A Guide To Export_Descr_Unit.txt

By SubRosa

The Export_Descr_Unit.txt is located in the RTW\Data folder. It is often referred to as simply EDU. This might be considered the core or master file used in creating and managing units, as it contains the internal names used for the unit throughout the rest of the game files.

Every unit in the game is represented in this file, which lists its combat statistics, as well as how many soldiers are in a unit, what model it should use on the battle map, how much it costs to recruit, what voice to use with it, and other miscellaneous data. Here is a sample unit:

type barb scythian noblewomen scythian
dictionary scythian_noble_women_scythian ; Scythian Noble Women
category cavalry
class missile
voice_type Female_1
soldier barb_scythian_noblewoman, 27, 0, 1
mount light horse
mount_effect elephant -8, camel -4
attributes sea_faring, hide_forest, cantabrian_circle
formation 3, 4, 6, 6, 4, square
stat_health 1, 0
stat_pri 8, 4, arrow, 170, 30, missile, archery, piercing, none, 25 ,1
stat_pri_attr no
stat_sec 7, 5, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, piercing, knife, 25 ,1
stat_sec_attr no
stat_pri_armour 6, 3, 0, metal
stat_sec_armour 0, 0, flesh
stat_heat 2
stat_ground 0, -2, -4, 2
stat_mental 8, normal, untrained
stat_charge_dist 40
stat_fire_delay 0
stat_food 60, 300
stat_cost 1, 660, 130, 70, 100, 660
ownership scythia

Now let us explore this crucial file line by line.

Type - The internal name of the unit. Note this not necessarily the same as what you see when playing the game. This is the name used to refer to the unit in Export_Descr_Buildings.txt, Descr_Strat.txt, the Descr_Sounds_x.txt files, and Descr_Mercenaries.txt. Note that unit names do not have spaces between words in this line.

Dictionary - This is another internal name used to identify the unit in Export_Units.txt and Export_Descr_Unit_Enums.txt. It also identifies the unit cards for it. Note that names here do have spaces between words. The text after the semicolon ; is ignored by the game (the semicolon remarks out sections of text), it is only there to make it easier for the human readers of this file to tell what unit they are looking at.

Category - This is used by the AI to determine unit placement in formations (Descr_Formations_Ai.txt and Descr_Formations.txt), as well as what units to recruit in the singleplayer campaign. Options are:

  • infantry
  • cavalry
  • siege handler
  • ship
  • non_combatant

Class - Again, this is used for unit placement in formations and recruitment. Options are:

  • light
  • heavy
  • missile
  • spearmen

Voice_type - Used to determine the type of voice used by the unit. Options are:

  • Light_1
  • Medium_1
  • Heavy_1
  • Female_1
  • General_1

Soldier - From left to right this is:

  • Name of the soldier model to use in Descr_Model_Battle.txt (this is also the name used to create sprites).
  • The number of ordinary soldiers in the unit (this is at Normal unit scale. It is half this number at Small scale, twice at Large, and four times at Huge.
  • The number of extras (pigs dogs, elephants, chariots artillery pieces etc attached to the unit)
  • The collision mass of the men. 1.0 is normal. Only applies to infantry, and is their ability to "push" back other units.

Officer - Name of officer model to use in Descr_Model_Battle.txt. There may be up to 0-3 officer lines per unit

Ship - Type of ship used if applicable

Engine - Type of siege engine used by the unit (if applicable).

Animal - The type of non-ridden on animals used by the unit. Found in Descr_Animals.txt Options are:

  • wardogs
  • pigs

Mount - Type of animal or vehicle ridden on, found in Descr_Mount.txt Options are:

  • camel
  • camel cataphract
  • elephant african
  • elephant african cataphract
  • elephant forest
  • elephant indian
  • elephant oliphant
  • light horse
  • medium horse
  • heavy horse
  • generals horse
  • horse cataphract
  • egyptian chariot
  • heavy chariot
  • chariot_water_trail
  • scythed chariot
  • scoprion cart

Mount_effect - Positive or negative factors to add when in combat against enemy units that have the specified mounts. Up to three factors may be specified, which may be classes of mount, or specific types. Options include:

  • elephant x
  • camel x
  • horse x
  • chariot x

Attributes - A miscellaneous list of attributes and abilities the unit may have. Including:

  • sea_faring = The unit can board ships
  • hide_forest, hide_improved_forest, hide_long_grass, hide_anywhere = The unit can hide in this terrain
  • can_sap = The unit can dig tunnels under walls
  • frighten_foot, frighten_mounted = The unit causes fear to specified nearby unit types
  • can_run_amok = The unit may go out of control when riders lose control of animals
  • general_unit = The unit can be used for a named character's bodyguard
  • cantabrian_circle = The unit has this special ability
  • no_custom = The unit may not be selected in custom battles
  • command = The unit carries a legionary eagle, and gives bonuses to nearby units
  • mercenary_unit = The unit is a mercenary unit available to all factions
  • hardy, very hardy = The unit takes longer to suffer the effects of fatigue, and recovers from them quicker
  • warcry = Grants attack bonus of +10. It takes 10 seconds to activate, and has a 30 second duration
  • druid = The chanting ability of Druids
  • screeching_women = The screeching ability of Screeching Women
  • can_swim = (BI only) The unit can swim
  • can_horde = (BI only) This is a horde unit
  • legionary_name = (BI only) Gives a legionary name and number to the unit based on the region it is recruited from

Formation - From left to right:

  • soldier spacing (in meters) side to side, then front to back for close formation
  • followed by the same measurements in loose formation.
  • followed by the default number of ranks for the unit
This is followed by the formations possible for the unit. A unit may only possess two. Options are:
  • square (The standard infantry formation, really a rectangle)
  • horde (The round formation that units like Peasants use)
  • phalanx
  • testudo
  • wedge
  • (cavalry only)
  • schiltrom (BI only)
  • shield-wall (BI only)

Stat_health - Hit points of each soldier, followed by hit points of attached animal (if applicable) Ridden horses and camels do not have separate hit points

Stat_pri - Details of unit's primary weapon. If the unit has a missile weapon it must be the primary. From left to right:

  • Attack factor
  • Attack bonus factor if charging
  • Missile type fired (no if not a missile weapon type) This is found in Descr_Projectile_New.txt)
  • Range of missile
  • Amount of missile ammunition per soldier
  • Weapon type = melee, thrown, missile, or siege_missile
  • Tech type = simple, other, blade, archery or siege
  • Damage type = piercing, blunt, slashing or fire. (This does not appear to be used)
  • Sound type when weapon hits = none, knife, mace, axe, sword, spear
  • Min delay between attacks (in 1/10th of a second)

Stat_pri_attr - These are the Primary Weapon's attributes. Options include:

  • ap = armour piercing. Only counts half of target's armour
  • bp = body piercing. Missile can pass through men and hit those behind
  • spear = Used for long spears. +8 vs. cavalry and -4 defense vs infantry
  • light_spear = Same as spear, but unit has less pushing power than Spear.
  • spear_bonus_x = used with spear or light_spear. This adds an extra bonus (x) to the effect.
  • long_pike = Use very long pikes. Phalanx capable units only.
  • short_pike = Use shorter than normal spears. Phalanx capable units only.
  • prec = Missile weapon is thrown just before charging into combat. It can still be used in "Fire At Will" mode.
  • thrown = The missile type if thrown rather than fired.
  • launching = attack may throw target men into the air.
  • area = attack affects an area, not just one soldier

Stat_sec - This details a secondary weapon, if the unit has one. The stats are the same as for Stat_Pri (a value of no means no secondary weapon). If the unit rides on, or has attached animals or vehicles then the secondary weapon details refer to their attacks. If the unit has missile weapons the secondary weapon will be the one used for melee. If the unit has a primary melee weapon, it may have a secondary side arm.

Stat_sec_attr - The same as Stat_Pri_Attr

Stat_pri_armour - This lists the soldier's defenses. When added together this is the Defense value you see in the unit's description in the game. From left to right:

  • Armour value
  • Defensive skill value (this does not apply vs. missiles)
  • Shield value (only used for attacks from the front of left)
  • Sound type when hit (flesh, leather, or metal)

Stat_sec_armour - Details of animal's or vehicle's defenses (ridden horses do not have a separate defense). As per Stat_Pri_Armour, except there is no shield entry.

Stat_heat - This is modifies how quickly the unit suffers fatigue in hot climates.

Stat_ground - Attack modifiers on different ground types. From left to right

  • scrub
  • sand
  • forest
  • snow

Stat_mental - From left to right:

  • Morale
  • Discipline, this determines how quickly a unit loses and regains morale, it can be low, normal, disciplined, impetuous, or berserker. Impetuous units may charge without orders. Berserker units can go berserk.
  • Training, this is how orderly the unit's formation is.

Stat_charge_distance - Distance from the enemy that the unit will begin charging

stat_fire_delay - An extra delay between missile attacks over that imposed by the animation.

Stat_food - This is not used

stat_cost - From left to right:

  • Number of turns to build
  • Cost of unit to construct
  • Cost of upkeep
  • Cost of upgrading weapons
  • Cost of upgrading armour
  • Cost for custom battles

Stat_ownership - List of factions and cultures that may have this unit in Multiplayer, Custom Battles, and the Single-Player campaign (the latter only if they are also made recruitable in Export_Descr_Buildings.txt).