Editing and Creating OOB and PDT files in Jutland & Tsushima

A scenario in Jutland or Tsushima (from here on out, I'll just refer to Jutland, but what I say here is true for both games) consists of 3 files. First of all is the "OOB", or order of battle file. This file contains the list of ships and formations involved in a given battle. The second is the ".pdt" file, or "parameter data" file. This has the game parameters, such as gun accuracy, critical hits percentage and the like. Finally is the ".scn" or scenario file, which has the starting location, victory conditions, description and the like.

The .scn file is the easiest to work with. This is the file that the included scenario editor works with. When you open it, it will ask if you which existing scenario you wish to edit. If you want to make a new scenario, click "cancel" then go to the file menu and click on "New". It will ask you what .oob file you wish to use, and then which .pdt file you wish to use. When you have chosen those files, just follow the instructions in the documentation. Note, that just because a ship is in the .oob, does not mean you have to put it on the map.

Now, let us turn our attention to the .oob file itself. (Important Note: Do not modify the stock .oob and .pdt files included with the game. If you wish to change them, save the new version under a new name) The files are fairly simple to work with, I use either Notepad or Wordpad to edit them, and it works fine.

There are three stock .oob files included with Jutland, one each for Dogger Bank, Helgioland Bight and Jutland (used by all the various Jutland scenarios). However, there are a number of ships in the game (especially after the 1.01 patch) which are not found in any of the stock .oob files. Also, you may wish to create a scenario where the say the Blucher is in a battle along with the German Battleships. The only way to do this is by either modifying an existing .oob file, or else creating one. If you only wish to make small changes, it is generally easier to simply modify an existing file.

The first thing to do is to open the file ships.dat (I use Notepad). Print this file out. This is not a file you can modify, but it will give you a list of every ship in the game, and more importantly, it will tell you what the 2 letter code for every class of ship is.

Now that you have your ships list, the next step is to look at the syntax of the .oob file. The format is not terribly difficult, but it is very exacting. Basically, there are two types of entries you will make. The first is a "command level" A command level is a group of ships that all belong to the same unit, be it a Fleet, a Squadron or a Division. The second type of entry is an individual ship.

The syntax of a command level is like this

CommandLevel # Name

The Command Level is designated by a single letter. From High to Low, the Command Levels are G F S D. So, often a squadron (S) will have 2 separate Divisions (D) in it, forming a hierarchy. I will show you how to do this a bit later.

The # is the number the computer will use to keep track of that formation. Note, the specific number used is not important so long as it is never used again.

Name is the name of the unit. For example "The Grand Fleet"

So, for example, we could have

F 100 Grand Fleet - F is the command level "fleet" 100 is the group number, and Grand Fleet is the name.

The very first line of either side is the same as this, except it starts with SideA or SideB so, for example for the German fleet SideB F 300 High Seas Fleet

Now, the next line after any command level must be "Begin". Then, when you have finished that command level, you put "End" That says what ships are in that group. Every command level must have one begin and one end. It generally works best if you use indenting (as the stock oobs do) in order to keep track of it.

Now, we have our command groups, so it is time to start entering ships. The Syntax here is: P # Ship Code Name

P is a marker telling the program that this is a ship. So, every ship line starts with P # is the ship number. Just like the number in the command level. Again, do not repeat this number on any other ship or command level.

Ship Code: This is a two letter code that is found in the ship.dat file I had you print out before. For example, the Lion is "LI"

Name: The name of the ship. If you make a custom OOB, you are responsible for adding the names of all your ships.

So, for example: P 0 LI Lion would add the HMS Lion to the game.

For numbers, I've not found that the numbers used make a big difference, so I simply recommend that you choose a system that you are comfortable with. My usual approach is this:

0-99 RN ships
100-199 RN Command Levels
200-299 KM Ships
300-399 KM Command Levels.

So, a short sample OOB would look like this
SideA G 100 The Grand Fleet
    F 101 The Battle Fleet
      S 102 First Battle Squadron
        D 103 First Division
          P 0 DN Dreadnaught
          P 1 NT Neptune
          P 2 QE Queen Elizabeth
          P 3 QE Barham
        D 104 Second Division
          P 4 RS Royal Sovereign
          P 5 RS Revenge
          P 6 ID Iron Duke
      S 105 First Battlecruiser Squadron
        D 106 First BC Division
          P 7 RO Renown
          P 8 LI Lion
          P 9 QM Queen Mary
SideB G 300 High Seas Fleet
  P 200 KI Kaiser
  S 301 First Battle Squadron
    P 201 KI Kaiserin

A few things to notice on this OOB. The RN First Battle Squadron is set up so that it includes 2 divisions. That is how you have hierarchy in formations. Also, notice that in the German part of the OOB, the Battleship Kaiser is actually not included in any subgroup, but is instead attached to the Top "G" command level itself. That is how you have a single ship be the Fleet Flag.

The most common errors I've found in OOB construction are

1) A failure to have your Begin and End set up properly. Make sure every command level has a begin and end, and in the proper place.

2) repeating numbers. If you have this, a good clue is when you try to deploy ships on the map in the scenario editor, the same ship shows up twice, even if you don't have it in the oob twice. The computer sees the number and goes from there.

The best way to doublecheck an oob file is to open up the scenario editor and try to create a scenario using it. If the ships dialogue doesn't show the ships properly, you know you have a problem. Often though, it will give you a clue where the problem is. If you open it, and it shows part of the ships and stops suddenly, look in the oob at the point where it stops. Odds are good the problem is there.

Now that you have your .oob working, it's time to go on to the .pdt. This is alot easier, and there really isn't much point in making a new one, just edit an existing one to get what you want. If you open the jutland.pdt file in notepad, you will see this:

0.027 0.031
0.035 0.01
12000 50 24
14 7
5000 1000 50 240
0 1
0.25 0.25

So, what are all of these lines? Let's look at them one by one.

1 - this is the "version number". This is simple. Don't change it.

0.027 0.031 - This is the firing accuracy RN, then KM. So, in this file, the RN has a 2.7% base chance to hit per shot.

0.035 0.01 This is the Critical Hit Percentage. So, 3.5% of hits in this .pdt on RN ships will cause a critical hit.

12000 50 24 This is the Secondary Guns line. It is Range, fire value, and reload time (12000 yards, fv 50, reload in 24 seconds)

14 7 Home Direction Value. Count clockwise with due N being 1 and each "step" adding 1. So for the RN it is NW, for the KM it is SSE (values are from 1(N) to 15 (NNW))

5000 1000 50 240 Torpedo Range/Mine Visibility/Smoke Value/Smoke Time (Smoke Value is how many "puffs" a ship can make.. duration is how long they last)

0 1 - Is a Group turn of greater than 90 degrees allowed. Toggle 0=no, 1=yes (so the RN Cannot, the KM can)

0.25 0.25 is the aggressivness level, used by the AI when playing against the computer (I think)

So, the simple way to deal with a .pdt is just to open it, make the change you want (such as increasing RN accuracy to .3) and save the file under a new name.

If you use Notepad to work with any of these files, you may have to go and change the file extention from .txt to either .oob or .pdt as necessary.

I hope this helps you work with scenario design for Jutland and Tsushima.

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