Evolution of the First World War campaigns series through the first three titles
In this article I will highlight how the FWWC series has evolved since the launch of France '14 and the subsequent launch of East Prussia '14 and Serbia '14, some of the changes were driven by many hours of post launch play and some where introduced to address unique elements that a WW1 east front title required in the case of S14 some completely new features were added, it should be noted the after the launch of S14 the first two title's will be updated so all three titles are identical in the rules, features and parameters that they use.
Changes from F14 with the launch of EP14 (I have included the particular page within the EP14 designer notes so anyone who wishes to read about the changes in more depth can do so).
Fields (farms), Eastern front vs. Western front p43
In France '14, the Field (farms) terrain type had a protection of -25% and a height of 3 meters, and a movement cost of 12 Movement Points, in East Prussia ’14 Field (farms) only have a protection of -10%, a terrain height of 0 meters, and a non-mechanized movement cost equal to that of Clear terrain.
Infantry movement p54
In France ’14 the regular infantry speed was set to 3 clear hexes per turn, after much post release play it was decided to increase this to a standard 4 hexes per turn, and light infantry unit speeds was set at 5 hexes per turn.
Fragile Morale Nationality (Unenthusiastic Nation rule) p41
Under this new rule any forces belonging to a Fragile Morale Nationality that are not considered elite (A & B quality) are automatically eliminated when they are forced to retreat after an assault but do not have a valid retreat hex.
This rule only affects nations flagged as a Fragile Morale Nationality, currently this only affects Russia and Austria Hungary.
*Note that this new rule is over and above the optional surrender rule which only eliminated broken units and imposed an additional 50% loss on other units in the same situation*.
Wireless radio interception p34
This new rule only affects the Russian forces, any HQ that is corps level and above (i.e. corps, army, army group) will reveal its location, you can detect Russian corps or higher HQ units that are within ten times their command range from one of your units (see your Command dialogue), also any other units currently stacked with the revealed HQ will also be seen.
Disrupted unit movement allowance change
This change was made to encourage players to retreat from unsustainable positions rather than hang on to allow disrupted units to escape to the rear and often suffer an even worse loss of units cut off and destroyed. To stop players taking advantage of the change to be able to push disrupted units forward an additional terrain cost in MPs to move towards known/spotted enemy units was imposed, (in practise most units will only be able to move a single hex).
1) During DAY turns, disrupted units now have full Movement Points (instead of 2/3rds under the original system)
2) During NIGHT turns, disrupted units have 2/3 Movement Points (no change)
3) During DAY or NIGHT turns, disrupted units expend 3x terrain cost in MPs to move towards known/spotted enemy units (of course a unit will always be allowed to move one hex, as per standard movement rules)
In another slight tweak to disrupted unit movement when a good order unit is adjacent to an enemy, and that unit is disrupted by defensive fire during the current turn, its remaining MPs are reduced by 1/2. This keeps units from moving up, getting disrupted and being able to speed away at full speed (or being able to fire twice).
Changes from F14/EP14 with the launch of Serbia '14
These are objectives that expire after a set number of turns. When an objective expires, the side that held it at the moment it expired will gain the points and the objectives will then be removed from the map. When objectives are removed from the map then they can no longer change ownership, the ownership and points awarded are permanent. If an objective is a Limited Objective, then the Objectives Dialog will now display an "L" and a number. The "L" stands for "Limited" and the number listed is the turn number that the objective will expire (the objective will expire after that turn has been completed).
Rail Capacity Variation
This allows the rail capacity of both sides to be adjusted on certain dates during the scenario. Any changes in rail capacity will be listed in the Command Report dialog.
Replacement Rate Modifier
This is a Parameter data value in the PDT, which allows the overall replacement rate of both sides to be reduced or increased depending on campaign specific considerations. After this change, standard replacement rates will now be 1/2 in general, but in Serbia '14 specifically replacement rates are very low, or non existent due to the theatre.
In certain scenarios it is now possible to build bunkers, there has to be a percentage value greater than zero for bunker probability in the PDT table.
Field gun units
Change to Field Guns so that they are now always in Low Ammo status if Local Supply is < 20%, due to that fact that these rapid fire guns would not have enough ammo in that condition to ever be considered to operate at full capacity.
Field guns can now choose a specific target when firing alone, rather than the target unit being chosen randomly, also when a Field gun unit is fired upon there is an increase in the probability that Field Gun type units will be disrupted by enemy fire.
Lastly Field Guns and Machine Guns are now a little more effective at long range fire (firing at enemy units that are 2 or more hexes away).
Water mine hex’s
Mine hex’s that did not appear in either F ’14 or EP ’14 are included in Serbia ’14, they are located in full river hex’s to represent minefields located on the Danube river, they can add fatigue or reduce the strength of Riverbarge units that move into such hex’s.
These mine hex’s are very effective at damaging and eventually sinking River barge units, so be aware of this if you attempt to enter such a hex before it has been cleared by a minesweeping unit (if you have any).
Change so that disrupted partisan units will not exert the Deception Range feature (only non-disrupted partisan units will have this ability).
Change so that Machine Gun type units cannot go into "Patrolling" status.
Change so that detached units will no longer gain replacements.
Change so that it is now possible for units to move tactically at night without becoming disrupted (70% chance of disruption per hex, rather than 100% in the first two titles), mainly in order to allow for night assaults, but also short emergency movements.
The 70% disruption percentage is modified up and down by the quality of the unit attempting night movement (see manual).
Movement at night in T mode via road or rail lines where units where not disrupted (provided they did not exceed road stacking limits) is unaffected by this change.
Engineer units can now ferry units who utilise foot/horse/bicycle/ski movement class across rivers/canals and full water hex’s if the engineer unit has the "Has Boats" tag.
No ferrying of units is now possible during storm turns.
Change so that recon aircraft are no longer "high flying" in the First World War Campaigns series, which means they can now be fired at by light AA guns.
Change so that Siege Guns have 10x their nominal fire value when firing at bunkers, rather than having no increase. That said, Siege Guns are still less effective versus bunkers than redoubts and forts, because bunkers are much smaller targets to hit.
HQ units with more than 50 men now automatically go Out of Command whenever they move (rather than just when moving in T mode) HQ units with 50 men or less are unaffected by this change (but will still go Out of Command when moving in T mode).
Elevation combat modifier
This modifier has been increased from -10 to -20 per 100m of elevation between firing unit and target unit, this will make direct fire at units at a higher elevation much more ineffective (note that Mountain units only suffer half this effect).
Digging in modifier
The digging in modifier can now be a decimal number to reflect that in the early days of WW1 there was not a doctrine to dig in nor did troops have the necessary equipment to complete such an action, there is now a 1% chance for a battalion to dig in early 1914 which will increase to 1.5% in late 1914 and then 2% in 1915 scenarios.
Remember that engineer units digging in with a unit boost this percentage by x3.
Pontoon storm effects
Pontoon bridges cannot be completed during storm turns (the process is put on hold), nor can units cross a pontoon bridge during storm turns.
New unit types
This is a flag which can be given to all types of units. Mountain Units have...
* The ability to move through cliff hex sides
* 1/2 the normal combat modifier associated with terrain elevation differences
* 1/2 movement penalty associated with embankment and escarpment hex sides
* 1/2 the movement penalty associated with moving up terrain elevations
* 1.5 times higher VP value than normal infantry
Irregular Infantry units
In Serbia ’14 Irregular infantry refers to Montenegrin Infantry units, Irregular units represent unconventional military forces, similar to partisans, but slightly different abilities.
They are mainly used in hit and run tactics, attacking where enemy lines are thin and retreating when those positions are reinforced. Irregular units do not have a Zone-of-Control and do not interfere with the movement of enemy forces. They never suffer Low Ammo or Low Fuel,
nor can they become Isolated, but they can become detached. Unlike partisans, Irregular units can be used to spot for indirect fire or air strikes.
*Do not have a ZOC
*Ignore enemy ZOC
*Cannot become low on ammo or fuel
*Cannot become isolated
*Can spot for air and artillery strikes
*Can become detached from their HQ
*Do not disrupt enemy movement
Chetnik Partisan Units
Chetniks were Serbian guerilla forces that did everything from partisan activities such as raids and disruption and sabotage of enemy rear areas and supply lines, to reconnaissance. They even donned captured Austro-Hungarian uniforms to disrupt enemy movement. Because of all this, the Chetnik units in Serbia '14 are very powerful.
*Can disrupt enemy Travel Mode Movement up to three hex’s away (provided they are not disrupted themselves)
*Cannot suffer from isolation or low ammo
*Cannot be detached from their HQ
*Ignore enemy ZOC
*Cannot be isolated
*Can disrupt enemy bridge demolitions (in the 1915 scenarios where wired
bridges will not be used)
*Do not have a ZOC
*Cannot spot for artillery or air
River Barge units
These are similar to Naval units but represent river monitors , river steam boats and torpedo boats and they come with a variety of soft/hard attack and defensive values, unlike Naval units they exist only on full river hex’s and unlike Naval units do have the ability to use opportunity fire.
Barge units will be attacked by minefields located in full river hex’s when they move into such hex’s.
Some of these units are minesweepers and can remove minefields that are located in full river hex’s.
Barge units can move past friendly pontoon bridges at the cost of all their movement points, they can also destroy enemy pontoon bridges by expending all their movement points to enter the pontoon hex provided there is no enemy units located on the bridge.