From The Battle for Wesnoth Wiki
Revision as of 04:49, 6 May 2010 by Luther (talk | contribs) (Predefined 'name' Key Values: Removed {{DevFeature}} from 'prestart')

[edit]WML Tags


abilities, about, add_ai_behavior, advance, advanced_preference, advancefrom, advancement, advances, affect_adjacent, ai, allied_with, allow_end_turn, allow_extra_recruit, allow_recruit, allow_undo, and, animate, animate_unit, animation, aspect, attack, attack_anim, attacks, avoid;


base_unit, berserk, binary_path, break, brush;


campaign, cancel_action, candidate_action, capture_village, case, chance_to_hit, change_theme, chat, checkbox, choice, choose, clear_global_variable, clear_menu_item, clear_variable, color_adjust, color_range, command (action, replay), continue, credits_group, criteria;


damage, death, deaths, default, defend, defends, defense, delay, deprecated_message, destination, difficulty, disable, disallow_end_turn, disallow_extra_recruit, disallow_recruit, do, do_command, drains, draw_weapon_anim;


editor_group, editor_music, editor_times, effect, else (action, animation), elseif, endlevel, end_turn (action, replay), enemy_of, engine, entry (credits, options), era, event, extra_anim;


facet, facing, fake_unit, false, feedback, female, filter (concept, event), filter_adjacent, filter_adjacent_location, filter_attack, filter_attacker, filter_base_value, filter_condition, filter_defender, filter_enemy, filter_location, filter_opponent, filter_own, filter_owner, filter_radius, filter_recall, filter_second, filter_second_attack, filter_self, filter_side, filter_vision, filter_weapon, filter_wml, find_path, fire_event, firststrike, floating_text, found_item, for, foreach, frame;


game_config, get_global_variable, goal, gold, gold_carryover;


harm_unit, has_ally, has_attack, has_unit, have_location, have_unit, heal_on_hit, heal_unit, healed_anim, healing_anim, heals, hide_help, hide_unit, hides;


idle_anim, if (action, animation, intro), illuminates, image (intro, terrain), init_side, insert_tag, inspect, item, item_group;


jamming_costs, join;


kill, killed;


label, language, leader, leader_goal, leadership, leading_anim, levelin_anim, levelout_anim, lift_fog, limit, literal, load_resource, locale, lock_view, lua;


male, menu_item, message, micro_ai, missile_frame, modification, modifications, modify_ai, modify_side, modify_turns, modify_unit, modify_unit_type, move, move_unit, move_unit_fake, move_units_fake, movement_anim, movement costs, movetype, multiplayer, multiplayer_side, music;


not, note;


object, objective, objectives, on_undo, open_help, option, options, or;


part, petrifies, petrify, place_shroud, plague, poison, portrait, post_movement_anim, pre_movement_anim, primary_attack, primary_unit, print, put_to_recall_list;


race, random_placement, recall (action, replay), recalls, recruit, recruit_anim, recruiting_anim, recruits, redraw, regenerate, remove_event, remove_item, remove_object, remove_shroud, remove_sound_source, remove_time_area, remove_unit_overlay, repeat, replace_map, replace_schedule, replay, replay_start, reset_fog, resistance (ability, unit), resistance_defaults, resource, return, role, rule;


save, scenario, scroll, scroll_to, scroll_to_unit, secondary_attack, secondary_unit, section, select_unit, sequence, set_extra_recruit, set_global_variable, set_menu_item, set_recruit, set_specials, set_variable, set_variables, sheath_weapon_anim, show_if (message, set_menu_item), show_objectives, side, skirmisher, slider, slow, snapshot, sound, sound_source, source (replay, teleport), special_note, specials, split, stage, standing_anim, statistics, status, store_gold, store_items, store_locations, store_map_dimensions, store_reachable_locations, store_relative_direction, store_side, store_starting_location, store_time_of_day, store_turns, store_unit, store_unit_defense, store_unit_defense_on, store_unit_type, store_unit_type_ids, store_villages, story, swarm, switch, sync_variable;


target, team, teleport (ability, action), teleport_anim, terrain, terrain_defaults, terrain_graphics, terrain_mask, terrain_type, test, test_condition, text_input, textdomain, theme, then, tile, time, time_area, topic, toplevel, trait, transform_unit, traveler, true, tunnel, tutorial;


unhide_unit, unit, unit_overlay, unit_type, unit_worth, units, unlock_view, unpetrify, unstore_unit, unsynced;


value, variable, variables, variant, variation, victory_anim, village, vision_costs, volume;


while, wml_message, wml_schema;



The [event] Tag

This tag is a subtag of the [scenario], [unit_type] and [era] tags which is used to describe a set of actions which trigger at a certain point in a scenario. When used in a [scenario] tag (also includes [multiplayer], [tutorial] and [test]), the event only occurs in that scenario. When used in a [unit_type] tag, the event will occur in all scenarios in which a unit of that type appears in (only after such a unit appears during the scenario, however). When used in an [era], the event will occur in any scenario which is played using that era.

This tag has keys and child tags that control when and if the event actions will be triggered. Most important of these is the name key. Without it, no error will be raised but the event will never fire. Therefore, from a practical standpoint, it can be considered mandatory. All of the others can be used or not and the event actions will fire either way.

The 'name' Key (Mandatory)



This is not like a normal 'name' key. It is a basic description of when the event will trigger. It also has a very large number of predefined values, one of which must be used for the key to be valid.

Lexicon side note: It is not uncommon to refer to these values as the 'trigger' for an event and, furthermore, to call an event by its 'trigger' name. For example, in an event containing name=moveto, a person might refer to the event as a 'moveto event' and/or refer to the 'moveto trigger' in the event or even talk about the 'event trigger' when referring to the moveto value of the 'name' key in that event. Some or all of this usage can, in fact, be found throughout this page.

The name key can accept a list of comma separated values describing when the event will be triggered.* These values may be either predefined event types or custom event names not matching any predefined type.

For example:

name=attacker misses,defender misses

* Note that unless you use first_time_only=no, the event will fire only once, not once for each listed type.

Predefined 'name' Key Values

All predefined event types are listed here along with a description of when this value will cause the event to be triggered. Any value not listed here is a custom event name which can be triggered only by a [fire_event] tag somewhere else. Spaces in event names can be interchanged with underscores (for example, name=new turn and name=new_turn are equivalent).

Triggers before a scenario 'prestarts' and when loading a savegame -- before anything is shown on the screen at all. Can be used to set up the Lua environment: loading libraries, defining helper functions, etc.
Note: Unlike prestart and start, the preload event must be able to fire more than once! This is because it is triggered each time a savegame is loaded in addition to the initial time when it loads before the scenario 'prestart'. This means that it is effectively mandatory to have the first_time_only=no key value in a preload event.
Triggers before a scenario 'starts' -- before anything is shown on the screen at all. Can be used to set up things like village ownership. For things displayed on-screen such as character dialog, use start instead.
Note: This value makes the first_time_only key irrelevant since, by definition, it can only fire once.
Triggers after the map is shown but before the scenario begins -- before players can 'do' anything.
Note: This value makes the first_time_only key irrelevant since, by definition, it can only fire once.
new turn
Triggers at the start of every turn (not side turn). See also first_time_only=no. Before any events of this type trigger, the value of the WML variable turn_number is set to the number of the turn that is beginning.
side turn
Triggers when a side is about to start its turn. Before events of this type trigger, the value of the WML variable side_number is set to the number of the side of the player about to take their turn. This is before any healing takes place for that side, before calculating income, and before restoring unit movement and status.
ai turn
Triggered just before the AI is invoked for a side. This is called after side turn, and thus the WML variable side_number still holds the number of this side. Note that this event might be called several times per turn in case that fallbacks to human or droiding is involved. I.e. it happens at the middle of turn of human side 1 if the human player droids his side. It happens after the selection of ai to play the turn but before AI is told that new turn has come.
Note: This event currently breaks replays since it is not explicitly saved in a replay and there is no AI involved in replays...
turn refresh
Like side turn, triggers just before a side is taking control but after healing, calculating income, and restoring unit movement and status.
turn X
Triggers at the start of turn X. It's the first side initialization event. Side initialization events go in the order of:
1) turn X 2) new turn 3) side turn 4) side X turn 5) side X turn Y 6) turn refresh
side X turn Y
This event triggers at the start of turn Y of side X Template:DevFeature
side X turn
This event triggers at the start of any turn of side X Template:DevFeature
Note: Of course, first_time_only=no is needed for this event to be triggered more than once.
side X turn Y refresh
This event triggers at the turn refresh for side X on turn Y Template:DevFeature1.9
side X turn refresh
This event triggers at the turn refresh for side X Template:DevFeature1.9
Note: Of course, first_time_only=no is needed for this event to be triggered more than once.
time over
Triggers on turn turns. (turns is specified in [scenario])
enemies defeated
Triggers when all units with canrecruit=yes (that is, all leaders) not allied with side 1 are killed.
In this scenario, any tag of the form [endlevel] result=victory [/endlevel] will be automatically preceded by all actions in this tag. It helps debugging if the victory event allows you to safely advance to any of the possible next maps after using the ":n" command. Scenarios where key units are picked up before the victory, or where some action chosen earlier determines which map to advance to, make it hard to quickly test scenarios in a campaign. (See also: [endlevel], DirectActionsWML)
In this scenario, any tag of the form [endlevel] result=defeat [/endlevel] will be automatically preceded by all actions in this tag. (See also [endlevel], DirectActionsWML)

Filters can be applied to the following event triggers (see FilterWML; see also below). The actions specified in the event tag will be executed only if the filter returns true. These event triggers are all actions by units (moveto, attack) or things that happen to units (recruit, advance). When one of these events is triggered, the position of the active unit (referred to as the primary unit) is stored in the variables x1 and y1 and the position of any unit that primary unit does something to is stored in the variables x2 and y2 (this unit is referred to as the secondary unit below). These units are also automatically stored in the variables 'unit' and 'second_unit' as if they had been stored using the [store_unit] tag. see SingleUnitWML

Triggers after the primary unit moves. Typically this is used when the primary unit gets to a particular location and a filter for the location of the primary unit is included; remember that this is the location that the primary unit lands on, not the location it started on or any location it travels on.
An [allow_undo] tag anywhere within a moveto event will cancel any lack of undo functionality the event would have caused. Note that undo functionality will only move the unit back to its former location; it will not other changes to the game caused by the event. Thus it is up to the scenario designer to use this tag correctly. Template:DevFeature $x2 and $y2 refer to the hex the unit came from.
Triggers when the primary unit becomes visible to the secondary unit in particular after not being visible to the secondary unit's side (so if the secondary unit's side doesn't have shroud or fog, the event never triggers). This happens both when the primary unit moves into view during its turn, and when the secondary unit moves to a location where it can see the primary unit. (This editor hasn't tested whether the event triggers multiple times if the primary unit moves into view of multiple units at once, or if not, which one gets chosen to be the secondary unit here.) (Note: it appears that when a sighted event is triggered because an enemy unit moves into your field of view, the game engine cannot determine which unit (on your side) sees the unit that moved, and so it fires a name=sighted event without setting $second_unit. This means that, for example, using speaker=second_unit inside a message tag may fail.) (Double note: it also appears that the sighted event in more recent versions of the game (1.6 and 1.7, maybe?) does not fire on enemy turns. That is, it only fires for units that become visible as a result of the motion of another unit, not for units that move into the vision of an enemy. This event is also buggy in general... it's usually better to use a moveto event with a [filter_vision] tag than to use a sighted event (and note that the combination of the two can achieve something like the old sighted event)).
Triggers when the primary unit attacks the secondary unit.
attack end
Similar to attack, but is triggered after the fight instead of before. Note that if either unit is killed during the fight, this event triggers before any die events.
attacker hits
Triggers when the the primary unit (the attacker) hits the secondary unit (the defender). The value of the WML variable damage_inflicted is set to the number of hitpoints inflicted by the attacker.
attacker misses
Same as attacker hits, but is triggered when the attacker misses.
defender hits
Triggers when the primary unit (the attacker) is hit in retaliation by the secondary unit (the defender). The value of the WML variable damage_inflicted is set to the number of hitpoints inflicted by the defender.
defender misses
Same as defender hits, but is triggered when the defender misses.
Triggers when the primary unit is hit by an attack with the 'stones' ability (See stones, AbilitiesWML) by the secondary unit (the unit with the 'stones' ability). In Template:DevFeature, this event name is changed to "petrified".
last breath
Triggers when the primary unit is killed by the secondary unit, but before the death animation is triggered.
Triggers when the primary unit is killed by the secondary unit. Note: The primary unit is not removed from the game until the end of this event. The primary unit can still be manipulated, will block other units from taking its hex, and will still be found by standard unit filters (except [have_unit]). To prevent this behavior, you can use [kill] to remove the unit immediately. However, this will stop any (still unfired) other events that also match the unit from firing afterwards, so use with caution.
Triggers when the primary unit captures a village. The village may have been previously neutral, or previously owned by another side; merely moving into your own villages does not constitute a capture.
Triggers when the primary unit is recruited. (That is, when a unit is recruited it will trigger this event and this event's filter will filter that unit.).
Triggers when the primary unit is recruited but before it is displayed.
Triggers after a unit is recalled.
Triggers when a unit is recalled but before it is displayed.
Triggers just before the primary unit is going to advance to another unit.
post advance
Triggers just after the primary unit has advanced to another unit.
Triggers when the primary unit is selected. Also triggers when ending a move, as the game keeps the moving unit selected by selecting it again at the end of movement. Note: in networked multiplayer, these events are only executed by the client on which the event is triggered, leading to out of sync errors if you modify the game state in the event.
menu item X
Triggers when a WML menu item with id=X is selected. Note: if the menu item has a [command], this event may be executed before or after the command; there is no guarantee.

Custom events

An event with a custom name may be invoked using the [fire_event] tag. Normally you'll use such custom events as named subroutines to be called by events with predefined types. One common case of this, for example, is that more than one sighted events might fire the same custom event that changes the scenario objectives.

Optional Keys and Tags

These keys and tags are more complex ways to filter when an event should trigger:


Whether the event should be removed from the scenario after it is triggered. This key takes a boolean; for example:
Default behavior if key is omitted. The event will trigger the first time it can and never again.
The event will trigger every time the criteria are met instead of only the first time.


The event will only trigger if the primary unit matches this filter.


Like [filter], but for the secondary unit.


Can be used to set additional filtering criteria for the primary unit and the secondary unit that are not generally available in a standard unit filter. Can be used in events attack, attacker hits, attacker misses, defender hits, defender misses and attack end. For more information and other filter keys, see FilterWML.
  • name: the name of the weapon used.
  • range: the range of the weapon used.
  • special: filter on the attack's special power.


Like [filter_attack], but for the secondary unit.
  • name: the name of the weapon used.
  • range: the range of the weapon used.
  • special: filter on the attack's special power.


A special case 'action', the [event] tag may be used to create a nested event.


This key is only relevant inside of a nested event and controls when variable substitution will occur in those special case actions.

Actions triggered by [event]

After the trigger conditions have been met, all action tags within the [event] tag are executed in the order they are written in.

There are 3 main types of actions:

Several actions use standard filters to find out which units to execute the command on. These are denoted by the phrases "standard unit filter" and "standard location filter".

Nested Events

There is one special type of action: event creation. By placing an [event] tag inside another [event] tag, the nested event is spawned (created) when the parent (outer) event is encountered (when executing the contents of the parent event).

(See Examples)

Delayed Variable Substitution

Variable substitution for a nested event can happen either when it is spawned by the parent event or when it is triggered itself. This is controlled with the key delayed_variable_substitution which is used in the nested event.

If this key is set to yes, the variables in the nested event will contain values from the turn in which the nested event was triggered. This is the default behavior if the key is omitted. If set to no, the variables in the nested event are set at the time the parent event is triggered.

This behavior can be fine tuned with a special syntax when referencing variables. Instead of the normal $variable syntax, use $|variable to cause a variable to contain values relevant to the turn in which the nested event was triggered even when delayed_variable_substitution is set to no. In this way you can have a mix of variables relevant to the parent and nested event trigger times.

(See Examples)

Multiplayer safety

In multiplayer it is only safe to use WML that might require synchronization with other players because of input or random numbers (like [message] with input or options or [unstore_unit] where a unit might advance) in the following events. This is because in these cases WML needs data from other players to work right and/or do the same thing for all players. This data is only available after a network synchronization.

List of synchronized events:

  • moveto
  • sighted
  • attack
  • attack_end
  • attacker hits
  • attacker misses
  • defender hits
  • defender misses
  • stone
  • last breath
  • die
  • capture
  • recruit
  • prerecruit
  • recall
  • prerecall
  • advance
  • post_advance

Events fired from a WML event handler that is synchronized:

There is also the possibility of events that are synchronized when fired by the engine but can be non-synchronized when fired by WML tags from non-synchronized event. So when you are using them you must be extra careful. For example [unstore_unit] may trigger a unit advancement that will fire advance and post advance events.

A Trap for the Unwary

It is perfectly possible (and, in fact, useful) to have multiple events with the same predefined name and thus the same trigger condition. However, it is not defined what order such events will fire in, so you need to code so the order will not matter.

Because of the above, you need to beware of using macros to generate events. If you include a macro expanding to an event definition twice, the event will be executed twice (not once) each time the trigger condition fires. Consider this code:

#define DOUBLE
        {VARIABLE_OP 2_becomes_4 multiply 2}


{VARIABLE 2_becomes_4 2}

{DEBUG_MSG "$2_becomes_4 should be 4"}

After it executes, the debug message will reveal that the variable has been set to 8, not 4.

Miscellaneous Notes and Examples

Primary/Secondary Unit Speaker Example

In events, the primary unit can be referred to as unit and the secondary unit can be referred to as second_unit in [message] tags using the speaker key. For example:

        message= _ "Hahaha! I finally killed you!"

        message= _ "It's not over yet! I'll come back to haunt you!"

Nested Event Example

An event is created for a portal that opens on turn 10. The parent (or 'outer') event executes on turn 10 at which point the nested moveto event is created. This nested event executes when a player steps on a certain spot.

    name=turn 10



        # moving to 5,8 will trigger this event only on turn 10 and after

An equivalent way of doing this would be to create a single moveto event with an [if] statement to check for turn number but using nested [event] tags is a convenient shortcut to accomplish this task without resorting to [if] statements.

Delayed Variable Substitution Example

This code will display the turn on which the nested moveto event happens.

    name=turn 10



        {DEBUG_MSG "Turn $turn_number"} 

Since this is the default behavior for the delayed_variable_substitution key, the following example is identical.

    name=turn 10



        {DEBUG_MSG "Turn $turn_number"} 

This code will always display "Turn 10" when the nested moveto event happens. This is because the variable substitution is done when the parent event is triggered and spawns the nested event, not when the nested event is triggered.

    name=turn 10



        {DEBUG_MSG "Turn $turn_number"} 

Finally, this example is identical to the first two, in that it will display the turn on which the nested moveto event happens despite the fact that the delayed_variable_substitution key is set to no. This is because the special $|variable syntax is used.

    name=turn 10



        {DEBUG_MSG "Turn $|turn_number"} 

Multiple Nested Events

Every delayed_variable_substitution=no causes a variable substitution run on the subevent where it occurs at the spawn time of this event and on all following subevents. For any specific event, variable substitution happens at least one time when the event is executed. For each delayed=no key appearing in itself or in an event of an "older" generation, which is not the toplevel event, an additional variable substitution run is made.

[event]# parent
    name=turn 2
    #delayed_variable_substitution=no # In the parent event, delayed= has no effect.

    [event]# child
        name=turn 3
        delayed_variable_substitution=no # Causes variable substitution in the child, grandchild and great-grandchild event
        # at execution time of the parent event = spawn time of the child event.

        [event]# grandchild
            name=turn 4
            delayed_variable_substitution=yes # no variable substitution in the grandchild and great-grandchild event
            # at execution time of the child event = spawn time of the grandchild event

            [event]# great-grandchild
                name=turn 5
                {DEBUG_MSG $turn_number}# output: 2 - value from the variable substitution at execution time of the parent event,
                # caused by delayed=no in the child event

                {DEBUG_MSG $||turn_number}# output: "$turn_number"
                # Each variable substitution transforms a "$|" to a "$" (except when no | left).

                {DEBUG_MSG $|turn_number}# output: 5 - from the variable substitution at execution time
                # of the great-grandchild event

See Also