McDrum & Peticazes S.L. Panzer Elite world

The Scenario Editor: A Step by Step Guide to the Remaking of a Scenario

by McDrum&Peticazes (version 1.00, March 2000). You are allowed to distribute, modify, or make any improvement on this document. Please circulate it to make the information available to other fellow tankers. As soon as possible, we will put this Guide as a downloadable file.


This tutorial is dedicated to the art of remaking scenarios in Panzer Elite. This is a first approach to this business, and for the same reason, all the conclusions and comments here have to be taken as temporal and not definitive. As far our knowledge goes, also this is the first step by step tutorial made public on the net about that subject. Thanks to Teut Weideman, Steve, from The Panzer Elite Developers Group (PEDG) and the Tools&Mods forum contributors in Panzer Elite for their help.

Remaking of scenarios in Panzer Elite means, here, to modify the non landscape data of an existing scenario in PE.

We will learn how to build units, create mission goals, scripting the strategies and tactics of our platoons. But the landscape, towns, villages, hills, roads, rivers.., all the landscape elements, will remain as in the original mission. A complete step by tutorial about how to edit a mission from the scratch is very likely, but is out of the scope of this document. As you can imagine, this is because we have no idea, yet, about how to do a landscape ( and we have tried it ...).On this subject the only known, to us, effort and succes are from Paul, the master of Kursk scenario. Please, visit Paul's Kursk site


Before Editing anything:

It would bevery wise of you the making of a complete backup of your ...\Psygnosys\Panzer Elite\Scenario\ folder.
You'll have to double click in this folder over some files, and an error with the mouse can dammage your originals.

The PE Scenario Editor must be installed in your PC, and all will be easier if you have printed copies of the Scenario Editor Manual, and the Panzer Elite Script AI Documentation (a copy of this last document is a must).

Also, you have to install the StartTutSCN.zip, FinalTutSCN.zip and the TutScapes.zip files, according to the readme.txt files included in each zip. Obviously, you can do that by hand, or with our installer .

Last minute note: I have added also a set of briefing sound files, briefsound.zip. The quality of the sound is poor (made late at night, in 15 minutes). Its only purpose is to show how one can edit a complete briefing, sounds included.

Important TIPS

The files compressed on these zip archives are the basic stuff you need. They were made taking all the relevant files concerning the Toum mission (search of Tunez*.*), and renaming them to Tunez*.*.

IMPORTANT: A little trick. You have to text edit (with the Windows Notepad ) the two Tunez-ger.scn and Tunez-us.scn files, in order to change in the heading the original Toum.bmp by the new Tunez.bmp as map file, and changing the original Toum name by the new Tunez name. Not doing that means you will see two Toums in the German and US mission selectors. This can be made using the Scenario Editor also.

A few words about the file BreakthroughHeight.bmp, in the TutScapes.zip file : This file is a fake. The original one has a size different (check the files, please). The one you are going to install is 700x500 (corresponding to the size of Toum scenario, 7kmx5km) As we have to use the Breakthrough project in the Scenario Editor, and the height data of this project are of different size, if we want to edit Tunez, we have to put this faked file, to being able of moving at will the units in the map.

If you try to place combat groups (tank platoons, infantry, etc.) or define areas of interest (see below) using a height map of a size not matching your actual *.scn file, all sorts of strange things do happen, and none good for your mission files.

Info: Our home screen is 1024x768. All the explanations below are based in this. We hope those of you having different screen layout will have no problems with that.

Now you are prepared to edit step by step a mission, called Tunez, taking place in the good old Toum scenario.

STEP BY STEP GUIDE

1) Launch the Scenario Editor.


Campaign Select

2) Because we are going to modify a Desert mission, select Desert in the CampaignSelect
Button box.

After a little, you'll have the main window of the Scenario Editor, and perhaps the Combat Croups window.
Take a look at the main window.


Scenario Editor Menu & Button bar


There is an area where we are about to put our scenario graphic representation, perhaps now with a black square, containing the defaultheight.bmp data, a little area of 1200mx1200m (you can see these data in the right part of the main window menu and button bar.

Let us examine the menu and button bar: Starting from the left you have the File, Edit, Global, Display, Window and Map, all menu entries. Below, you find the Load, Save, Script, and Behaviour buttons. All these we will use later, when editing the Tunez mission.

The other elements, that is, the Final Data, Game,German, US -buttons-, the Checkbox GenMapDat, the combo ABC, and the slider, are used in the Landscape's work, or are of unknown properties to us at this moment. Anyway, we will not use them in this tutorial.


3) Locate the tool box window in your desktop. Uncheck the marks corresponding to Gnd,R+R,Objt, etc, in the Landscape Tab. Don't worry if an access violation message emerges. Click to close the message, and you will not have the wrong background. Sometimes you have to minimize and then inmediately maximize the Scenario Editor main window, to refresh the screen. Sometimes even this cannot put away the background map.

4) Click the Load button, just the one below the File menu entry. By default, the Scenario Editor will bring to you an Open dialog, with the projects files in the Desert folder (you selected Desert in 2). Select Breakthrough-GER.DFP. Our tutorial mission will be on the German side.

5) Soon a progress form shows how the Scenario Editor loads the 3D objects. Here is the first fright: a message box tells you about some object not found. Relax. Click on the Cancel button and don't worry about it.


Different size warning


6) Second fright. A message warning you about the different size of the layers. Click over the OK button (Aceptar in a Spanish language regional setting in W9x). The Scenario Editor is cognizant of our faked height bitmap.


Language Setting

7) After a while, a new message, asking you for a language to edit your mission. You have to check the English radiobutton. Then click OK.

Sorry to all the excellent german tankers. We have no idea at all about the noble German language and either none about what happens if you check German in this box.

Now you have the Breakthrough mission loaded. But this is not what we want.


The load of tunez-ger.scn file


8) Click on the Load button again, as in 3). This time check in the Open dialog the *.SCN type of files (clicking on the Type of files combo...). You will be offered the *.SCN files of Desertfox project. Again you do not want this. You want the Tunez-ger.scn file, the same you installed from the zip files .

9) Climb the folders three, and find the ...\Psygnosys\Panzer Elite\Scenario folder. Click to load the tunez-ger.scn file.

Over the layout of Breakthrough mission, you have now the Tunez mission. The network of roads, villages, areas, and the overimpossed structure, are Tunez. But the landscape bellow, the shadow textures, are Breakthrough. Don't worry. As far we are only concerned with mission tactics and strategy editing, no problem.


The Scenario Editor in full glory (shows the finished mission)


The picture you can see here (sorry for the bandwidth abuse, We were unable to get a smaller image showing all the details!) is the final version you have to obtain after this tutorial. In your screen you will have a similar picture, with no units: the predefined areas, towns, villages, strongpoints, are directly inherited from the original Toum mission. The explanation is at the end of this tutorial.

We are prepared to begin. But first:

What we are going to do?

Before messing with the units, scripts, AI behaviour, and the nuts and bolts of the Scenario Editor we need at least a rough idea about what is our mission, what we want to happen here and now. It is quite easy to imagine that, being this a tutorial mission, we cannot plan a mission as complex as the beautiful ones Wings gave to us. And also you have to note that we (McDrum&Peticazes) were a few days ago complete ignorants on this subject. Ours here are not a master's exposition nor techniques. Also we were nothing worried about history or coherence, these are problems for another day. Remember this is only a release of a tutorial mission editing session.

MISSION SCHEME

The US command have scheduled a Truck convoy going from El Bey to Toum, transporting some important supplies. No special escort was prepared, because the US thinks it has control of the whole area and the main road going from El Bey to Toum (very nearby, besides). Other US units in the area are:

a) 1 Sherman's Platoon Alfa, located in Mortar 5 area,near Abd-Allah
b) 1 Platoon Bravo, with trucks in convoy, on the main road  to Toum
c) 1 CG Robinson, infantry, transported in the trucks
d) 1 Sherman's Platoon Delta, located 1 km West of Dar El Gabsi

e) Deadduck2, a group of mixed weapons (gunner training to the player), doing nothing at Dar El Gabsi
f) Platoon Deadduck1, located in Toum station, having an exotic mixture of Shermans and light vehicles, doing nothing useful there.

The German units are

A)  the player platoon, our usual Zug Falke, having 1 Tiger, and 3 panzer IV
B)  a spelled Habitch at charge of a light vehicles unit, in whose Opel truck there are the men of
C)  KG Horst, an infantry unit.

The germans, taking advantage of the terrible weather, have made an incursion near Toum, at the Nordwest, and are preparing an ambush to the overconfident US troops that do not have in these days the benefit of any air support and observation.

Well, We know this is a very rough motive!

10) Go to the Scenario Editor menu. Click on the Global item. In the pop up menu, click again on Settings.


Global Settings


A window will pop, containing diverse general settings. You have there a Text section, where you have to type the descriptions associated with your mission. The main warning on these text typing is that you have to put all you typing between double quotes, eg,

11) Click on Mission Description , select the German memo space,delete the existing text, and type: A Panzer group with by a transported infantry unit is about to ambush an unscorted US truck's convoy.Close the edit window. As this is a german mission, do not type in the Allied memo space.

12) All the other text containers can be typed in similar way.

The only caveat we have is about the Mission Briefing Text. We do not know yet if this is the place to edit the briefing. Anyway, We don't have explored the briefing's commands, and this is an open terrain. I think the answer is not. You have to edit separately the briefing files. We suspect this, because when triying to edit the messages sent by the units, being in the Scenario Editor, after saving changes, nothing appears changed in the briefing files, where these messages are located. The same holds for Mission Descriptions.

This programming decision by Wings puzzled us a little: Why to put the unit's messages in the briefing files and not in the *.SCN files? The Scenario Editor has tools to edit these messages, but no change made with them is reflected really where the messages physically are, in the briefing *.TXT files. For this reason, you have to edit these messages by hand with NotePad.

Let's put aside the briefing by now.

13) The buttonsLoad Language and Save Language have an unknown utility. The only I can say is that pressing Save Language, you get the same Language choice as in 6.

14) Double Clicking on the Filename BriefingMap editbox you can select what file has your briefing map, you have to choose the Tunez.bmp file you installed.

15) Clicking and editing the Name editbox, you can give this mission its internal name. You can put any name, but do not use any of the existing names. Lets type Tunez.

16)The Date, Time, duration are of obvious utility. Set there the date, start time, and duration of your mission. Put here: Date: 09.12.1942, Time:09:00, Duration 01.10. The duration is long, but you can change this at will.

17)The variations editboxes are most relevant: The internal machinery of PE has 3 variations, called A,B,C. A random generator can modify the status of the mission according the percentages given in these boxes. You can have units, and hence tactic situations, totally different, according the variation triggered by the random numbers. With the values by default, 'A' situation occurs 30% of time, 'B' 40% and 'C' 30%. A+B+C must be equal to 100. Be careful: As in other aspects of the editing, the Scenario Editor does not take care if your A+B+C totals to 125 %!

In this mission we will not use that interesting property of the sim, but their meaning is clear. We'll talk more on this when defining the units.

There are more interesting properties you can establish under the Global item menu. One is the owner of the borders. You can peruse the Scenario and AI documentation for more information about it. We have explored nothing about borders. We suspect some of the information in the manuals was not actually implemented in the game (such as the air strikes, mentioned, but nonexistent..)


The weather form

18) Working in some measure, is the item Weather. Clicking on this, you get the weather form, where you can set the wind, rain, cloud cover, temperature, and so on. The start and stop timers are clear, they do what anybody would suppose. The comboboxes to select the weather event are more mysterious: I was unable to get thunderstom, snow, and the others, only rain worked, and you can schedule it very well. Put any weather you like, and close the form.

Tip: take a look in the manuals, specially in the AI documentation, about how to set time events in the Scenario Editor: time is expressed as hh:mm:ss, and there are absolute times, related with the start mission time you defined, and two types of relative times, eg:+01:02:30 is one hour, two minutes, 30 seconds after mission start, and *01:02:30 is the same, relative to some event start (more on events below).


Artillery and Airstrikes (which are not available in the sim) form

19) Click again on the Global menu item, and then, in the popup, in the Artillery/Airstrikes. Don't be too happy. There are no airstrikes, they don't work.

In the emerging form, you can set the artillery strikes available in you mission. The strikes are ordered in slots, numbered 1.,2.,3.,4.,5. Each slot has the items Nr, Artillery, # of guns, and volleys.

The meaning of the items is:

Nr: the number of strikes available to the current side (German or US). This means the number of strikes (fire missions) that the player can call for.
Artillery: the type of gun and caliber. Not very sure about that, but I think this has something related with the *.csv property files.
# :, the number of guns in the strike.
volleys : the number of volleys (rounds) each gun fires.

If you put a 0 (zero) on the Nr box, the slot is only available to the AI in the sim.

More info in theScript AI Documentation .

The last, but quite important item in the popup menu asociated with the Global item, is the entry Global Mission goals But it is not possible to define mission goals if previously there are not defined Units, combat groups and areas of interest. We don't need more areas than the already existing, inherited from the original Toum mission. Let's go to the Unit/Combat goups definition.

20) Click on the Combat Groups tool window . If it is not visible, check the Windows>CombatGroups item in the menu.


Combat Groups Window


21) To add a combat group: Rigth click on the side flag  (German, US) you want to fill. Let's begin with the Germans: Right click over the german flag, and select Add new combat group. Then pops the Combat group settings form

We are not going to use reinforcement combat groups in this scenario, but more information about them is available here.

IMPORTANT : To preserve the coherence between Combat Group and the future scripting and AI settings, it is best that you conserve in your own mission, the mission you are editing in your PC, the same names mentioned here in the tutorial. The editor do not takes care of coherence integrity, and if you fall in calling X in the scripts what is called Y elsewhere, you will have a mission debug headache, because there is not debugger here! The same holds in any future missions you can edit.


Combat Groups Settings form


22) Put as first group Zug Falke, in the CG Name edit box. Check all the chekmark boxes for Variation A, B and C; this will ensure you'll have this combat group in every variation (the manual says to uncheck all the player checkmarks, but in every mission we have spotted, the checkmarks are all checked in the Player platoon). And also check the Player Platoon mark. As formation, choose from the combo the / (echelon left), or any other. We will talk about the Misc group below. Score is the number of points that will be gained by the side that destroys this combat group. Click OK when ready.

All the Combat Groups and units we are about to define will have the A, B, C variations checkmarked. This means that in every variation the unit or Combat Group will appear. But this is only mandatory for the player's platoon. In the other cases, for example, if you only check the A variation, the unit or Combat Group will appear only if that variation is chosen by the random generator. You can even define the same Combat Group up to 3 times (one for each variation), and giving it different compositions and AI scripts. At least this is the theory. We have not yet tried that.



Unit settings form

23) To add units to your Combat Group (aka CG): Right click over the new Zug Falke CG. Take a look to the popup menu. Click on add new unit to combat group. A new popup formemerges.

24) Click on the Name combo to select the unit you want. You will be an extraordinary person if the first tank you choose is not a Tiger or a Panther. The particular election does depend on the mods you have installed. If you are as we are, perhaps you already have almost all the addons installed (and perhaps with some conflicts between them). If you can't find the units mentioned here, feel free to choose other. But keep the CG names, please.

25) Click on the combo to set theexperience of this unit. The same with the score edit box, and check the options available you want for this unit. Slide the rulers to set the fuel and ammo, click on the Create button (up, right side) and you are done.Click OK when ready.

26) In the same way, add three panzers to Zug Falke. How many units can you assign to a CG? The manual's answer is up to 8. I have tried what happens with 7 wingmen to the player's platoon: the game hangs. The only way of adding 8 units is in an AI CG.

27) Do the same as in 21 and 22, and create the CG Zug Habitch (sorry german tankers, I, McDrum, misspelled the original name Habicht, and gave the poor CG commander a quasi insulting name, but I didn't note that until it was too late to put all the "cht"s in the right place). This time choose C (column) as formation, and choose Loaded Infantry in the Misc Group of checkmarks.

Loaded infantry means that this CG will transport another infantry CG, that forcefully you have to define just below the first one . This group will be the KG Horst.

Other possible checkmark, the Reinforcement, is intended to units that only appear in the game if some global event is triggered. More on this below.

The last check, Multiplayer is a checkmark for units only appearing in Multiplayer games.

29) As in 24 to 26, assing to Habitch some light vehicles and an Opel truck. As you perhaps already noted, when selecting the units, you will get a red complaint note if the unit selected do not match in time with your mission (with the global date you assigned far above). Vary as much as possible the units, to get the feel of how they march in your mission.

30) Define KG Horst. Remember. Always you define a CG as loaded of infantry, you have to just next define the infantry Combat Group. I gave to Horst 1 Panzerfaust unit, 1 MG42 unit, and 1 plain infantry unit. Their work will be to assault the convoy; and that is enough.

31) Well, time to the US side. As you now have experience with units and CGs, this will be quick. Define a Platoon Alfa, with 5 Shermans M4A1, a Platoon Bravo, with scout cars and 6x6 trucks. Give Bravo a Column formation, and apply it the Infantry Loaded checkmark. Bravo will transport a CG of infantry, and we hope that group will defend Bravo when Habitch and Horst arrive full of wicked intentions.

32) As explained in step 30, after Bravo trucks are finished, define its infantry load, as CG Robinson. We did give Robinson 2 MGs, 2 Mortars, and 1 Bazooka. The ambushed Bravos will need all.

33) Define Platoon DeadDuck1. We equipped it with 1 Stuart, 1 M5A1, 1 Grant, 1 Lee, 1 M4, 1 M4A1. This is to practicing after some real fighting with the Bravos, Robinsons, and Alfas.

34) Define Deaduck2 (warning, we were not very much coherent, and we do not put the word Platoon here, it was late night...). Enlist in Deadduck2 1 Jeep, 1 Jumbo, 1 ATGun76, and 1 M3GMC (yes, we know some of these were not available in the North Africa war...)

35) Define Platoon Delta, and give them 6 M4A1s.

36) Click over Global>Mission Goals. There you have to define the goals of your mission. They are pretty well explained in the AI Documentation. Take a look to the printed copy. Read carefully the Mission Goals section.


Mission Goals form

As you can see in the image, We have put a lot of job onto Zug Falke. An interesting point here are the meanings of the Parameter 1 and 2. This changes, and the better way to understand it is to look at some *.scn files in the Scenarios folder. Seasoned PE players will know well what kind of missions to search. If you are in doubt, check the complicated US Normandy missions to get a Tip.

To edit an input in theMissGoalForm, doubleclick the entry you wish to edit, and type down, or choose between the options presented. In the % column you only have to type the number.

If you want to lessen the burden of Zug Falke, give him only the primary goals.

37) Double click on the Desc memo. A stock window string input will pop. Type a short text describing the goal. In the first case, type: Destr Convoy. Click OK to exit.

38) On the Goal Type memo, double click. A form will pop. Choose primary, and click OK.

39) Click under Condition, and check Destroy. Click OK.

39a) The Mission Goal is to be a primary one, and consists in Destroy. Destroy what?, Well, click under the %, the percent, and type exactly 100 (one hundred) in the input window that pops.Do not type the %! Enter or OK will get you out there. Click under Parameter 1, in the memo, and choose in the Window that pops:


Goals Param1 form

40) As this goal has to be with Combat Groups, click to choose the CG radiobutton. If the mission goal would be related to Areas, you would have to pick the area radiobutton. When the Combat Groups will be ready, choose Platoon Bravo.

We could now choose a Parameter 2 value. But in this case this Parameter is an area where to destroy the Platoon Bravo. As this has no sense here, we are done. Some elaborated mission goal could need a determined action being taken in some area. This would be a case of using the Parameter 2 we are discarding here.

41) Take a look to the image of the MissGoalForm, and put in all the Goals shown.

This is a good time to save your work. Click the save button, check *.scn as your type of files, go to the Scenarios folder, and save the mission as Tunez-ger.scn.

We have made a lot. We have:

      Global settings defined

      Units defined

      Global Mission Goals defined.

What is our next task?

The difficult and interesting task of giving Artificial Intelligence the instructions which will give a fun battle. This will be made by mean of scripted instructions. As you, experienced simmers, know well, this is not as powerfull as dynamic battles, where the AI takes in account multitude of elements, aleatory events occur everywhere and everytime, and each time you go, you find a completely different battlefield. But the formidable machine developed by Wings is very powerful, and the scripts are important in their whole. We (Peticazes and McDrum) know only a little of the Panzer Elite script managing, and perhaps you will imagine some better ways of accomplish the same. There is a lot to learn in this script subject, and this will be only the starting point. We hope an army of mission developers arises soon!

IMPORTANT: The manuals are clear. Every time you change an area name or a Combat Group Name, the AI scripts have to be revised, because the editor does not check the integrity references. Also, the general meaning of some instructions is confusing. The actual behaviour of the units can be the opposite of the one you wanted. Understanding some scripts, for now, is an trial-and-error process.

THE SCRIPTS EDITION

The scripts in Panzer Elite are attached to each platoon or Combat Group. A CG script is made of scriptblocks each triggered by some event in the game. To get a Combat script window in which to set the scriptblock:

42) Click over a CG in the Combat Groups Window, to select the CG owner of the script. (Lets say, over Zug Habitch). Then click the button Script, located over the menu and button bar


Combat script window



43) TheCombat Scripts window will pop. There you will put your scriptblocks .

44) To add a new scriptblock, just double click over the name ( here is ****Zug Habitch****)

45) To edit an existing scriptblock, you have to double click over its name ( here is -Find Trucks)

In fact, the scripts are organized in lines in the Combat Scripts window, and you can paste and delete lines (and hence, scriptblocks) just selecting a line in the memo white area, and then selecting in the menu  Bearbeiten>Paste Rows/Delete script.

The Global Script item (click Global Script>Show Global Script ) in the menu just pops a memo, of equal properties as the Combat Scripts window . Global scripts are otherwise normal scripts, mostly under the always event trigger , that reflect a very general aspect of some Combat Group's activity. In this tutorial we will not use Global Scripts.


Scriptblock


The scriptblock parameters are:

•   Name: up to 10 letters. Here the name is ComScr12.
•   Description: short remark about the mission. In the script. Here is a blank, but soon it will be "Looking for the ennemy" and other interesting comments.


Behaviour sets


•   Behaviourset: each scriptblock has some behaviour linked, related about how or when the CG figths. You can choose one behaviour set for your platoon. A behaviour set will be the reaction of the CG when the range (a random number generated in a mysterious way, as said in the Script AI Documentation. The behaviour set can be reached in the Behaviour button in the menu and button bar, or in clicking in the behaviour section in the . Script block (here it says ignore all).

•   Under the Name, Descriptionand Behaviourrow, is the event trigger and the description parameters row, with 4 buttons.

The event type defines when the script is executed. Clicking the first button, just below the scriptblock name, pops the event pick form:


Event pick form

•   Lets begin by the fourth button: it sets the event's Priority. If two events are triggered at the same time, the script executed first is the one withhighest priority. The Prioriy parameter is a plain number you set by clicking the fourth button.

•   Possible events and parameters are: (event [first button in row] + parameter 1 [second button in row] + parameter 2 [third button in row] + message [fourth button in row])

TIP: For now we will not worry about the message button. The messages are to be edited in the briefing text file , and about that there would be other tutorial ASAP.

•   Always + none + none:executed always. At least one of the checkmarks Remove on exit (eliminates the script after executing it) or Return to top (after executing the script, return it to the script pile) must be checked.

•   On Withdraw + none + none: This event is executed as soon as the platoon or Combat Group attemps to withdraw. This scriptblock, if present, takes 2 important decissions:

•   Where to withdraw to, and, if necessary
•   to switch the script set.
•   please, note that only 2 commands are available in On Withdraw events
•   Command Withdraw + none + Area : defines the area to withdraw to.

•   GotoSet + none +Set 1/2/3: changes the Set of scripts for the Combat Group.
•   Timer at +00:00:00 + none: sets a time to start the script. Timers can be
•   Absolute: 14:20:30, twenty minutes and a half past the 2 pm.
•   Relative: +00:02:45, two minutes and fourty five seconds after the start of the mission.
•   Relative: *00:01;15, one minute fifteen seconds after the script start.

•   Global Event + flag1/flag2/flag3 +True/False: the user can set up to 3 flags in the game. An event can be triggered by the flags values. Set flag is a script command we will see below.

•   Mission goal + goal + pending/success/failed: the status of Mission Goals can trigger events. Beware of changing the Mission Goals names.

•   Combat Group state + Combat Group Name + destroyed/withdraw/spotted/identified/scriptname/area:
This triggers the event taking in account the status of a Combat Group. All the parameter 2 values are obvious, but you have to note that scriptname means the CG in question is executing that script, and area means the CG is located in that area.


Area units setting

•   Area + area + unit list: this triggers the event if certain units are in the area. The user can define up to 3 types of units.


User defined Unit Types form


The User defined Unit types form works in a very easy way: a) Select in the combo the user defined set (User Defined 1/2/3), b) Double click over a unit's name in the right side list of units, to pass the unit to the left (action: add to the list) c) If you change your mind and do not want a unit in your User Defined list, double click in the left, over the unit name, to eliminate it (action: clear from the list).

•   Just below (see the Combat script window )  the event row, you have the checkboxes Remove on exit and Return to top,and the Set associated with this particular script., Remove on exit means eliminates the script after executing it.  Return to top  means after executing the script, return it to the script pile. The Set can be edited by clicking the combo box. There are up to 3 posible Sets and there are script commands to pass from a set to another. This gives extra flexibility. We will use only Set 1.


The script's commands

Take a look to the scriptblock window here and here.

To add a new command in the script, click over the New button.

Ensure you have selected Zug Habitch, as said in 42. We are about to write the first script in this mission. Below is what you have to have afther processing all the Habitch first scriptblock


Habitch jobs

Zug Habitch will look for the truck's convoy (Platoon Bravo). After spotting the trucks, KG Horst will descend from the Habitch's vehicles and ambush the trucks, How do you put that in scripts?


46) Click on the Zug name, as in 44

47) Create an scriptblock as the one shown in this image. .

48) Click over the first button in the trigger events row. Set a timer after 45 seconds from the start of the mission. This will give time to the Trucks form the convoy. If you find the time not enough, put more time.

49) Check Remove on exit. We want this script to be executed only once.


Script Commands

50) Click the New button to add the commands to the script.

Possible commands are (long digression, step 51 is here)

•   Move + Step-by-Step/Scout/Normal/Road + Path/Area/CG: this orders the CG to move

Parameter 1 values: How to move

•   Step by Step: half of the CG moves ahead, other half spots/covers, and so on.
•   Scout: the same, but with only a unit advancing.
•   Normal: normal formation movement. Most quick movement.
•   Road: the CG sticks to a landscape road an go over it.

Parameter 2 values: Where to move

•   Path: movement along a road (defined by a number in the landscape).
•   Area: moves into specific area, until all the CG's units are there.
•   CG: moves to specified CG, wherever they are.

•   Engage +Xxx%/Timer/ + GC/Area/UnitList : orders the CG to engage

Parameter 1 values: Until

•   Xxx% : engage until the Xxx% of the target is destroyed (only combat group target)
•   10:45:00 : engage, for example, until the absolute time reaches 10:45:00 hours.
•   +00:15:30: engage fifteen minutes 30 seconds after the mission starts.
•   *00:15:30: engage fifteen minutes and 30 seconds after the script is triggered

Parameter 2 values: Target

•   GC: engage this Combat Group.
•   Area: engage any target in this area
•   Unit list: engage any user defined unitlist

•   Defend +Leave Area/Stay in Area + Area/CG: orders the CG to defend an area or Combat Group. This command will make the script's CG to target all the units attacking the defended Area/CG.

Parameter 1 values: How

- Leave Area: The defending units may leave the area to hunt attackers
- Stay in Area: The defending units will stay in area and won't leave it

Parameter 2 values: Who

- Area: specified area. If there are Strongpoints there (a strongpoint is a favorable landscape spot where a unit can fight with some advantages; strongpoints are definable with the Scenario Editor tools window).
- CG: the Combat Group to be defended

The Script AI Documentation. talks about a Convoy command, telling to use it if the CG to be defended is moving. But we have not found in the actual Scenario Editor version any reference to this command (quite useful, of course).

•   Withdraw +none + Area: orders the CG to withdraw: This command only can be used where the event trigger is On Withdraw

•   Set + User Flag 1/2/3 // Mission Goal +True/False : sets the Flag 1/2/3 or the Mission Goal you choose to the status True/False.

•   German/American +Strike 1/2/3/4/5 + Target: Issues an artillery strike on the target, with no delay. The delays are established with the Wait command.

Param 1 values: Strike slot number

•   There are 5 slots to arty strikes, and one of them goes to the Target

Param 2 values: Target

•   Area or CG to be targetted

TIP: if you plan to strike a CG, there will be a lot of casualties. If the target is the Player's platoon, the game can end in quick way. Better inform the player about this possibility.

•   Wait + Time + none: waits the Time amount of time. Events can interrupt wait scripts.

Parameter 1 values: Time

•    10: 45:00: wait until the absolute time reaches 10:45:00 hours.
•   +00:15:30:  wait fifteen minutes 30 seconds afther the mission starts.
•   *00:15:30:  wait fifteen minutes 30 seconds afther the script is triggered

•   Unload +none + none: unloads any infantry cargo the unit has. The infantry gets activated and executes the always commands.

Let's go again with Zug Habitch.

51) Click over the Set command in the   command raster . Then click on the first button in the command row, choose the Set comand, the click the second button an choose UserFlag1, and then the third button and choose False . This is to have a flag telling that the trucks are not yet found. Choose as formacion C , for column. This will be the default formation for this CG.

52)  Click the again the  New button to add new commands to the script. Of course you can delete any wrong command. The below windowwill pop


Adding a new command



Choosing param2 in move


53) Click on the first button to add the new Command, and choose move, then click the second button in the row, choose Normal, to get Habitch going in normal way, and then click the third button,  and choose Platoon Bravo, to order Habitch hunting the trucks.

The obedient Habitch, as good soldier, will hunt the Trucks of Bravo. The next command will say Habitch what to do in the moment of having Platoon Bravo spotted.

54) Click the again the  New button to add new commands to the script. You already know the process. Click over the first button in the new command row, and choose unload. That's all, because unload has no parameters.

55) Click the again the  New button to add new commands to the script. You already know the process. Do the same as in 51, to put the Flag1 as True. This a global indication of Platoon Bravo being located by German soldiers.

Check if you have now all the Habitch jobs well done as in the picture above. Delete or edit as explained before to get the same.

Next we will order Habitch going to the Player Platoon, stay with it a little to report, and then going again with KG Horst to help in the Truck attack. The US soldiers will not remain idle, and perhaps they will destroy Habitch, before he can inform, but... that's the war.

56) Because you know all the processes involved, just get the below scriptblock for Zug Habitch. Don't forget the procedure to create a new scriptblock.


Last scriptBlock for Zug Habitch

IMPORTANT: Don't worry if your scriptblocks numbers do not coincide with the picture's ones. This, for this mission, is irrelevant (ours is ComScr3, yours can be very well ComScr2. Type the shortname you like).

Note Habitch reporting to Zug Falke and them going to help Horst, and ignoring all fighting opportunities (_Ignore all behaviour).

Time to give orders to KG Horst. The idea is this: Horst will engage the Trucks, but if more powerful units came, they will withdraw. We are sure that Platoon Bravo radiomen will call for urgent help to Platoon Alfa, and the Shermans will rush. Shermans in open space are too much for Horst.

57) Get the Horst scriptblock 1, shown here.


Horst scriptblock1


Note Horst's behaviour set to _Infantry, and how they will engage Bravo until destroing 50% of it. Don't worry about the +7, the message Horst will issue at the start of the engage.

Horst has to retire if the Shermans come.

58) Build the Horst scriptblock 2, as this picture shows


Horst scriptblock2

The withdraw area is Dar el Gabsi. It's a pity that German intelligence did not know about the US troops now established here...!

Pleas note that in a full fledged mission, we will transfer the Horst's scripts to another set, and give him more orders after this withdraw. This is a tutorial mission, so stay simple!

We arrive now to the US side. Because the Platoon Bravo's supplies are so important, Alfa will rush to help him, fiercely and confident in their magnificent tanks (?!)

59) Give this scriptblock1 to Alpha Platoon.


Alpha scriptblock1


Alpha will engage Horst until almost destroy it, while Bravo is attacked. Of course we know previously that will be Horst the attacker of Bravo..., but as soon as Bravo will be free of attacks, or destroyed, the Remove on exit will take out this scriptblock.

Zug Falke will go, with Habitch, to help Horst. What then?

60) This will be the scriptblock2 for Alpha Platoon.


Alpha scriptblock2


As soon as Zug Falke is spotted by the Alpha's Shermans, they will engage the Panzers until the 80% of destruction (of the Panzers!). The behaviour of Alpha is _Medium Range Fight.

Bravo, under attack will only unload their Infantry CG Robinson.

61) Build for Bravo this scriptblock:


Bravo scriptblock1


The _Medium Range Fight AO behaviour for the trucks is perhaps not very coherent!

62) Of course, Bravo was ordered to go to Toum, transporting the supplies... This is the scriptblock (note, as a curiosity, the ComScr0 label for this script).


Bravo scriptblock2

As this scriptblock has the Always trigger event, it will be executed in your mission, with independence of the scriptblock number.

63) CG Robinson will fight until the last man defending the trucks. Let's put this in their scriptblock1.


Robinson scriptblock1

Robinson will fight in   _Low Range Fight AOF behaviour, as soon as Horst will be spotted, and then will engage until 80% of Horst will be destroyed.

64) CG Robinson also will fight the Panzers, for this you have to create this scriptblock:


Robinson scriptblock2

The behaviour set 11 is, freely said, engage all if near enough

Well, these above were the substantial scriptsblocks. Let's make a diversion with the Deadducks!

65) Put this scriptblock for Platoon DeadDuck1.


Platoon DeadDuck1 scriptblock

Simple but mortal. As soon as Platoon DeadDuck sees Zug Falke, an artillery strike will hit the Player Platoon. This is dirty play. Somebody remembers Sbeitla and the famous bridge? Anyway, you can get the feel of being attacked without nothing to do, as a german tanker. Perhaps that was the feeling of the tankers when they were attacked by swarms of Typhoons, Mustangs, and P38s in 1944.

So, how can the player destroy Deadduck1 without being identified? Well, Peticazes thinks this is a good extra class homework for you.

TIP from McDrum: Why not put some heavy artillery in the Falke's hands?

66) Put this scriptblock for Deadduck2 (not Platoon), even more mortal than the anterior for Zug Falke.



Deadduck2 scriptblock1

Not only they will engage Falke, even the artillery will strike here.

Last but not least, the scriptblock for Delta

67) Build this scriptblock for Delta Platoon



Delta scriptblock1


Well, we have made a long journey. What's next? To place in the landscape the units. You will find where to put the Combat Groups in the map here , in the big map. Please remember that the background is from the original Toum mission, and that you can only get the landscapes to work with if Wings makes public the project files.

The distribution of units is:

•   Falke, over the the node just at the west of Toum Station. Habitch and Horst, a little more at the east of Falke.

•   Alpha is in the inner part of Mortar5 area, near the border. Bravo y Robinson in the road from Mortar5 and Toum Station, just in the border of Mortar 5.

•   Deadduck1 in Bridge-Trigger area, Deadduck2 in Dar El Gabsi.

•   Delta, more or less 1 km west of Dar El Gabsi, near the roads.

IMPORTANT : As the other aspects of the mission, this places are a first approach. You have to finetune all the settings, goals, places and behaviour of the units, to get in action what was your idea of the mission. If you look at the final version in the ZIP files, perhaps you will note differences with the data given in the tutorial. Feel free to modify, but after seeing a working mission first.


Save your work.

Choose Save, then *.scn in the Save dialog, climb to...\Psygnosys\Panzer Elite\Scenario folder. Click to save the tunez-ger.scn file. After ending your tutorial mission, the Scenario Editor will propose you to save the project file. Choose Don't save, so you only will have modified your own files and you will have preserved the original project files.


How to see if all is going as scripted?

This is a big question. Perhap the best point of view is an exterior, from the back of your tank, and full height, but you have to travel where the action occurs. Also, you can set messages to check when and how they are issued. There is no debugger, nor that marvellous camera, able of taking all in the scenario, and giving you the opportunity of watching everything in the game (Oh!, Falcon 4.0 ...).

One question about the mission is if Habitch will find at time the truck to Horst have time to attack them. Well, if the mission settings do not give this, change it!. Put the germans closer to the trucks. Or give less time to Habitch start the hunt, or....

There is a lot of fine tuning to getting a mission working as desired. Tho goal of this tutorial is to show how to get a working mission. Your next goal is to build good and playable missions! Good luck, chaps!


See KG Horst and Zug Habitch attacking the convoy. The valiant US infantry has hitted the Opel blitz and a german light vehicle, with their mortars, but there are heavy losses in the US side also. See the messages. The Alpha Shermans are on the march aganist the attackers. It is time for Falke to start looking for a hull down position, and decimate the Shermans as they came.

(sorry for the bandwith abuse. I could not resist the idea of placing a whole image as final.)

What next

First try if the mission work as you think. Play a little. Change things. Learn more, this is only the start. Publish your findings. Look about how to edit the briefings.

FINAL WORDS

Thanks for your patience. Send bugs, incoherences, or correct this document at your will.

Feel free to email or post in the forums at Wings.

Please, send your feedback to McDrum & Peticazes

McDrum & Peticazes S.L.


Edited by TB3 2/13/02