Harpoon 1, Classics and 97


Q.Harpoon Classic Platform Editor
Does a platform editor exist for H Classic along the same lines as for H2?
Any info greatly appreciated.

A. I know that this question has been answered several time on the list but I thought I would send along a little explanation of why there is not a platform editor for Classics. In Harpoon II there is a single database that all battlesets use. When a new battleset was released the new platforms were just added to the old database. This is not true in Harpoon I/Classics. In this case there is a database for each battleset and they are not the same.
In Harpoon II the database is a separate file from the game engine. You can manipulate the database all day long without touching the game engine. In Harpoon I/Classics the database is built into the game engine. In order to change a platform in H1/classics you have to go in and modify the game engine itself.
I have talked to Gordon from Alliance about this several times as I personally think this would really increase the popularity of the game and extend its life. He told me that there are no plans to make a platform editor and that there probably never would be one as it is to difficult to make one.
I think the Pfedit has increased sales and extended the life of Harpoon II and feel that such and editor would do the same for Harpoon I/Classics/97. I am sorry to say that we will probably never see a platform/database editor for this version of Harpoon.


Q.It seems that my version of HC97 is somewhat different that H2. Can anyone tell me for sure if this is correct, and what are the major differences? (Note: I know that the land color is mapped in color in HC97 and not in H2) Is H2 a better platform than HC97 (besides the burning ships), and if so why

A. Actually, ships do burn in HC97. If you select the ship in the Units window and click the "Full..." button to get a full report, you will see an outline of the ship with "smoke" swirling around the damaged areas. I believe that flooding and fire are both depicted with the same "smoke" -- possibly critical hits, too. Watch the burning ship closely and you will see its % damage increasing over time, until it reaches a steady value (implying that the fire or flooding is under control) or the ship sinks.

Ships do sink abruptly if they are hit by a warhead that inflicts more DP than the remaining DP of the ship. However, the "sinking" hulk usually remains visible (and detectable on radar) for some minutes afterward. On countless occasions I've seen ASMs -- sometimes an entire salvo -- plowing into ships that are already sinking. This frequently happens when the AI launches a massive bearing-only attack at the one ship in your formation that is radiating (e.g. an AAW picket). Small vessels like PTMs and FFLs seem to sink much faster than DDs, CGs, and CVs (as they should).

The differences between HC97 and H2 are vast. Some of the major enhancements to H2 include:

-- A much more flexible user interface. H2 allows you to open as many group or unit windows as you like, and overlay them with a variety of useful data such as weather, depth/elevation, ice pack boundaries, threat zones, etc. Windows may be zoomed, scrolled, and/or attached to a moving unit.

-- The Formation Editor is much improved, with the ability to define independent ASW, ASuW, and AAW threat axes and assign appropriate patrols to each. Ships may be assigned to station-keep or sprint/drift as appropriate, and ASW aircraft may be assigned to search with sonobuoys or dipping sonar.

-- A new Mission AI allows the player (and the scenario designer) to assign units to various types of patrol and strike missions with user-defined waypoints or areas of coverage. This eliminates the need to micromanage units with simple tasks and complements the Formation AI nicely.

-- The sensor and weapon models are much more detailed. In H2 you can identify the emissions of individual sensors aboard a ship or aircraft and use this information to classify the contact. ECM and sonar decoys are implemented. Individual radars may be targeted and knocked out with ARMs. For example, you can render a big, bad BCGN helpless by knocking out the fire control radars with HARMs and following up with Harpoons or Walleyes -- but you have to know which radar to target :) Weapons are restricted to appropriate target types -- no more runway demolition with HARMs and Harpoons.

-- Scenarios feature multiple "sides". Each side may be friendly, hostile, or neutral to the player at the start of the scenario. Sometimes this posture will change suddenly in the course of a game as a result of accidental engagements by the player or a delayed attack preprogrammed by the scenario designer. Scenario victory conditions often reflect the rules of engagement that protect neutrals.

-- Weapon and fuel logistics are implemented. Ships may refuel and rearm via underway replenishment (UNREP) with special units (AOE, AOR, AFS, etc.) Aircraft may be refueled inflight by tankers, and it works a lot better than the IFR model in HC97!

-- The optional communications model restricts your ability to issue orders to units that are in contact. The contact status of a unit reflects the range and capbilities of its commo gear. For example, you can't issue orders to a submerged sub. Care must be taken to avoid "blue-on-blue" engagements between units that have lost contact with HQ.

-- The optional aircraft logistics model allows you to limit the amount of ordnance available to rearm sorties at airbases and aboard aviation ships. You won't be able to shuttle back and forth lobbing Harpoons at that SAG until it runs out of SAMs.

-- Bases are no longer modeled as point targets. Each base consists of a group of fixed land objects, including runways, hangars, tank farms, ammo dumps, revetments, control tower, SAM launchers, etc. You can target these individual components with the appropriate weapons to shut down the base in one coordinated strike. Watch out for hidden land units, though -- you never know where you might run into a AAA battery or mobile SAM launcher until you stumble across them.

-- The H2 database can be (and has been) corrected, modified, and extended by H2 players using either the DBEdit program (included with H2AE) or Tom Wenck's PFEDIT utility. This capability, combined with the H2 scenario editor, provides infinite replay value.

Well, that's a little more than a brief summary. What else can I say to persuade you? :)
Norm Lunde


Last Update - February 2, 2008 10:13 PM

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