2. Setting Up The Game
Focus: This section explains how to load a new scenario, save a game and play against either the computer AI or another human player.
- How to load the game
- How to set up a fresh game (and the differences if you are playing a human opponent)
- How to load an existing game
- How to change the game options (and a brief guide to what these mean in terms of gameplay)
- The detailed procedures for the two modes of multiplayer play that WiTE2 can support
This section will talk you through how to load the game and the implications of the various set up options. For a first game, we suggest using the set difficulty levels (easy or normal) and accept the default settings for other variables.
2.1 The Loading Screens
When you load Gary Grigsby’s War in the East 2 you will be presented with a series of loading screens. The first two are the standard Matrix games video and then one showing scenes from the war. If you want to skip these, just press ‘ESC’ on your keyboard.
The game will then show the Main Menu once it has completed loading.
2.2 The Main Menu
The main menu screen allows access to the game set up functions.
This screen is made up of 10 clickable buttons and will show the version of the game in the bottom right hand corner.
This section will very briefly describe the options but if you are new to WiTE2 it is suggested that you accept the default settings as far as possible.
It is important to note that the procedure for setting up a game, and what you can later change while playing a game, is different if you are playing against the computer or another player.
The ten options are:
- Set the Axis side as either human or computer played;
- Set the Soviet side as either human or computer played;
- Difficulty level;
- Game Options;
- Pick Scenario. Next to this is the button PBEM, depress this if you intend to play the game by sending save files to another human player;
- Load Saved Game
- Multiplayer – this is different to PBEM in that you will use the Matrix server to save and access game files
2.3 Setting Up A New Game
Section 2.6 below will explain in more detail what the various options imply (even more information is in appendix G, section 36.17), this section simply covers which buttons to select to commence a new game.
2.3.1 Against the Computer
To set up a new game against the computer, proceed by:
- Select your side (Axis or Soviet);
- Set the Difficulty level (cycle through easy, normal, challenging, hard or impossible);
- Set any desired Game Options;
- Set any desired Preferences (see section 2.6 for a summary of these options and the consequences);
- Pick Scenario. Clicking this will open the list of available scenarios;
- Mouse over the scenarios, as you highlight a line the colour will change;
- If you click on a scenario, the text will change to green and on the right hand side a scenario briefing will appear. At the bottom of the screen will appear a little disk icon click on this to ‘load the scenario’;
- On the right hand side you will see a summary of the scenario, setting out the number of turns, a brief overview, a short guide as to how to win and the number of Administrative Points (4.3.12 and Chapter 9) allocated each turn;
- The scenario will load and suggest a title for the folder where it will save the game (all the saves for different games are in their own folders). Accept the suggested title and the game will open.
If the side you have chosen does not have the first turn, the game will immediately commence with the AI running its turn. This is why it is important to have set difficulty levels and other options before selecting a scenario.
Once it is your turn, you can alter any of the options you originally chose at any stage of the game.
2.3.2 Against A Human Opponent
The procedure is similar to that above but there are some differences.
There are two main options. One is PBEM where the players transfer the save turns to each via email or some other file sharing software.
In this case, the player who will move second must set up the game. This will be the Soviet player in any scenario starting on 22 June 1941 but will vary in scenarios starting later in the war.
The steps are:
- Set both sides to ‘human’;
- Select the difficulty level and game options;
- Select any preferences;
- Click ‘PBEM’ (note this will now have a red background);
- Pick Scenario
- Accept or change the suggested folder;
- Set your password (this means your opponent cannot open your game files) – when they receive the file they will be prompted to do the same for their game files;
- Send the generated files to your opponent.
The other option is to use the Slitherine server. In this case the save games are held on the server and updated as the player(s) make moves and save the game. At the end of the turn, your opponent is notified that it is now their turn. The procedures for playing using the Slitherine server are covered later in this chapter (2.8.2). You access this option via the ‘Multiplayer’ button.
In either case, once you have generated the set up files you cannot change the difficulty level or the game options including whether or not you will use the automated AI air assistance (2.6.2).
And, to risk stating the obvious, do not forget the password you choose or you will be unable to open the game files from your opponent.
2.3.3 Playing Solitaire
If you opt to make both sides Human controlled but do not select the PBEM option the game can be played solitaire with you controlling both sides in turn. At any time you can change one side to AI control.
2.4 Loading a Saved Game
If you wish to load a game you started earlier, click on Load Saved Game.
Note the procedure to save an ongoing game is covered in section 2.7.
You will be presented with a list of all the folders of the games you have created. The list will be different if you have the PBEM box ticked or not.
The game you have played most recently will be at the top of the list. Click on this and you will be presented with a list of all the save points for that game (again the most recent is at the top).
Select the save you want to use and the game will load and you can carry on playing.
Note: Note that when you open the game the map display options will be the same as when you last closed it.
2.5 Mouse Conventions
In WiTE2, left clicking will select a tab, allow you to change a value in a box or confirm a desired action. When playing the game, left clicking will select a unit and right clicking will tell it to execute the orders (move or attack).
Right clicking on any hex (when no unit is selected) will open up a menu that allows you to change the map settings or access other game information (see chapter 7 for more information about this).
In the manual, where you are told to ‘select’ an option, that means to left click with the mouse.
2.6 Game Set Up Options and Choices
When first playing WiTE2, some of the information in this section may appear unclear. Not least the impact of your chosen settings on game play will take some time to understand.
We strongly suggest reading chapter 4 before playing a game and following the suggested opening turn described at the end of that chapter (4.19).
2.6.1 Difficulty Level
There are five general difficulty levels, Easy, Normal, Challenging, Hard and Impossible. The difficulty level is set by varying the percentage of five different factors; morale, fortification building speed, supply, transport, and administrative points.
If you are playing the Computer, the difficulty levels either give the human side an advantage (easy), are neutral (normal) or give the computer (the AI) advantages.
|LEVEL||MORALE SETTING||OTHER SETTINGS|
If you wish you can modify these to reflect different values for the various categories when setting up a game. If you are playing the AI, these values can be amended at any time.
Note that at 110 morale the AI gains additional significant advantages in movement. It gains further combat bonuses at values of 120 or higher.
2.6.2 Game Options
Below are listed the options available to the player to set up how the game is played.
Note that some game options will be locked and unchangeable after the set-up of PBEM and Multiplayer games. These options will be greyed out in the screen once that type of game is started. Select (left click with mouse) inside the applicable box to change the setting.
The screens are described in more detail in section 36.17 and players are recommended to read that section if they want to change any of the more detailed options.
Note that there are three columns. The first changes the relevant value for the Axis side, the third for the Soviet side. Options in the middle column apply equally to both sides.
The notes below are designed to give a new player an overview of the more important options and how this might affect game play:
Computer Controlled: On/Off for each player; on is AI control, off is human control. By default this will mirror the choices you made on the main loading screen.
Fog of War (FOW): On/Off for each player. If checked on, human players are limited by FOW rules (10.1). The default setting is FOW off.
Movement Fog of War: Only displays when FOW is enabled and can only be used in conjunction with FOW. The values are On/Off for each player. Using Movement FOW will limit multi-hex moves in enemy territory (10.1.2)
Lock HQ Support: On/Off for each player, when on player’s HQ’s have their HQ Support Level Locked at start. The default setting is lock HQ support on. No matter how this option is set, once the game begins, individual HQs can have their status changed according to your wishes using the Commanders Report (36.8) or the detailed HQ unit tab (21.11).
Automate AI Air Assist: If this is selected then the AI assistance will be in use and will create air missions and move your air force on the map when you press the F12 key (4.6 and Chapter 17). Note that if you leave this unchecked you can still use the AI-assistant to help (see sections 4.6 and 17.1.2).
Enhanced Player TB Control: If this is selected then the player(s) gain far more control over the assignment of units to and from the various off-map Theatre Boxes used to represent the wider war than that between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany (13.1).
General Difficulty Level: Cycles through Easy, Normal, Challenging, Hard, and Impossible play levels (36.17). By default this will mirror the choice you made on the main loading screen but you can change any of the numbers here – and produce what is called a customized difficulty level. If you change any of the numbers the general difficulty level will be described as ‘CUSTOM’. At the moment, you can assume that increasing the score on one-side gives that side a growing advantage in game play. Remember that in a game against the AI you can change any of these settings at any time.
Morale Level: This is probably the most important factor in WiTE2. Raising this above 100 will impact on combat performance, unit morale and even the cost of movement into enemy territory. In effect, the basic morale of each unit is multiplied by the value you set here. In general, if you want a challenging game, always give the AI a bonus. If the AI is to undertake the bulk of the attacking (say as the Germans in a 1941 scenario or the Soviets in Vistula to Berlin), you might want to increase this more to improve its performance.
For the moment, just note this setting will give the AI substantial advantages. If you want a challenging game against the AI, adjusting the relative morale levels will ensure a better AI performance. This is particularly important if the chosen scenario starts with the AI on the offensive. Once you feel you have a basic grasp of the game, you should put the attacking AI on at least 110 morale.
Reset to Default: Selecting this button will return all Game Options to their default settings.
Again note, if you are playing the computer you can change any of these values at any time. You can access them either from the loading screen or when playing the game.
2.6.3 User Preferences
The User Preference settings can be used to customize aspects of the interface. Many of these settings can be changed at any time during the player turn, but some require the player to exit the game and reload prior to the change taking place.
Again, these options are described in detail in appendix 36.17.1. It is suggested that you simply adopt the default settings for your first games.
The exception to this is the Show Move Animation. When this is enabled by selecting the check box to the right of the “Show Move Animation” text, friendly units will be shown moving from hex to hex on the map, accompanied by their respective sound effect. You might find that watching every unit trace out its movement path (rather than simply move to the destination hex) slows the game substantially.
Reset to Default: Select the check box to the right of the “Reset to Default” text to return all map preferences to their default settings. Note that there is a separate default reset for both the user and map preferences section of the preferences screen.
2.7 Saving An Ongoing Game
If you are playing against the computer, and have selected Auto-Save Game then the game will automatically generate two saves for each game turn. This will be the save used to run the AI turn and the save you use for your own turn.
It is a matter of choice if you wish to make additional saves but it is recommended if you intend to leave the game running for some time or if you need to close the game before completing your turn. For a PBEM game you have to make manual saves to send to your opponent.
The save option is within the administration menu tab toolbar (36.19) displayed on the main map screen.
When you go to save a game it will, by default, attempt to save it in the folder that you created when setting up the scenario.
There are three buttons at the bottom left side of the screen as follows:
- Save a New Game: Prompts the player to type in a name to create a new save game.
- Save over Current Marked Game: Overwrites the save game that is currently selected and highlighted in green.
- Delete this Saved Game: Deletes the save game that is currently selected and highlighted in green.
There are two different ways in which Gary Grigsby’s War in the East 2 can be played against another human opponent.
2.8.1 Play By Email (PBEM)
PBEM allows two human players to play by exchanging turn files by e-mail in a manner that inhibits cheating. Selecting the PBEM button either here or in the Load Saved Game screen toggles PBEM on or off. A check will appear in the PBEM box if PBEM is enabled. The default setting for PBEM is disabled. To start a PBEM game, the second player to move in the chosen scenario (e.g. the Soviet player in the 1941-45 Campaign or the Axis player in the Red God of War scenario) enables PBEM, sets the agreed upon Game Options and then selects the scenario.
Note that there are no auto saves during PBEM.
Thus you will need, at the least, to manually save the turn before sending it to your opponent.
The second player will then be prompted to create their password. Once a password has been created, the second player will be taken to the PBEM Save Game screen, where they will create a save game, which will be saved as a .psv file in the /data/save directory. The second player will then be automatically taken back to the main menu.
The second player will then e-mail the save game file to the first player, who will transfer the file into their /data/ save directory.
They will then enable PBEM, load the save and then will be prompted to create their own password. The first player will then take their turn, saving whenever they want. Once the first player has finished their turn and selected the end turn button (F12), the computer will conduct the next Logistics phase and the Amphibious phase during which the map display will be blank, then prompt the first player to save the game so it can be e-mailed to the second player to continue the PBEM cycle.
Multiplayer (MP) allows human players to play the game over the internet through a server based system hosted by Slitherine Ltd. Players can log on to the server, post and accept game challenges, and conduct their turn in any scenarios they are currently playing. An internet connection and a Slitherine account will be required to utilize the multiplayer system.
If the player does not have a Slitherine account, then they will select the register button, which will bring up the account registration screen. Here they will be prompted to enter a username, password and e-mail address to obtain a Slitherine account.
Before you log in you will be presented with a screen like this (once you have entered your details it will remember them for future log ins):
Once you are logged in, the screen is divided into a section that will show any games you are currently playing, one that shows any challenges you have created and where there are games you can offer yourself as an opponent.
To create a challenge, select that option, select the scenario you wish to play and amend the settings as you wish. If you password protect this then only someone you give that password to can take up the game.
Remember that the settings you select, including about how to manage the air war (chapter 17) and Theatre Boxes (chapter 13) are then fixed and cannot be modified during play.
At that stage the game will appear in the ‘my challenges’ screen.
Once an opponent accepts your challenge it will be shown in the ‘My Games’ section as:
If desired, the player may use the ‘Resign” button. ‘Show Completed’ and ‘Show Resigned’ buttons on the screen can be used to filter the game list. Upon completion and selection of the end turn button (F12), the scenario listing will be updated to reflect that it is the other side’s turn.
Hovering the mouse over the games in the games and challenges lists will display text providing additional information about the listed games.
Any available challenges will be shown as:
To open an ongoing game, click on the yellow title such as:
Click on this and then select play. When playing a multiplayer game it will only automatically save when you press F12 to end the turn and trigger your opponent’s logistic phase. At this stage you will be returned to the main game menu. In addition you can save manually at any time you wish.
2.8.3 Multiplayer Messaging
There is a messaging capability built into Multiplayer. You can use this when setting up a Multiplayer game, to better describe the Challenge and also to communicate with your opponent each turn without needing an e-mail address or other contact information.
Messages can be up to 255 characters in length and will be visible to all players in a Multiplayer game. When setting up a challenge, note that you can click on the text box near the bottom right of the screen and enter a message of up to 255 characters. Press enter after completing the message, and the message will appear in the message section of the screen. This will show the most recent messages from all of the players.
While you are making your turn, you can create up to two messages to send. This can be accessed when you press F12 either when you run the air directives (5.3.2) or when you end the ground movement phase and complete your turn (5.2).
When you start your turn, you may see a message that you have an unread message from your opponent. F12 will bring up the message interface. If your Slitherine account is linked to your email account, such messages will also be sent to your email account.
Up to eight messages will be saved on the server and you can also filter these messages. Players can also filter the messages displayed in their list by player or by turn.
2.8.4 Intended Changes
It is intended to make several changes to the on-line multiplayer options before the game is released (or as soon afterwards as possible). This will allow up to four players to take on a given side (it will be up to them to create a command structure and rules for which one carries out which functions). In addition, if a player withdraws then the intention is to allow a new player to take their place (or for the others to carry on).