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2.6 News Post

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#1 Stino


    AKA Stink_o

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 06:25 PM

Thunderbirds Are Go!


Yes! It's here!
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For those of you who can withhold your excitement/want something to read while 2.6 downloads, here's the lowdown on the new release:

The key change is a great new start-game. The first few tech levels are now very polished, with fluid gameplay, while infantry spam is notiable only for its absense. No unit has a position of dominance, and you need everything to succeed. The towed artillery adds more units to the mix in the start game, and this added diversity greatly expands the tactics open to you.
To give a rough idea of how the early game now plays, here is a bit of information about each of the unit groups:

Basic rifle infantry (new models for the Russian soldiers btw) will now no longer use AT grenades. Instead each side has an anti-tank weapon which disables rather than destroys the enemy tank. However their main role is to kill infantry at range, and also to shoot them out of buildings.

SMG infantry are the new addition, and are more geared towards close-ranged combat. They mow down rifle infantry at close range, and also can use smoke grenades. They have HE grenades which will clear out a building faster than riflemen can do it, but only from a closer range.

Light tanks now have a more clearly defined role in the early game as a heavy machinegun platform. Infantry will have a hard time taking one out, as they are only really vulnerable to the dedicated AT infantry. They are exceptionally nasty units to large groups of intanry, and provided they have soldiers to take out any AT men, they can clear a street very fast.

Mobile Anti Air plays a big role in the early game because of its power vs infantry (the Russians now use the M17 which is basically a lend-lease M16). While it is no match for light tanks, it can massacre infatnry in the open. This helps somewhat to ease the game into the more tank-oreintated later phases. Then again, if you neglect infantry you will lose... It's a simple as that.

Light Artillery is the offensive support weapon. It can lay down withering fire to massed formations, and also suppress enemies or conceal your own forces by laying down a smokescreen.

Light AT Guns are deadly ambush units, and can be used to make strong defensive positions. They will shut down a blind rush of light tanks with no difficulty, but against artillery they are exceptionally vulnerable.

You may notice the increase in power a lot of units have vs their targets. Rifle inf can clear buildings with their standard attack, and SMG infantry are even more effective at this at close range. Light tanks can take appart large groups of infantry, and mobile anti-air units even more so. This means that the gameplay is fluid. A garrison can be cleared without too much effort, and massed formations in the open have plenty of counters. After all, if someone is really determined to dig in, then you can always break out the light artillery and blow them to bits!

However, the new unit work is no good without maps to play on.
Firstly Neo has converted his popular challenge maps to work with 2.6, and so we have included these as part of the official map set. Hopefully this will make it easier to find games on these maps, and will also sort out any problems with version incompatibility (at least untill he comes up with another idea that he wants to include somewhere!)
The second addition is the "Objectives" gameplay mode—a new gameplay style we are testing with 2.6. Only three maps are enabled with this experimental mode. The idea is to condense the income into key buildings, helping micromanagement and focusing gameplay on fighting―instead of stuffing men into buildings. Only key buildings give money, of either $500 or $1,200, instead of every building. If it's a success we will expand the catalogue of maps for 2.7.

As well as new maps, Abba and Pinbag are running a Risk-Style Tournament to coincide with the launch of 2.6!

To play you will need to familiarise yourself with the (fairly extensive!) rules here.
Sign up here
And and at the forums here
This is where the official world map will be updated with the weekly conquests.
And the official map pack will be placed here.

And obviously you will need 2.6 :p
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This is a great chance to get into the game, as offline play remains pretty unviable at the moment.
For a chance to check out the madness of the tourney, here are a selection of screenshots from the last one:
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One new single player mission is included for each side.

The Allied mission is focused on the french village of St Mere Eglise. It depicts a Paratoop landing to secure key positions before the D-Day landings.

The Soviet mission depicts the worlds largest tank battle - Kursk. You are able to relive the myth with massed (truely) T-34 divisions crashing into the elite German panzer batallions as they desperatly try to punch through the well-defended Russian salient.

The German Mission depicts part of the early stages of the invasion of Russia. The Soviets are strong, but can be encircled with careful maneuvering.

Given 2.6 is out, we can't tease you any more about what will be in it, but we can tease you about 2.7 !!!

2.6 is targeted at the most blatant flaws in 2.5, in both gameplay and art. From here we can add in polish and shine to make 2.7 more professional. This means more model fixes, fixes to the headlights for night maps and snow skins for snow maps. The gameplay will also get simmilar treatment, with more refinement, so that 2.7 is even more fluid and sharp!

Thanks and congratulations to the whole team:
Firstly to the beta testers for putting up with over 9 pages and about two months of testing, revising and polishing. The gameplay is really nice now and a truely appaling number of bugs have been squashed - and that is thanks to your hard work.
The Blitz staff has changed a lot, but we are getting some great work done. You will all be able to see the handywork of Pivac and Bhones for their Russian and Allied missions, but BlckWyerve has been slaving away as well, and we most certainly haven't shown you all we could have with regards to missions :D.
I quite honestly don't know who did work on many of the units you can see for the first time in 2.6. Many of the models were salvaged from the defunct Blitz 3 archives, or from topics long since considered dead. Of those who we can definitely thank are Rattuskid, Patton, Stino, Simok. Topknot, Killakanz and Flyby, whose research efforts are responsible for the highly impressive towed artillery.
Coaxial MG code is in courtesy of Biohazard, who also is responsible for all of new partical FX and the new weapon sounds.
Phoib has been almost single handedly forging the 2.6 files, fixing the errors and updating all the tooltips and bits of code I was too sloppy to put right. He has also been running about behind the scenes getting models coded for mappers, and most notably got the V2 code working, so we can have this great weapon to play with in 2.6 thanks to him and Smartmlp who made the model. Smart is also the brains behind the installer and launcher programmes we use to make everything run behind the scenes!
For everyone, great and small who had a hand in 2.6 - thank you!

For now, enjoy 2.6, and rest assured, we will be teasing you all a heck of a lot more about what's to come over the next few months. Happy Blitzing!

Update #1: 2.6 Requires .net 2.0 Framework
It can be found here.

You need it to run the mod.

If you have trouble starting the mod, post it here. Be sure to follow the instructions!

Update #2: Installation Troubles R2.6.15
Everyone with download errors, use this program, and select the downloaded exe.
It should give the value 0D 7E F1 A2
Also, check the Blitzkrieg2.exe, it should give the value 24 55 9B CF

If you still have an error, mention the following:
Source of download. Where did you download the mod?
Full or Patch. Did you select the Full version, or the patch?
Zero Hour or The First Decade. Do you have Zero Hour or The First Decade
.Net 2.0 Framework. Did you get the .Net Framework message during installing?
Download it here, and try the installer again.
Language. Which language version of Zero Hour are you using?
Crash during launch?. Please post the contents of the ReleaseCrashInfo, to be found in the Your Documents/Zero Hour Folder.

Update #3: If you still doesn't get the game started..
Try using this .bat file to launch the game.
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