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Author Topic: I want to make a WW1 game, which do you recommend?  (Read 1427 times)
Straight Outta Johto
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« on: January 21, 2017, 11:34:20 PM »

One of my resolutions this year was to make studying WW1 a hobby of mine, and I got a decent start on it.

As many of you know, I've been trying to make a WW1 game for a while. I have two basic ideas, but I really don't feel like making two ultra geeky WW1 re-imaginings.

So I ask you fellow CBGers, which do you guys think is better?

Flat out WW1 supertech setting: Basically this is Battletech with WW1 skins instead of futuristic space flavor inspired by the absolutely fantastic art of Jacob Rozalski. Basically this is the giant robot game I wish existed. Anybody who's been with me since I came on here knows perfectly well that one of my favorite novel series ever is the Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. Basically science advanced earlier, giant robots exist, but there's also super darwinian biotech. The world is divided by the Klanker powers, and the Darwinist powers. I wish there was a game of some form for this series. I would gladly pay through the nose for that. But Scott Westerfeld doesn't want anymore of my money, so I'm afraid that I'm stuck in this regard.

Basically it's an Alternate universe where there are robotics, computing, and the like. Giant walking tanks duke it out in a massive battlefield, or if I catch the rpg bug, it becomes a world trotting adventure of romance and swashbuckling romance.

WW1... with Dragons! and magic and stuff....: Basically this is where a similar thing in Shadowrun happens, but it happens in the 1800's around the time of the civil war breaking out. Basically the world is similar to Leviathan, except for Mechanical powers vs. Mystic powers. Russia is conquered by dragons, Louisiana is ruled over by a shadow being, Germany is the center of industry and science, America isn't quite the same after the civil war, etc, etc. Oh and Britain uses a mix of machinery and Wyverns because I like the Temeraire books.

Which one do you think I should go with?
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Digital wizard
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2017, 10:40:16 AM »

The first one. The art is begging to be played.
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Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2017, 01:12:47 PM »

Hoers

The first one. The art is begging to be played.

Great! Now I just gotta learn how to play Battletech properly! Or come up with my own way of playing... I'll be back with more later. Sick and hungry right now.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2017, 01:14:03 PM »

Yeah, the whole "it's the 19th century but with fantasy/horror/SF elements" has been done in various versions, but I don't think there's a ton of WWI mecha games.
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Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2017, 03:38:22 PM »

Steerpike

Yeah, the whole "it's the 19th century but with fantasy/horror/SF elements" has been done in various versions, but I don't think there's a ton of WWI mecha games.

I can't find any at least.

So this is what I have in mind for back history. In 1823 a man named Charles Babbage received funding for what was known as a difference engine. Basically it's an intricate mechanical calculator. The problem in our timeline was that it was too intricate for mass production. In this timeline it led to the discovery of electronics about a century early. That means that robotics becomes a thing in the 19th century. Basically the first trench war comes to the America's. i don't want there to be American involvement in the European theater. The only thing I can think of is there is a confederate states that's allied with Germany, and they agree to go to war with the US.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2017, 03:54:42 PM »

I'm curious if Canada will still be an independent nation in this alt-history.
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Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2017, 06:50:38 PM »


Steerpike

I'm curious if Canada will still be an independent nation in this alt-history.

I don't see the world diverging wildly away from our history. I think Britain definitely leads the world in technology for a short while, but Europe and America catch up. Really, as much as I would love to see an American Front War with giant robots, I could still see the Confederacy lose the civil war. The biggest difference in my mind would be how war is fought. We would do everything in our power to trip up these big lumbering colossi, while keeping ours firmly upright. Maybe trenches still play a big part in these wars, but it's not quite the same game as they say. Unless you think I should push the innovation back even further in time, and try to make the single silliest world history possible?
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Digital wizard
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2017, 08:22:01 PM »

LoA


Steerpike

I'm curious if Canada will still be an independent nation in this alt-history.

I don't see the world diverging wildly away from our history. I think Britain definitely leads the world in technology for a short while, but Europe and America catch up. Really, as much as I would love to see an American Front War with giant robots, I could still see the Confederacy lose the civil war. The biggest difference in my mind would be how war is fought. We would do everything in our power to trip up these big lumbering colossi, while keeping ours firmly upright. Maybe trenches still play a big part in these wars, but it's not quite the same game as they say. Unless you think I should push the innovation back even further in time, and try to make the single silliest world history possible?

If you decide you want the Confederacy to survive (or even if they don't), you might look into Turtledove's Southern Victory series for some inspiration on how things could change.
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2017, 10:17:51 PM »

LoA

single silliest world history possible
You'll have to beat the Domination of the Draka, and that'll be tough.
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Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2017, 11:16:37 PM »

Hoers

If you decide you want the Confederacy to survive (or even if they don't), you might look into Turtledove's Southern Victory series for some inspiration on how things could change.

It's really funny, I began looking over Harry Turtledoves collective work right after I posted that idea. I began reading one of the Featherston as Confederate President books a while back, and I also began reading another Civil War Series by Harry Harrison where Britain enters the war on the Confederates side. I never finished either series, but they definitely came to mind during the thinking process.

I definitely was shocked when I was looking over the Southern Victory series you just posted. When I think of a Confederate States of America, I think of one being best friends with Great Britain (Partially because of Harrisons book).

Brainstorm! So one Idea I had cooking for a Loooooonnnnng time was an idea I call "The Oriental States of America" where China, and/or Japan begin setting up colonies on the Western side of America. Maybe in this alternate history, because of Britain's amazing new innovations, they're able to build up an Empire even faster, and they're able to communicate with China and/or Japan sooner. Aaaannnnd Britain enters the Civil War years later, and while the Northern states are catching up to Britain's new innovations, they're giant robots aren't quite up to snuff with Britain. So the south wins, but at the cost of being firm allies with Britain for life, and Britain decides to encourage the Eastern countries under their influence to begin sending colonies to the West. I can't think of a good reason for this though.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2017, 03:18:29 PM »

One thing I'm sort of curious about here is how you're imagining mecha shift the way battlefields function in a WWI context. Tanks famously made trench warfare obsolete and encouraged mobile strategies like the Blitzkrieg - maneuver warfare rather than attrition warfare. I imagine mecha would work the same way, but do you see them adding any further wrinkles to military strategy?
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2017, 05:43:11 PM »

If they are large enough, mecha could wade across deep rivers - not having to depend on bridges like tanks and infantry do would be quite useful. They could also be used to assault and secure beachheads for landing.
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Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2017, 08:20:44 PM »

Steerpike

One thing I'm sort of curious about here is how you're imagining mecha shift the way battlefields function in a WWI context. Tanks famously made trench warfare obsolete and encouraged mobile strategies like the Blitzkrieg - maneuver warfare rather than attrition warfare. I imagine mecha would work the same way, but do you see them adding any further wrinkles to military strategy?

Ghostman

If they are large enough, mecha could wade across deep rivers - not having to depend on bridges like tanks and infantry do would be quite useful. They could also be used to assault and secure beachheads for landing.

Well as far as strategy goes, Ghostman made an excellent point. Big mechas can cross a great variety of terrain and environments. Tanks can't do that. I also imagine that walls would be erected to so it's also a game of trying to penetrate the fortress. Maybe that's stupid, In fact it probably is.

Here's an introduction to No Man's Land
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2017, 09:18:45 PM »

LoA

I also imagine that walls would be erected to so it's also a game of trying to penetrate the fortress. Maybe that's stupid, In fact it probably is.

The problem with walls and other fortifications is that various forms of modern weaponry require an army to commit so many resources to defending the fortification that it's often not worth the cost. With anything like modern artillery you have to make fortifications tremendously strong, and air/armour really put a damper on their efficacy.

Also, when you're fighting a very mobile, maneuver-heavy war, rather than one of attrition, it's often pretty easy to circumvent a lot of fortifications. Temporary fortifications and underground fortifications might still be effective.

Fortifications aren't useless, and you do see them in a WWII context - bunkers, gun emplacements, temporary fortifications, occupied pre-existing fortifications, etc, things like the Atlantic Wall the Nazis built along the French & Scandinavian coast - but there was more emphasis on a semi-mobile defensive line than on building up huge fortresses, trenchworks, or similarly permanent fortifications.

Effectively, because you're speeding technology up a lot, I have to imagine that despite the WWI time setting, WWII is going to be a better template for how military strategy actually works and what the battlefield looks like.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 10:14:37 PM by Steerpike » Logged


Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2017, 12:59:10 AM »

Steerpike

LoA

I also imagine that walls would be erected to so it's also a game of trying to penetrate the fortress. Maybe that's stupid, In fact it probably is.

The problem with walls and other fortifications is that various forms of modern weaponry require an army to commit so many resources to defending the fortification that it's often not worth the cost. With anything like modern artillery you have to make fortifications tremendously strong, and air/armour really put a damper on their efficacy.

Also, when you're fighting a very mobile, maneuver-heavy war, rather than one of attrition, it's often pretty easy to circumvent a lot of fortifications. Temporary fortifications and underground fortifications might still be effective.

Fortifications aren't useless, and you do see them in a WWII context - bunkers, gun emplacements, temporary fortifications, occupied pre-existing fortifications, etc, things like the Atlantic Wall the Nazis built along the French & Scandinavian coast - but there was more emphasis on a semi-mobile defensive line than on building up huge fortresses, trenchworks, or similarly permanent fortifications.

Effectively, because you're speeding technology up a lot, I have to imagine that despite the WWI time setting, WWII is going to be a better template for how military strategy actually works and what the battlefield looks like.

Maybe "Fortress" was the wrong word for what I was trying to describe. Mobile Defensive Fortifications is probably a better idea. I agree with you in a sense, but the technology didn't make "Leaps and Bounds". Airplanes still took a while to come about, and while they might be a little more advanced than WW1 planes in general, I wouldn't put them up there with WW2 planes.

PS: If anyone has any experience with Battletech, which Edition do you recommend? I've been looking at the older stuff, and I think it looks really cool.
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