Hello everyone. Before I do anything else, I would like to thank eliwood for the help he is given me with animation, the community in general, and I'd also like to thank inukshuk for allowing the use of his public models and textures.
Alright then, this update will have a table of contents because of how large it is. Small, piecemeal image updates will probably follow this one. These will be a more standard formula from now on, since I don't want to make people wait as long for new content. Now then, the table of contents:
1. The Complete Faction List for 1949
2. The European Legion
3. The Story
The United States Army
Strengths: Strong in numbers with flexible upgrade system, allowing them to counter most threats.
Weaknesses: Weak at game start, and requires use of command to give it some of its most effective weaponry and units.
The British Commonwealth
Strengths: Excellent tanks, with decent infantry to support them. Doctrines, combined with a choice of either offensive or defensive faction organization, provides excellent specialist troops.
Weaknesses: Must choose to use offensive or defensive organization, restricting flexibility.
Note: Will include troops from Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and Canada.
Strengths: Can field large numbers of conscripts, and small elite infantry unit, combined with reliable (and numerous) armored support.
Weaknesses: Elite infantry can not be directly recruited (see the note on this faction for more info), faction is overly reliant on buildings.
Note: Russia can create numerous building types across the map, which will serve as hardpoints that collect casualties. When they gather enough fallen infantry, an elite unit like Shock Troopers or Guards Rifles is produced. Also, most Russian infantry gain unit size when they increase veterancy, rather than becoming more skillful. Finally, this is the only faction with tank squads.
The Free Allied Armies
Note: This faction comprises the Free Armies and resistance movements that fought the Axis. These include the: Free French Army, Royal Italian Army, Free Polish Army, Filibusters (privately organized and funded American army), and Mexican Army. Other possible inclusions are such groups as the Chinese Army. If you have any suggestions, feel free to post them in reply to this news item.
Strengths: Best infantry of any Allied Faction, and perhaps even in the game. The faction can also be tailored to better suit certain command styles.
Weaknesses: Troops are few in number since most of the armies lack access to their own population, making every loss a painful one. Also, unless the Filibusters are selected as the main army of the player, this faction has very weak armor support. The Filibusters themselves have their own special weakness though, since they rely on killing enemy soldiers to encourage financiers to fund their cause.
Strengths: Has strong veteran troops, though it can give them up for cheaper alternatives. Doctrines are well balanced with special units in each Command Tree.
Weaknesses: Most of its weapons are showing their age, despite how hard technicians have worked to improve them.
The Panzer Elite
Strengths: Elite troops and new E-series tanks are essentially the best mobile force in 1949. Command Tree options and troop selection offer flexible support to Germany's armored fist.
Weaknesses: Expensive troops, most of which are slow to produce and reinforce.
Note: Infantry tech tree is driven by veterancy. The previous update has the details and a very simplistic chart.
Strengths: Offers determined infantry who are extremely difficult to suppress, and can almost never be pinned. Ambush troops like snipers are very skilled. Command Trees offer a good variety of abilities and units.
Weaknesses: Units cannot retreat, except for short distances to their commander (see the note). Tanks range in efficacy from awful to decent, and infantry are often armed with weaponry that is less than stellar.
Note: This faction centers around the use of command officers. Each command tree produces an officer who wields abilities and calls in troops that have been unlocked by the command tree. A General will always be necessary to give nearby infantry a buff, and to allow troops to retreat to his position.
The European Legion
Note: This faction is an army of Axis nations like Hungary, Spain, Finland, Sweden, the Italian Social Republic, Turkey the Russian Liberation Army (a.k.a. White Russia), Vichy France, Ireland, Scotland, the Knights of Malta, as well as an amalgamated force that hold the title of legionnaires. Also, command points are not just spent on the command trees, but also on receiving the ability to requisition troops from the army of a member nation. There is no limit to the number of independent armies you bring to your cause over the course of a battle.
Strengths: As the battle continues on, this faction grows stronger, snowballing into one of the largest, and most powerful armies in the game. With an enormous reservoir of upgrades, this faction becomes very powerful once all of them are researched.
Weaknesses: Starts out somewhat constricted and weak, and its command trees are fairly limited with few strong powers.
2. The European Legion
So, those are the factions, but for this update the focus will be on the European Legion. As a brief note, I should say that I have not yet decided on the final symbol for the Legion, so I'm still working on it. Your input is actually very much welcome on what symbols to use for the Legion itself, as well as to indicate its ranks. This amalgamated force features weapons from its member states, as well as weaponry purchased from Germany. Most of all, this faction buys scrap, steals Allied designs for "inspiration", and mates vehicles and weapons together to create some very odd combinations.
Case in point, here is an image of a European Legion's Flak 88/Panzer IV creation, a field variation that existed in real life. This unit will be useful for numerous roles, hence why the Legion has chosen to produce machines like it. It can handle armor, aircraft, and enemy emplacements. It can also dig in with sandbags. It should be noted that this weapon cannot be fired while the tank is in motion, since the resulting destabilization would be disastrous.
Additionally, consider this image of a Legion attack in progress. This image features Auxilia (who have black caps) Legionnaires (who have the helmets and arm bands), and the Flak Carrier. The Bren Carrier will be the basis of this weapon, as well as the Panzerjager Bren.
Here is a better picture of the Legionnaires:
The Legionnaires are armed with K43/46s. In reality, the K43 was just another production name for the G43. However, some of them were rechambred to fit STG-44 rounds, allowing both weapon to use the same magazine. This allows them to stay in combat longer than any other riflemen. Auxilia are armed with a weapon that follows a similar doctrine, which is a rechambered VG-2. These two forces were intended to be urban combat forces, since the Germans reckoned that both Britain and America's population centers would need to be invasion targets. This is the reasoning behind the color of their uniforms, which are made with the unique color of blue in order to prevent friendly fire incidents. That said, I'm still dirtying up the skins (especially for the veteran Legionnaires) with dirt and grass stains. The Legionnaires attempt to create their own type of camouflage by intentionally rolling around on the grass and dirt to stain their uniforms. There will be official camouflage troops for the legion though. You'll see them eventually.
The Legion also features forces from the Italian Army, pictured below.
Finnish Riflemen have also been added.
The Russian Liberation Army has made a small showing as well.
For now, this is what I have completed, but my way forward has been cleared it will be much easier from here on out to produce new material, since I now know how to model, animate, and texture. Expect small updates with new units weapons every so often from now on, instead of watching hold back trying to create giant updates. Note that if you ask for it, I will add a list of military hardware that will featured in this mod for your viewing enjoyment.
Finally, we have...
3. The Story
In 1941, as the Invasion of Russia was in its opening stages, Adolf Hitler was in good spirits. However, while walking down a flight of stairs, the Fuhrer slipped and fell a considerable distance. His landing was on his head, causing him to suffer severe brain trauma. He survived, but was little more than a vegetable. Since Hermann Goering was set to take office if the Fuhrer died, it seemed only reasonable that he should essentially take on the responsibilities of the Fuhrer until Adolf's actual death. The result, is that Goering began to put his own policy preferences in place.
Rather than trying to make enemies with the rest of Europe, Goering decided it would be best for Germany to play the role of liberator, and dominate through political means, rather than military ones. The result was a much stronger bloc of Axis nations on the Eastern Front, as well as reduced resistance in other countries. Goering wasn't so obsessed with the Fuhrer myth, unlike some of his colleagues. This doesn't mean he created a sharing caring Third Reich, but still, it is drawing allies to itself from across Europe, which means the Reich's divisive and useless racial policies are pretty much only on the books (if that).
Himmler and Goebbels were not pleased by Goering's policies, which gave him an excuse to have them killed in order to shore up his position as top dog. In effect, he now has complete control of the Reich, and is running it as a streamlined military state. He himself isn't really running it so much as giving his subordinates some directions about what to do, and then going back to enjoying a posh lifestyle. The High Command is all the happier for it.
That said, the years between 1945 and 1949 have gone extraordinarily well for the Axis. The crux of this was when the Allies launched Operation Troublemaker in 1947. The brainchild of General Mark Clark, this plan was submitted to the Omar Bradley, who had taken over Eisenhower's position after Overlord failed. Bradley, under political pressure from President Truman to act, reluctantly accepted the plan. It called for a preemptive invasion of Spain, which supposedly would allow Allied forces to easily establish a foothold on the continent.After all, Clark said, Spain's troops would be less experienced, and furthermore, Spanish Republicans would almost certainly rise up to assist the Allied forces during the invasion. Subsequently, there would be another amphibious landing near Marseilles, which would allow the French to rise up, and and the Allies to cut off any German forces sent to Spain by pushing across France.
On paper, the plan might have looked good. However, it failed to take into account the weakness most of the resistance movements in Europe were experiencing. Goering had just privately declared that Vichy France would receive Paris, along with all its Pre-World War I territories in exchange for its full commitment to assisting not only Germany, but all of Europe in the war.
Still, when Operation Troublemaker was launched, it experienced early success. The Spanish had been caught by surprise, and the Allies were in sight of Madrid within days. The European Legion had been created as a formal military organization for all Europe only days before Troublemaker was launched, so Goering scrambled to get his allies on the bandwagon. He would succeed, and troops would steadily trickle into Spain. When the Marseilles landing was carried out, it ended in an absolute slaughter, due to slow movement on the part of the Allied forces involved. They focused entirely on taking the city, which allowed them to get cut off from their landing zone. Spain was left divided partially between the Axis and the Allies, but there was little else to show for the effort.
The public outcry in America was enormous. In the 1948 election, Dewey would win over Truman, since he was the pro-peace candidate. He wouldn't deliver, in the end, though. At the same time, American industrialists had the unique idea of funding their own army to send against the Germans, which resulted in the creation of what German propagandists describe as the Filibusters.
As it is, Germany and its allies are still on the defensive, but they are planning an all out strike against all of their enemies. The Allies are preparing for the worst, but only time will tell what the new year of 1949 will hold.