The full campaign – done. A 1914 Mobile War Scenario – done. At hand is the task of creating a mid-war and late-war scenario. This week I have been doing a lot of reading a note taking to get the army sizes as correct as possible. The 1914 set up was easy by comparison as Orders of Battle were readily available for all combatants.
After August 1914, The British records are the easiest to find and perhaps the most reliable. It’s clear which divisions were formed and sent to the continent at which dates. Unfortunately, WWII brought about the destruction of so many records that I am forced to piece together what I can. I may know for example, the British army was able to send X number of divisions to France in 1915. What is unknown is the amount of manpower used to reinforce the already existing units.
Reinforcement is important in terms of game play. Players may not repeat the battles of history. A conservative player may in fact attack quite less and subsequently suffer far fewer losses than their historical counterparts. This would cause a ballooning of strength beyond historical levels.
I likened this aspect of game creation to my wife as a college research paper, played as a game with the hope of selling to a few thousand professors. My belief is that once I establish reasonable estimates of combatant strength and use a consistent method for translating it to game strength, the game should hold up to scrutiny. The challenge lies in making sure the game remains playable (not necessarily balanced) at each stage in which a scenario is set.
Here is an example of combatant strength in the form of a map.
If a division was universal in terms of men, artillery etc. creation of a historical set up would be easy. Totals for the actual number of men who participated on either side is varied by source and casualty counts are widely disputed.
In the end, I am attempting to keep the game as simple as possible while maintaining the feel of the conflict. This is not a 4 day simulation but an game played in an afternoon (full campaign). I hope to have the 1917 scenario finished in time for play testing at the Strategicon convention in February. Now back to work…