has got to be one of the most confusing csv files that we have.
It's got so many hidden rules, that I doubt my first draft of
this will be able to cover everything without making some mistakes.
We wrote this design about 2years ago and haven't
really touched it since. I'm having to look into the code just
to remember the details. I wish that I had time while I was designing
it to document it, but I hate documentation and it's a chore just
to write all of these mod guides. But to get the cool mods, we
have to explain everything that you have at your disposal, so
I'm getting them done.
most important thing to remember when messing with formations
is that they are real. I went to the Marine Military Academy for
1 year and the Naval Academy for 2 years and I learned how to
march in formation, not that I was any good at it, but I got the
basic concepts. When marching in formation, you are lining up
on other people in that formation. You are lining up on the guy
to your right or the guy in front of you and this continues all
through the formation until you get to the guy carrying the colors.
In the large formations he's lining up on someone too. If you've
ever seen people in formations, you may have seen them do a "Dress
Right". They stick their arms out and turn their heads to
line up the formation keeping everyone at a common distance to
reason for the long explanation is that if you keep this in mind,
creating formations can be fairly simple. Think of the formation
that you want, then place the flag bearer, then the next guy and
keep going until you've filled in all of the slots, with each
guy lining up on another guy lower in number than he is. The first
guy is 1, he's the flag bearer, every formation has 1 flag bearer.
You then place the remaining 2-60 guys. Our formations can only
hold a max of 60 sprites. If we were to increase this number,
we would have to come into this file and increase the size of
all of the regimental formations. You do not have to define all
formations for 60 men if the formation that you are defining will
never be completely filled. For example, our officer formations
only have 2 guys, the flag bearer and the officer so there would
be no reason to define all 60 slots.
formation.csv file is broken into 2 parts for each formation definition.
The first row basically defines the formation properties, the
next rows define the formation locations. There can be no blank
lines within a formation definition. The facing of a formation
will always be up or towards the top of your monitor.
||This is not a number, but the name of the formation.
This name will be used in other csv files to reference this
formation. It is suggested that you some sort of naming convention
because as you create more and more formations, they can get
||This is the number of rows or lines down that
will make up the formation. You can fill this in after you
have completely defined the formation by just counting the
number of rows.
||This is the number of columns or lines across
that make up the formation. You can fill this in aftery you
have completely defined the formation by just counting the
number of columns.
||This is the number of yards between
each row of men. So as the men stand there will be this many
yards in the front and back of each man.
||This is the number of yards between each column
of men. So as the men stand there will be this many yards
to the left and right of each man.
||This is the name, from column A of this file,
of the subformation to use. This is used for officer formations.
For example our brigade commanders only have 2 people in their
formation, the flag bearer and the officer. Once a formation
has been filled in with all of the men for that unit, the
game will then look to see if that unit has any subordinates.
If it does, then it will place the subordinates in the remaining
formation locations, and call the subformation for each of
||This flag determines if this formation
is used for marching or if the unit should switch to their
marching formation for marching. We use this flag to maintain
||This is just a 0 or a 1 determining
whether or not wheeling is allowed in this formation.
||This is just a 0 or a 1 determining
whether or not fighting is allowed while in this formation.
This is one of the two parameters that effect the movement
rate. This number is added to the movement rate modifier
of the terrain, from the map_name.csv file, and then this
result is multiplied by the current movement speed of the
unit and then added to the movement speed of the unit.
So make this a percentage decimal. For a 20% increase in
speed while in this formation, use 0.2, to decrease the
speed by half while in this formaiton, use -0.5.
This one is a little confusing. The formations can about
face and the AI does use this functionality to turn around
quickly. Also if you click directly behind a unit, they
will usually about face to the location. If this value is
0, then the unit will not be able to about face from this
If you want to support about face from this formation,
the this number should be the position in your formation
where you want the flag bearer to end up after the about
face is completed. So after you have your formation designed,
take a look at where all of the numbered slots are, then
think of the formation as turned around, where would the
flag bearer be? Now we don't have our columns allow about
face, but if we did, then this value would have to be 60.
Meaning for a good about face to occur, then the unit must
occupy the same exact space that they did before the about
face was called. So you would want to move the flag bearer
all the way down to the last slot and have everyone else
line up behind him.
||This is the sub formation for artillery.
This works exactly like the other sub formation, but applies
to artillery. This is really only used for the division formations.
Divisions are the meeting place for each type of unit (cavalry,
artillery, infantry). The cav and inf share most formations,
but the arty does not. So if a div commander calls an entire
division formation, the artillery will use this formation
instead of the other sub formation defined eariler.
you have defined the formation above, or at least filled in as
many parameters as you can, it's time to design the actual formation.
This is a list of numbers from 1 to 60 placed on the grid exactly
how you would want them to look in the formation. This is a good
reason to use a spreadsheet program to edit these csv files.
Place your flag bearer. It's easier to work on a blank spreadsheet
and place your flag bearer somewhere where there is a lot of room
all around. So type a 1 in a box and you have your first formation
consisting of 1 flag bearer.
Place your number 2 guy. Remember that he must be able to line
up to the left, right, front, or back of the 1. He cannot be diagonal
from the 1. You may leave blanks to the left, right, and front,
but not in the back. So if 2 is behind 1, he must be directly
behind 1. But if he is to the left, right, or front, he may skip
some blocks and does not have to be directly next to 1.
Continuing placing men until you have placed all you want, remember
no more than 60.
Also remember that the numbers you place are as if there were
that many sprites in the formation. So you start with just one
side of the formation and then move to the other, when there are
less than max men in the formation, it will look unbalanced. Always
balance the formation as you add new numbers.
We have designed many formations in this file, they all work.
So use our examples to help you on your way. Also if something
that I have written is too cryptic, our example should hopefully
clear it up.
When the game loads in the formation, it looks in a specific order
to determine who to line up on for each slot. First it looks to
see if it's behind a lower number, then it looks to see if it's
to the right of a lower number, then to the left, and finally
ahead. It does not look to find the lowest number that it's around,
it looks in the above order. If it cannot find a lower number,
then the formation fails.
dist - col dist - sprite)
Before every number in your formation design, except number
1 (flag bearer) since it would not make sense, you can specify
specific properties that affect that formation slot alone.
These additional properties will override anything else
and only affect the formation slot number that they precede.
For example, the following is the entry for slot 2 in the
formation. It overrides the row distance and the column
distance for this slot. We use this a lot in the larger
formations. In the division formations we want the officer
close to the flag bearer, but we want large gaps between
the bigger brigade formations. So we set the default distance
for the formation to a large number, then we override the
officer slot with a smaller distance, so he's closer to
the flag bearer.
It does not make sense to fill in both the row and col
distance, since each slot only lines up on one other slot,
so you must read your design and determine which slot this
slot is lining up on (using step 6 above) and then determine
if it's the row or col distance that you must modify.
||The row distance, ahead or behind, in yards.
A value of 0 uses the default.
||The column distance, to the left or right, in
yards. A value of 0 uses the default.
||You should really just set this
number to 0. Although it is functional, it doesn't make sense
and I suspect that we will have more use for this in the next
game if we modify it's behaviour. Currently it uses this index
into the list of sprites in unitcommon.csv. In that file you
can define up to 6 different sprites to be randomly used in
a formation. This number, if set to 1-6 will use that specific
sprite for this formation slot. But since those sprites are
used randomly throughout the formation, other slots may also
use this sprite. That's why it doesn't make sense, because
you can't make it exclusive.