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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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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: May 29, 2023, 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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Re: Headquarters: World War II
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2023, 11:42:55 PM »
Headquarters: World War II - Dev log #7 - Tank killers
Mon, July 31, 2023



It is Oleksandr from Starni Games with the new Dev log entry. Last time we discussed tanks, so now I want to tell about things that are capable of stopping the enemy tanks in Headquarters: World War II. Today we will be having an in-depth look at such units as the Anti-tank guns, Anti-Aircraft guns, and Recon vehicles.



What anti-tank weapons 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. The key tank killers in the game (apart from other tanks) are AT guns and AA guns, while Recon cars could be useful to scout the enemy armor in advance.
It is worth noting that Infantry could also be very deadly against tanks, especially in difficult terrain, but we would discuss that in the next Dev log, where we will have an in-depth look at all Infantry units.

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

Towed Anti-tank guns:
50 mm Pak. 38 (GER)


75 mm Pak. 40 (GER)


88 mm Pak. 43 (GER)


57 mm Ordnance QF 6-pounder (UK)


57 mm Gun M1 (US)


76 mm Ordnance QF 17-pounder (UK)



Self-propelled Anti-tank guns:
Jagdpanzer 38 - Hetzer (GER)


Jagdpanther (GER)


17pdr SP M10 "Achilles" (UK)


M10 tank destroyer (US)


M18 Hellcat (US)


Towed Anti-aircraft guns:
88 mm Flak (GER)


QF 3.7-inch AA gun (UK)


90 mm gun M2


Self-propelled Anti-aircraft guns:
Sd.Kfz. 7/1 (GER)


Crusader III AA Mk.I (UK)


M16 MGMC


Recon vechicles:
Type 82 Kübelwagen (GER)


Sd.Kfz. 234 2 - Puma (GER)


Willys MB (US, UK)


Daimler Armoured Car Mk II (UK)


M8 Greyhound (US)


How are the anti-tank guns implemented in the game?
The smaller caliber towed guns can move a small distance without a truck, while bigger guns have to be moved via transport vehicles. This makes Self-propelled guns much more mobile and versatile tools, able to move fast and maneuver to the best firing position and destroy enemy tanks. While towed guns are good for stationary positions and ambushes, they are quite very vulnerable but pack a solid punch.



How effective are the AA guns versus tanks?
While self-propelled AA units listed above are not very effective and can penetrate only lightly armored targets, the towed large caliber AA guns can be very effective against enemy armor, same as large caliber AT guns. They can be used for setting up ambushes and dealing with the heavily armored units of the enemy.



What do recon cars have to do with anti-tank warfare?
While not technically anti-tank weapons, light cars, such as Type 82 Kübelwagen or Willys MB are good means to spot the enemy armored units before they locate your troops and prepare an ambush. You can also quickly retreat, covering yourself with smoke grenades, if spotted by the enemy armor, cutting the enemy’s line of fire. At the same time, more advanced recon vehicles, such as Sd.Kfz. 234 2 - Puma, Daimler Armoured Car Mk II, or M8 Greyhound could be used to outflank and destroy enemy armor, attacking them from the rear, as they have pretty decent AT guns, that can be quite effective if you manage to sneak up on the enemy armor from the rear.


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 numerous types of Infantry units in Headquarters: World War II, including the anti-tank squads, so please, stay tuned.

See you next time!


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Re: Headquarters: World War II
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2023, 12:06:19 AM »
Dev log #8 - Infantry units in Headquarters: World War II
Tue, 3 October 2023



Hello!

It is Oleksandr from Starni Games with the new Dev log entry. This time around I will tell you about the various Infantry units in Headquarters: World War II. This includes regular infantry, scouts, snipers, assault units, and heavy weapons squads, such as anti-tank units, mortar crews, and machine gunners. The infantry played a crucial role in all World War II battles, and it is no different in Headquarters.





First of all, let us have a quick look at all countries' lineups and then discuss all the unit types in detail.

British Infantry



US Infantry



German Infantry



Now let us have a closer look at each class. We will use the units of different countries as illustrations, but every country has all of the classes.

Riflemen

The regular units that comprise the backbone of the WWII armies - brave soldiers with their time-tested rifles risking their lives capturing the enemy positions or holding the line against the enemy advance. They are an all-round unit with good mobility, capable of attacking armored units only in close combat.




Scouts

Scouts have better spotting capabilities, have special skills that help them locate enemy units, and are better at not giving away their position. The downside is the lack of any way to deal with the enemy armor. So, one of your options when meeting the enemy armored unit is to throw smoke grenades to cover your retreat and quickly change position, leaving the enemy troops clueless as to where your scouts have gone.



Assault Infantry

Elite Infantry units have better storming capabilities and higher morale, which makes them better at withstanding the enemy bombardment. You can use them to assault the enemy fortified positions in close combat, or even make an ambush for the enemy armor. It is a very versatile and capable unit on the battlefield.




Flamethrower team

Flamethrower units have a very short range of attack, but they cannot miss and they deal high damage even to enemies inside fortifications, making them ideal units for storming the heavily fortified enemy positions. The drawback is that they could become an easy target for the enemy troops while they try to get close to the enemy.




Paratroopers

In many ways similar to the regular Riflemen, paratroopers are better at hiding their location, allowing them to operate more freely in the enemy's rear or flanking him.




Snipers

The most fragile and the most deadly Infantry unit on the battlefield - snipers are the masters of camouflage and sneaky movement. They can attack the enemy from a solid range, but they also need to have a clear line of sight to their target. This means dense city districts could complicate the targeting for the sniper, but at the same time, they provide him with lots of hiding places and great cover.




Machine gunners

The Infantry unit with the most firepower (except flamethrowers ;) ) and a solid range of attack. The downside is limited mobility. This makes Machine gunners the ideal unit for holding fortified positions and stopping unarmoured enemy attacks. Machine guns are capable of damaging lightly armored units, but they are obviously ineffective against any half-decent armoring.




Mortar teams

Last but certainly not least come the Mortar teams. The mortar team is the only infantry unit capable of indirect fire which makes it a very powerful and versatile asset. You can use this capability to harass the enemy units disabling their overwatch or lowering their morale before storming their positions with other units. Mortars are quite powerful against the unarmored targets, but have very limited capabilities against the enemy armor. Additionally, they are not capable of overwatch and cannot attack the adjacent tiles. So, you have to keep them at a safe distance from the advanced enemy units.




Anti-tank teams

The hand-held rocket launchers are devastating anti-tank weapons at closer range. Combine that with the high mobility and low profile of the Infantry squads, and you will see why city or forest terrain was extremely deadly for the armored units. This is exactly what happens in Headquarters: World War II as well. Anti-tank teams have a short range of attack, but if you can ambush the enemy from a forest or a building - that does not matter, and the enemy tank has very slim chances of living through that encounter. While regular AT guns can keep the enemy tanks at bay from afar, Anti-tank Infantry can certainly hold their ground in close-range fights.




This wraps up a series of Dev logs dedicated to various units available in Headquarters: World War II, but it is not the last Dev log you see. Next time we will touch on an entirely different topic that I hope you will find very interesting.

Also, I would like to take this chance to thank all the closed Beta 1 players - we have gotten lots of useful feedback that we are now working on. We plan to run the closed Beta 2 soon with more features available to players, so please keep an eye on the upcoming announcements to make sure you do not miss it.

See you next time!

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Re: Headquarters: World War II
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2023, 11:17:26 PM »
    Most common queries and some helpful answers - part I
    Thu, 12 October 2023



    Your most burning questions about the game—answered


    The setting of Headquarters: World War II is one where strategy, history, and comradery all come together.  For every eager commander and inquisitive recruit, we've gathered your most pressing queries and delved deeply into the inner workings of the game to provide you the answers you've been looking for.

    [list=1]
    • Does Headquarters take inspiration from the Battle Academy series? What are the main differences between the two?
      Many of the old-school Slitherine community members are calling the game a Battle Academy sequel, and they are not too far from the truth. Headquarters: World War II has definitely been inspired by the Battle Academy series. Yet, it is not a direct sequel. We think the best way to easily describe it would be a “Battle Academy spin-off”. The key idea behind the Headquarters: World War II game is to keep the overall gameplay experience quite similar to the old Battle Academy titles, but also try new things. We want to make sure that the game would have enough complexity and depth for grognards, but at the same time have a lighter touch and be more attractive to the new players. It has a bigger emphasis on a fast-paced turn-based strategy experience and management of your units throughout the campaign. We want you to feel like you have dragged these troops, your band of brothers, through hell and back to achieve victory... and you stand tall at the end of a grueling campaign!


    • Is it an easy game to learn?
      We have designed the game with the 'easy to learn, hard to master' approach in mind, offering a rewarding learning curve for players. - meaning that you can start playing quite easily, but as you play you will keep noticing new mechanics and things to learn about the game that would make you a better tactician as you progress through the game. This means you can start playing single-player without much trouble (still, playing a short tutorial is highly recommended), but you will have to learn the game for some time before you can start beating more experienced players in multiplayer modes. It would not take too long to learn the game, but it could take a while to master it, which is an exciting experience in itself - devising new unit setups, finding new synergies between units, and devising new surprise tactics for multiplayer - it is all really fun.


    • Why the name Headquarters? How does it relate to the game mechanics?
      We wanted to highlight the importance of tactics and planning in the game, hence the name Headquarters. Although, you should not think of it as a Commander-in-Chief HQ, but rather as a Field HQ of a small military unit. As a commanding officer, you will be tasked with tactical objectives such as capturing a small village, crossing a river, holding defensive positions on a hill, etc. So, you will have to cope with the tactical level objectives with a small force, progressing from one engagement with the enemy to another. In terms of game mechanics, we have HQ skills that allow you to call for artillery support, air reconnaissance, naval bombardment, and so on. Another example would be the Officer skills mechanic that represents special tactical advantages your officer can learn and teach to your troops between battles. Last but not least, in skirmish and multiplayer modes you start at an HQ location where new units can be deployed. You can then try to beat other players, or even capture their HQs.


    • What should I expect from the game?
      You can expect a reasonable tactical challenge with in-depth combat mechanics, various types of units, beautiful and realistic graphics with a destructible environment, narrative-driven gameplay in 3 campaigns, and very flexible skirmish/multiplayer setups that allow you to play the game in a number of different ways. The game is set during the Normandy landings, so everything happens in France during the summer of 1944 with 3 playable factions: the UK, US, and Germany. Apart from campaigns, you could play skirmish and multiplayer with up to 4 players both Live and PBEM, and even participate in PBEM tournaments. And the most important thing - you can expect lots of fun time playing the game! In addition to all these features, there's also a powerful Editor tool that lets you create your own custom scenarios.
    Thanks for joining us with this first part. We're excited to let you know that a follow-up article will delve more deeply into game mechanics. Our community is driven by your thoughts and inquiries, so if you have anything further to ask or share, please do so, we’ll try to answer in the next article.


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    Re: Headquarters: World War II
    « Reply #10 on: November 01, 2023, 12:20:17 AM »
    Most common queries and some helpful answers - part II
    Tue, 31 October 2023



    Game mechanics-related questions

    Do I command the whole divisions, or smaller units, like a single tank?
    Headquarters is a tactical-level strategy game, where you command small units: one unit does not represent an entire division, but a single tank, artillery piece, truck, or Infantry squad. You are tasked with local objectives such as capturing a crossroads, a bridge, etc. You can also use HQ skills to call for artillery or aviation support “off the map”. An example of an operation would be to capture a hill, take fortified positions, and repel the enemy's attempt to retake the hill.

    Would it be a problem if I lost half of my units in one battle, but won? Would I be able to keep playing the campaign, or do I need to restart the campaign and keep all units alive?
    Not at all. In Headquarters: World War II we aimed at minimizing the so-called “snowball effect” where losing a lot of units in one battle leads to all future battles being untenable and forcing the player to restart and replay the entire campaign. So, here it is different: at the end of every battle you get replacements for all lost Core units, and there are no severe penalties for losing units, apart from the fact that you cannot win a battle if you have no units left. So, your objective is to complete all primary objectives of the operation no matter what the cost. The game could be quite deadly for each individual unit - even the strongest tanks with the hero attached could die in one turn if the enemy manages to flank them or otherwise catches them out of position. So, we did not want to further penalize the player for losing units to such eventualities of war. A war is deadly, and losing units is the way things are at the forefront.

    What game modes can we expect?
    The game will feature 3 narrative-driven campaigns: US, UK, and German. You will go through 9 operations that have country and urban terrain, day and night operations, defensive and offensive tasks, areas untouched by the war and fully devastated ones.
    There will be skirmishes and multiplayer with a shared system for flexible game setup that allows you to choose: victory conditions, starting prestige, and income per turn per flag your control (allowing you to acquire new units during the game, or use only the starting force), enabling HQ skills and heroes, starting level for all units, and so on.
    You can play multiplayer in both LIVE and PBEM modes with various setups of up to 4 players (1x1, 1x1x1, 1x1x1x1, 2x2, etc.). Additionally, a Hotseat mode is also available.

    What is the current development progress?
    The game is now in the final phase of development - all content is ready, and what we are doing right now is: finalizing all the texts, sending materials for voice overs, preparing all final texts for localization to other languages, and making various bug fixes, quality of life improvements and additional balancing.
    That is why the closed Betas are very important for us right now. We have gathered tons of useful feedback from Beta 1 and plan to start Beta 2 very soon to gather additional feedback. We got a lot of requests to add voice overs for the characters during Beta 1 and we want to put everyone at ease and tell you that there will be proper English voiceovers in the final version of the game, so you should not be worried about it. This is something we are working on right now.

    What types of units are there? How many units for each faction? (Factions, units, unit types, …)
    Right now there are 3 playable countries planned in the game: the US, the UK, and Germany. Each faction in the game has a full set of units of various types (internally we have 23 different unit classes) - various Infantry units (including Mortar teams, AT Rocket launcher crews, Machine gunners, Flamethrower teams, Snipers, Scouts, and so on), towed and self-propelled artillery pieces (AA, AT, and field Artillery), Tanks (Light, Medium, Heavy) and other armored vehicles (APCs, Assault Guns, Armored cars). You can load Infantry units and towed artillery into trucks and APCs for fast transportation.

    Will there be a Map Editor?
    Yes, there will be a user-friendly Map Editor for skirmish and multiplayer maps. Additionally, there will be a random generation tool - where you can set up various parameters and generate new maps for Skirmish and Multiplayer games. On top of that, you could combine both tools and create a randomly generated map, then open it in the Editor and make some tweaks to it before playing it with your friends.


    Take a look at Headquarters: World War II here:



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    Re: Headquarters: World War II
    « Reply #11 on: January 20, 2024, 12:27:30 AM »
    Dev Log #9 - Headquarters: World War II Closed Beta results and takeaways
    Thu, January 18, 2024



    It is Oleksandr from Starni Games with the new Dev log entry

    Hello!

    It is Oleksandr from Starni Games with the new Dev log entry. We held two rounds of closed Beta last year, with the second round of Beta still ongoing. Today, I want to summarise how the closed Betas went and update you on the overall development progress.



    Closed Beta 1

    First of all, I would like to thank all the people who participated in the Beta and shared their reports, suggestions, and evaluations of the game with us. Your feedback is truly invaluable for the Dev team.

    We studied all feedback closely on the dedicated Slitherine forum (available only to Beta participants), the special Discord section, and the Google form we asked the players to fill in. If you are wondering how to become a closed Beta player - I will leave all the key information below. (We plan to keep Beta 2 running for a longer period of time, so it is not too late to join in.)

    Now that we know that the Beta players are not some mythical beings, but people who followed the project and signed up - we can dive into the actual reception and feedback. I will start with how the Beta helped the Dev team and then share some of the feedback we accumulated through Google Forms.

    We received a lot of very detailed accounts of what was good in the game, what was bad or confusing, and what could be improved. We studied all of the problems and discussed with the team what potential solutions we could have. Sometimes a minor change could have a great impact on the gameplay. For example, the most popular request in Beta 1 was actually the following: players could not tell which unit type was in the transport and that was super inconvenient.

    Before:

    Full Screen:

    Individual Icons:



    After:

    Full Screen:


    Individual Icons:


    So, we redesigned the UI elements to indicate the exact type of unit that is inside the transport. It may sound like a really obvious thing, but when you start thinking about not making UI too cluttered or some other considerations, it may be difficult to get the optimal solution from the get-go. That is why the players' feedback is so important to us.

    A very useful suggestion example would be the following: we have a customization tool in the game that allows you to paint all sorts of camouflage and symbols on your units. However, every time you start a new campaign or match you will have to set it anew. So, the players suggested adding a camouflage presets feature to save your favorite setups and be able to instantly apply them to your units in future campaigns or multiplayer battles. We decided to implement not only that, but also add various historical camo presets approved by the Dev team, so that you have some presets to start with, and then you can add your own ones to the pool.



    This is just one of the hundreds of useful ideas and quality of life improvements that were suggested. We are now working hard to implement as many of them as realistically possible.

    Before:
    https://clan.akamai.steamstatic.com/images//41646244/684aa724579b0430fa3c5683733ac9232fb665b1.png

    After (Work in progress):


    Now, apart from the very useful bug reports, suggestions, and ideas for improvement, it was also very important for our team to know how the game “feels” in general - is it interesting to play? And to know more about the overall impression of the current technical state of the game for a wider audience than the internal testing team.

    I want to avoid having my subjective evaluation involved in this part, so I will resort to some of the numbers we have gotten so far in Beta 1 and Beta 2 Google form questionnaires. (We have asked more questions, including ones where you could enter your text/suggestion, but for brevity, I will only share a few.)









    We are very happy to see that overall players were quite happy with what they saw in the Beta, and we hope that the reviews at the game release would be even better. At the same time, there were some critical issues pointed out to us, like the need to improve the AI behavior in Skirmish and Multiplayer battles.

    So, we feel inspired by your kind words to keep up the hard work and determined to address all the critical issues we found thanks to your reports.

    Sometimes players' feedback is hard to read. For example, we had sections asking “What element of the game you liked the most (it could be anything)?” and “What element of the game you disliked the most (it could be anything)?”. And in some cases, we would get the same thing in both categories from different people. So, sometimes we get directly contradictory, even polar, feedback on the same things, which could be a bit confusing, but the answer is quite simple - all people are different and have their unique preferences and ideas of how everything should be. Our goal is to make an interesting, enjoyable, and, ultimately, fun game to play. We will do our best to deliver you a good game and keep improving and supporting it over the coming years.

    You can help us do that by joining the Beta right now.

    Stay tuned for more news about Headquarters: WWII as there is one more way to get your hands on the game even before the full release coming up very soon!

    See you next time!

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    Re: Headquarters: World War II
    « Reply #12 on: January 25, 2024, 12:04:14 AM »
    Brace yourselves for the debut of Headquarters: World War II at Steam Next Fest
    Wed, 24 January 2024



    You'll have the chance to jump right into the action with an exclusive demo Starting on February 5th at 10:00 AM Pacific time, the battlefield awaits, and we've prepared a special demo just for you. It will run until February 12th, so mark it on your calendar.

    In the demo, you will access the tutorial mission and experience the gripping First Battle of the German campaign. Can you hold your ground against the Allied landing on D-Day?



    Get ready to dive into the heart of the action Steam is the place to be on February 5th

    « Last Edit: February 04, 2024, 02:32:01 PM by Asid »
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    Re: Headquarters: World War II
    « Reply #13 on: February 06, 2024, 01:53:03 AM »
    Headquarters World War II - Demo is now available at Steam Next Fest
    Mon, February 5, 2024




    Download and Play the Demo now


    Hey gamers

    We are thrilled to announce that Steam Next Fest has officially begun and the Demo for Headquarters World War II is now available

    What does this demo contain?

    1) The Tutorial mission that was developed to test your skill as an officer and fill in any gaps in your previous training at the academy. You do not want to be one of those green officers, who have seen the military exercises only in the handbook when you reach the frontline, right?



    2) The first battle of the German campaign where you needed to hold your ground against the Allied landing on the D-Day. It will be a first test of your tactical skill and a first taste of real battle. The high command is looking forward to seeing how well you will do.



    The full game will have:

    - 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

    If you want to discuss your progress and first impressions with other players, and the dev team - please join our dedicated Discord channel, by clicking the Discord button in the bottom right corner of the screen.

    Hurry up and play the Demo today

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    Re: Headquarters: World War II
    « Reply #14 on: February 21, 2024, 12:11:36 AM »
    Dev log #10 - Headquarters: World War II Demo reception and feedback
    Tue, February 20, 2024

    We will look into the feedback we have collected and give you an update on our future plans

    Hello,

    It is Oleksandr from Starni Games with the new Dev log entry. Headquarters: World War II Demo has been publicly available on Steam for everyone to explore for the last two weeks, and was well received. Today, I want to look into the feedback we have collected regarding the Demo and give you an update on our future plans.






    Our whole team was very excited to participate in the Steam NEXT Fest that ran from Feb 5 to Feb 12. It was the first time we presented the game to a wide audience.

     We did have two rounds of Beta, but that was the first time anyone interested could sit down and play it without any limitations, except for the limited content of the Demo. There would also come YouTube coverage, of course. So, any critical bug could ruin everyone’s impression.



    While there were some issues with the Demo, a bit more on that later, the overall impression seems very positive. What is most important for us as game developers was that a lot of people were genuinely interested in the game and wanted to play it more. This means that all our efforts over the last 3 years have not been in vain. We gathered as much from the Beta players, but having a wider audience play the game and tell us they like the game is even more inspiring.



    There were certain issues of course, so I would name a few most common.
    In some cases, an incorrect resolution was applied at first launch (could be changed in the game options to correct one)
    The visual issues with lighting and certain video settings when a camera moves were quite annoying.
    The Gamepad support did not work in the Campaign selection screen, because we were changing that screen right before the Demo was out. (We addressed that with a 0.38.05 update in a few days)

    Despite these issues we are now looking to resolve, the game runs quite well for most players with no common crashes or other critical bugs. So, we are very happy that most players could enjoy the Demo without critical problems or other disturbances



    We have received lots of valuable feedback over the course of the festival. Here are some things we are already implementing:

      Adding the Terrain info
      Balancing the AP attack of Machine guns to make sure they cannot damage the 30 mm armor at all. (It was common feedback that MGs having the possibility of dealing even 1 damage to a 30 mm armor is incorrect, so that is addressed)
      Adding arrow keys for camera movement alongside the WASD
      Fixing lighting issues
      Working on adding the option to disable Motion blur in the game options
      And a long list of other good suggestions…
      If you want to add your feedback to the pool -

    it is not too late for that. Join us on Steam Community hub, or talk to the dev team on the Headquarters Discord channel.



    We will try to iron out all the key issues you have reported to us, as well, as add all viable suggestions you have provided aplenty. Time before the Q2 release is very limited, so we will have to focus on the selected number of fixes and improvements, but

    the process of improving the game further does not stop on the day of release. Quite to the contrary, for us, the release is only a new beginning - meaning that we have a good and enjoyable game to begin with and we can focus on making it just perfect in the long run. We are preparing to announce the exact release date soon, so stay tuned! And do not forget to add the game to your wishlist if you have not done that yet.

    If you somehow missed the Demo - there is still a chance to play it. We decided to extend its availability by one more week, so you can play it for free right now, by following this link https://store.steampowered.com/app/1840800/Headquarters_World_War_II/


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