WEGO WWII: Stalingrad we’ll discuss the main difference from Desert War 1942 (upon which this game is based).
Screenshot from ‘Those Damned Hills’ scenario. The city of Stalingrad is in the top right.
The AI can now help the player by taking charge of some actions and thus, speed-up game play:
Assign Ground Attacks
Assign Artillery Attacks
Assign Air/Ground assets
These actions can be ordered anytime during a player’s turn. Or they can be ordered to occur automatically at turn start.
All units in an organization can also be moved by moving a single unit in that organization (all units in the organization will then try to move to that unit’s destination).
One of main issues with Desert War was the stacking, having so many stacks of units in close proximity to each other. In Stalingrad, we faced the dilemma of whether to have units represented as Regiments or Battalions. To cover the front in a 2.5 km per hex game, we would need to use Battalions, but in other areas of the map using Battalions would result in large stacks of units.
So the solution we came up with was to allow Regiments and Brigades to be represented by either a single counter or by three Battalion counters, and give the player the ability to switch between the two.
In the above image, one Regiment of the 71st Infantry Division is a single counter, while the other is represented by 3 separate counters.
The second picture shows the details of the Battalions of the broken down Regiment. These units have the same quality, type, etc. of the parent unit, but of course each is only a third of its Regiment’s size. The Battalions all have the Regiment’s name with an index (-1 to -3). During Setup, the units can be combined/broken down immediately. During the normal play however, it takes a full turn to combine or breakdown units.
Some units cannot break-down. For example, Bridging units can’t break-down, as doing so would triple the bridging capability of an army!
Unlike the Desert, Russia has many rivers, and so does WEGO WWII: Stalingrad, with streams, rivers, and major rivers. Units can ford streams without bridges. (Minor) Rivers and Major Rivers can only be traversed via bridges.
Bridging Engineers have three functions:
Destroy Bridges - Odds of engineers destroying a minor bridge is 80%, odds for a major bridge is 40%
Repair Bridges - Odds of engineers repairing a minor bridge is 40%, odds for a major bridge is 20%
Build Pontoons - it takes 2 turns for engineers to create a pontoon over a major river, 1 turn over a minor river. Pontoons remain in place as long as an engineer remains adjacent.
In the above picture, the Bridging Engineers have created two pontoons over the river.
New to Stalingrad is the Night Turn. At night, readiness costs to move and attack is increased, intel gathering ability is reduced, ZOC (Zones of Control) strength is halved, Command and Control delays increase (i.e. higher risk that a unit will not perform assigned orders), and battle intensity is increased (to simulate the chaos and extra casualties suffered).
Some units are Night Capable and do not suffer these penalties. For example, the Red Army was more proficient than the Germans at night attacks and so some of their ground units have this capability. At night, the Soviets can also utilize the Polikarpov U-2 (the so-called ‘sewing machine’ - as the Germans nicknamed the aircraft due to its distinctive sound), and so in several scenarios, the Soviet player can use these aircraft to conduct interdiction attacks (to disrupt German supply) at night.
The number of turns per day also varies from scenario to scenario. Most scenarios have 5 turns per day (4 day, 1 night), while the Stalingrad city scenarios have 2 turns per day (1 day, 1 night).
Units normally draw supplies from their side’s Main Supply Source via HQs. In Stalingrad, if a unit’s HQ does not have a Line of Communication to a Main Supply Source, it can now be supplied via a Depot. Depots have their own supply (of ammo/fuel) and when units supplied by depots are assigned supply, the supply comes from the Depot. The Units will however be in Extended Supply as they are not receiving as much supply as from a Main Supply Source.
Units can also be supplied via Airfields. An airfield becomes a supply source if supplied by Air Transport. Unlike Depots, Airfields have a limited range, and only supply units within that range. Units cannot be assigned additional supply when supplied by an airfield.
Units engaged in Battles can now have distinct orders. For example, in the picture below, the Engineers have Attack - No Advance orders while the other units have Attack orders.
The Campaign game is a series of linked scenarios where the player takes his forces through several scenarios.
Artillery, Naval, and Air attacks without any ground element are now resolved on the Bombardment Table (and so treated differently to ground attacks). Different terrain features give defensive bonuses. This feature was added to stop players gaming the system by finding and then killing enemy HQs with huge artillery strikes. The Bombardment table can be viewed in game.
These new additions to the game engine build strongly on the success of Desert War. We’ve added quite a few interesting layers of game play that will keep you coming back for “just one more game”. WEGO WWII: Stalingrad is our first crack at the Eastern Front–We’ll be back.