks paul, and yeah I think they accidentally forgot they used the wrong value. But it could be based in fact, that the gun wasn’t good for AP. I report more while I look into it.

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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by Paul59 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:46 am

There is a file in BA1 called Squads.xls, it is a file that shows a lot of background info on the units, but it is not used by the game to calculate combat, for that it uses the Squads.csv.

The BA1 Squads.xls says that the game's Churchill uses a 75mm L37 gun, as does the Chaffee Light tank. The Cromwell tank also uses a 75mm gun, but the Cromwell's AP firepower stats are better.

So why is the Churchill's 75mm gun weaker than the Cromwell's 75mm gun? According to articles I have read it was the same weapon.

Did the Cromwell actually have a better (longer?) 75mm gun than the Churchill? Or fired a better AP shell (maybe a HEAT round?)?

BTW, according to articles I have read, the 6pdr tank gun was replaced by the 75mm for it's better HE performance. The 75mm's AP performance was worse than the 6pdr's! So in that case maybe the Churchill's firepower stats are okay? The only mystery is why they are different from the Cromwell?


PS: After more reading it appears that the Chaffee was armed with a US 75mm L39, not a L37 like the BA1 Squads.xls states. Maybe it is just a very similar weapon in terms of performance.
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by PoorOldSpike » Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:26 am

I've just been analysing the data of the tanks below and it seems the Churchill's 75mm gun is not as weak as we thought..:)
I was going purely on its 'AP rating' (white circle), but if we look at it's other AP data (red underlined), in particular its 'AP Effectiveness' rating, we see that it rates 85 which is better than the 75mm-armed Cromwell (80) and the Sherman 75mm (83) !
There are also 'AP Accuracy' and 'AP Attack' ratings, so I suppose the Slith devs threw them all into the cauldron and the maths somehow came up with the white circled figure for all the tanks.
The moral seems to be that we should only take the white circled figure as a rough guide.

Image


Image


Image


Image
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by Paul59 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:04 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:26 am
I've just been analysing the data of the tanks below and it seems the Churchill's 75mm gun is not as weak as we thought..:)
I was going purely on its 'AP rating' (white circle), but if we look at it's other AP data (red underlined), in particular its 'AP Effectiveness' rating, we see that it rates 85 which is better than the 75mm-armed Cromwell (80) and the Sherman 75mm (83) !
There are also 'AP Accuracy' and 'AP Attack' ratings, so I suppose the Slith devs threw them all into the cauldron and the maths somehow came up with the white circled figure for all the tanks.
The moral seems to be that we should only take the white circled figure as a rough guide.

Image


Image


Image


Image
I might be wrong, but I think the AP (and HE) Ratings are just there to give the player an idea of a units abilities, and they aren't actually used by the game in it's calculations. If I remember correctly, there are similar indicative values in Pike and Shot, which uses the same game engine.

Again, I might be wrong, but I thought that the relevant values that are used in the game are the AP attack values, which are then modified by the AP effectiveness value that applies at that range. The chance of getting a hit is determined by the AP accuracy value for the range, modified by things like target size, mobility etc.

If that is the case, then it is even more of a puzzle, as the Churchill's AP attack values are 66 and 124, while the Cromwell's are 77 and 155, which is strange as they should have the same 75mm gun.

I did some more research on the Churchill/Cromwell's 75mm gun this morning. There were about 200 Churchill's that were modified to take the Sherman's 75mm gun, but they all served in Italy, so I don't think the BA designers would have been using the stats of that particular Churchill model. The Sherman's gun has better AP values in the game anyway.

It seems that most Churchill's and Cromwells in 1944/45 had the same British 75mm gun, it was basically a 6 pdr gun bored out to take 75mm shells, called the OQF 75mm. They needed a gun with better HE capability than the standard 6 pdr, and purpose built 75mm guns had trouble fitting in the Churchill turret. This OQF 75mm had two types of AP shell; AP M72 which had better penetration at short range, and APC M61 which was better at longer range. Maybe this might explain the difference between the Churchill and Cromwell AP Attack values? But why wouldn't both types of ammo be available to both tanks?
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PoorOldSpike
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by PoorOldSpike » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:16 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:04 pm
I might be wrong, but I think the AP (and HE) Ratings are just there to give the player an idea of a units abilities, and they aren't actually used by the game in it's calculations. If I remember correctly, there are similar indicative values in Pike and Shot, which uses the same game engine.
Hey Paul, we can't beat hands-on testing to get to the bottom of things, but I haven't yet got the hang of the Editor to set up tests. For example I tried placing a Churchill and other Brit tanks to compare their "chance of kill" readouts against enemy armour, but when I tried to save it to play it, it wouldn't save and a "Failed to load map file" message came up, whatever that means.
I know you're busy but if you can PM me some basic instructions how to create Editor battles i'll be able to get on it.
Alternatively could you send me a ready-made Editor scenario file as a "template" so that I can place units on it myself?
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by Paul59 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:32 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:16 pm
Paul59 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:04 pm
I might be wrong, but I think the AP (and HE) Ratings are just there to give the player an idea of a units abilities, and they aren't actually used by the game in it's calculations. If I remember correctly, there are similar indicative values in Pike and Shot, which uses the same game engine.
Hey Paul, we can't beat hands-on testing to get to the bottom of things, but I haven't yet got the hang of the Editor to set up tests. For example I tried placing a Churchill and other Brit tanks to compare their "chance of kill" readouts against enemy armour, but when I tried to save it to play it, it wouldn't save and a "Failed to load map file" message came up, whatever that means.
I know you're busy but if you can PM me some basic instructions how to create Editor battles i'll be able to get on it.
Alternatively could you send me a ready-made Editor scenario file as a "template" so that I can place units on it myself?
We have just been discussing that problem in another thread:

viewtopic.php?f=221&t=96679&p=828355#p828355

See Rommel's post near the end, all you have to do is create a folder called SCENARIOS in the mod folder that you are working on. So if you want to create a scenario with the British West Front mod, create a SCENARIOS folder in the West Front British Skirmish 1.1 folder.

I will do that for all the mods from now on, so that users don't have to.
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by AlexDetrojan » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:53 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:49 pm
AlexDetrojan wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:47 pm
Great mod, thanks. Although I've got to say that the Churchill tank against anything other than infantry or lightly armored vehicles...is well...interesting for the crew...:)
It's meant to be quite heavily armoured! You are not finding that so?
No, its very heavily armored, but I think it was rather under-gunned historically no? Love your mods Paul59 thank you so much!

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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by PoorOldSpike » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:10 pm

Ok thanks guys, I just set up this test in the Editor and screenshotted the data readouts; the Valentine has got a 57mm gun and the other 3 have got 75mm's.
(I ordered no movement or shooting as I just wanted clean uncluttered readouts on turn 1)

SUMMARY- Chance to hit % / Chance to penetrate % / Overall kill chance %

Churchill- 45, 21, 9
Cromwell-45, 38, 17
Sherman- 45, 52, 23
Valentine- 42, 0, 0

Image


Image


Image


Image

CORRECTION- That's the Valentine 2-pdr in the picture above, the Valentine 6-pdr has values of 39, 43, 16
Last edited by PoorOldSpike on Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by Paul59 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:40 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:10 pm
Ok thanks guys, I just set up this test in the Editor and screenshotted the data readouts; the Valentine has got a 57mm gun and the other 3 have got 75mm's.
(I ordered no movement or shooting as I just wanted clean uncluttered readouts on turn 1)

SUMMARY- Chance to hit % / Chance to penetrate % / Overall kill chance %

Churchill- 45, 21, 9
Cromwell-45, 38, 17
Sherman- 45, 52, 23
Valentine- 42, 0, 0
I was a bit worried about the Valentine for a minute mate, until I realised that you have got the 2 pdr Valentine, not the 6 pdr, in your test!

The Valentine 6 pdr chances are 39, 43, 16

Your test confirms that there is a quite a discrepancy between the performance of the Churchill and the Cromwell, despite them having the same gun historically. The question remains why? Is it an error, or is there a good reason for it?
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by PoorOldSpike » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:25 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:40 pm
I was a bit worried about the Valentine for a minute mate, until I realised that you have got the 2 pdr Valentine, not the 6 pdr, in your test!
The Valentine 6 pdr chances are 39, 43, 16
Your test confirms that there is a quite a discrepancy between the performance of the Churchill and the Cromwell, despite them having the same gun historically. The question remains why? Is it an error, or is there a good reason for it?
Thanks, I never realised there was a 2 pdr and a 6 pdr Valentine in the mod.(Historically I believe there was also a 75mm Val but I don't know if that's in the mod too).
As for the exact same 75mm guns having different performances, many other wargames do that too because the devs factor in other things like turret traverse speed, AP shell type, commanders and gunners optics, roominess of the turret interior, number of crew etc to arrive at a final "performance" figure.
So perhaps the BA devs gave the Churchill's 75mm gun a low performance value to reflect the fact that it was never originally custom-designed to carry a 75mm.
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by Paul59 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:11 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:25 pm
Paul59 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:40 pm
I was a bit worried about the Valentine for a minute mate, until I realised that you have got the 2 pdr Valentine, not the 6 pdr, in your test!
The Valentine 6 pdr chances are 39, 43, 16
Your test confirms that there is a quite a discrepancy between the performance of the Churchill and the Cromwell, despite them having the same gun historically. The question remains why? Is it an error, or is there a good reason for it?
Thanks, I never realised there was a 2 pdr and a 6 pdr Valentine in the mod.(Historically I believe there was also a 75mm Val but I don't know if that's in the mod too).
As for the exact same 75mm guns having different performances, many other wargames do that too because the devs factor in other things like turret traverse speed, AP shell type, commanders and gunners optics, roominess of the turret interior, number of crew etc to arrive at a final "performance" figure.
So perhaps the BA devs gave the Churchill's 75mm gun a low performance value to reflect the fact that it was never originally custom-designed to carry a 75mm.
No, there is no 75mm Valentine in the mod, It was only a command tank apparently. Yes, there might well be other factors that account for the difference in performance, and I am not going to lose any sleep over it, but it would be good to know for sure what is going on.
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by Fabiusmax » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:07 pm

Excellent Mod, many thanks. Would it be possible to include Desert terrain as well as France terrain? And how could I do this?

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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by Paul59 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:03 pm

Fabiusmax wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:07 pm
Excellent Mod, many thanks. Would it be possible to include Desert terrain as well as France terrain? And how could I do this?
I will release a separate Desert Mod at some point, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Getting the Skirmish Generator to produce realistic desert terrain was a challenge, it is not as simple as just adding in the desert terrain objects and tiles from BA1.
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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by glenghiscan » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:27 pm

Just down loaded your maps and looking forward to them will you be making a multiplayer version ?

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Re: West Front British Skirmish Mod 1.1

Post by Fabiusmax » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:44 pm

[/quote]

I will release a separate Desert Mod at some point, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Getting the Skirmish Generator to produce realistic desert terrain was a challenge, it is not as simple as just adding in the desert terrain objects and tiles from BA1.
[/quote]

Many thanks, I look forward too it!

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