World War 1 has come to be known as a war of attrition, patience, persistence, and long-term planning. Marginal gains made over periods of weeks and months were often the way that either side would be able to make any kind of progress, as the true toll that the war would take began to become clear.
Throughout the First World War, there were a number of important battles that defined it. Conflicts that saw huge amounts of struggle and strategy come to a head, often fighting over control of vital locations for movement, transport, observation, and general tactical advantage. In The Great War: Western Front’s main Campaign, you will wage war across the same territory that a number of these vital encounters took place on, as you attempt to take control of the war for the Allied Forces or Central Powers. The format of these battles will be uniquely shaped by the actions of both yourself and the opposition in the Campaign, such as deployment of units, previous damage dealt to the land, and the power each side holds at that point in your save.
Today, though, we’re excited to reveal an experience for The Great War: Western Front dedicated to accurately representing a number of these pivotal conflicts, called Historic Battles. This allows you to take control of many those battles and either recreate the tactics deployed in them from over a century ago, or plan your own strategy for victory, which is achieved by completing objectives that represent the vital goals of each real-world battle. Let’s take a closer look at Historic Battles in The Great War: Western Front.
We're delighted to announce that you'll be able to discover six playable historic missions in The Great War: Western Front, in Historic Battles. Later in this article, we will be revealing the first of these missions - but for now, here's a breakdown of how each of these battles will be experienced.
Head into Historic Battles to find each of the playable challenges, which portray a crucial battle in the events and outcome of the First World War. Whilst the Campaign in The Great War: Western Front tests you with mastering the dual-role of Field and Theatre Commander, Historic Battles is all about affecting the battles as they happen. As the Field Commander, you will enter the battlefield of each of these six clashes and handle the real-time strategy for your side. Some Historic Battles will place in you in charge of the Allied Forces, whilst others will see you lead the Central Powers.
Each Historic Battle includes pre-set factors that are designed to depict the real-life circumstances of that encounter. For example, the amount and types of units, infantry and resources available to you as a Field Commander will be uniquely pre-determined in each of these conflicts. As the battle develops, you may be presented with multiple-choice scenarios to support your plan – such as choosing between more troops on the ground, or more tanks. Managing all of this carefully over the course of the battle will be imperative.
Additionally, the battlefield itself will provide its own unique test. Based on the conditions from the original conflict, each Historic Battle’s environment will include pre-set trenches, damage, craters, and more. Every Historic Battle presents its own challenge, and you will need devise different tactical plans to succeed in each of them.
The definition of success, however, will also differ for each Historic Battle, in the form of objectives. All six of the scenarios feature objectives that must be completed to achieve total success in that battle; some must be completed to achieve any form of success, whilst hitting other bonus objectives will ensure you receive the most prestigious medals for your achievements in battle. Only achieving the main objective will earn you a Bronze medal, whilst the Gold medal will only be received by Field Commanders who complete the main and all bonus objectives.
Once again, all of these objectives are a reflection of the aims and goals one side would have had, going into the real-world battle. For example, an objective may be to hold position and resist attack until reinforcements arrive, take a specific control point within a time limit, defeat a specified amount of enemy infantry, or limit the loss of infantry companies for your side. Every Historic Battle includes five difficulty options to select – from ‘Recruit’, all the way up to ‘Elite’ – but the objectives will remain the same.
Before heading into battle for these confrontations, you will be fully briefed on their context and importance. In the Historic Battles menu, each of the six missions include detailed overviews of the battle, the preceding events that led to this moment, and its significance to WW1. On top of that, before heading into action, a video piece using footage from the Imperial War Museum Archive will introduce you to the battle and set the scene, before you put boots on the ground. Achieving victory in each Historic Battle will also unlock an outro video, explaining the aftermath and repercussions this conflict created for WW1. Finally, as you head into the action, hints will be provided on your objectives, resources, and more to help guide your decisions.
To give you a sense of the pivotal clashes you’ll experience, let's reveal one Historic Battle you will find in The Great War: Western Front...
A vital moment of the Third Battle of Ypres, this battle has come to exemplify how the hellish conditions of the First World War were a significant factor. A location already flattened and destroyed from previous battles, Passchendaele had been peppered with artillery craters, swamps of mud, and piles of stone from former buildings. Torrential rain in the summer of 1917, followed by the air shelling, blocked watercourses for drainage, making the ground even more treacherous. However, Passchendaele was still seen as important territory to control, due to being on high ground, particularly with winter drawing in.
Canadian troops, spread across four divisions, played a lead role in the Allied Forces' operation in this attack, and deployed a multi-phase plan to strategically push the German forces back from Passchendaele. A meticulous three-stage attack was put in motion on October 26th, 1917, with advancing troops preceded by a rolling barrage of artillery fire on German territory. With support from British, French, Belgian, and Australian divisions, Allied Forces continued to make progress, but success was limited by Central Powers resistance and the ever-worsening landscape.
By November 10, conflict at Passchendaele ended, as the Allied Forces took the vital ridge on the periphery of Passchendaele, with a final, later push seeing them take the town entirely. Though only lasting a couple of weeks, The Second Battle of Passchendaele was a costly and scarring encounter for both sides. It has become an infamous moment of WW1 not only due to ground gained and lost, but as a harrowing example of the cost of war, both on troops and on the land.
In The Great War: Western Front's Historic Battle, your objective is to replicate the efforts of the Allied Forces and achieve their initial goal of taking full control of the village. Take the Passchendaele control point within the time limit to complete this Historic Battle, and look out for other objectives to complete, improving the medal you earn.
With the six Historic Battles in The Great War: Western Front offering varying scenarios, strategic tests, and challenging objectives, you will need to be at your best as a Field Commander to achieve victory in these vital conflicts. Take on these bespoke battles and either relive history by recreating the real-world tactics, or redefine it by devising your own plan on the battlefield.
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