Theater of Operations is an operational level wargame. For those unfamiliar with these types of games, players will be taking control of either the Axis or Allies as they battle in 1944 through the hedgerows of France, the Soviet steppes, or the mountains of central Italy. In each scenario you will review the order of battle of forces under your command and direct them to crush your foes. Depicted terrain is taken directly from the period topographical maps of the real battlefields. You will even have the option to use the real topographical maps as the game map if you prefer!
What are the game’s core features?
Operational level combat as the Allies or Axis in the European Theater of Operations
PC/Mac (mobile platforms planned for future release)
We-go style turn based play (explained below)
A detailed combat resolution system Scenarios can be small (a few kilometers of land) to huge (thousands of kilometers of land)
Scenario editor to allow user created scenarios
Typical unit size: battalion, some company-sized
Accurately depicted units based on actual tables of organization
Players can organize powerful battle groups of units to perform assigned tasks
Artillery units can perform missions to interdict enemy units and movement, counter-battery, and battlefield support
Engineer units can bridge rivers, lay mines, clear mines, and fortify units
Limitations due to command and control (or lack thereof)
Fatigue, casualty levels, unit cohesion, supply levels, equipment levels, and more are tracked for every unit
Detailed supply system to create real life limitations to commanders
Various terrain and weather impacts
Fog of war
Does this game have any special features for this genre?
Multiplayer (up to 8 players may be included in each scenario)
Players are assigned command roles in each scenario
Theater of Operations (TO) will produce battle data to players to allow them to manually resolve tactical battles on their own using whatever system they want (other computer games, miniature battles, board games) and input the battle results back into the game
Expand the game scope to your preferred time and place by selecting only the DLC you want
What scenarios will the game cover?
The base game will contain scenarios in Normandy, Italy, and Eastern Front in the summer of 1944.
What’s the core gameplay like?
Players take command of powerful Axis or Allied forces (primarily but not limited to German, US, British and Commonwealth, and Soviet troops) and re-write history. A great amount of detail and analysis has been included to help simulate military operations in mid-1944. Players are rewarded for carefully planning their actions and taking calculated risks. Players will have to deal with real life limiting factors such as terrain, weather, fatigue, supply, time and space planning factors, and random SNAFU’s to name just a few. TO will allow additional players on a given side to be assigned roles as subordinate commanders. For example, if a player is commanding a corps sized force that contains two divisions of troops, then additional players may be assigned roles as division commanders, and/or regimental commanders. Subordinate commanders are only responsible for the troops under their command. There is no hard limit to the number of roles a given player may be assigned. There will also be flexibility to allow role reassignment after the game has started. Furthermore, players do not have to be assigned a command role in TO to participate. People can volunteer to be “drop-in” players who only “drop-in” to fight the tactical battles they want. This can add lots of exciting possibilities for your war gaming experience.
Play will be scenario based with each side attempting to meet their assigned victory conditions. Scenarios can range in size from a small regimental engagement all the way to commanding multiple corps of troops and everything in between. Scenarios can last a few hours to weeks covering a few kilometers or thousands of kilometers of land. Game map granularity will be 100 meter “tiles” which will allow dynamic unit movement and placement at the operational level. The game will include a scenario editor that will allow players to create their own scenarios.
You will have control over unit placement, combat posture and attitudes – leading to truly unique and challenging engagements. Screens will show unit weapons, ammo and morale (among other things) and will be unique depending on which side you are controlling.
What is “We-go” style gameplay?
We-go style means there are 2 phases to each turn: Orders Phase and Action Phase. During the Orders Phase, players simultaneously issue new orders to their units while the game action is paused. Once all players have completed issuing orders the Action Phase commences. During the Action Phase players may only watch as units attempt to execute their orders until the turn ends and a new Orders Phase begins. Staff reports will be provided to help summarize key events during the previous Action Phase.
How flexible is Theater of Operations?
TO allows for fully dynamic campaigns for players who enjoy tactical level games
TO players have the option for battles to be played out using other tactical level games, OR the TO battle resolution system can be used to quickly determine battle results
Tactical level gamers are not obligated to be an active player in a TO scenario. Tactical level gamers can be part of a pool of “drop-in” players assigned to fight out tactical battles that develop in TO as real-life circumstances permit. Example: Alan and Scott want of play a TO scenario. Matt and Stacy aren’t available to play TO scenario, but they are willing to play out some of the tactical level battles that develop in the scenario. When a battle develops in TO Alan and Scott give Matt and Stacy the battle info so they can fight the battle out. Once they are done with the battle, Matt and Stacy give the results back to Alan and Scott to input back in to TO.
The ability to have “drop-in” players allows for a virtual unlimited number of participants to take part in a campaign
There are many more possibilities, just use your imagination!
Current Project Status
Currently the game design/mechanics are ready for full beta testing. Programming has been very slow for the team of programmers since this is an unfunded indie project. We have determined that we need dedicated full-time development for this project to have a real chance. Therefore, the current focus is to create a demo that will show the core game concepts and potential. With a demo to show the public we plan to follow shortly with a Kickstarter campaign to help generate the funds we need for full-time development and making this game a reality.
Once the base game is ready for public sale and enough DLC is prepared to go with the initial release, providing greater amounts of DLC will be the initial priority. We will also look at getting mobile development underway just as soon as possible. If TO sells well enough, Steve at Battlefront.com has indicated on their forum that they are willing to join forces in an effort to allow their Combat Mission series of games to interface directly with Theater of Operations for players wanting to play out tactical battles that develop in TO using CM. See for yourselves on the BFC forums! Here: http://community.battlefront.com/topic/109632-operational-level-game-announcement/page-3#entry1444644