Guide: Increasing Unit Model Counts (or How To Create Your Own Mass Effect Mod) UPDATED For Libre Office

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Mord
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Guide: Increasing Unit Model Counts (or How To Create Your Own Mass Effect Mod) UPDATED For Libre Office

Post by Mord » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:41 am

No two people can agree on what graphics look the best in a game, whether it be Total War or ARMA III. And
so it goes for Field of Glory II and the unit sizes portrayed on screen. It's a subjective eye that is
unique to each individual. Even though two people might like the amount of Light Horse, they may differ
on the Heavy Cav, or Medium Foot, and so on. Hence why the "Mass Effects" mod was born — and tweaked, fiddled with, and tweaked again.

FoG is a fairly complicated game to mod. I am going to do my best to demystify some of it and teach you a very easy way to create your very own "Mass Effect" Mod, so that you will never have to wait for someone to update a previously released file or be at the mercy of their choices, again.

"Give a man a mod, he plays for a day. Teach a man to mod, he's entertained for life."- Mord

EDITED to be used with Libre Office Thanks, Adebar!


PRELIMINARY PREPARATIONS
-----------------------------------------
1.) First you are going to want to download Libre Office (we'll be using that to manipulate the unit counts.)
It can be found here:

Libre Office Download:
https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/


2.) Next install Libre Office to a place of your choice. Make sure you create a shortcut to your desktop
for easy access.

3.) Now go to your Mods Folder in Documents/My Games/FieldOfGlory2/MODS. Open the folder, right click and create a new folder. For this tutorial we'll call it My Units. Leave this window open.

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4.) Download the Squads Worksheet that I created for this tutorial from here:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/l2a3o559x ... t.ods/file

Once you have it, drop it in the "My Units" folder in Mods.

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NOW WE MOD
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5.) Start Libre Office. Click Calc Spreadsheet

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It should look like this:


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Next, drag and drop the Squads Worksheet file from your Mods folder into the open Calc Spreedsheet window. You'll see this:


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Now, if you notice the sheet is divided up nicely into lines and columns. Line two shows the actual headers for the code entries, basically telling us what each box represents. for the purposes of this mod the only columns we need to worry about are E (Type) and G (Mancount). Type will be the style of unit we are looking for. Mancount will be the actual code we'll want to change. Very simple.

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As you can see, each unit type and its corresponding number is color coded (I wanted to make it as easy on you as possible). All Light_Foot are yellow, all Medium_Foot are green, all Bowmen are violet, etc. That way as we scan the columns for a specific Type, say Medium_Foot, we can ignore all the other colors (Types), thus increasing our speed in locating what we need!

NOTE: This worksheet is more than a tutorial prop. We can make countless Squads files from it, so don't discard it later.

Here is a check list of the unit Types (and how many models they show in game). We will use it as a guide.

NOTE:A list like this is great for keeping track of what you have and have not edited. I suggest making one if you plan
on editing in more than one session, or just to keep track of what you have edited.

Heavy Foot 8 (Except for Pike Phalanx which are 16)
Medium Foot 8
Light Foot 4
Light Horse 2
Cavalry 4
Bowmen 8
Cataphract 4
Camelry 4
Undrilled Heavy Foot 8 and 4 (Warbands 12)
Warriors 8, 12 and 5

Heavy Chariot 1
Light Chariot 1
Light Artillery 1
Heavy Artillery 1
Elephants 1
Train 1 (Cart in game)

6.) As a fun and crazy example we'll edit the elephant units and increase them from 1 to 5. Peering down the sheet we see our first elephant entry is line 22, and the color code is orange. Great! Now we know all elephant Types are orange.

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So we go to the Mancount column, click our cursor and type in 5.

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That's all there is to it!

Now we just scroll down, keeping an eye out for any orange highlights and the word elephants in the Type column...


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and repeat the process until we reach the end of the entries and all the elephants have been changed.


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TIP: Once the last unit type has been edited scroll back through checking to make sure all Mancount numbers were changed and nothing was missed. We don't want any surprises when we go to test our work!


7.) Time to see how it looks. In Libre Office look up top to the left, click the "File" drop down menu, choose "Save As". You'll get a pop up window. In the File Name row type Squads. click "Save As Type". Look near the bottom of the drop down menu and choose the "Text CSV" option. Then click "Save.

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Another box will pop up. This is just warning us that we'll lose the formatting (highlights, columns etc.) if we save as a CSV text file. Ignore it and click "Use Text Csv Format".

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The edited Squads Worksheet is now a Squads.csv file saved in the mods folder. (ignore the ".~lock.Squads WorkSheet.ods#" icon it'll disappear when you close down Libre Office).

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8.) Now, fire up Field of Glory II. Look for the Icon in the bottom left corner.

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Click it and choose My Units. This will now be loaded as a Global Mod and will stay that way until you unload it. You will be able to use it with any Campaigns or Custom Battles you want to play. Later you can decide which format is better for your mod (Customs Battle Folder etc.) but for now Global Mods makes it easy to check your unit sizes.


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NOTE:I recommend you don't use your Global Mod with any Epic Battles or User made Campaigns as they can have custom Squads files in them and you can end up with missing units in the force selection screen etc. As you become more accustomed with how FoG II works you can experiment to your heart's content but no sense in going crazy just yet.


Now, click Battles and choose Custom Battles and set up a fight. Make sure to choose a faction that uses units we have edited! In this case we want elephants. Start the battle and view the results of our efforts.

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Now, if you want to continue just repeat the above steps (starting with putting your elephants back to normal LOL), one unit type at a time, for all the units you'd like to change. You may want to change a bunch or just a few. You can also use this method to edit someone else's Squads file that you like—tweak it to your tastes.


TIP:I find it best to leave all folders and Libre Office open the entire time I am modding, even while checking in game.

For a deep dive into the Squads file see this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=492&t=80096&sid=662647e ... 88fb225c7e

After you've wrapped your head around editing the mancount and feel comfortable I recommend you read this thread, particularly the posts referencing the Callbacks.BSF file*. But get this down first, you don't want to overwhelm yourself.
viewtopic.php?f=492&t=79856&sid=662647e ... 88fb225c7e

Ok. If there are any questions or if I didn't make something clear enough, ask away and I will answer and edit this guide for clarity.



Mord.

*Callbacks.BSF, among other things, tells the game how to position men within a square. The edited file found in the thread allows you to add some Mancount numbers and formation shapes that aren't included in the vanilla Callbacks.BSF.
Last edited by Mord on Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:01 pm, edited 19 times in total.

Paul59
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Re: Guide To Enlarging Unit Model Counts (or how to create your own Mass Effect Mod)

Post by Paul59 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:14 pm

I use Excel to open the Squads.csv, it is much easier to read with all the data columns clearly visible. If that is what it looks like in Notepad++ I don't think I would be able to achieve half of what I do!

Notepad++ is essential though, for editing the .bsf files.
Field of Glory 2 Scenario Designer - Age of Belisarius, Rise of Persia, and Wolves at the Gate.

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Mord
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Re: Guide To Enlarging Unit Model Counts (or how to create your own Mass Effect Mod)

Post by Mord » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:11 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:14 pm
I use Excel to open the Squads.csv, it is much easier to read with all the data columns clearly visible. If that is what it looks like in Notepad++ I don't think I would be able to achieve half of what I do!

Notepad++ is essential though, for editing the .bsf files.
Yeah, I had to go with what was free. I saw Notepad++ mentioned somewhere and somehow ended up using it for the csv files. But once I learned that highlighting trick it doesn't take me long at all. I did find you can replace the highlighted number with one click but I couldn't find a way to make it column specific. Which could end up changing every number of that type in the code. But having to scroll through and reading a bit has helped me become better aware of some of the small differences in the types, for instance how Baggage and Scythed Chariots are both categorized as elephants. But trust me I am all about an easier way! It's taken me about fifty hours of trial and error to get to this point. Hopefully this guide was clear enough that it will help someone. I spent about 8 hours on it yesterday. LOL.

Mord.

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Re: Guide To Enlarging Unit Model Counts (or how to create your own Mass Effect Mod)

Post by Adebar » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:36 pm

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You might check Libre Office. Included is Calc which works like Excel. It's free (without any BS):

https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/
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Mord
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Re: Guide To Enlarging Unit Model Counts (or how to create your own Mass Effect Mod)

Post by Mord » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:21 pm

Adebar wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:36 pm


You might check Libre Office. Included is Calc which works like Excel. It's free (without any BS):

HELL FRIGGIN' YES! That looks WAY easier! Thanks, brother! I am DLing as I type.

I have the "Fishmen" cooking you up a fruitcake. I hope you don't mind entropy and flounder-flavored Christmas treats.

Mord.

P.S. I am gonna have to update the guide once I figure it out. Looks super easy!

Mord
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Re: Guide To Enlarging Unit Model Counts (or how to create your own Mass Effect Mod)

Post by Mord » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:21 am

Paul59 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:14 pm
If that is what it looks like in Notepad++ I don't think I would be able to achieve half of what I do!
All better now!

Mord.

rbodleyscott
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Re: Guide: Increasing Unit Model Counts (or How To Create Your Own Mass Effect Mod) UPDATED For Libre Office

Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:07 am

It is much easier to use the formatted .XLSX version of the file, and then save as .CSV. (Which is what the game actually uses)

That is what I do. I never try to edit the .CSV file directly.
Richard Bodley Scott

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Mord
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Re: Guide: Increasing Unit Model Counts (or How To Create Your Own Mass Effect Mod) UPDATED For Libre Office

Post by Mord » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:59 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:07 am
It is much easier to use the formatted .XLSX version of the file, and then save as .CSV. (Which is what the game actually uses)

That is what I do. I never try to edit the .CSV file directly.
Ahh, I never caught that when I was reading through the old posts. I remember reading that it wasn't needed in the mod/campaigns folder so I assumed I needn't bother with it.

Out of curiosity I opened the XLSX file and was surprised to find each dlc group was highlighted which makes it easy to see what was added with each release. The interesting part to me was that there are FoG base game entries highlighted that correspond with later releases, is this to denote that a dlc shares this unit? And my guess is that the odd colored entries (light tan/mauve/light blue) are entries that were edited/updated in patches?


Mord.

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Re: Guide: Increasing Unit Model Counts (or How To Create Your Own Mass Effect Mod) UPDATED For Libre Office

Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:53 pm

Apart from the dlc highlighting, other highlighting is mostly of points cost changes in updates
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