WWII Online is fought over an area of more than 300,000 square kilometers of 1940's Western Europe. This map is dotted with a network of towns and cities. Each town is a varied collection of facilities, but includes always at least one army base (which includes an infantry spawn point and a vehicle spawn point), one “town center,” and supply depots linking the town to adjacent towns by road, rail or water. The only exception for this is some cities located on islands that are inaccessible by roads or bridges will not support vehicle spawning so that defenders do not have an unfair advantage over attackers.
Game play at its most basic level is a matter of attacking forces spawning in and forming up then attacking a town with the object of capturing all the facilities and the army base. Defenders spawn their own vehicles, guns, and most infantry at the army base, with a limited ability to spawn infantry at the various supply depots around town. Capturing these depots is the first step towards strangling the defenders ability to defend their town or city. Eventually they will be pushed back to their army base and this is usually the climatic moment in the battle, and often the most intense.
Everything revolves around the infantryman. As the only unit that can capture anything, all of the weapons systems in the game – from long-range destroyers, to aircraft with tons of high-explosive bombs, to heavily armed and armored tanks – are ultimately only as good as their ability to deliver infantry safely to capturable facilities. There are of course many complexities involved, the greatest of which is the thousands of other human beings trying their best to prevent you doing exactly that.
Eventually a side will win the war and the game will reset to it's initial or starting state. This is called a Campaign. In further information, you can check who won campaigns in the past, there have been well over a hundred campaigns fought in the history of WWII ONLINE.
A campaign begins in the early period of the war, basically 1940. The phony war period of 1939 and the attack on Czechoslovakia is ignored, and the campaign begins with the invasion of France around May 10th 1940. Only equipment relative to that period in time is available to players, whatever persona (nationality and branch) they choose to play. As the days and weeks unfold, the timeline advances into 1941, 1942, 1943 and so on ... each period is referred to as a "tier" (tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, etc..) with respect to what equipment is available to be spawned. Older equipment from earlier tiers, while less effective in many instances (and infrequently not in other instances) to the later equipment you get in whatever current tier the campaign has reached, is still available in limited numbers, usually seen by players as a "last resort" when all the "good stuff" is no longer available because it has been lost in combat. Supply matters in WWIIOL.
With it's focus on historical precedent, this campaign approach will also see things like the American forces not being available until the later tiers since at the start of the real war, America was not involved. As a rule the Americans enter the battle in tier 3.
The exact rules to end the war are not 100% public, but this is known for a fact:
- Capture 9 of your enemies Production Facilities and own the town they reside in.
- Own 95% of all Towns and Cities.
- Sometimes this means the Allied side has been pushed back to England, and WWII Online has in the past seen the German side invading England for the win. This is not a requirement however, for German victory, it depends on how the territory battle has played out on the mainland.
A list of Campaign wins can be found Here
List of Squads can be found here
Squads are a collection of players who enjoy the game together. There are many different types of squads, some are one side only, some play both, some only fly, some only play Armor. Find a group that you like to play with as it makes the game significantly more fun to play and easier to learn.
To find/join a squad in game is fairly simple. While spawned in bring up your map, there is a tab "Squads" hit the green button "Recruiters" this will list all squads at that time with Recruiting flags on, there you can simply press "Join". Remember to select F4 (Squad Chat) and say hello.
Main article: Factories
Factories control supply output and RDP. Each side can effect the others supply by destroying the Factories.
Main article: Brigades
Brigades are the fundamental strategic unit of the game. All Brigades are connected to a Division. Each side has 3 Divisional HQ flags, each supplying 3 Brigade flags, hence a total of 9 Brigades.
Each flag must remain close to their parent Divisional HQ, these would be highlighted on the map with a red link.
Further Information: Attack Objective
To move the map either East or West you need to capture Towns this requires an Attack Order. An Attack Objective (AO) is now controlled by Proximity. For the first time in over 15 years, WWII Online players will be able to determine the placement of AOs on towns without any participation of High Command. HC will continue to move strategic supply and manage bridge objectives. Without an Attack Objective (AO), a Capture Point cannot be contested or captured. AO's also serve to focus the action in the game, making it easier for players to find a battle. Once an Attack Objective is placed, the target will be vulnerable to capture after a short period of time. Initially, all Depot facilities are vulnerable. Ten minutes after any one of these facilities are captured the Army Base / Docks also become capturable. Only cities on the Frontline are candidates for an Attack Objective.
Mission are integral to WWII Online. Be it in Attack/Defence of a Town or simply to get forces out to Destroy an FB you need to have your Mission set up correctly.
This, enabling you to spawn at the right location or ensuring that when it comes to deploying your Mobile Spawn (after a long drive) it sets and does not say "You are to far from target location".
Step by step instructions can be found here. Once set up, for others to join a mission, the easiest method is to press enter type .j <playename> hit enter.
Further Information: Mobile Spawns
A Mobile Spawn is used as a platform for Infantry and some guns to spawn from, the idea is to use these to get closer to a target other than the FB.
Further Information: Capture
Territory is controlled based on the ownership Towns or Cities, sometimes the focus will be an Airfield attached to a town or city. These points sit at strategic locations in the network of road, rail, and river lines across the map. They can be small villages with a mere handful of buildings, or sprawling cities like Antwerp, or Brussels, etc..
Every town or city in on the map will be joined to a number of neighboring towns and cities by a depot for each link in the network. These depots have Capture Points (CP) and are vital points of any attack to gain a spawning advantage. Missions can be made by the defender of that depot if they own the Capture Point. Attackers must capture them and defenders must prevent attackers from doing so.
The basic mechanics of WWII Online gameplay revolve around capturing of Capture Points to move the front lines. Just killing stuff is fine and fun, but you want to win the war and that means capturing territory. Facilities are captured when an infantryman initiates the capture timer within a capture facility (be it a Depot, Bunker, or Dock). The timer moves faster if more friendly units are present within that same facility. This capture timer is variable so the baseline can vary depending on factors revolving around comparative population online at the time. Capturing facilities is a brutal combat experience because the enemy will do everything in their power to prevent you doing it, and it is one of the most intense experiences in WWII Online.
Forward Bases (FBs)
Further Information: Forward Base
While some Towns are close together, most often the distance between Towns is large enough to require the establishment of a Forward Base (FB) of operations in order to conduct a successful attack. FBs are effectively Forward Staging Points (forward spawn points) in the field represented by two military revetments (a vehicle tent and an infantry tent) that provide vehicle and troop spawning just a few kilometers outside of the CP they are attacking. Instead of using a distant army base as your staging area, FBs allow you to reduce travel time and move your supply line as close as possible to an enemy-held CP.
Attacking the enemy's FB and destroying it when you are defending a CP that has been AO'd (attack objective placed on your town or city) effectively kills their attack initiative and momentum will swing towards the defenders. This will also open YOUR FB to the town or city that supplied their attack so you can bet they will be sending units out to destroy your FB and get their own back to restart their attack. This is known as "flipping FB's" or "FB ping pong".
Further Information: Multicrew
It is recommended that if you are new to game and wish to learn how to fight with Armour (Tanks) that you Multicrew with an experienced player. Here you can find out how to spawn into the gameworld with Multicrew.
Early Warning System (EWS)
Further Information: Early_Warning_System
Early Warning System (EWS) icons appear below the Town Name as orange icons or outlined orange icons with a black center.
These give indications of troop movement to allow the defense sometime to prepare and are triggered when enemy units arrive within the radius of town.
Further Information: AI Defense
Given the sheer size of the WWIIOL game map, even many thousands of players cannot cover all the cities. Integrated AI defenses are placed at every CP to act as a light deterrent to surprise attacks. They are easy to figure out and learn, with respect to the arc of their cover and how to destroy them, and this is something you should familiarize yourself with early on in your WWIIOL career.
While the AI defenses cover the obvious arcs or lanes of approach to a CP (town, city, or larger facility like an airfield) the coverage only extends to about a 70 degree arc along the line they are facing, so learning to flank the AI is the best way to approach an objective until you are close enough to destroy the AI, which can only be done with explosives, like a tossed grenade (you better learn to throw grenades accurately) or high explosive from a satchel charge. Tanks and heavy machine guns can also take out AI, although the machine gun option takes a LOT of ammunition.
Once you become familiar and experienced, you will know when the AI has you targeted from long range, where it is fairly inaccurate, as you approach and it begins firing ... bullets will whizz by and hit the cover you are approaching from within, landing all around you. If it was a player that spotted you, you'd probably be dead already. Once you know it's an AI shooting at you, work your way out of it's fixed arc of fire and flank it. It can kill you but generally only when you're being careless or trying to "charge at it."
Don't forget to tell your buddies so they don't get caught by surprise.
Player Placed Objects
Further Information: PPO
Player Placed Objects are field fortifications of different types that can be placed within the game world.
There are many things that a suitably equipped player can place into the game world, from tank traps to above ground fortification trenches to firing berms and field positions (emulating a foxhole since you can't dig a hole in the terrain).
For those times when you have a large expanse of open terrain from a mobile spawn to the objective, it can be useful to place cover along the line of approach, about as far apart as the range an infantryman can sprint.
Voice Comms (IVC)
Main article: IVC
Integrated Voice Communications (IVC) is WWII Online's implementation of voice comms made directly available within the WW2 game client. This means no third-party service is required to speak to other players directly within WWII Online.
This revolutionary implementation changes the way the game is played by bringing players together like never before.
Main article: Chat
Although we now have IVC (Voice Comms) there is still some use with a standard ‘text chat’ radio system. The radio interface is displayed as the translucent horizontal bar at the bottom of the screen. This entire interface can be moved to different positions on the screen by clicking and dragging on the translucent element. Also on the right hand side of the bottom the “+ -“ box will expand or shrink the display. The scroll bar button can also be used to review messages that have scrolled off the display.
Basic functionality is simple: press Enter to open the buffer, type a message or Text Commands and press Enter again to send/execute command.
Main article: Keymapper
The Keymapper is a powerful function in WWII Online, you can map practically any key, axis movement, mouse function, or slider to a key command. You can access the Keymapper from anywhere in the game, both in the UI (under Preferences) and when in the game world (press P). Either way you access it, the functionality is the same. The Keymapper is arranged under 8 Catorgories - General, Views, Infantry, Tanks and Armoured Cars, Trucks and Haulers, AT and AAA Guns, Fighters and Bombers, Ships and Boats.