EDIT: December 8, 2012: This mod has now been released, please see instructions for installation at bottom of this post.
The game will consist of 3 sides, Side 1 is the Central Powers (including Germany, Austria, and any allies they pick up), Side 2 are the Western Allies, which will consist of France, Great Britain and any other Entente allies except Russia, and Side 3, which will be the Russian Empire. It will cover the time period of August 1914 up through December 1914, with turns encompassing 2 weeks, so the scenario is 10 turns long - fairly short, but there is not a single dull turn in this key period of time!
This mod has been designed and tested based on assumption of PBEM play, the AI does work, but has not been optimized to give a particularly challenging experience. I have played one full play-through of PBEM and it was quite nice at capturing the feel of the early months of WW1. I have made every effort to make this mod as historically accurate as I can.
This mod will utilize the AJE game engine, so AJE is a requirement. In addition, the fantastic map from AGEOD's game La Guerre Grande (World War 1 - Gold) is also in use in this mod, that game will also be required for obtaining the map image files (instructions will be included on how to copy the necessary files over).
The main menu
The I, II, and III German armies march into Belgium!
East Prussia remains calm for now... but the Russians are mobilizing on its borders!
The Battle of Mulhouse, the French take back part of the lost provinces, but at heavy losses! (French in August 1914 suffer from a protection penalty due to their uniforms)
Note: Regional Decisions
Occurred to me as I write this that it may not be readily apparent how to get to Regional Decisions (decisions that can be dragged onto the map).
Right above the mini-map in the bottom left corner of the main screen, there is a submarine turret, and a conning tower with an eagle emblem on it. Clicking on the turret brings up the build menu, clicking on the conning tower brings up Regional Decisions. Alot of the rules below mention Regional Decisions, this is how you access them. Then you can drag and drop them onto the map.
1 - Diplomacy
On the mini-map, you will see a blue box with a D on it in the upper rigth part of the map. If you click on this, you will be taken to a part of the map with a bunch of flags on it.
Each of these flags corresponds to a nation in the game. If you look at the Loyalty of the region each flag is associated with, you'll see how loyal they are to France (Entente) and how loyal to Germany (Centrals).
When you go into your Social Decisions menu , you'll have a decision call Send Diplomat (Russia does not have these, only France and Germany).
You can drag and drop a Send Diplomat onto a flag to try and make that nation more receptive to your side.
Each turn the diplomat is on a foreign nation, it has a chance to move that nation's loyalty 2% towards your side. The chance of success is equal to the percent loyalty already in that nation. So for example, Japan starts at 90% loyalty to France, 10% to Germany. France diplomats have a 90% chance of success, German only 10%. (So it's much easier to sway already friendly powers).
Most nations will join your side when they reach 100% loyalty.
Certain diplomatic options will become available that can sway these numbers significantly. (Mostly Italy and Ottomans, as well as more minor ones for Romania and Bulgaria).
You can also use a Regional Decision to Declare War on a neutral nation by dragging dropping said decision on the flag of the country you wish to attack. Doing this will automatically make the nation join the other side the following turn.
2 - Minelaying & Minesweeping
You can use Minelayer naval units to lay mines in water regions. To do this, you need to first move a Minelayer to the region you want to lay mines. Then you can play a Regional Decision to try and lay mines. If successful, mines will appear the next turn in the water region.
Similarly, minesweepers are used to clear enemy mines. They work the same way, send a minesweeper to the region you want to clear, then play a Minesweeping regional decision. Minesweepers tend to be exposed a bit, so be wary when doing this of enemy ships!
Mines are nasty business (though not usually fatal in and of themselves). If you move into a water region with enemy mines, *each* ship you have in the region is checked to see if it hits a mine. Bigger ships take greater damage and are more likely to be hit, as well as transports. So as the British you don't really want to tempt wading around in German minefields!
3 - Coastal Bombardment
Very similar to mines, if you have coastal artillery or fortress artillery in a region adjacent to a water region, you can play a Coastal Bombardment decision on that water region. It has the same effect on enemy ships that end their turn in the region as mines.
Note that you can play the Coastal Bombardment decision on a coast region irregardless of whether enemies are present or not, and it will remain unless cancelled or the fort/coastal guns are moved/destroyed. This is handy for setting up defenses of coasts by fortresses. (Example: Russian can set Petrograd guns to defend the approaches to Petrograd and they will dish out damage if the Germans ever dare a naval attack against the city).
4 - Fort Bombardment
This is a regional decision that can be played if you have very big siege guns in the region (in the mod, this is represented by railroad only guns). If played, there is a check made. If you have as many or more railroad guns than the opponent has fortress or coastal artillery, up to 4 of the enemy guns are "silenced" (cohesion reduced to 0). The main purpose of this decision is to allow for destruction of "pre-industrial" forts like Liege & Namur by super heavy bombardment of superior guns.
5 - Three-Star Generals and Command Points
Stacks are capped at 24 Command Points (2 Corps), unless commanded by a 3-star general. All 3-star generals give a +15 CP bonus, so they essentially can extend command to about 3 corps plus a few support artillery regiments.
So 3-stars will tend to be the big forces, with supporting corps protecting flanks. I usually recommend in key offensives have 3-star generals at least every other region, with 2-stars filling the gaps between them. Otherwise, you can have some weak links in your line. (Granted, you cannot cover the whole eastern front this way, but a good rule of thumb in the west and key parts of the east).
6 - Stack Support in Adjacent Regions
Stacks commanded by a 3-star or 2-star general are always eligible to support adjacent friendly stacks in battle.
This is different from other AGEOD games where they had to be part of the same army, in this game, they will always support friendly adjacent battles irregardless.
This change was made to avoid lots of micromanaging of army structures.
7 - Artillery & Munitions
Medium, heavy, and super-heavy artillery is very potent in this game, but munitions are somewhat limited (for this scenario, it usually only becomes problematic towards the end of the scenario).
Munitions units can be built like supply units, though they are a bit expensive in war supply cost.
In game, ammunition is only tracked for medium and higher artillery units. Infantry and field artillery do not require ammunition usage in this game (so if they show at 0 ammo, it's not a concern). This game assumes Supply covers ammunition needs of infantry and smaller field guns.
In practical game turns, medium and higher artillery basically fires a lot prior to battle, and at the beginning of each round. They can do a fair amount of damage to enemy formations, mostly to their cohesion, allowing for easier time once the main battle commences.
It's always best to load up your artillery for the main drive of an offensive, it can really make a difference.
8 - Strategic Redeployment
There is a Red Arrow button on the 3rd tab for units that can be used to redeploy the unit by rail. To utilize this, the unit must be on a rail line connected to the destination, and the destination must be a city. The game does not accurately display the use of rail points to move the unit, but it does use a number of rail points equal to the stacks weight to use this option (and will not allow you to use it if you don't have enough rail points available). Units redeployed this way will appear in the destination region next turn.
9 - Max Hoffman/Russian Interception Decision
The German/Central Powers player has a 1-time regional decision they can play called "Max Hoffman" (named after the chief of staff who engineered the German victory at Tannenberg). The turn he is played, all Russian forces on German soil suffer a -66% cohesion hit, and their stack leaders become inactive for that turn. This means for the next turn or two those Russian stacks will be VERY exposed and threatened.
This allows the Germans to replicate their stunning stop of Russia in 1914 while being outnumbered nearly 2-to-1.
The Germans have the best army in the scenario, but they also have the toughest task by far. There are a few things you need to keep in mind with Germany.
First off, the 2nd Army main stack (the one with the big siege guns), should be sent to Liege on Turn 1, it can just reach it. As long as you have the big guns at Liege on Turn 2, you can play a Fort Bombardment decision at Liege. This will "silence" Liege's guns, and you can safely set the stack to Red/Red assault, and also set it to move to Namur that turn too. Namur lacks any big fort guns, so it's relatively safe to assault without expecting many casualties. Doing things this way is very important, as if you assault Liege without first silencing it's guns, you'll take VERY heavy casualties (fort guns have been made fairly potent to represent the importance of forts more accurately). At some point I want to make this a little cleaner/easier to implement, but it works so long as you follow the procedure above.
The 1st Army should go through Maastricht and bypass Liege/Namur to the north, heading straight for Brussels. They will arrive at Brussels a little earlier than historically but not by much. I highly suggest keeping an eye on where the various parts of 1st Army will end up after they finish moving on Turn 2, as the BEF is likely to be around the Lille/Mons area, and they will wreck havoc on the 1st Army if they get the chance to attack the individual corps piecemeal. The big thing is making sure Kluck and his reserves are close to the front-line corps in 1st Army (Linsengen in particular has a tendency of getting ahead of the main force). The BEF usually ultimately decides whether Germany's advance is stopped or not, so be VERY wary of them in Late August and Early September turns!
For the rest of the Western Front, I offer only one hint - remember the Schlieffen Plan, there's a reason it was structured the way it was, and this mod does a pretty good job of mirroring those historical reasons. The reality is that it's probably not going to actually take you all the way into Paris, but there are chances for it to be more successful than historically. But to do that, you need a strong right arm to the invasion, and it's easy to strip it of strength by hitting the French border too hard (which is pretty well defended). I think staunch history buffs of the Western Front are going to really like the dynamics here - they are very close to what actually faced the commanders on the western front in Autumn 1914.
The Austrians and Serbs
Austria has two armies on the Serbian border that can begin invading Serbia on Turn 1. The Serbs aren't particularly well-equipped (a lot of militia units) but they do have good experience and good leaders. So long as the Serbs stay in Serbian borders, they should be able to contain the Austrian invasion, but subsequently invading into Austria tends not to go very far (as historically).
On the Russian front, the Austrians are very outnumbered. Galicia is almost guaranteed to fall unless the Russians seriously blunder, but you should focus on making sure they don't advance deep into the Carpathians, if they get past the mountains, you'll be in a huge risk of losing key areas of Hungary. So try to hold them in the mountain passes, preferably behind rivers, until the Germans can start mounting a threat to the Russians on the Silesia/Polish border (usually around October/November - assuming that the Germans begin building up forces for a Ninth Army on Turn 1).
The French have some incentives to try to retake Mulhouse on Turn 1, to gain national morale and VP for retaking a city in Alsace-Lorraine. The German forces on the border are fixed on Turn 1, and Mulhouse is very weakly held. The 1st (Premiere) French Army is just south of Mulhouse and you should march all 3 stacks belonging to it against Mulhouse on the first turn. You don't want to run the risk of this running into Turn 2, as the Germans may very well be able to turn you back after that.
You can get more morale and VP bonuses by taking more cities in Alsace-Lorraine beyond Mulhouse, but it's very difficult to do and you run the risk of trashing your armies for little gain. Keep in mind that the Germans will be swinging out of Belgium towards the end of August, and you may very well need reinforcements on your left by that point.
It also helps to begin rounding up reinforcements from North Africa and Canada right from the beginning. Get transports around to pick these guys up (and rail your North African guys to somewhere like Algeria where you can pick them up as a pool).
Make sure you load up the B.E.F. and set it towards France on Turn 1 (the B.E.F. starts in Southampton, central southern coast of England). Due to the 1-week turns, sometimes the fleet will be delayed a few days and not actually set out until Turn 2, but at least get it going towards France (usually Calais as destination). If it doesn't get out of port *don't change destination*
on Turn 2, otherwise it may get delayed even more. The fleet delay is hard-coded so I can't bypass it, but as long as you don't change the destination from turn to turn, the delay only applies the first turn it is in movement.
The Brits have lots of troops that will begin activating over the first 4-6 turns, plan on getting transports to them to get them to France. You'll want their help once September & October comes around, makes a big difference in how well the Germans can be routed and/or held in check.
Russia can utterly clobber Austria in Galicia in August and September, anywhere that has clear terrain the Russians are probably going to win. Once you start running into the hills and mountains of the Carpathians it slows down a bit though. I recommend moving all the armies surrounding Galicia directly towards Lemberg on Turn 2, and make sure you take it - doing so will allow you some options for securing passes into either the Carpathians or towards Przemyl on Turn 3 and 4.
In Germany, things are a bit different. Once the Russians cross into Germany, Hindenburg appears on the Eastern Front, giving some bonuses to German cohesion on the eastern front. Also, the Germans have a one-time decision they can play called "Max Hoffman" (named after the chief of staff who engineered the German victory at Tannenberg). The turn he is played, all Russian forces on German soil suffer a -66% cohesion hit, and their stack leaders become inactive for that turn. This means for the next turn or two those Russian stacks will be VERY exposed and threatened.
The Royal Navy (and Naval Intercepts in general)
The Grand Fleet starts in the Scotland region (Scapa Flow), and is VERY powerful. The best place to send it is the North Sea region, then put it on the special order to "Naval Intercept". This means it will attempt to intercept any enemy ships that pass through the North Sea or any adjacent region to it. Be wary putting this force on Naval Intercept then moving into Dogger Bank or Eastern North Sea, though, as they may try to intercept into a region that has enemy naval mines... very dangerous indeed. This ends up creating a scenario very similar to the historical one, with the Grand Fleet bottling the German Navy up but adverse to moving too close into a trap of minefields. If the Grand Fleet hits an enemy minefield and gets unlucky, the German High Seas Fleet is capable of inflicting devastating losses, and Britain could potentially "lose the war in an afternoon".
Naval Intercept is very handy in lots of other situations too, just keep an eye out for potential minefield traps.
Germans start out with a fair number of cruisers spread out throughout the map, mostly in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean areas (these are along the right side of the mini-map, indicated with a box with P for the Pacific areas and A for the Atlantic areas). Each turn they stay on the high seas, they cause some damage to France's money, war supply, and a small hit to VP. None of these are huge, but enough to make tracking them down worthwhile. The best approach is getting your own groups of cruisers and destroyers together and going "hunting". Put them on offensive operations in areas you suspect enemy cruisers and gradually you'll weed them out. I suggest making your patrols around 400-600 CP strong, otherwise they may not be strong enough to take out Graf Spee should they run afoul of him...
The Allies have the upper hand in Africa, though it takes time to drive the Germans out of all their holdings. Africa has very bad climate, and is difficult for any non-colonial troops to fight in. It's tempting to send the forces that activate in India against Lettow in East Africa, but beware that it may not end up any better than it did historically... One thing that does help considerably is using naval bombardments with big ships in the adjacent oceans, the colonial units aren't capable of fighting back, so it's safe and does really help out.
This mod requires both Alea Jacta Est and World War One (Gold) to be installed to play!
1 - If you have not installed Alea Jacta Est yet, please do so first.
2 - Make sure Alea Jacta Est is patched to latest patch.
3 - Download my mod file WW1_MainFiles_v202.zip
at this location: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?nb2dz0w2se5i4ws
4 - Open the mod zip file, there is a single folder called WW1
inside. You need to extract this folder to your main Alea Jacta Est directory (typically found at either C:\Games\Alea Jacta Est
or C:\Program Files\Alea Jacta Est
- it will be the directory where the AJE.exe file is located and there will also be a folder called AJE
in this location.
5 - Install latest WW1 patch files located here: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?fnio52rtug08o7b
- extract the WW1 folder located in this zip to the same location in Step 4 (allow any overwrite file prompts).
6 - Once the files are extracted, go to the directory where you have World War One Gold installed (usually either C:\Games\World War One Gold
or C:\Program Files\World War One Gold
). Once you are in the main World War One Gold directory, navigate to World War One Gold\Data\Graph\Map\GoldRegions
- there should be a large number of .bmp picture files in here. Copy all files in this directory.
7 - Go back to where you extracted the WW1
folder in Step 4. From here, navigate to WW1\Graphics\Regions
and paste all the .bmp files you copied in Step 5 to this directory. There are 4 files that will ask if you want to overwrite them, choose NO
when prompted (if you choose Yes or Yes to All, it's not a big deal, it will just cause one region that has a rail link not to show properly on the map).
8 - Go back to the location where you extracted WW1
folder in Step 4. There is a file here called ModPath.ini
. Open this with a text editor such as Notepad or Wordpad. It contains one line of text that should read AJE
, simply change this to WW1
and save. (for future reference, when you want to switch back to playing AJE, simply change this file contents back to AJE - very simple to switch back and forth).
9 - Launch Alea Jacta Est and you should see the new mod kicking in - you're all set to go!