Getting Started

Getting Started – Scenarios and Database

Details on the various versions of computer Harpoon can be found on the What is Harpoon page. You can get the full version of the Harpoon3 simulator HERE.

In order to get everything up and working properly you will need the three components listed below. Please make sure you have the very latest version of each, updating just one or two components will result in compatibility issues (i.e. funny game behavior, and even crashes), so you will need all three!

1) the very latest version of the Harpoon3 Game Engine (i.e. the executable file). If you already own Harpoon3 the upgrade is free, just download and unzip the Game Engine (Upgrade) to the Harpoon3 directory on your computer. Then run this new executable instead of the old one. Newer versions of the game engine fixes bugs and adds new functionality required for the scenarios and database to work as designed.

2) the newest database. The HarpoonHQ currently hosts four databases: the WW2 database, the 1950-64 Colonial Wars database, the 1965-1979 database, and the 1980-2015 DB2000 database. Make sure the database you are using is properly installed and loaded by Harpoon3 on startup (see details below). The database contains information on several thousand aircraft, ships, submarines and ground facilities, and is automatically put to use by the Harpoon3 game engine when you load a scenario. It is very important that the scenario and database match perfectly.

3) an updated scenario from the HarpoonHQ certified for use with the latest database. The scenario contains the map, weather, the Order of Battle (OoB), the location and status of all the units, base and ship group setups, plus references to the unit information stored in the database.

The databases will only work with scenarios downloaded from the HarpoonHQ. You will experience conflicts and crashes if you try to use a database with scenarios found elsewhere on the Internet or on the Harpoon3 CD. Every time we release a database revision we also update the scenarios to reflect the new information. So when you download a new or updated scenario please take the time to download the most recent database as well. And vice versa.

All scenarios downloaded from the HarpoonHQ must be played with AUTO DATALINK difficulty and with aircraft logistics turned ON. It is also recommended to only use the Nuclear Release option when specified in the scenario description.

The Online Database Encyclopedia is available to help players access the wealth of information on military equipment in the databases. The Encyclopedia is intended to be a useful reference for scenario writers as well as for players just wanting to brush up on the database platforms/equipment. Pages include a brief description of the platform and a listing of all the database entries for that platform. Each database entry is linked to a separate page detailing the exact database implementation.

Configure Harpoon3 v3.6 and previous versions:

PC: Unzip the seventeen database annex *.dat files to the c:\harpoon3\database directory on your hard drive. C: is the drive where the simulator is installed. If harpoon3.ini is looking for the database annex files in a different directory, you must put the database files there. The very latest version of the databases can be downloaded on the Harpoon3 scenario/database pages.

Macintosh: Unzip the seventeen database annex *.dat files to the \harpoon3\resources\database directory on your hard drive. The very latest version of the databases can be downloaded on the Harpoon3 scenario/database pages.

To play a new scenario unzip the *.scn file to the c:\harpoon3\battlset directory on your hard drive. Then start Harpoon3. In the main menu choose Load File and the scenario will appear in the list.

Configure Harpoon3 v3.7 and later versions:

Unzip the seventeen database annex *.dat files to the c:\Harpoon 3 ANW\database\DB2000 directory on your hard drive. C: is the drive where the simulator is installed. Run the Harpoon3 Launcher (c:\Harpoon 3 ANW\H3Launcher.exe). Go to the “Database Manager” tab and select the DB2000 in the list of databases. Press OK. The DB2000 will now be used as the default Harpoon3 database.

To play a new scenario unzip the *.scn file to the c:\harpoon3\database\DB2000\Scenarios directory on your hard drive. Then start Harpoon3. In the main menu choose Load File. Browse to the directory where you unzipped the scenario, and the scenario will appear in the list.

Option files

In Harpoon3 there is a number of Option Files that turn on the various H3-specific options. The files can be downloaded from the Harpoon3 home page. To use an .opt file, put it in the options folder inside your main Harpoon3 directory and restart the simulator. To no longer use an .opt file, move it to another folder and restart Harpoon3.

Some of these files were created to fix problems found in the original database and scenarios shipped with Harpoon3. These options must not be used with the HarpoonHQ databases and scenarios. Other features must always be turned on, while some can be used if you want to:

Option files that must always be used with the HarpoonHQ databases:
– DSCFixThermalLayer.opt (fixes thermal layer)
– DSCNoRandomFringeRadar.opt (removes a random radar range bug)

Option files that can be used:
– UseNukes.opt (this file grants nuclear release. This option should only be used in scenarios designed for nuclear exchange)
– AALog.opt (prints all game events to a text file)
– ShowPointDefense.opt (prints point-defense messages)
– ExtraVerbosePointDefense.opt (ditto)
– ExtraShortPointDefense.opt (ditto)

Option files that must not be used:
– DSCNo3XEyeballs.opt (fixes a problem with optical sensors already solved in the DB2000, and this option will cause severe problems for all visual sensors if used.)