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 Eastern Front

Status report - December 2016 (Ostheer tech tree)

December 05, 2016, 11:07:13 AM by Enrique 'Blackbishop' E.

Hello comrades!

This day we bring to you the new tech tree layout for the Ostheer faction. If you thought than Soviets in the previous update got huge changes then Ostheer ones would be even bigger!

The main problema we faced with Ostheer is the pool selection system, what the players think of it? What can be done to improve it and not make the gameplay boring? Are the units we use justified for the pool scenario we handle? Aren’t too many units for Ostheer?

All of that made us think and rework the system several times, but right now we have something that we find interesting and fun to offer in place of the old system. So here we go:

Headquarters – T0

Click to see full sized picture

The headquarters still have the Sturmpioneers as basic unit along with the Assault Pool and Support Pool upgrades, however, it also stores several key global upgrades for the Ostheer Commander:

  • Infantry Modernization: Which provides up to two levels/upgrades to improve infantry. First one grants anti-personal and anti-tank grenades in different type of abilities, depending of the infantry unit; second one grants special weapon upgrades to infantry squads.
  • Support Vehicle Modernization: Which provides up to three levels/upgrades to unlock armoured support for Ostheer. First one unlocks vehicles such as Halftracks, Panzer IIIs and StuG IIIs; second one unlocks the Panzer IVs; last one unlocks Panther tanks.
  • Armor Skirts Research: There is also a third new type of global upgrade which grants all the armoured units (that can be upgraded of course) in the field with armoured skirts.

The Famo is available in this building, although it requires the first Vehicle Modernization upgrade to be produced.

The Sturmpioneers have mostly the same skills, however, they now have the panzerfaust ability as anti-tank measure and can build Observation Posts (since the Opel Maultier is no longer available). Also, Panzernests are the base defense buildings now and no longer tied to the Fortress Army Troops Tree.

It is not shown in the pictures, but actually their OP building is the concrete emplacement and not the one used by Wehrmacht and American forces.

Infantry Gefechts Kommand – T1

This building now features this selection of units.

Click to see full sized picture

The Skirmish Commander has now two abilities related to air support: A recon one and a bomb strike one. It also continues to offer a passive aura which effect vary depending if the player researched the Assault Pool or the Support one.

Landser squads have the skills to build some defensive structures and to purchase weapon upgrades in the form of the Mkb42 (H) or the Panzerschreck 43. They also can get anti-personal and smoke grenades.

The Kubelwagen remains the same (no upgrade, both weapons available from the start).

There is an armoured vehicle counter in this building, the Pak 97/38, which is a combination of a 75mm French field gun barrel with a new muzzle break attached to a Pak 38 carriage. It’s penetration is lower than the Pak 38 but still enough to combat medium tanks without problems. It can use HEAT rounds.

Although, the Pak 97/38 was temporary a solution against the new Soviet armour due to the lack of power of the Pak 36, the real anti-tank solution was being produced at the same time, and it is the Pak 40. The Pak 40 requires the Support Vehicle Modernization level/upgrade 2 and can fire Panzergranate 40 rounds. The Pak 40 replaces the Pak 97/38 in the production building, but the units already deployed in the field won’t be replaced.

Schutzen War Camp – T2

Click to see full sized picture

This production building is unlocked after the Tier 1 building is finished. The units it can produce are Heavy Machine Gun teams, Marksman squads, Halftracks and Panzer III tanks.

It has a single global upgrade that improves the Panzer III main gun and chassis and affects all the units already produced or to be produced.

Heavy Machine gun teams and Marksman squads remain with little changes, so you can say they are practically the same than in the previous version regarding their functions.

Halftrack squads can transport only one infantry squad whose size is up to six members. It can be upgraded into the Mortar Halftrack (Sdkfz. 251/2) or the Drilling Halftrack (Sdkfz. 251/21) depending on the Pool selected.

The Panzer III has now two cumulative upgrades: Purchase the top gunner (AA MG 34) and to make it a Flammpanzer III, replacing their anti-tank capabilities for anti-personal ones. And has a smoke ability to help to escape when in a pinch.

Panzer Kampf Kommand – T3

Click to see full sized picture

This production building has the following units to recruit: the leIG 18 team, the Panzer II “Luchs”, the StuG III, the Panzer IV and the Panzer V “Panther”. It is unlocked after the Tier 1 building is finished.

It also has two global upgrades available for the player: One for the Luchs that allows the vehicle to use phosphorus rounds; the other for the Panzer IV and Pak 40 that grants the Panzergranate 40 rounds.

The leIG 18 is an artillery unit, that can be relocated anywhere where is needed. I cannot autofire, but has a barrage ability.

The Luchs is a fast light vehicle used for recon purposes and has a 20mm KwK 38 cannon which makes it excel in against infantry skirmishes.

The StuG III is an important asset against heavier armoured units, and has a camouflage skill which helps it to ambush enemy units. It can be upgraded with a MG 34 gunner.

The Panzer IV has also a camouflage skill and can be upgraded with a MG 34 gunner.

The Luchs, StuG III and Panzer IV have the same smoke discharge ability than the Panzer III.

Once unlocked, the Panther will replace the Panzer IV production but it won’t replace already deployed units. It can also be upgraded with a MG 34 gunner.

Luftwaffe Headquarters – Auxiliar Tier

Click to see full sized picture

This is a new support building which makes use of the Luftwaffe Forces to improve the flow of the Ostheer gameplay. This building requires the Tier 1 to be finished to be unlocked.

The first set of upgrades are named Army Supplies I and Army Supplies II, which lowers the manpower upkeep.

The second set of upgrades are named internally Luftbrücke I, Luftbrücke II and Luftbrücke III (which would be Luftwaffe Air Bridge I, II and III in English - WIP) and increase the munition income for the Ostheer player.

The third set of upgrades are meant to unlock the Skirmish Commander squad abilities. Close-Air Support I and Close-Air Support II, the former unlocking a bf-109 to recon a requested area and the latter which unlocks a Stuka air strike which drops a bomb in the targeted area.

Building this advanced structure also grant the Ostheer player of two abilities: Medikit Airdrop and Brandenburgers. Both are more or less the same as they were in previous builds.

This would be all for this new update, but before finishing we need to say this: Thanks to the beta testers and balancers who gave us feedback to continue working into improving Eastern Front, without this we would have been in the limbo for more time.

Also, we proudly announce we have a new member helping us with the models we still need to do to release in steam, his username is Dark Sentinel. Thanks to him we can dream for a better release date. Here is a screenshot of the new KV series tanks, made by Dark Sentinel.

Click to see full sized picture

If you have any inquiry or comment feel free to leave it in the comment section, we will try to answer as fast as we can. Also, if you have a bug to report, remember to do it in the Bugs & Tech Support section in our forums (and remember to read the stickied posts before posting).

See you later!
Archaic Entertainment Team

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Status report - November 2016

November 16, 2016, 12:55:47 PM by Enrique 'Blackbishop' E.

Hello comrades!

After several months of discussion and work in new tweaks for the mod, we have a more or less stable build to share with you! Of course, there are still parts that need more fine tunning and it might change a bit for the Steam release, but the base shall remain like we present it in the next paragraphs. We still plan to release Eastern Front before 2017, that hasn't changed, so the next weeks will be very important for us.

First of all, we think is necessary to explain further about our past stance about not having enough material to share in the form of an announcement, and that's because we were in the middle of a huge discussion about the feedback we got from our factions, what makes Soviets good to play, which problems they have due to how we assemble their tech tree, are the command trees fun and balanced? And we question the same thing about Ostheer. Our development cycle is quite long unlike other mods because we are always trying to improve a lot of the game mechanics which makes us appear like we take an eternity to release new stuff.

Also, right now Burton, from the ZombieMod project for Company of Heroes is lending us a hand with the animations of some of the models we need for the Steam version. You will see more of that in the future.

Now about the changes done to EF factions, due to time constraints we have limited information to present right now, but we have scheduled to share at least five updates very shortly:
  • Soviet Tech Tree
  • Soviet Command Trees
  • Ostheer Tech Tree
  • Ostheer Command Trees
  • TBD

So, this announcement will cover the normal tech tree used by Soviets, other announcement will cover it's command trees, but they won't necessarily come in that order, in example: if we find better to post the Ostheer Tech Tree before the Soviet Command Tree then it will be done.

We have prepared some simple illustrations to depict how the tech tree looks at the moment and what skills have each unit as well.

Headquarters - T0
The HQ can produce two units: Ingenery squads and the ZiS-44 medic truck. Both haven't changed too much and keep their same abilities and upgrades.

(Click here to see full size)

Red Army Mustering Tent - T1
This building is the first one you can build and allows Conscripts to be recruited, however, they are called as reinforcements from the off-map area; Strelky, Command Squad, Observer Team, Sniper and Heavy MG Team units are recruited and come from the building as usual.

Conscripts and Strelky share the same defensive structures to build and also both have molotov cocktails as primary anti-personal device, while Conscripts have a rifle grenade to act as softcounter against armoured units and Strelky can purchase PTRS anti-tank rifles against enemy armoured support. When Strelky are upgraded to their Red Banner version, the leader gets promoted into an officer as well.

The Command Squad remains as a four men squad, however, it only has one active ability that is called "Strafniki Demotion", which targets Strelky and Conscripts squads: once you select one it will be converted into a Shtrafniki Squad (aka Penal Squad), with better stats and weapons but will no longer earn veterancy.

The Observer team is shifted more into a infantry - jeep type unit: it gets additional sight range in cover, has reduced chance to be hit by snipers and deals bonus damage against htem. The flare detects cloaked units and gives nearby enemy units a +25% received accuracy debuff. The Sniper... well it snipes units ;). The Heavy MG Team remains as usual, with some stats tweaked.

(Click here to see full size)

Soviet Support Barracks - T2
It allows to recruit the 82mm Mortar, but Heavy mortar squads can still be recruited later too and the ZiS-3 gun is also there with only stat changes; however, there are two new additions: the BA-64 and the T-70 light tank, the latter being unlocked after purchasing an upgrade from this very building.

Our BA-64 will act like a true armoured car and not like a Jeep, so don't expect some rifles will kill it too easy ;).

(Click here to see full size)

Russian Tank Hall - T3
We still need to create a new building for this one, hopefully we will replace it very soon. Now for the vehicles it allows to create: T-60, T-34/76 (later T-34/85), SU-85 (later SU-100), SU-76 and IS-2.

The T-60 no longer requires any upgrade, thus is available by default.

SU-76 requires Light Tankovy research to be unlocked.

SU-85 requires Heavy Tankovy research to be unlocked.

T-34/76 requires either Light Tankovy or Heavy Tankovy research to be unlocked.

IS-2 requires a new upgrade named Breakthrough Tankovy to be unlocked, but it requires Light and Heavy Tankovy to be researched.

(Click here to see full size)

Armoury - Auxiliar Tier
At the moment it contains seven upgrades:
  • Men Against Tannks: Improve Strelky and Conscripts against armoured units.
  • Red Banner Strelky: Improves the combat strenght for the Strelky squads.
  • Additional Reserves: Lowers upkeep for Soviet units and also lowers the research time for weapon upgrades.
  • Ballistic Veterans: Replaces the production of 82mm mortar with the 107mm one.
  • Improved ammunition: SU-76, ZiS-2 and ZiS-3 receive better anti-tank shells.
  • 85mm Gun Upgrade: Replaces the production of T-34/76 units for T-34/85. T-34/76 units in the field must be upgraded individually.
  • 100mm Gun Upgrade: Replaces the production of SU-85 units for SU-100. SU-85 units in the field must be upgraded individually.
  • We are still planning about what to do with the eight upgrade.

(Click here to see full size)

This might change slightly later, but there shouldn't be any huge or dramatic departures from this layout, we will be working in the next announcement to release it soon as well, so for now I hope you have enjoyed the update, and if you have a comment about it don't hesitate to share it in the comment section.

See you later!
Archaic Entertainment Team

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Status update - June 2016

June 22, 2016, 08:20:31 AM by Enrique 'Blackbishop' E.

Good day comrades,

Today we bring you a new update about the status of the Eastern Front mod in Steam. It was a while since the last update, and while we have been busy with our own commitments outside this mod, but we are not dead and we will never be unless you read an announcement from us and you can be sure, if that moment comes you will read about it here firsthand!

Now about the content of the update, it'll be divided in sections to make it easier to read, so let's start:

1. Why the delay on the Steam version?
Besides our other commitments and obligations, we had a problem with our repository and we needed to set up another one, to those unware of that word, it means the place where we used to store the version in development from the mod was nuked so we lost the tool to centralize the changes and to avoid everyone having different changes due to the difficult of merging hundred of files, we stopped development until the server issue was resolved. Of course, since we were already busy to begin with, we delayed some time to set up a new one.

2.- When the Steam version will be released?
We had planned to release it near the current date, however, due to the situation mentioned above, the date is uncertain... however, you can be sure it will be released this year.

3. What about the models needed to replace?
We aren't finished on that, but we are closing the gap.

4. What has been changed on Eastern Front in all these months then?
So far, we have been working tunning the Soviet and Ostheer factions; we haven't made a total rework, so don't worry about having to re-learn how to use both factions. So about the changes:

The changes of the Soviets are subtle compared with the Ostheer ones, because the faction has been worked since long time ago compared to the latter. Soviets don't have new units so far, but they have received a lot of balance changes because of the feedback received in the beta.

We'll work on an updated teching system based on the feedback given from the beta players. Furthermore, the incorporation of Strafniki squads will be different from now - instead of being assault rifle infantry with ppd34 they'll receive SVT rifles.
There will be further tweaks of how the units are accessible in the future aswell as some unit availability switches.

Once the setup is clear we'll give further informations. Right now there's nothing specific.

Due to the feedback received so far, we are changing the Pool mechanic to make it better and also we are restructuring the tech path of the faction. Ostheer still has four advanced structures, however, only three of them produce units the fourth being a support-type building:
  • Infantry Gefechts Kommand
  • Schutzen War Camp
  • Panzer Kampf Kommand
  • Luftwaffe Divisions Quarter

We have removed the Infantry Gruppen post, but some of their units were put back in the remaining buildings. We are also considering how to improve the current gameplay with Ostheer, due to their use of pool based assets according to the feedback received from the beta players.

The new building, the Luftwaffe Divisions Quarter, has six plane-based abilities to support the Ostheer commander being half of them reserved to support pool and the other half for assault pool. Some of these abilities are from the Support Army Troops tree, which means we would have to replace them.

The plan we have right now(remember it is not final), is to add one of the reward command trees to replace the Support Army Troops one, and we are discussing about which will be.

There are some new variants of the halftrack planned to be used for Ostheer:
  • The Sdkfz. 251/20 (known as uhu or eagle owl), which was already announced a while ago.
  • The Sdkfz. 251/2 which carries a 81mm mortar.
  • The Sdkfz. 251/22 (nicknamed Pakwagen) which is equipped with a 75mm Pak 40 and a rear machine gunner.
  • The Sdkfz. 251/9 (nicknamed Stummel) which is equipped with a 75mm L/24 low velocity gun and a rear machine gunner.

The first three are going to be upgrades from the regular halftrack and we are planning to use the last one as call-in, although it is still WIP.

Furthermore, the pools no longer unlock units and the amount of total units has been reduced to streamline the faction and distinguish each unit from each other. Infantry units receive tweaks to their gear to fit them into their roles better aswell as making them more versatile in the course of the match.

The upgrades are connected to Assault and Support pools. For example, Landsers when played in assault pool can upgrade MP40, while in Support Pool they get access to light MG34. Similar adjustments are made for all infantry units available to the Ostheer.

Another unit type that is heavily affected by the pools are now vehicles. The gunner/driver/commander vet system is tweaked, it no longer grants skirts or mg gunners to vehicles.
Instead, each tank (StuG III, Panzer III, Panzer IV) receives the option to either upgrade Armour Skirts (Assault Pool) or Periscopes (with Support Pool) which give larger vision and weapon range to the vehicle. MG34 turret gunners are always available to the Ostheer commander.

Regarding the AI of the mod, Robotnik made tweaks so they tech faster the higher the difficulty. They also make better unit and upgrade purchasing decisions the higher the difficulty.

This would be all for this announcement, but if you have a doubt we can try to answer it in the comment section. As soon as we have all the details ready for both factions, we will let you know about it!

See you next time!
Archaic Entertainment Team

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Third reward command tree: Hungarian Support

July 18, 2015, 12:10:30 PM by Enrique 'Blackbishop' E.

Hello comrades,

This weekend we have to show the reward tree that was supposed to come last week; this time is for the Ostheer faction and replaces the Army Elite Troops tree. The internal name we have for the tree is "Defenders of Budapest". Enjoy it!

LHS - Germany's Endgame

2CP - Burn them out!
Grant multiple Ostheer units access to incendiary ammunition. Panzerwerfer gains incendiary ammo, Sturmpios can throw brandflasche(molotov), LeIG 18s and mortars can fire incendiary rounds and the mortar as well.

2CP - Battle Hardened Crews
Allows your vehicles to gain veterancy at a faster rate.

5CP - Schwerer Panzergruppe detachment (1100 MP)
Call in a King Tiger accompanied by 2 ace veterancyt Surmpioniere squads able to repair under fire more efficiently.

LHS - Hungary's Finest

1CP - Fortify yourselves! (75 MU)
The moment you activate this ability, all units in cover or inside buildings won’t be able to move (or move at a slower pace), but won’t die to artillery or explosives, and take reduced damage from small arms fire. This ability is short, but should be able to protect you for a little while from your own artillery or enemy grenades and the like. Duration is around 8 to 12 seconds.

3CP - Hungarian Battlegroup (900 MP)
Request a Zrinyi II SPG and a Border Guard squad. The Zrinyi II has a 105 mm howitzer, and it is designed to fit the role of infantry support vehicle. The Border Guards are a 5-man squad that come equipped with two panceltoro rocket launchers and three M43 Danuvia smgs.

3CP - Siege Artillery  (175 MU)
Allows the commander to fire a barrage of incendiary shells over a designated area. The projectiles will burn the area for some time, denying the area for infantry forces in the process.

The initial concept for this tree has being finished some hours ago, thus we still need to prepare the units(code for abilities and units, textures), so we don't have too many screenshots to add. Also, the names of the abilities might change later. For now is all we have to show, if you have any comment or tip please let us know by writting a comment here.

See you next week!
Archaic Entertainment Team

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Fourth reward command tree: Urban Combat Doctrine

July 11, 2015, 09:40:54 AM by Enrique 'Blackbishop' E.

Hello comrades,

This weekend we have to show another reward tree, but this time is for the Wehrmacht faction and replaces the Blitzkrieg Doctrine tree.

We've planned to show the second reward tree for Ostheer, however, we couldn't have it ready for today and instead we present you this one. Enjoy it!

LHS - Urban Operations

1CP - Forward Command
Forward Headquarters are cheaper to create from neutral buildings when this upgrade is unlocked from the tree. A Wehrmacht player will surely use this feature wisely.

4CP - Sturmgrenadier Battlegroup (800 MP)
Mobilize reinforcements for the combat, the commander will receive a squad of Sturmgrenadiers(close combat elite infantry) and a Panzer IV/70 "Alket" (aka Jagdpanzer IV L/70(A)). They will enter the battlefield riding in the self-propelled unit. This Jagdpanzer comes with four different random textures. Model courtesy of DMz and Beefy.

1CP - Fanaticism (75 MU)
This targeted ability will make the infantry squads more resilant to enemy damage. The infantry units in a radius of 20m will get a 50% reduction for received damage, received accuracy and received suppression.

LHS - Urban Tactics

1CP - Blinding Devices
Volksgrenadiers, Grenadiers, Knight Cross Holders and Sturmgrenadiers receive the ability to throw Blendkorper 2H smoke grenades. These grenades stun the enemy armour for a small amount of time and then lower its accuracy for a few seconds.

2CP - Additional Support Assets
Unlocks the Flare ability(50 MU), which let you peek at non-allied territory for a short period of time and Pioneers can lay incendiary traps in buildings. The flare ability will help to target areas unreachable due to fog of war and if you combine it with your artillery units, they'll have better precision due to the lack of fog.

5CP - Sturmtiger  (850 MP)
Request the support of the unique Sturmpanzer VI, which fires 380mm rockets and it is based on the Tiger tank chassis. This unit needs to be locked down to fire, and due to the massive type of ammunition it uses, the vehicles needs two minutes to cooldown and prepare the next rocket to be launched. Due to how rare these units and it's ammunition are, only one can be used in the field at a given time and it cannot fire in the fog of war, so the flare ability might come handy. Model courtesy of Halftrack and Tankdestroyer.

We are still testing the tree, so there is a chance of stuff being moved or replaced. For now is all we have to show, if you have any comment or tip please let us know by writting a comment here.

See you next week!
Archaic Entertainment Team

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