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Dev log #1 - “Thick armour is important up until your tank is hit from the rear”

Published on October 11, 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.


See you next time!

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