My son and I were just playing Ashes:Escalation. We still love it. I read the moding guide. It seems to not allow what I would want: with constructor click and drag to issue a build queue. Centered on click, oriented toward release, with a fraction of the queue according to drag length. So I can drag short for the essentials around a resource node or long to add heavy defenses. This would be a feature request for AshesII, but I can also volunteer to make a mod for it in Ashes:Escalation - only that I would need more core access than the XML files. Would that be possible?
Here is a little more detail on how I think it would be most effective, especially considering the partial failure of the build templates in Supreme Commander:
1) many different build templates complicate things unnecessarily, one flexible template is much better
2) Resource nodes in the template should auto switch to the type of resource present.
3) non-placeable items just get skipped, so I can put 6 resource gatherers in the queue and only two are planned if there are only two nodes
4) while dragging the mouse the gray blue preview of to be constructed structures should be show live. So as I move the mouse I can see how it affects the placement
5) while dragging the mouse the radius of center (drag start) to now (current mouse pos) defines a circle of target space to put the structures. That also implicitly sets the limit of which part of the queue is being applied. The first structure that does not fit because of space constrains terminates applying the queue. So I can have repeated static defenses that are built only if the circle is large enough to place a nullifier and one or two repair structures.
6) as with army units, the support structures should be in the back (away from current mouse position) and the attack static ground defenses in front (forward 1/2 circle) and anti air maximally dispersed.
7) To define an initial build queue the most intuitive is probably to build it manually and then select the buildings and click create-build-queue-from-this
8) there should be a UI that shows the build queue template allowing me to add, remove and quite importantly to drag a structure further to start or end
9) finally, doing this at a location where some of the structures already exist should incorporate them in the planning, so not plan placing them again. Thus, if my constructor gets shot it will be quick to send another and plan to build very similar to the plan of the original constructor.
The main benefits of this is that it removes tedious and time consuming micromangement and thus allows to spend more time on the fighting front, which is more satisfying.
I'll be happy to help implement the placement algorithm (maybe hard to setup the logistics for code access?) or at least be part of alpha testing.