Add Forces from Templates
Creating SEOW templates is easy - just use Full Mission Builder with a couple of easy rules about aircraft flights. You can even Merge templates files together using the SEOW Mission Planner Template Merger Tool, so many people can contribute independent orders of battle (in separate FMB template files) to a large SEOW campaign template. Just do repeated Merges to produce one large template file, and initialize the campaign from the big file.
But what if you want initialize your campaign in stages, and have greater control over the way in which ground force names are allocated? And what if you want to add a range of forces to the map, in position, while the campaign is already in progress? Well, you can, using the SEOW Add Force tool in the DCS. This page tells you how.
Where is the Add Force tool?
Easy, under the Tools menu in the top of the DCS application main window (see image below)
When can the Add Force tool be used?
The Add Force tool can be used after any of the following campaign stages: Initialize, Analyze, Clock Advance. If desired, the tool can be used repeatedly in succession to add forces from multiple template files.
How does the Add Force tool work?
The purpose of the Add Force tool is to provide the campaign administrator with a straightforward method of extracting orders of battle from SEOW template files and adding them to an existing order of battle in an SEOW campaign. An Add Force action is essentially like a campaign initialization action, except that weather data and infrastructure like airbases, industrial facilities etc are not initialized during an Add Force action as they would be during an initialize action.
When you select Add New Forces from Template File, you will be asked for the standard DCS Authorization Password. Once you enter this, you will be prompted to select a template (*.mis) file to add to the OOB. Once you have selected your chosen template file the DCS will check that the template file is based on the same map as the current SEOW campaign. If this check is passed, a screen appears similar to the following:
The image above shows the various elements of the Add Forces selection screen:
Template File: The pathname of the selected template file whose contents will be added to the campaign OOB.
Map Validity: A brief statement of the base map of the template file.
Object Statistics: A summary of the different kinds of combat objects in the chosen template file, and their alignments.
Available Allied and Axis Army Unit Names One of the key difficulties in handling templates in SEOW has been in specifying which ground units will take on which of the names available in the Army_Units table. In this section the DCS displays all available names (i.e. those not already used in the existing campaign OOB), together with the associated country, organizational level, unit type and maximum number of units available for each name. The administrator can place the available names in order using the up/down arrows and then hit OK to allow the DCS to read the template file and add all the objects in the file as named/commissioned units to the campaign OOB.
In the image above, we see that the template file contains only Allied ground objects (so the Axis pane is greyed out). The total number of ground objects in the template is 3, so any one of the Allied army unit names would be sufficient to name all objects (since they all cater for up to 64 units). Two names have been checked: "35 Mech Engineer Regiment" and "1707 AA Regiment". Because "35 Mech Engineer Regiment" is highest in the list, it will be used first by DCS to allocate unit names. If no names were checked, DCS would start at the top of the list ("111 Guards Artillery Regiment") and work its way down from there.
Coordinate Offsets: These number boxes allow the administrator to select values to add to the (x,y) coordinates of all ground objects in the template file. This is really convenient if you have a common formation in a template file, e.g. a rifle company in movement configuration. You can add forces from the same template file many times in different locations (using different offsets) under different unit names. An instant army, properly named!
Things to Note
Army_Units Table and Name Exclusion
Only names that are defined in the Army_Units table will be available for selection in the Add Forces tool. Any name that is already used at least once in the current campaign mission will be excluded from the available army unit names list.
Previously, Army_Units names were called Divisions and were allocated a single-letter code (A,E,T,V) to indicate artillery, engineer, armour and vehicle/infantry classification. There is now an additional code "all" which shows that the name can accept ground units of any class (except rail which are named separately). Army unit names designated with the "all" code are referred to as multi-purpose names. This is explained in detail in Ground Unit Types.
If you add forces from the same template several times with zero coordinate offsets, the DCS will copy all the new units into the database at identical locations. That is, you may get repeated units (with different names) placed at identical locations. It is the administrator's responsibility to avoid this problem.
Rolling Stock and Shipping
These units have fixed naming conventions in SEOW. The Add Forces tool will automatically allocate unused names to new train and ship units, up to a limit of 100 trains and 100 ships per campaign.
Because template files contain explicit flight designations, the Add Forces tool does not allocate names to new flights. Instead it will check for conflicts of the new flights with existing flights in the OOB. If conflicts are found the Add Forces tool will abort.
No Control Calculations
The Add Forces tool will not perform any adjustments of control after adding new forces to the campaign. That means you cannot just take control of an unoccupied train station simply by adding a controlling force in the vicinity, etc. Flights are added to airbases uncritically using information in the template file, regardless of the airbase controlling nation (if any). You may end up with a new flight at a neutral or enemy airbase!!!