Hi everyone. I am thinking of creating a mod - or sort of mod - for MTW2, and was hoping to get some comments and advice from more experienced modders.

What I am thinking of is building a simple MTW2 multiplayer campaign engine as a stand-alone application, which generates custom multiplayer battles and invokes MTW2 to enable the players to fight the battles. The idea is not to try and recreate the complex campaign system of MTW2, but rather to create a simple, abstract system that allows two teams of players to fight a series of multiplayer battles with a sense of being part of an ongoing campaign. It would work more like a card game than an RTS game. To try and make this clearer, let me describe one way it might work:

  • Players form two teams. Each team has a 'general', who actually runs the campaign program.
  • Each team selects their faction(s) and purchases an initial army.
  • Each team is given a 'hand' of three random 'terrain cards'.
  • The first battle is fought on open plains. A suitable custom battle is generated, MTW2 is invoked, and all the players join, fight the battle, then exit. The campaign program then reads the results and tracks the losses, experience gained etc.
  • The loosing team retreats, and can 'play' a terrain card. The card they play determines the terrain the next battle is fought on. It also determines what reinforcements they receive (the more defensible the terrain, the fewer reinforcements).
  • The winner gets reinforcements too, but fewer than the looser. They also are given another 'terrain card'.
  • The next battle is then fought on the terrain selected by the loosing team, and they play as defenders.
  • And so it would go on until a team runs out of terrain cards.

What this would give is a simple, but hopefully engaging, campaign mode that two or more people could use to play a series of interlinked battles. Even as described above, it has scope for things like tactical widthdrawals, and the 'game system' could be elaborated in many ways over time.

So, after all that background, my questions to all you experienced modders are about the functions I need from MTW2 to implement the system I have described:

  1. Is there a way for my program to invoke MTW2 directly into multiplayer mode with a custom battle loaded?
  2. Does MTW2 generate some sort of battle log, from which my program could pick up the results of each battle?
  3. Is there a good source of information on the syntax and format of the custom battle files? (I'm assuming they are still text files as in RTW!)

Plus, of course, do you have any comments of the general feasibility and/or sanity of the whole idea?