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Adding Carriers to Campaigns

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Adding carriers to campaigns


This article will explain what needs to be done in order to get aircraft carriers show up in-game during a campaign.

I assume that you know the basic terms, how to extract files using the SFP1 cat extractor, install 3rd party add-ons and edit game files. I do also assume that you have got the KMD mission editor and know how to determine positions on the terrain map.


Several aspects related to carrier operations in the Thirdwire sims will be addressed here:

- Basic requirements & limitations

- How to modify terrain & campaign files to enable carrier operations

- Additional information


Basic requirements for Carrier Ops:

- Your game should be fully patched (v. 08.30.06*)

- You will need an aircraft carrier (obviously)

> Aircraft carriers are treated as ground objects and only WOV has carriers by default

> There are plenty of 3rd party aircraft carriers available. Some of them, however, need some tweaking to get them to

work properly in-game. What may need to be done will be explained later.

- You may need to modify the targets.ini of some terrains as well. How to do that will be explained here also.



- Operating from an aircraft carrier is only possible in campaigns or missions made with the mission editor. It is not possible to fly from an aircraft carrier during a single mission created by the in-game mission generator


How to modify terrain & campaign files to enable carrier operations

Carriers act basically in-game as floating runways, however their placement is done in different manner than land-based runways. Land-based runways (also known as Airfields, Air Bases, etc.) are placed through the [terrainname]_targets.ini.

This file is also needed to place a carrier on the map, but it's not the carrier itself that is placed here, but just the location where it could be placed. The actual placement of the carrier is done by the [campaignname]_data.ini.

Several terrains are not prepared by default for carrier operations. To find out whether the terrain supports carriers or not, open the targets.ini and search for the term "CarrierStation". Should the terrain support carrier operations (such as the stock WOV terrain, VietnamSEA), you will find a target area that would look like this:



Name=[carrier station name] < regardless how it's named, the name is important for the campaign_data file.

Position=xxxxxx.xx,yyyyyy.yy < position of the carrier on the map, can be determined with the mission editor



Location=1 < Location name, as defined by the [terrainname].nations.ini


CarrierStation=TRUE < Needs to be set to TRUE, otherwise the carrier won't show up


If the terrain you intend to use does not have a target area that serves as carrier station, then just add it. Check for a suitable map position first.

Once you have created a target area that serves as a carrier station you can move on and begin editing the [campaignname]_data file.


How to edit the [campaignname]_data.ini

The [campaignname]_data.ini is not only responsible for placing air and ground units on the map, but also the aircraft carrier(s).

I will now explain how to add a carrier and the air units based on it to the [campaignname]_data.ini

Step 1: adding a carrier unit, usually after the air unit entries. It should look like this example below:



CarrierType=[groundobjectname] - It must be identical with the name of the object (its folder, to be precise)

CarrierNumber=63 - The number itself is arbritary, but it's important for the placement of the carrier-based air units

UnitName=CV-63 Kitty Hawk - the unitname is of no further relevance



BaseArea=[Name as defined by Targetarea entry].

NumSquadron=5 - That's the maximum number of air units that can be based on this particular carrier

BaseSize=MEDIUM - means it can handle aircraft that operate from medium runways, but not aircraft that require LARGE runways (this is defined in the .data file of each aircraft)


You may place several carriers at the same carrier station (this does also explain why carriers aren't placed directly on the map)


Once you have added a carrier, you may continue with assigning air units to it. The entry for a carrier-based air unit is almost identical to that of regular air units.

Land-based air unit:




BaseArea=Generic Airbase - Name defined by the entry in targets.ini





Carrier-based air unit:




BaseArea=Echo Station - Name defined by the entry in targets.ini, but does not place the unit aboard the carrier!


CarrierNumber=63 - very important, this line connects the unit to the carrier. The number itself is arbitrary, but it must

match with the carriernumber of the carrier unit!



The lines in bold are used only for carrier-based units. Two things need to be observed here. The aircraft used should be capable of operating from a carrier (check the aircraft's data.ini whether it contains the line 'CarrierBased=TRUE') and the CarrierNumber should match that defined by the CarrierUnit entry.


And now you should be able to launch a campaign flying with a unit that operates from an aircraft carrier.


Additional information

Even when you have done everything exactly as it is explained here you still might encounter some problems, like that the aircraft carrier doesn't show up. This can have several reasons:

1. Check the campaign_data again. (i.e. misaligned CarrierNumbers, Min. Basesize, etc.)

2. Check the aircraft_data. (carrierbased?, min basesize)

3. Check the [aircraftcarriername].ini. Some carriers are not up-to-date and they do therefore lack an important entry

there. This entry is:


ObjectFullName=[Name that is displayed in-game]



Without this entry the game won't recognize the carrier and won't place it at the location as specified in the campaign_data.ini.



*: Except for WOI, of course.

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