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Bluefool
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Old February 20th, 2006, 06:26 PM
OK;

I have Unit1, it has option1. If option1 is selected, it adds a childtype linked of unit 2.

In unit2, I want option3; if this option is selected, it should replace option1 with option3.

In other language:

Platoon has the option of adding a LT.

If you add an LT, I want to be able to select him, and then add a suit of armor, which would replace him with the unit of armored LT.

What is the best way to do this? I've tried exclusion groups, but can't seem to hit on the right combination to achive this.
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rob
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Old February 20th, 2006, 09:18 PM
At 07:26 PM 2/20/2006, you wrote:
Quote:
I have Unit1, it has option1. If option1 is selected, it adds a childtype linked of unit 2.

In unit2, I want option3; if this option is selected, it should replace option1 with option3.

In other language:

Platoon has the option of adding a LT.

If you add an LT, I want to be able to select him, and then add a suit of armor, which would replace him with the unit of armored LT.

What is the best way to do this? I've tried exclusion groups, but can't seem to hit on the right combination to achive this.
I may be confused, since your explanation sounds strange to me. If I understand correctly, you have a "Platoon" unit which has a "Lieutenant" option. This option attaches a child "Lieutenant" unit automatically. The "Lieutenant" unit has an option for "Armor". Now's where I get confused....

If the user selects the "Armor" option for the "Lieutenant" unit, you want the existing "Lieutenant" unit to be replaced with a different "Armored Lieutenant" unit. Is this correct????

If I've understood correctly, that can't be done and it doesn't make any sense to try. The option on the Lieutenant unit can modify the Lieutenant. It can also modify the Platoon unit. But it cannot both delete the unit that the option is being assigned to and add a different unit to the Platoon unit.

I think the trick here is to create a single Lieutenant unit and an "Armor" option, just as you have already done. As part of the "Armor" option, you should use tags/scripts/whatever to modify the Lieutenant unit to properly reflect the changes of having the Armor. In the situations where you need to use the Lieutenant with an Armor option, assign the option to the unit via a link with as user-selectable link nature (e.g. "cost"). In the situations where you want the Armor forcibly assigned to the unit, use an automatic selection link nature (e.g. "auto"). You can create two separate links to the same option and assign each of them a different "Live" tag expression, where this tagexpr controls the conditions under which the link applies.

It's also quite possilbe that I'm completely misunderstanding the situation. If so, please outline the problem in more detail so that I can grasp it. Please explain the army construction goal in plain English, since I need to understand the ultimate objective that you're trying to achieve. Please err on the side of too much information, since I probably am not familiar with the gam system, and extra info gives me the best change of fully understanding on the first try. :-)

-Rob
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Old February 21st, 2006, 09:02 AM
>If the user selects the "Armor" option for the "Lieutenant" unit, you want the existing "Lieutenant" unit to be replaced with a different "Armored Lieutenant" unit. Is this correct????

Yes! Thats it exactly. The armored LT has diffrent stats, options available to it, etc.

>If I've understood correctly, that can't be done and it doesn't make any sense to try. The option on the Lieutenant unit can modify the Lieutenant. It can also modify the Platoon unit. But it cannot both delete the unit that the option is being assigned to and add a different unit to the Platoon unit.

Well, that explains why I was having trouble with it then .

>I think the trick here is to create a single Lieutenant unit and an "Armor" option, just as you have already done. As part of the "Armor" option, you should use tags/scripts/whatever to modify the Lieutenant unit to properly reflect the changes of having the Armor. In the situations where you need to use the Lieutenant with an Armor option, assign the option to the unit via a link with as user-selectable link nature (e.g. "cost"). In the situations where you want the Armor forcibly assigned to the unit, use an automatic selection link nature (e.g. "auto"). You can create two separate links to the same option and assign each of them a different "Live" tag expression, where this tagexpr controls the conditions under which the link applies.

>I had thought of this one; the problem comes in that the armored LT has a very diffrent set of options availabe to it. I know how to use exclusion groups well enough I could switch all of that out, but it would leave a mess in the options panel. Right now, its almost filling the entire box, and there are a full stack of category tabs too, for just the LT; if I add in the Armored LT's version I think I may be hitting unuseable territory. Oh, what may help; this isn't armor as in change a stat because you have a sheild, this is a Marauder suit, sort of a Battletech kinda looking thing thats very configurable.

>It's also quite possilbe that I'm completely misunderstanding the situation. If so, please outline the problem in more detail so that I can grasp it. Please explain the army construction goal in plain English, since I need to understand the ultimate objective that you're trying to achieve. Please err on the side of too much information, since I probably am not familiar with the gam system, and extra info gives me the best change of fully understanding on the first try. Smile

*ROTFLMAO* My wife just said to tell you that long winded, boring explenations are my specialty, so here we go . And, thanks by the way; I really do appredciate the long detailed answers for questions that are not phrased too well :P .

My ultimate goal is to make selecting options as similar as possible across the file. What I have right now works, but causes you to need to pick something in a diffrent fashion.

What I have now is a unit Platoon, which has auto options of two squads and a platoon sgt. These are added in by using an option with a linked child entity. (Maybe Duh! On that, but I suspect there are other ways to achive the same result). You can also add a LT to the platoon, so I've got an option to do that. He can take one of 2 armor suits that replace all of his stats, have few of the same options, and many new options. So, in unit platoon, I set it up so that the LT is one option, the LT wearing the Suit 1 is one option, and the LT wearing Suit 2 is a diffrent option, and each of those options has a child entity of a unit that has all of the correct options, stats, etc. There is an exclusion group on those so that if you take one of those, you can't take another LT. The auto added platoon sgt gets to have the same choices, and you can add another platoon sgt who also gets these choices, so I set them up in the same manner.

That works. Its a lot in the options for that tab, but its not too bad.

Now, those auto adding squads in unit platoon can also have 0-2 of such suits in them. I couldn't find a way to remove a count from a unit (the squad starts with 4) so that if you added a suit you would get a stat line in the squad and one less in the count for the unit, so the unit squad has an option to add a suit unit via a child entity link, and you just get a suit unit that has a model count of zero, but it has all the options etc to configure the suit. Those options have a exclusion group to limit the number of suits taken.

This also works.

However, to add the suits, you wind up with two diffrent methods when you are in AB. If you want to add one to the squad, you click the squad, and add them through your options panel. But to choose them for the NCO's or the LT, you click on the Platoon, then them in a suit (or not).

What I am trying to achive, is have that similar equipment choosen in a smiliar fashion. I want the platoon to have the option to add the LT. Once he is there, if you click on him, his options would show you the two suits he can choose from. If you take one of the suits, the LT himself would come out of the platoon, and his armored unit would go into it instead.

So I think you can see the problem; in the squad, I'm just adding a unit to the squad, I get two sets of stats, one for the normal troops in the unit, and one for each suit added (since they can be configured diffrently, they needed to display on seperate lines). This works great as you can never take more suits than you have troops, so you need that extra unit; which of course has all its own options.

If I do the same thing with the LT tho, the original LT stays there, which dosen't work; as now a stat line displays that isn't correct, followed by the one that is correct. The current file works this way and its horrible; it looks like you have two units when in fact you have one; its easy to mess it up.

Make more sense now?
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rob
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 03:07 AM
This gives me a reasonable idea of what you have implemented and the problem you're encountering. However, what I'm still lacking is how the GAME SYSTEM works. I also need to understand the army construction mechanics that are outlined for the game system, as they pertain to this situation. In fact, this is the single most critical detail.

The most common problem with new authors is that they decide to solve things one way and get well down that path before they run into some sort of difficulty. Then they try to force AB to work the way they want it to, and it's not always possible. Think of it as having only a hammer in your toolbox. The hammer works great for many problems, but there are times you really need a screwdriver or pliers. Sometimes, the proper solution is to take a step backwards and try a different approach that will work smoothly for everything. That's where this forum can be extremely handy.

However, in order to assist in that, we need a detailed explanation of the game mechanics that you are trying to implement. We've got a good idea of how you've done things from your explanation, but you've run into a wall, and I honestly don't know enough about the game to be able to offer good advice. Outline the way platoons are composed within the rules. What can be added to them? What things preclude other things? How do basic troops work vs. special troops like the lieutenant? Etc.

Once we get that info, we'll know (a) where you're at and (b) where you need to get to. We can then try to figure out how to get you from (a) to (b).

Thanks, Rob

At 10:02 AM 2/21/2006, you wrote:

Quote:
>If the user selects the "Armor" option for the "Lieutenant" unit, you want the existing "Lieutenant" unit to be replaced with a different "Armored Lieutenant" unit. Is this correct????

Yes! Thats it exactly. The armored LT has diffrent stats, options available to it, etc.

>If I've understood correctly, that can't be done and it doesn't make any sense to try. The option on the Lieutenant unit can modify the Lieutenant. It can also modify the Platoon unit. But it cannot both delete the unit that the option is being assigned to and add a different unit to the Platoon unit.

Well, that explains why I was having trouble with it then [img]./modules/mdforum/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] .

>I think the trick here is to create a single Lieutenant unit and an "Armor" option, just as you have already done. As part of the "Armor" option, you should use tags/scripts/whatever to modify the Lieutenant unit to properly reflect the changes of having the Armor. In the situations where you need to use the Lieutenant with an Armor option, assign the option to the unit via a link with as user-selectable link nature (e.g. "cost"). In the situations where you want the Armor forcibly assigned to the unit, use an automatic selection link nature (e.g. "auto"). You can create two separate links to the same option and assign each of them a different "Live" tag expression, where this tagexpr controls the conditions under which the link applies.

>I had thought of this one; the problem comes in that the armored LT has a very diffrent set of options availabe to it. I know how to use exclusion groups well enough I could switch all of that out, but it would leave a mess in the options panel. Right now, its almost filling the entire box, and there are a full stack of category tabs too, for just the LT; if I add in the Armored LT's version I think I may be hitting unuseable territory. Oh, what may help; this isn't armor as in change a stat because you have a sheild, this is a Marauder suit, sort of a Battletech kinda looking thing thats very configurable.

>It's also quite possilbe that I'm completely misunderstanding the situation. If so, please outline the problem in more detail so that I can grasp it. Please explain the army construction goal in plain English, since I need to understand the ultimate objective that you're trying to achieve. Please err on the side of too much information, since I probably am not familiar with the gam system, and extra info gives me the best change of fully understanding on the first try. Smile

*ROTFLMAO* My wife just said to tell you that long winded, boring explenations are my specialty, so here we go [img]./modules/mdforum/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]. And, thanks by the way; I really do appredciate the long detailed answers for questions that are not phrased too well [img]./modules/mdforum/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif[/img] .

My ultimate goal is to make selecting options as similar as possible across the file. What I have right now works, but causes you to need to pick something in a diffrent fashion.

What I have now is a unit Platoon, which has auto options of two squads and a platoon sgt. These are added in by using an option with a linked child entity. (Maybe Duh! On that, but I suspect there are other ways to achive the same result). You can also add a LT to the platoon, so I've got an option to do that. He can take one of 2 armor suits that replace all of his stats, have few of the same options, and many new options. So, in unit platoon, I set it up so that the LT is one option, the LT wearing the Suit 1 is one option, and the LT wearing Suit 2 is a diffrent option, and each of those options has a child entity of a unit that has all of the correct options, stats, etc. There is an exclusion group on those so that if you take one of those, you can't take another LT. The auto added platoon sgt gets to have the same choices, and you can add another platoon sgt who also gets these choices, so I set them up in the same manner.

That works. Its a lot in the options for that tab, but its not too bad.

Now, those auto adding squads in unit platoon can also have 0-2 of such suits in them. I couldn't find a way to remove a count from a unit (the squad starts with 4) so that if you added a suit you would get a stat line in the squad and one less in the count for the unit, so the unit squad has an option to add a suit unit via a child entity link, and you just get a suit unit that has a model count of zero, but it has all the options etc to configure the suit. Those options have a exclusion group to limit the number of suits taken.

This also works.

However, to add the suits, you wind up with two diffrent methods when you are in AB. If you want to add one to the squad, you click the squad, and add them through your options panel. But to choose them for the NCO's or the LT, you click on the Platoon, then them in a suit (or not).

What I am trying to achive, is have that similar equipment choosen in a smiliar fashion. I want the platoon to have the option to add the LT. Once he is there, if you click on him, his options would show you the two suits he can choose from. If you take one of the suits, the LT himself would come out of the platoon, and his armored unit would go into it instead.

So I think you can see the problem; in the squad, I'm just adding a unit to the squad, I get two sets of stats, one for the normal troops in the unit, and one for each suit added (since they can be configured diffrently, they needed to display on seperate lines). This works great as you can never take more suits than you have troops, so you need that extra unit; which of course has all its own options.

If I do the same thing with the LT tho, the original LT stays there, which dosen't work; as now a stat line displays that isn't correct, followed by the one that is correct. The current file works this way and its horrible; it looks like you have two units when in fact you have one; its easy to mess it up.

Make more sense now?
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 02:21 PM
Lets see...Starship Troopers Army List construction in its basics...

OK, stripping it down as much as possible from other considerations (like no arachnids, no skinnes, and ignore the PL levels, ignore certain validation rules for Platoons vs point levels, etc):

The basic core unit is the Power Suit Platoon. Everything else is based off of options for each platoon, and a list may have more than one platoon. So, there are basically no units that are say 0-3 in an army at all, they are all 0-3 per Platoon.

A power suit platoon consists of 2 power suit squads and a power suit NCO. You can add one additional power suit NCO, and one power suit LT, and up to 6 total squads. You can also add a variety of things like air support missles, robot missle and gun platforms, weapon emplacements, bunkers, air support fighters, bombers, a few platoon level weapons (Nukes!) and a Military Intelligence officer. You can only have 2 squads per "officer", and the power suit NCO counts as an officer.

The power suit LT comes with a weapon set of a main rifle with an underslung grenade launcher that can fire various grenandes. He can choose lizard lines (A rappelling/climbing kinda thing) or WASP pack (Jet pack kinda thing) for equipment options. He can "Go career", which allows him to choose up to a certain number of points of various "Heroic Traits". He can choose a few additional weapons like frag grenades or plasma munitions (plasma grenade kind of thing). He can replace his grenade luancher with a trench sweeper laser. At certain PL levels, he can take a Sprite recon skimmer (a sort of rocket sled) that replaces his basic stats with it, and invalidates certain other options he can take. He can have drop capsules (unless he has a sprite skimmer). He can be: "Any LT or NCO may be upgraded to an M8 "Ape" Marauder suit or M9 "Chickenhawk" Marauder suit. Any LT or NCO so upgraded becomes a Marauder model of the appropriate type (M8 Marauder suit LT, M9 Marauder suit LT)."

The NCO's have essentially the same options as the LT.

A power suit squad consists of one sergeant and 4 cap troopers. You can add up to three extra troopers. Each comes with a standard rifle/underslung grenade launcher, that can fire various grenades. One trooper may be promoted to Corporal (but this does not changes his stats, or options, it has game mechanic effects). The entire unit can choose Lizard Lines or WASP packs. The Squad SGT can choose "Heroic Traits" up to a poinst value. The squad can choose to add weapons; shock sticks and frag grenades to all troopers. Up to two troopers may swap weapons for: a missle launcher (that fires a choice of missles), a sniper rifle, a flame thrower, or a bigger grenade launcher. At certain PL levels: "0-2 models per power suit squad may be upgraded to an M8....or M9...Any sergeant, corporal or cap trooper so upgraded becomes a Marauder model of the appropriate type."

An M8 Marauder suit comes with a standard weapon pack which can not be altered. An M9 Maruader suit comes with some standard weapons, and some options.

The options that a Marauder suit (of any type, LT, NCO, Corporal, Cap Trooper) have are diffrent from the power suit version. (For instance, the M9 LT can't take the grenades, laser, sprite skimmer, etc, but can still choose his "Heroic Traits").

Useful things to know:

"Heroic Traits" is a lot of choices. There are three major categories, with 10-15 choices in each category. A big problems I've had with implementation is fitting all the possible options into a useable amount of space.

Missile Launchers have about 4 diffrent missle types they use, but the same missle launchers use the same missles all the time. (So if you take a Javalin missle Launcher, you get all three of its missles. If you take a Birdbolt missle Launcher, you get its one missle, etc).

Oh, a Marauder suit is a large, Battletech looking thing. A power suit guy is a standard size guy in armor (think Space Marine).

So, where my noggin is hurting is in my implementation, the way a Marauder suit is taken is diffrent for the squad vs for the officers. For the officers, you select an option for the platoon of an officer of whatever type; straight LT, M8 LT, or M9 LT.

To add a Maruader suit to a squad, you buy a suit for the squad as an option (of the squad), and it adds a model count of zero suit unit, which displays nice and lets you pick any suit specific options.

But it means, at least in my mind, that you wind up choosing it diffrently, and I'm worried people won't be able to figure out how to add a suit to each location as a result. Its very likely when you are building the list that you don't know if you want the LT in a suit or not, but you would know you want the LT. Same with the squad, you want the squad for sure, but adding suits may come later.

So I add my LT, and mess around in my list a bit, and add two Marauder suits to a squad. I decide I want to give my LT one as well, so I click on him just like I did my squad to add the suit....and bang, thats where I hit the wall. Adding it to a multi model unit is just adding it on. Adding it to the LT causes him to be *replaced* by a Maruader LT.

And, in my implementation, since he (the LT) is an Option to a Unit (the Platoon unit), you get my original question of how an options' option can replace an option. I can't imagine why that wasn't clear from the first reading .

Now, for rules junkies I left out a *ton* of things, but nothing I think that will efect this. If you need me to type out all the various weapons swap outs and such, I can, but its a long list and its going to take some time....someone should write an Army Builder file for it so you don't have to do that kind of thing .

Also, obviously if you need me to clarify, ask. I'm not 100% sure what you needed to have to forumalte the best answer, so I may have missed the mark there.


Better? See what I'm trying to pull off?

I have no fear of needing to change my implementation radically; I've rewritten it several times already, and I get better with AB each time I do it, so its nothing big to me anymore. I won't be suprised at all if there is a better way to implement the platoon "container". And, of course this file isn't released yet, so I won't be bothering anyone with major re-writes.

I also think the cheap and easy solution is to just alter the wording on the options a bit and live with the diffrence, or maybe put design notes on the officers mentioning how to get Marauder suits on them (deselect them, then choose the apropriate option type).

Oh, and thus far, rules updates for the Mobile Infantry have added new types of Platoons, rather than alter the core platoon type or its construction. I suspect thats going to stay the case. (So, you could take one platoon of Cap Troopers (the one described above), one platoon of Light Mobile Infantry, and one Pathfinder Platoon.) Each of those other platoon types (currently also Marauder Platoons) has similar types of issues, where a model is replaced utterly by an option, so I want to get this as clean as possible here at the begining.

*whew* Rechecking the rules as I typed that in gave me a huge urge to go play a few games while I wait for feedback . Where is that list with the nukes on it.....
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rob
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Old February 28th, 2006, 01:31 AM
OK, this has been a lot to digest, so I've been thinking about this for the past few days. The following is my gut assessment of how best to handle things, based on the description below. Please note that your description below is the ONLY information I have about this stuff, any I may have misunderstood something, so don't take my recommendations as gospel. Give them some thought, and, if they don't make good sense, ask more questions. It's quite possible I've misunderstood something important. OK, here we go....

First, an easy item. The Heroic Traits should probably be implemented as items. You can then allow the user to select them from a list, which is a much easier solution when you have long lists of options. To see how this works from the user's perspective, take a look at the Warhammer Fantasy files. Magic items are implemented as lists to choose from, and you can have multiple items from the same list if you want - you just have to pick them one at a time. To simplify the roster output, you can designate each of the items with the "output as option" behavior. You'll find examples of the list technique in the docs ("User-Selection of Items Via Lists", plus other related topics).

I agree about the consistency issue. But the biggest issue to always keep in mind is how the user will want to USE the files. You hit on that issue towards the end our your post, where you talk about adding an LT and then possibly adding a suit to that unit later. Or maybe dropping the suit to free up points for something else. So that's exactly how I would implement the LT.

I would implement the basic LT as a unit and always have that be the unit that gets added. I would then have options on the LT unit that allow you to upgrade that unit to have a power suit, M8, or M9. Those three options would apply a LOT of changes to the unit, as follows.

First, I would define three special tags to indicate which of those options has been selected. For example create a new tag group with the id "suit" and give the tags ids like "Power", "M8", and "M9". Each of the options would assign the appropriate tag to the unit within its Evaluate script. A key detail here is that the suit options will be depended upon by many other options, which means that they have to be assigned an earlier priority (lower number).

Then each of the equipment options that can/can't be taken based on the suits should be assigned "Live" tag expressions to implement to correct behavior. For example, an option that can only be taken with the M9 suit would be assigned the tag expression "suit.M9", and an option that is invalid with either the M8 or M9 suit would be given a tag expression of "!suit.M8 & !suit.M9" (or simply "!suit.M?" using wildcards). The net result is that the other options would appear and disappear (or be flagged as invalid) based on the suit option chosen.

Next, you say that some of the suits modify (or override) the stats of the unit. That's fine. Within the Evaluate script for each suit option, simply apply the appropriate changes. You can set a unit stat to a specific value just as easily as adding one to it.

The overall behavior is now reasonably consistent, and it avoids the difficulty needing to swap out one unit for another within the parent (which is a poor appoach). In addition, the user will be able to easily add/remove suits to officers during the refinement phase of roster construction. All of the Heroic Traits assigned to an officer will remain intact, as will all of the other options selected for the officer. If any options become invalid, they will automatically disappear. If the user has selected them for the officer, they will be automatically flagged as invalid. This should yield a highly usable set of data files.

From your outline of how things work, there are clearly other aspects that need to be modeled appropriately, but I'm not sure if you have concerns about those areas. Consequently, I just focused on the two for which you specifically indicated you wanted suggestions. If you have questions in other areas, please ask and I'll do my best to assist.

Hope this helps,
Rob
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Old February 28th, 2006, 04:45 AM
Wahoo! Thanks Rob, thats a ton to digest, so I'm going to put my head down into it and start working through all that.

One thing:
Within the Evaluate script for each suit option, simply apply the appropriate changes. You can set a unit stat to a specific value just as easily as adding one to it.

Evalute scripts I'm getting better with. But how does one set a specific stat to a value? If a unit has a tag of size.sz1 and I want to change that to size.sz2, what is the syntax to do that in a evalute script?
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Old February 28th, 2006, 07:17 AM
Evalute scripts I'm getting better with. But how does one set a specific stat to a value? If a unit has a tag of size.sz1 and I want to change that to size.sz2, what is the syntax to do that in a evalute script?

Figured it out. For others trying that:

var size as number
size = unit.delete[size.?]
size = unit.assign[size.sz2]
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rob
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Old February 28th, 2006, 05:16 PM
I'm referring to unit stats here - NOT tags. Every unit stat automatically has a tag assigned to reflect that value, but you can't modify those tags directly. You have to modify the unit stat, which will automatically modify the tag.

To assign a new unit stat value, you should use the "stat" target for the unit within a script. For example, you can say: "unit.stat[move] = 6". This will assign the value '6' to the "move" stat of the unit.

If you have implemented the size as a unit stat, then just change the value using the method above. If you have implemented it as just a tag, then you can replace the tag using the technique you outlined below.

-Rob


At 08:17 AM 2/28/2006, you wrote:

Quote:
Evalute scripts I'm getting better with. But how does one set a specific stat to a value? If a unit has a tag of size.sz1 and I want to change that to size.sz2, what is the syntax to do that in a evalute script?

Figured it out. For others trying that:

var size as number
size = unit.delete[size.?]
size = unit.assign[size.sz2]
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Old March 1st, 2006, 05:17 AM
Check; I need to be more careful with my descriptions. All but a couple of my stats use tags to allow "2xD6" and such as values, so I had started thinking of them as tags.

Bad mistake, as it took me longer to figure out the stat based restrictions on items!
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