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Version 11A of the New Horizons mod for Command & Conquer Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge is now ready!

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Greetings, fellow Command & Conquer fans! I am pleased to announce arrival of Version 11A of the New Horizons mod for Red Alert 2: Yuri’s Revenge. The centrepiece of this release is of course the 3rd New Horizons campaign mission (for the Soviet/CSTO faction). This mission will quite possibly be the most detailed mission map so far, based on a real-life location. By sheer file size alone, the New Horizons campaign missions have dwarfed the original missions implemented in the original game, and this 3rd mission is quite colossal. Of course, the original Red Alert 2 campaign is restored and working for New Horizons, as well as all the Yuri’s Revenge campaign missions too (since a few releases ago).

For those of you already familiar with the first two New Horizons campaign missions, you will know that these missions take place in Our timeline (rather than the standard alternate-reality Red Alert universe), with the traditional factions of ‘Allied vs Soviet’ being superseded by the NATO vs CSTO factions. The missions released so far set the player in command of different scenarios on the side of the CSTO faction, based in the 1st quarter of the 21st century. NATO has launched a full-scale invasion of CSTO-member countries, and it is up to You to tip the odds against the aggressor. Mission 1 (Operation: Dark Dawn) takes place in western Belarus, during quadrennial ‘Zapad’ defensive military exercises. You have control of a small Russian military delegation carrying out an inspection of a Belarusian border post, when NATO forces crash through the border. Your mission there was to escape eastwards, to prevent being surrounded. Mission 2 (Operation: Pacific Storm) took place pretty much on the other side of the planet; on one of the Kuril Islands, at the eastern extremity of the Russian Federation. Here, you had to repel the American Pacific Fleet, preventing them from breaking through to the mainland (which could be done with 2 alternative endings; one of them resulting in rendering the island uninhabitable).

The new mission:

Now onto Mission 3, Operation: Evacuation. This mission takes place in the western exclave of Kaliningrad; specifically the south-western quadrant of Kaliningrad city (I’m sure any resident of Kaliningrad would appreciate the effort put into this map to recreate this setting, and I would encourage people to compare this mission’s map to the Google Map’s equivalent!). The Kaliningrad region, being the westernmost region of the Russian Federation, and an exclave, is almost completely surrounded by hostile NATO states. In this mission, NATO forces are attacking the city and it’s surroundings from all sides, with this south-western quadrant of the city being placed under your protection. Your objectives are to repel against invaders, while at the same time overseeing the evacuation of civilians that wish to leave the city. This is a very complex mission, that can be won or lost in a variety of ways (mostly there are conditions for Losing). This means that should you fail to conduct your duties effectively, you will be relieved of command. Such an outcome may occur if you allow the city to suffer unacceptable damage, or the lives of too many civilians are jeopardised in the evacuation efforts. Fortunately, since the area of responsibility is so large, some of the defending units are controlled on your behalf; this is to make your job more manageable (and such allied units that you do Not directly control, are coloured Blue). You have to hold the city (or at least Your zone of it) until the main counter-attack forces arrive to assist you, namely forces from the 1st Guards Tank Army. If the aggressor captures the Central Square, you will lose. However, once the counter-attack forces arrive, depending on the desperation of the situation, you may either immediately deploy the arriving truck’s Flag (handing over defence to your rescuers in the process, and winning the game early), or if you feel things are going well enough, you may hunt down and destroy the invading forces.

I have attempted to use CNC Maps Renderer (a tool used to create full map screenshots), to take a 'snap' of this new map. While in theory this tool is really cool, it doesn't quite render all of my mod-specific items, and a lot of the mod-specific items it does render, and for some reason displayed as their 'snow/arctic' versions. Also, thanks to ModDB only allowing pictures of 4MB or less to be uploaded, I had to shrink the original Huge render from about 52MB, down to 3.5MB. Nonetheless, here is an example of a render of this map, which at least gives an idea as to the scope;

Evacuation Low Res Render

As an added bonus, I have even created a Skirmish version of this mission map, so that you may play with AI or human-controlled teams, in whichever preferred mode you choose. Besides the new mission and map, there is a whole load of new assets, many of which took a Lot of time to finish. This includes new buildings, vehicles, infantry, and features. So let’s talk about that.

Updated Ares Version 3, plus new features:

Next, the version of Ares has been updated to Version 3. Ares is the 3rd-party independent coding that has created the possibility of adding many new features, and is currently developed primarily by 'AlexB'. Included in Version 11 is the expanded functions of spy actions; this depends on what building is spied upon, but effects can include limiting enemy radar range, hijacking enemy radars (to extend your vision range), determining enemy base power levels, or intelligence on what the enemy is building. Another completely new feature I have implemented, which is made possible in part thanks to Ares, is my very own take on implementing a mine-laying vehicle. Although at the moment this is somewhat experimental it does work, although somewhat differently to the mine layer you may have known from Red Alert 1. At the moment the mine layer is a Soviet/CSTO exclusive Kamaz truck (modelled on a Kamaz model 6560), which has an open-topped flatbed holding visible ‘mine crates’. The prerequisite to build the mine layer, is to build the new Ammunition Depot building. Each time you deploy the truck, you will see a mine placed, as well as a truck missing 1 crate, which you may repeatedly deploy elsewhere until it is empty. Once the truck is empty, it is theoretically possible to send it back to said Ammunition Depot and sell it (so you may pay for a freshly-loaded minelayer), however this only works on a test map of mine for some reason, so a workaround is to send it to the Repair Depot, and sell the truck that way (though one caveat is the truck must presently have some damage to enter it). A work in progress, but nonetheless, still useful!

Here is an example of the Kamaz 6560:

Kamaz 6560

MQ-9 Reaper:

MQ9 Reaper

A new aircraft is now available to the Allied/NATO faction, that of the notorious MQ-9 Reaper drone that has been used extensively in NATO’s War of Terror. The prerequisite to this is to build a Drone Operator Station; the station has been styled somewhat plainly, to match the other two clandestine-natured Allied/NATO faction buildings available in New Horizons, that of the two buildable CIA ‘Black Sites’ (whereby the plain-looking buildings are reminiscent of real-life obscure CIA ‘black sites’ that torture people without charge, thus allowing the creation of terrorists). Once you have built a Drone Operator Station, you will be able to indiscriminately bomb any unsuspecting ground target, be them terrorist or not, but preferably if said target has no means of air defence. The MQ-9 is the least expensive fixed-wing available in the game, making them fairly expendable.

FV-510 Warrior:

FV 510 Warrior


The FV (Fighting Vehicle) 510 is a British I.F.V., which is armed with a 30mm autocannon, and can transport 7 soldiers and their equipment. It has participated extensively as part of NATO’s occupational forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In New Horizons, it will be available in 2 variants; the first being a ‘basic’, but cheaper option, and the second being an ‘Uparmoured’ version, featuring additional protection levels. The FV-510 is a fairly well-protected I.F.V., when compared to it’s counterparts from around the world (during it’s design period), such as the Soviet BMD’s, or the BMP-2’s and 3’s. In fact, the uparmoured version is the best-protected I.F.V. for it’s weight class.

FV-510 Warrior (uparmoured):

FV 510 Warrior Uparmoured

BTR-82A:

BTR82A

Perhaps long overdue, but I have finally got round to modelling the BTR-82A (pictured above), being somewhat of a workhorse of the Soviet army, plus many others since then. It is an evolution of the BTR-80, with the version in New Horizons featuring the 30mm autocannon ‘BPPU’ turret. Being a wheeled vehicle, it can achieve reasonably high speeds, which is handy when considering this is an A.P.C. (armoured personnel carrier), rather than an I.F.V. (infantry fighting vehicle). So do bear in mind when using it, that it is intended to quickly drop off infantry then leave, rather than remain fighting amongst other heavier armoured vehicles. It can carry 7 soldiers and their equipment. Russian military police have been operating some of these in Syria, as part of the Syrian government’s request for assistance against the likes of Daesh (‘Islamic State’/ISIS), or Al-Qaida/Hayat Tahrir al-Sham etc… These have proved frustrating for the Americans, whom are wanting to occupy and steal Syrian oil without harassment, taking advantage of the work of terrorists that destabilise the country.

Leclerc Tank:

Leclerc

The Leclerc main battle tank is made by the French company Nexter (formerly GIAT industries). It is armed with a 120mm cannon, and features a coaxial machinegun. It is said to be designed to prioritise manoeuvrability, with priority given to acceleration (both forward and reverse), although as vehicles generally cannot reverse in this game, this cannot be recreated. That said, the Leclerc will have a strong acceleration and mobility in general, when compared to other tanks available in New Horizons. There will be 2 variants available; a ‘standard’ Leclerc (see above picture), which is less expensive, and a version with the AZUR reactive armour package (which is more expensive, but is also better protected, see picture below of one in Yemen, albeit immobilised by a mine). The Leclerc is perhaps mostly famous for being one of the most expensive tanks in the world. It has most recently been deployed in Yemen, as part of NATO’s assistance in Saudi Arabia’s invasion and occupation of Yemen, in an attempt to restore Saudi Arabia’s puppet regime control over the country (otherwise known as the ‘worst humanitarian disaster in the world’ currently).

Leclerc AZUR

T-15 Armata:

T 15 Armata HIFV

The T-15 Armata is a sibling of the T-14 Armata main battle tank, based on the Armata platform. It represents the 1st in a new vehicle class; that of the Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Together with the Ramka or BMPT-series tank support vehicles, they are given the nicknames of ‘Terminators’. This is currently the best-protected infantry fighting vehicle in the world, featuring reactive armour, a soft and hard-kill active protection system, as well as armoured crew compartments, and an unmanned turret. The version featured in New Horizons has the Bumerang-BM turret, consisting of a modern 30mm autocannon, as well as 2 dual banks of ATGM’s. This vehicle can carry up to 9 troopers, and can engage both ground and air targets. There is also a version fitted with a 57-mm autocannon, however I have not implemented this for balance purposes. This vehicle is formidable, but expensive.

A Dinghy!:

A Dinghy!

That’s right, I’ve added an inflatable dinghy, available to the Allied/NATO faction. It even has a machinegun turret! Perfect for scouting, quickly securing lightly-guarded shorelines, and dealing with pirates…

New Civilian Vehicles:

Lada

I felt it was time to add new civilian vehicles to the game. For example, one I am particularly proud of is my Lada Riva model (example above), as well as my model of a Russian bus (the game already has a standard American school bus, but at least now we have some variety). I have also added a modified cement mixer, multiple colours of existing cars in the game, as well as new stationary ‘parked’ vehicles, that act as buildings/obstacles, which infantry can now take cover behind.

Here are in-game screenshots showing most recent gatherings of the 3 main faction's units (I haven't yet done one for China, as that country's units are still being fully compiled, though as they are they are still very much a viable playable country):

Allied/NATO Gathering;

Allied/NATO Gathering

Note the two destroyed versions of main buildings I made, included in this screenshot.

Soviet/CSTO Gathering;

Soviet/CSTO Gathering

I took this screenshot on the massive 'Mediterranean' map, and it takes much effort to line everything up, even with an ally team to prevent the enemy from interrupting this lineup!

Yuri Gathering;

Yuri Gathering

Bear in mind, these screenshots look different to how I see them in game; as I choose to have the game running in full widescreen! Remember to check the tutorial and related article mentioning customiseable screen options!

Immobilised/Destroyed Vehicles:

I have added additional structures based on units available in the mod, including destroyed BMP’s and Bradley IFV’s, as well as immobilised versions that can still fire at enemies. I have also created improvised roadblocks, using both the new bus I made, and the old existing bus in the game.

Civilian Dock Crane:

I felt the game was missing dock cranes while I was making the Kaliningrad map, so I modelled it after an actual crane. Took me ages (including garrisoned, damaged, destroyed, and snow versions)!

New Homes:

Also while creating the Kaliningrad map, I felt the game’s variety of houses could do with expanding, so I modelled new homes modelled on an actual style of Russian house. This also took much effort, including garrisoned, damaged, destroyed, and snow versions of each house.

Club-K Missile System, plus Many shipping containers!:

Club K

Russia decided to create the option of launching cruise missiles from a generic shipping container. I have added this to the mod. I have also added Loads of different shipping containers as well; some of which may or may not contain a missile surprise. Lots of shipping container fun to be had!

Miscellaneous:

Additional rebalances have been made, including economical ones, taking into account the arrival of many new assets.

I have added 2 skirmish maps, one modelled as Continental Africa, and the other one is South America. Both contain my new shipping containers, hurrah! On Continental Africa, I have also showcased some destroyed versions of main base buildings, which will feature more in future missions. These destroyed base buildings I made based on the game’s original base buildings.

Along with updated Ares functionality, another 3rd-party independent coding has been introduced, that is meant to function supplementary to Ares, and that is the public release of Phobos 0.2.2. This adds some further optimisation, as well as the possibility for implementing some further features. Some of the features I have opted to implement include:

-The extended object descriptions (including where applicable power consumption, or recharge time)

-Active-to-total number of resource gathering units, now displayed above the radar screen, which give an indication of total resource gathering units, and how many are currently idle

-Hard-kill APS systems on certain armoured vehicles, which can destroy certain incoming projectiles, protecting the vehicle itself (T-14, T-15 Armatas, as well as a weaker variant on the T-90M). I have also created a custom animation for when the APS is activated. Bear in mind that even if a vehicle repels a direct hit, the splash damage may still prove lethal to nearby units, especially exposed infantry.

Of course, there will be other miscellaneous changes. Most of which are mundane, or I simply haven't kept track of (it can be easy to forget things I've changed!). For example, AI improvements, and neatening/trimming code, and some light debugging.

I sincerely hope you enjoy all the new additions, and have fun!

Command & Conquer Westwood Fans
Red Alert 2 YR: New Horizons
C&C: Yuri's Revenge
C&C: Red Alert 2

*Important*: Please download the missing flak cannon turret model, which for some reason wasn't compiled in Version 11. I have uploaded it in the 'Addons' section of the mod here. *Updated the addon file as of today (20th September) as I forgot to include additional flak model that made it function in All theatres, so please remember to download and unzip to your game's main folder, as this small file completes Version 11!

*1 known bug*; Once you complete the New Horizons mission 2, instead of automatically going to mission 3 there will be a crash after the victory screen (so you will have to press Alt + Tab, then just close the game, and re-enter). You can still play mission 3, but have to directly select it from the mission menu. Completing mission 3 (or any other mission from any campaign) appears to cause no issue.

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