The scenario ‘1939 – Historical World War’ in the free browser strategy game Call of War is set on a world map with the borders of 1939 and the strength ratios of the armed forces at the outbreak of war.
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The graphics have improved a lot in the meantime, the gameplay seems even smoother and there are more new and interesting units to explore. Excited by this, I got into one of the just started games of the scenario ‘1939 – Historical World War’, because I have always liked the strategy games with the greatest possible historical authenticity.
In this scenario, the borders of 1939 are given and the military strength ratios correspond to those at the time of the outbreak of the war.
In all these games, however, only a few nations were still free. The superpowers from the World War II era were of course all already taken, so I opted for AUSTRALIA, which was after all quite ‘away from the shot’, which would later turn out to be an excellent choice.
With Australia through Call of War
To reassure anyone who is now crying out in horror that the starting conditions for the nations in this scenario would be completely unfair, I can announce that this will quickly balance out!
This is because the resources in the core provinces are roughly equal and oversized empires (such as the British colonial empire, China or Japan) have been split into independent sub-nations. For example, there is an independent British colonial empire in India, Manchukuo is separated from Japan, and China is split into National China and other sub-areas, which, moreover, corresponds to the condition from the Chinese Civil War of that time. Only the complete U.S.A. seems somewhat over powerful, especially since it can still relatively easily incorporate Canada and Mexico and thus achieve a very good starting position on the North American continent.
In addition, there is no state of war at the beginning, and you can choose your own friends and enemies. The fixed membership of the Axis, Western Allies, Pan-Asia or Communists/Bolsheviks only determines the appearance, as well as the characteristics, research and production bonuses of the military units.
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In Call of War you should concentrate economically on your national core provinces, because the expansion of occupied provinces is only economically worthwhile in the rarest cases. These ‘core provinces’ are therefore also those areas whose defense is existentially important.
The most important of these are, of course, the capital and the provincial cities in these core provinces. Often, however, there are other urban provinces that yield much larger amounts of resources than the other provinces. In the case of Australia, the most important of these are located in the southwest of the continent.
All other provinces are needed only for minor replenishments of missing raw materials, as bases for ports and airfields, and essentially to collect the victory points needed to win the game.
Each province also has a specific terrain type (plains, mountains, forests, cities, etc.), which has different influence on the movement speed and combat performance of the different units.
In Call of War there are numerous different units that can be researched and developed. Since only two researches can run at the same time, you have to concentrate on the priorities that are most important for your own preferences, tactics and strategic situation. For this, there is a clear ‘scissors-rock-paper’ principle, i.e. certain units are most effective against some others.
For example, if the opponent now largely relies unilaterally on battleships for his naval forces and neglects cruisers, destroyers and air cover, submarines and naval bombers are particularly suitable for fighting them.
Medium tanks are the best attack unit for massive land warfare, as long as you don’t have to fight in cities or encounter fortified anti-tank positions or ground-attack planes without air cover. In order to quickly conquer as much undefended enemy territory as possible and subsequently hold it, armored cars are one of the best units.
Tactical bombers can smash unarmored ground forces without air cover from fighters or AA-guns, while naval bombers can detect and engage submarines in addition to enemy surface ships.
Finally, there are nuclear bombers to explore that can reduce entire cities to rubble. As a scalable alternative, there are also cruise missiles (V-1) and rockets (V-2), which eventually culminate in a nuclear missile that cannot be intercepted by air defenses.
Missile fighters and AA-guns, on the other hand, are excellent for providing effective air protection to cities, important bases and positions, or even unit groups – even against nuclear bombers.
For naval units, it is cruisers for air defense and destroyers against submarines.
Groups of ten units are most effective, although care must be taken later in the game to avoid making them prime targets for nuclear weapons. Very effective naval formations for Australia have proven to be the combination of two aircraft carriers (later equipped with about ten interceptors and ten attack aircraft), two battleships, three cruisers and three destroyers.
It should also be noted that each category of weapons requires certain raw materials for its production. If, as in the case of Australia, oil and rare materials are used mainly for aircraft and ships, there will be little left for motorized land forces, and land warfare should rely mainly on infantry and artillery, which also requires a more defensive orientation.
Besides infantry, there are militia, motorized infantry, mechanized infantry (in infantry fighting vehicles), commandos and paratroopers.
In the artillery category, there are anti-tank guns, artillery, self-propelled howitzers, anti-aircraft and motorized anti-aircraft.
In the vehicles category there are armored cars, light tanks, medium tanks, heavy tanks and tank destroyers.
In aircraft, there are Interceptors (Fighters), Tactical Bombers, Ground-Attackers, Strategic Bombers and Naval Bombers.
For naval units, there are destroyers, submarines, cruisers, battleships, aircraft carriers and transport ships.
Finally, in the secret weapons category, there are rocket artillery, motorized rocket artillery, long-range rail guns, flying bomb, missiles, rocket fighters, atomic bombs, atomic bombers and finally the nuclear missile.
All are identical for all nations and equally developable, although – depending on historical conditions – some may be a little further ahead or behind in one unit or another at the start.
Province and city development
The expansion of provinces is relatively simple and clear thanks to the province management menu on the left side of the screen, which displays victory points, morale, resources (including production), manpower, buildings (sorted and can be activated or deactivated) as well as buildings and units under construction for each city. This table can be sorted arbitrarily and since only the own core provinces, plus some possibly occupied provinces with double production quantity or important bases, fortifications or production areas near the front are essential anyway, everything can be comfortably overviewed and controlled here.
In addition, any provincial city on the map can also be clicked and there constructions of buildings, production of units or orders for spies can be determined or checked.
In Call of War, official coalitions can also be formed. This includes a revealed map for the members, who can see all the reconnaissance results and units of their allies, march over friendly territory and fight together.
It is important in Call of War to keep a close eye on your neighbors. One to seize opportunities when players inadequately lead their nation or abandon it altogether. The majority of players in a game actually give up quickly or don’t really get into the game at all, but the remaining participants usually fight all the harder for victory in exciting games.
The nations of players who have been inactive for a while are managed by a relatively strong AI, as are the numerous smaller states present at the beginning – which are the preferred prey of the more active players.
There is also a resource exchange, where missing materials can be replenished and surplus ones can be sold.
The Gameplay of Call of War
Call of War also runs in real-time all day long, so you should log in at regular intervals to check your current status and situation and issue appropriate new orders to your units, provinces and factories.
Basically, the real-time strategy game is free, but there is an ‘in-game’ currency Gold, which players who can’t log in as often can use to compensate for these disadvantages, for example, by speeding up construction or research or raising morale.
In addition, a ‘premium account’ can be booked for a certain period of time, which simplifies the management of production and construction of new buildings, enables the setting of unit collection points and allows the assignment of additional meaningful automatic attack or defense orders for units.
Start of the test game with Australia
With Australia, there are two obvious goals to begin with: This is the conquest of most of the Dutch East Indies, or at least all of Papua New Guinea and the offshore islands around Timor. This is because from here, later in the game, the important Australian core province cities in the southwest and east of the continent could be bombarded with nuclear missiles against which there are no defenses.
Secondly, a valuable prey trophy appears apparently regularly in Dutch Papua New Guinea, the conquest of which brings important raw materials or technical advances.
However, the Netherlands is mostly led by a human player at the beginning, so some caution is advised. There are also some Dutch cruisers and destroyers there, but they are not grouped together at the start.
With the troops around Port Moresby and bringing in reinforcements from northeast Australia – including immediately building and transfer about one or two artillery units, tactical bombers and an armored car there or motorized infantry in Port Moresby – and the cruisers and destroyers located in the southwest and northeast, but not too difficult a task. Usually the Dutch player, who can be an easy victim for power-hungry great powers in Europe as well, gives up quickly.
At the same time, you should immediately prepare for the invasion of New Zealand. New Zealand is led by the AI and should not be left to a third power, which could attack or bomb Australia from here.
For this purpose, you gather the existing troops, ships and planes in the southeast of Australia and build one or two light or better medium tanks, artillery and possibly tactical bombers (for this, an air base on the island of Tasmania south of Australia is necessary). However, the latter is not absolutely necessary, especially since you may have to expect enemy fighters during the invasion and fighting on New Zealand. New Zealand also has a few warships.
During the night this invasion fleet can cross to New Zealand and land in the morning of the second day. This should best be done at the southwestern tip of the southern main island. With the AI you have to expect mostly fiercer resistance than in Papua New Guinea, but if you don’t rush anything, the conquest of New Zealand with the provided forces is no problem. In addition, the cities there are already often well developed as armament centers, where warships, aircraft and even tanks can be produced to relieve the Australian core provincial cities somewhat.
Here to the next part: Call of War with Australia.
How it continues, you will find out here shortly!
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