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Offline Asid

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Headquarters: World War II
« on: July 18, 2022, 12:06:13 AM »


Headquarters World War II is a fast-paced turn-based strategy game where your battlefield tactics are as important as your army management skills. Experience both sides of the war, battling in Europe as the USA, the UK, or Germany. Storm bunkers, occupy houses, win tank duels.


Home page
Steam

Single-player/Multiplayer


Genre: Tactical
Turns: Turn-Based
Complexity: Intermediate
Period: World War II
Theatre: World
Unit Scale: Single units
Players: 1-4
AI: Yes
PBEM: YES
Editor: YES


Reveal Video




About

HeadQuarters World War II is a fast paced turn-based strategy covering the Battle of Normandy in the three plot-driven campaigns and a number of skirmishes. Choose your side, form your force, assign heroes, level up your units, and use Headquarters skills to overcome the enemy.


Features

•   3 campaigns (United States, United Kingdom and Germany) and 9 operations each

•   Upgrade your units by levelling them up, acquiring new abilities or assigning heroes

•   Positional armor

•   Destructible buildings

•   Crew system for individual units

•   6 Skirmish maps

•   Multiplayer up to 4 players

•   Scenario Editor available


Face a real tactical challenge

The game's combat system is based on an easy to learn - hard to master approach. Deceptively easy at a first glance, it offers lots of possibilities:
• Units have front/side/back/top armor and their positioning matters a lot
• Fences and other obstacles offer a directional cover that depends on the angle of attack
• Different terrain types offer various bonuses and affect Line of Sight
• Destroyed vehicles and other large objects affect the battlefield and provide cover
• High Ground mechanics allow multiple levels of terrain elevation that affect Line of Sight and combat effectiveness
• Destructible buildings with different stages of demolition create unique challenges


Enjoy the striking visuals

All units and scenery are created with the finest attention to detail using Unreal Engine 4 to achieve a very realistic visual style:• Realistic unit models with proper physics in place
• Visceral elements of devastation - burning tank hulks, ruined houses, shell craters, smoke, death, and destruction. You will witness this and many other horrors of the war
• Varied surroundings - your troops will come across war-torn battlefields as well as peaceful villages with cattle and fields of grain. Mind your tanks - this quaint beauty is quite fragile


Go through numerous battles

See all sides of the story by completing 3 campaigns with 9 operations in each. The game features United States, United Kingdom, and German campaigns all set in the Normandy landings period of the war.


Manage your troops

Between the battles, you can upgrade or change your units, level them up, and assign heroes to them, granting unique abilities


Keep your crews safe

Every unit has a crew - and the crew is the heart of any unit. Losing different crew members results in different penalties for the unit. Losing a gunner means the unit has fewer attacks, losing a driver means the unit has reduced mobility, and so on.


Be victorious in any skirmish

Test your skills against an AI on each of the 6 skirmish maps. Different victory conditions require versatility in your planning and tactics.


Prove yourself as a masterful tactician

Play skirmish battles against real opponents or 2x2 team battles with friends. The game supports multiplayer battles with up to 4 players both with real-time connection or using Slitherine’s CombatHQ system.


Play your own game
Use the Editor tool to create your own skirmish/multiplayer maps and share them with the community.
















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Offline Asid

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Re: Headquarters: World War II
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2023, 12:12:26 AM »
Dev log #1 - Thick armour is important up until your tank is hit from the rear
Tue, 11 October 2022



Hello guys!

It is Oleksandr from Starni Games. I have been working on the Headquarters: World War II game design from the very first days of pre-production (almost 2 years ago) and today I am happy to finally reveal some of the key mechanics to you and discuss them in detail.


Normandy landings


Headquarters: World War II is a tactical level turn-based strategy game. So, you can expect a realistic scale, with many factors being considered during each attack, including a major impact of your troops’ positioning. The game is set during the Normandy landings and has 3 campaigns: the British, the Americans, and the German sides. It also has a robust multiplayer for up to 4 players in a match. Now, let’s talk about a few of its key features.

Hill fortifications


Directional armour

All armoured vehicles in the game have directional armour - that means usually front armour is most powerful, side armour is less powerful, while back and top armour are most vulnerable. This idea can be found in many tactical games.

StuG firing


However, in many games, it is often a very basic representation, where if your attack angle is somewhere between front and side, it would just choose whichever is closest. In Headquarters: World War II, we calculate the exact angle of attack and arrive at an adjusted armour value based on the front/side armour value and the attack angle.

Flanking the enemy tank


For example, if you attack an enemy tank at 60 degrees to the side, it will have 1/3*Front armour value + 2/3*Side armour value = Adjusted armour. There could also be a third side - top armour - taken into account if you are firing from an elevated position.

Flanking from elevation


Directional cover from walls, fences, and other obstacles

Following a similar idea, if the unit is hidden behind a wall, but attacked from a certain angle - it would only retain part of its cover. For example, in this case, it would only get half of the cover from the wall.

Tank vs Infantry


Attacking angle and its implications

Now, let’s discuss how these rules affect gameplay. As an attacking force you will have to try and attack from the best angle available, and every tile you move closer to the enemy unit’s flank or rear gives you an extra edge.

Getting to the enemy’s rear


As a defending side, you will have to consider your unit’s positioning - which way your armoured vehicles are facing - and the possible routes of the enemy’s attack. Always make sure the enemy cannot attack your units from the rear and try to avoid being flanked.

Attacking from the rear


During a recent playtest my AT Infantry squad managed to ambush my colleague’s fearsome Tiger II tank in the woods (tank on the forest road, infantry in the forest) and attacking its side made quick work of the powerful adversary.

AT Infantry ambushes the Tiger II


Burning Tiger II tank


AT Infantry celebrates its victory near burned down Tiger II wreck


Combat prediction feature

The game is quite simple to start playing - just move your tanks and fire at the enemy. However, there is a greater depth to it once you start really getting into it. To allow you fully enjoy the “easy to learn, hard to master” approach we have two modes for Combat prediction - the feature that shows all the combat details and modifiers that affect your next attack. One is a brief combat prediction - a simple summary, another is a detailed combat prediction where you can see all the parameters. You can switch between the two as you play by pressing a single hotkey.

Short Combat Prediction


Full Combat Prediction


This feature allows you to filter how much information to receive at each moment of the game. At first, you might want to just play and enjoy the tank battles without going too much into details and feeling overwhelmed. Later on, as you’ve grasped the basics, you might want more info to better understand the intricate game mechanics. Once you have fully explored the game, you would probably once again disable the extra info as you already know what to expect and would only occasionally turn it back on to clear up some confusing situations.

Short Combat Prediction


More to come

Fortified positions on the cliff


I cannot cover all the juicy stuff in one Dev blog and this is just  the tip of the iceberg. In the next Dev log, I will tell you more about:
- Randomness implementation in the game
- 4 possible attack outcomes
- How morale works
- Buildings and their destruction
- Cover and profile

*Please, note that some UI elements are not final and are subject to further change.

Serenity


See you next time!




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Offline Asid

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Re: Headquarters: World War II
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2023, 12:12:47 AM »
Dev log #2 - “The element of randomness - a curse and a blessing”
Mon, 14 November 2022




Hello!

It is Oleksandr from Starni Games with the second Dev log entry. Today, I will tell you more about how the attacks work in Headquarters: World War II and how randomness is implemented in the game.





Why invent a new system with 4 hit types?


On the very first days of preproduction - around two years ago - we asked ourselves a very important question: how do we approach the randomness of a battle?

One approach that could be seen in other wargames would be to make an attack either hit (and destroy a tank) or miss (and deal 0 damage) with certain chances. That means that the difference between the two outcomes is extremely stark. In this scenario, if you have a 10% chance to miss and you miss, and after that, your opponent hits and kills your tank - that is truly nerve racking. So, we wanted to preserve the unpredictability of battle, but make it less severe.

Another approach would be to deal an X amount of damage with each attack, with no “miss” chance, and will require a number of attacks to take out an enemy unit. This approach did not fit the tactical-level WWII game well, as oftentimes a single tank could be taken out with one or two good hits.

So, we tried to come up with the approach that fits this type of tactical game best in our opinion. It allows us to both show the unpredictability of battle, but also avoid the combat results being decided by a “coin toss”.


How do 4 hits types work?


In Headquarters, we have 4 hit types: Bull’s eye (a perfect hit), Hit (a good hit), Graze (a slight hit), and Miss. The higher your accuracy - the better your odds of having better hit outcomes. The final accuracy (after all bonuses and penalties) could be between 0 and 200, and if it is above 80 - your miss chance would be 0. This way if the situation is favorable - your attack would never miss. If however, your odds are not great, you could miss, but there is also a lot in-between Bull’s eye and Miss, so multiple outcomes are possible. At low accuracy values, you have Bull’s eye chance at 0, and at high accuracy values, you have the Miss chance at 0.


How much damage every hit type does?




Bull’s eye - Damage x3
Hit - Damage x2
Graze - Damage x1
Miss - Damage = 0

The base amount of damage dealt depends on the attack and defense values of the units. So, this is where the armor and unit facing from Dev log 1 comes into play. If you attack the Front armor of a heavy tank, your damage would likely be 0, so even if you hit Bull’s eye, you would still deal 0 damage and that would be called Deflected attack.


Is the damage also random?

Unlike the hit type that is decided by random (based on probabilities you have according to your accuracy), your damage is not random and you can see exactly how much damage would every hit type deal in the combat prediction window before the attack.


Are there any other elements of random?

From the early stages of development, we wanted to avoid randomness in many aspects of the game, so there are no random effects, random spotting, or other stuff like that - we wanted the tactical talent to be the key to victory. So, deciding which hit type your unit lands is the only random element at play - and you could control it to a degree by adjusting your position and getting a better accuracy value.


How does Morale help control randomness?

There is also a way to counter your units being “unlucky” which is the Morale mechanic. Every time you attack the enemy unit it losses some of its Morale. The amount lost depends on the Damage modifier, but not on the hit type. So, whether you land a Bull’s eye or a Miss the Morale loss would be the same. This means even if you miss a lot of attacks you could Demoralize the enemy unit with constant bombardment and eventually rout it.


How is the cover mechanic implemented in the game?



There are 3 types of cover: low, medium, and high. However, not all units can take advantage of it. All units have a certain profile - low, medium, or high. So, a unit with a high Profile, for example, a Tiger tank, cannot hide behind a low cover and does not get any bonuses from it. Infantry, on the other hand, has a low Profile and can take advantage of all types of cover.


Coming up next

In the next Dev log, I will focus more on the interaction with the terrain and destructible buildings, as well as our approach to the visual style of the game. I will tell you more about:

- Highly realistic graphics
- Different types of terrain and interaction with them
- Buildings and their destruction
- Destructible environment
- Elevated terrain (Hills)
- Line of fire

See you next time!

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Offline Asid

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Re: Headquarters: World War II
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2023, 12:13:17 AM »
Dev log #3 - “Dynamic battlefield - visually appealing, yet easy to devastate”
Wed, 8 February 2023





Hello!

It is Oleksandr from Starni Games with the third Dev log entry. Today, I will tell you more about the highly realistic environment in Headquarters: World War II and how you can interact with it to change the battlefield as the combat progresses, by destroying buildings, walls, and other objects.





The visual appeal
One of the key aspects of Headquarters: World War II is that despite a very serious topic - World War II, it has visually appealing peaceful towns (until you start demolishing them that is), making a stark contrast between this peaceful beauty and the war raging around and threatening to start wreaking havoc any moment. 






The finer details
We put a lot of work into creating a very detailed environment - we have misc items on the tables in the yard and even mushrooms in the forest you could zoom in and look for.








Buildings destruction
The vast majority of buildings in the game can be destroyed, changing the way they affect the combat. Each building has 3 states: regular, damaged, and destroyed.







Each has its own set of bonuses it provides to the unit occupying it, which diminish as destruction progresses. So, if a building that served as the advanced position for your troops has collapsed - a sensible option would be to move to a better position.




Obstacles destruction
Apart from buildings, there are other things you can interact with - various walls and other things that could block your path. Landing a couple of shots near them could destroy the object. Another approach would be to drive your heavy tanks right through the pesky roadblock. They also provide combat bonuses, and your ability to destroy them depends on the type of unit - jeeps cannot punch through stone walls, but tanks could.




Dynamic battlefield
Being able to destroy objects on the battlefield adds an extra tactical layer to combat. Being able to react quickly to these changes, or creating new opportunities yourself - is one of the key elements of the game.






Coming up next

In the next Dev log, I will focus more on the different terrain types and explain the elevated terrain mechanics. I will tell you more about:
  • Different terrain types
  • Elevated terrain mechanics
  • Terrain’s interaction with the Line of Fire

See you next time!

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Offline Asid

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Re: Headquarters: World War II
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2023, 12:09:02 AM »
Headquarters: World War II - Dev log #4 - “Terrain rules the battle”
Wed Mar 15, 2023



Hello!

It is Oleksandr from Starni Games with the fourth Dev log entry. Today, I will tell you more about various terrain types and how they affect the battle in Headquarters: World War II. I will also explain how the elevated terrain works and how your troops can benefit from it.




Difficult terrain is an Infantry domain

Only Infantry units can move into Forests and Rough terrain, and enter buildings. This makes Infantry units much more versatile and survivable. They can move where tanks and other vehicles cannot.



Infantry units can get excellent Cover in the woods or in the building, and they will be a really tough nut to crack. So, Infantry gameplay is all about the right usage of terrain. Now, let us go over the key terrain types in more detail.

Forest is the best place for your Infantry to defend from

Forest tiles offer great cover, and extra camouflage (meaning your troops are harder to spot), and it blocks the line of fire, making units behind the forest safe from direct long-range attacks. To sum up - it is an excellent place for defense or ambush of the enemy armor.



The enemy vehicles have to move by road through the woods, and cannot go off the road, while your AT Infantry could move through the forest freely, making it easy for them to maneuver around enemy vehicles to get the best attack angles and breach their armor.





The enemy column is in shambles, and the Infantry is victorious this time. And rightly so - tanks are much more powerful units overall, but they are at their best in the open terrain where they can put to use their advantage in range and firepower and tear through the Infantry lines.



Rough terrain is the next best thing

Infantry can take cover in Rough terrain, even though the bonuses are smaller than in the woods, and the Rough tiles do not block the Line of fire. Still, it is very advantageous for the Infantry to take good positions in Rough terrain if there are no better options.



High vegetation is the perfect hiding spot

Try to look for the enemy Infantry in the middle of the sunflower fields - that is far from an easy task. All kinds of High vegetation terrain offer good bonuses to camouflage and cover, but only to units with low Profile (mostly Infantry and a few smaller vehicles).



Large units like tanks do not gain extra camouflage or cover in the fields, so while they can enter High vegetation tiles (unlike Forest and Rough) they will not be getting any bonuses.



The smaller units will get the bonuses, so fighting in the fields would be a tricky task for the armoured units, but much more manageable than in the woods.



Now to the craziest thing in any war - the city battles

The city is somewhat similar to Forest terrain, as there are lots of buildings for the Infantry to hide in that provide great cover and block a Line of fire. However, buildings, unlike forests, can be destroyed, reducing the bonuses they provide. Though, even a fully destroyed building still offers some cover.



When storming cities and villages you have a few choices, one of which would be a scorched earth tactic - demolishing buildings one by one to leave the enemy forces without superior cover, at a cost of losing lots of time. Another - smarter approach would be to give your vehicles an Infantry escort that would move through the buildings to locate the enemy Infantry positions and guide your vehicles through the town relatively safely.



The key to successful city battles is the proper coordination between Infantry and motorized units. The flamethrower squads are especially useful when storming fortified enemy positions. And scouts or snipers could give advanced warning of the enemy ambushes and hiding places.



Will you just raze the city to the ground with tanks and artillery, or would you try to capture it almost unscathed by using superior tactics and troops' coordination? The choice is yours.

A king of the hill

Hills in the game are presented as an Elevated terrain mechanic which works as follows: all tiles on the map have not only X and Y coordinates, but also Z - the height, or Elevation level. So, you can have part of the map where the Elevation is 0, some parts where the Elevation is at level 1, 2, and so on. Currently, the highest Elevation level is 5.



Each level of elevation gives a unit extra spotting and camouflage, meaning you see further from the Hill, but the enemies have a harder time seeing you from below. What is even more important though, is the difference in the elevation of the units in combat affects the accuracy - the unit with a higher elevation level receives an accuracy bonus for each level of advantage in Elevation.



What is more, if your unit is higher - your attacks start to partially hit the enemy's top armor - where the armor planting is the weakest. We calculate the angle of attack and take into account a portion of the top armor exposed. You can always see all the detailed calculations and angles in the extended Combat prediction window.

Last but not least, Elevation could block a Line of fire in some cases depending on how the units are positioned, so you cannot fire “through” a hill.



It all may sound like a lot to take in, but basically, what you have to know from the start is that being on higher terrain is beneficial both for scouting and for attacking the enemy forces. Armored units are more vulnerable to attacks from the hill, while all units have better accuracy when firing from above.

Coming up next

In the next Dev log, I will focus more on the units' composition, various units, and their types. A lot of nice unit pictures are incoming, as well as, an overview of what we will have in terms of units overall.


See you next time!

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Offline Asid

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Re: Headquarters: World War II
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2023, 03:09:17 AM »
Dev log #5 - Units in Headquarters: World War II
Thu, 13 April 2023



Hello!

It is Oleksandr from Starni Games with the new Dev log entry. Today, I will tell you about the different unit types you can deploy in Headquarters: World War II. I will also explain how we designed various units and balanced their parameters taking into account all the real-life data.













How do we choose which units to have in Headquarters: World War II?

There are several things we kept in mind when making a list of units that are available in the game. First of all, the events of the game cover Operation Overlord (6 June – 30 August 1944), so we have to look for the models that were more or less widely used on the European front during that period. Secondly, we look at how well they fit together and what role every unit could fulfill.



It is quite complicated, because many units that would have been very useful become available later during the war and so on.

How do we set the parameters for each unit?

First and foremost, we do in-depth research of all the real data on unit parameters - which is often not as easy a task as it could seem at first glance. That is because many sources of information provide different data on the same parameters, and some parameters are very hard to find. So, in-depth research is required to make sense of all the different and often contradictory sources.

Doing the correct research and its educated interpretation is only the beginning though. We cannot just throw all the historical data into the game and make it work. We have to choose which parameters the in-game units will have and how real-life parameters translate into the in-game values. That is very tricky since we want the game to be both historical and balanced, while most units were not truly balanced historically.

This is where it becomes more art than science, but we follow one simple rule at all times: if A is better than B in real life, then A is better than B in the game. So, if a gun has a better armour penetration historically, it will have a higher AP attack value in the game. If unit A had better frontal armour in real life than unit B - it will have a higher front armour value in the game, and so on.

A couple of examples to see why estimating real-life parameters is hard: you can easily look up the data on armour thickness, but there is also the armoring angle that plays a crucial role. Additionally, there could be different materials and casting used at different times/models. So, in the end, it is really hard to take all of that into account.

Another example would be the guns, which have two key parameters used to determine their armour penetration capabilities - the caliber (76mm) and the barrel length in calibers (L40). That is not the end though, as you have to check the armour penetration values from the real tests at different distances using different types of ammo, and so on. That is the only way to see how guns truly compare to each other.

What types of units do we have in the game?

All units are split into categories (or classes), and since life is complicated we ended up having a lot of them. So, here is how we grouped the units:



Infantry:

Regular
Scout
Paratrooper
Elite
Sniper
Flamethrower
Machine gun
Anti-tank unit
Mortar



Towed guns:

Towed AT gun
Towed AA gun
Towed Artillery



Vehicles:

Armored car
Light tank
Medium tank
Heavy tank
Assault gun
Self-propelled AT gun
Self-propelled AA gun
Self-propelled Artillery
Armored Personnel Carriers
Trucks

What countries do we have in the game?

Currently, we have three major factions playable in both campaign and multiplayer - US, UK, and Germany. Additionally, we have smaller unit lineups for Polish and Canadian troops, which occasionally appear in the campaigns.



Where can I see the full list of units?

I will share with you all the unit models currently in the game in the next Dev logs where we will have a closer look at how different countries compare in terms of units in various categories. The next one will be dedicated to tank units across all nations. So, please, stay tuned.

See you next time!


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Re: Headquarters: World War II
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 11:29:57 PM »
Headquarters: World War II - Dev log #6 - Tanks
Mon, 29 May 2023




Hello!

It is Oleksandr from Starni Games with the new Dev log entry. Some of you have been asking about the list of available units in the game - and today we will discuss the topic that is exciting for many - tanks in Headquarters: World War II. I will present to you all models we plan to have at launch and we will discuss what are the strengths and weaknesses of each playable country. If you would like to know more - please follow the link below to access the full Dev log article.



What tanks are available?

Headquarters: World War II will be focusing on the Normandy landings, so the list of available units is limited to what was operated during that time. Some units appear closer to the end of single-player campaigns, or even available only in multiplayer as they arrived a bit late for the historical operations featured in the game.

So, here is the list of available tank units and their preview:

Light tanks:
M3 Stuart (US, UK)


Medium tanks:
Cromwell (UK)


Sherman M4A1 (US, UK)


Sherman Rhino (US, UK)


Sherman M4A1 76(W) (US)


Sherman Firefly (UK)


Sherman M4A1 Flamethrower (US)


Panzer IIIE (GER)*


Panzer IIIN (GER)*


Panzer IVH (GER)


Panzer III Fl (Flamethrower) (GER)


*way outdated by 1944, various Panzer III models still fought in Normandy historically, although in small numbers. It may seem a bit far-fetched historically, but it would also be not fully accurate if the German troops were to field only Tigers and Panthers, so we had to include some older tank models as well.

Heavy tanks:
Churchill Mk VII (UK)


Churchill Crocodile (Flamethrower) (UK)


Sherman M4A3E2(76)W (Jumbo) (US)


Panther (GER)


Tiger (GER)


Tiger II (Koenigstiger) (GER)


What is the right camo for the tank? It is your choice.

We have heard a lot of questions about the authenticity of the camo of the German units. In many screenshots, you could see the German units in grey camo which had been used in 1939-1943 but was outdated by the time of the Normandy landings. We use it as a default camo, but there is a powerful customization tool in the game that allows you to customize every unit’s camo and special signs as you think would be most appropriate.



We know that camo is an important part of WW2 history. However, it changed depending on the time and war theater. That is why we have one default camo that makes it easy to differentiate between countries - olive color for the US, sand color for the UK, and grey color for Germany. The camo that is right for each operation can be easily set by every player to make sure it is correct and give the right feel about what is happening on screen.



Our goal was to create a flexible tool that allows the creation of various scenarios and set-ups including battles in different periods of WWII and on different fronts, allowing you to use the correct camo for every situation and not just keep it Normandy-specific.

I will share more information about the customization of units in one of the future Dev log entries.

What are the key differences between countries in terms of tanks?

If we speak about the summer of 1944, German troops had the strongest armor if we compare individual vehicles. That is reflected in the game and German troops may seem imbalanced at first glance. However, the difference is not too steep and the right tactics are much more important than certain vehicles being better. German troops are also more expensive in multiplayer, so losing them is much more impactful. You could use less armored, but mobile AT vehicles to outmaneuver German armor and destroy powerful but less numerous enemies.



The British troops can fight tank battles quite effectively, thanks to the Sherman Firefly tanks, which have guns comparable with the best German tanks, but much weaker armor. Still, if combined with the right tactics they can be quite fearsome on the battlefield. Other fascinating vehicles are Churchill tanks - which have very strong armor but might lack the firepower to punch through the best enemy tanks. Still, they may be very hard for the enemy to take down.



The US troops struggle to win tank battles face-to-face with the best German tanks (Sherman M4A1 vs Tiger), so they have to be smart about it. US troops have good mobile AT capabilities (which we will touch on in the next Dev log in more detail) allowing them to flank and destroy the German armor with powerful guns that have little protection but are cheaper than the German tanks they could destroy. Another way to do it would be to use more advanced Sherman modifications, such as Sherman Jumbo with a 76 mm gun, which arrived too late for the campaign but can be used in multiplayer games. It combines powerful armor with quite a decent gun.



Right now we are happy with how tank combat works, but to truly understand how the game balance works you will have to take all types of units into consideration, especially Infantry which could be very lethal to vehicles in ambushes and close-quarters combat.

I know you would probably want to know much more about the game - so ask me any questions you have and I will do my best to answer these questions on forums, or in the next Dev logs.
Next time I will tell you more about one of the ways to deal with the enemy armor, namely AT guns and Recon vehicles, so please, stay tuned.

See you next time!


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