As part of our usual transparency, we are letting you know of how the game will release.
Spooky turning the night into day with flares
In an effort to get the game to you sooner, we will be splitting up the game into the following:
Campaign Series Vietnam: 1948-1967 (which will include a little over 100 scenarios)
DLC #1 – Campaign Series Vietnam 1968-1979 (although the OOB’s will continue to 1985 and also include about 100 scenarios)
DLC #2 – Campaign Series Vietnam: Korean War (While this will focus on the Korean War, there will be some hypothetical fighting as well.
DLC #3 – Campaign Series Vietnam: Malayan Emergency 1948-1960
The primary reason for this is to get something for you to play sooner rather than later. I won’t offer a release date for the core game (although we’re aiming for the first half of 2021).
Why the delay? Well, we’re trying to build an exceptionally robust and realistic AI and this is a huge endeavor, especially when considering the complexity of the Vietnam War; the tactics, the strategy, the weapon systems and so on. Should we have started with East Front III for the AI? Probably, but alas, we didn’t.
That being said, the efforts we are doing on the AI is making this game like nothing you’ve seen or experienced before. As 97% of our users, based on our polls, will play again the AI at some point, we’ve focused all of our efforts to provide the best experience we can. On the bright side, once this core AI has been developed, additional games will be able to be released more regularly.
It is worth the wait and we appreciate your patience.
As an aside, while our focus is heavily on Vietnam, there is also work being done on East Front III.
United States Order of Battle – Campaign Series: Vietnam
Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a functioning organizational structure for the Americans that was simplified but spanned from 1948 to 1985. This simplified version was the basis for the Vietnam game and served as a starting point for a couple handfuls of scenarios that were created by Stephane Moutin-Luyat.
The process involved taking a copy of the existing US platoons and triplicating them and then assigning the proper platoons for each of the branches while removing the platoons that the branches didn’t use. Those curious will see in the organization editor that a lot of the same platoons are available for all branches (trucks, jeeps, engineers) but will be coded with the UID specifically for the branch. Doing this resulted in 1,911 unique platoon ID’s.
Weapon values and graphics were assigned for each of the new platoons. Each platoon type has a unique graphics, so an Army M48 can look different than a Cavalry M48, USMC M48 or an Airborne M48, if one wanted to go crazy with the visual details.
Proofing the US Order of Battle for the upcoming games
As noted above, the organizations span between 1948 and 1985. This means that the US Organizations are ready for future games and DLC’s; including, Cold War and Korea. I didn’t spend a lot of time in the details for the pre-Vietnam and post-Vietnam eras, but the generic organizations are there. For the Vietnam era, I made the effort of researching and building the combat divisions, brigades and regiments that were in the Vietnam theatre. I admit, I probably missed some, but a valiant effort was made to include them.
A variety of sources were used for the United States organizations. Shelby L Stanton’s Vietnam Order of Battle and a plethora of Gordon Rottman’s Vietnam Osprey books. More importantly was reviewing the hundreds of After Action Reports and Lessons Learned reports by the various divisions and brigades during the war and gleaning them for information.
One thing to note is that the organizations that are included for the Vietnam era are designed as the general organizational structure of the division for that year. It will be up a scenario designer to revise the structure to be “Organized for Combat”, as this changed on a task per task basis. The fundamentals are there for the designer, but they have a little massaging to do after.
3D unit bases
Knowing that we are working on Vietnam, Gary (known better as callsign XLVIII Panzerkorp in the various Matrix Games fora) supplied a variety of unit bases for the difference branches for the Americans. These included the Army, Cavalry, Marines, Navy, Special Forces, Tac Air, Air Force and the Airborne.
That’s awesome! Thank you, Gary!
We have not forgotten you boardgame fans out there either. Crossroads modeled a separate chit base for each of the base, similar to what Gary had done in 3D. Thank you Petri!
This was a mammoth task started to provide a better visual experience for the player. We really hope you enjoy the results!
Early mock-up of East Front Main Menu with “panzergrau” color scheme
The Campaign Series East Front Order of Battle files (*.oob/OOB) were originally created by Talonsoft for the first release back in 1997. Since then, they have been continuing added to and expanded upon with each successive release, including the various Matrix Updates. Unfortunately, this has lead to a mish-mash of organizations, ID coding and an incohesive mess. Instead of attempting to correct and massage the existing data, it has been decided to start from scratch for East Front III.
A major enhancement with the order of Battle files, is the extra numeral in the platoon ID from five to six characters. Unfortunately, this nullifies all the previous OOB files, but this addition provides thousands of unique identifiers (UID) that can used for creating the new platoons. The new UID capabilities have provided the opportunity to fill in the proper strength point levels for various platoon types to ensure that the organizations being created are more accurate than ever before.
The enhanced UID’s have also allowed me to create different branches within the organizations, which will display unique chits on the map. The new branches are;
Adding these new branches have burned through a lot of the new UID’s, but I believe it will be a visual delight to see on the battlefield when playing.
East Front III 1939-1941 will have certain units that are easily indentifable with the 2D and 3D icons/bases. Part of this means building these specific units with unique ID’s and structures (from the platoon up, of course). Here’s a sample of Grossdeutschland circa September 1940:
Snippet from Platoon18.oob
German Order of Battle 1939-1941
East Front III will cover the German OOB organizations that span between January 1939 and December 1941. Additional dates will be covered in the future East Front III DLC’s.
Apparently Amazon delivers on Sunday!
Creating the organizations for the Germans is a challenge. Even during the three-year time span, the various structures changed on a regular basis for all branches. The panzer and infantry forces changed considerably between how they started the war in September 1939 to how they looked as they advanced on Moscow in the winter of 1941.
When looking at the Infanterie Divisions in the OOB files, you will see that I did not detail each division, but each group of divisions that were created in the waves (welle). I have made an effort to recreate each welle and updated it accordingly as the war progressed. Each division in the welle is based on the authorized Tables of Organization & Equipment (TO&E) information that I could find. If you are creating a scenario using one of these divisions, it will be up to you as the scenario designer to ensure that what the actual strength for the division is modelled (assuming the unit isn’t at full strength at the time of the battle) and to adjust the unit identifiers for each subunit to the proper one, but choosing the right division to start with will make that job much easier! One other thing to keep in mind is that a 1. Welle Infanterie Division from 1939 will look differently than a 1. Welle Infanterie Division from 1941, so make sure to choose the appropriate year in the organization editor.
The Panzer Divisions (and variants) on the other hand, I took the liberty of creating each one based on the authorized TO&E. You should be able to choose the year and find the correct Panzer Division to suit your scenario creation needs. As discussed above, it will be up to to model the actual strength, but the rest has been done for you. The Panzer Divisions changed more frequently than the infantry, so expect to see numerous renditions of the various Panzer Divisions. One thing to keep in mind is that it may have taken a few extra months for the specific Panzer Division to be upgraded to the latest authorized TO&E, so make sure you’re choosing the right division!
This task took nearly a year to complete. It is a mammoth undertaking, but fortunately there is ample resources out there that helped me in their creation. I have a large collection of books that cover organizations and TO&E and while I used the information from a number of them, the main sources to create the above are from Tessin, Jentz, Nafziger, Askey and Niehorster. In most cases, the sources were consistent and in cases where they weren’t, I did my best to interpret what goes where and when. Please feel free to send corrections or additions my way should you spot them.
New research material for Campaign Series East Front III. Highly recommended!
I mentioned above the addition of the additional branches. To create these meant duplicating/triplicating the various Heer platoons to be specific to each branch, but coding them with UID’s, with a specific range for easier data management. The following is a breakdown how the German platoon data is structured:
PXX0001 – PXX0299 Tanks, Light Tanks, Self-propelled Gun (as SU-100)
PXX0300 – PXX0399 GD Tanks, Light Tanks, Self-propelled Gun (as SU-100)
PXX0400 – PXX0499 DAK Tanks, Light Tanks, Self-propelled Gun (as SU-100)
PXX0500 – PXX0699 SS Tanks, Light Tanks, Self-propelled Gun (as SU-100)
PXX0700 – PXX0799 LUFTWAFFE Tanks, Light Tanks, Self-propelled Gun (as SU-100)
PXX1001 – PXX1199 Artillery (Self-propelled and towed)
PXX1200 – PXX1299 GD Artillery (Self-propelled and towed)
PXX1300 – PXX1399 DAK Artillery (Self-propelled and towed)
PXX1400 – PXX1499 SS Artillery (Self-propelled and towed)
PXX1500 – PXX1599 LUFTWAFFE Artillery (Self-propelled and towed)
PXX2000 – PXX2199 Infantry (All types)
PXX2200 – PXX2299 GD Infantry (All types)
PXX2300 – PXX2399 DAK Infantry (All types)
PXX2400 – PXX2499 SS Infantry (All types)
PXX2500 – PXX2599 LUFTWAFFE Infantry (All types)
PXX3000 – PXX3099 Headquarters (All types)
PXX3100 – PXX3199 GD Headquarters (All types)
PXX3200 – PXX3299 DAK Headquarters (All types)
PXX3300 – PXX3399 SS Headquarters (All types)
PXX3400 – PXX3499 LUFTWAFFE Headquarters (All types)
PXX4000 – PXX4099 Leaders (All types)
PXX4100 – PXX4199 GD Leaders (All types)
PXX4200 – PXX4299 DAK Leaders (All types)
PXX4300 – PXX4399 SS Leaders (All types)
PXX4400 – PXX4499 LUFTWAFFE Leaders (All types)
PXX5000 – PXX5999 Off-map Airplanes (All types)
PXX6000 – PXX6099 Reconnaissance Vehicles (Armoured Cars, Recce Jeeps, etc)
PXX6100 – PXX6149 GD Reconnaissance Vehicles (Armoured Cars, Recce Jeeps, etc)
PXX6150 – PXX6199 DAK Reconnaissance Vehicles (Armoured Cars, Recce Jeeps, etc)
PXX6200 – PXX6299 SS Reconnaissance Vehicles (Armoured Cars, Recce Jeeps, etc)
PXX6300 – PXX6399 LUFTWAFFE Reconnaissance Vehicles (Armoured Cars, Recce Jeeps, etc)
PXX6500 – PXX6799 Helicopters and ON MAP aircraft (All types)
PXX6800 – PXX6979 Naval Units (Boats, Landing Craft, etc)
PXX6880 – PXX6989 GD Naval Units (Boats, Landing Craft, etc)
PXX6890 – PXX6999 SS Naval Units (Boats, Landing Craft, etc)
PXX7000 – PXX7199 Transport units (All types of Trucks, APC’s, IFV’s, etc)
PXX7200 – PXX7299 GD Transport units (All types of Trucks, APC’s, IFV’s, etc)
PXX7300 – PXX7399 DAK Transport units (All types of Trucks, APC’s, IFV’s, etc)
PXX7400 – PXX7499 SS Transport units (All types of Trucks, APC’s, IFV’s, etc)
PXX7500 – PXX7599 LUFTWAFFE Transport units (All types of Trucks, APC’s, IFV’s, etc)
PXX8000 – PXX8099 Antiaircraft (Self-propelled, towed, man portable)
PXX8100 – PXX8199 GD Antiaircraft (Self-propelled, towed, man portable)
PXX8200 – PXX8299 DAK Antiaircraft (Self-propelled, towed, man portable)
PXX8300 – PXX8399 SS Antiaircraft (Self-propelled, towed, man portable)
PXX8400 – PXX8499 LUFTWAFFE Antiaircraft (Self-propelled, towed, man portable)
PXX8500 – PXX8799 Rail
PXX8800 – PXX8999 Misc Buildings, special units (Factories, News Crews, etc)
PXX9000 – PXX9199 Antitank (Self-propelled, towed, man portable)
PXX9200 – PXX9299 GD Antitank (Self-propelled, towed, man portable)
PXX9300 – PXX9399 DAK Antitank (Self-propelled, towed, man portable)
PXX9400 – PXX9499 SS Antitank (Self-propelled, towed, man portable)
PXX9500 – PXX9599 LUFTWAFFE Antitank (Self-propelled, towed, man portable)
You can see how the various branches have set UID’s for their units. In most cases, these swaths of UID’s leave enough space for the additional platoons that will come with the future DLC’s, although the Heer infantry is nearly running out of UID’s!
Order of Battle creation is a labour of love and there are many challenges ahead, but do know that we’re making every effort to ensure that you have the most accurate organizations to build scenarios. As the DLC’s get built, we’ll be adding more and more related countries with encompassing scenarios.
Thank you for your support!
Side Note: For the Soviet fans out there, you’ll be happy to know there is the regular army, GUARDS and NKVD units in the new OOB structures.
Middle East is a tactical-level game portraying some of the significant battles between 1948 and 1985 in the Middle East and North Africa. Choose to battle in over one hundred historical scenarios. Pit your skills against the computer in any of the many historical scenarios or go head-to-head against fellow games at home or through email!
Each scenario is played on a unique map with nine “view modes”. Most scenario maps are based on historically accurate Cold War-era 1:50,000 or 1:100,000 topographic maps. Movement and combat is performed on a “hex-grid” map that has defined wargaming for over four decades. Each hex represents 250 metres; with 4 hexes to a kilometre or 6 hexes to a mile.
The scenarios vary in complexity and have a variable number of Game Turns, in which you and your opponent attempt to secure objectives and defeat each other’s forces in battle. Every conceivable type of battle is represented in the numerous scenario selection; meeting engagements, armoured breakthroughs, fixed defences, exploitation, reconnaissance, mobile defences, battles of attrition, forced landings and much more!
Middle East can be considered a living game. This means that this is not the final version of the game; it will be continued to be expanded and updated in the future and be available to you as UPDATES that you will be able to download from the Matrix Games website or by clicking the UPDATE button on the main game menu. Follow along on the Matrix Games forum or the Campaign Series Facebook page for the latest and greatest regarding Middle East.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.