The Great War is a modification for Company of Heroes meant to bring the war two decades earlier. This mod focuses on the later years of the First World War. Currently the two teams will be the British Expeditionary Force against the German Empire, however with time the team will try and bring some more nations in, such as France and Austria-Hungary. This mod will focus or realism but keep the game balanced enough to make it enjoyable. Things to look for in the mod are the famous artillery strikes and the infamous gas attacks. Trenches will provide vital cover for infantry while tanks will roll over the battlefield and instil fear into the enemy troops.

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Nothing illustrates the ingenuity men can show when thinking of new ways to make fellow men suffer as well as chemical warfare...

Posted by Rataconfusca on Oct 9th, 2011

Nothing illustrates the ingenuity men can show when thinking of new ways to make fellow men suffer as well as chemical warfare.

Historically more than dozens of different chemical agents were tested and used in the Great War. A few of them have become notorious, while others are remembered only by historians and chemists. They are broken down in specific categories: choking agents that attack the respiratory system (chlorine, phosgene), blister agents causing irritation and burns on exposed body parts (mustard gas), and lachrymatory agents like tear gas (blue cross, K.S.K.).

Incendiary and smoke shells and grenades were also used in the war; although they are included in the mod, we will not talk about them in this article.


We implemented a fully working chemical weapons system in the mod, complete with gasmasks and humongous coloured clouds. We made a selection of the chemical agents used in 1918, and then classified them on type, lethality, persistence, spread and delivery systems. Ingame this means all chemical weapons have different effects, including the area affected per shell and the time the effect lasts, and the colour and density of the gas cloud.

All factions have access to a certain number of gas weapons. Depending on the specific type those can be used by field guns, howitzers, mortars, handgrenades or through off-map artillery.


Let’s take for instance one of the basic chemical weapons available to the German Army: Green Cross. Historically “Grünkreuz” refers to pulmonary agents, usually a mix of chlorine and phosgene. Also used by the British under the designation "White Star", this lethal combination accounted for 85% of fatal gas casualties suffered in the Great War. Ingame GC shells can be fired by all German artillery and mortars (except the FH 98/09 howitzer), but also used on a massive scale through a doctrinal off-map ability. In contrast Yellow Cross (blister agents like mustard gas) can only be used through off-map artillery.


By 1918 troops on the Western Front were well-equipped and trained to deal with the threat of chemical warfare. Ingame soldiers will automatically don gasmask when affected by a gas weapon. Some of them might be too slow however, or have defective equipment, or simply panic, so there’s always a risk of loosing some soldiers outright.

While gasmask will save a soldier’s life, wearing one is by far not a comfortable endeavour. They make breathing difficult and impair vision. Physically demanding activities are difficult and restricted, and soldiers tire fast. Ingame this means that surviving infantry will suffer massive penalties (such as accuracy and movement) and lasting health effects due to exhaustion, while artillery crews will be severely hindered (manning an artillery piece is physically very demanding). Some squads might even panic and immediately retreat without orders.


Lastly, we did have to include an element of arcade-like mechanics. For instance historically it would take several hours for a soldier to start suffering from the effect of mustard gas after being poisoned (which is why it was so feared, as it was hard to detect and lasted for weeks). This would be way outside the scope of a CoH game time-wise, and instead we gave it a health-degeneration effect (on top of the usual gasmask penalties) which combined to its persistence makes it a perfect area-denial weapon.

The TGW 1918 team
Credits to don_durandal and special thanks to BlackcatXIII for his contribution on the german gasmask

Post comment Comments
Shadowmetroid
Shadowmetroid Oct 9 2011, 9:18pm says:

Awesome update. Great idea for implementation of chemical weaponry, as well. :D

+12 votes     reply to comment
Euphoria_21
Euphoria_21 Oct 9 2011, 9:18pm says:

This has to be the most awesome thing I've seen all week. Amazing work guys.

+13 votes     reply to comment
moraman
moraman Oct 9 2011, 9:22pm says:

Nice game-play mechanics, i will surely look forward to this mod's release.

+6 votes     reply to comment
501General
501General Oct 9 2011, 9:34pm says:

this is very interesting idea.

will open vehicles also be effected?

+9 votes     reply to comment
nhess96
nhess96 Oct 13 2011, 5:57pm replied:

They better be

+1 vote     reply to comment
don_durandal
don_durandal Oct 14 2011, 8:01am replied:

Currently there aren’t any open-topped vehicles in the mod.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Geth_Prime
Geth_Prime Oct 9 2011, 10:21pm says:

hope this works

Mustard Gas will suck

+2 votes     reply to comment
thereaperstrain
thereaperstrain Oct 9 2011, 10:30pm says:

What is that weapon in the first picture called? The machine gun thing. I'm sorry, I don't know a lot about World War 1 weaponry.

+1 vote     reply to comment
the*Joker
the*Joker Oct 10 2011, 2:57am replied:

I believe that is either a Vickers or Maxim machine gun. The Maxim and Vickers were some of the first, if not the first line of machine guns every invented in history. The Vickers was designed by Great Britain, while the Maxim was designed by Germany(might have that wrong, might've been Russians).

+2 votes     reply to comment
don_durandal
don_durandal Oct 10 2011, 3:05am replied:

It's a MG08, the main German HMG of the war.

The MG08, the Vickers MG and the Russian M1910 MG are all derivatives of the original 1884 Maxim Gun developped in Britain.

+3 votes     reply to comment
supcomrocks
supcomrocks Oct 10 2011, 5:11pm replied:

i believe its a maxim machine gun though i could be mistaken.

0 votes     reply to comment
don_durandal
don_durandal Oct 10 2011, 5:56pm replied:

I’m sorry to say, but you are mistaken. You could at least believe a dev’s word when he writes that it’s a MG08 in the comment right above yours ;) We did not include a Maxim gun in the mod.

For the record, the MG’s model and texture is by Rataconfusca.

+3 votes     reply to comment
RogerRamjet
RogerRamjet Oct 9 2011, 11:09pm says:

Excellent modeling and textures... Love the authenticity of the gas masks and the use of chem weapons.

Mustard gas, in the quantity used in some artillery strikes, killed and disabled almost instantly, blistering the skin and lungs. It would react when water was introduced such as sweat and the moisture in ones lungs. Horrible stuff.

+4 votes     reply to comment
GriffinZ
GriffinZ Oct 10 2011, 12:17pm replied:

What I've heared is that mustard gas does instantly cause sickness and extreme pain to the lungs, and that would from someone who "tasted" it himself. Strange stuff they do in the military training eh?

+1 vote     reply to comment
don_durandal
don_durandal Oct 10 2011, 6:01pm replied:

Those symptoms are more characteristic of pulmonary (i.e. choking) agents rather than vesicants like mustard gas.
Mustard gas symptoms are very rarely immediate; you need both a very high concentration of the product and have moist skin. In effect you’d need to be directly splashed on by the shell’s content or go through a water body that got highly contaminated.

+1 vote     reply to comment
GriffinZ
GriffinZ Oct 11 2011, 10:49am replied:

you may be right, it was me old dad who said they used mustard gas in a special chamber to both check the gas-masks and to be familiar with the effects of warfare gas. I found this very strange to do this to one owns soldiers, because the injuries would also be long lived with mustard gas?

Also to me it seems more logical that it was choking gas (and how would a small exposure to those gases affect one in the longer term? Not at all as negatively as mustard gas right)

+1 vote     reply to comment
don_durandal
don_durandal Oct 11 2011, 11:07am replied:

You’ve got a bit of a wrong idea about combat chemicals. Pulmonary agents (also called choking agents), like phosgene and chlorine, are far more deadly than mustard gas.

Now that you’ve told the whole story I’m pretty certain it was not mustard gas. For one it attacks the skin, so it’s a pretty bad way of testing gasmasks. Not to mention few people would be suicidal enough to use a combat vesicant or pulmonary agent for a simple test. In all likelihood it was just a form of tear gas, i.e. a lachrymatory agent.
Over here we use Amyl Acetate (“Banana gas”) to test our gasmask.

+1 vote     reply to comment
GriffinZ
GriffinZ Oct 11 2011, 11:33am replied:

I believe the chamber had a big glass window where the "subject" and two other men with working gasmasks (for safety or something) was observed by medical personnel and the exposure was under very strict forms. But I'm certain it was not just to test the mask itself, because the guy in there would put on his gasmask shortly after the gas was released (not sure why though, perhaps it was to train them putting on gas mask even while affected by gas). And worse, I'm not sure which part of the training this was, officer or conscription, guess I'll just have to ask him :P

+1 vote     reply to comment
ubermensche
ubermensche Oct 9 2011, 11:21pm says:

Awesome, I suggest that the soldiers not only lose health but also the ability to fight (i.e. they get "pinned").

+4 votes     reply to comment
pmayne66
pmayne66 Oct 10 2011, 1:10am says:

great work cant wait to play

+2 votes     reply to comment
Rotfuchs
Rotfuchs Oct 10 2011, 12:08am says:

very nice. glad to see the mod still alive.

just as a suggestion... because you said that only some men will be effected (killed or get panic). how about, connecting it with the experience-system? like, more skilled veterans wont hardly suffer, meanwhile fresh recruits will get panic and/or even die.

+4 votes     reply to comment
I_am_a_Spoon
I_am_a_Spoon Oct 10 2011, 6:20am says:

Awesome stuff. :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Darkbladecr
Darkbladecr Oct 10 2011, 9:13am says:

Wow great ideas with the coding aspect. Can't wait to see how chemical warfare will work ingame with effects such as random retreats and tired troops

+1 vote     reply to comment
Reborn:X
Reborn:X Oct 10 2011, 10:45am says:

I cannot express myself in this comment on how awesome this update is.

+1 vote     reply to comment
The_Swedish_Gamer
The_Swedish_Gamer Oct 10 2011, 1:09pm says:

Damn good work guys,hope it comes out soon :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
myron87
myron87 Oct 10 2011, 5:50pm says:

Weeeew amazing !

Tracking !

+2 votes     reply to comment
pievanian
pievanian Oct 10 2011, 7:59pm says:

Is there going to be certain call ins that will be more effective? Or call ins that make the troops take off their gas masks, such as the ones that would cause vomiting?

+2 votes     reply to comment
SK8ERatWAR
SK8ERatWAR Oct 12 2011, 3:59pm says:

amazing guys, sick how you implemented this and i can't wait to play this mod!

+1 vote     reply to comment
lordegern
lordegern Oct 12 2011, 4:18pm says:

Awesome feature guys :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
JSleight
JSleight Oct 13 2011, 5:27pm says:

Will there be a feature for the troops to wear gas masks, IE: charging into a mustard gas infested area, your troops would probably have to first enter the area to automatically put on the masks. If you have a "don gas mask" option, the troops would always have it on, but would suffer the same penalties until you order them to take it off (unless in a gas infested area)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Nebelung13
Nebelung13 Oct 15 2011, 8:02am says:

It looks like the mod dynamic will be very diferent from that of vanilla COH.

This is good stuff! However i hope gas doesn't become too dominant, that would be historically iffy and gamewise boring.

Cheers

+2 votes     reply to comment
lachmann
lachmann Oct 19 2011, 5:39am says:

Hey,
Looks really good, one question though, will the effects be lasting after the gas has cleared, like when you heal units will they return to full health with no penalties?

Thanks in advance, Lachmann.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Muhusch
Muhusch Dec 8 2011, 4:50am says:

can someone say me when the mod will come out ??

+1 vote     reply to comment
bomwaza2009
bomwaza2009 Jan 21 2012, 11:57pm says:

Awesome

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Released Mar 22, 2013
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The Great War 1918 (Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts)
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