TOAW IV: Game parameters and player options

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Clicking on the Set Game Options button on the Start New Game dialog brings up the Set Advanced Game Options dialogs in sequence. There are two dialogs. The first dialog sets the Game Parameters, which apply to both players (Game Parameters may not be changed during PBEM games). The second dialog sets the Player Options, which apply only to you (and may be changed at any time, even during PBEM games). The Player Options dialog has two pages. The Player Options dialog also includes the Programmed Opponent Options.

Game Parameters

TOAW IV Advanced Game Options.png
  • Command and Control: Turning this off will cause your Formations and units to never “reorganize.” They will always be available for Move and Attack orders.
  • Scenario Variability: Turning this off will cause Scenarios to always end exactly on the historical ending Turn. Any events with a 50% or greater possibility will always occur, and any events with less than 50% probability will never occur.
  • Fog of War: Turning this off will always give you full information on the locations of all enemy units.
  • Environment: Turning this off will cause Weather and Time of Day to have no effect. This includes Mud and Snow effects as well.
  • Active Disengagement: Turning this off allows all units to disengage from enemy units automatically. In effect, Disengagement Attacks are not allowed.
  • No Borders: You can only see borders and supply rates for hexes that your forces are adjacent to or have occupied this Turn. This is an additional means of increasing Fog of War.
  • High Supply: This gives a boost of 50% to the resupply rate. Scenarios designed with very early versions of TOAW often had drastically under-supplied forces due to a misunderstanding of the total amount of supply that would be received by on-map units. Use this to counterbalance that effect and for games between very aggressive players.
  • New Flanking Rules: If on, when the defender has two non-adjacent hexes that he can’t be attacked from (for example, one sea hex to the NW and one friendly unit to the NE), then attackers 120 degrees apart no longer cause a flanking attack. Against such a defender, it is only considered a flanking attack if the attacker has units that are 180 degrees apart. Previously, if you had a horizontal front on the map, it would have multiple flanks exposed because of the zigzag of the hexes on that axis. This option is intended to make sure that even though the line zigzags, it won’t introduce cases where units are subject to flanking, when they probably shouldn’t be. Possible consequences include making it easier to defend and making map edges and impassable terrain features more important.
  • Advanced Rules: If on, Advanced Rules are applied. If off, Standard Rules are applied.
  • New Turn Order Rules: If on, this option will better equalize the two player-turns. The details are listed Player-Turn Equalization (AKA “New Turn Order Rules”) (Optional).
  • New Supply Rules: If on, this option offers a more realistic supply model. The details are listed in Unit Supply.
  • Trusted PBEM: If on, legacy PBEM games can export an XML file for loading into the editor. Also, Elmer Assist may be used by players.
  • New Bridge Destruction Rules: If on, bridges will only exist, and be subject to destruction, in locations where the road terrain graphically crosses the river/canal terrain. This will affect both bridge-blowing by units and bridge attacks by aircraft.
  • Mud and Snow Rules: If this advanced rule is optioned, when snow melts, it is converted to mud. Furthermore, mud dries out proportionate to temperature. (Cold: very little; Hot: very fast). This will facilitate the creation of mud seas.  

Note that Game Options may be preset by the scenario designer. See Designer Game Options Preferences.

Note that Game Options settings cannot be changed once set although different games may have different rules set.

Player Options

TOAW IV Player options page 1.png

Player Options - Page 1

  • Air Staff Assistant: The Air Staff Assistant can handle all your Air unit orders for you: The Air Staff Assistant will place all Air units under computer control. As in the Standard Rules of the game, you may override specific Air unit orders for any given Turn; just select any unit and Mission as you would normally. The Air Staff Assistant can be toggled from the Advanced Game Options window as well as from the Air Unit Management window. If you turn the Assistant on from the Air Unit Management window, all Air units will immediately be assigned Air Missions by the assistant.
  • Tool Tip Show (10 – 100000 msec): This sets how long the cursor must remain stationary over one spot before the Tool Tip appears.
  • Tool Tip Hide (1-100): This sets how long the Tool Tip remains shown, in seconds, before it is hidden.
  • Menu Show Delay: This sets how long the right mouse button must be held down before the Movement Popup appears. If set to 1, the Movement Popup automatically appears without delay.
  • Moving Selects Next Unit: If on, the next unit becomes the active unit after the current unit completes its move. This has no effect if the Menu Show Delay is set to 1 (the current unit remains the active unit, regardless).
    • Note that default is to set the above two options to 1 and 0. if the above two are set to 5 and 1 then you can make simple moves and attacks without popping up the menu that includes the full options unless you hold down on the right mouse button. This can help beginning players, people looking for a simpler experience and people on touch enabled tablets. You can still access the full menu by holding down on the right mouse button.
  • Detailed Combat Reports: Turning this off means the details of a battle normally displayed after each combat will not appear. Disaster notifications will also not be displayed. You can still access the combat reports using the combat summary that will appear at the end of the turn instead. This option can be toggled during play via the Play menu.
  • Show PO Assist Buttons: If on, the four PO Assist Buttons are shown at the bottom of the Control Panel. This only applies if you are in the classic view.
  • Double click opens planner: If on, a double click on a target hex will open the Combat Planner for that hex. Note that, if enabled, this is a method to avoid causing the defender to Retreat Before Combat, if that is desired. You can also hover over the hex and hit the P key to open the combat planner.
  • Double-click opens group composition dialog: If on, a double click on a target hex will open the group composition dialog for that hex.
  • Allow Huge Map View: If on, the Huge Map View is available for viewing. (Turning this off can avoid frequent accidental map resizing if your mouse is acting up.)
  • Support PNG Graphics: This parameter is now obsolete. The TOAW IV graphics package is always used. Only by physically replacing it or overriding it in a higher priority folder can another package be accessed.
  • Movies: This option creates two BMP files in the Saves directory at the end of each player’s Turn. One is of the entire map at the microview scale; the other is of the entire map zoomed out (small 2D mode) scale. This can be used for creating AARs and to keep track of your general campaign progress. You can link these images together using second-party graphics software and view your progress towards victory (or defeat) as a snapshot movie. Keep in mind two things when using this option. First, the time that it takes to write this file depends on the speed of your machine and the size of the map. You will see the hourglass cursor to let you know the game is working on writing the image to a file. This may take a few minutes on slower machines, especially when writing large maps. Second, BMP files can be very large in terms of file size. As with the SitRep logs, you should clean out those you won’t be using for movies on a regular basis. You can also use your favorite graphics software to convert these files to JPG format in order to save disk space.
  • Auto Save Large Movies: In the above feature, the save of the main map can be very time consuming for large scenarios. This allows that part of the above feature to be skipped. If off, only the micromap part is saved.
  • JPEG quality (1-100): This determines the quality of the above saves. Lowering it can save file size at the expense of quality.
  • Brightness Percent (0-1000): Users can vary the brightness to their preference with this option. Most users will leave it at 0.
  • Contrast Percent (0-1000): Users can vary the contrast to their preference with this option. Most users will leave it at 0.
  • Background Volume (1-100): Users can vary the background volume to their preference with this option. This affects background Music and/or background Battle Sounds.  Most users will leave it at 100.
  • Effects Volume (1-100): Users can vary the non-background sound effects volume to their preference with this option. Most users will leave it at 100.

Programmed Opponent (PO) Options

  • Intelligence: This sets the level of optimization in the Programmed Opponent [the Computer]. In most cases, the Programmed Opponent will search larger areas, make multiple passes at problem solutions, and optimize the order in which it does things more heavily at higher levels. This results in more intelligent play at some cost in execution time.
  • Handicap/Cheat: This sets the level of advantage for the human or Programmed Opponent in human vs. computer games. There is no advantage if “None” is selected. Selecting Human +1 or Human +2 gives increasing advantages (supplies, rest, strength modifiers, etc.) to a human player; selecting Computer +1 or Computer +2 gives the same increasing advantages to the programmed opponent.

Player Options – Page 2

TOAW IV Player Options 2.png
  • Group Background Alpha: Dialog Groups Elements Alpha Channel setting.
  • Inner Background Alpha: Dialog Around Elements Alpha Channel setting.
  • Outer Background Alpha: Dialog Outside Edge Alpha Channel setting [set to zero will make Dialog Boxes transparent].
  • Background is Opaque: Indicates whether the background is opaque.
  • SitRep Log: This creates a text file in the Saves directory that contains news and detailed combat reports. If playing a PBEM Turn, then the news and only the last two lines of the combat reports and their locations are displayed. When using this option, players should make a habit of deleting their old logs on a regular basis to save hard drive space. This can be helpful for reviewing large maps. In a PBEM game the log is less detailed.
  • TOAWLog: Generates a detailed log intended for Scenario design and bug reporting.
  • Uberdude: Generates messages intended for debugging and scenario design. It will show things like whether an event was fired.  It will show messages not intended to be seen, which are indicated by the word 'debug' in the news string.
  • Unit PO log: Detailed log intended for debugging the PO.
  • PO log: Log intended to help optimize the PO for a scenario.
  • Allow mouse wheel zoom: Can be turned off if you have an over-sensitive mouse wheel.
  • No Update: Meant for computer vs computer play when trying to tune the PO. This should only be set to that for that purpose, it can lead to units not moving on the map and other issues.
  • No Delay: This removes the animation delay; the Shift and Caps Lock key do the same thing during play.
  • PO Random Seed: Random numbers in the computer aren’t truly random, they are generated from an algorithm. a seed of 103458 will always generate the same sequence of numbers. This means that if you make the same attacks and moves in the same order, you can get repeatable results which is great for bug reports. -1 means use the seed from the save file, 0 means generate a new one, any positive number means use that as the seed. See Default Options.
  • Movement Animation Timer: How many milliseconds between frames during movement.
  • Combat Animation Timer: How many milliseconds between frames during combat.
  • Additional Option Editors:
  • PBEM++ Data Editor: Let’s you edit the serial number, email and password for PBEM++ games. The three text input prompts are each 19 characters max.
  • DBR Color Editor: Change the Displayed Bombardment Range colors that show the various on-map ranges. The seven DBR categories each have a hexadecimal value input prompt. Each color is illustrated via a color swatch. The check box selects whether the DBRs are displayed in-game as hexagonal or circular.
  • Counter Values Editor: Allows you to edit what values are shown on the unit counter. The 'M' Hotkey will cycle thru these values on the unit counter. A maximum of six options can be programmed (the Unit Icon Display button on the Control Panel cycles through the programmed options in game). Each row on the dialog programs an option. Four are strength options, and two are movement options. This can include not only the ones you’d expect but also a summary of the values for the stack plus things like engineering and AA values. The first strength option and the first movement option are each always active. The check boxes toggle whether each additional option is active or inactive. Each strength option has two values displayed on the counter. Each movement option only shows one value on the counter. Left clicking on a strength option increments it to the next Strength Category in sequence. Right-clicking on a strength option pops up the Strength Category Menu. There are twenty-two Strength Categories. Each has both a normal and a Stacked version, for a total of forty-four options in the menu. The Stacked version is that strength summed for all units in a stack. The 22 Strength Categories are described in Additional Unit Numbers Options. The movement options are simple: The Remaining Movement Allowance is always active, and the Unit Time Stamp is the only option. It can be toggled on or off. There are two buttons at the bottom that will set either Basic or Advanced Defaults. Basic Defaults sets the same two options as under TOAW III and before. Advanced Defaults presets a full set of six options.

Fonts Editor

Allows you to edit the fonts used in the game. Most dialogs should expand or contract to best fit the fonts you want to use. There are a few dialogs which may not change size and the tooltip font must be a TrueType™ to display properly.

There are 39 different fonts programmed in TOAW IV. They are arranged in a menu of 13 rows x 3 columns in this editor. How each one is used is shown in the Info Panel when the mouse is over each font button in this editor. Clicking on any of the 39 buttons launches the corresponding individual Font Editor.

Edit Fonts [within the Fonts Editor]

There are two columns of ten buttons and one check box each. The first button on the first column is unique in that a left-click allows entering the font name while a right-click calls up the Font Menu.

The font names listed in the Font Menu are the font names that are provided by Windows plus the font names provided by TOAW IV (in the My Fonts folder). But you may have more font names available on your computer, especially if you have MS Office installed. Such font names would have to be hand entered via the left-click option above. There are five more buttons on each column that allow setting of various numerical font parameters. There is one spare button that does nothing (included just to keep the rows aligned).

Finally, there are two check boxes. The first sets whether Windows fonts are used instead of the old TOAW III bitmapped fonts. If the bitmapped fonts are selected, all other parameters are blanked out to avoid confusion, since they then have no effect. The other checkbox sets whether the font has a background or not. If it is not checked, the Background Color is disabled (since there then is no background).

Once all individual fonts desired have been edited and the Fonts Editor is exited, the font changes are saved to disk in the Opart4 Fonts.ini file. Note that the Player Options settings are stored in an external file called Opart4.ini. This file also includes a suite of other player parameters that aren’t available on the Player Options dialog. The file can be edited in a text editor if those parameters need to be changed. See TOAW IV: Opart stored player parameters file for details on this file.

There is another external file called Opart4 Fonts.ini that stores the font choices.

Default Options

Note that the settings for Tool Tip Show and Tool Tip Hide” can turn Tool Tips on and off. And Menu Show Delay can turn the movement popup window on and off. While players should not find effecting their choices difficult, there is, nevertheless, an aide to assist with it. On the “Play” pulldown in the game, note that there is an option of “Default Options”.

Selecting “Updated Defaults” will set those three values to use Tool Tips and skip the movement popup (TOAW will employ these two new features). Selecting “Classic Defaults” will set those three values such to turn both features off (TOAW will function like older versions did).

Cheat Prevention

There is now a PORandomSeed parameter in the Opart4.ini file. If set to 0 (default) it will always use the next random number. If set to -1, it will always use the random number stored in the save file. If set to a number, it will use that number. PBEM games are always treated as -1. This means that unedited reloads of a .PBL PBEM or PBEM++ game will always produce the same results. This also means that Matrix will be able to reproduce bug reports.

Note that this guarantees that reloading can’t tamper with PBEM interturn calculation results via the reloading cheat. It will also make it more difficult to change PBEM combat results via the reloading cheat (but not render it impossible, of course).

A read-only PBEM End of Turn file is generated that allows their reviewing the state of your units.