First World War

In 1914, the world erupted in a conflict that was thought would be over in matter of months. The armies marched off to war in appearance and manner akin to distant cousins of the Napoleonic Period, with many units dressed in colorful uniforms and trained to fight in dense formations. Commanders of the day stressed the operational art of war. Battles were fought on the grand scale of million-man armies where it was thought that tactical issues were of minimal importance since it was rationalized that tactical success or failure would be negated by bypass and maneuver at the operational level.

Four years later, with over 10 million dead and Europe in complete ruin, over a thousand miles of trenches had been dug and poison gas, light machine guns, tanks, aircraft, and modern artillery, had all came into existence. This "First World War" had become the genesis of modern warfare, seeing innovative developments in weaponry and tactics as both sides raced to develop tools and techniques in the quest to break the deadlock that dominated the war's main arena: the Western Front. However, one of the most important innovations born out of this conflict was not a specific piece of weaponry, it was a change in the tactical mindset of commanders: the introduction of small unit tactics, or squad level warfare. Ironically, it was the evolution at the tactical level that finally brought about a strategic result to the conflict.

Squad Battles: First World War allows you to experience the technical and tactical advancements of that conflict, and the terrible battles that were carried out. Can you survive the horrific campaigns of the First World War?

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  • 67 scenarios covering actions from 1914 to 1918, in such battles as Gallipoli, Somme, Verdun, Cambrai, Vimy Ridge, Argonne, Belleau Wood, Cantigny, and more.
  • Scenarios range in length from 10 to 132 turns and cover actions from small firefights between a hundred men to huge battles of tens of thousands of men battling it out for trench networks and objectives on a variety of batttlefields across all four fronts of the war.
  • Close quarters trench clearing fighting, as well as longer ranged battles in the open during the more mobile campaigns of the war, and battles with the world's first tanks.
  • A staggering 7 linked scenario campaigns covering most major battles in the conflict, including a 17 scenario German campaign that spans the entire war from 1914 to 1918, which puts you directly in a position to experience the drastic change of warfare from early rifle battalions to stosstruppen at the end of the war, and a British campaign which puts you in the role of a World War One tank commander to experience the birth of modern day armor.

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  • Early in the war players control large half platoons and companies of men squads or fire teams of men and individual leaders, and by late war players will control more modernized sections and squads of men, as well as a variety of early war tanks.
  • Experience chemical warfare on a grand scale as both sides struggle to break the deadlock of the Western Front.
  • Experience the development in tactics, weaponry, and the birth of small unit warfare as units change drastically from horde like formations of men in 1914 to modern day assault type infantry of 1918.
  • Based on a tried and true turn-based platform using 40 meter hexes and an intuitive interface allowing players to use a combination of mouse clicks, menu commands and hot keys to control their units.
  • Views are in two levels of 2D and 3D.

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Changes to the Squad Battles Series in this game include:

  • Added ability to define Rolling Barrages (see Scenario Editor and Users Manual).
  • Changes that reduces protection and movement cost between adjacent Trench hexes (see Users Manual under Movement and Firing).
  • Added Inspirational Weapons in addition to Motivational Weapons (such as regimental colors/banners).

File Previews

Here are some files from the game (PDF Files):

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  • Scenario Designer: Ed Williams
  • Scenario Maps: Dave "Blackie" Blackburn
  • Playtest Coordinator: Rich Hamilton
  • Playtesters: Ed Williams, Dennis Suttman, Phil Driscoll, Abram Harrison, Bill Havice, Nik Butler

System Requirements
Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 10
Processor: 1 GHz
Disk Space: 1 GB
Memory: 1 GB

This wargame is for sale at The John Tiller Software Store