From: Nevada, USA
The general idea of the grand offensive is to mimic the great preparation that actually went into attacks after trench warfare settled in. Without these constraints, along with the possible political/military gains in the game, many players would likely throw away their manpower in attacks that would not have ever been ordered in those days-as we know, gamers can be more heartless than a general. :)
During the opening months of the war, there is no "grand offensive". The first one can be planned for sometime in 1915, by which time trench warfare would have begun. You can plan only one grand offensive per front per year. Germany can plan one for the eastern front, western front and, if it has an expeditionary force down there, on the Italian front. (It may be quite difficult to do 3 in a year). Each major power has the ability to conduct a G.O on its major fronts-including Turkey.
The planning for these should be done after the winter interphase at the end of each year. The date chosen can be postponed, but it cannot start any earlier than planned. If the G.O is not launched by the end of the year it was planned for, there will be serious national will hits. Sometimes your G.O may be impossible to launch because the enemy beat you to the punch and you no longer are in that area-or your forces have already been pummeled. Regardless as to why (other than victory I assume), if the attack is not conducted, you take a N.W. hit.
The Grand Offensive planning dialog is next to the research button-second from right at the top. The first time you use it (if starting in 1914) there will not be many choices to make-they will be grayed out. There should be one or two items that you can check as part of your planning. As time goes on, (assuming you do the research) there will be more options available to you in the planning dialog.
The measure of success or failure is different on the east and west fronts. To get the whole story, check out the full manual, section 11.7 (pages 51 to 53).
I hope that gets you started. This is just another one of those little things that takes some gaming time to understand. Like brain surgery, its easy after you have done it once or twice -but the prep time is much shorter. Actually, learning how to do it is much easier than figuring out just where and when to do it.
I should have added; each nation must conduct as least 1 G.O. per year, or suffer a national will hit.
< Message edited by 06 Maestro -- 5/17/2010 6:36:26 AM >
Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.