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[Construction and Discussion] 1916|All's Quiet on the Western Front
Old 07 Apr 2010, 04:33   #1 (permalink)
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Default [Construction and Discussion] 1916|All's Quiet on the Western Front

The State of Affairs

Map (V.V.Big)

Great work old chap! Having pushed the Hun out of Cambrai we have him running with his tail between his legs back to Germany. We might not be home for Christmas but we'll show his some great British spunk shan't we old bean?

I've had this idea brewing for a long time now, but never had the resources to think of running this RP/Grand Strategy until I got hold of a suitable map, and boy, this one is ma-hu-sive! Better than that, it's got enough detail to it without already being covered in preexisting trenchworks, and contains areas of spacial interest to. I plan to design and flesh out the game mechanics fully before a sign up and play sometime in the next couple of months.

So what is 1916|All's Quiet on the Western Front?

It's a Grand Strategy game to be played over weeks or months needing your input roughly once or twice a week, unless things aren't so quiet. It puts between 6 and 8 players into the roll of a Lieutent in either the British Army, or the German Army during 1916 in a fictional set of trenches to the east of the french town of Cambrai.

It will be your collective roll to break the opponents line and force them off the map to either side.

As part of this you will be responsible for designing your trench fortifications, manning them and attacking and defending from them in time of action.

In the meantime both sides will play the grand strategic game of resource allocation and careful planning to make sure that when the time comes to go 'over the top' your soldiers will have everything to hand.

Can you explain more?
The game mechanic is broken down into both Strategic mode where you build up your forces, construct earthworks and gather intelligence on the opposing team. This occurs in real time, one game day equals one game day. With little combat but aerial actions, intelligence gathering and shelling.

Then there is the Tactical mode. This is where time slows down, such that every day becomes 6 hours of game time, this occurs whenever one side wishes to make a major push against the enemy to test their defenses and tries to force a break through of the lines.

Here your forward planning will be tested in if you had placed enough ammunition dumps, built your trenches in the right places and placed the reserves so that they could respond via your cunning communications network.

The game mechanic itself is/to be designed such that even in this faster moving game, you as commander of your companies can leave orders in a chain of contingency. Each section of your battleplan to be carried out by the clock. This is allowed by all parties 'turns' simultaneously occurring at once and battles being determined by the ground work already put in place, plus a touch of randomness.

Of course you may wish to take personal command and not leave your battleplan fixed in stone, but you will not be able to issue orders anymore than once an hour (four hours real time).

Thus anybody can be the arm chair general. Even if they don't log on for a couple of days. All parties would be notified of an up and coming attack as the game mechanic demands a built up of troops prior to attack.

This all sounds very complicated, will I have to learn a load of rules?
Not particularly. The system as it stands operates in a simple, you buy stuff, you place stuff in strategic mode. There is a small amount of logistics and economics to worry about such as insuring you bought enough shells to keep up your shelling pattern. But on the whole this is hardly taxing.

Even for tactical play, there are few rules. A battleplan will function as a battleplan, if you have troops here they will bog down units trying to pass.

The most important aspect is to work with your fellow commanders to design an interlocking battleplan and as many contingencies as possible to account for what your opposing team might do. The map is big and varied and you will need to plan on a large scale to insure that your forces could reach somewhere in time.

Ok, so what kind of things do I control?
Men, horses, tanks, aircraft and all manner of equipment that was used in the Great War. Infantry don't have to be micromanaged as they are grouped into squads, and with officers, companies. Such units can be allocated to particular jobs with ease by referring to the combined unit and giving orders just like you would do in real life. "See that hill there? I want 20 shells on it!"

Much of the results of said actions are dependant on tables of results and a small bit of probability, so that you can be relatively sure of the results of such actions and plan, and counterplan for their eventuality.

The war itself occurs both on the ground and the air. In the air you will be able to use Balloons and Recon planes to fly deep over your opponents territory to find out if they are massing for attack, or building a new line of defenses.

In order to do this, your team will want its own fighter aircraft to engage these scouts. Thus the age of dogfights escalates. Again most of the results are dependant on how you decide to deploy these forces.

With the intelligence gained from the air your ground troops can be commanded more effectively shelling targets behind your opposing teams lines to hinder their war effort.

So it not a static setting?
Not at all. Even technology will move with the time, with your side getting new equipment as time progresses. The successes your team experiences is down to your collective ingenuity.

Sounds Cool. How do I take part?
First, I need you to work with me to develop this to your liking. Sign up here!


Prerequisites for you and your team:

Image Editing Software
Because this is a map based grand strategy, you need to have access to some form of picture editing software, and by this, something other than Paint or Gimp. It will need some kind of 'layer' tool, in order that you'll be able to save your divisions and companies as separate to the main map so that they can be moved about. Of course trenches, bunkers and emplacements don't move however. I can recommend a free download of Fireworks from Adobe, or Photoplus Picture Editing, if you do not have a suitable program.

To facilitate this your team should have a webspace for hosting your teams battlemap. I have a knowledge of a number of good free sites where you can get webspace, and if your team uses a single map adding to it collectively then it makes more sense.

You won't get to see your opposing teams map at all. When you gather intelligence the high commander (me or whoever runs the game) will give you a section of their map for you to copy onto your own.

Of course you'll need to keep your intelligence fresh to insure that you have all the features of their network.

A Dedication to Troops
You will be expected to keep a list inventory of your equipment and soldiers independent of the map for processes of cataloging who has what, and what weapons such and such company has access to.

This will not be checked by anybody other than your own team if they wish. As in all games on TO cheating removes the fun, don't bother. Because the game moves technology along, and uses equipment from history you can read up on it yourself to get a better understanding of what you have, and what you might be getting in the future and thus plan for that.

Half an hour spent plotting out artillery ranges, might save a bit of embarrassment when you find that you can't actually shell that ammunition dump from those emplacements you dug. You might want to use a separate map or layer for this.

A dedication to your Teammates
It's not just you fighting for victory, it is your team. Make sure you discuss carefully with your fellow members how you want to defend what you have, and how you want to make the grand push.

In the early stages of the game, you are going to need to frantically built a trench network to protect key locations such as the railroads, towns and hills, all the while skirmishing with the enemy (a low key form of combat where you can't dig trenches under fire if another enemy unit is close by).

Of course the more advantageous positions you can claim the fewer troops you'll need in defense, and the better your economic strength to push back at the other team.

...Oh yeah, and you need to want to have some fun as an armchair general!

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Old 07 Apr 2010, 06:41   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: [Construction and Discussion] 1916|All's Quiet on the Western Front

Picking your teammates
As people sign up, you are going to need to think carefully of who you want to work alongside with for victory. Do you have anybody who is good at using image editing tools? Do you have someone who is on the forums enough to keep you informed if you are not?

Make sure you get along relatively well, or that you can accept working alongside them. You don't want your line to get fragmented.

It might be worth allocating a 'mapper' somebody who will take responsibility for your teams map, insuring it is up to date with intelligance, and new earthworks, rather than you all trying to add to your group map at the same time, thus marking down the same things twice or forgetting something.

It might also worth allocating an 'intelligance' player. Somebody who will use a large fraction of their resources to spy on the other team. If one person does it, then the mapper need only go to that person to collect the infomation, rather than do the rounds from everyone.

It might be worth allocating a 'support' player who will see to it that everybody else logistics are in order. As part of this putting the big guns in place, and working out what can be defended well, and what can't.

Of course if in a tactical game one players troops move into an area that only had enough equipment to support his troops, both are going to run out of amunition and have to retreat. Not desirable.

Finally a 'line of seneriority' might be worth implimenting, with somebody taking the initive to decide what they team needs to do, rather than have fragemented objectives.

Your Team (British):

The British Team gets a number of advantages. As well as key secondary objectives that carry bonus.

Recruitment: Every new Recruitment Station comes with a free squad.
Exsiting Front Line: On the map, there is already a rough frontline marked for the British forces on the outskirts of Cambrai, this already has some exsiting earthworks that might want to be taken advantage of.

Objective 1:
The Railway Depot it already has some large amunition dumps for capture, and sits on the junction of the canal. Capturing this would be of great stratigic value.

Objective 2:
The Southern Railway, it represents a valuble artery for the movement of supplies and sits on top of a light plataue, capturing it could be of vital importance for getting armoured trains into the field.

Objective 3:
The Valley to the North represents a way to cross the canal and attack from the flank on German positions.

Your Team (German):

On the Defensive: Having pulled back from Cambrai your troops are fresher to dig in again, all commanders get a free company to begin with to aid in this.
The High Ground: Much of the best terrain is on your side of the map, thus fewer troops will be required to hold it. Press the advantage.

Objective 1:
Hold the cannal, doing so will keep the British to the west and south and will give you more leaverage to attack from.

Objective 2:
The south factories give you a minor bonus to your industry, if they can be held and not destroyed they will give you continuing support.

Objective 3:
The rail network in general is better to the east, keeping it open grants more opertunities to support the war effort.


Opening Moves

NB: A day refers to the game concept of a day
When the game begins both teams are in Stratgic play, with the opition to place their initial units, and equipment wherever they like. However German troops are restricted from placing units within the dashed yellow zone as this represents the British Advance through Cambrai. Likewise the British however hav no such limitations.

The German forces each get a company to begin with for free, this may not add up to more than 50Ind (see Strategic Economy), in addition to that weeks Ind gain.

The British Forces gain no such advantage, hence it would be foolish to spread themselves too thin, as each player will initially only have a couple of squads at his/her disposal, from their recruiting stations, however they get a one time bonus of an extra 100Ind for this week.

After this it is upto you the players to determine where you run your trenches and where to contest. Remember that the only way to contest territory is to build your own defense works, or to skirmish with the other team building theirs.

Strategic Economy
There are three forms of resources for a commander to mangage in this wargame. These are broken up into the strategic Industry, (Ind) resources which is used from everything from recruiting men and equipment, to upkeep of his troops in the field. In the tactical situation, the primary resource becomes ammunition (Amu) which is required by your troops in order to keep up the fight or fall back to better prepared positions. Insuring that you have purchased enough Amu before a battle and storing it critically across the battle field and keeping supply links open is key.

The final resource is manpower. It straddles both strategic and tactical game modes. In strategic play, manpower represents your ability to construct defenses and man your trenches. If it falls too low because of casualties your line will be in danger. In tactical mode, it represents your ability to carry out a successful assault across no-mans-land. Or hold the line at all costs.


Each commander brings 200Ind per week as a baseline for his team. As this represents the national war efforts contribution to him. Out of this there are certain deductions that must be made. Whenever there is a case to round figures in this game to an integer, numbers round down;

Each 10 men cost 1 Ind per week in food and wages
Each 10 horses cost 5 Ind per week
Each car or truck costs 5 Ind per week

Additionally you may get some bonuses to this figure;

If your team owns a stretch of railway that runs to a friendly side of the map, the team gains +60 Ind to be shared amongst all players. To keep the railways open it costs 3 Ind per shell hole on a stretch of line. The weekly bonus is automatically has this cost deduced from it first.

You may also trade Ind for a weekly bonus to your Ind rate, this is done at a doubling cost. 1 Ind for +1, 2 for +2, 4 for +3, 6 for +4 and so on.


To recruit men, and thus have manpower available, you need at least 1 recruiting station. These are off map, and cost 30 Ind each to set up. Each recruiting station, can only give you a maximum of 200 men, if you reach this limit you will need to open a new station elsewhere for fresh blood.

For each recruiting station you own. You may conscript 12 new infantrymen per week at a cost of 10 Ind for the ‘squad’. Note: German players must wait at least 1 week before they may recruit a squad.

Each squad (3,4,6 or 12) carries with it its own equipment for sleeping. Such troops always incur a -1 to their level of restedness. Constructing billets (40Ind) or moving them into map houses (free) removes this penalty. Like all buildings, these can be destroyed.

If you posses dugouts, then troops stationed ‘in the field’ (on active duty) get an extra +1 bonus to their rested stance per week.

For everyday spent on R&R a squad gains +2 rested stance.

Billets can be represented with small rectangles on the map.

Types of Unit:

These can be used to move men and equipment across te battlefield and be used for either logistics, or fighting. A horse moves at 5 times the rate of a human, and carries 4 times the equipment. As such, two may be used to move a light gun or wagon, and four may be used to move heavy guns.

When used for fighting they become the mount for a solider. Thus granting the solider a speed bonus.

Men do nearly everything in the game, from sitting in a trench, to building a bunker or manning the artillery. Men are organized into base units of ‘squads’. Each squad will have 3,4, 6 or 12 men in it depending on it’s roll. 1 officer is required per 60 men minimum, or 1 officer per 6 squads. Hence for 6 squads of 3 men apiece, you would require 1 officer, but for 6 squads of 12 you would require only one officer. This reflects the complexity of the specialist rolls such as artillery, or engineering.

A single man can carry 1 unit of equipment.
A single man may carry up to 2 weapons.
A single man may carry a rank in the squad.

A squad may be equip with different equipment to other squads.
A squad must be linked to a named officer, however the officer is not considered to be ‘in’ the squad.
A squad may move at the stand walking pace per hour of 2 large squares an hour.
A squads weapon range depends on its equipment.
A squad has a default moral level of 4
A squad has a default rested stance of 4
A squad has a default Amu level of 1, but may carry up to 4 for a reduction of halved speed for each increase.

You must purchase arms and ammunition for a squad before you can used them for combat. They do not come ready equip.

Men, but not horses have other attributes, these are Moral, Amunition and Rested Stance abriviated M, A and R.

If morale is less than zero, troops will break and flee to their own lines, or move away from the nearest enemy units by their maximum amount. Units can be demoralised by shelling. If the unit has experienced a rate of shelling that exceeds 3000 in the past 6 hours, where the 'unit' is defined as the squad, plus its effective rifle range of about 2 tenths of a mile (the large squares with gradiations, see the larger map). Then it incurs a stacking -1 modifer. Troops in their own trenches reduced to morale of less than zero will begin to take casulities from shellshock (see tables) in addition to those killed by fire.

Morale can be possitively effected by officers. An officer comes with a +6 amount of moral to be shared amongst all the troops under his command in his company. So for an officer in charge of 6 squads, each squad will get a +1 bonus to their morale. This bonus is renewed everyday.

Rested Stance
If this is less than zero the unit works/moves at half speed for every point below zero. So for a rested stance of -2 the unit will work/move at quater speed.

Whenever a unit is on 'active duty', not stationed at a billet, or classed as on R&R somewhere away from the frontlines it loses its rested stance at a rate of -1 per day. Logistics crews who use wagons or trucks do not lose rested stance, even though they are on 'active duty'.

Being stationed at a billet allows a unit to recover at a rate of +2 everyday to a maximum of 4.

This represents the innate avalible ammunition for the squad. Each point of amunition gives a squad the ability to fight for 3 hours, unsupported. Hence placing amunition dumps, and having logistic crews set up is a must to bring supplies to the front lines.

Certian weapons like artillary guns will, in strategic mode, use up their amunition in shelling at some player set rate and will need to be resupplied.

Death and Casulities
If a shell lands on a unit, there is a 4 in 20 chance it will take a casulity. Per shell. Defensive earthworks give a bonus to the squads chance of incuring a causlity. More so in that the shell has to land on the map drawn earthwork for it to be a hit on the unit. In the open, the unit is defined by its rifle range and is an easier target. If a gas shell lands near a unit then it gets no bonus from the trench.

If a squad is engaged with another squad, the comparative attack and defense stats effective the 4 in 20 chance. A machingunner crew (+3) with a natural +3 in an emplacement defense +3 meets an advancing rifle squad. The squad has 12 members, +12 attack, advancing +0 in the open +0 defense.

Therefore the machingunner crew loses a man 13 in 20 times, but kills an attacker 10 in 20 times. Hence the attacking squad will likely lose 6 men taking the machinegun possition, and lose one point of ammunition in the process.

This is combat, it runs by the books. The number of men effects it, the defenses effect it, and how the unit works. The probability of a loss can be up to 1, and as low as 0 for an impossible attack. The following moddifiers are listed below;

  • Number of people: +1 to attack per person in squad.
  • Officer Present: A single squad in a company may have the officer attached to it for the bonus of +1 defense, the squad also gets on more member (+1 attack).
  • Assualting: +2 to attack, -1 to defense. Moves at normal speed through first barbed wire line.
  • Advancing: +0 to both, default method of attack.
  • Slow advance: +1 defense, moves at half speed.

  • Light Entrenchment: +1 defense
  • Entrenched: +2 defense, profile to indirecty artillary consided to be the map profile. Imunne to direct fire artilliay.
  • Zig-zaged Entrenchment: +1 to attack due to crossfire, and an extra +1 to defense. Only applicable if the trenches are zig-zagged.
  • Flanked: If a trench is not zig-zaged, and is attacked from the side, the defenders get a -3 penalty to defense.
  • Bunkered: +4 defense (also applies to buildings if held)

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Old 07 Apr 2010, 07:58   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: [Construction and Discussion] 1916|All's Quiet on the Western Front

Digging In and Skirmishing

These are the warfare aspects of the Strategic game. Skirmishing acts very similar to Tactical combat, already described but occurs at a slower rate. It also requires no movement from either party, the units simply need be in range of one another (see weapons and equipment and Tactical Battle).

Skirmishing with troops can be a valuable option, as it slows enemy construction by half and you may choose the manner of the attack, while your opposing forces may only sit their working away underfire with no bonuses, but they do shoot back at the skirmishing party.

Contingency may be set up to shell skirmishing groups within range of artillery guns, the attacking player must have his own orders for the skirmishing squad to move if this takes place.

Note no real movement happens in skirmishing, it is presumed the unit goes from A to B instantly, hence only a fall back grid location need be named if the skirmishing player wants to fall back under some condition. Likewise, entrenching troops may wish to fall back to defended troops if set upon. You may meet a skirmishing group with your own skirmish group.

This presents three possible scenarios for both players for which the commander should give orders. In the absence of orders, both squads will continue with their first order if no contingency order was given.

The results of a skirmish, like all results in Strategic mode are only realised at the end of the day. Men lost while working do not affect the base construction rate.

Digging In
On the otherside is preparing the earthworks. This takes time and even with a company working on the trenches it might take several weeks to dig enough trenches to form a continuous line and solid defense.

On the plus side, it is free to dig trenches and you can occupy your own, or the enemy. They are never destroyed by bombardment.

To dig a trench, a squad first Lightly Entrench a section of the line. It only takes a single day to dig a small ditch and foxholes across a total length of 2 tenths of a mile with 12 men. Such a Light Trench grants any unit occupied in it Light Entrenchment. Light Trenches do not offer any protection against any form of artillery.

Light Trenches are represented by dotted lines in blue.

To dig a deeper trench takes 12 men 3 days to dig a tenth of a mile. As such a trench 2 tenths of a mile can be dug in a week if unopposed. Trenches, grant a garrisoned unit Entrenched, and depending on their shape, Zig-zaged Entrenchment. Trenches are represented by solid lines in blue.

Emplacements can be dug for heavier weapons. Namely; Cannon, Field Mortars, Light Howitzers and Machineguns. Emplacements give a +3 bonus to the defense of their crews. If an emplacement is shelled, it destroys the equipment on a direct hit, the crew is checked for casualties normally. With the normal bonus. Emplacements are not destroyed, but the weapon will be.

Emplacements need not be built over trenches, but they are considered trenches for the purpose of direct fire weapons (see artillery). It takes a day for 6 men to prepare an emplacement. For a cost of 20Ind an emplacement may be hidden. They are represented by a circle in red, or with a diagonal line for hidden.

Bunkers are heavier versions of emplacements and test for casualties as if men on a direct hit, if the bunker is taken as a causality the weapon is destroyed and the garrisoned troops test normally. Bunkers are immune to field mortars and light howitzer fire (normal buildings however are not), but test normally. Bunkers grant Bunkered to garrisoned troops.

A bunker takes a full week to construct by 12 men, and may be hidden for a cost of 30Ind. They are represented by a hollow square in red for, or with a diagonal line through it for hidden.

Dugouts may be added to any Trench, they are represented by a dotten hollow blue square next to a trench. Units garrisoned in trenches with dugouts are immune to field mortars and light howitzer fire. They are destroyed by direct hits by heavy howitzers

Other Constructions
These cost Ind to construct and have special rules or purposes.

Railway can be built at a cost of 5Ind per tenth of a mile, and takes 6 men 3 days to build. It allows you to move materials to new places or connect together lines. They are represented by solid lines in red, with crossbars.

Telegraph Stations cost 70Ind each, and can connect to any other station within 1mile for free. They will be destroyed on a direct hit, but they may be placed in dugouts or bunkers for protection. A telegraph station allows contingency plans to be passed along the line from HQ (the edge of the map) to troops in the field, without runners, riders or telegraph no change in contingency plan will be enacted in Tactical play.

Telegraphs give all radio units within a mile radio coverage. They are represented by solid yellow dots.

Runner Stations cost 30Ind each and require a squad of 12 to man. They will be destroyed on a direct hit, but they may be placed in dugouts or bunkers for protection. The station has a radio unit. Messages are passed on by a runner traveling twice normal speed. They are represented by solid yellow squares.

Rider Stations cost 40Ind each and require a squad of 4 horses to man. They will be destroyed on a direct hit. The station has a radio unit. They are represented by hollow yellow squares.

Ammunition Dumps Represented on the map by red triangles with lines in them, they represent stores of ammunition of 20, 40, and 60 respectfully.

Barbed wire costs 2Ind, for a tenth of a mile, and can be strung at a rate of 1mile a day. Barbed wire slows troops by a half to move over it, second second lines slow movement even more when placed in depth. It is represented by small black crosses.

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Old 07 Apr 2010, 10:08   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: [Construction and Discussion] 1916|All's Quiet on the Western Front

Guns and Heavy Equipment

There is a variety of different heavy equipment for each side, and lighter troop weapons which when mixed into a company can provide a strong attacking or defending force.

Heavy Guns
  • Cannon: Direct Fire: 18-Pounder Field Gun / <<research >>
    These are best for attacking vehicles and infantry in the open. They fire 'rounds' rather than shells that have no special bonus, but can take out armoured vehicles. They shoot like a single infantryman, in addition to the crew, but may do so up to 5miles.

    Range: 5miles

  • Field Mortars: Indirect Fire: Stokes Mortar/Minenwerfer
    These troop weapons at an equipment weight of 4 can be carried by squads of 4, they fire 'rounds' and attack like a single infantryman each.

    Range: 1,200/900 yards

  • Light Howitzers: Indirect Fire: 4.5 inch Howitzer / 7.7 cm Feldkanone 16
    These field artillery pieces need horses or a truck to move into position and are considered 'light artillery'. Shells explode with shrapnel, if they bombard a region with a squad in the open, the required 'hit' profile, is the squad plus rifle range (2 tenths of a mile)

    Range: 3miles/4miles

  • Machineguns: Direct Fire: Vickers Machine Gun/Machineengewehr 08

    Range: 800 yards

  • Heavy Howitzers: Indirect Fire: BL 9.2 inch Howitzer only
    The biggest guns in the arsenal of weapons, they fire shells and are capable of damaging bunkers at long range.

    Range: 8miles

All heavy guns, bar machineguns, attack in a 'per shell' manner. Rate of fire determines how many shots are made, and standing orders designate how many shots an artillery battery will fire at a target and where.

In strategic mode, you may order the indirect fire guns to fire barrages at any time, in any pattern, at anywhere, so long as you have the ammunition to do so. If there is something their to hit, you may hit it. As such it is important to have dugouts dug and the bulk of you important equipment far behind the front lines. The barrage will scatter a short distance based on range fired to.

Direct fire weapons require a target.

Infantry Weapons
  • Rifles: Lee-Enfield / Gewehr 98
Rifles are your standard infantry weapon and can be bought at a cost of 3Ind per rifle. Rifles automatically come with bayonets.

Range: 200 yards
  • Sniper Rifles: Pattern 1914 Enfield / Gewehr 98
    Long range rifles for picking out lone troopers. They can be bought at a cost of 4Ind per rifle. You may order snipers to prioritise specific targets.

    Range: 400 yards

  • Flamerthrowers: Kleinflammenwerfer
    Close range trench/bunker clearing weapon. Can be bought for 6Ind Grant a +1 on attacking trenches and +2 against bunkers/buildings. (per solider)

    Range: N/a

  • Bombs: Mills bomb
    Explosives for attacking trenches, can be carried with other weapons, grants a +1 to attacking trenches/buildings/emplacements/bunkers. Costs 1Ind, used up in attack. Can order frequency of use.

    Range: N/a

  • Pistols: Webley Revolver / Mauser C96
    A side arm for defense. Can be bought for 1Ind, does nothing special. Cheap.

    Range: 150

Sample Defensive Works

This is an example of how you would display your forces on the map, this image is only a tiny fraction of the the entire map with two 'squads' (although symbology is likely to be defined more) of the 8th and the 9th.

As can be seen in the picture, the gradations will be used to mark out units of 100 yards, with the minor marker 50 yards. The solid blue line represents zig-zaged entrenchments across the top of the hill, and connected to it a dugout with a telegraph post.

At grid 18, 10-20 you can make out a line of barbed wire stretching between a defile and the end of the trench. On the lower slopes and on the reverse slope of the hill there is a light network of light trenches.

The main trench itself has space for roughly 4 squads to be garrisoned on it for an adequate defense, and with the dugout represents 5 weeks work for a single squad. This network could have been built in 3 weeks by the two squads shown. Assuming they are of 12 men each.

As can be seen there is little if any artwork involved and simple drawing tools are enough to map out the trench systems.

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Old 07 Apr 2010, 13:00   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: [Construction and Discussion] 1916|All's Quiet on the Western Front

Sample 1st Turn

Say I was playing for the German side, and having discussed with my fellow teammate a strategy for the game I began the game having been assigned a sector of map near the Railway depot;

Having looked at the map I notice that around grid 10 there is already some light field works that I might make use of to bury a flank in. To the north west we go down a valley to meet the canal and villiage. Having looked at this, I notice I already have a bottleneck already set up here if the British are going to try and push forward to the rail station.

Knowing this I know that I will want to form a strong line across the top of this hill, and place some fortifications near the depot itself the British want to try and force a line close to it.

Thus I begin looking to construct my free company of troops;

Now an officer is expensive for this company at 30Ind, but he is required. So I get two officers. I decide to call one Fritz and the other Erwin. Hence force F and E company.

I decide that I must have 2 squads as riflemen, as that's all I really can afford at 100Ind maximum. The two riflemen squads cost me each;

30Ind Officer (2)
+ 30Ind (men)
+ 12x3Ind (36Ind Rifles)
+ 2x1Ind (Pistols)
Tot: 98Ind

Then I think about the rest of my 200Ind, I have a two officers already, so I don't need to buy another of them, but I could really do with an MG on the hill to pin down skirmishers if the Brits try to slow down my fortification. Hence I buy 4 MGs;

12 men 10Ind
+ 4x12Ind (48Ind MG)
+ 8x3Ind (16Ind Rifles)

Tot: 74

That's a good 3rd of my Ind gone already, but I know have a strong force that can cover a large area with lead.

I decide I need the services of two recruiting stations for a total of 60Ind more. Bring my total to 134Ind.

I decide I could do with some more riflemen, and a sniper squad to eventually put in a trench on the hill overlooking the valley.

12 men (10Ind)
+ 6x3Ind (18Ind Rifles)
+ 6X4Ind (24Ind Sniper)

Tot: 52Ind
This leaves me with 14 left over, so I decide I might as well have a Minenwerfer as well and attach it to the Rifle squad, it doesn't matter that I've bought them rifles as well, I can leave the artillery since I can't actually move it yet from where I position it.

So I go back to my map. Those heavy weapons need good sites. So the first thing I want to do is create some range circles;

After moving them around and finding some good coverage points, I decide to finalise my MG positions, then I do the same with the mortar and place my units on the map. The MGs is the black hollow box with an orange off-diagonal line it it. The Mortar is the solid orange interior.

Well I can't yet place my entrenchments I want to dig, but I can place my men where I want them dug. I decide that the road that runs across is the best place to start the earthworks and so I place the majority of my men there.

At the same time I'd really need to defend the rail depot better, so I put my snipers in the small earthworks in grid 11.

So I send that, along with my teammates opening moves to the high command. Along with a list of what the rifle squads are digging.

Now high command, can also see the British plans, and high command realises that one of the rifle squads is underfire from a skirmishing British squad on the road in grid 9, 8-0.

This squad has got the order to prioritise entrenchment disruptment, but the combat will be conducted as a whole, by the books.

British Skirmishers
12 Riflemen
1 Officer
Slow Advance

Attack: 4+12+1
Defense: 4+2

German Defense

Attack: 4+3
Defense: 4

13 in 20 chance to die for the German Defense. After rolls, 10 deaths. 2 MG, 8 entrenches. For the Germans it's only a 12 in 20 Chance to kill the Skirmish party troops. After rolls 8 dead skirmisher riflemen.

Overall. The British skirmish party struck lucky by hitting the Germans off guard while entrenching. This will be relayed to the commander in the field at the end of the day.

Thus to complete the cycle, what will the beginning of the second turn look like?

As you can see Squad F1 in Fritz companies trenches are only roughly a half of Erwins. On this turn, you could now pull your troops into defensive positions against futher raids or continue the fortification.

This was an extreme example raiding on the first turn but hopefully it highlights the skirmish mechanic as an exchange of fire essentially over open ground disrupting the enemy. It is a more useful technique mid game when there is a 'race to entrench' a line dividing both parties. Skirmishing is dangerous without intelligence, because you don't know what your skirmish party will be facing when you move a squad there.

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Old 12 Apr 2010, 12:24   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: [Construction and Discussion] 1916|All's Quiet on the Western Front

I'm up for it.

Although, I noticed that 8*3lnd =/= 16lnd for your rifles in the MG squads.
In addition, with your example, what are the red triangles? Some are with horizontal lines and others are vertical.


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Old 14 Apr 2010, 00:02   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: [Construction and Discussion] 1916|All's Quiet on the Western Front

Oops. I'll correct that and streamline the rules of combat properly. I searched and copied and read through the material that I'd written a long time ago. The only reason I ould post this now was because I found a map to set it on.


The red triangles are amunition dumps. The Horizontal line is a not that filled up dump, the verticle lines are the half full, the two lines three-quater, and hollow is full.

But then the symbols themselves are completly opitional. I don't know what most people would find most intruitive, but still keeping in the 'style' of a coded battle map.


Right so your game. Anybody else? We would need at least one other person, and preferably more otherwise the rules would need to change to give you more command over more.

But do you have any thoughts on how you might like to see things changed. I mean would 'real time' be better squished down into less time? Or would you like to see the ability to have more or less squads at your disposal?

When I was transfering this here and writting it up I was thinking that perhaps each player should get a number of companies to start rather than my old starting rules. That's because I imagined you building your line going along, but then we could always give the germans a days start to start to dig in, and the British then start the next day and have to test the new German lines again?

Really this is a construction and discussion thread as much as an interest and sign-up.


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Old 17 Apr 2010, 23:54   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: [Construction and Discussion] 1916|All's Quiet on the Western Front

I'm game for this.
Might not have a whole heap of time to dedicate to it, but I'll do what I can.

Also, if possible I'd like to call being British.

And finally, I'd like to know if the British can get their hands on some Trench Guns.
Just in case the Kaiser decides rushing our trenches is a good idea.
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Old 20 Apr 2010, 19:17   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: [Construction and Discussion] 1916|All's Quiet on the Western Front


I was tempted to put them in, however my WW1 research of weaponry trying failed where yours has succeeded...


To be honest I don't have a huge amount of time either, but give me till the weekend and I'll write up the combat mechanic slightly clearer amongst other things.

Like I said before any other thoughts?

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