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Headscratchers: World in Conflict
  • Why is the number "6" so prevalent in the callsigns thoughout the game? Bannon is Charlie 6, Webb is Alpha 6, Wilkins is Yankee 6, Sabatier is Foxtrot 6, Johannessen is Delta 6...
    • Maybe Massive likes the number 6 the same way Bungie likes the number 7? In any case, Soviet Assault breaks the trend; Orlovsky's callsign is Sokol-1.
      • I think Malashenko's call sign is something with 6, too...
    • It's actually because "6" is the callsign for a headquarters unit - i.e. in a company with the designation "Alpha", first platoon through fourth platoon would be Alpha 1-4, the company executive officer would be Alpha 5, and the company commander would be Alpha 6.
      • Aaah, thanks, that clarified a lot of things. ^^

  • Granted, the plot of the game is grossly unrealistic, but there are still some strange inconsistencies and plot holes that could have been explained better:
    • Sawyer is a full colonel. Why does he merely command a battalion, instead of a regiment?
      • It could be that the US Army simply doesn't have the manpower available to give Sawyer a full regiment.
      • The US Army doesn't use regiments in their tactical organization unless they're armored cavalry units, but yes, if the situation was ideal he would be commanding a brigade.
    • Why is it that his battalion in particular gets shunted around everywhere? Sawyer was recalled due to the Pentagon having lost too many experienced officers already, Parker was apparently a recently commissioned West Point graduate and Bannon probably not among the first choices for frontline duty. All this indicates that it was a recently activated reserve unit that would probably have been posted to calmer sections of the frontline. Same goes for the Soviet unit in SA.
      • Again, there was probably little choice. As both games have shown, both the US and Russia aren't faring very well in the war.
      • Presumably the battalion isn't an active-duty unit. It's possible that they just wanted Sawyer, and the batt came with. In the invasion in the States, on the other hand, Bannon had been reassigned, Parker was on leave, and Sawyer...well, his presence is a bit odd, but I guess he just took command of any survivors? It's not a complete battalion that flees Seattle, it's a hodgepodge of National Guard, Army, and Army Reservists that Sawyer somehow managed to get working as a cohesive unit. There aren't a whole lot of other units joining up with the group throughout the game.
    • When Lebedjev interviews Malashenko he states the latter's rank, name and serial number. Why not the name of the unit as well?
      • Massive probably didn't want to face accusations of poor research given the lack of reliable sources on complete 1989 Soviet orders of battle in English.
    • In a cutscene, general Morgan states that their alternatives to counter the Chinese invasion fleet is to either take two divisions from Europe and lose the war (but wouldn't that take too long in any case?) or drop a bomb on the city. The president orders the "couple of battered batallions", presumably Sawyer's and Wilkinson's to attack Seattle with the bomb as a back-up plan. This present several problems:
      • Why two whole divisions? Why not one regiment from one division, it would certainly help and probably not compromise the front. Or take units from the less crucial fronts in Iran and Korea.
      • This is the 1980s US Army that we see in the game. I don't know the exact details but the Army during that time subscribed to divisions as the basic building blocks with only select units (like the forward brigades assigned to NORTHAG and CENTAG) having the flexibility to operate as separate units.
      • Surely there must be more National Guard and training units located in the continental United States that can be moved to the front. If two batallions are all they have available then the war is already lost.
      • Washington state borders on Canada, a NATO member. Why not ask them to contribute something? Even a throwaway remark about them being fully comitted in Europe and having nothing to offer locally would have been sufficient.
      • Some handwaves for this one, admittedly weak but better than nothing: presumably, the National Guard doesn't have the capability to reach Seattle before the Chinese land and dig in. An early cutscene shows fighting going on all over the place as the Soviets extend their foothold; I took the radically different environments (suburbia, a mall, outside of a Burger King at night, etc) as an indication that these were different places on the map, fights going on while we follow Sawyer's battalion from the beginning up to Cascade Falls, at least. The US forces in the country already haven't been able to fully stop the Soviets (and, in fact, the National Guard with guerillas bolstering their ranks fail during the expansion's missions,) Sawyer is simply the closest thing to Seattle that can make an attempt on the city before the Chinese arrive. As far as the bomb goes, the thought process here seems to be that the Soviets are defeatable; the Soviets and the Chinese combined are absolutely undefeatable without pulling the military back from Europe for a prolonged, brutal, costly war on the homefront far worse than simply losing one city to a nuke. The President et al is completely, completely unwilling to give the Soviets ground on either side of the world. Seattle is obvious; if the Chinese land and aren't bombed off, America ceases to exist. Europe may not necessarily be war-mongering so much as fear for the thought of what happens next should the Soviets conquer their entire side of the world, letting them have it by retreating to the homefront would only delay America's defeat until they could build up for another invasion.
      • Except for the fact that, according to in-game cutscenes, the battle of Cascade Falls takes place eight weeks after the invasion, and the counteroffensive starts another month after that. This should have been sufficient time to move additional units into the area, even if only smaller ones.
      • Another explanation is that the US leadership probably feared that there would be additional landings which was why they didn't immediately mobilize surrounding units. The exact same thing happened in landings on Normandy in World War II. Vital reinforcements in inland France and the surrounding coastlines did not reinforce the beaches because they thought Normandy was a feint. The US Army was most likely scared shitless that there would be follow up landings anywhere on the West Coast from Alaska to California.
    • If the Pacific Fleet is so battered that it cannot counter the Soviet and Chinese invasion fleets, there is no way they can keep shipping routes in the Pacific open, meaning that the entire Pacific front is almost certainly doomed.
    • And, of course, the Soviets have to contend with partisans that are remarkably organised given how short a time they have been active and that are never mentioned at all when you play from the US perspective.
      • The obvious answer here is that Massive simply hadn't thought of this plot point until work on Soviet Assault started. A plot-relevant possibility; if word of these events ever even got to Sawyer and his men, it wasn't important enough to circulate. They had their own problems to deal with away from where that was primarily going on, and their initial retreat was through completely abandoned population centers right on the main Soviet path.

  • The "prevent the Soviets from realising SDI does not work" bit: The Soviets should already know that the US has not managed to deploy any sort of missile defense, given that satelite launches and the deployment of radars and ABM sites would be impossible to hide from them. And in any case, why not simply remove what you can from Fort Teller and demolish the rest, leaving the USSR none the wiser if they manage to capture it?
    • About the latter, maybe they didn't have time or personnel...
    • Also, it could be that the Russians didn't know exactly how the SDI system worked, so they just wanted to neutralize it to be on the safe side.
    • Fort Teller was worked up as the command center of SDI. If the Soviets roll up to find the place a crater, as far as they know they've taken out the American ABM system, and have them on the run. The whole thing was a massive bluff, the least horrible option.

  • Given that helicopters never land, why did they model the Mi-24 with the landing gear extended?

  • Given that they had already used nukes once to stop the Soviets from reaching Fort Teller, why didn't the US use nuclear weapons to destroy the Chinese fleet at sea?
    • That would be likely to provoke a nuclear response from the Soviets. Indeed, if you fail the final mission you will get a message like this: "Seeing that the US was resolute enough to destroy one of their own cities in order to stop their advance, the Soviets felt they had no other option than to go for all-out nuclear war. And, as they say, the rest is history.".
      • Also wasn't it a tactical nuke they dropped on Fort Teller and an actual full-sized nuke for Seattle? That would make a difference.
      • Then again, even in the 1980s B-52s could be loaded up with 12 Harpoon anti-ship missiles at a time. Seems a better use of available air power, all things considered, to use it to sink the Chinese fleet rather than carpetbombing downtown Seattle.
      • Don't know how SAC operated in the 1980s, but perhaps the need to place all of the B-52 fleet on nuclear alert in case of escalation has precluded the US military from disrupting the PLAN fleet.
      • Most if not all of the B-52s in the American Air Force would have been tasked with nuclear alert missions. It's actually surprising that any would have been available for air support in the campaign at all.

  • Too much nitpicking here but what the hell is the logic with the Chinese allying themselves to the Soviets? After the 1960s, the Chinese and the Soviets hated each other. Thats why Nixon was able to woo the Chinese on the US side against the Soviets. So what? The Soviets cross the border into Europe and no-one in the CIA thinks about using their Chinese connections to cause some trouble in Russia's backyard? This is probably the least important issue in a speculative story like Wi C but come on, doing some research for that ain't hard. Even Red Dawn was able to note the Sino-Soviet split.
    • Addressing first, US-Soviet relations were not nearly good enough to warrant a Sino-Soviet war on that basis alone. That's even before considering Sino-Soviet detente in the 1980s. The writers didn't want to bother explaining what China was doing, so they just assumed they'd make a unified communist front or some other equally dramatic enemy. It's like Red Dawn being insane enough to suggest Cubans would invade Colorado along with the USSR.
    • Considering the fact this is an "alternate history" we can assume the Sino-Soviet split never happened and they never hated each other. We can also consider the minute China enters the war Iran, South Korea, and Taiwan are all instantly attacked by Chinese forces so the Chinese may believe the Soviet's actually have a chance at winning and are using the American distraction to consolidate their own gains and settle scores.
    • This troper has access to the strategy guide, which includes little historical sidepanels throughout the campaign section about Cold War history and equipment. When it covers China's role in the Cold War, it mentions something about the PRC considering a Sino-Soviet reapproachment following Tianneman Square (I doubt that, but okay). This can easily be fit in: in the Wi Cverse after the protest was dispersed, the Western response was much harsher than OTL because the prospect of imminent war with the Soviet Union caused paranoia about the intentions of even the non-aligned Communist nations. This turned into a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, because such a response (possibly economic sanctions rather than the condemnations of OTL) drove the Chinese back into the arms of the USSR.
      • Okay so let' throw in North Korea and China. That still doesn't consider Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. Honestly, even to this day most military analysts say that if China were attempt an invasion of Taiwan, it still wouldn't be a slamdunk victory due to China's lack of ability to project troops over the Taiwan Strait. So how would they attack CLEAR ACROSS the Pacific in 1989?
      • I would guess simple surprise, maybe several devastating attacks against the Western Allied fleets in the Pacific and/or strong support from Isolationists ala WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. If they are really quick about it and aren't shy about cannibalizing ships, they might be able to make it work.
      • Or they simply just bypassed the fortified Western strongholds and headed straight for Seattle, which at the time was in Soviet hands. It's basic military strategy to pass over heavily fortified targets for more vulnerable ones.
    • Best argument I can make: the same logic that motivated the alliance between the Third Reich and the USSR in 1939 and between Imperial Germany and the Ottoman Empire in 1914: individually, they can be readily defeated. Together, they stand a chance of destroying the West's power, after which they can parcel the world out between them and then fight over the spoils.

  • In the very first mission (Soviet invasion of Seattle), where exactly did the Russians get the air support from? Right near the beginning American choppers and tanks assault the docks where the cargo ships are offloading tanks but the entire American force is destroyed by a bunch of MI Gs with cluster bombs and air-to-air missiles. Now where exactly did these MI Gs come from? Since they're fighters they have to be based nearby but this is the very first day of the invasion so there's nowhere they could possibly take-off from and it can't be from a Soviet carrier group as the whole cargo ship plan hinged on the fact it was civilian ships, not military, that approached Seattle.
    • There is a small possibility of them taking off from bases on the Soviet pacific coast and getting refuelled in-flight. The real answer is Rule of Cool and Easy Logistics.
    • You know, the whole point about aircraft carriers is that they can strike targets from mind boggling distances. They could easily just hang around in international waters, especially if the Pacific fleet has its hands full (and it's implied that they were).
    • The problem with that however is that the Soviets were never as big on naval aviation as the Americans were and are. The Soviet Union only had a few small carriers loaded with rather useless Yak 38 fighters and a few helicopter carriers. None of the aircraft seen carrying out Tactical Aid on the Soviet side are, or were at any point, carrier based.
      • "Rather useless" doesn't begin to cover the Yak 38. There was apparently a joke in the Russian Navy that the biggest threat to the Soviet Navy was Soviet Naval Aviation. So here's a WMG. Soviet commandos took over an abandoned civilian airport (they do exist) or an isolated airstrip before the invasion. Soviet fighters, tankers, and transports with weaponry and parts are ferried in under the radar, allowing for tactical air support of the initial invasion.
    • Maybe with the USSR preparing for war and all that, the Admiral Kuznetsov skipped commissioning and was placed right into service. World in Conflict's USSR is one that managed to get itself a sizeable number of Mi-28s, which in reality weren't introduced until the mid 1990s.
    • It's a Sovietwank. In other words, everything good that could happen happened up until the big invasion, in which the OTL Ameriwank started taking over.

  • Why is Malasheko, a VDV paratroop officer commanding a company of motor rifle troops from day one?
    • Most likely artistic license. One possible justification is that he originally started his military career as a common paratrooper, then later entered officer training for the mechanised forces and kept the beret as an affectation. No idea if this was possible in Real Life, though.
      • Don't know about the Soviet Union, but in contemporary Russia uniform regulations are extremely rarely enforced. As long as what you're wearing vaguely resembles the uniform you were issued, no-one really cares. Also, remember that Malashenko's regimental commander is his uncle, who is probably willing to indulge his nephew in small ways like that.
      • This was pretty strictly enforced in the Soviet armed forces, even with the lack of inter-service rivalries common in the west due to academic structure. It's typical Yankee commified enemies, Malashenko needs to be a serious guy, so he gets a beret.

  • Why was a sequel never made? THAT'S THE REAL HEADSCRATCHER!
    • That's actually rather obvious. Shortly after WiC was released, the dev studio, Massive Entertainment, was sold off by Vivendi to Ubisoft, and Ubisoft had no use for a studio that made awesome multiplayer real-time tactics games, so they instead had them develop online shooters. Knowing Massive, their shooters are likely to be awesome, as well, but whether that can make you forgive the murder of the WiC series in its crib is a matter of opinion.

The World Ends with YouHeadscratchers/GamesOld World of Darkness

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