Andrew S. Fischer
I hope you are all enjoying the autumn as much as I am!
From the beginning of the conceptualization for War Stories - thru its entire development - our primary focus has been the eastern front. Sure, we were doing both Red Storm and Liberty Road, but all of the core game design effort was happening first around Red Storm.
As you might have guessed from the title of this update, that is now changing. The design is mature and stable, with only a couple of meaningful aspects still open. As our lead developer and playtesters are working on new Red Storm scenarios, I'm turning my attention to setting the architecture for the western front scenarios. It is an interesting contrast from doing this work for the eastern front. The biggest difference is how much more information there is.
On the eastern front, while there may be granular, day-by-day information and specifics, we haven't been able to locate them in English except for the most iconic of moments. That gave us a lot of freedom to just make things up. Air strike for this scenario? Sure! Tiger I in the assault? Oh yeah!
Now, on the western front, the information is well-known. For example, when the U.S. First Army's VIII Corps began their offensive on July 3, 1944, it rained. This precluded air and artillery strikes. Or, at Bloody Gulch on June 13, the U.S. 101st Airborne had support quite specifically from self-propelled artillery.
All of that known detail is great in its historicity, but it puts a lot of extra pressure on us to get it right. We can't just figure out where the front was on a given day, understand the strategic objectives of the moment, check the satellite view on Google Maps for terrain, and brew up some random scenario that captures a moment. No, now we need to really dig out the specifics. Why? Well, we want to get the details right! There is nothing more deflating for me as a gamer and lover of history than to see things that are obviously wrong. The fact that we have the resources to get the details closer to right is a responsibility, one that in contrast to the eastern front represents constraints good and bad. I'm only fully realizing that now as I'm doing the scenarios work.
Yes, we're going to have a Bloody Gulch. And the 101st Airborne will be absolute ass kickers (the 6th Fallschirmjägers ain't going to be shabby either). I expect to have a Hill 192, the XIX Corps in action on July 26-27, and the Rhino Tank will surely make an appearance.
And that's just the two months after Normandy. Operation Cobra, Falaise Pocket, Operation Dragoon, Operation Market Garden, Battle of the Scheldt and Battle of Hürtgen Forest will all likely be represented.
We love you, our Liberty Road backers! Oorah!