Order of Battle: World War II is a turn-based strategy game developed by The Aristocrats and published by Slitherine Games. Order of Battle: World War II features turn-based, hex-based tactical gameplay set in World War II. It has a 3D game map with detailed animations and effects, over 700 different units, unique commanders that can be attached to the player's units, and 20 different specializations to give a unique feel to the player's army. Order of Battle: World War II also includes multiplayer with up to 4 players using its PBEM++ system and an in-game scenario editor.
The game was originally released as Order of Battle: Pacific on April 30, 2015 and included what are now the Rising Sun and U.S. Pacific DLCs. On June 14, 2016, the game was renamed to Order of Battle: World War II and became free to play, with the two original campaigns becoming DLC.
Order of Battle: World War II includes the Boot Camp tutorial campaign and allows players to play the first scenario of any DLC campaign. In order for players to unlock the scenario editor and multiplayer with all of the factions, only a single DLC needs to be purchased.
Players can choose play the Boot Camp campaign and the first scenario of any other campaign for free. Each campaign has a series of linked scenarios that allow a player's core forces to carry over from one to the next. Players can also choose between 5 difficulty levels as listed below under scenario difficulty.
- Boot Camp: The tutorial, this campaign teaches the player the basics of the game. Players control a group of US recruits in a series of training exercises against another team of US recruits.
Players can play individual scenarios with no core force carryover. A number of additional options are provided for scenario play.
- Quick Experience: Units gain experience faster than normal, allowing players to obtain elite units within a single scenario.
- Combat Randomizing: Combat outcome is slightly randomized, thus does not always match the estimated results provided prior to an attack.
- Custom Starting Force: Allows players to purchase and deploy their own core force instead of using the default force provided by the scenario.
- Scenario Difficulty: There are five difficulties, I to V, with V being the hardest. Difficulty determines the max unit strength for AI units. These are identical to the ones in campaign play.
- I: AI max unit strength is 6
- II: AI max unit strength is 8
- III: AI max unit strength is 10 (Normal difficulty)
- IV: AI max unit strength is 12
- V: AI max unit strength is 13
In hotseat multiplayer, up to 4 players can play in a game on the same device. Players must hand over the controls to the next player when their turn is over.
PBEM++ allows players to play against other players from anywhere in the world over the internet. It requires players to log in to a server in order to play. Play is asynchronous, meaning that both players do not need to be online at the same time; one player can log in, take their turn, and then upload the results to the master server; the server can then notify the other player that it is their turn and that player can take their turn when they are ready.
Campaign mode consists of decisions made on the campaign map, the management of a Core Force, choice of specializations, and scenario play.
The campaign map will display where the campaign is taking place, what territory is controlled by whom, and the next available mission(s) which are represented by pushpins. The campaign map will also allow the player to choose the difficulty level, review any specializations the player may have, and view the player's Core Force.
Units purchased during a campaign will be part of the player's Core Force and will be identified on the map by the gold outline of their strength plates. The Core Force will travel with the player throughout the campaign and with the experience they gain throughout the battles, will be the key to victory.
- Auxiliary units: These are the units that are automatically deployed at the start of a scenario during campaign play and are not part of the player's Core Force. As such these units will not carry over with the player from mission to mission. They are identified by a black outline around the strength plate
At certain points throughout a campaign, a player will be presented with a choice between two specializations. A player may only choose one of the two and will be forced to keep that selection for the remainder of the campaign. Specializations give a player's forces unique abilities and units.
Scenario play involves fighting battles and capturing objectives.
Briefing and Objectives
At the start of most scenarios there will be a briefing sequence which will take the player through the objectives and give the plater a background of the mission. Scenarios will contain two types of objectives, primary and secondary.
- Primary Objectives: These objectives are mandatory in order to win the scenario.
- Secondary Objectives: These objectives are optional to complete and doing so will provide bonuses in the current scenario or future scenarios in a campaign.
All scenarios will have a turn limit, all primary objectives need to be complete before that limit is over, otherwise the scenario will end in a defeat. Players should also keep in mind that it will not always be possible to complete all secondary objectives within a scenario.
Victory & Capture Points
Some hexes will contain flags which mark them as a victory or capture point. There are two types of victory points, primary and secondary, and they are linked to the primary and secondary obectives. Capture points simply represent important locations which can be captured for additional supply and deployment zones, in addition to victory points. When capturing a point, it will take 3 turns before the player will receive supply or before they can deploy from that point. Victory and capture points are represented by the star above the flag.
- Primary VPs: Marked with a gold star.
- Secondary VPs: Marked with a silver star.
- Capture Points (CP): Marked with a bronze star.
Hexes & Territory
All hexes on the map are controlled by one of the players and can be captured by moving a land or naval unit through them. Air units are unable to capture hexes. The borders of a player's territory are shown by thick red lines which follow the hex edges along the boundary between opposing territories. Hexes with victory or capture points will show the flag of the faction that controls it and isolated hexes of one side containing no units or supply sources will be automatically captured by the enemy if they are completely surrounded.
Both land and air units require a certain amount of supply in order to remain at full efficiency. Without enough supply, units will lose efficiency until their efficiency level matches their supply level. Efficiency level affects how well a unit can defend and attack, their movement, and how quickly they can repair or reinforce.
Naval units (excluding carriers) can provide supply by being adjacent to a land hex. Land units draw supply from any land-based supply source or from naval units that are adjacent to a land hex, provided that a player controls the hexes between the unit and the supply sources. Air units draw supply from any airfield on the map, and carrier-based aircraft can also draw supply from aircraft carriers.
All hexes have a terrain type, and every terrain type has a set of stats that determine its effects on combat. Players can check the stats of a hex by using the terrain information panel.
- Attacker Combat Factor: Determines the amount of casualties an attacker will inflict on the defender. A higher value means the attacker will inflict more casualties, and a lower value means an attacker will inflict less.
- Defender Combat Factor: Determines the amount of casualties a defender will inflict on the attacker. Higher is better for the defender, lower is worse for the defender.
- Cover Rating: The amount of cover that is available from direct fire.
- Disruption Penalty: The efficiency loss for moving through this terrain.
- Disembark Penalty: The efficiency loss for disembarking on this terrain.
Resource points are used for purchasing, upgrading, or repairing units and for certain special abilities. In a scenario, a constant flow of resource points is provided every turn, in addition resource points can be obtained by completing certain objectives and if a scenario is completed before the turn limit is up then the resources that would have been obtained for those remaining turn are automatically obtained. In campaign mode, the resource points that remain at the end of a scenario will transfer over to the next.
Command points determine how many more units of a given type are able to be deployed during a given turn in a scenario. Each unit type uses a certain amount of CP when it is deployed and when there are not enough CP then that unit can not be deployed until more are obtained. CP can be gained through completing certain objectives or through the destruction of a unit and auxiliary units do not use CP and thus do not give CP when destroyed. There are 3 types of CP, one for each unit type, each represented by a specific icon.
- Land CP: Green Helmet Icon
- Naval CP: Blue Anchor Icon
- Air CP: Red Aircraft Icon
Fog of War
Fog of War (FoW) represents areas of the battlefield that the player can not see, it is shown by a dark shroud over a hex. Any hex that is not within the Line of Sight (LoS) of a friendly unit is considered to be in Fog of War and any enemy unit within the FoW will not be visible. At the start of each turn, a player's units will reveal the FoW of any hex within their LoS and view distance, view distance is determined by the terrain types. When a unit is moved, it will reveal all hexes along their movement path and at the end of the turn, any hex no longer within LoS of a friendly unit will be covered by FoW.
Enemy units that attack from within the FoW will automatically be revealed for the remainder of their turn. Some units, such as submarines and commandos, can be invisible to the enemy even when the hex they are in is not covered by FoW. Additionally, other units positioned in specific terrain can only be spotted when there is an adjacent ground or naval unit.
Aircraft and Radar Stations are capable of seeing past their LoS range and thus able to reveal enemy ships or aircraft within the FoW. The hexes past their normal LoS are covered with a lighter shroud and enemy units detected will be identified with an icon rather than a unit model and will not show their unit type or strength.
Air units need fuel to continue flying and when they run low will need to be refueled at an airfield. Next to an air unit's strength will be a number showing the number of turns before the plane needs to be refueled, when this number reaches 0, the unit will begin losing strength each turn until it refuels.
Refueling can be done by landing in an airfield for one turn, additional carrier-based aircraft can land on an aircraft carrier. Landing an aircraft can be done by moving the aircraft to a hex adjacent to an airfield and then clicking on the land button. On the next turn the unit can take off again by selecting the airfield, clicking on the unit, and then selecting a hex adjacent or on the airfield.
Float Planes and Flying Boats do not need to be refueled which make them great for doing reconnaissance, but they have few armaments which make them an easy target for enemy aircraft.
There are three different unit categories, each category determines what hexes the unit is capable of moving on.
- Land Units: Can only move on land hexes.
- Air Units: Can move across any hex on the map when airborne.
- Naval Units: Can only move on water hexes.
Unit categories are subdivided into unit classes which determine what roles are suitable to a unit type.
- Infantry: Infantry are generally the bulk of a player's force. These units do well in terrain with good cover, such as cities, forests, and mountains; while in open terrain, they make easy prey to artillery and armored units. They move slowly on their own, but when equipped with a transport will have faster movement.
- Reconnaissance: Recon units are great for scouting out enemy positions due to their high movement values and the ability to split their total movement points into two separate moves within one turn. They can also be useful for taking out weakened enemy units, especially those that have retreated behind their lines. Land-based recon units are also more likely to retreat when attacked to give them a higher chance of survival.
- Tank: Tanks consist of any type of armored combat vehicle and can fight against multiple unit types. Tanks fight best when in open ground, while in heavy cover they will be vulnerable to enemy infantry. They can fight against both infantry and tanks, and even help overrun enemy defenses.
- Anti-Tank: AT weapons are designed for destroying tanks and can provide fire support to adjacent friendly units when those are attacked by enemy tanks. While great against tanks, they are vulnerable to enemy infantry attacks.
- Artillery: Artillery are useful for bombarding enemy units from a distance and lowering their efficiency. They tend to be fairly inaccurate and thus do not inflict a lot of direct damage. Towed artillery units are slow on their own, but can be provided with transports to increase their movement. Self-propelled artillery are capable of moving at a faster rate and firing in the same turn.
- Anti-Air: AA guns are useful for fighting off air units from the ground and thus can provide that much needed protection to a player's other ground units. Like AT weapons, AA guns can provide support fire to friendly units, but against enemy air units. Some AA guns are also capable of switching between an AA mode and an AT mode, acting as either class.
- Fighter: Fighters are great for taking down enemy planes and gaining air superiority, with some types designed to fight against enemy fighters, while others are designed to take down strategic bombers. Fighters can also provide fire support to a friendly bomber, land or naval unit, when they are attacked by enemy planes. Fighters can be used to attack ground and naval units, but are often ineffective in doing so, unless specifically designed for it.
- Tactical Bomber: Tactical bombers are capable of dealing damage to enemy ground and naval units. Some carry torpedoes which are useful against naval targets, but take time to reload; while others carry bombs which can be used against both land and naval units. Some bombers even have the ability to switch between torpedoes and bombs, but only when landed at an airfield or carrier.
- Strategic Bomber: Strategic bombers are similar to artillery in that they are capable of lowering an enemy unit's efficiency but do not provide a lot of direct damage. These bombers fly at much higher altitudes than tactical bombers and thus make them difficult to take down, often requiring specialized fighters or AA guns to do so. Strategic bombers can also bomb enemy supply sources, lowering the supply output.
- Destroyer: Destroyers are cheap and fast, and thus often taken in large numbers. This makes them ideal for scouting and screening a fleet's larger ships. Destroyers also carry torpedoes which can deliver deadly blows to large enemy warships, sonar which can be used to spot submerged enemy submarines, and depth charges to destroy submarines.
- Cruiser: Cruisers are fast, medium-sized warships which are good for escorting important targets. Cruisers also have AA guns to fend off enemy air attacks. They are slightly slower than destroyers but can deal out more damage to enemy ships.
- Battleship: Battleships are the largest and most powerful ships in the game, but are also the most expensive as a result. They can attack enemy ground and naval units from a large distance and against ground units will act like artillery, causing efficiency loss instead of direct damage. Battleships are completely incapable of fighting enemy submarines, thus requiring destroyers to protect them from such threats.
- Carrier: Carriers are mobile airfields on the water and can maintain carrier-based aircraft. Carriers are great for supporting naval encounters and beach landing when there are no land-based airfields nearby. Carriers come in different sizes and can store anywhere from one to three air units depending on its size.
- Submarine: Submarines are naval units which can move and attack while submerged, thus making them hard to spot. While submerged, only enemy ships with sonar will be able to reveal and attack a submarine.
- Structures: Structures are incapable of moving and consist of units that can attack and have strong defenses or passive units that serve various functions.
- Transports: Transports are units that are attached to other units such as infantry or towed weapons to increase their movement. Transports can be land, air, naval, or even railroad based.
- Mines: Mines are immovable units that once deployed, belong to neither side. Mines can only be spotted by an adjacent unit of the same type as the mine and once spotted will remain visible. Mines can only be removed by moving a unit through them, which will deal damage to that unit; or by using the Mine Clearing ability of a unit that has it.
Each unit has a set of stats that determine how effective a unit is at a number of things.
- Strength: Strength is essentially a unit's health, it represents how many men are in a unit. During combat strength is reduced, and it can be replenished using the Repair abilities. The higher the strength, the more damage a unit is capable of doing in combat; and when it is reduced to 0, the unit is destroyed.
- Entrenchment: Entrenchment represents how well a unit has prepared defenses in a given location. If a unit remains stationary and does not attack it will prepare defenses on its current position making the unit more resistant to attack.
- Experience: Experience represents how much a unit has learned from its time in the field. It will increase over time as a unit fights, and more experienced units are better in combat and thus more difficult to destroy.
- Chassis: Chassis tells how a unit moves, whether that be by foot, tracks, or wheels for land units; or for naval units, shallow draft, deep draft, and submerged. Chassis type determines how well a unit can move through different terrain types or water depths.
- Movement Points: Movement points represent how quickly a unit can move. These are used up as a unit moves, depending on their chassis and the terrain they move through.
- Line of Sight (LoS): Represents the view range of a unit, each terrain type has a LoS cost which determine how far away in a given direction each unit will be able to see.
- Range: How far a unit can shoot. A unit with a range of 0 needs to be adjacent to the enemy unit and be able to enter that terrain type in order to attack.
- Attack: Each unit type has a series of attack values for each unit category that are used when it attacks this category.
- Defense: Each unit type has a series of defense values for each unit category that are used when it is attacked by this category.
- Offensive Combat Type (OCT): The defense stat that is used by the enemy when this unit attacks.
- Defensive Combat Type (OCT): The attack stat that is used by the enemy when it attack this unit.
- Bombardment: Represents how much damage can be done when a strategic bomber attacks a supply source.
- Shock: Represents how much efficiency an enemy unit will lose when it is bombarded by this unit.
- Assault: Represents how much damage a unit will do to enemy entrenchment at the beginning of their attack.
Battle of Britain Mod
The Battle of Britain Mod was released as a free update for Order of Battle: World War II on September 15, 2015 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
The Battle of Britain mod feature two scenarios, Unit Demonstration and the Battle of Britain.
This scenario introduces the player to the new units that have been added as part of the Battle of Britain Mod.
Battle of Britain
This scenario is the main scenario of the mod, featuring the historical Battle of Britain, the map includes southern England and the northern French, Belgian and Dutch coasts. Players command the Royal Air Force and are given the objective to keep the British morale up while simultaneously diminishing the German morale.
British morale is kept up by protecting the British supply ships which make their way through the English Channel and through the Thames River to London, and by protecting British cities from German air raids. German morale can be lowered by destroying German bombers and disrupting their plans for Operation Sea Lion.
Secondary objectives include protecting the radar stations along the southern coast of England, destroying German Stuka bombers, and taking out a coastal gun battery.
Morning Sun is the first expansion pack for Order of Battle: World War II which takes place during the Second Sino-Japanese War and allows players to command the Japanese as they invade China in 11 new scenarios. It also includes new features such as the ability for players to construct small airstrips where they choose, horse transportation and cavalry units, new terrain types, and many new units.
U.S. Marines is the second expansion pack for Order of Battle: World War II. The expansion allows players to control the U.S. Marines in the island hopping campaign in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, between 1942-1945. It includes the following scenarios: Tulagi, Guadalcanal, Munda Point, Blissful & Goodtime, Bougainville, Gilbert Islands, Marshall Islands, Saipan, Guam, Palau, and Iwo Jima; as well as some new units.
Winter War is the third expansion pack which includes the Winter War (1939-1940), the Continuation War (1941-1944), and the Lapland War (1944-1945). Players get to take control of the Finnish Army with supporting troops from either Germany or the Soviet Union depending on the outcomes. The expansion also includes over 90 new units, and a new climate: winter, making movement across the terrain slow and difficult.
Rising Sun is one of two campaigns that were originally included in Order of Battle: Pacific and later released as an expansion pack when the game was renamed and became free. In Rising Sun, players command the forces of Imperial Japan starting at Pearl Harbor and continue on through both historic and theoretical scenarios in an attempt to change history and win the war as Japan.
U.S. Pacific is one of two campaigns that were originally included in Order of Battle: Pacific and later released as an expansion pack when the game was renamed and became free. In U.S. Pacific, players command the Allied forces led by the US starting at Pearl Harbor and continuing through the historical battles, ending with the Invasion of Japan.
- OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
- Processor: Pentium 4 or equivalent
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: 512 MB DirectX 9 video card with shader model 2.0
- DirectX: Version 9.0c
- Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
- Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
- OS: Mac OS X 10.7+
- Graphics: DirectX 9 video card with shader model 2.0
- Hard Drive: 1 GB available space