Design Documentation

General Notes

Operation Anubis is a modification (“mod”) of Electronic Arts’ World War Two multi-player game, Battlefield 1942. In it, players will assume military roles with different nationalities, in a “what if” scenario where the history of the war is changed so that it has continued into the year 1946. Though the historical war ended on August 14th, 1945 after two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in this mod, no nation has yet developed nuclear weapons, and this has allowed the war to continue.

The mod will recreate possible battles that might have occurred in 1946, and replace supplement the existing units and weapons of the original game with actual historical prototypes that all involved forces were developing. Any player familiar with the mechanics of Battlefield 1942 will be able to load the mod and begin playing.

The task of the player in Operation Anubis will not change from the original game. Opposing Axis and Allied forces will be supplied with a limited number of “tickets”, and will be required to capture and hold specific strategic points on the field of play. When one side holds a majority of points, their opponent’s ticket count will begin to fall, and when a team’s number of tickets reaches zero, they have lost the battle.

The mod will be heavily team-based. Organization and coordination between team members will greatly improve chances of winning. This is the way the game was originally designed, and as gameplay is one of the strongest elements of the game the mod elements will only be adjusted to reflect their uniqueness while maintaining the balance.

The setting of the game is the Pacific and European theatres during World War Two. The war has continued to the year 1946, and both sides are implementing the prototype experimental exotic vehicles that were in development during the war, in the hopes that one of them might turn the tide.

Story

1939

Germany invades Poland and World War Two begins.

1940

Germany invades France. Under the same Blitzkrieg used against Poland, France crumbles in a matter of weeks.

On May 26th, 1940, the Allies’ decision to pull out remaining forces is hampered by poor weather for which they are unprepared. This slowdown allows the German forces, using unorthodox methods and taking extreme risks in the bad weather, to surprise the Allied forces, comprised of 338,000 troops, at Dunkirk. The Allies are outnumbered and outgunned and do not have the time to set up a delaying action. Consequently, despite a call for every available ship to aid in the retreat, less than one tenth, or about 35,000 men, of the original force escape with their lives.

Meanwhile, Niels Bohr, the leading nuclear scientist in Europe, flees Denmark. With the help of the British Secret Service, he is able to escape to Sweden before being moving to the United States to continue his research.

Germany’s unrestricted U-Boat warfare puts a stranglehold on England, crippling their supply routes. The British begin to use sonar for anti-submarine warfare units.

From May until October, a massive air battle over British soil, subsequently known as The Battle of Britain, momentarily blunts the German spearhead. Once again hopelessly outnumbered, the British call for every available unit to aid in their defense, but this results in the slaughter of practically all remaining British pilots, leaving their ranks completely depleted of veterans.

Enraged by the bombing of Berlin, Hitler demands retaliatory strikes on British cities, providing a respite for the nearly destroyed British airfields. Aides implore Hitler to finish the attack, but he is fanatical about the terror bombings. Eventually he is convinced to continue to target industrial sectors as well as civilian ones. This action allows the Royal Air Force to turn back the Luftwaffe, but the cost is nearly all of the country’s war production.

On September 17th, 1940, Hitler delays Operation Sealion, the invasion of England.

1941

Germany uses the lull in combat to reinforce its positions throughout Europe. The Axis is able to negotiate with Turkey and Iran in order to gain a steady flow of oil and materials.

The Luftwaffe begins to research the use of jet aircraft. The research goes very well, thanks to the help of several Italian engineers, and copies of several types of jet engines are sent to Far East, for use by Japanese aircraft designers.

On December 7th, 1941, Japanese naval aircraft attack the United States Navy Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

On December 8th, 1941, the Untied States of America declares war on the Empire of Japan, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy.

Development of a device allowing U-boats to stay submerged while running their diesel engines further worsens Britain’s supply state. Fortunately, the improvements in sonar allow British ASW forces some modicum of defense.

Hitler is eager to invade the Soviet Union in 1941, seeing the success of his troops elsewhere, but his generals do their best to dissuade him, wanting more time to prepare troops for the brutal Russian winters. Seeing his generals’ earlier advice lead to success over Britain, Hitler relents and delays the operation.

1942

On March 28th, 1942, Germany implements Operation Barbarossa—the invasion of the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, due to the crippled state of British industry, the United States is forced to shoulder more and more of the war burden. They begin to find themselves slowly but surely lagging behind—unable to keep pace with both Germany and Japan. One front must be eliminated.

On June 4th, 1942, The Battle of Midway begins. The United States is desperate for a victory to turn the tide in the Pacific, and sinks the Japanese carriers Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu. Hiryu, though, manages to escape, and in the process rescue many of the veteran aircrews stranded. In return, the United States carrier Yorktown is sunk, and the carrier Hornet is heavily damaged and forced back to port at Pearl Harbor for a lengthy refit. The Japanese do not take Midway, but it is not the decisive victory the United States needs.

Because of this stalemate, the Japanese are able to get industrial bases flowing in Korea. Along with a new influx of natural resources, Imperial High Command institutes a policy of rotating back trained aircrews from the front line to train new pilots. This allows them to maintain a pool of veterans as a training cadre, as well as keep them fresh while awaiting new assignments.

In 1942 the Manhattan Engineer Project is set up in the United States under the command of Brigadier General Leslie Groves. Scientists recruited to produce an atom bomb include Robert Oppenheimer, Niels Bohr, and Enrico Fermi.

1943

Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt are deeply concerned about the possibility that Germany will produce the atom bomb before the Allies. At a conference held in Quebec 1943, it is decided to try and disrupt the German nuclear program.

In February 1943, saboteurs successfully plant a bomb in a Norwegian factory. As soon as it is rebuilt, 150 US bombers destroy it in November. Two months later the Norwegian resistance manages to sink a German boat carrying vital supplies for its nuclear program.

Meanwhile, false information is intentionally leaked to the German scientists working on the atomic program, causing them to doubt experiments they previously believed successful. Combined with the bombings, the German program falls almost two years behind the United States’.

In the Pacific, neither side is able to break through, and the battle grinds along slowly. Japanese shipyards are able to replace their losses at Midway, and launch a new, modernized carrier—the Taiho class. Germany’s navy modernizes as well, with the launching of the new H-class battleship Fredrick der Grosse and the carriers Graf Zeppelin and Seydlitz.

Soviet forces are able to stop the German onslaught in the north, and keep their Baltic ports intact. The Soviets take advantage of this victory to bolster their own fleet, in hope of cutting off German supply routes. However, southern areas succumb to the continued German advance, and Stalingrad falls under siege as the 11th Army occupies vital oil fields.

1944

At the Los Alamos research facility in New Mexico, an accident kills 65 people and sets the Atomic Bomb program back six months. Continually horrified at the results of testing, Niels Bohr convinces Robert Oppenheimer of the dangers of the indiscriminant use of atomic weapons. Together, the scientists conspire to misconstrue test results and delay the production of fissionable plutonium. Research slows at the facility.

Both Axis and Allied forces begin to deploy jet aircraft. War in Europe and the Pacific slows to a grind.

On June 6th 1944, Allied forces land in Normandy, France. German resistance is fierce.

On the Eastern front, Russian offensives are countered by superior German technology. Stalin is furious, and “purges” several generals.

1945

Desperate to gain an advantage in the Pacific, American forces make a daring end around, bypassing multiple critical Japanese island chains in order to execute a surprise attack on the island of Okinawa. The plan is to hold the island for as long as possible and bomb southern Japanese cities, while hopefully creating a second front by having the Soviet Union declare war on Japan as well. To this end, the United States supplies the new B-29 bomber to the Soviet Union, as well as the technical aid required to build such a craft.

In Europe, Allied forces continue to fight to liberate France.

Meanwhile, German saboteurs destroy certain key areas of the Los Alamos plant, further undermining Allied research there.

On July 16th, 1945, however, two atomic bombs are successfully tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico. There is enough uranium left to produce two more atomic bombs. President Truman decides to use them before the tenuous grip on Okinawa fails.

On August 6th, 1945, a modified B-29, the Enola Gay, is sent to bomb Hiroshima. The Enola Gay is shot down by new carrier based Japanese aircraft, and crashes into to the ocean.

The loss of the atomic bomb is kept secret. Pacifist actions by the Manhattan Project scientists, and the setback caused by German agents delay the further production of uranium and plutonium. It will be at least a year until any more fissionable material can be produced.

1946

The war continues with no realistic end in sight. All parties are involved on multiple fronts, with none seeming to give ground. As both the Axis and Allies try to find the flashpoint that will turn the tide, battles become larger in scale, and tactics become more desperate. The Allies implement Operation Anubis, a series of risky attacks on heavily fortified Axis targets. At the same time, the Axis begins its own dangerous invasion of Allied strongholds… General Mechanics Many of Battlefield 1942’s existing mechanics will remain unchanged. This game was chosen due to the extraordinary play balancing already achieved by the game. The mod team’s goal is to provide a new, yet similar experience to the original game by introducing new vehicles, including some that have tactical roles not available in original.

Unique Units

A unique vehicle is planned--the PT boat, which will provide a tank-like, heavy firepower option for players to use in naval battles. The PT boat will most likely be the most radical change to gameplay we introduce, as naval warfare does not play a large role in the existing game. This is an aspect the team hopes to change, specifically by designing maps that emphasize naval firepower, thus making the PT boat a critical element to the mod, much like the tanks and bombers of the original game.

New Units

No other radical changes are intended for gameplay. New units will become available that fill similar roles to the original ones, so as to give players a completely new visual experience as well as one different from the original game. A major appeal factor for the mod will be the exoticness of the planned vehicles. Visually attractive vehicles will encourage the players to explore, and try to find out exactly what it was that just killed them.

However, these new units will not be merely new skins on the original models. Speeds, weapons loads, and armor will all be adjusted to reflect the changes in the game, as well as to provide the player a new, but familiar, learning curve.

Maps

Because of the planned changes to gameplay, the mod will require a selection of new maps to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the new units. Primary among these will be an increase in speed for most vehicles, meaning all maps will require a larger playable area than found in the original game. Original game maps may prove unplayable or at least less enjoyable with the planned changes.

The maps are all planned to be based on actual World War Two battle sites. However, they will be regarded with a revisionist history, allowing the team to implement some battles that did not take place during the war.

Briefings

New maps will require new briefings, as players might be unfamiliar with the scenarios presented to them. It may also be possible to provide a goal-based map, however, this is only a possibility at this point.

Movement

The mod will be designed with all of Battlefield 1942’s default control keys. Players should be able to adjust control to their liking if the defaults do not suit them.

Victory

As in the original game, victory will by default be achieved when one side runs out of lives, referred to in-game as “tickets”. Ticket count is affected by how many flags a side controls: once an imbalance in power occurs, the disadvantaged side’s ticket count begins to fall--the greater the imbalance, the higher the rate of decline. Beginning ticket counts will be set by the mod team for each map.

Artificial Intelligence

No changes are planned for the game’s Artificial Intelligence at this time.

Sides

The game will consist of two opposing sides, the Axis and the Allies, made up of several countries each.

Allies
The United States of America
Great Britain
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union)

Axis
Germany
Japan

Unit Count

The total number of new vehicles we will be adding to the game with this mod is substantial, and breaks down as follows.

Allies
Aircraft: 8
Small Craft: 1
Capital Ships: 6
Armor: 8
Axis
Aircraft: 10
Small Craft: 1
Capital Ships: 5
Armor: 4

Total: 43

Vehicle Types

Fighters
Principally used for air superiority, fighters are an integral part of any modern air force. It is fighters that are used to eliminate the firepower threat of bombers, and fighters that are used to engage other fighters. A good fighter can serve a multitude of roles, including air superiority (not allowing any enemy aircraft into the skies), close air support (suppression of infantry and/or armor engaging friendly ground troops), ground attack (destruction of soft targets, such as enemy armor, infantry, or non-hardened bunkers), and long range strikes (extended flights to vital targets not accessible by ground troops). Fighters can also be used for naval attacks, although this task typically falls to a specific role-designed plane, built to carry large payloads, the fighter/bomber.

Bombers
Bombers are aircraft designed for a specific purpose: to destroy ground targets from the air. Rarely elegant in design, bombers are often intended to carry as much ordnance as possible while still being airworthy. This design makes them extremely slow and sluggish—perfect targets for enemy fighters. Though most bombers have crews manning gun turrets to protect them, without fighter cover, they will be decimated by any good pilot.

Small Craft
While the majority of naval battles were fought with large vessels and high numbers of aircraft, small craft played a vital role in the war. Often used to protect convoys as well as patrol sea lanes, small craft such as PT boats were usually the first line of defense.

Capital Ships
Technology had not given countries the means to reach each other in the 40s (Germany’s primitive V-1 and V-2 rockets were state of the art technology), so naval firepower was much coveted to protect and cut off shipping lanes. In fact, at the start of the war, many countries were still subscribing to the philosophy of World War I, where naval superiority had been a staple, and air superiority supplementary. Though all sides would see this status drastically change during the course of the war, the philosophy led to some of the largest ships ever built, and consequently, some of the largest naval battles in the history of civilization.

The Allies generally followed the precept of quantity over quality, mass-producing all manner of ships since they often were outgunned by the technological superiority of the German and Japanese vessels. This proved to be the proper battle plan, in large part because of the crippling of Axis production centers that began mid-war.

Axis members followed a different plan when it came to designing naval vessels. Operating under the belief that, as in the First World War, firepower carried the day at sea, most Axis vessels tended to be highly specialized—fast, well armed, and heavily armored. Though they outgunned the Allied ships for most of the war, Axis naval weapons were never able to completely gain a stranglehold, and were eventually overwhelmed and destroyed by the emergence of the firepower of modern combat: Air superiority.

Armor
The mainstay of land engagements, armor battles can be vicious. By the end of the war, the Allies had caught up technologically to the Axis forces that had torn through them at the beginning of the war, and more importantly, they had the strength of numbers, allowing them to secure victory.

As with naval power, the Axis forces often had the advantage of technical superiority. This, combined with the element of surprise, allowed them to rip through much larger opponent’s forces. However, this instilled a sense of overconfidence in the Axis commanders, and when the ride turned in the war, technological superiority was not enough to overcome sheer numbers.