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In this thread I aim to post a summary of my progress in designing a WWI campaign, the decisions I made and why, in addition to asking for Feedback.

01. Why WWI

I choose WWI for several reasons;

First, its time frame is close to that of the SC2 campaigns

Second, I could use the existing map as a starting point.

Third, I don't know much about this war so I thought it would be a great learning experience.

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02. Major Campaign Features

The second item of any campaign is to decide on the features that will make it unique.

In this case;

02.01 Spotting ranges are reduced to 1 for all ground units, and to 3 for the Air unit. This is a game where intel will be very valuable and you will not know where the enemy plans to strike.

02.02 No armor, tactical bombers, bombers, or anti-air units and no related research in these areas.

02.03 More engineer units and reduced build time for fortifications due to the "trench warfare" of the period.

02.04 Diplomacy chits reduced to 3 per country

02.05 Decision Events will include the Zimmerman Telegram - Germany's offer of an Alliance with Mexico - that was historically intercepted by the British and leaked to the Americans and rejected by Mexico.

02.06 Losses from Combat will be higher due to the nature of trench warfare.

03. Major Powers

The second decision in any campaign is to decide who the Major Powers are, given the game engine's limit of six.

Historically the WWI major powers were:

Central Powers: Germany, Austro-Hungarian Empire and Turkey

Entente Powers: Russia, France, UK, USA, and Italy

Since SC engine is limited to six major powers I had to make a choice, of which of these eights powers would be the six.

The decision for the Entente Powers was simple; USA, UK, France and USSR as these powers provided most of the production and military action during the course of the war.

Naturally Germany would be a major power.

Choosing between Austro-Hungarian Empire and Turkey would be the hard choice.


If I choose Austro-Hungarian Empire and Turkey joins, then Germany receives the benefit of Turkish production, which considering the number of cities that Turkey controls could be quite large - since their territory streaches includes Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Futhermore, I can't treat Saudi Arabia as a conquered country of Turkey, (but rather a controlled province of Germany)

If I choose Turkey then Germany receives MPPs from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and I can treat Saudi Arabia and Iraq as conquered countries of Turkey. However, Turkey might not enter the war.

DESIGN REQUEST: The game could really use a Major Minor Country choice box where the MPPs for a Major Minor are not shared with the parent country, and can only be used to purchase units for that Major Minor power and Major Minors should be allowed to conquer other countries.

[ April 26, 2008, 08:24 AM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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I can assist you with the relative production capability of the belligerants in WW I.

I have the excellent Decision Games monster game: WW I game Storm of Steel - it has a great production module.

I can send you a list of the production cities and the production multiple (which varies) for each country for each year.

I can send a list of the fortified cities vs. production cities (some overlap).

I can send the unit production costs relative to the overall production for a country.

I can send you the relative combat values per each type of unit per country.

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dgold07, thanks for the offer (and the game looks great - I saw it on their site for $140USD and really liked their map). However, for this mod I will be relying on original source information for the production model - the Oxford University Text: Economics of WWI.

Based on this I will adjust the production capacity and efficiency of each nation.

Adjusting the production capacity refers to adding or subtracting the number of cities,

Adjusting the production efficiency refers to adjusting the multiple for the production of each city - 50%, 60%, 80%, 100%, etc.

"...it is as a synthesis of the major economic statistics of the various powers of the war that the study is most valuable for understanding World War I. The amount of information about the economies of the states examined, for instance, is staggering and oftentimes fascinating. In addition, the book contains nearly 150 figures and tables that relate useful data, covering a wide range of subjects: GDP; battle and non-battle deaths; labor statistics; inflation; industrial and agricultural production--and a whole host of other interesting and important economic statistics."

- H-German, Nathan N. Orgill, Department of History, Duke University

"The editors' introduction is a valuable summary, and the country chapters provide consistent data for comparison and analysis." - Peter Temin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Product Description

This unique volume offers a definitive new history of European economies at war from 1914 to 1918. It studies how European economies mobilized for war, existing economic institutions stood up under the strain, economic development influenced outcomes, and wartime experience influenced postwar economic growth. Leading international experts provide the first systematic comparison of economies at war between 1914 and 1918 based on the best available data for Britain, Germany, France, Russia, the U.S., Italy, Turkey, Austria-Hungary and the Netherlands. A companion volume to the acclaimed The Economics of World War II, the volume is a major contribution to our understanding of total war.

That said, looking at what other games have done gives you a test for if your assumptions are in line. If they are not, then either your assumptions or that of the other game's designers are incorrect or based on different assumptions.

Also, keep in mind that the production efficiency does not change by year in the SC Engine, only tech advancements can change it.

But it should be noted that the cost of each unit type can differ by country.

[ April 26, 2008, 10:33 AM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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04. Unit Scale.

Perhaps the most important decision for any game is the unit scale.

At this time I am leaning towards Army Groups (180,000 men), Armies (90,000 men) due to the large infantry formations used during WWI.

In this campaign I assume that:

Corps = 30,000 Men (three divisions)

Army = 3 Corps or 90,000 men

Army Group = 2 Armies or 180,000 men.

This scale will allow me to keep the unit count down. I will update my thoughts as I do more research.

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Austria-Hungary should be the 2nd Axis major power. It had a much greater impact on the war than Turkey, which mostly defended.

If Turkey comes in the war, its PP's would go to Germany. A house rule in PBEM games (or playing as Central Powers vs Entente AI) could be that Turkish PP's would be only spent on Turkish builds.

I would like to see the unit scale at Armies (3 corps) and Corps. In the Middle East theatre, for example, small formations were used.

[ April 26, 2008, 02:57 PM: Message edited by: dgold07 ]

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05. Decision Events

One of the cool features in PDE is decision events.

The first decision event for WWI is a German Request to Belgium for Free Passage (which Belgium Historically Rejected)

1. Yes - Request Free Passage through Southern Belgium

50% - Belgium Agrees and German annexes Belgium territory

50% - Belgium Allies itself with France and UK war readiness increases

2. No - No Change

If Germany Attacks Belgium then the UK War Readiness Increases (Historical Outcome)

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I would not be 100% in favour of:

"02.02 No armor, tactical bombers, bombers, or anti-air units and no related research in these areas."

Remember: Zeppelines / Blimps played an important role in this time, so a Zeppelin like looking Bomber or so would go well ( maybe without upgrade)

Same for special warfare: Gas as weapon was one of the specialities of this war, so instead of rocketery, there could be used this.

Armor could also be possible but simply as latest developement upgrade of cavallery. ( means: Cavallery is Standart, Upgrade 1 & 2 keeps beeing cavallery, und Upgrade 3 is i.e. an Armor Unit.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure Zeppelins are good for this scale.

Same with tanks, no separate unit needed for that. Maybe a tech level could be used to reflect the new armor technology.

Maybe add cavalry – low combat values.

I would increase the diplomatic chits and effectiveness of diplomacy. Italy, USA and Turkey all start the war neutral.

We are lucky to have that PDE map with Mexico – make sure we send Pershing out to get Poncho Villa!

The ethnic and political situation in the Balkans will make for some interesting decision or variable events.

When I was researching the Seelowe scenario I came across some information about British anti-invasion preparations. They kept a significant amount of the Army in the UK.

The naval aspects of this game have potential – no aircraft carries please. The surface warfare could be significant and submarine warfare will have a big impact.

During WWI Ireland was part of the UK, and the potential for rebellion was high.

As the war progressed, severe war strains in both Russia and Germany caused dissent and revolution at home. The French also had some serious problems with Army disipline.

Sounds fun, especially the historical research you mention. Check out John Keegan's book on WWI.

I am looking forward to seeing what decision events you create.

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02.02 No armor, tactical bombers, bombers, or anti-air units and no related research in these areas.

You should have armor, tanks were used in WW1 but each country had very few and their movement was pretty much the same as troops. They cost allot to build.

Tactical Bombers did exist in WW1 and they could pack a decent punch on strategic targets, they had few again due to high costs but they should be a possibility.

Look forward to giving this a go, coming from you it should be spectacular... no pressure =).

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  • 1 month later...

Interesting topic. Here are my thoughts on it.

The strategic impact of tanks and planes on WW I battlefields were very limited. Tactically, yes they had an impact, but at this level they'd not even warrant a unit. Tanks were not really organized above brigade level for example and were parceled out to infantry units regardless (a practice France continued in WW II even though the French had more and stronger tanks than Germany in summer of 1940).

You could have armor available as a research option and allow units to "upgrade" to it (say 2 levels max) giving them a soft attack bonus (strictly offensive units here not used on defense by allies).

Also how about an "entrenchment" research option? This is how I was thinking of simulating the trench warfare aspects of WW I (I to was thinking of using SC2 for WW I, just never got around to it yet). I'd have the Germans start with entrenchment 1 (they had better trench lines throughout the war than French and British) and this ability simply increases soft defense by 1 per level.

Planes too can be researched and added to units as a way of showing their original mission--reconnaissance. So an army can increase its spotting range (set the defaults to 1 for spotting with ability to increase to 2 or 3). Planes were limited in payload and range (and numbers compared to WW II) so they really have no strategic impact as strategic bombers or tactical bombers.

Gas attacks would increase soft attacks to help break the lines but be expensive and only go to maximum of 2 levels.

I'd definitely keep the action points low for the corps and armies (meaning no motorization research). Everything was foot or horse powered really.

HQs with low command ratings (the communications and lack of transport) and maybe 1 less unit per HQ than the standard default (Prussian General staff was excellent and pretty muched same command system Nazis used in WWII). So I'd make "good" HQs in the 5-7 range tops.

My first post on forum btw, sorry for all the verbage.


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Also in regards to minor powers. Austria-Hungary should definitely be a major power. And you can make an argument for Turkey be one as well solving your PP issues with Germany. The US only fielded full strength armies the last 9 months of the war.

Also, we used Enfield rifles to fill out our ranks (Sgt. York used one during his heroics, not a Springfield) plus French artillery and both British and French planes of course. We did deploy two full strength armies by the end of the war, but the USA really wasn't "major" player (meaning major power in SC game terms) in WW I. Just my two cents worth on that issue.

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I agree with Mark, I would have USA as a minor but with a huge build possibility.

USA was not a factor in why WW1 ended but they would have been if it had gone on and this would have been in terms of production of goods SENT to UK. So having their money be in the UK pool makes sense. Anyway by then UK should pretty much be maxed out in units so the extra mpps would go to US troops.

WW1 Major players : UK, France, Russia, Germany, Austro-Hungary empire.

Major Minor: Turkey and USA.

The rest being typical minors.

Once you have a test version I am buying PDE just for that campaign. smile.gif .

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Yeah I agree Blashy, PDE brings some nice aspects to SC2 engine. I recently downloaded the demo for it and Weapons and Warfare (hadn't keep close watch battlefront's website lately much to my chagrin) I like how SC has developed over the years (enjoyed the original core game, hours and hours of fun the future looks very bright).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Look Edwin this is what I don't understand.

I love the idea of a ww1 mod and I'm sure it will be great.

But according to Hubert you were the one who pursuaded him into making PDE. Should'nt you be working with that kind of cold war campaigns? THat was what you thought us guys should do right????

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I am a great fan of WWI. It IS greatly misunderstood. The Entente won because of the USA! True we did not get in til Early 1917 and troopwise only poured in 2,000,000 troops by the time of the armistice. What the young and ill informed WWII philes do not have a clue on is that US food and Munitions were the lifeline that kept the Entente going, If the US had remained neutral, They WOULD have surrendered in 1918. The moral boost of the USA joining and rushing the US forces during the 1918 German offensives gave the the strenght to hold. The Germans would have succeeded.

I have a small library devoted to this great war. Tanks did make a difference in breaking the stale mate of the western front. However the Eastern front was always very fluid,. The Naval aspects of the war is amazing! The British could have lost, once they deployed a small force of 6 New Dreadnaughts to catch some German Costal raiders. The High Seas fleet had unknownst to the Btitish sortied, The two fleets were on a colllision course, The germans would have obliterated this small British force and have actual parity with the Grand fleet....Fortunatly Scheer followed orders for HRH and di not engage. Sir Jellicoe was truely the only man who could have lost the war in one day! The U-Boats almost brought Britan to he knees, The Allied blockade of Germany DID bring her to her kness!!!

I will help you in any way I can I will loan you some GREAT books and referance material if you need them. Kuni as much as I love you back off and let Edwin do his deed!

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Im not really a studied WWI-Buff!,...but i believe that at least on one occassion...the British were able to muster something like over 300-Tanks for a major offensive_assault against the German's!,...and that those tank's were instrumental in forcing the German-Line to collapse!.

For those who have the passion-drive & interest,...check it out!.

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