DWK Der Weltkrieg Monster Game

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TEJ
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DWK Der Weltkrieg Monster Game

Post by TEJ » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:27 am

This topic is for discussion of a prospective monster game of DWK at Winterfest 2017.

The more I look at this, the more I'm convinced that it will be a perfect game for a significant group of players. The ground movement system is easy. The combat system is very quick and flavored to WW1: a good attack can push the defender into a mandatory retreat, but many attacks will simply have attrition to both sides...it would be a very rare and small attack in which both sides didn't suffer some loss. The game will play quickly both because the rules are easy and because the vast majority of "ants" are factored into divisions rather than represented separately as units. I truly believe that a player-turn could frequently be done in between a half hour and an hour, after the first few turns of everyone getting into the rules.

The very basics:
- a hex is 20km across
- 7 turns per month
- most units are divisions with some brigades and regiments, particularly in places where the front is huge and the units few
- most cavalry have 6 movement points (MP); almost all infantry have 4 or 5MP; artillery usually has 3MP
- terrain is all hexsides: a unit occupies a hex but it moves or attacks across hexsides rather than what's in the destination hex
- unless we choose an 1918 scenario, air will be totally or at least greatly abstracted
- naval activity is limited to countries being able to move units and supplies across specific oceans and seas, plus in some cases naval gunfire support
- new units, replacements (men and weapons separately), and supplies are produced by specific industrial and population centers and can be sent where players desire, if we play such that theaters are coordinating with central authorities, or we can use historical allocations
- also if players desire, units can move between theaters

I plan to bring the entire war in Europe and to tailor the setup to how many players we expect and their interests in theater and chronology. I haven't done a specific assessment yet of the available scenarios to meld into a grand campaign, but I encourage you to think broadly and to look at different theaters getting busy at different times as part of the experience. For example, historically the French 1915 offensives France died down not long before the Austrians finally drove the Serbians into Albania, while the Germans continued to push the Russians eastward and the Gallipoli campaign raged - but the Ottomans and British mostly stared at each other in Iraq and Sinai. Four months later, things had mostly reversed in intensity.

As such, I think it might work to have Central Powers and Entente teams, with each player having a specific theater they command while also lending help as an army commander in a theater (or two) where they don't have overall command. For example, an Entente player might control all the Serbs but also command Russian forces on the Baltic coast and British forces in Iraq, if we have enough players to setup the East, Balkan, and Middle Eastern fronts. If I had to pick one theater NOT to include, it would be in France and Belgium, because that will have by far the longest playing time per turn and the least prospect of meaningful geographic progress, but we could remove other theaters as players and their interests dictate.

Who is tentatively interested in playing monster DWK at Winterfest 2017? In what theaters and years do you have the most interest?

Todd

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Re: DWK Der Weltkrieg Monster Game

Post by thatlee » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:02 am

I am really interested in playing this game. The call of OCS is strong...but if the OCS table fills up, I would definitely want in on this game.
Probably would want to play the Russians...something about a big, dumb, brittle steamroller is so appealing!
Too early for me to commit right now, but I am glad this game is on the docket.
Winterfest XX will have some great games! Is it February yet?

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Re: DWK Der Weltkrieg Monster Game

Post by ThisLee » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:49 am

thatlee wrote:I am really interested in playing this game. The call of OCS is strong...but if the OCS table fills up, I would definitely want in on this game.
Probably would want to play the Russians...something about a big, dumb, brittle steamroller is so appealing!
Too early for me to commit right now, but I am glad this game is on the docket.
Winterfest XX will have some great games! Is it February yet?
What he said, on all counts.

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Re: DWK Der Weltkrieg Monster Game

Post by kqrgcw » Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:03 am

I've been talking up this game for years so am all in favor of it. In the game I play from time to time I am up to June 1 1916. This includes all theaters but the Mid east as it won't fit in my gaming area.

From experience I have a few caveats. I would not get rid of the Western Front. The blood bath there is why the Great European War became what it was.

I would not use the Campaign games production system. This would take a player per side (maybe more) doing nothing but logistics etc.
While his system is a tour de force; as wargaming this will kill the game for us. I have all the games and each game has complete supply info and unit creations, transfers mandated ( you can still do ones on your own etc.)

While this will need to be discussed I am biased toward the designers original system which showed in an easy fashion the quality differences
between national armies. The new system (which requires his production system)makes everybody essentially alike. Anyone with the least knowledge of WWI knows this is not true Before the designer did his production system he did 6 or 7 games all using his original system of supply.

As for game starts I feel 1914 should be done or a three part 1916 Starting in the West in February( Verdun) historical deployment; Italy April start (Trentino offensive) Russia and the east (Brusilov offensive) June I think. Since all unit additions, removals and transfers as well as supplies, replacements, etc., are in the game books players just need a little mental gymnastics to go from theater to theater. Italy will probably peter out first so players can then shore up the west and Russian fronts.

Or 1918 in the West, Italy, Balkans, Mid east.

Roger

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Re: DWK Der Weltkrieg Monster Game

Post by TEJ » Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:39 pm

I started clipping counters from The Eastern Front game this week. As befits and East front game, it's not a small job.

My mind is drifting toward a war-start East front scenario. The Russians feel big in 1914, but thin on supplies. The A-H's have a big army in the East but also get to try against Serbia. The Germans start with few but good units and get reinforcements partly based on Russian performance. It would be great for 4-5 players at the start, if that's what we have, but we could add the West if interest expands as we get closer.

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Re: DWK Der Weltkrieg Monster Game

Post by kqrgcw » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:54 am

I would strongly urge that the initial war plans be required of both sides in this game. This is an operational level game so the players represent army commands not the National Command Authority. Most of the armies had orders issued that they were required to follow for the first few turns. I would suggest adding the western front and dropping serbia unless there is a lot of interest. The serbian front has a number of special rules that require some painstaking effort on the part of the players.

As to the west front the issued orders will lead to a hair pulling game. The French burn up precious supply in Plan 17, The Germans have to send units to the east almost from the start. ( The better the Russians do the more you send) and the Belgians, if an escape rout from Liege is left run for Antwerp at the first bombardment of the fort. I've tried this about 5 times and only once did the Germans get close to Paris but could not attack as the siege guns were too far back. Its tough on all fronts as you will run out of supply.

Anyway those are my thoughts plus the earlier post.

If you are jaded doing the same old thing at Winterfest this will be a breath of fresh air. It may not have panzers but the logistics and planning makes for a VERY tough and challenging situation. Plus, it is not that hard to learn.

Roger

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Re: DWK Der Weltkrieg Monster Game

Post by TEJ » Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:27 am

I am glad to see discussion beginning in earnest about WFest games for 2017, it's none too early.

I remain intent upon DWK and will have clipped counters for the whole war and maps ready to go.

Given that our expert, Roger, is a "game until supper" schedule fellow, I intend to have DWK be my main game during morning and afternoon and then to play side games in the evening. I believe that this could allow us to EASILY reach the following milestones: Saturday complete August, Monday complete September, Tuesday complete October, Thursday complete January 1915. This would allow us to add a table and players for the Caucasus Front mid-week. We could add Bulgaria and a historical crushing of Serbia before the end of the Fest.

That schedule implies a fast play and I think that is a very realistic possibility. The turn length is shorter than Europa, the units are foot mobile, and transportation infrastructure is ...at WW1 levels, so very few units can zip rapidly from place to place in a single turn and that will only be in their friendly rear area. The game will reward making a plan and then moving units over multiple turns to achieve it, so actually moving the units will be pretty fast. Combat is much simpler than even basic Europa (no significant air or armor in 1914) so it will take very little time. Reinforcement and replacement activities, after the initial mobilization at the start of the war, is pretty much monthly, so most turns will go past without it. Except for the first couple of days, with lots of reinforcement activities and people learning the rules, we should play more than a month of the war in a morning and afternoon of the Fest.

Regarding players and roles, I spread out a bunch of maps and looked at a bunch of OBs today. If player interest works for it, I think it would be best to begin planning for four players then add more if more people commit (player number / historical role) in a war-start scenario:

1 / German defense in East then offensive into Poland
2 / Russian offensive into Germany
3 / Austro-Hungarian offensive into Poland then defense of Galicia
4 / Russian defense of southern Poland then offensive into Galicia

If we had two more players:
5 / Serbian defense, also play Russian high command (allocating supplies and replacements, giving strategic orders)
6 / Austro-Hungarian offensive into Serbia, also play Austro-Hungarian high command (same, plus transferring units between fronts)

If we had four more players:
5 and 6 / German offensive thru Belgium into France (one of the Germans could also allocate supplies and replacements and mandate transfers between fronts)
7 and 8 / French and French-British defensive

Presuming we picked-up more players as the Fest went forward, we could add a later starting historical deployment for the Western Front, the Serbian Front, and/or the Caucasus Front (Ottomans join war near end of 1914).

Todd

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Re: DWK Der Weltkrieg Monster Game

Post by kqrgcw » Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:45 am

I would like us to get as many players into the SPW WWI game as possible. The 1914 start is very feasible with only four. One allied in the west vs. one german; and one german/AH vs. one russian.

I have no problem with Serbia but folks must not forget that the warplans in the start ARE part of the rules committing certain actions for at least a few turns. Thus the difficulty with Serbia is the combination of the AH II Army and its " go here no go there" rules that create the command confusion among the CP at the start. To ignore all this will create a tough and very ahistorical situation especially in the west.

I saw one such example may years ago at Origins where the players totally ignored the war doctrine rules.The did not have Serbia so it was not to bad in the east but in the west the front ended in a stalemate from Antwerp, Brussels, the namur area and along the Muese. Why? Because by ignoring the mandated German withdrawl to cover the east, plan 17 and the critical Belgian doctrine that called for a retreat to Antwerp no matter who attacked them it was prescription for not much fun. By the end of August the ammo was all gone and everyone in the west were just scratching there heads.

Because this game goes faster than OCS or Europa its not that hard to get through a turn. The most exciting part of this game is the planning
(being in a solitare campaign game at June 1915 I can tell you what sucks you into the game is the long term planning, managing supplies and reinforcements, and yes casualties as too many of them will cost the game but without attacking you can't win.

Sorry for being so windy about this but I really like this game and only came up with two home rules since it came out.

Roger

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Re: DWK Der Weltkrieg Monster Game

Post by TEJ » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:05 am

The player roster for this monster game is shaping well but we still have up to five open spots, presuming we use the full 1914 start. If you'd like to play and haven't privately messaged me, please post here or let me know.

As my familiarity with the forces and rules grow, I wonder if my estimate of play was not conservative; with a full ten players we might see Italy in the war (mid-1915) by the end of the week. This presumes some "simulcast" turns over winter when not much happened historically and when players might equally be tempted to dig and reinforce rather than squander their resources in foul conditions. I also notice that while this is very much a monster game, with a full ten players the span of control will be quite manageable and players will probably be able to play through turns quicker than I anticipated a couple of months ago.

Todd

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Re: DWK Der Weltkrieg Monster Game

Post by thatlee » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:33 pm

Please include me in the roster of players.

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