How to use Message Templates

We recently introduced message templates to BattleTac. This feature converts the painful chat system to a really effective communication platform. Here's how it works:

There are 2 template types:

  • Auto-send templates are basic radio procedure words like "Roger.", "Positive." or  "Radio Check.". When you select one, BattleTac sends it immediately. Auto-send templates end with a dot.
  • Building block templates are words or expressions you use regularly during radio communication, e.g. "Action in " or "Get back to ". These templates are meaningful only as part of a sentence. They will be inserted into the message at the position of the cursor so you can continue writing the message.
The most important thing is that you can edit the templates so you can create the ones you really need. To create an auto-send template, simply enter a dot at the end of it. Templates ending with non-dot characters are building block templates, but I suggest you adding a space at the end to allow easy continuing.

Protip: You can create auto-send templates which are also part of a sentence: These will end the sentence and send it immediately. One example can be " minutes." , which - when you create it - makes it easy to enter a message like "Action in 5 minutes." (Where only the number 5 will be entered directly)


Custom Maps in BattleTac

There is no GPS tracking without quality maps. Detailed satellite imagery of the field may be good enough: BattleTac shows you Google satellite as the default map.

But there is more: You can create your own map and publish it to other players. A custom map is far more usable than the best satellite imagery: it contains a lot more important info and a lot less unimportant detail, as seen on this example:

If you have a precise drawn map of a field, you can upload it to our site and we will publish it to every BattleTac user. But you have to align the map to the GPS coordinates before uploading! A simple .jpg image is not enough: if we want to track GPS positions on it, we must know the exact position of your map on the world map. So you have to process your map using MSR MapCruncher.

MapCruncher is simple tool created by Microsoft Research. You can download it from here. You can watch a 5 minute intro video about it here. To learn more about the publishing process, read our documentation. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to convert your map!

As always, you can get help on the support forum!

If we have a custom map of a field, it will be displayed to every user automatically. You do not need to do anything, just use BattleTac and enjoy the map! The custom map is displayed over the base map so it is possible to upload a transparent map and get similar results as Google Hybrid:

Map of Fields of Fire mystic, ct, USA (Created by Andrew Wawrzynowicz)

Please note that there is a setting, 'Custom Maps': you can save a small amount of network traffic if you turn this feature off. Do this only if you are sure we don't have a custom map of the field or if you do not want to use the available map.