Unit Navigator Tool

Order of Battle is a series of operational WW2 games starting with the Pacific War and then on to Europe!

Moderators: Order of Battle Moderators, The Artistocrats

Post Reply
Mojko
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:04 am

Unit Navigator Tool

Post by Mojko » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:27 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen! I have prepared a very special New Year present for you all. I'm with Order Of Battle from the start and I own all DLCs. I think it's a game with great game mechanics, but the game interface is lacking. A lot of crucial game information is simply missing, we have an outdated game manual that doesn't help you much either and so I decided to tackle this problem. And today I give you my solution:

* rolls out the red carpet and starts playing trumpets *

I give you: Unit Navigator Order Of Battle

This tool is a web based application (you don't need to install anything on your computer) which allows you to browse through game data and displays it in an accessible format with familiar game interface. The application directly uses game data files from the game as well as interface components such as icons and images. As a result the application can be kept up-to-date with the game easily. Additional description is displayed when moving mouse cursor over various interface components. For example descriptions of unit attributes and traits can be accessed this way.

Here is a bunch of examples what this application let's you do that the in-game interface will not display (or not display properly)
  • - compare any unit with any other unit (the exact difference in attributes is displayed)
    - spotting range
    - movement in tiles with terrain context (not just generic movement points)
    - close attack
    - traits of all units
    - torpedo attack, range and cooldown
    - strategic bombing power
    - unit chassis (movement type)
    - carrier types (what plane can land on which ship)
    - required specialisations
    - date available and expiry
    - fuel
    - radar range
    - cargo capacity
    - and much more...
What can you do with this information? You can answer questions like:
  • - what is close attack (attack factor which depends on cover of the battlefield)
    - compare torpedo stats for bomber planes (this is currently missing completely in game)
    - why is this transport more expensive when it has the same stats (it doesn't, but the stats that are different are not shown in-game)
    - is it worth upgrading a unit to a different unit long term (the decision may be effected by newer unit versions that will become available)
There are some additional features that you can use. For example application state can be linked to another person by sending him the "permalink". This way you can easily share unit data like: unit comparisons (you want to show someone how one unit is better than the other), unit lists (you want to send someone list of units you like to use) or just bookmarking the application state for your own convenience.

The application will use as much screen as possible, if you have a wide screen monitor you will see a lot of information on your screen. Smaller screens are supported as well, the display will adjust dynamically so you can use the application on smaller devices like tablets as well.

I hope this tool will help players access the game information and thus they will get less frustrated from playing the game without actually knowing the game mechanics. This is my way to support this great game, so I hope you'll enjoy using this tool.

Want to get involved? The application is an open source available on GitHub. For example if you are an artist and you want to improve some of the icons, you can find all the images in that repository.

Please let me know your feedback on this tool, it's much appreciated.

Also, requesting sticky :)
Last edited by Mojko on Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
Author and maintainer of Unit Navigator Tool for Order Of Battle (http://mfendek.byethost16.com/)

Andy2012
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 1621
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:55 pm

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by Andy2012 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:08 pm

Well done, Mojko. Will check it out.

kondi754
Major-General - Elite Tiger I
Major-General - Elite Tiger I
Posts: 2511
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:52 am

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by kondi754 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:36 pm

@Andy
"Well done" is not enough in my opinion :roll:

@Mojko
It is an outstanding work. 8)
I will definitely use it!
I planned to carefully analyze all the units and their features (especially unique abilities) for a long time, thanks to which I wanted to improve my tactics.
In the game, however, it is very difficult - this great comparison engine will be very helpful ... :D
Thank you for your time and titanic work

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 2488
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by bru888 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:50 pm

Mojko, this is outstanding. Awe-inspiring work. And, forgive me, too much to expect from one community member on an ongoing basis.

Will you always be around to update this every time OOB changes? Do you think opening it up as a Wiki-thing is a good idea? How can we trust it if so, especially when there is at least one unsavory character lurking around who does not wish OOB well?

This is a great idea but I want it to be official. That is, this AND an updated manual should be the responsibility of the Artistocrats who should be the only ones who have access to this information. It should be available from within the game, even just as a link to web site like yours. (Would you be willing to cede it to them?)

That said, I have bookmarked it for future use. It really is impressive. It's just not something that I feel comfortable depending upon in the future. Sorry.
- Bru

kondi754
Major-General - Elite Tiger I
Major-General - Elite Tiger I
Posts: 2511
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:52 am

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by kondi754 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:53 pm

I also think that opening it for everyone is a bad idea and it would be good to introduce it to the game..

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 2488
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by bru888 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:12 am

kondi754 wrote:I also think that opening it is a bad idea.
I feel bad. This project is obviously a great effort by a well-intentioned and talented person and I ungratefully dumped on it. Yet, I have to be honest and what I said is my opinion. Only my opinion, of course.
- Bru

Mojko
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:04 am

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by Mojko » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:59 am

kondi754 wrote: @Mojko
It is an outstanding work. 8)
I will definitely use it!
I planned to carefully analyze all the units and their features (especially unique abilities) for a long time, thanks to which I wanted to improve my tactics.
In the game, however, it is very difficult - this great comparison engine will be very helpful ... :D
Thank you for your time and titanic work
Thanks, I'm glad you like it :) I wouldn't call it titanic amount of work though, it took me roughly 6 dev-days to implement ;-)
bru888 wrote:Mojko, this is outstanding. Awe-inspiring work. And, forgive me, too much to expect from one community member on an ongoing basis.

Will you always be around to update this every time OOB changes? Do you think opening it up as a Wiki-thing is a good idea? How can we trust it if so, especially when there is at least one unsavory character lurking around who does not wish OOB well?

This is a great idea but I want it to be official. That is, this AND an updated manual should be the responsibility of the Artistocrats who should be the only ones who have access to this information. It should be available from within the game, even just as a link to web site like yours. (Would you be willing to cede it to them?)

That said, I have bookmarked it for future use. It really is impressive. It's just not something that I feel comfortable depending upon in the future. Sorry.
Thank you for your feedback.

I agree that using an external tool to fully play the game is bad, but it's less bad than playing a strategy game with lacking interface that puts you in a position when instead of strategic decisions you are forced to be guessing. I would definitely want a rich in-game encyclopedia that contains all of this information. Still, this tool is currently a better option.

Now, regarding the maintenance of this tool. All the data that is shown in the tool is taken from game files. These games files are the same files that are present in your copy of the game (under ''Order of Battle Folder\64-bit\Order of Battle - WW2_64_Data\Content\"). If you go to the tool Github page you will see the same folders. All that is needed for the update is to copy these directories from your copy of the game to the tool folder. So no code changes are necessary, you don't need to be a programmer to do it. Anyone can maintain it, anyone can host it.

I will be updating the tool with new game data regularly and there is a last update information of the bottom of the page so you will know when was this updated the last time. Also, this is an open source, the code is for everyone to use, anyone can grab the code and put it on some hosting, it just requires PHP 5.6 or greater and a functional web server (which random free hosting sites usually have). There is no configuration necessary. This means you could literally just create an account on some free hosting, download the app from the github page and put on the hosting and the tool would be running, just like that. I encourage everyone to try hosting it yourself, it's that easy.

Of course if Aristocrats want to use this tool, they are free do so in any way they want. Having this tool on an official hosting would be great. Also, I was thinking about adding a game data validation feature. You see, there are some errors and inconsistencies in the game files. Issues like:
  • - references to non existent units (Italian truck is referenced as a transport unit, but there is no such unit)
    - upper case / lower case variants of unit names
    - inconsistent list separators
    - non-unique internal unit names
    - redundant localised unit names
This tool has to handle the inconsistencies anyway so it would be really easy to detect them and create a report with all these issues. I did not add such feature as there is very little value in it for the player.

If you have any ideas for features and improvements, please let me know :)
Author and maintainer of Unit Navigator Tool for Order Of Battle (http://mfendek.byethost16.com/)

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 2488
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by bru888 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:45 am

Mojko wrote:I agree that using an external tool to fully play the game is bad, but it's less bad than playing a strategy game with lacking interface that puts you in a position when instead of strategic decisions you are forced to be guessing. I would definitely want a rich in-game encyclopedia that contains all of this information. Still, this tool is currently a better option.
Good point. I myself felt the need to write a scenario editor manual, feel the need to write a campaign editor manual, and I've even thought of offering my services to update the game manual. But it should not be this way.

I am going to look at what you did and if I can help in any way, I will offer. One suggestion I would make is to lock it down, not make it so accessible so that it can be hacked and sabotaged. This may sound paranoid but I assure you it is not because I have a specific situation in mind.

In any event, the bookmark that I made of it stays. Thank you for doing this for our community.
- Bru

bebro
The Artistocrats
The Artistocrats
Posts: 2571
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:50 pm

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by bebro » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:39 pm

Kudos for this job, look s like a nice tool :)
Mojko wrote:
  • - references to non existent units (Italian truck is referenced as a transport unit, but there is no such unit)
There are some entries to the unit file already for stuff that is still to come, so it's not per se a prob.

GabeKnight
Colonel - Ju 88A
Colonel - Ju 88A
Posts: 1566
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:24 pm

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by GabeKnight » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:29 pm

Yes, thanks for this. It's nice to have this kind of an overview of some usually not readable units stats.

hrafnkolbrandr
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:26 pm

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by hrafnkolbrandr » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:06 am

Found my new time waster, for when I can't play. Thanks for this!

Shards
Slitherine
Slitherine
Posts: 2301
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:05 am

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by Shards » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:33 am

This is really useful!

Also, shows to me how my opponent in Arctic Fox had several SU 152s!

https://imgur.com/a/n4R6m

(The artillery version looks like it's not got the right data)

Jaakar
Private First Class - Opel Blitz
Private First Class - Opel Blitz
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:59 am

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by Jaakar » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:29 am

Wow, thank you so much for this! I played the Winter War campaign a while ago and came back to play the three German campaigns just now and was frustrated with all of the guesswork involved. Even simple things like knowing what unit type an enemy bunker is (it's infantry in case anyone doesn't know) so I could know what units to use, was simply not shown. Then when I was deciding between a truck transport and the SdKfz 251, I saw that the truck has 8 movement points, while the SdKfz 251 had 4 (2 less than the infantry unit normally has!!).
I ended up making a scenario just so I could test the movement of the two and found them to be the same on most terrain, except that the SdKfz 251 moves further (what???) on dirt roads.

I actually was on my way here to ask (and maybe complain a bit...) about how I'm meant to know...well pretty much anything about how each unit will move. I still don't understand the movement number, since the truck was 8 and the SdKfz 251 was 4, yet the truck was only ever the same or worse in movement. Anyone able to enlighten me on what the boot icon could possibly be referring to?

Instead of having to ask, I found this amazing thread/tool. Seriously, this is so incredibly helpful, thank you so much! I feel like I can actually play this like a strategy game, rather than just picking random units and seeing what happens :D

hrafnkolbrandr
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:26 pm

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by hrafnkolbrandr » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:27 am

Well the truck is tracked, so that might help with off road terrain.

Jaakar
Private First Class - Opel Blitz
Private First Class - Opel Blitz
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:59 am

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by Jaakar » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:24 am

hrafnkolbrandr wrote:Well the truck is tracked, so that might help with off road terrain.
Yeah, it certainly makes sense to me. My issue is that the boot icon says 4 for the SdKfz 251, 6 for the infantry with no transport and 8 for the regular truck. If it said 4 for infantry, 6 for the truck and 8 for the SdKfz 251 I'd have been ok with it. I mean, the numbers would still be virtually meaningless since they in no way represent the number of moves possible - it would be better to just have a letter grade or color code system. To me numbers have to mean something, not just "this is a bigger number so it's better" - I should be able to calculate something with that number.

I'd actually prefer if there were no movement numbers, since they are worse than meaningless - they're downright lying and lead me to think one thing moves less when logically (and in actual gameplay) it doesn't. Unless, of course, the boot icon doesn't mean something about movement...though in that case I'd still say it's poor design.

sthanno
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:36 am

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by sthanno » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:34 am

A Happy New Year indeed! What an awesome piece of work, and exactly what the game needed. Comparing units in-game is like trying to push water up a hill with a salad fork, there, I said it.

The Unit Nav Tool should be packaged with the game. When there's this much delicious, ooey-gooey depth in a game, players want to dive into it and roll around in it. I've used the UNT twice now already, and I'll be coming back to it again and again and again and again. It should be packaged with the game. I may have said that already.

I agree that it should at least be officially hosted, and if it were my baby, I would keep it closed, too. At least have some sort of password for trusted people, or something.

Who are the Aristocrats?

Mojko
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:04 am

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by Mojko » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:14 am

bru888 wrote:One suggestion I would make is to lock it down, not make it so accessible so that it can be hacked and sabotaged. This may sound paranoid but I assure you it is not because I have a specific situation in mind.
I assure you it's quite secure now. The source code is available in read-only mode, any changes need to be approved by me. The application itself (the deployed instance) is also accessible only via my account, so we should be fine for now.
bebro wrote:There are some entries to the unit file already for stuff that is still to come, so it's not per se a prob.
That's great to hear. I guess the poor Italians will have to march by foot until then ;-)

Shards wrote:This is really useful!

Also, shows to me how my opponent in Arctic Fox had several SU 152s!

https://imgur.com/a/n4R6m

(The artillery version looks like it's not got the right data)
Yeah, the mistakes are better visible with a transparent tool. There is also some funny stuff, try searching for Rubber Duck ;-)

Jaakar wrote:Anyone able to enlighten me on what the boot icon could possibly be referring to?
Sure, the system works like this: the boot icon shows you how many movement points a unit has (googles icons shows spotting points). These are NOT actual tiles! Each terrain type has a cost that a unit has to pay if it wants to go though it (or see through it). The cost of the terrain depends on the unit chassis (movement type). For example if a unit has 6 movements points and open terrain demands 2 movement points to pass through, a unit can move 3 tiles on open terrain. All this information is available in the tool, you just need to click on the "show terrain" button. There is also a road factor, this is shown when you hover the mouse cursor over terrain data.
sthanno wrote:Who are the Aristocrats?
They are the developer company that produced this game.
Author and maintainer of Unit Navigator Tool for Order Of Battle (http://mfendek.byethost16.com/)

CoolDTA
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:52 am

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by CoolDTA » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:44 am

Great tool - thanks! I've been using Excel but this is better.

sthanno
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:36 am

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by sthanno » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:29 pm

The U.S. Marines don't seem to show up under the type 'Infantry.' Where are they hiding?

Erik2
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 5586
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:59 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Unit Navigator Tool

Post by Erik2 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:47 pm

sthanno wrote:The U.S. Marines don't seem to show up under the type 'Infantry.' Where are they hiding?
Select faction marine_corps.
Then you need to turn to page two for the Marine units.

BTW, I really like this tool. The devs should consider adding this or a modded :wink: version to the game.

Post Reply

Return to “Order of Battle Series”