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X-Mod thread
04-02-2014, 10:46 PM,
#1
X-Mod thread
Gents,

There was a really good discussion on the X-Mod that I was able to separate out of a thread to keep it from hijacking the original post. In my quest to streamline the thread, I ended up deleting the entire thing, which goes to show you that you shouldn't try to do advanced database things without enough coffee in you.

My apologies to Dan, Ed and everyone discussing the X-Mod. Any questions about it should be left here so that Dan and Ed can field any questions about it. It seems like a really cool system that will allow a very new way to play most SB titles, all in the future....

I'm going to go drink some coffee now before I hurt myself!

Sorry guys.
Site Commander: Task Force Echo 4
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04-02-2014, 11:22 PM,
#2
RE: X-Mod thread
Do you guys have an screen shots available? It would be really nice to see what the x mod looks like. It would be also be nice to also see what the the weapons types and info screens look like.

Thanks
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04-03-2014, 12:28 AM,
#3
RE: X-Mod thread
Hey Chad.

The game looks the same. It's internal data that changes based on inputs.

Example: Grenada 5.56 AR rifle

[Image: Xmodexample_zpsdff9a06b.jpg]

By changing "Reliability" from A to X, the gun doesn't lose efficiency every time it fires.

It eliminates weapon supply and efficiency rating. We all know that SB should have had set up with ammo count and breakdowns like Squad Leader, but for some reason was coded to lose efficiency each time it fires.

Real life example:
The MG42 doesn't lose efficiency in real life. They could The MG42 for example could fire 250 rounds (each belt was 50 rounds) and then change the barrel in 10 seconds. The removed barrel would then cool down and they would do a swap again.

And you can eliminate the “rest feature” that never worked right. Alan or Jeff posted the current rest numbers awhile back and they are all over the place. Some numbers are totally screwy...

It isn't really anything new. Iron X did it for his mods like Red Star Over Europe for example. Frank did it
to make his Africa At War mod.

There are only two SB games out there with locked data. Advance of the Reich and Eagles Strike.
Every other SB title has unlocked data files and can have X turned on. Both of Jeff’s JT titles are unlocked. Even titles like Dien Bien Phu, Spanish Civil War and Winter War have the data files unlocked.

The systems can have more punch or less. You can adjust them based on real world data. Dan has researched weapons and adjusted where he feels they should be.

The scenarios I have played against Dan end of the same results. I have checked the end scenario results against the Blitz results of wins vs loses/ which side is favored. If a scenario was unbalanced
from the designer, then it's still that way with X mods enabled.

It's fun! You have to really think more about charging down the street that is covered by a MG Smile

Dan can add more to it. I am only the play tester Jester We have discussed it a lot and he has done
X mods for every SB title except AotR and ES. He's one smart cookie Big Grin2

I really want to try making mods of France 1940 & Poland 1939. Whistle
"Ideals are peaceful. History is violent."
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04-03-2014, 12:34 AM,
#4
RE: X-Mod thread
FWIW, Eagle's Strike data isn't locked, it just never got the X Efficiency update. It's on the books.
Site Commander: Task Force Echo 4
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04-03-2014, 12:42 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-03-2014, 12:50 AM by Richie61.)
#5
RE: X-Mod thread
(04-03-2014, 12:34 AM)TheBigRedOne Wrote: FWIW, Eagle's Strike data isn't locked, it just never got the X Efficiency update. It's on the books.

Opps. I forgot what I wrote last night. Big Grin

I found the thread about the current "rest & refit" data! Big Grin

Checkout the Eagles Strike settings..... Whip

http://www.theblitz.org/message_boards/s...light=rest

Jeff:
Quote:My main computer is in the shop and the only SB game I have installed on my new laptop is Korea. The values in Korea are 10% for the good guys and 8% for the bad guys. If I remember correctly, this means that the values will increase by a random selection between zero and the value per turn. So on average, your effectiveness should increase by 5% per turn for the UN forces and 4% per turn for the Communists.

Alan:
Quote:AoTR is 10 and 8.
Eagles Strike hasn't been adjusted, so 0-0
The two Pacific games main.pdts are 10-8
DBP is 10-8
RV's main.pdt is 5-5
SAW is 6-10
SCW is 4-4
TOD and VN are 8-6
WW is 5-5
Falklands is 10-2
FWW is 10-10 for all pdts
Modern War is surprisingly 10-10
"Ideals are peaceful. History is violent."
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04-03-2014, 06:42 AM,
#6
RE: X-Mod thread
I found my original post from last night.

Thanks guys for opening up the new thread and keeping it active.

Busy, as I just got home, but I'll post later with a bit more about details.





What is the X Mod?

It is a data base and parameters mod that BOTH players MUST be using. You CAN NOT have the mod installed and play some one else who is using stock files. That would be cheating, even though the other player on his op fire turn would enjoy your file settings. It still would be cheating.
Hence, you must also be an expert in the use of the Jones Mod Swapping Tool, or be meticulous about making manual back ups of your stock files.
It only takes about 5 seconds using Jones.

My nutshell description: It's a database mod that eliminates the stock SB system of weapon supply and efficiency. Basically, your weapon will fire just as good on turn 20 as it did on turn 1. Plus some other features as well. Like increased lethality, improved soldier rest and a unified weapons data vault, where for example your AK-47 would have the same stats and characteristics as you find it in other titles. This is currently not the case for all weapons.
It applies to all titles except Eagles Strike and Advance of The Reich. Which does not have the updated editors. I have written letters, asked questions and I personally, have never received a direct answer as to why AOTR was supposed to have the editor in patch 1.05 and somehow got left out.
There is also a Lima Company TOD mod and a conversion for playing Eagles Strike in the First World War title, but those haven’t been looked at for a while due to lack of demand.
Modern War has the latest version of the X Mod, but it’s always being worked on. If you’re an X Mod user, you’ll always be in the loop when an update comes out and given a link to download the latest version.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with playing stock Squad battles. I have played stock SBs since 2002. I was just looking for something different, fun, a mod.

I’m an ex moto-cross racer. At some point in a guys career, he mods his bike, to improve the handling or performance of it. Racing a stock bike is totally fine and many racers are more than satisfied with it. My bike was modified to make it faster and more competitive.
That’s what the X Mod does for SBs.
Many guys like the stock graphics and the stock game. That’s totally fine. The X Mod is just for guys who want something different and can easily switch back to stock to play other stock players.
If anyone else makes a their own version of the mod, I’m laying claim to the name of X Mod, as it’s been around since 2011.

If any one wants some more info or would like to join the X Mod Gruppe or “Ring” as some like to call such things, then feel free to email me.
Also if you if like playing the X Mod, you can access to some exclusive graphics that are not hosted anywhere. Jones works very good trying out new graphics too.
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04-03-2014, 10:03 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-10-2014, 07:10 AM by keif149.)
#7
RE: X-Mod thread
A few more details about the X Mod if any one is curious or having any questions.

Built by players for players

Background:
A few years ago, I created a Tour Of Duty Campaign that was played manually. Meaning not a game campaign. It had a full company of US Marines in Vietnam during 1968. All the soldiers had names, backgrounds etc. I noticed there were vehicles on the graphics sheet that was not included in the game. So I added those. I then set about trying to improve weapon efficiency and lethality. That didn’t go well as increasing lethality actually accelerated the weapon deficiency.
Eventually updates were done to the Squad battles series that including a new editor setting allowing weapons to have the X rating, and that basically began the X Mod.

The Mod:
As mentioned elsewhere, it’s a data base mod used to enhance the stock SBs data.
Again I’ll say, it is not intended to replace the stock SB game. The stock game is a tried and true effort of many years and many talented people. It has always been one of my favorite games and I own every title and possible mod for it. I just played a stock game of it last week.
This mod is for players who would like to try something different. Put a different spin on an old record and hopefully have fun doing it.

The X Mod requires no special scenarios or graphics to play. It can play any existing scenario out there. You can play it pbem or against the AI. Since you can play all the scenarios with it pbem, the games are qualified to be reported on the ladder.

Both players must have the mod installed and you cannot use the mod to play a person that only is using the stock files. That is cheating and will have consequences.

Since it requires no special graphics, you will not visually notice anything different. Start up screens are provided to let you know the mod is in place and if you are familiar with you stock weapon details, of course the new values will be displayed as you check them out.
Ed has made some super cool screens too, I might add.

Playing with it, you’ll notice far less shooting is required and you’ll be getting more results. Also you’ll notice your weapon does not loose it’s efficiency. Your troops still will loose efficiency as in the stock game, but resting them, no moving, shooting, or being shot at, you may notice them recovering at a higher rate. The stock system to rest and recovery still applies, but greater jumps in r and r will be possible. It’s still possible that resting several turns won’t bring your troops back to 100% as the game applies random rolls to determine this. Other time resting 1 turn and you may be back to 100%.

You’ll notice more results from your AFVs. Whether tank to tank or tank to troop. You won’t have to grind the enemy troops beneath your treads, although you still can if you like that. You can fire on them at normal tank ranges with HE and your MGs and get results.

Small unit tactics will apply through out the game. As Ed mentioned, if you’re in turn 8 of a 12 turn scenario and that enemy MG has been chattering away at from down the street, his efficiency has not dropped to 25%. If you dash your squad across that street to the buildings on the other side, you find them laying in a steaming pile. It’s like reading the back of the box on the original Squad Leader game.

It’s not an automatic blood bath. I have played countless firefights of troops being adjacent to each other having fantastic firefights. It’s not he who fires first wins, but that’s not such a bad idea anyway.

It is recommended to use the Quality Loss Modifier optional rule.

It is recommended to use the Alternate Fire Density optional rule.

Installation:
Using the Jones Mod Swapping Tool is highly recommended. It’s a sure way not to get your stock and modified files mixed up. Please, please, strive for this not to happen.
Jones is easy to use and takes up a very tiny amount of disk space. There are tutorials about how to use it. I think Chad wrote one and it’s at the Blitz. I may have one I wrote also. If you play JTCS, you’ll notice Jones comes with the 2.00 patch. The file structure applies the same way to Squad Battles. Jones is a great tool and can be used on any game from Panzer Campaigns to Combat Mission, from Panzer Battles to Napoleon. Plus, it’s free. Spam and virus clear also.

You can also back up your stock files manually too, if you’re more comfortable at doing that. Typically, the X Mod only encompasses about 5 small files. I know one player who does this manually and gets along fine.

Another way Jeff mentioned was to do a duel install of a game. Your stock game and an another install of it called Red Victory X Mod or what ever you may choose. Another sure way of not getting your files mixed up if you have the extra disk space.

What ever way works best for you is always the sure route.

Weapons and Loads:
All weapons have the X setting applied, as well as the loads. Lethality has been increased mainly on the whole. Penetration, and range are the stock settings.
However, I have compiled a master spread sheet of every load involved in the titles converted so far. Currently, it at 1322, unique, individual loads that are found in SBs. Every time a title is converted, it’s based on the current setting in the master file. Every time a title is updated, it’s settings are checked against the master file to see if any updates are needed. Eventually at some point, everything will be current and the only changes will come from further research and user suggestions. Of course new releases from JT will be entered into the master file and the process will continue.

Every game has a bit of abstraction and this mod does too. Being a fan of Vietnam and Tour Of Duty, the first thing that comes to my mind are the original issued M-16s compared to the chrome bore models. There will no rapid drop in the efficiency of the older weapon. That’s one example of a weapon system effected with the X setting. I’m sure there are many more. It’s something that has been sacrificed for the good of the whole.
Like building a road through hilly terrain, the tops of the hills are shaved off to fill the depressions, to eventually create a level, usable road base. Some things are built up while other torn down.
Also I’d like to mention that the master file is influenced by higher end values and by the more recent SB titles. For example, when I applied the X Mod to Franks Africa At War game, I was pleased to see many of my values were already in line with his. A few of his were actually higher than mine and I used those and they were entered into the master file. Jeff’s Grenada title was also checked against the master file and produced a few changes. The reasoning being the newer title reflect better research and years of prior game development that wasn’t available back in the early days of SBs.

I had ran some tests and noted how weapons depleted after constant firing. I don’t have the paper in front of me, but I believe on some typical Vietnam weapons they were depleted after only about 8 turns. Really not many results are produced once a weapon drops below 50%. So the longer scenarios were almost to the point of being boring and there are very few 10 turn or less scenarios. So the subject of supply does get abstracted when using the X Mod. One has to assume the soldiers have enough ammo on their person or being furnished to them to finish the scenario. One note, in the scenarios that a designer sets the ammo supply low, to say like 75%, that is what your weapon will start at. It won’t go any lower, but it will never climb to 100% . The original intention of the designer still remains. Ammo is in short supply.
Also noted if you get shot and drop the weapon, the efficiency will drop just as in the stock game. A 100% weapon will go to 50%. You can still lay down a weapon at no cost, just as in the stock game.

Vehicles:
I have a master file for vehicles also, currently at 1449, unique and individual entries.
I did not change the vehicles efficiency ratings. So they can and will break down just as their stock counter parts.
For the most part, I did not change vehicles armor ratings, other than to make them unified based on the master file. Again figures weighed on the higher end and influenced buy the most recent SB releases.
However, light armored vehicles in the 6 to 12 range were increased by 3 points. Jeeps, wagons, horses etc were not changed. The increases were the result of intensive study of .30 caliber rounds compared to results against 1\4 armor plate. Long story short, it works well.

Parameters:
The rest and recovery feature is pretty much covered above. The basic squad defense values were not changed also, except in FWW, year 1914. The other years have not been changed yet. The X Mod supplies more than enough firepower to replicate the lower squad defense value of the stock setting. Several 1914 battle have been played and the casualties piles are incredible.
Some common terrain feature now also feature common values. Regionally speaking.
The Plan:
The X Mod is available to anyone for the asking. Just email me through the Blitz or at keif149(AT)hotmail.com Request what you want and I’ll get it out to you if it’s available. I’ll then put your email address on a mailing list and every time a new conversion or update comes out, I’ll email you a link to download the latest files. Everyone will get the email and download the files as you need them. That way I won’t have to track who has what game.
If you’re worried that not enough people will play it if you go to the trouble of installing it, I will always give you a game of it. I have all of the titles and I’ll send 3 turns a week minimum. As more guys have it, just seek a game of it as you would normally, but, I won’t leave you hanging with out an opponent.
Titles completed so far:

Africa At War
Arab Israeli War
Dien Bien Phu
Falklands
Grenada
Modern War
Pacific War
Red Star Over Europe
Red Victory
Soviet Afghan War
Spanish Civil War
The First World War
The Korean War
The Long War
The Proud and the Few
Tour Of Duty
Vietnam
Winter War
World At War

There really is no schedule when the conversions happen or updates applied. Note that AOTR will come on and as well as ES someday, more effort will be applied. I belong to several ladders and still work full time, so I do what I can when I can.

Security:
Again utmost precaution must be taken as not to mix your modded and stock files. If you accidently do so, notify your opponent immediately.
If you are a stock player and feel some one is taking advantage of you, follow the rules as outlined by the Blitz. Contact a ladder commander in private. If you want to know who you are playing has the modified files, contact me and I’ll confirm or deny that player has the X Mod.
Data manipulation has always been possible. The X Mod is nothing new in that concern nor does it cause bad behavior. If some one was going to cheat, they probably have already done it. If something doesn’t feel right contact your commander or simply don’t play that guy again. It’s been this way since the first SB title was released.


Thanks!
To all for reading this novel and taking interest in the Mod. I’m pretty sure you’ll have fun with it. Some guys will like it and some will think it’s the stupidest thing ever.
Players can create their own versions, but please name it something else other than mine. It will be easier on the whole community.
A big thanks to Alan for allowing me this space to present this. And for putting up with me for nagging about AOTR and ES. Also for him going above beyond in getting the way clear for us to eventually have them. With out AOTR and ES I would not have continued. They are two of my favorites and apparently others by the play log and it wouldn’t seem right not to have them.
Thanks to Jeff and Chad as moderators and not objecting to this idea and by all of their hard work behind the scenes.
Thanks to Gordon and Anti for playing the X Mod and for their input along the way.
Finally, a super big thank you to my long time battle buddy Ed. AKA Richie61. His aid and assistance and patience with me goes beyond human means. He is involved with me and the X Mod nearly every day and positive attitude and outlook has kept me going when I was ready to scrap things on several occasions. His knowledge of war and battle has been a big help. His SB experience is only topped by Dennis. He has seen every angle to this game series and I am very proud and honored that the X Mod meets his approval.
Thank you very much Ed!

Good luck to everyone in all their games, stock or modified.

Keif149
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04-03-2014, 08:16 PM,
#8
RE: X-Mod thread
My biggest gripe with the SB series is the way ammo and wounds are modeled with efficiency setting..you soon have MG42's that are as lethal as a pea shooter.. something that really bothered me.

Now the X idea would solve this issue so I hope this will be done for all games in the series.
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04-04-2014, 12:40 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-04-2014, 12:51 AM by TheBigRedOne.)
#9
RE: X-Mod thread
There has always been a debate about the parameters within SB, especially on the Development Team. A lot of thought goes into scenario design and playability leveling itself out with overall lethality and effectiveness. A LOT of discussion went into the M-1A1 in Modern War. Part of that issue was dealing more with unrealistic tactics, especially folks who like to use their armor as roving steam-rollers, something I've never thought was a very realistic tactic, but is done quite often. By this I mean an individual tank searching out targets and instead of suppressing them with fire, simply running them over without any infantry support, like a combined assault on an objective. By this I mean if a tank sees a squad on a road, say 300m away, the 'realistic' thing to do would be to simply open fire. In SB a tank can cover that ground and roll over the infantry squad, something, to me, that isn't really realistic, but the engine allows it. Some changes to the PDTs over the years have changed which terrain armor can go and increase the immobilization factor in others, which helps slow down this type of play. I also never liked the fact that single shot weapons like RPGs or Bazooka degrade. Either you have the rockets, or you don't, although wear-and-tear does come into play. LAWs are single use weapons, but as we all know, if you carry more weapons, you get hit with a movement penalty. It's why I hate radios!

The thought of all weapons being somewhat immortal has some issues as well, but given the length of most SB scenarios, it isn't all that unrealistic. The key, I think, is keep the unit morale levels as they were when the scenario was designed and play with the Quality Loss Modifier on. This will temper the increase in lethality and lack of degradation because your casualty rate is now based on the soldier, not the weapon, which is a very realistic modifier to have in play under these circumstances. A D moraled soldier is not going to be as effective as an elite one. Not sure if you guys do that or edit the morales in the X-Mod, but I think it would be the true 'realism' modifier if you kept that part of the game as-is.

I think anything that increases playability and interest in the series is a good thing. I could envision an X-Modded Tourney in the future, if there was enough interest, and it could be coordinated properly.
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04-04-2014, 05:48 AM,
#10
RE: X-Mod thread
(04-04-2014, 12:40 AM)TheBigRedOne Wrote: Not sure if you guys do that or edit the morales in the X-Mod, but I think it would be the true 'realism' modifier if you kept that part of the game as-is.

No. I do not alter the scenario, oob or map files. As mentioned, no special scenario, oob or map files are needed. Everything in that regard is stock, including the original scenario designers settings for morale and ammo etc etc.

All X Mod battles completed to date have been with Quality Loss Modifier set to "On".

I would strongly recommend to players, especially new players, to play SBs in the stock configuration to experience the essence and spirit and true intent of the game developers and designers. After awhile, if they wish to try something different or to avoid burnout, switch over and play some battles with the X Mod.
If they follow at least two of the recommended installation suggestions, it will be as easy as changing their underwear, when it comes to switching back and forth between stock and modified.

If players wish to view my X Mod as the arcade version of Squad Battles, I will not be offended.

Above all, players should have fun playing either or both versions.

I hope players give it a try, although I think they might be put off by managing files.

Cheerio.
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