Unit Groups are used to create groups of units. They are normally used in single player missions to create an enemy, but can be used in multiplayer missions as well. You can create various small groups of attacking enemy units, making the player work hard at creating defenses. In a multiplayer mission you could have allies fighting an AI army, made up of Unit Groups, or have hidden enemies (unit groups) who will just defend themselves if you come near them.
Groups consist of 1 or more units, of any specified type, belonging to one particular side. They can either be built - using the resources required to train them, or spawned - just appear taking up no resources.
Using areas you can tell a group to spawn at a particular location on the map. This is great for giving the player extra allied units and make it look as though they have just appeared on the map. You can also use it to generate lots of enemy units to send to the player's base. There are a number of user created multiplayer missions that include the use of unit groups. Essentially all single player missions would include them.
Here are a couple of examples of the use of Unit Groups in both a single player and a multiplayer mission:
In the Mission Editor menu select Settings / Unit Groups.
Select your choices from the drop down menus and check the boxes that apply.
Side = the side this unit group belongs to.
Aggressiveness = Coward, Pacifist, Self Defense, Defender, Pitbull
Create at level load
Recreate if destroyed
Spawn, don't build
Spawn Area: your defined areas will be listed in the drop down box
Health(%) = 0 to 100
Select New to enter your first unit. You can select any unit and any quantity. After you save this you can always change the quantity with the + and - buttons on the right.
Select New on the right side of the window and click the drop down menu to select the action you want your unit group to perform. When you highlight an Action, a brief description will show at the bottom of the New Action window.
Attack - Attack the nearest enemy unit matching the specified side(s) and type(s) for the specified interval. The entire group will attack the unit together. If the unit is destroyed before the interval elapses the next nearest matching enemy will be targeted by the group.
Format: Attack nearest "unit types" owned by "side" for "quantity" seconds.
Comment - Use this to comment your actions. It has no in-game effect.
Format: Comment "text"
Guard - All members of the group are directed to guard the area within their sight range for the specified interval.
Format: Guard for "quantity" seconds.
GuardVicinity - All members of the group are directed to guard the area within an expanded sight range for the specified interval.
Format: Guard vicinity for "quantity" seconds.
Mine - Find the nearest Galaxite, mine it, and bring it to the nearest Processor. Repeat forever or until death. Note: This action has no effect on any other unit than the Bullpup.
Move - All members of the group are directed to the specified Area. This action is not considered complete and the next action will not execute until all the members of the group reach the destination (or as close as they can reasonably get).
Format: Move to area "area"
Set Switch - Switch names can be anything (including spaces, etc) but ARE case sensitive. That is, setting a switch named "Whatever" and testing "whatever" won't work
Format: Set switch "switch" "OnOrOff"
Wait - Delay a number of seconds before continuing on with the next action.
Format: Wait "quantity" seconds
You can also Modify, Copy or Delete an Action that has already been specified. Checking Repeat forever will have the action continue until the game ends or the units die.