1916
LAND WAR IN THE AGE OF MACHINES: 1914-1918



Germany
Tactical Notes : Equipment & Defense Notes : Troops & Units : Keys

The German Army of this period had an efficient training system and a decentralized command policy which gave enormous discretionary powers to officers "on the scene." Unfortunately their refusal to allow non-aristocratic gentlemen to rise through the ranks created a chronic officer shortage which was never rectified.

Tactical Notes:
German troops were ordered to stop using close order formations by October of 1914, although some officers continued to attack in close order for several months more. By late 1915 fully dispersed assault units were making their appearance, and by 1916 at Verdun, army level reserves had detachments of specialized "storm troops" available to battalion and regimental commanders for spearheading their attacks. Unfortunately some of the officers given temporary control of these priceless, newly re-trained men were unaware of the newly developed tactical methods and squandered them on poorly prepared frontal assaults. As the war progressed, the new tactics practiced by these early pioneers spread to most of the army, resulting in a blooming of assault-style training at all levels.


Equipment & Defense Notes:
The standard field gun for German units was the 7.7cm, which is shell size 5 for game play. Below are the defense values used to establish troop defenses (if any) to be used during the setup phase of the game. These defensive levels are meant only as rough averages. Players creating their own scenarios may want to adjust them for different situations. For example, an "old" battlefield may have very heavy wire entanglements and many pillboxes. A "new" battlefield located in an area not previous fought over would have very little or no wire entanglements and no bunkers. See the Game Setup page or Advanced Game Setup for more information.
Defense Setup:
1914 | Trench ½40
1915 | Trench ½70 | Wire ½40 | Pillbox ¼
1916 | Trench ½70 | Wire ½40 | Pillbox ½ | Bunker ¼ | Stollen 1
1917 | Trench ½100 | Wire ½70 | Pillbox 1 | Bunker ½
1918 | Trench ½100 | Wire ½40 | Pillbox 1 | Bunker ¼ | Stollen 1
Stollen are underground bunkers whose sole purpose is to protect assault infantry at their jumpoff point. Each Stollen holds three bases as hard cover. Bases inside of a stollen may not fire out, and if assaulted while inside, will fight as hit in rear. Stollen are only available when the German player is the attacker.


Troops and Units:
The orders of battle shown below offer a list of average unit values in order to give 1916 players an idea of how historical formations should be represented for game play. Real life units varied in type, strength and quality, depending on their location and readiness level. Overall, there were a huge variety of units created during the war, from forestry battalions to assault companies. This prevents us from trying to list them all, and players are encouraged to use these lists as guidelines for creating other units they would like to use on the battlefield.
Engineer Company
Units:1 | Bases:6 | Morale:Brave | Training:Average
Mounted Cavalry Squadron 1914
Units:3 | Bases:3 | Morale:Steady | Training:Average | Note: Guard cavalry: Brave morale/Great training, Landwehr cavalry: Shaky morale/Poor training
Dismounted Cavalry Squadron 1914
Units:1 | Bases:9 | Morale:Steady | Training:Average | Machine Guns:1 heavy | Note: Same morale note as mounted.
Muskete Battalion 1915-17
Units:9 | Bases:1 | Morale:Steady | Training:Great
Guard Pioneer Flamethrower Platoon (Army level) 1915-16
Units:3 | Bases:1 | Morale:Reckless | Training:Great | Special:All bases are equipped with flamethrowers.
Assault Detachment (Army level) 1915-16
Units:1 | Bases:3 | Morale:Brave | Training:Great | Machine Guns:1 heavy | Mortars:1 light | Special:Starting in late 1916, may mark one base as equipped with flamethrowers.
Assault Detachment (Army level) 1917
Units:1 | Bases:3 | Morale:Reckless | Training:Great | Machine Guns:1 heavy, 1 light | Trench Mortars:1 light | Special:Mark one base as equipped with flamethrowers.
Assault Detachment (Divisional level) 1917-18
Units:1 | Bases:3 | Morale:Brave | Training:Great | Machine Guns:1 heavy | Trench Mortars:1 light
Pioneer Flamethrower Platoon (Army level) 1918
Units:3 | Bases:1 | Morale:Reckless | Training:Outstanding | Special:All bases are equipped with flamethrowers.
Assault Detachment (Army level) 1918
Units:3 | Bases:1 | Morale:Reckless | Training:Outstanding | Machine Guns:1 heavy | Trench Mortars:1 light | Special:Mark one base as equipped with flamethrowers. Unit bases may also (rarely) be SMG equipped.

Infantry Battalion 1914
Units:5 | Bases:9 | Morale:Steady | Training:Average | Machine Guns:1 heavy
Infantry Battalion 1915
Units:5 | Bases:9 | Morale:Steady | Training:Average | Machine Guns:2 heavy
Jager Battalion 1914/15
Units:8 | Bases:6 | Morale:Brave | Training:Great | Machine Guns:2 heavy | Trench Mortars:1 light
Infantry Battalion 1916
Units:5 | Bases:9 | Morale:Steady | Training:Average | Machine Guns:3 heavy
Kavallerie Schutzen Battalion 1916
Units:5 | Bases:6 | Morale:Brave | Training:Average | Machine Guns:3 heavy
Infantry Battalion 1917
Units:6 | Bases:6 | Morale:Steady | Training:Average | Machine Guns:3 heavy, 1 light | Mortars:2 light
Infantry Battalion 1918²
Units:4 | Bases:9 | Morale:Shaky | Training:Poor | Machine Guns:2 heavy
Sturm Battalion B 1918²
Units:6 | Bases:6 | Morale:Brave | Training:Great | Machine Guns:3 heavy, 2 light | Trench Mortars:2 light
Sturm Battalion A 1918²
Units:12 | Bases:3 | Morale:Brave | Training:Outstanding | Machine Guns:3 heavy, 2 light | Trench Mortars:2 light

Cavalry Regiment 1914
Units:4 mounted squadrons
Infantry Regiment 1914-15
Battalions:3 infantry
Infantry Regiment 1916
Battalions:3 infantry | Machine Guns:2 heavy
Infantry Regiment 1917-18
Battalions:3 infantry | Machine Guns:3 heavy | Special:May have up to 3 division level assault detachments
Sturm Regiment B 1918
Battalions:3 sturm B | Machine Guns:3 heavy | Special:3 division level assault detachments
Sturm Regiment A 1918
Battalions:3 sturm A | Machine Guns:3 heavy

Infantry Division 1914-15
Regiments:4 infantry
Infantry Division 1915-16
Regiments:4 infantry | Special:For "Big Push" operations, may have one army level assault detachment and/or Pioneer Flamethrower platoon attached.
Infantry Division 1917
Regiments:3 infantry | Special:May have up to three Army level assault detachments attached.
Infantry Division 1918
Regiments:3 infantry
Sturm Division 1918
Regiments:3 sturm A or B | Special:May have three or more army level assault detachments and/or flamethrower platoons attached, unless composed of Sturm A regiments, in which case no extra assault detachments are allowed.

² - By the start of 1918, 75% of German infantry divisions were considered "trench divisions" and were relegated to defensive status for holding low risk areas. The remaining 25% became sturm or "assault divisions" which received the newest equipment, youngest recruits and extensive training in stormtroop tactics.



Defense Setup Key: Each line on the Defense Setup list covers the setup values for a certain year of the war. These values are approximates only, and players with special insights are encouraged to adjust these values according to their own preferences, or for specific scenario elements. Below are definitions of each basic feature type.
1916 The year of the war with applies to the following defense allotments
Trench ½70 The player receives game board trenchlines equal one-half die roll (½D6) multiplied by seventy inches. Other multiples will be forty inches and one-hundred inches. For example, the hypothetical player who rolled a 5 on this die roll would be allowed to set up a maximum of 210 inches worth of fire trenches, slit trenches and foxholes on the game board.
Wire ½40 Same die rolling method as for trenchlines, but applies to acquisition of barbed wire entanglements. Note that for ease of play, the length of each barbed wire segment should equal the width of an infantry base.
Pillbox ½ Values shown without a second number immediately following will use that final value to establish the number of those items allowed for that player. For example: The hypothetical player who rolled a 3 on this die roll would be allowed to set up two pillboxes on the game board.
Bunker ¼ Same system as for pillboxes, but applies to acquisition of bunkers instead:
A ½ die roll means that a 1 or 2 = One, 3 or 4 = Two, 5 or 6 = Three. A ¼ die roll means that a: 1 through 4 = One, and a 5 or 6 = Two.

Troop and Unit Key:
Formation Type - Year
Units:number of subunits in the formation ¹ | Bases:number of bases per subunit | Morale:approximate formation morale | Training:approximate training level of the units | Machine Guns:average number of machine guns which the formation may possess | Mortars:average number of trench mortars which the formation may possess | Towed Cannon:average number of towed cannon which the formation may possess. | Special:special weapons or conditions, such as flamethrowers, etc.

¹ — Note that higher level formations will be composed of companies, battalions or regiments instead of bases and units.
 
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