Heroes & Generals is a game set during the ending months of World War II. The Americans are launching Operation Overlord over in the West and the Soviets are gaining ever more ground in the East, meanwhile, Germany is struggling to survive while attacked on both fronts. You play as any of the three factions, and your goal is to lead your faction to victory by having them capture a decisive part of Europe's major cities.
One thing that this game brings to the table, however, is the fact that players can partake either in the Strategy Game and send tens of thousands of troops clashing about for the control of most of Europe, or instead join the Action Game and play as one of those troops in small missions that lead to entire battles being won or lost. The outcome of a battle is decided by the work done by the heroes on the field (or the auto-resolve system if no-one takes the helm) and the location of battles and all the equipment provided to those Heroes is directed by the Generals.
All battles are divided into two categories :
- Skirmish battles are set on small maps and involve two forces fighting for three simultaneously open control points on relatively small maps (so small that planes aren't authorized to participate). Victory points are awarded by holding the majority of control points. These battles happen when a force encounters another enemy force or first reaches any defended town.
- Major battles are set on regular maps and involve two forces (or even three in some specific cases) fighting through the control of supply lines to finally progress towards central map objectives. Victory is awarded to the attackers once they capture all map objectives, and victory is awarded to the defenders if they manage to hold the town for long enough or completely rout the attackers by seizing all their supply lines.
As for the Strategy Game, players with enough experience from the Action Game are allowed to purchase and deploy Assault Teams on the Campaign Map, small squads of soldiers with assigned supplies that form the backbone of all attack teams. These Assault Teams are what Heroes will be using for their equipment and spawns. For instance, normal Infantry is on foot, Motorized Infantry has access to cars, Mechanized Infantry has access to APCs. Available Assault Teams include Infantry, Guards (smaller teams of Infantry), Recon, Light Tanks, Medium Tanks, Heavy Tanks, Tank Destroyers and Fighter Squadrons.
This game is currently in development and changes are frequent. Thus, even core game mechanics may be modified rapidly.
Heroes And Generals contains examples of:
- Alternate History: Naturally, it is perfectly possible for the Germans to drive back both the American Operation Overlord and the Soviet eastern counter-offensive and win World War II.
- Artistic License History: While both the United States and the Soviet Union are at war with Germany, it also occurs that the United States and the Soviet Union are also at war with eachother. Furthermore, only one of the three sides can win, thus America can literally win World War II.
- Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: During most major battles, only two capture points are open over contested supply lines. The furthest capture point held by the attackers, and the next capture point (usually held by the defenders unless it is the start of the battle). If the attacker capture point is neutralized by the defenders, the defender control point is locked, even if six soldiers were busy capturing it.
- Having a Tank suddenly roll up on the team can quickly lead to an entire infantry assault scattering, especially in an open field.
- Cold Sniper: The Recon class, which happens to carry around a scoped bolt-action rifle as a weapon of choice.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Unprepared foot Infantry versus Mechanized Infantry and Tanks.
- Fog of War: At the Strategy Game level, anything that your faction cannot see is completely obscured to you, making the use of the Recon Assault Team's increased reconnaissance range interesting to predict and counter enemy movement
- Frontline General: Averted. Any soldier who ranks up enough to be above a field officer will be forced to either choose giving up the fighting and moving on to becoming a full-blown General, or keep fighting while controlling a limited amount of Assault Teams and being stuck at their current rank.
- Game-Breaker: A single unit of seventy Paratroopers have landed on our main supply line while tens of thousands of troops are awaiting transit ? Let us completely stop all traffic and take days to hunt them down to the last.
- General Failure: We need to attack this city. Let me send all of our Infantry on this supply line without any support whatsoever when the enemy has Tank and Recon units. Then, let me send all our Tanks and Fighters on another supply line opposite from the Infantry in such a manner that they cannot be supported and will be routed by a simple supply line takeover. What could possibly go wrong?
- Last Stand: If your assault team is defeated, either from your respawn tickets (basically your manpower) being completely depleted or your supply line being completely closed by the enemy, you will be forced to fight knowing that dying will force you to either pick another assault team, or potentially have you leave the game altogether. This is especially prevalent if your unit was a Recon or Tank unit.
- Min-Maxing: Weapon modifications allows one to dramatically alter some of the weapons provided to soldiers. Slow-firing pistol with extreme stopping power and precision ? Check. Battle rifle that kills in a single hit to the torso ? Check. Machine Gun with a fire-rate high enough to level a forest ? Check.
- The Mountains of Illinois: Since the same maps are used for all major battles, many distinct geographical features are completely ignored in the Action Game. Fighting for Paris? Generic French town. Fighting for Edinburgh? Generic French Town. Fighting for Moscow? Generic French town.
- One-Hit Polykill: The four-seat transport cars of all three factions can carry seven passengers including the driver and the gunner. A single shell from a Tank, a Fighter bomb or a well-placed mine can destroy the transport car or its occupants in one hit.
- One-Man Army: This is why they are called Heroes after all. Eighteen soldiers on each side decide entire battles.
- Sniper Scope Sway: Being out of stamina due to sprinting or jumping recently will make your sniper rifle scope almost uncontrollable. Just standing up will make most shots hard to pull off (especially if aiming for the head).
- Sniping the Cockpit: Strangely enough, all plane cockpits are completely unarmored. A sniper bullet or machine gun fire is thus perfectly capable of killing a pilot at the right angle.
- We Have Reserves: Averted and played straight. Due to the short length of most wars and resupplies being handled by spending a special in-game money called Warfunds it is practically impossible to have a faction completely run out of supplies or even be starved out in any type of troops. However, it is perfectly possible to win an attrition victory in the Action Game by having the enemy side completely run out of troops (it is however fairly unlikely unless the Generals have badly handled assault team deployment as the time would either run out for the attackers or the loss of precious support teams would quickly lead to a steamroll).
- With Catlike Tread: Infantry troops can equip special anti-tank grenades that allow them to easily cause massive amount of damage to tanks at close range, thus making sneaking up on a tank very productive. However, using any kind of vehicle will quickly ruin this tactic given that diesel engines aren't particularly sneaky when closing in on someone.
- Likewise, all soldiers generate footsteps that are very audible. While a special Combat Badge called Nimble allows one to dampen them, regular footsteps are perfectly audible when guns aren't being shot, forcing one to crouch around to be discreet.