Layers are a way to organize assets within the Scenario Tree. They allow you to create new containers of objects, stamps, splines, and other entities for easy searching and use, as well as select and modify multiple objects at once to increase efficiency when working on your map.
This guide covers how layers work and how to use them.
How Layers Work
When a map is created, a folder will be created near the top of the Scenario Tree that matches the name of your map.
This is the default custom Layer where any new assets you place on your map will be put. Because each map needs at least one Layer, this default Layer cannot be renamed or removed.
Initially, the default Layer will contain all player Starting Positions, as these are necessary for every map and the game needs somewhere to put them.
You may add anything else you wish to the default layer, although repeatedly doing this may cause the contents of the folder to get quite large and unwieldy. For this reason, it is recommended you organize your assets into multiple folders, each organized and named in a way that makes sense for your map.
You may create as many any additional Layers as you wish, with each Layer acting as a container for any objects, effects, splines, units, or other elements you place on your map.
Creating a New Layer
To create a new layer, go to the Right-Click on Scenario in the Scenario Tree and select +Add.
A dialogue box will open asking you to give your new layer a name. This allows you to keep track of what that layer contains.
Leaving Set as Default Parent checked will cause new objects you create on your map to automatically be placed in your new layer. If you do not want assets to be automatically placed in this new layer, un-check the box.
Set As Default Parent
When you create a new layer, it automatically has "Set as Default Parent" checked.
When a layer is set as the Default Parent, any asset you drag onto the map from the Object Browser will automatically be placed into that layer.
To set a different layer as the Default Parent, Right-Click on a layer and select Set as Default Parent.
Special Functions of Layers
Aside from serving as containers for items, Layer have several additional functions that are useful when working on your map.
These additional functions are covered below.
The first and most commonly used secondary function of Layers, is that selecting a Layer in the Scenario Tree will automatically select all objects within that Layer.
This can be a quick and easy way to either delete, copy, or make changes to multiple objects at once.
Another function of layers is to control whether the items in the layer appear or do not appear when the map is played.
This control is accessed by Right-Clicking on the layer in the Scenario Tree and selecting Include/Exclude.
When you select this option, an Include/Exclude dialogue box opens prompting you to choose a set of options. These include a variety of options for managing the content of your layer.
The Game options control how the contents of the layer appear in game.
- No Change keeps the previous settings currently active.
- Include In Game causes the contents of the layer to appear when the map is played.
- Exclude From Game causes the contents of the layer to not appear when the map is played.
The Scenario Reference options control how the contents of the layer appear in scenario references. This only applies to items within a base scenario.
A Scenario Reference is a scenario that inherits the terrain and items in another scenario, then adds items on top of its own terrain. This is usually done with the same map, allowing map creators to make multiple versions of the same map, for instance during a continuous campaign where a single map's layout changes between missions.
- No Change keeps the previous settings currently active. Useful if you have a mixed variety of references and want to reset your selections.
- Include In Scenario References causes the contents of the layer to appear in the scenario reference, opening them to be used by other scenarios.
- Exclude From Scenario References causes the contents of the layer to not appear in the scenario reference, causing them to be unique to this map.
As they have elements added to them scenario layers can get fairly large, making content management within them challenging. The Expand/Collapse function makes it more convenient when managing these assets when the asset counts get high.
To access this feature, Right-Click on either Scenario or a Layer within the Scenario Tree and choose between Expand All and Collapse All.
Expand Collapse Scenario
Performing this on the Scenario heading affects every folder in the Scenario Tree as well as all their sub structures. This is convenient for Collapsing multiple folders to clean up the Scenario Tree View.
Be advised that when Expanding all folders the process may take a long time due to the number of assets being opened and selected.
Expand Collapse Layer
Performing this on a specific Layer can be a convenient way to expand the contents of every asset within the layer, including every layer in the sub-structure, such as assets within splines and stamps.