Matrix Day 2020 - Gary Grigsby’s War in the East 2

By Joe Robinson 03 Dec 2020 0

As you may have spotted last week, today Matrix Games held a ‘future games showcase’ - also known as ‘Matrix Day 2020’ - to show off four upcoming games from their 2021 line-up. If you’ve been paying attention to their social media channels these past few days, you’ll know what they are by now and know that one of them is a Gary Grigsby’s War in the East 2.

Because there’s so much to talk about and so much information to go through, we’ve broken up our coverage of this event into individual articles covering each of the new games.

Ten years in the making, the sequel to one of the definitive eastern front WW2 wargames has been whispered about for a while. Finally, Matrix Game and developer 2by3 Games are ready to give us more in-depth details as to what will be coming in this new monster digital experience.

Seven operations scenarios and three full-map campaigns will cover the entire eastern front of WW2 between 1941 and 1945, From Operation Barbarossa to the fall of Berlin. This new game has been built from the ground up, with the developer claiming “no stone left unturned” in how they’ve tried to improve and enhance on the original release.

gary grigsbys war in the east 2 monster map

As with the other three titles revealed as part of Matrix Day 2020, we’ve resorted to a more simplistic copy/paste of official press material to make it easier to convey what’s new and what’s coming in WitE2. Even the official press info is a bit long and unwieldy to copy wholesale however, so we’ve had to make more edits than normal for brevity, prose and style:

Map Changes

  • Double Rail Lines. Shown by the Black/White Ribbons these rails move the same as WitW. Single rails as in WitW have reduced capacity of 40% of Double.
  • Regions. The map is now subdivided into Regions. These are only currently used for the AI and Theatre Boxes but may be used further when we look at Partisans.
  • Theatre Boxes. WitW had the EF Box as an Option. WitE2 has Theatre Boxes for all the off map European and Russian Far East Areas. You will notice that Finland is now a Theatre Box. This simplifies AI work exponentially. It is possible that in future if Leningrad falls you can pull Finnish Units from the TB on map.
  • Road Quality. The code is much the same as WitW. In WitW road quality was set as a country default. In WitE2 you can set quality by hex. Road quality impacts in poor weather and also in the rear area movement rules.
  • Various map modes, functions and overlays can now be accessed directly from the map by right clicking on the map.

Air changes

  • The major change is the addition of Air Divisions.
    • Air Divisions are Air Units that allow you to group Air Groups together for ease of control.
  • Air Directive Summary Screen (Air Planning)
  • You can access an on map overlay that will allow you to manage your air mission allocation.
  • Air Transfer Mode (F10) & Commander’s Report

Ground/Land changes

  • Turn One Special Rules:
    • First Turn penalty for the Soviet air intercepts and flak fire.
    • First Turn AF bombing bonus for the Axis.
    • Combat delay on the First German Turn attack cannot go above 1.
    • All Soviet motorized units are set to reserve mode automatically and are given 25 MPs at the start of the German turn 1 if the German player is being played by a human player.
    • Motorized Units pay 0 MPs non-motorized units pay +1 MP cost to enter an enemy zone of control in hex rows less than 173. In 173 and south, normal zoc costs should apply.
  • First Winter Rules:
    • Added in reduction to Axis rail ability in bad weather. Movement of freight in Blizzard and Heavy Snow hexes are charged additional MPs (4 for blizzard hexes, and 2 for hexes with snow > 5+(random(4)) . The impact of this is that more railyards will be required to ship freight through these hexes.
    • Added frostbite rules to damage Axis ground elements and aircraft (AFVs are more susceptible to damage). Blizzard hexes are most impacted, while hexes with snow are impacted as well with the more snow the larger the impact. The impact is greatly reduced in Heavy Urban, Urban, City and hexes with a fort level of 2 or greater.
  • Rear Area Administrative Movement
  • Ground unit costs are different for moving in hexes that are friendly controlled at the start of your turn compared to hexes you have captured in your turn.
  • Preparation Points:
    • Preparation points reflect units that are rested and fresh before entering combat. The effect is to boost the cv of the unit when it attacks (but not when it is attacked).
    • For your opponent you will not see their full attack strength, just the base defence strength.
    • Preparation points can be lost by attacking, moving & being attacked. They can be gained by not moving, and will regenerate faster with better supply.
  • Theatre Boxes:
    • These are currently being developed and reflect areas of operations that had some bearing on the main campaign but where limited military action took place (if any).

Vehicle Production

An important difference to WiTE1 is that vehicles and planes are produced as frames or chassis and then amended. So armament points are then used to add weaponry, other equipment, armour etc.

  • Production: Especially for the Soviet side, newly produced Support Units and air formations are allocated to the 'Reserve' theatre box.
  • Soviet Factories: Unlike in WitE this function can be left completely to the ‘game’.

Logistics

  • Rail Repair: Auto rail repair can only be performed by the special rail construction battalions (O.T./R.A.D./Rail).
  • Depots:
    • Capturing Depots. When an enemy depot is captured, friendly units within 1 hex of the depot may receive some freight and supplies from the captured depot.
    • Creating Depots. Depots can be created even with no active rail link to the hex (but a railyard will not be created, where none exists, until the hex is linked).
    • Auto Depot Creation. This should be used after the player has manually repaired rails during their turn. It will attempt to create up to 10 new depots per turn (at a cost of 1 AP point for every 2 created).
    • Depot Truck Limits. There is now a cap on how many trucks a depot can handle.

There’s more, and more information on the above that we had to cut just so this article didn’t run on to infinity. All of this information and more can be gleaned from the interview conducted with 2by3 Games’ Joel Billings as part of the event, which you can watch in full here:

No news on a release date yet, but Matrix seems confident about it being on the 2021 docket, so hopefully we’ll hear more next year. We’ll keep you posted.

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