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Alpha975

Possible Naval Overhaul

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And another tiny update. Modelled (28 faces), baked and textured (normal, diffuse and specular map 256x256) a roman shield as used in the punic wars:

post-20018-0-23850200-1434715353_thumb.jpost-20018-0-21728800-1434715354_thumb.j

... and added it to the ship:

post-20018-0-26247400-1434715356_thumb.j

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Also remember the scale of the game. I think prop like shield should be scaled to units... if game will have unit propping. If game decide not to have unit propping then shields can be scale to the boat.

All I care about is ramming. Game must have ramming please. It the signature of this era of naval war. Pease please please

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone

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Also remember the scale of the game. I think prop like shield should be scaled to units... if game will have unit propping. If game decide not to have unit propping then shields can be scale to the boat.

All I care about is ramming. Game must have ramming please. It the signature of this era of naval war. Pease please please

LordGood Made it in his pony mod. What do you mean by unit propping though ?

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Well, yes, I might have saved a little work by using an already existing shield model, but since I also want to make the shields part of the damage model, I might want to create damaged shields aswell (is anyone here a fan of parts flying off a ship when it is rammed and seeing damaged and missing shields on a damaged ship? :D ). Also, the shields are, like the oars, attached via empties, like in the current models, so they can be exchanged for any shield, at any scale ;)

Also, a little bit of cleaning up and added ladders (yes, those things at the back of ships were typically gangways and/or ladders, not a path around the back of the ship, like it is sometimes falsely represented in modern art as ... at least that's what all the literature says I have read so far ...):

post-20018-0-64016600-1434798066_thumb.jpost-20018-0-67227500-1434798382_thumb.j

Edited by Alpha975
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If the masts are separate pieces (rig / bones), then they can break off during a sinking animation. This would allow a sunken ship to sit on the bottom for awhile (before gradually sinking through) without the mast sticking out of the water.

Edited by WhiteTreePaladin
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If the masts are separate pieces (rig / bones), then they can break off during a sinking animation. This would allow a sunken ship to sit on the bottom for awhile (before gradually sinking through) without the mast sticking out of the water.

Good idea. Maybe have hull of boat in 2 or 3 or separate pieces too, for boat cracking apart when dead. ( mor pieces if team want to go so far as show boat cracking in half at point of ramming impact, which would be awesom).

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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In terms of boarding could you have a simple measure of the number of melee, ranged and seige weapons on a ship which would then determine its ranged and boarding power. I don't think much of an animation is needed. Perhaps just have them align next to eachother at which point they become interlocked and cannot move until one of them wins(other ships could join in as well). The problem is that you need some way to identify that the ships are in combat on the decks. Soldier animations would be nice but maybe just have them turn slightly gray/have a different coloured flag or something.

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Good idea. Maybe have hull of boat in 2 or 3 or separate pieces too, for boat cracking apart when dead. ( mor pieces if team want to go so far as show boat cracking in half at point of ramming impact, which would be awesom).

There is actually a working ticket/patch for this (just needed a little cleanup in the code). I believe the current ship rigs are in an older format, so modifying the current ships to separate the mast out is very difficult.

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Not that much actually. It´s some work indeed but shouldn ´t tqke more than a weekend if you find an artist :)

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Not that much actually. It´s some work indeed but shouldn ´t tqke more than a weekend if you find an artist :)

I think they might be in the old .pmd format so getting the model out might not be too bad (would take some effort). The rig, however, probably can't be salvaged (because the ship/mast shared a single rig), so we'd lose the rowing animations, etc.

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I think they might be in the old .pmd format so getting the model out might not be too bad (would take some effort). The rig, however, probably can't be salvaged (because the ship/mast shared a single rig), so we'd lose the rowing animations, etc.

I've been able to import it the last time I tried. For the meshes you are probably right though.

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Gangways for the roman 5:

post-20018-0-51487900-1434973833_thumb.j

I also think that landing animations should be doable ... that is: to have units board or leave a ship it would have to land, making it vulnerable to melee units. (And the possibility of having burned wrecks of enemy ships on one's shore ... how cool would that be? :D ) What do you think about that?

Well yes, as I said, I would be up for having ships in 4 parts (front back left right) with their own health and damage models and different sinking animations depending on which part(s) is(are) destroyed first (including the awesome one where the ship breaks into two parts). And providing some floating debris (barrels, planks, corpses, oars ...) shouldn't be a problem in any case.

As for sails and rigging: yes, that can be done. But what happend to the discussion concerning that warships in a battle never had sails up?

:D you could simply use the garrisoning system and leave it up to the player to provide their ships with infantry (and replenish it once the ships lost some). I would also totally be up with player chosen upgrades to the ships (e.g. siege artillery, light artillery, corvus, fire pots, archer towers, nothing (for extra speed) etc). How does that sound?

Edited by Alpha975
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Another tiny update. Playing around with textures on the pre-baking-model:

post-20018-0-47636600-1435523339_thumb.jpost-20018-0-58345900-1435523347_thumb.j

Don't worry though, as far as I can tell from ancient mosaics, descriptions and vase paintings, warships had quite interesting color-shemes, so a paintjob will follow for the model until we make it about as coloured as these references ;)

A few references claim roman ships primarily used the colors red and blue ... Gaius Julius Caesar also mentioned the use of scout ships coloured in a blueish shade. And then there is the eye on the front of the ship. I was supprised to find out that this traditional detail even survived from antiquity in some cultures ;)

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Another tiny update:

post-20018-0-60352700-1436829084_thumb.j

Yes, sure, large ships were apparently very often used as platforms for artillery, sometimes even several ships tied together as to house even larger artillery pieces or very heavy siege equipment. As I understand it, heavy siege artillery was used to take cities under siege from the sea while lighter artillery was used in naval combat to decimate enemy deck crews (the consensus in the books I looked at seems to be that it would take a large number of hits to actually sink an enemy ship with these weapons, so they were most likely not used to sink ships.) Light artillery was pretty much standard for warships in our time-frame and it is mentioned that roman warships had a standard crew including 10 artillery officers.

An interesting side-note: when the punic wars started, rome didn't have a modern navy, so they had to use the ships of they allies at first. Luckily for the romans, a punic pentereme was washed ashore after a storm and the romans (most likely with a little help, perhaps from greek experts) were able to examine the design. They used the punic ship as a stencil for their own quinquereme that was nearly a 1:1 copy of the punic ship as a result. It was noted by roman authors that quinqueremes were supperior to the earlier triremes in almost every aspect except speed. They also used the same technique for mass production as carthage, producing sometimes even hundreds of ships in a matter of months and numbering the parts, a technique similar to the mass production of ships in venice, millennia later.

However, due to lack of experience the roman ships turned out heavier and bulkier than their punic counterpart and the romans even used not completely dry wood. The romans also lacked experience in seamanship, even having to train their oarsmen on land. This inexperience in naval matters also cost the romans hundreds of ships in storms and losses of up to 50 000 men in single incidences.

Since pulling off a successful ramming maneuver requires a highly trained crew, lots of experience and an extremely agile vessel, most non-professional navies at the time had to rely on boarding action when fighting against more professional navies (that in turn could carry a much smaller complement of marines). This was correctly noticed by the romans who had large experience in land combat but almost none in naval matters. They also faced the problem that the faster and more agile punic ships would regularly outrun, out-turn and successfully ram the roman ships, while the larger roman marine compliments were almost always able to win when the enemy ship could be boarded. This lead to the ingenious invention of the corvus, a long boarding bridge with a heavy spike at the end that could fix closely passing or ramming enemy ships in place so they could be boarded. This device surprised the punic navy which, after a lossy defeat, had to completely change tactics and now try to single out roman ships and hit them only from the sides and rear and retreat quickly or risk being boarded and loose.

You have to remember that some of the naval battles in the first punic war saw hundreds of ships on both sides and had losses that had no equal in number were it not for some of the bloodiest naval battles in the pacific theater of WW2. Scouting was also very difficult as navies would often sail very close to the coast and could be very fast, meaning that around every corner one could bump into the enemy main fleet.

Storms were another problem, as the warships at the time were not vessels built for the high seas but built as light as possible, often carrying even only a day or two of rations (or loosing to enemy ships when carrying more) and pulled ashore over night or when storms were approaching. The corvus (and heavy siege artillery) increased that problem by a lot, as it made the ships top-heavy. Thus, after loosing several corvus equipped fleets in storms and tens of thousands of men, it was abandoned again after only 5 years of service.

A few centuries later another ingenious invention was used to make boarding easier: the romans shot giant grappling hooks from their deck artillery to catch smaller and faster vessels at the battle of actium. But this is almost out of the time-frame we want to depict.

I hope you enjoyed this brief text (and the latest screenshot) ;)

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Maybe a nice ready for you Alpha975, http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?557729-My-list-of-Ship-Types-weapons-and-tactics-that-could-be-in-ROME2-Please-help-add-to-my-list

With the many different types of ships for all purposes you can create so many awesome situations. If 0.A.D nexts big feature update would be "seabattle mechanics , effects , and stuff" Then ships like the Harpex / firepot / corvus and artillery / archer ships would have so mutch potential to create unique battle,s and make 0.A.D a game to play in different ways.

I really hope that after the capture feature naval get's it mutch needed love...

Edited by RoekeloosNL
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As usual, a picture :D Not so extremely much more to do before making a lower resolution version for ingame, baking the textures and normal and specular maps and then starting on the damaged versions and animations.

post-20018-0-48509600-1437083748_thumb.j

I'm still unsure though some tiny details ...

Thanks, but I read that a long time ago. I also came to read some of the literature he mentions as references. It turns out however that some statements in the post are contradicted by it. I also came to realize that the drawings on navistory he references were made with a lot of artistic freedom. At least when you compare them to the coins, reliefs, mosaics, vase-paintings, descriptions and archeological finds of about the first and second punic wars. (I seriosly also looked at pictures of about 200 punic, roman and greek coins ...) Unfortunately, now I notice every time ancient ships are not portraited accurately in modern games/movies/art :D

Edited by Alpha975
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Sure :D I'm also pretty sure a lot of artists for video games don't have the time to read scientific papers about ancient ships before trying to come up with a design ... but instead just rely on other (depending on the source, not very accurate) depictions in other media ... I can't explain the popularity of not having the boarding/landing ramps correct (instead of that walk around bridge) in almost all modern games/movies any other way.

Hm, yea, as far as I can tell, from the three culture zones (roman, punic and greek) I looked at for now, roman ships had that curly prow, outriggers and a slightly bulky design, greek ships were slimmer, also had outriggers, less marines, the typical s-shaped prow design, possibly a longer and slimmer tail section (not sure about that one, they definately used some a few centuries earlier) and punic ships were even slimmer (depending on the reference, and precise time, either no outriggers, narrow outriggers or a box like structure) and a very stubby but robust prow (to take the impact energy from ramming ... before the greek style rams were used, they had very long and narrow prows with the ram itself absorbing most of the energy).

Depending on the region, and time, some ships were also highly modified, like the corinthian triremes that had strongly reinforced prows so they would glide of and destroy the enemie's oars in a frontal ram attack while staying largely unharmed themselves. Or some of the very large ships had partially metal reinforced decks/upper sides and railing so boarding them was very hard ... but I'm not sure if the ancient author describing that did it because it was exceptional on that particular ship or if it was common and he just described it to an audience of people not familiar with it. Ships were occasionally also reinforced with copper or lead plates, nailed to the waterline and underwater parts of the ships with copper nails. These plates were not to armour the ships, but to keep the naval shipworm from softening up the wood of the anti-ramming armour at the waterline if the ships were used to blockade a harbour and they couldn't be pulled out of the water every day (though it was never a great idea anyway to leave your ships in the water longer than necessary as the wood would soak up water despite it being made as waterproof as possible with wax, tar and other substances (forgot the precise recipe) ... the smell was so common as to be described as the typical smell of a navy preparing for war).

By the first punic war, the greek style 3-prong ram (forgot how it was called) was pretty much the standard. It was reliable, powerful and did not get your ship stuck to the enemy's ship and replaced the long, narrow and single pointed ram used on punic ships. As far as I can tell, the ships were also painted in unique schemes and colors (though I'm only sure about the roman color schemes at this point) and used unique signals and decorations. The shields also looked very differently on different ships and the way the oarsmen were protected was different in different cultures (roman ships seem to have used this wooden meshwork that I use on my model while greek and punic ships seem to have use heavy leather and/or cloth pieces).

What I can also tell for sure is that around the middle of the first punic war, almost all warships became cataphracted, meaning that the deck above the oarsmen was closed as to provide more protection against projectiles in close combat (as shown on my model). After the war, the romans (and possibly the punic navy) switched back to acataphracted designs but back to cataphracted ships in the second. In the greek navy vessels were specifically mentioned to be cataphracted or acataphracted and, depending on the timeframe, served side by side.

It is sometimes very hard to tell what was unique to which culture, because ships were sold extensively at the time and many nations additionally bought ships from greece (like carthage that bought some of their biggest ships from them) or other nations.

I'll try to stay true to the design of 0ad as best as I can :)

I always enjoyed that 0ad had units that were pretty historical looking (in my non-historian opinion :D), while the buildings were unique to the different nations and provided quite a nice atmosphere (I mean: we probably couldn't get away with having everything 100% to scale without modelling half of italy of something ...) Keep it up! :)

Edited by Alpha975

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