Simultaneously Executed Turn Based Game
All Our Trenches is not real time nor pure turn based strategy. It combines the best from both systems in Simultaneously Executed Turn Based Game System.
Main Pros of such system:
– It is realistic
– It is fair
– It saves the time
– It allows massive number of players
In real combat situations, and specially as they were in the Great War, it is hard to predict enemy moves and even execution of own orders by subordinate officers and troops. Commanders need to fulfill that task in best possible way, to know their officers and their troops.
Entire battlefield is fluid, where in each moment something can go in wrong direction. It is not chess game where opponent always wait other one to make a move, it is constant game of cat and mouse, where roles can change in a moment.
All Orders are carried out simultaneously, so there is no advantage for the commander that plays first. Everyone have same chances that have to use in a proper way.
Timing is crucial
With SETB system, there is no more idle time, where one commander has to wait endless turn of other one, watching how his own troops cant react just because it is not his and theirs “turn”.
All commanders play same time and they can set timing for each turn and for execution phase.
The more the merrier
This simultaneously playing allows loads of players, which allows AoT to implement and execute large battlefields with lots of commanders, structured by certain hierarchy, fighting together against other group(s) with massive armies.
Main Cons of such system:
– It is much harder then classic TBS
With realism comes complexity that every realism has in itself. AoT is not for everyone, not for gamers that don’t like to plan ahead. Follow up all units and their complex orders list, together with enemy units, will be hard task but in same time very rewarding.
Units are organized as historically as possible, therefore one regiment size is not same for UK and for Serbia, but also its not same by default moral, endurance etc. All those things affect outcomes of combats and battles. Besides classical attributes, AoT will have numerous attributes for units that affect them in any activity. Status of some unit on one hex wont be just its existence on that hex and bonuses of terrain and features, but also what activity it performs on that hex. So, besides classical moving and attacking, there will be fortification, forceful reconnaissance, fake attacks, support to other troops, reserve position for troops, battle formations for moving and attacking, decisive defense, ambushes, night attacks, fake surrendering etc.
Units can cross map hex by hex or numerous hexes, depending on own attributes and attributes of the terrain, terrain features, props, weather conditions, depending on other units movement, actions of the enemy units etc.
Also, they can be moved in certain formations, which affects their speed and combat readiness.
Unlike the classic turn based strategies, and just modes for attack and defense, AoT has different modes in which the unit can be placed on how to behave in different situations.
Also, the unit itself can be “decomposed” into three sub-continent – wings (left and right) and center, which can take away or add “power” (easiest comparison would be like shields in space simulations). Therefore, the attack and defense can focus in different directions – for example, units next to each other can form a joint attack or support each other etc.
Time of day
Early morning is favorite time for attack, as enemy soldiers are tired or sleeping. Night attacks were dangerous for both attacker and defender. Calculate when and how to attack, because it all counts and affects all units.
Great War started in late summer, with hot weather and sunshine. It went through rainstorms of autumn toward snowy winter and then to snow melting, mud and floods of spring. And then it just went again through all kinds of weather for next 4 years. Use weather in your advantage against enemy, because otherwise enemy will do it against you!
Battlefields and their features
As All Our Trenches want to bring realism to the players, battlefields will have following features:
Battlefield is hex tile map but relief and not flat based, which is not often seen in the games! This will give better feel of terrain to the players and will be visual guide for calculating effort that units have to made, line of fires, obstacles and other important aspects of any real battlefield.
Battlefield will be size of maximum 90 x 90 hex fields. Since basic hex field on the start of the game is some 300 x 300 m (real life measures), it gives that battlefield in the game will cover around 30 km x 30 km of real life ground.
This basic hex will be enlarged with progress in the game, so final grand battlefield will be on the level of war theaters.
From lowlands and plains of France, over hills of Serbia to mountains of Italy, players will enjoy playing in all types of relief where Great War battles took place.
Let your unit fight in the mud and bring disaster of them. Or found them some rocky ground, so they can move faster while protected from enemy fire.
Terrain types are very important, with own attributes that affect units on the battlefield.
You can use grassy plains without obstacles for fast movement of cavalry or you can hide artillery in some holt or you can give infantry order to make ambush well covered by trees.
Men made objects for civilian usage can be source of rest for tired troops, for boosting moral or cover. And when they are not available, player can always give units orders to make fortifications and trenches.
And even destroyed objects can be used for some purpose.
Chain of Command
Player will be represented with commander and he will have his subordinate officers. Also, there will be contact with higher command which will bring in the greatest generals of the all sides in the war.
Subordinate officers system
Beside units, big variation in the game will bring those officers, with own attributes, skills, perks and experience. Good handling of units, officers and battles will give player and his commander good relation with subordinate officers, while wasted efforts of units will bring him their scorn and greater autonomy in decision making and even rejection of the set tasks.
From the beginning the player selects a commander then develops him towards its vision of ways of handling the battle. It is on players decision if he wants to develop offensive fighting style, or maybe waiting for the right moment in the implementation of strong defense and so on. Commander gains experience and perks, and relation not just to subordinated officers, but to higher command and officers that are above him.
On the very start of the game Commander is of colonels rank and he commands with units of regimental size, and through game it moves up in hierarchy gaining command over much larger units – divisions and entire armies.
Independent decisions making
Each subordinate officer will have own AI which will be triggered to certain level, depending on how good is line of communication and relationship between commander and that officer. In case of braking lines of communication, personal AI takes over and unit will be handled by that subordinated officer, to good or bad result, for entire time until communication is restored.
Lines of communication and supplies
Line of communication
Each Army has certain hierarchy. All Our Trenches will bring it to the level that it is crucial to preserve contact with all units and their officers.
Losing contact means that Commander i.e. player also losing ability to give orders to the unit until the time that contact is restored. This could be disastrous in the battle.
Fog of war
AoT brings advanced mode of fog of war, since units share own field of view with other units and commander only if communications are good and not disturbed or cut.
Lines of supplies
Units are consumers of different types of supplies and in different quantities. It is very important to provide troops enough material and ammunition, so they can achieve goals as rapid fire or crucial defense.
Troops that don’t have enough supplies will tend to lose moral, fighting abilities and will be easier targets for the enemy.
AoT will have system of medical lines to extract the wounded out of combat and first line. Harder the injury, harder is to give injured adequate medical attention.
Use field medical units and field hospitals to help injured and bring back lighter wounded soldiers to be ready again for the combat.
On the end of each mission there is report on casualties. Beside dead, injured soldiers could be brought back to the battles during that battle after some number of turns, or to be prepared for next one. Harder wounded will be send to further hospitalization and brought back in some future mission.
Old soldiers that come back from hospitals will preserve own experience. If player doesn’t pay attention on medical issues, then soldiers that died have to be replace with completely new soldiers which are inexperienced and that affects unit in total.
Also, new soldiers cost prestige, the main players resource for building up his own army. Save your soldiers, tend the wounded and you ll have more for new units and new equipment.
Story and campaigns
Player plays commandant of the one Great War participant thought historical and fictional battles of the war, progressing with ranks, upgrading subordinate officers and troops, obtaining better weapons and arms.
The whole design, game mechanics and features are for the purpose of immersion of players in the role of commander of the war and the war itself, which are driven by the large and bloody battles with millions of lives lost.
The story will cover war period 1914-1918 and follows life and work of chosen commander. Player through war diary, narrative and communication with subordinate officers, “lives” and experience the war. Each mission and campaign, beside different flow of missions and endings, will have different story line. Same story line will be seen differently depending on type of commander – profile of offensive person doesn’t see or feel events same as more defending one etc.
Commander begins with lower rank and then progresses. Player will have option to increase number of core units and their strength and improve military technology, just like the enemy will do. Depending on the previously performed missions, enemy units can be changeable number.
Additional diversity of missions, as well as their difficulty, make the enemy commanders and their subordinate officers, who provide certain units with bonuses and benefits.
Closer to the end of the war, the player has more and more complex missions, as well as additional tasks that in the event of a successful finishing helps, but in the case of “Pyrrhic” victory, bring penalties in future missions.
Certain missions, at a certain point, can lead to historical milestones such was the Russian Revolution that puts players in the position to choose sides – for “whites” or soviets.
Story and alternative
As much missions are close to historical events, as story line will be close to real history. Otherwise, the story can distract player and his commander in daydream or nightmare with alternative history making.
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