Advanced mission building thread...open contribution!
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Thread: Advanced mission building thread...open contribution!

  1. #1

    Icon22 Advanced mission building thread...open contribution!

    Hey guys,

    This thread is an idea that Shadow Wolf 07, myself, Talon, and others have kicked around periodically for a while now, and I thought since the action has been a little dull here of late, this would be a way for those who have thought about getting into Mission Builder can learn from some of the masters (Myself, Shadow Wolf 07, Devildog73, Skylane, Captain Kurt, and a few others) about how to design more complex missions and be able to make multiple missions on an event without having to start from scratch every time.

    All of us have different techniques on hand-editing and mission setups that should offer some ideas and "peel the curtain" back a bit for those who find mission builder a little intimidating.

    German bomber mission - This first mission is the German bomber mission, and was the most complex to set up. Each bomber formation consists of four flights of five, clustered in roughly a diamond shape. Your formation strikes Cambrai-Forenville, another strikes Denain, and the third hits Cambrai-Hayencourt.

    As a personal preference, I use altitude in meters for French and German flights, and like to stagger bombers by 250 meters in altitude, or at least 500 feet for British and American flights.

    I set the mission up so that each bomber flight travels the same distance on the same heading, that way all attacks are simultaneous. The bombers depart from Achmer, climb and assemble before turning southwest toward France. When they reach the Rhine Bf-110s meet them, and Bf-109s join up just before they reach Antwerp. All flights are spawned.

    As a personal preference, I set up escorts to lead the bombers in most cases, so when I spawn them I place them on the same path as their escort assignment, 0.5 nautical miles ahead, and attach the escort at the next waypoint.

    When the bombers approach the target, each formation faces their own fighter intercepts, and attacks their own airfield. (Cambrai-Forenville, Cambrai-Hayencourt, and Denain) One flight of fighters is set up to spawn in all cases against each formation, the others are on varying degrees of random chance percentages. Once the bombers release, the formations turn east and then northeast, heading back to Achmer. The Bf-109s break off near Asch, while the Bf-110s break off over the Rhine and return to bases near Bonn and Cologne. The bombers, including your flight, continue back to Achmer.

    One major advantage about this is that only about thirty-six planes are visible at any given time, so it keep frame rate concerns in check.

    I also used this mission as a template for all five of the other missions, which I will explain above. Each German mission that I go through will be in rough order, so you can see how I had to adjust, or re-time the path of the bombers to arrive in the case of the Bf-110s at the Rhine when you get there, or just northwest of Antwerp for the Bf-109s.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BoF Kampfgeschwader 9d.jpg  
    "Rami"

    "Me? I'm just a Sea of Tranquility in an Ocean of Storms, babe."

    My campaign site: http://www.box.net/shared/0k1e1rz29h
    My missions site: http://www.box.net/shared/ueh4kazk3v
    My scenery site: http://www.box.net/shared/knb1l0ztobhs2esb14rb

  2. #2

    Icon22 Reply...

    Post number two,

    Bf-110 escort - This mission basically follows the same setup as the bomber mission, except I have you protect a different formation, and that now you are flying escort. Your flight of Bf-110s and the flight of Bf-109s that meet you near Antwerp will protect your formation of bombers, in this case hitting Cambrai-Hayencourt. Once the bombers release, you get them back to the Rhine before turning away to land at Köln-Ostheim.

    Because the distance is shorter, I re-adjust the mission start time to keep the attack time close to the original mission. The bomber mission began at 14:00, your mission begins at 14:05.

    Now, in order to "convert" the mission from bomber to fighter escort, I make a copy of the first mission, and rename it.

    I also delete the .dyn file entirely, because you are essentially creating a new mission, and the .dyn elements are based on the previous mission. You will make the dynamic elements again as the final step, based on the new mission.

    I then add a new bomber flight by literally copying and pasting the waypoints from my flight to this new flight, so that the new flight of bombers follows the exact path you flew in the first mission, except it starts at the same altitude as the other AI flights. I also move the distance slightly back from 15.0 nautical miles to 16.5 nautical miles in this mission to keep the timing correct.

    Once that is completed, I save the mission and reload it. I then find a Bf-110 flight, and copy the AI waypoints onto my player flight, so that I am effectively "replacing" that flight with my own. I then reload the mission, and delete the waypoints of the flight I am replacing, and make sure to chance the aircraft selection so that I am flying a Bf-110. I also check the payload of the He-111 flight I replaced to make sure it has a bomber payload.

    (Because Mission Builder can be a pain in the arse, it is helpful to change the mission from "escort" to "fighter sweep" for each flight of Bf-109s and Bf-110s before you start messing with waypoints; you re-adjust this back to escort and reattach escort assignments at the end)

    The final mission steps before adding the dynamic elements are to set the mission up for a ground start, and establish new waypoints from the starting airfield to the rendezvous point, as well as from the escort detach to the landing. After that, I see what time my fighters will arrive at the rendezvous point, and adjust the distance of the individual bomber flights accordingly so that the bombers are in sight (preferably slightly behind your escort lead) at this point.

    Random chance elements are also added so that sometimes you have to face two flights of enemy fighters when the bombers approach the airfield, other times you have to face only one.

    The net result of this is that the mission is almost exactly the same in every way, except you fly it from the perspective of a Bf-110 pilot rather than as a Heinkel pilot.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BoF Jagdgeschwader 9d.jpg  
    "Rami"

    "Me? I'm just a Sea of Tranquility in an Ocean of Storms, babe."

    My campaign site: http://www.box.net/shared/0k1e1rz29h
    My missions site: http://www.box.net/shared/ueh4kazk3v
    My scenery site: http://www.box.net/shared/knb1l0ztobhs2esb14rb

  3. #3

    Icon22 Reply...

    Post number three,

    Bf-109 escort - This mission basically follows the same setup as the Bf-110 mission, except I have you protect a different formation. Your flight of Bf-109s and the flight of Bf-110s that meet you near Antwerp will protect your formation of bombers, in this case hitting Denain. Once the bombers release, you get them back into Belgium before turning away to land at Asch.

    Because the distance is shorter, I readjust the mission start time to keep the attack time close to the original mission. The bomber mission began at 14:00, your mission begins at 14:45.

    Now, in order to "convert" the mission from a Bf-110 escort to a Bf-109 escort, I make a copy of the Bf-110 mission, and rename it.

    I also delete the .dyn file entirely, because you are essentially creating a new mission, and the .dyn elements are based on the previous mission. You'll make the dynamic elements again as the final step, based on the new mission.

    I then add a new Bf-110 flight by literally copying and pasting the waypoints from my flight to this new flight, so that the new flight of Bf-110s follows the exact path you flew in the last mission, except it is spawned along with the bombers and other Bf-110s when the mission begins, positioned 0.5 nautical miles ahead of the bomber formation it is helping to protect.

    Once that is completed, I save the mission and reload it. I then find a Bf-109 flight, and copy the AI waypoints onto my player flight, so that I am effectively "replacing" that flight with my own. I then reload the mission, and delete the waypoints of the flight I am replacing, and make sure to chance the aircraft selection so that I am flying a Bf-109. Because the Bf-110 you were flying didn't have drop tanks or payloads, checking the payloads in this case is not needed.

    (Because Mission Builder can be a pain in the arse, it is helpful to change the mission from "escort" to "fighter sweep" for each flight of Bf-109s and Bf-110s before you start messing with waypoints; you re-adjust this back to escort and reattach escort assignments at the end)

    The final steps are to set the mission up for a ground start, and establish new waypoints from the starting airfield to the rendezvous point, as well as from the escort detach to the landing. After that, I see what time my fighters will arrive at the rendezvous point, and adjust the distance of the individual bomber flights and the Bf-110s accordingly so that the bombers and Bf-110s are in sight (preferably slightly behind your escort lead) at this point.

    Random chance elements are also added so that sometimes you have to face two flights of enemy fighters when the bombers approach the airfield, other times you have to face only one.

    The net result of this is that the mission is almost exactly the same in every way, except you fly it from the perspective of a Bf-109 pilot rather than as a Bf-110 pilot.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BoF Jagdgeschwader 9c.jpg  
    "Rami"

    "Me? I'm just a Sea of Tranquility in an Ocean of Storms, babe."

    My campaign site: http://www.box.net/shared/0k1e1rz29h
    My missions site: http://www.box.net/shared/ueh4kazk3v
    My scenery site: http://www.box.net/shared/knb1l0ztobhs2esb14rb

  4. #4

    Icon22 Reply...

    Post number four,

    Now to "flip" this mission into an Allied version...(British)

    Battle of France RAF 15 - Because you're flying a mission where the intercept distances are much shorter, it was easiest for me to work with the Bf-109 mission as a base for all three, renaming them as needed.

    In this case, the techniques being used are virtually identical; I am replacing one of the Allied intercepting flights with my own by using the same techniques I've listed above; replacing the German flight first by making a new flight of Bf-109s or Bf-110s, and copying the waypoints.

    Once that is done, I find an Allied fighter flight and copy its waypoints, thereby making my flight the "replacement" for that AI flight. Then I delete the AI flight to complete the replacement. Again, because your player flight will be replacing a flight of German fighters, you do not need in this case to check payloads.

    The biggest and most important change after this is switching the allegiance of the player flight from German to British or French. Doing this will also "flip" the map in mission builder, so areas that are friendly territory to the Germans now show up as hostile territory for the British.

    I used a British replacement for the Denain intercept, another for Cambrai-Forenville, and a French flight for the intercept over Cambrai-Hayencourt, just to give the mission a different look.

    One mission begins at Merville, another from Lille-Marcq, and the final mission from Vraux airfield.

    Because the distance from takeoff to the intercept point are different for each mission, the distance the German bombers and fighters have to fly to reach the target are adjusted accordingly, again, using the same techniques described below. For the same reason, the flight time for this intercept mission is:

    Battle of France RAF 15: 15:20

    The final steps are to set the mission up for a ground start, and establish new waypoints from the starting airfield to the arrival over the airfield you are defending, as well as from the intercept breakaway to the landing. After that, I make sure to spawn the other fighters attacking the two German formations not attacking your airfield when you arrive in your own defense sector, and add in the random chance elements to provide some variety in the mission.

    For intercept missions, I also in most cases provide alternate waypoints, so if you get shot up or use up all of your ammo, simply turn back toward your starting airfield and try to distance yourself from the action. Once you extend and escape, you will head back to your starting airfield.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Battle of France RAF 15.jpg   Battle of France RAF 15 close-up.jpg  
    "Rami"

    "Me? I'm just a Sea of Tranquility in an Ocean of Storms, babe."

    My campaign site: http://www.box.net/shared/0k1e1rz29h
    My missions site: http://www.box.net/shared/ueh4kazk3v
    My scenery site: http://www.box.net/shared/knb1l0ztobhs2esb14rb

  5. #5

    Icon22 Reply...

    Post number five,

    Now to "flip" this mission into an Allied version...(British)

    Battle of France (RAF) 10d - Because you're flying a mission where the intercept distances are much shorter, it was easiest for me to work with the Bf-109 mission as a base for all three, renaming them as needed.

    In this case, the techniques being used are virtually identical; I am replacing one of the Allied intercepting flights with my own by using the same techniques I've listed above; replacing the German flight first by making a new flight of Bf-109s or Bf-110s, and copying the waypoints.

    Once that is done, I find an Allied fighter flight and copy its waypoints, thereby making my flight the "replacement" for that AI flight. Then I delete the AI flight to complete the replacement. Again, because your player flight will be replacing a flight of German fighters, you do not need in this case to check payloads.

    The biggest and most important change after this is switching the allegiance of the player flight from German to British or French. Doing this will also "flip" the map in mission builder, so areas that are friendly territory to the Germans now show up as hostile territory for the British.

    I used a British replacement for the Denain intercept, another for Cambrai-Forenville, and a French flight for the intercept over Cambrai-Hayencourt, just to give the mission a different look.

    One mission begins at Merville, another from Lille-Marcq, and the final mission from Vraux airfield.

    Because the distance from takeoff to the intercept point are different for each mission, the distance the German bombers and fighters have to fly to reach the target are adjusted accordingly, again, using the same techniques described below. For the same reason, the flight times for this British intercept mission is:

    Battle of France (RAF) 10d: 15:25

    The final steps are to set the mission up for a ground start, and establish new waypoints from the starting airfield to the arrival over the airfield you are defending, as well as from the intercept breakaway to the landing. After that, I make sure to spawn the other fighters attacking the two German formations not attacking your airfield when you arrive in your own defense sector, and add in the random chance elements to provide some variety in the mission.

    For intercept missions, I also in most cases provide alternate waypoints, so if you get shot up or use up all of your ammo, simply turn back toward your starting airfield and try to distance yourself from the action. Once you extend and escape, you will head back to your starting airfield.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Battle of France (RAF) 10d.jpg   Battle of France (RAF) 10d close-up.jpg  
    "Rami"

    "Me? I'm just a Sea of Tranquility in an Ocean of Storms, babe."

    My campaign site: http://www.box.net/shared/0k1e1rz29h
    My missions site: http://www.box.net/shared/ueh4kazk3v
    My scenery site: http://www.box.net/shared/knb1l0ztobhs2esb14rb

  6. #6

    Icon22 Reply...

    Post number six,

    Now to "flip" this mission into an Allied version...(French)

    Battle of France 10b (F) - Because you're flying a mission where the intercept distances are much shorter, it was easiest for me to work with the Bf-109 mission as a base for all three, renaming them as needed.

    In this case, the techniques being used are virtually identical; I am replacing one of the Allied intercepting flights with my own by using the same techniques I've listed above; replacing the German flight first by making a new flight of Bf-109s or Bf-110s, and copying the waypoints.

    Once that is done, I find an Allied fighter flight and copy its waypoints, thereby making my flight the "replacement" for that AI flight. Then I delete the AI flight to complete the replacement. Again, because your player flight will be replacing a flight of German fighters, you do not need in this case to check payloads.

    The biggest and most important change after this is switching the allegiance of the player flight from German to British or French. Doing this will also "flip" the map in mission builder, so areas that are friendly territory to the Germans now show up as hostile territory for the British.

    I used a British replacement for the Denain intercept, another for Cambrai-Forenville, and a French flight for the intercept over Cambrai-Hayencourt, just to give the mission a different look.

    One mission begins at Merville, another from Lille-Marcq, and the final mission from Vraux airfield.

    Because the distance from takeoff to the intercept point are different for each mission, the distance the German bombers and fighters have to fly to reach the target are adjusted accordingly, again, using the same techniques described below. For the same reason, the flight time for this intercept mission is:

    Battle of France 10b (F): 15:10

    The final steps are to set the mission up for a ground start, and establish new waypoints from the starting airfield to the arrival over the airfield you are defending, as well as from the intercept breakaway to the landing. After that, I make sure to spawn the other fighters attacking the two German formations not attacking your airfield when you arrive in your own defense sector, and add in the random chance elements to provide some variety in the mission.

    For intercept missions, I also in most cases provide alternate waypoints, so if you get shot up or use up all of your ammo, simply turn back toward your starting airfield and try to distance yourself from the action. Once you extend and escape, you will head back to your starting airfield.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Battle of France 10b (F).jpg   Battle of France 10b (F) close-up.jpg  
    "Rami"

    "Me? I'm just a Sea of Tranquility in an Ocean of Storms, babe."

    My campaign site: http://www.box.net/shared/0k1e1rz29h
    My missions site: http://www.box.net/shared/ueh4kazk3v
    My scenery site: http://www.box.net/shared/knb1l0ztobhs2esb14rb

  7. #7

    Icon22 Reply...

    Good evening,

    If you need those of us who contribute to this thread to clarify and point and provide examples, just ask! I'm afraid I might be speaking in tongues here...

    But in doing this, I was able to get six missions out of one setup.

    I know Shadow Wolf uses similar techniques to this in some of his naval missions.
    "Rami"

    "Me? I'm just a Sea of Tranquility in an Ocean of Storms, babe."

    My campaign site: http://www.box.net/shared/0k1e1rz29h
    My missions site: http://www.box.net/shared/ueh4kazk3v
    My scenery site: http://www.box.net/shared/knb1l0ztobhs2esb14rb

  8. #8
    I do. In several of my missions I took the basic fighter strike or escort mission and changed it so that the player flight was either a divebomber flight or a torpedo/level bomber flight. I would simply swap the player flight aircraft, formation, speed armament and mission and replace it in its original position with an AI flight. Often, in the bomber mode, I would hand edit the mission to place the player aircraft in a wingman position (see Cody Coyote's Mission Builder Handbook for "flying as a wingman"). Using the original fighter "shell" saves a lot of building time.

    When doing this I use a series of random choices for which aircraft the player will be flying. For example, you will find yourself flying a fighter 50-67% of the time for a particular mission. The remainder of the time you might find yourself 50-50 in a divebomber or torpedo plane and within those options, 33% of the time you are flying as a wingman. This is done in the campaign .cmg file and sounds complicated, but it is really simple to do.

    The one major difference in Rami's and my style is that I almost always spawn aircraft, friend and foe as well as target shipping at specific waypoints of the player flight. It saves a lot of time and effort in having the planes and ships arrive on time and on target, so to speak. Also as opposed to Rami, I tend to build only player as Allied missions. Like Rami, I stagger my formations when close together by 500 or more feet and I use random spawning for "enemy" aircraft to give a varying appearance to a specific mission.
    "De Oppresso Liber"

  9. #9

    Great Idea

    This thread is a great idea.

    The area that I find a struggle is getting the dynamic elements to work as I want them to, so looking forwards to the hints about things such as:

    • what mission profiles work best & under what circumstances (intercept, sweep, CAS, strike)
    • Assigning triggers logically so that enemy flights spawn as you expect
    • Assigning triggers so radio calls play when you expect them to


    etc, etc

  10. #10

    Reply...

    John,

    Talon taught me that fighter sweep is a better choice than intercept for a mission selection, primarily because the AI are already "programed" to attack enemy flights without being ordered to.

    The others are trial and error, literally. Just like anything else, the more you do it, the less you have to guess. I can tell where I was in my CFS2 learning curve with some of my missions by the way they are designed. I'm sure you can see that in your repaints.

    As far as bombing missions; strike is for land targets, anti-ship is for shipping targets, like attacking a convoy. (Ones that are moving)

    CAP missions are similar to fighter sweeps. (Can't say I've used this one much)

    Close Air Support - Stukas, as an example.

    Search and destroy - Again, haven't used this much, but it's similar to a strike or CAS mission.

    When I'm using Ian's notes for creating missions, I have to do this evaluation each time I start a new one, and literally picture it and sketch it out in my head.

    If only I could harness this power for something truly productive...
    "Rami"

    "Me? I'm just a Sea of Tranquility in an Ocean of Storms, babe."

    My campaign site: http://www.box.net/shared/0k1e1rz29h
    My missions site: http://www.box.net/shared/ueh4kazk3v
    My scenery site: http://www.box.net/shared/knb1l0ztobhs2esb14rb

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTgt View Post
    This thread is a great idea.

    The area that I find a struggle is getting the dynamic elements to work as I want them to, so looking forwards to the hints about things such as:

    • what mission profiles work best & under what circumstances (intercept, sweep, CAS, strike)
    • Assigning triggers logically so that enemy flights spawn as you expect
    • Assigning triggers so radio calls play when you expect them to


    etc, etc
    One comment on what Rami wrote above. When attacking stationary infrastructure ships, use "Strike" NOT "Anti Ship."

    For fighter sweeps, I set the mission as "intercept" and assign my wingmen to attack in pairs.

    AI triggers: I often use a random percentage for the enemy AI. I couple this with a player waypoint and/or a time delay or a previously created Event in the spawning Event, There I often use a condition like: If A doesn't spawn then spawn B. or when the player enters Area X, then spawn the flight at 30% random, for example. The % random triggers are created separately and you shouldn't use the same percentage twice.

    I assign radio calls as a condition in an Event.
    "De Oppresso Liber"

  12. #12

    Reply...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Wolf 07 View Post
    One comment on what Rami wrote above. When attacking stationary infrastructure ships, use "Strike" NOT "Anti Ship."
    Good clarification, Greg.
    "Rami"

    "Me? I'm just a Sea of Tranquility in an Ocean of Storms, babe."

    My campaign site: http://www.box.net/shared/0k1e1rz29h
    My missions site: http://www.box.net/shared/ueh4kazk3v
    My scenery site: http://www.box.net/shared/knb1l0ztobhs2esb14rb

  13. #13

    Icon22 Reply...

    Good afternoon,

    Here's an unusual little mission from Hewman 100's notes..."1610 At 8,000ft between Lille and Seclin (towns) a single Do-17Z is spotted travelling E. Sensing a trap, 85 Sqn section leader climbed into sun behind it. This presented the Hurricanes with seven 109s (JG 77). One 109 downed, but so was a Hurricane.

    1610 A/c of 253/A shot down by 2/JG 77 between Cambrai and Arras."

    So this is how it looks in MB...

    I set up the Do-17 as a single aircraft in a bomber configuration, and spawned the aircraft at the start of the mission, with an object health trigger, so that shooting the aircraft down becomes a mission goal. Once that goal is achieved, the seven enemy fighters are spawned that you must now contend with. I did this because if I set up the AI fighters in the vicinity of the Dornier, even separated by altitude, the Bf-109s will engage automatically. I've flown it twice; works like a charm so far!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails An unusual mission.jpg  
    "Rami"

    "Me? I'm just a Sea of Tranquility in an Ocean of Storms, babe."

    My campaign site: http://www.box.net/shared/0k1e1rz29h
    My missions site: http://www.box.net/shared/ueh4kazk3v
    My scenery site: http://www.box.net/shared/knb1l0ztobhs2esb14rb

  14. #14

    Icon22 Reply...

    Good morning,

    Here is another mission example....bomber intercepts when shooting down fifty percent of the bombers in the formation (two of four, three of six, four of eight) force the bombers to abort before reaching the target. You spawn them at the start of the mission, timing them so they are present when you reach the intercept point, and then set up each AI bomber flight with two triggers...(This is for a flight of six)

    A) "Bombers damaged" (Equals 67%)

    B) "Bombers decimated" (Less then or equals 50%)

    The advantage of doing it this was is even if your AI get the kills, you still get the credit. With the second trigger, you make sure to include in the event "change waypoint" and set alternate waypoints that indicate where the bombers will abort. Be aware that even when the event goal is reached, the bombers will not abort until that alternate waypoint is reached, so it may or may not be instantaneous.

    I have begun to use this method more and more to allow for easier bomber intercept missions, but you also have to create separate kill events is enemy fighters are involved, or you only get one bomber, for example.

    Two of the newest bomber intercept missions were done this way. One is a German attack on Merville airfield, and the other is an attack on Saint Quentin.

    Next up will be a "50/50" mission.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Merville intercept close-up.jpg   Saint Quentin intercept close-up.jpg   Merville intercept.jpg   Saint Quentin intercept.jpg  
    "Rami"

    "Me? I'm just a Sea of Tranquility in an Ocean of Storms, babe."

    My campaign site: http://www.box.net/shared/0k1e1rz29h
    My missions site: http://www.box.net/shared/ueh4kazk3v
    My scenery site: http://www.box.net/shared/knb1l0ztobhs2esb14rb

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Rami View Post
    Good morning,

    A) "Bombers damaged" (Equals 67%)

    B) "Bombers decimated" (Less then or equals 50%)

    The advantage of doing it this was is even if your AI get the kills, you still get the credit. With the second trigger, you make sure to include in the event "change waypoint" and set alternate waypoints that indicate where the bombers will abort. Be aware that even when the event goal is reached, the bombers will not abort until that alternate waypoint is reached, so it may or may not be instantaneous.
    I, when using this technique, will add a display comment task to the "Turn back" event for that flight at + 5-10 seconds delay of: "Enemy flight 'X' is turning back." That gives you some idea and perspective until they reach that alternate waypoint and in fact turn back so you don't waste time and ammo on them.

    Just a suggestion.
    "De Oppresso Liber"

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