How to create a Template
A template is simply a FMB mission file, with your units arranged as you see fit. You can download example templates from seow.sourceforge.net . SEOW does use different sector names than are included in IL-2. For instance, the SEOW sector "Ostfriesland" uses the IL-2 "North West Europe" map. This knowledge can be very helpful for SEOW campaign designers. A full list of SEOW<->Il-2 map naming data is provided in the "Maps" link in the toolbar on the front page of the MP (as of MP4-v4.520).
Use IL2 PF/FB Full Mission Builder (FMB). All trains, tanks, vehicles, balloons and searchlights, both moving and static are supported within the template. The thing to remember though, is balance. You don't want to over do it, nor do you want an empty field of battle. You are free to plot any chiefs that you want to move in pre-determined routes in the campaign. For example; 5 hrs of plotted movement will equate to 5 hours real time in the campaign (an hour plotted for 5 separate hour long missions). A range of ground movement methods is supported in SEOW, see the Complex Ground Movement discussion for more details. Just be aware that sea units take no notice of terrain features, ships ordered to move in the MP will follow their routes literally using straight lines through towns, over land etc.
To re-iterate, there is NO NEED to build templates with all ground movement specified up front. SEOW fully supports dynamic air, sea and ground movement at the commanders' whims. SEOW campaigns are open-ended!
Please note, scenery is supported and will now take effect! Feel free to place trees, buildings wherever you like to add atmosphere. They will be placed in each successive SEOW mission file, and from DCS v3.2.2 onwards their damage state WILL be tracked. This means that now you can define your own industrial areas, towns and airfields (with their own buildings and scenery) wherever on the map you like, and expect to see these scenery objects destroyed, rebuilt and destroyed all over again during a campaign.
Two BIG things to note about putting aircraft in the template are:
- Give ALL your desired aircraft units AIR STARTS with a few waypoints directing them to LAND at their intended deployment airbases. Once the template is loaded, all planes will be at their designated landing bases.
- NEVER use flight numbers in the 4th Staffel/Squadron/Daitai of any Gruppe/Regiment/Kokutai when you assign squadrons to your flights in the template. SE uses the 4th Staffel/Squadron/Daitai of all Gruppen/Regiments/Kokutai for internal routing, so if you take one of these names, errors may occur. For example, IV_JG7_13 is OK (means IV/JG7 Staffel 2 Schwarm 4) but IV_JG7_31 is BAD (means IV/JG7 Staffel 4 Schwarm 2).
Another new feature is the in-template support for campaign objectives. Template builders can now specify what campaign objectives each side will get. The objectives can be put inside the .properties file alongside the standard template .mis file. Put your general campaign background/context text inside the <ARMY NONE> tag (both sides can read the contents of this tag in the MP); then put your Allied campaign objectives inside the <ARMY RED> tag (only visible to Allied commanders in the MP) and your Axis objectives inside the <ARMY BLUE> tag for the Axis commanders to read. The template then is contained in TWO files, e.g "myTemplate.mis" and "myTemplate.properties". Of course, the host can alter campaign objectives at any time as he/she sees fit, using the MP "Manage Campaign" facility. Close both <ARMY RED> and <ARMY BLUE> tags with </ARMY>.
Also, Control Points can be inserted into the template file using RacingPole objects (Red for Allied, Blue for Axis). These will be detected by the DCS and automatically converted to Control Points at template initialize time.