Welcome to W:AB(& W:RD) modding!
I assume you are pretty new at this (I am too ) but I can help you out a little, in hopes that you can help others in the future. For the moment, modding tools are only available to PC players, sorry Mac & Linux. (The Modding Suite uses Microsoft .NET 4.5 framework)
To start, you will need the Edata File Manager Wargame Modding Suite. It is a very basic but useful program. Hob_Gadling Enohka? made a program that translates the Eugen Software Language to to regular roman characters and opens and saved .dat files. .dat files are large data files of encrypted code that has all the data about the game in it. (Chances are that this info might be wrong. There is something to do with HTML, go ask enohka.) To start using the program, you will have to extract both the .dll and .exe file to the folder where you want the program. First, download the program here: viewtopic.php?f=187&t=45922
Once you have it, click on the file button, and open wherever you put Airland Battle/Red Dragon. For most people, it will be here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Wargame Airland Battle\Data\wargame\PC . (Or common/Wargame Red Dragon/Data...)There should be a bunch of folders starting with "1980000422" (Depends on if you downloaded before or after open beta in either W:AB or W:RD. Each of these folders is a patch. The newest on should be on the bottom and have the largest number. (Since DLC 1, Red Dragon's newest patch is the second to last folder.) Open the folder, but before you start modding, copy the file named NDF_Win.dat and call the copy something like NDF_Win - ORIGINAL.dat . (NDF_Win.dat changes game and unit settings, other files like ZZ_Win.dat, Data.dat, are in the the folder before the newest one, then the other folder inside that.) This will be your backup.
So what is easy and hard to mod? Well statistics are the easiest. Stuff like range, price, unit limit, map player limit, ECM, ammo count, prototypes, and weapon change usually require only one input change even if you have to open a ton of folders just to know which number to change. The stuff modding newbs should not mess with is, well, everything else. Game mechanics, menu, spawns, zones, map layout, texture, skins, (you will need Photoshop or Paint along with skills and patience, then it's easier) creating/deleting units (impossible), lobbies, and the menu. These things should only be changed if you know the Eugen language well, you know how programming actually works, and you know what you're doing.
- If your Edata does not work, make sure that the .dll that came with it is in the same folder.
- When you save, the program might take a long time and even say "program not responding" but give it a break because it's translating a huge file into another language.
- Make sure that when saving, the you did not rename it from the time when you opened it and and when you saved it. If you did, just rename it to the exact name you opened it as.
- Your modded .dat file has to be named NDF_Win or W:AB will crash. If you name the original file NDF_Win, the W:AB will play that.
- Eugen is based in France, so if you don't understand something, you can look it up on Google Translate.
- Each time a new patch comes out, it will create a newer folder which the Wargame: Airland Battle shortcut will automatically go to. You can either update this new one, or replace it will your old file, but the new patch features will not work.
- If you make changes to a unit's limit per deck card, number of deck cards, or veterancy, that unit will be deleted from all your decks
- Using mods in multiplayer includes very grave consequences, and is not permitted by Eugen. MadMat has already made a wall of shame here: http://www.wargame-ee.com/forum/viewtop ... 91&t=33637 . If you REALLY want to play your mod, you can either put you modded file in an older patch's folder, go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Wargame Airland Battle\Data\PC , search for a folder with the same last 4 numbers as the one you put the mod in, and double click on that W:AB Icon. If you try to join a server with other people on it, it will say "Version number differs from server". You can also make sure to give a warning on your sever's name or chat. (They will most likely kick you from the server) or not play multiplayer at all and crush the "very hard" AI with a fleet of 1 - point MI-28's.
- You have been warned.
You can thank the heavens that W:AB(/W:RD) has such a large and active modding community (It actually shrank a little if you ask me). If you ask people a question, they will probably answer you within hours, and may even help you through the process (or shun you for asking such a stupid/obvious question). (Asking for new maps/armies/models/game modes/doing anything beyond the game engine = asking for shun.)
[spoiler=All non-updated W:AB stuff]For other people's mods, tools, or guides, go here: http://www.wargame-ee.com/forum/viewtop ... 61&t=35461
I find that the best guides for basic modding are here: http://www.wargame-ee.com/forum/viewtop ... 91&t=35441
My favorite mod so far is the map unlocker, which makes any map playable with any amount of players. REMEMBER TO WARN PEOPLE WHEN DOING THIS IN MULTIPLAYER (most mods, you should not even use in multiplayer, only a select few will not desync the game). To get the newest version, PM (Private Message) naizarak. His profile page is here: http://www.wargame-ee.com/forum/memberl ... ile&u=6965
Hobmod is probably the most popular mod, which you can read about and download here: http://www.hobmod.com/
Don't forget to post pictures of your awesome mods, which you can find in this folder: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\STEAM ID #\760\remote\222750 (251060 = W:RD) \screenshots
and upload them here: (I can't find the thread, sorry )
or record your replay and post it here: http://www.wargame-ee.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=94
There is also the W:AB replay center where you can also post your replay here: http://alb-replays.info/#/
For an unfinished FAQ on basic modding, visit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_Wg ... edit?pli=1 UNFINISHED
And for emergency technical problems, ask a modder or post here: http://www.wargame-ee.com/forum/viewtop ... 92&t=30827
Thank you for viewing!
My W:AB account name is COMPUTER, (W:RD = The W:RD Noob) you can PM me or post a reply if you need help or have a question. I hope this has helped you, and if you ever see me in the battlefield, just hope I don't have an army of Challenger 1 Mk 2's M1A2's waiting for you...