“Schwerpunkt: Battles of the Industrial Age” is a game system that reflects the dynamics of battle since the second half of the XIX century to the end of the XX century.
In barely a hundred years the face of warfare changed completely. From right after the Napoleonic Wars, most western nations progressively introduced new technologies and weapons that were not fully tested prior to 1914. The wars of the second half of the XIX century still saw armies fighting in close order and following linear deployments, doctrine and practice was very much Napoleonic in concept. Quite the same applies to the first campaign of the Great War of 1914; but then, the slaughter and subsequent stalemate caused a radical transformation of war: soldiers that began the war fighting very much like their fathers and grandfathers did, by the end of the conflict were fighting as their sons would do in World War II or Korea.
The increasing firepower and lethality of the new weapons caused a progressive “emptying” of the battlefield. Technological advances like quick firing artillery, plunging fire, aircraft, tanks and machine guns completely changed the face of battle. As the XX century wore on, battles grew both longer and bigger (just compare the Battle of Sedan of 1870 with Verdun 1916 or Stalingrad 1942) and were increasingly losing the linear character typical of Napoleonic battles. Chaos, fog and friction of war severely tested doctrines, tactics as well as command, control, communications and intelligence of all armies of the period.
This game system allows the player to face the options that different commanders had to face with the available means to accomplish their objectives in the battlefield. It strongly stresses the importance of command, doctrine and organisation of the armies, as well as planning, proper usage of weapons and above all chaos and uncertainty. The system has been designed for two players or teams of players.
The core of the game evolves around a series of “bets” that players place as they try to activate their headquarters. This game completely lacks the usual turns, passage of time is regulated by the Clock Track that advances – or not – as headquarters activate and move their assigned units. Players will never know what comes next, with every activation they will be forced to make decisions based on incomplete and unreliable information and without a clearcut outcome, the best player will be the one able to maintain control in the face of unexpected enemy action and capable of swiftly exploiting opportunities .
With simple – not simplistic- rules the different capabilities of units – infantry, cavalry, artillery, mortars, tanks ... - are faithfully represented; while the fluid system of movement and combat, without “phases” nor “segments”, reflects in a strikingly realistic way the ebb and flow of combat at this level.
In all the games of the series map scale will be constant (500 metres per hex) varying only the size of the unit that would usually occupy that hex: from regiments in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to companies for World War II.
Each volume of the series will be themed according to a particular campaign or war so that players will enjoy a wide array of situations as they experience what is like to see how your best laid out plans do not resist contact with the enemy ...