Here are some the changes you will find in World At War series. To start, we have renamed the series to World At War 85. We moved the series away from the old storyline, and locations and moved it to real world locations with formations. The core rules are in a middle of a re-write as well as a new storyline from Keith Tracton and Matt Lohse. The new core rules will be available as a free download. We have updated the maps and unit counters. We are taking all the expansion and now included them into the base games. We are also bringing new countries into the series such as Israel, China, and Korea forces. The counter size will NOT change so the new editions can play with older games. We are in the middle of these updates and if you have any questions let us know.
(Long comment with detail from one of the Keith Tracton Developers!)
Hi everyone, I would like to introduce myself. I am Keith Tracton, and I am one of the Lead Developers on the WaW85 series. My initial and ongoing task is re-conceptualizing and translate the previously published games, and settings into a new coherent storyline, where the tactical battles depicted are fought in real-world locations using real-world formations that could have been engaged in a World War in 1985.
I have to apologize off the bat, as the first thing I want to address only relates to that tangentially: let me assure you all that there will be no supernatural element to the new Campaign Storylines. I am unsure how that got to be as popular a serious question as it apparently has become but consider this “No” the definitive answer.
OTOH, if you are a fan of books like Red Army (my favorite of this genre, actually), Red Storm Rising, Team Yankee, and The 10,000, well, this is the game series for you.
So here are some additional details supplementing what David has already posted, about what this project is all about, i.e. what David, myself, Matt Lohse and the rest of the WaW85 development team are in the process of doing:
1. David has already uploaded pictures of the glorious new map art for the series. In the final versions, it is important to note that there will be no town names on any of the maps. This is to facilitate the use of new, lettered Objective markers which correspond to the Objective listing found in most scenarios. These listings designate the specific real-world towns depicted for that scenario. These will be different for each scenario.
2. Re-writing the rules into a Core Rulebook. (David has commented on this.)
3. Rewriting the Module Rules for each Volume, as a booklet that supplements the Core Rules (like LnL Tactical). Though not the definitive list as yet, it is planned to contain:
a. A short “Where We Are Now” Campaign Summary to set the stage for the Volume and continue the new Strategic Storyline
b. A Campaign Map of where all the Battles in the Volume take place, as a visual aid to the Strategic Storyline
c. Optional rules that you may want to consider in any Battle. These rules are completely optional, and may take precedence over the Core Rules if players agree to use them.
d. The Battles (Scenarios), notably including the rewritten Real-world battle locations and formations, along with Battle descriptions that follow the storyline depicted in the Volume’s accompanying Campaign Map. For example, the first Volume in WaW85 is entitled “Storming The Gap,” because the Soviet units in the game will be storming the famous (infamous?) Fulda Gap, west of Frankfurt, West Germany.
4. Redesigning the counters. David has already commented on this, but I can give you a touch more information, as I have been working directly on developing this aspect as I work on counter values. There will be graphic elements that will make certain attributes of your platoons considerably easier to read. As one example: we will be using a series of color-filled background boxes to highlight any additional attributes that previously were indicated by an underline, a font color, or a hollow box – all difficult to read on the old counters. I am translating them into color-filled shapes boxes (or circles or triangles) placed behind (under) the counter value affected, to keep the number itself easy to read. But I must emphasize. All the numbers you will need to play are directly on the counter – Range, Firepower, To-Hit, etc. Just easier to discern.
5. Reworking the unit counter values to be consistent among all the Volumes. A BMP-1 should be a BMP-1 should be a BMP-1, no matter which Volume you buy (is what I say). There were discrepancies reported in previous editions, so Matt Lohse and I have been working very diligently to resolve all these reports - Matt especially. (And boy are our eyes tired from proofing that spreadsheet…)
6. Reworking the formation identifications of the battalions and companies that your platoon-level counters compose to be from real-world formations back in 1985. You will be playing with units from notable formations of the time, including but not limited to the U.S. 8th Infantry Division; the Soviet 39th Motor Rifle Division; and the West German 5th Panzer Division.
7. Re-working the design of the Player Aid Charts, Terrain Effect Charts, and other sundry tables, as needed.
8. And one last thing: I am unsure how exactly this will manifest, but I am constructing a timeline of historic events leading up to our new fictional storyline of the outbreak of World War III in 1985. Events following the outbreak of the War will be detailed in the Volume Campaign Summaries, see 3a and 3b above.
9. A quick example of a couple of the new items:
3 September 1984
COLD FIRE AND LIONHEART EXERCISES IN WEST GERMANY: In the largest deployment of British Troops to Europe since WWII, air transports convey thirty-five thousand potential reinforcements for the British Army of the Rhine to West Germany. It is suspected that the Soviet Group of Forces Germany (SGFG) went on partial war alert due to the increased NATO activity, but there has been no corroboration.
31 October 1984
ASSASSINATION OF INDIRA GHANDI: Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, is assassinated by her own bodyguards. Thousands of Sikhs are killed in retaliation over the next few days. It is never established if Pakistan influenced the event as a way to destabilize India in preparation for a potential border offensive, alleged to have been secretly planned for the next year.
So there you have the concept and what we are attempting to hang off of that concept. There are a lot of angles to this, and a lot to do. But we wanted to bring you up to date!