Online Games News arrow Other Games arrow WWIIOL introducing Tables of Equipment 18 December 2017  
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Etherea: Dark Genesis
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WWIIOL introducing Tables of Equipment E-mail
Monday, 16 October 2006
World War II Online, also now known as Battleground Europe, announced the changes that the next patch 1.25 will introduce. The bigger new featured planned is Tables of Equipment, a system that will replace the global supply system with brigade owned resources.
Official announcement follows. 

 

1.25 In Development: ToEs

With 1.24 now out of the production pipeline its time to turn our focus and our resources towards 1.25. This feature release has several components that we will cover in the coming weeks. Today we’d like to focus on our plan for Tables of Equipment (ToE). What’s a toe you say? Well, let’s jump right in.

Goals

The goal of ToEs is to bring in supply to the game by making brigades the endpoint of supply, thus breaking the global supply system. In essence, brigades, not army bases will have supply and that supply will move with them. Where there is no brigade, there is no supply.

There are several reasons why we think this is an attractive feature for a war game.

Moving to a ToE supply system allows us to begin planning for supply lines that move resource points from towns to factories and then move equipment “manufactured” at the factories back to the brigade that requested it. This can lead to having visible automated and/or manual supply.

ToE’s add realism by having a Brigade’s equipment move with it instead of getting resupplied fully by simply occupying a new place.

Breaking this reliance on place to activate supply allows units to move through areas that their friends hold and remain in supply. This means you aren’t dependant on owning a facility to use it as an origin of your mission as long as it is not owned by the enemy. In the future this could lead to many interesting concepts focusing on the differences between occupying and area and having it be linked into your supply chain.

Breaking the global spawn list also allows us to have Brigades that do not have mirrored spawn lists. Each Brigade can in the future have a unique set of equipment based on the needs of that Brigade.

There are also some changes that will have to be made in adopting this system with respect to the RDP set numbers of units as under ToEs you will no longer immediately resupply your self when you move, you will likely need more supply or changes to how that supply is timed. This also creates interesting game play issues tactically and strategically. Tactically, you will need to manage your supply by manually reinforcing from the Division HQ, which is your resupply point. Strategically, you will need to keep an eye on your force strengths and rotate brigades in and out of the battle. These changes and how players react to them will guide our design work for many months after the release of ToEs.

Brigades and Division HQ’s

Now that we will have supply tied to the Brigade, brigades will be able to move freely between friendly controlled territory. Movement rules with respect to the Division will still be in place but it won’t matter who owns a particular facility as long as they are friendly.

Divisions become very important in this scenario as well. You Div HQ will now be your only resupply point as you won’t get new equipment when you move. You should also keep in mind that if you loose your Division then you have lost your supply point. This will equate to being cut off and your supply times will increase dramatically.

We currently have no plans to limit the amount of Brigades that can be located in one place. An overwhelming force in one location means there is a hole somewhere else. This strategic level of play is something that we wish to continue to advance.

Moving your Brigade

When you move your Brigade there will no longer be a fully supplied Army base (or Navy or Air but for the sake of the discussion I’m going to use Army bases) waiting for your arrival. Instead your equipment will move with you. Your equipment however, will take time to arrive at your new location and be prepared for use. When you move, your Brigade flag will move immediately and your supply will trickle in over time. Prepared forces are better coordinated that forces on the move in this case.

Fire Bases

We do not currently plan on any major changes to the operation of FB’s under the ToE rule set but that may change as we test or after we implement these new rules.

Depot Spawning

We will be removing the throttle on depot spawning. Your forces are now located in the area of your occupation and not at particular facilities. This change will likely result in some desire to change the capture rules to better reflect occupation. Regardless, the ease of defense which this presents should be kept in mind as loosing a depot that has an open supply connection to an enemy Brigade’s locations will be much more devastating than it has been in the past, though that has lessened with the addition of mobile spawning for infantry.

Brigade Objectives

With the addition of ToE’s and the Officer in Charge rules that we will be discussing later, several changes are needed to the current brigade Objectives and the need to have many more will be part of the OiC specification. For now we’ll concentrate on the changes forced by ToE’s.

Overrun will remain in place for now as it is a way for the men on the ground to give a status report about their current situation.

Fallback will be removed. The purpose of falling back was to move to a new location where you could resupply fairly quickly and then mount a counter attack on the forces you just gave partial control of a CP to. As there is no longer the option of getting reinforced when you move, there is no reason to offset that by giving control (owning all the military facilities) to your enemy and thus falling back is now redundant. Brigades instead will use the move objective.

Hold at All Costs will be removed. As there is no longer a limit to the amount of troops that you can have stationed in a facility under your area of control, and there is no option for pulling in infantry from a town located near you, there is no need to issues this command.

Routing will remain unchanged. If the location of your Brigade is captured your Brigade will become routed. If you can be moved automatically to a town nearby, meeting the movement rules, then you will do so, other wise your brigade will be destroyed and removed from the map and need to be re-deployed.

Divisions will not be routed. If a Division’s location is captured it is automatically destroyed and removed from the map. All of its dependant Brigades are now out of supply (OoS). Note that OoS means that it takes significantly longer for you to get supply while surrounded means that you have no links to any friendly towns and thus get no supply at all.

Supply Lists

I’m going to try and quit calling them spawn lists. If that confuses you too much I’ll go back to it but there is a reason. With ToE’s we are really starting to talk about what supply a brigade has. Regardless, the amount of supply available at a Brigade will need to change to make up for the equipment that is no longer available by moving. This change will not be dramatic enough to negate the effects of attrition. In fact, attrition of enemy and friendly forces will still hold an important part in the game and monitoring it will still be important. These adjustments may come in the form of an increased budget per brigade or changes to the resupply timer, or more likely, both.

Deployments

Deployed forces of Paratroops and Destroyers will be removed from the game. These will now be a part of the regular or support ToE for the Brigades and Divisions they are attached to.

Support Brigades

Moving to brigade based supply instead of facility based supply also means that we can no longer support brigades having mission origins that are outside of their area of influence. Besides that it was a pretty silly system. Instead we will be adding support brigades. These will be a structure of army divisions and brigades that mimic the structure of a country’s corresponding Navy and Air forces.

These brigades will be the first implementation of different ToEs. They will not share the same ToE that regular Army Brigades share. They will have a much lower budget and will be unable, due to that budget, to equip big expensive material. The goal of support brigades is to provide defenses for their Naval or Air counterparts. They will move with their corresponding parent unit. While they should have enough infantry and paratroopers to manage some light work, real invasions will need to be coordinated with regular brigades. Support Brigades are a garrison force.

OIC

Along with our changes to ToEs we will be adding in Officers in Charge. The immediate goal is to replace the informal High Command method of appointing an officer in charge with a formalized system. The future goal of this system is to have every brigade managed by a player in real time, with that player having a part to play in the command of his side and the leadership and execution of the objectives for his brigade as they relate to the command objectives set forth by the HC. We’ll go more into detail on this in another discussion.

Research, Development and Production

RDP is the backbone of the supply system. RDP determines not only what and when but how much of anything will appear on an individual supply list. ToEs will open the door to diversifying this system.

Our first pass will be to destroy the global nature of the RDP budget and separate it into 4 unique supply lists each with a separate budget. These lists will be Army, navy, Air and Support. The CINC of each side will be responsible for completing these budgets for each tier of research through the game. In addition to this change we will be moving this to an in game tool so that the CINC can have access to it from within the game world.

Adding this tool in game allows for our future plans and they can be broken down largely into two phases.

The next phase is called the Korps phase. In this phase each branch has the ability to create a set number of individual supply lists each with a distinct unit structure for each tier of research. Each brigade in that Branch is then assigned one of these types of supply lists for the campaign. Along with this increase from 4 to many differing supply lists, management, through the in game tool, will move from the sole purview of the CINC to be a group aspect of the Command structure.

The next phase is the Division phase. At this stage, each division gets a budget and sets the supply lists for the units below it.

There are several options in these phases for determining trickle supply from above. For instance the CINC might set an overall budget for an Army that the Army commander has to divide to his subordinating units.

Depending on how these systems mesh we can see a point where production decisions are made at the top of the tree and supply is then meted out down the tree with those at the bottom requesting supply and those in the middle serving as gate keepers and reinforcement holders.

Many options become available as this system progresses but the keys are in place: an in game tool for managing supply lists and the ability for the game to support multiple supply lists.

Discussion

I hope you are excited about the direction of ToEs as we are. There are many possibilities for great strategy and game play in this system for bringing supply but there are also many opportunities for pitfall. I hope you’ll contribute to the following discussion on ToE’s and provide us with your insight, concerns and questions.

Link to Discussion for 1.25 In Development: ToEs

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