After China, Moving Forward

At the moment, we’re all pretty locked down on getting BE-China squared away. Even so, The Next Big Step(TM) is always a topic for discussion. There are a number of opinions about what that might be, but I tend to agree with Killer that the next big changes are going to come to a revamp of the basic gaming experience in terms of how you get into the world, how you determine with whom and how you co-operate and how we determine scoring and rewards for players as a result of actions executed and completed.

I think the next big focus for Battleground Europe has to be the atomizing of scoring activities, introduction of ad-hoc grouping and significant increase of granularity of posession. I’m going to pull together and expand on various comments I’ve made in the last couple of weeks on the forums to try and provide a clearer picture of how I see this moving forward…

Scoring needs to be based on the accomplishment of small, atomic actions like: Capture the Gembloux Depot, Defend the North Bridge, Blow the Willemstad Firebase, etc. But that begs for the riddance of the “mission” system which is too cumbersome and too broad for what is required. Rather, players need to be able to team-up on the fly in-game for the purpose of accomplishing a specific goal (and with the ability to change their goal).

Once you have players working together in small units, it’s time to take a step back from where Mobile Spawns took us. Mobile Spawns took away the burden of having to get to combat for most gameplay, which was needed because every single sortie included a simulation of travel to the frontline, which was onerous.

But they also took away the accomplishment of advancing which added so much to the gameplay experience before.

The problem with the old “Taxi to Victory” play (in the sense of a long ride on a truck between every snippit of action) was that players are content. Having to re-re-re-repeat a 10 minute ride if you get killed again this time may give some players a woody, but it does something else. It punishes the guy who shot you.

You see, you are content. You are the content that the other guy gets to shoot at, just as he is your content.

If killing him sends him 10, 15 or 30 minutes away, that’s actually not good for you. And there’s no guarantee for him that you will stick around for the duration of his punishment or that he will take his medicine and come back for you to shoot him again if you stick around for his return trip…

As I said in a reply to one of Bilton’s posts:

The best, most immersive/realistic engagements tend to occur around closely spaced ground assets – towns like Nijmegen, Roermond, Willemstaad, where the capturables have enough fighting positions between them that they create standing waves of action where it pays to have someone take up a position and cover advancing forces, and to work with team-mates to fight the enemy for control of those positions.

When those distances are too long or have too few defensible positions of value between them, then simply entropy occurs.

Reducing one individual’s fighting ability does nothing except make the game persecutive. It is a misguided attempt to create personal investment [when that investment] already exists in the game: the real solution is going to come from some kind of flag-drag system which allows the enemy to create fronts within the larger spaces.

What do I mean by “flag-drag”? From another post of mine

We have a discussion on the table at CRS towers for a “respawn at mission leader” concept with an anchoring system that requires you to meet some criteria (such as proximity to leader get respawns. Otherwise you fall back to the spawner. I’m summarizing a very lengthy discussion that is still replete with “if”s, “but”s and “maybe”s so don’t extrapolate anything other than the fact that we are still looking for alternatives. Our current thinking is that it needs to pick up priority after we finalize our mission-system replacement with an objectives-and-details system where the groups can be smaller and more coherent and – most critically – dynamic.

The one fairly solid part of the concept is that of staging. Ideally, player-placed FB replacements that sit further back than current FBs as stepping point 1. After that, player-placed mobile spawns that start the infantry spawning chain, with leader-placed staging points forward of that but still back from where mobile spawns currently start. Lastly, a group-feed mechanism that, within sensible constraints, allows a player to connect with a group and stay with them across one or more deaths. BF2 style “spawn at leader” is one option, mobile-spawn style “catch up” spawns just behind the leader is another, etc. The idea is that if you and your little group encounter an enemy, it’d be nice if you got to fire more than a couple of rounds before the encounter is over.

Lets say you are 1km out from town looking for enemy forces with two of your buddies, you’ve moved into a berm and you spot an enemy a couple hundred meters away. You open fire and from the return fire, clearly he has a couple of friends. You take a shot and your sortie is over. Lets say, instead, you get to respawn 100m back and rejoin your buddies, and you get three “lives”, the enemy likewise. Now instead of a quick two-way volley you have a little skirmish or engagement, a minor position fight.

One early objection was simple math. That sounds “ok” for 3 on 3 translating to 9 on 9. But If the enemy had 50 people in a treeline, suddenly there are going to be 150 of them. Ok – first of all, there are still only 50 players at the treeline; secondly – the troops aren’t free, they draw from supply exactly like spawning any place else; thirdly – they only expand out if you are killing them; and fourthly, if they respawn, it means that you killed them so their whereabouts is a known quantity.

Under current game mechanics shooting a defender generally results in a replacement unit at a predictable or known location – am I the only one who sometimes holds off shooting an enemy because I know doing so will put another soldier between me and my destination?

Tankers are probably feeling a bubbling sensation in the pit of their gut at the thought of sapper-vendors replacing the lone sapper they manage to catch in that line of hedges across the field. Believe me, that’s part of the discussion. But we asked: why don’t people support their armor? Well, one of the most blatant reasons is that escorting tanks as a trooper is invariably very unrewarding: huge, incredibly loud target churns thru countryside drawing attention and fire from very large caliber weapons against which the infantry has little to no defense. Death is a 5 minute return drive for you but a 30 minute trek for me, and that’s assuming you don’t continue moving. In short: it’s really hard to group with a tank as a trooper. A respawn system might foster that sort of co-operation and counter the “sapper nest” issue.

And in response to trout

Well, remember, we’re thinking forward towards small, squad sized dynamic groups. There’s a big chunk of how we would re-work the organizational hierachy that I’m not going to explain right now.

Assume for a second that the dynamic is OIC-placed FBs 4-2km out, Player-placed MSP, 2-1km out, Leader-placed rally point 800-500m out (think: msp-depot).

The rally point is where people spawn who do not meet the respawn-at-leader requirements or anyone who is joining this group from the map screen. You can spawn at the MSP if you just wanna spawn in, but spawning to a group’s rally point (cold) requires you to wait for more players (unless the group is full).

The final piece to this (very far from finalized) concept is the Leader-placed fallback. Conceptually this might be a little pile of sandbags or some ammo cans or something.

It takes the leader a little while to deploy it, maybe 30-60 seconds. While he is within 10ft of it, anyone waiting to spawn at the rally point gets to spawn in immediately at the fallback point.

As I said, this isn’t finalized, it’s still one of several concepts on the table but this is my personal pet. Fallback placement would have to be a daisy-chain process and I’m going to pick an arbitrary scale for the numbers to plug the variables in it – they’re intended to give you a sense of the aim rather than the actual distances we might use:

You have to be within 250m of your rally point or 200m of your previous fallback to deploy it. It only works while the leader is within 250m of or within 30s of him dieing in-range of it. For you to make use of it, you have to be within 500m of the leader or 600m of the fallbacks location. Most importantly, tho, you have to have been within Xm of the fallback position.

Most importantly, there should be an indicator on the HUD to let you know if you currently get fallback if you die, and if not, it should give some visual clue as to why not – e.g. a little “group” icon in red to indicate, “not in a group”; a flag with a circle and a measure line between the two to indicate “range” – green for “good” and red “out of”; if the mission leader is out of range, replace the flag with a little troop icon; etc.

Complex rules are generally bad, but a bit of good feedback can make them workable.

I’ve described elsewhere (I couldn’t find it right now) how I’d like the low-level grouping system to work, with players able to spawn in without a group and to create, join, change, switch and leave groups on the fly in-field.

Consider: You spawn in to Antwerp and you run up to that depot at the northeast corner of the central block – between the Centraal Station and the East Dock. There, you find a bunch of guys who are about to advance on it and try and capture it: an armored car, an LMG, a couple of riflemen and an SMG. You kill several defending EI and finally secure and capture the depot.

In our current game world, one of you gets big points and a bunch of you get a half-kill worth of points if you were inside the depot.

But what we really want is for you to get extra points for killing people who are trying to defend the depot, for getting kills from inside the depot because that’s your stated objective and to get points for the depot you set out to be captured getting captured.

And we want to apply that same thing to a number of simple actions.

The solution is the “detail” system:


3 a: selection of a person or group for a particular task (as in military service) b (1): the person or group selected (2): the task to be performed

What I like about this term and its usage is that the detail is the group and the task. In the above example, you guys are the northeast-depot capture detail.

It should be trivial to create, join or leave a detail, and the leader should have a high-degree of freedom in changing what task you are undertaking; e.g. once you capture the depot, it should automatically switch to a “hold” objective so you can then score points for keeping the depot or you can leave the detail and bugger off. For instance, once the depot is taken, the armored cars probably depart and go join other units covering the bridge to stop enemy troops coming across that way now their spawnable is capped.

As well as simple points for kills, captures, etc, there should be scoring and awards for completion of tasks.

Detail leaders would have a trivial little UI for assigning themselves a goal, imagine a couple of drop downs: [Capture/Hold/Defend/Cover/Assault/Destroy/Repair/Resupply/Deliver] and a way to select a target or an area.

But they should also have a checklist of goals that need completing to fulfill their brigade’s current objective. So, if the brigade is attacking Antwerp, there should be an automatic checklist to capture all the depots, blow all the bridges that the are marked for destruction and repair the ones that are marked for repair, as well as automatic blow missions for FBs, and any custom detail-requests that the OIC has added.

Most of the time, detail creation would be you and me saying “want to work together?” “sure”, right click your avatar or map icon and select “Form Detail”, and then choose the goal from the scrollable list of outstanding details that need doing for our objective – e.g. scroll down the list and pick “[./] Capture Schilde Depot”. Perhaps there’s a checkbox “[ ] Allow players to join by invitation only” if you want to be pedantic and probably a timer to indicate how long until you can change objectives and something to indicate when this detail will be qualified to get score.

Ultimately I would hope there would be an interface for using the detail system to provide communications between OICs and player groupings – the OIC ought to be able to see which groups are taking on which details, but he ought also to be able to assign priorities to details and perhaps ping detail leaders with some kind of request to get a particular detail done. All of which leads into leadership tracking and scoring, but … that’s for another time.


1. Any possibility in your concept of the OIC-placed FB (but none of the others) having an automatic-reposition-to-avoid-enemy-ground-fire-or-proximity functionality?

2. Might it be possible for high tactical ranks (senior sargeants) to get points, not for their own accomplishments, but for the accomplishments and survival of the lower-ranked infantrymen in the same detail? Or would such KOTH interdependency concepts make the game unmarketably complicated?

The concept is sound and proven (other places).

BUT – you must make it standardized. You must make it explainable in text on a 6th grade level. You must make it simply check boxes.

More rank = more checkboxes (that drop down from the already familiar checkboxes).

This game – WWIIOL – does not LINEARLY teach you. It attracts outside the box thinkers and puzzle solvers (as well as those who get p1553d when they are killed by the unknown early in their WWIIOL career and want to *figure this out*.

NEW GAME: Linear. Fixed at the beginning. Ease of Use.

New rank brings ability to get more checks.

AHC brings ability to customize check boxes.

But ALL based upon a UI that is dependably the same even as it gets more complex.


Reason: Go play Lord of the Rings. On your first day it is almost boring. Walking you through. Gives you OPTION to turn off the explanation bubbles. It makes you *long* for the future when you can do stuff on your own.

Current WWIIOL requires study and reading and sharing of arcane information among High Command – we become the Priests of the Strategic Game simply because we know where the Brigades fall back to, or move toward. We are hated and beloved by the minions. Only because of knowledge.

Take the Religion of the Complex away.

Make GROUPING easy and preferable. Have ANYONE who spawns near mission automatically a part of that mission UNLESS they check a box to stop it.

Make larger groups score more points. (i.e. Guilds).

Make your ATP and Life longer/stronger the longer you stay alive per sortie (‘veteran’ gets more stamina and gains slight possibility of suffering a lesser wound – voila’ you have a reason for MEDICS (start with PARATROOPERS for this experiment).


In short – do what YOU are talking about KFS, make the ECONOMICS of the game work to advantage. Time/Skill/Rank and kills all get you POINTS and your points mean something.

(and then rank level everyone AGAIN and make players go up the now much longer ranking system – slowly losing rank points to the next level if they don’t play for a period). In short – this is an RPG game. Code it and they will come.

This sounds very cool. I can see 2 things I’d like to see for the UI:

1- A graphical representation of the units currently spawned Mission what units the Mission OIC wants to spawn. Ie: The Mission Leader has the option of filling in a list of units he would like to have spawned for the mission – 2 Pz IIIs, 1 PZIV, 1 232, 5 Motors, 10 Rifles, 20 SMGS, 20 Rifles. I can see that as grayed out and can click on an empty symbol to spawn that type of unit. I don’t *HAVE* to follow the ML’s request, but I get some bonus points if I do. The ML gets bonus points if he takes the objective with the least amount of requested units (effectively bidding vs other ML’s like a clan attack in Battletech). The ML is also limited in his mission list point buy somewhat by his rank (though this needs to be fairly loose, particularly allowing low ranked ML’s the ability to spawn lots of infantry if they need it).

I can also see easily what’s currently spawned and what’s needed (Oh, there’s no PZIII’s spawned, I better get one).

You could also allow the ML to prioritize 1 unit type for bonus points if someone spawns it (I *really* need right now some SMG’s to take the depot).

2: Arrows! Bright arrows showing where the Brigade OiC placed FB is–>points to–>Player based UMS–>ML forward postion–>Mission Target. The Mission target can be an arrow for an attack, a T Bar for a defence, a dotted line a patrol/search and destroy etc. Allow me the player, possible future ML, other MLs and the Brigade OiC to see quickly and easily where everyone is and what they are attempting to do.

Comstar, absolutely. All of the ideas are fairly simple and … implementing it from scratch wouldn’t be nearly such an undertaking. Implementing it in a live game with less than 100,000 subscribers, is going to be a beastie because the chances of getting it all done in one dev cycle are going to be slim.

I missed my chance with the post 1.06 UI redevelopment in 1.19, I was torn between getting involved in the code (I’m just not particularly good at writing graphics-oriented code) and trying to be involved in the design, and I couldn’t convince Ramp/Rick to go the extra 3 miles in creating the UI.

Part of the new UI was supposed to be increased simplicity, and that’s what Rick tried to achieve, and my protestations that it would make things more complex were just counter-intuitive.

I tried giving my oft-repeated example of complex widgets like a “CP Name” widget. Instead of just printing CP names, they’d need decorating and that decoration would need to be repeated all over the UI. Which made them increasingly complex. The best way to do it is to create a pretty complex widget with a lot of options that can be passed up to the owning container and down to components within the widget as a container itself.

And when you start doing that, you have to start considering an awful lot of properties potentially interacting all over the place. Colors, for instance, have to take on fairly well defined meanings. If you’ve decided it’s “f0f040” for “attack objective” then you need to make sure that you only use “f0f040” for “we are attacking”. Our UI suffers terribly from that lack of consistency – there are different colors for “attack” in several different contexts, and there are some contexts where it means “we are under attack” and a couple of contexts where it means something else entirely.

Anyway, my plan is to try and get a basic mockup going in html/flash/visual studio that we can play with on the big projection screen in the conference room and emphasise how important it is to make this simple, make sure things like “in range for deploying a mobile spawn” isn’t guesswork.

It still bugs the crap out of me that I couldn’t convince Killer/Gophur that mobile spawn drivers needed a way to indicate they were driving a mobile spawn. I gave the analogy of a cab driver being for hire or not. It can take 10-15 minutes to get a truck to a position to mobile spawn. If you could tell the system it was your intention, it could spare you a whole bunch of grief by telling you up-front “can’t mobile spawn on this mission” or “can’t mobile spawn because of enemy FB” or whatever. Instead, we have a whole bunch of guess work and ambiguity that puts a lot of people off bothering even to try – and back at the mission list, people don’t know whether you’re driving a supply truck or a tow truck or carrying infantry or what … so they up and leave.

Sure, you can tell the people on your mission, because everyone knows it’s really easy to drive a truck and type on chat, and everyone knows that if you type “I’m driving a mobile spawn truck” that people who join the mission 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 30 seconds, a minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, all somehow magically see it too, and that all of our players speak English as a first language so communications isn’t a barrier. Everyone.

All that said, the complexity in our game isn’t entirely a bad thing. In a PvP game with no mmo-style character skills, there need to be ways to demonstrate the advanced skills, knowledge and talents you personally have aquired. It’s the ultimate form of online prestige. I would argue many of our players are less interested in having “the big rifle” as a form of ego (I mean, sure they want the big rifle, too) than being able to outsmart the enemy. That’s why AB team style tactics and pre-camps and all the other stuff doesn’t go away, because they are primary methods of demonstrating one-up-manship. Unfortunately, they are largely un-counterable, so new development needs to seek a middleground of not blinding you with science while avoiding spawning you in under the nearest enemy bomb.

In the wole desingn i feel the need of considering “TANKS” not as single pieces of equipment.

Tanks must spawn ONLY as Platoons!.

A tank platoon is the minimun force to spawn armor… and the game should be designed in that way.
It’s more likely that if armor is spawned only as a group, they can cover themselves from sappers a lot better because they have much less blinded zones, and also because if a sapper kills a tank, the entire group of tanks become warned about the danger… and that will increase the death ratio od lone sapers.

Ony Armored recon Cars, should be able to be spawned as individual vehicles… tanks should be spawned alwais in Platoon size force.

That also gives more chances for infantry to join to a tank platoon… since one of the biggest problems with infantry & armor cooperation, si the fact thet tanks usually goes alone… so as infantry, if the “only tank” to cover becomes death… the infantry suddenly lose his sense, being in the middle of nowhere with the single tank being killed… more tanks gives more chances to infantry covering them.

Actually, in WW2, I can find any number of anecdotal accounts (no reason to disbeleive them, they’re pretty well documented) of tanks operating individually…with a group of infantry and not. Same with every weapon system used.

People got lost. People got seperated. Tanks broke down. Sometimes there was only 1 operational tank around or left and sometimes what was left had to be spread pretty thin. And people made do.

“Leeooootenant,!! Take yur goddamn men and go clear thet thar goddamn bunch of farm houses. A goddamn M3 from goddamn 4th Armor Company has been goddamn detailed to you for this hear goddamn operation. Don’t get it blown the hell up, cuz it’s the only goddamn one they have available this goddamn morning for this goddamn shit. Go!”

This is not modern day GPS/reliable communications-ville. Despite the fact that there are UI elements that seem that way. Those elements are there to give the players more info to account for all the things that can’t be simulated with enough fidelity to give one the actual amount of info/awareness you get by “being there”, as opposed to sitting at a desk with headphones looking at a glass box.

Ollie, you have odd blindspots and biases and lack of experience that I don’t think you’re aware of or will admit to…and it shows when I read stuff like this…however I will say the “I’m an MS driver thing” is an argument I’m surprised John and Dana didn’t go for. (Always acknowledging that we’re only hearing it from your perspective :P)

Were their reasons concept or production related?


In the first pass, before the MSP system was implemented, neither of them could see how it would play and were looking at it from an “on my mission” perspective that they believed players would have, rather than the over-time perspective. I could see [i]the instant[/i] we started working on MSPs that people would chop and change between missions looking for one, which is why I pushed for an indicator on the mission lists and the brigade list early on.

Killer and Gophur were naturally feature-creep wary and wanted to see it first, and once we had it they saw the need for those flags too.

I think they eventually “got” the “I’m a driver” flag notion but in the end I think they were wary of yet another vehicle function hiden away in the keymapper. What it needs is a HUD element you can click. Ideally it needs two, one for turning the “am driver” flag on/off, and one for showing you whether or not you are able to post an MSP.

If you search the blog or the forums, you’ll find me describing this ages ago.

As to blindspots and biases, well I’m glad to know I’m human. I actually seem to have pointed several out in my last comment. But if you feel less encumbered by such afflictions, I’d be more than happy for you to point out mine.

Snail, you said it!… there were some accounts of one single tank… but it was due to the fact of “Combat results”.

As sooner or latter, the military tactics of WWII of every country tactical doctrine… leads to group them in units and deploy them in groups… as soon as the combat ends, they redeploy the weapons to form up again…

Tho say the oposite is to deny the importance of “cohesion factor”… when the engagement ends… any military comander try to regroup individual elements and form up new “groups” or units.

Gotta be fair to get fair.



IS it possible to form small predestined groups like riflesquads(only rifles), assaultsquads(smg,1lmg), Mortarteam (1 mortar 2 rifles) and so on… SO before you spawn as a group you can choose in wich kind of squad you wanna take place. I was thinking about unit slots where you have to wait till one’s free to fill in the squad. Can it be done since you want to change the way teamwork goes within the game. You guys are doing well btw. :)

I’d love to do something like that, but there’s an awful lot of considerations before you can still evolving a concept; you can’t get away with child locks on gaming concepts.

One grouping-system I’ve often wondered about is a sort of “grouped only” equipment list. Take one of my own variations that I shot down about 6 years ago:

If tankers form a pre-spawn group of X players one of them will get the option to spawn a [Chu7/76/Tiger]; if infantry form a pre-spawn group of 10 riflemen they get the option of an LMG.

Nothing stops the “perk” member just driving off and doing their own thing. I’m reminded of the “Solo Group” concept in SWG – the more people in a group, the tougher the missions each individual could get from a terminal; after the first “Combat Redo” individual players were so powerful they could solo everything in the Galaxy. So players would go to Dathomir, form or join the largest group they could, get the missions intended for raids pre-combat-redo and go solo them to make vast sums of money. The group continued purely so people could keep getting more missions.

You’d need things like, say, if 11 mortarmen form a group and wait at the lobby, one of them can spawn a guy with a sick amount of ammo, but he can only give ammo to the members of his group. He can also serve as a spotter for the group. He gets a rifle with a single clip, an ammo pack that replenishes 20-30 times, and a knife. Nothing else.

Or maybe #11 can be a medic, or in the case of the tank group, a repair vehicle.

It certainly wouldn be possible to allow mission leaders to make it so that their mission doesn’t become spawnable until they open the mission and spawn themselves but it’s not going to be very meaningful or very useful until we build up the mission leader concept more.

Easy-to-form ad-hoc groups (details, if you want to call it that) will change the game. I think it will be positive. There are so many times I’d like to form a group with a couple people who are trying to do the same stuff I am, but, the game just doesn’t reward it, so people keep doing it their own way.

Keep at it!

That these kind of concepts are on the table has given me a warm glow through my inner core, the same kind of feeling I get when they post Kyra videos on Kontraband.

Group missions, ala SWG, will be awesome. And tying those missions to changeable, micro-objectives will have a massive impact. These two moves would make the game fantastic…good luck making it happen!

IMHO Spawn at Leader should only be reserved for infantry.

But, as KFS1 stated in his blog, this leaves tanks an even easier target for sappers.

As KFS1 said, the logical and real way is cooperation between infantry and tanks. The problem is very people do it because the game mechanics.

An easy and rewarding solution would be to allow the APC to be squad leaders in the Armoured Brigades. Infantry could spawn at them following the very same rules for Squad Leaders:

To respawn at them, you must die within X meters of them. How do you get on them? either by the old MSP rules (wich makes the APC stationary and fixed for a time) or from other spawn point (i.e.: the AB).

So, this would mean people could respawn from an APC no matter if it is in MSP mode as far as they have died at X meters from it, just like the Infantry Squad Leader.

Kudos KFS –

this is clearly high priority stuff and will greatly improve the game. ITs not clear to me that you will also be rewriting the UI, but if you are not, these new features will make it blindingly obvious that the current UI is next to useless, and very newb unfriendly.

A few comments/ questions:

-Will it be possible for a detail to focus on a map AREA rather than just an object (depot, bridge, building ect.?). If you want to have search and destroy, patrol, combat air patrol, recon, or any kind of interdiction, then you dont want to limit the ML to just selecting factilities. Perhaps its time to put a grid overlay on the map?

-If my mission is over, or my ML leaves, and everyone else is bailing, do I need to deliberatly join another group, or could I automatically be attached to the nearest unit?

-I love the notion that we area all CONTENT. Too often we criticise new game features because we feel it will make our opponent’s game too easy. But just think how cool it will be to see your opponents as an easily identifyable (and targetable) small unit.


Marneus, I think making the MSP process multi-staged and more participatory and, most importantly, more invested and thus valued, will help bring the infantry and armor advances together. Plus, with the respawn concept, the infantry guarding you will have respawns. Guarding a tank is no-longer such a thankless task. Yes, I may die without warning as before, but now you have a second trooper with you. Infact, riding in with a tank makes good sense for a mission leader and his initial crew because while they are riding your vehicle they are inherently tightly grouped and thus get the respawn bonus. Of course, they need you to slow down and work with them but – hey … that’d be like infantry and tanks working together :)

(Obviously, this won’t just fall out of the rough outline I’ve described, but if you read the original post you’ll see it is already in consideration)

Reading the above concepts and discussion, I got to thinking about how RL brigades are typically divided into batallions, which are then typically divided into companies that are divided into platoons.

It seems to me that company-sized units, which would typically represent about 10% of a WWIIOL brigade are probably about the size we’re looking for. There might be a standard company spawn list, but it should also be customizable for certain missions. For example a company sent out to blow and FB would be much heavier in sappers than a standard company.

So a guy who “checks out” or “activates” a company might start his advance from an FB to a town. Along the way, he sets an MSP-like spawn point for others joining his company, and as he advances, he moves the spawn point from time-to-time to keep it 100-200 meters behind him.

I could type a lot more about this, but it seems to me your looking for army players from infantry and armored brigades to be subdivided into companies with movable spawn points, and players will then activate companies rather than post missions for these brigades.

Bloo is champion of the sub-division of brigades, and he’s not the only Rat interested, but I’m very reluctant to see it on the ticket at this point because it brings so many extra levels of complexity. I’d like to see the infrastructure (the stuff described above) in-place first and see it fitted to a greater level of orbat detail (that I can ignore as a player) later.

Perhaps if a ML wanted his troops to support a tank, group of tanks, ATGs, whatever he would make it a DETAIL objective.

It would basically be an escort mission where points are awarded based on how long the target vehicle(s) survive.

This reminds me, when it comes to details and scoring, will there also be objectives that are time based? If, for example your detail (job) is to defend a CP, how long will you need to do this in order to be successful?

How will defensive details work? (defending facilities, another teammate, a point in or area of space?

Also, are there any special considerations that need to be discussed so that this system works well with other capture systems? If you want to have an area based system some day, will the new detail system work well with it?


Sub-dividing Brigades would be a GOOD thing. Brigades still should represent a cohesive strategic mass of supply that would be moved around the map as a whole, but Battalions could define exactly what was in each Brigades mass of supply…particularly in terms of Tanks and Aircraft. It would be a great means of introducing new equipment into the game without the introduction be a globally overwhelming.

Think not of Battalions as separate entities but rather as the building blocks of a Brigade…the modules in modular brigade construction. This way you could build unique Briagdes and have a means by which specific Brigades supply makeup is changed as opposed to globally as is done now.

You could even go so far as to link Battalions to Missions. Make it so the BrigadeHQ is one mission and each Battalion used to build the Brigade as an additional mission. The BrigadeHQ can draw from supply from the entire Brigade while the BattalionHQ/Mission would only draw from the supply it brought to the Brigade.

As for Defense, well, I’ve seen alot of talk about the Attack and re-examinations on how an Attack is prosecuted…but what about the Defense? The Defense is the Ying to the Attack’s Yang. The Defense if the otherside of the SAME Coin. You can’t revise one without revising the other.

To that end I was thinking along similar lines to the Attack. For starters, why not allow a Brigade, whether Attacking or Defending to be able to have a ‘Mobile AB’. Then allow each Battalion/Mission to have its own ‘Mobile FB’. And while the Attacker would have a ‘Spawn at ML’ type of affair that it would use to advance upon their objective, the Defender could have up to three additional spawn points at locations within a few hundred meters of its Battalion/HQ as determined by the ML. Each setup and moved around similar to the Attackers ‘Spawn at ML’ concept KFS1 has outlined before.

The Objective of the Attacker is to move at least one of his forward ‘spawn at ml’posts up to a point close enough to a BattalionHQ is in order to displace it. Then do the same to the BrigadeHQ in order to Displace it. The Objective of the Defender is to keep the Attacker from doing that.

Just me 2cents


I never get this discussions about subdivision. Battalion, Brigade, division, who cares?! There is an absurdly small number of people in a brigade already, to subdivde further just dilutes things and adds unnecessary complication.

Sorry, but I’ve never seen the value in subdividing brigades, or on the other end, joining divisions into corps. I am however very interested to see how the “details” system works out as it could provide some solutions for bottom up rethinking of how we group people and equipment, and simulate unit movment on the map.


The subdivide argument often comes from the camp of players who want to see more granularity of control, so that they can do their own thing rather than being limited to doing what everyone else is doing or what some guy in the HC is telling them they ought to be doing.

Since it increases the potential for historical reflection, I wouldn’t mind this level of detail being there as long as the interface is no different than our current brigade structure so that I don’t have to interact with it. I really don’t care what brigade or regiment or division I’m in. I want to fight where other players are, friendly and enemy, as do most other players. After that, the notion of brigades and stuff adds nuance to the environment in which I fight, but I don’t care about it until I’m on the ground with a rifle in my hands.

The second stipulation for such a division of resources has to be: sure you can have a regiment of troops. But you either have to fight to the death or complete your intended objective or you can’t do it again for a long time. If we allow players to split off from the main action, there needs to be a damn good imperative for them to commit to that action. And if your squad abandons the action because their pre-camp or mole operation fails, I’m going to credit any EI that turned up with kills on all of the equipment you didn’t spawn and put it on a 28 hour resupply timer. And then, I’m going to make it need a popular player-vote for you to get units when you are allowed one. After all, according to tinted-history, all the AO and brigade stuff would operate far more smoothly in the hands of the squads/players than it does in the hands of the “elite” HCs :)

The Infantry aspect of the game really needs a massive overhaul…especially before any promo work happens with ww2online!

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