Early Mission Planning

    In WWIIOL, we will be faced with the task of choosing "Missions". These will be posted by the German High Command and placed on a missions screen. The screen will have an integrated mapping system for view in selections. In any given battle, you will first need to access what needs to be accomplished with our force. Second, you need to access what possible forces could be presented to deny you those goals. Third, you must then make a general determination of what it is possible to accomplish based on what your forces can do versus the relative capability of the enemy. Fourth, once you have made these basic assessments, you need to evaluate all of these factors and come up with a general plan to achieve your objectives in the most efficient way possible.
    One thing about which players will frequently complain about when preparing for a battle is that they do not know enough about the terrain layout or the enemy forces. About the only things you will know about the upcoming battle is who you are fighting, where (in a general sense) you are going to fight, and the year. This may not seem like much, but actually quite a lot of relevant tactical decisions can be made on this basis alone! One really critical fact that will most likely be left out (for realism), and which can have a huge impact on the battle, is the battlefield visibility. Units consisting of several sections of long-range antitank guns, for example, will regret it if and when they discover the visibility is only  50 yards! To help this situation lets clarify a few items, using the 5 W's.

   Who? First off, we know what our units have prior to battle. We know what is inlayed in our core force and we will be able to use that force to the best of our abilities. By knowing this we can quickly judge what we need to plan for in our situational battles. Secondly, we know the Nationalities of our enemy. We will be fighting in the "Battle of France" to start with, which means we will run up against French and British troops.

   What? This again makes it simple. It is stated far in advance what our enemy will be using in the way of vehicles and equipment in trying to stop our advancement.

   Where? You already know where we will be fighting. The game makers have told us prior to battle. We will only know the landscape involved once we are actually in the area. Our Reconnaissance unit will be scouting far ahead of our main division and part of their mission will always include "Terrain Reconnaissance.

   When? Depending on how detailed the game makers get, the following may or may not be involved in the decision making process. The time of year that you are fighting has more to do with visibility than anything else, and this can be important for support force selections. If it is in the Fall or Winter months, visibility will tend to be low. While summer months typically have visibility factors much higher. The lower the visibility, the less effective will be long-range guns such as antitank guns and infantry guns, not to mention the guns mounted in your tanks. When is also very important in determining the capabilities of the enemy. Nationalities can have better or worse equipment availability depending on which year the battle is taking place.

    Even though it may seem like there is very little information, actually there is quite a bit. This leads me to our last "W", Why? This is explained as "Why do we need to know that? All of the above will give you a slight edge over your enemy. How you chose to use it on the battle field will either help you achieve more victories or will be wasted. In many cases, you will probably have more information than real historical commanders did. You'll also be that much smarter then your enemy if you chose to use this information. These steps will aid you in deciding which type of mission you will try and accomplish on the battle field.

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