How to created a template
Templates are IL-2 Full Mission Builder (FMB) files that match available maps contained within the SEOW database. For information on the available maps check Appendix A.
Use IL2 PF/FB Full Mission Builder (FMB)
To create a template of your own use the FMB available with IL-2 (for instructions on using the FMB please refer to your PF Manual) and open a map that corresponds with one of the available maps within the SEOW database (e.g. Stalingrad). I start by placing the scenery first by adding objects (trees, buildings etc), these are placed in each successive coop by SE. Next place go to your airbases and place your AAA (and gun pits if desired). Beware that there is an option when loading a template to load ground/sea unit at maximum strength so a single 40mm Bofors in a template will expand to four 40mm Bofors in SEOW if this option is chosen. Place any ground or sea forces you want for each side again be aware of the quadrupling if that option is selected. Last create your aircraft. Give all your aircraft air starts and at least 3 waypoints prior to landing. Ensure that you do not overload the bases. Again base restrictions are noted in the SEOW maps as detailed above.
If the commanders have agreed to a plane set or ground/naval units ensure that the requisite units are placed in the template.
The mission templates also support the ARMY briefing commands detailed in the FMB section of the appropriate IL-2 manual. This information becomes static in the template and is used for displaying campaign information and overall objectives for each side. The information in the army none section is viewable by all sides while the army colour information is viewable only by players allocated to that side as defined by their logins. Please see the administrators guide for information on setting up accounts.
Once you are happy with your template you can load it into the SEOW. You can then view it and determine if modifications are necessary. This may take a few tries, trust me here. Unfortunately with the current release you must flush the database prior to loading a template. For instructions on installing/administering/loading templates please refer to the Scorched Earth Online War Installation and Administrator’s Guide.
The following IL-2 maps are currently supported in Scorched Earth Online War. The Scorched Earth sector name is on the left and the associated IL-2 map name on the right:
|Scorched Earth Sector Name||IL-2 Map Name||Scorched Earth Sector Name||IL-2 Map Name|
|New Guinea||New Guinea|
After you have completed the template using the FMB send the mission and data files to the administrator. The administrator then loads the template into Scorched Earth. Commanders and players can then login and begin play.
Navigate to your SEOW webpage first and login to see the map. I will use the Stalingrad map as an example. Click on Stalingrad and log in as a valid user (Figure 1).
Figure 1 – Scorched Earth Login
Now when the map is displayed select the view entire sector from the drop down menu in the centre top of the window.
Figure 2 – Sector District Selection The entire map will now be displayed with icons for all airbases. Move your mouse cursor over an airbase and information about that base will be displayed. It will show the name of the base, available fuel, number of aircraft that can be stationed there as well as the number of AAA emplacements. Be warned that if full strength ground units is selected from the template loading interface that your AAA units placed at the base will be multiplied by 4! Take note of the information on aircraft bays and AAA emplacements as you will need to reference it when creating your template in the FMB
Figure 3 - Airfield Information Popup
Template building tips
- Start small. If you are unfamiliar with Scorched Earth or the FMB use one of the smaller maps first. There are fewer distractions on a smaller map.
- Have a military situation and context in mind before you start. The defense of an eastern front bridgehead in the summer of 1942, the drive to Moscow in November 1941, or even the Battle of the Bulge are good examples.
- Scorched Earth allows the commander to control ground and naval force forces as well as aircraft. Don’t forget them!
- Give the commanders clear objectives, and not necessarily contrary ones. Give one commander an objective say in the south east corner and his opponent an objective in the north west corner. This is an interesting change from the attack/defend same landmark.
- Beware of small caliber (less than 80mm) anti-aircraft weapons. These small caliber weapons have somewhat high rates of fire and can cause frame rates to deteriorate rapidly.
- You don’t need to be 100% historically accurate all the time.
- Don’t overpopulate the map with different objects. Objects can give a scenario some added visual interest but don’t overdo it.
- Try to reuse the same objects as much as possible. For instance make all gun pits the same or reuse the same stand of trees in different facings and groupings.
- Download some examples from the internet. Try them out and examine the templates in the FMB. Alternatively make some of your templates available for others to use.
- Do not place units too close to the edge of the map. The DCS sometimes reads these units as off the map. This causes an empty sector to be created.