It’s actually quite surprising to see a dearth of World War I videogames considering that most real-time strategy games usually devolve into stalemated battles of attrition and the Great War was possibly the most significant conflict of the 20th century involving such battles e.g the Battle of Somme and the Battle of Verdun.
Con Artist Productions, the creators of the zombie defense games The Last Stand and The Last Stand 2 have shifted their sights to depict carnage on a different scale and timeframe in Warfare 1917, a fairly realistic depiction of the murderous bloodbath of trench warfare on the Western Front during World War I.
Playing as the British (The Old Contemptibles) or the Germans, you’ll lead squads of troops over the top through the barbed wires and landmines of no-man-land and into the trenches of the enemy in the face of heavy fire from the defending infantry and artillery. Historically, artillery bombardment was far more intensive than that depicted in-game but that would probably make a frustratingly unplayable game.
The introduction of the machine gun during WWI provided a significant advantage in the firepower and effective range of defending infantry over their attacking counterparts, thus mad rushes are definitely a no-no in Warfare 1917. Callously squandering away the lives of your men for neglible gains in ground will also quickly break their will to fight and lead to a quick and ignominious surrender.
As enemy machineguns and artillery bombardment will quickly make mincemeat of waves of attacking infantry, only a well-timed bombardment with mortars, heavy artillery (and later poison gases) to suppress entrenched defenders and reinforcements with infantry and (later tanks) follwing closely behind the barrage of explosive shells will stand a chance of getting anywhere near the entrenched enemy to employ their weapons and forcefully evict the occupants of a trench.
Using the correct mix of troops is essential too as by 1916, the Germans had developed specialized stosstruppen units for assaulting trenches in close combat with carbines and hand grenades to support the regular infantry. Assault infantry stand a fairly good chance to clear an enemy trench provided that they are supported by regular infantry, machinegunners or snipers to provide covering fire in order for them to close in with grenades.
Unfortunately, successfully capturing a trench means nothing if the next wave(s) of enemy reinforcements counterattack and retake it from the half decimated remnants of a successful assault. Learning to follow up on your assault with fresh infantry reinforcements to defend your hard-fought gains and hold the line is therefore as crucial as learning to assault the enemy positions, especially in the later actions where you have to take multiple trenches in a single mission.
To reflect your experience in war, upgrade points are earned to boost your units’ ability to give them the edge in inflicting more punishment while sustaining less themselves.
Play Warfare 1917.Flash Games Military Recommended