Here’s, maybe, a light sketch of a series of missions to introduce people to the game’s mechanics.
Overall features common to all maps:
A tutorial (a la CA)
A mission briefing screen that appears when the map loads, and can be looked back to.
Event-triggered tips or messages.
“Behind the Lines” (Player as Soviets)
The mission takes place around a German defensive line.
Soviet setup: Several groups of partisans spread across various locations in the map.
German setup: Lines of anti-tank guns, machinegun nests, anti-tank mines and tank traps. Infantry and APCs patrol around the map.
Objective: Local partisans have been informed of an imminent offensive in the area and have been asked to disrupt German supplies behind the lines. Several logistics depots are spread around the map (in specific locations, or random locations for more fun but less functionality), which the Partisans much search for and destroy.
After one or more of the distribution depots are destroyed, Soviet tank forces with infantry support spawn in on a map edge (along with some logistics of their own). The user can either begin the assault then or continue destroying all logistics distribution depots, which will limit the supplies of all German forces. Then the Soviets must attack and destroy the defensive lines.
The Point: To introduce players to the concept of ammo distribution depots and their effect on battle. If the player decides to attack without taking out the Germans’ supplies first, they should face a much harder time as the defenders will have ample supplies of ammunition for their anti-tank guns. However, without the supplies, the defenders should find themselves quickly depleted of ammunition, leaving the Soviet force to brutalize them.
“To Catch A Train” (Player as Germans)
The mission takes place near a Soviet armoured train defending an open pit mine.
Soviet Setup: Along the southern end of the map is a badly damaged line of rails. An Armoured Train is “trapped” by the destroyed rails and its occupants are bunkered down for a fight.
German Setup: Several light and medium tanks are approaching the Armoured Train from the North. Some Fw 190 fighter-bombers and Ju 87G Stukas fly in from a far map edge.
Objective: As the mission starts, the German tanks begin attacking the armoured train, but are quickly wiped out by the train’s heavy armament. The Player is informed that he’ll need to take out the Armoured Train with air attacks, which are provided by the arrival of several attack aircraft. The Train will be made up of atleast two AA Train Cars with multiple light and medium anti-aircraft guns as well as several Cannon cars, and an engine. The Player will have to take out the AA cars first before he can take out the rest of the train. Then the anti-aircraft cars are destroyed, a small squadron of Soviet light fighters arrive on the scene (the German player should have some Bf 109/Fw 190 dogfighters for protection). The mission ends when all cars of the train are destroyed.
The Point: To teach players about the value of tactical air attacks on ground targets. With aircraft having limited ammunition the Player should have to carefully decide what and where to attack. Not attacking the anti-aircraft cars first will mean his planes will be shot down. There may be an airfield to provide for refueling/rearming of planes. Perhaps a timer should be included, to set a timeframe for the Player to complete the mission (perhaps signifying how long until Soviet interceptor aircraft reenforcements arrive – perhaps this can even be scripted to occur every x minutes).
“Inch By Inch” (Player as US)
This mission takes place in generic bocage-type terrain.
German setup: Several pockets of heavy German defenses are scattered around the northern half of the map (3-5 of them), with anti-tank guns, machinegun nests and tank obstacles. Small infantry groups patrol around the middle of the map.
US setup: American forces start with several infantry platoons with transports, a small tank force, and a battery of 105mm guns, as well as several scouts, along the south of the map.
Objective: The German defenses form a formidable barrier that will be capable of slaughtering an unprepared attacker. The defenses in the area are such that a frontal attack by American forces will be easily repelled, so artillery has been called in. The American player must maneuver his scouts forward to act as observers for his artillery, spotting the defensive pockets so that the 105mm guns can subdue them one at a time. Once this has happened, American forces can move in to mop up the few remaining defenders.
The Point: To teach players the value of scouts and strategic artillery bombardment. The American infantry and tank forces should be too weak, and the German defensive positions too strong, to allow a frontal attack - the Player MUST subdue the pockets with artillery (the pockets should be rather enclosed to make artillery effective; spread too loose it will take too long) before attacking. The Germans may also have a counter-bettery of 105mm in their rear to add a “special” surprise.
“Merville” (Player as British)
The battle takes place in the interior of Normandy, where a heavy German artillery battery is situated overlooking British invasion beaches (which will be off-map).
German setup: The Germans have a large casemate in the area containing multiple heavy coastal guns and light defensive armament. Light infantry forces patrol the area.
British setup: British Commando squads appear around the map next to their crash-landed gliders.
Objective: The Commando teams must maneuver their way into the casemates and destroy them. The large guns themselves will be unable to fire on the attacking British but light defensive armament in the form of machinegun nests and minefields will need to be countered.
The Point: It’s cool, and showcases what Commandos are capable of. Similar to the Partisan mission but cooler because Commandos rock.
This may be enough missions. It showcases each faction, essentially (although as Brits all you get to use are Commandos…) and I feel showcases many of the cool features we’ve included (supply lines, air attacks, artillery usage, commando raids). It should be sweet. And, with only four missions, it’ll be relatively easy to do. Now all we need is to figure out what maps should be used!
Prokhorovka would make a good map for the first Soviet mission (though maybe a tad large). Caucasus_Skirmish could be used for the British Commando mission (it’s small, but the Merville battery needn’t be that large). The German mission will need a new map (specifically, the map Flozi planned), and we’ll need a good bocage-style map for the American mission.