Article Edit | History | Editors

Der Weltkrieg FAQ RSS Feed

FAQ for Der Weltkrieg Series

Der Weltkrieg is a World War I wargame series by David Schroeder, originally started in 1997. It now consists of several independent games with newest editions from 2012:

which all share a common 24-page core rulebook, currently in its "Sterling Edition", and each scenario includes special additional rules. There is also The Grand Campaign to link them all together to simulate WWI on a massive scale.

It is often suggested that a good entry point is The Eastern Front, since it includes 6 different scenarios, and several like Tannenberg have relatively few units and can be played in only a few hours.

This document is partly FAQ and partly reminder about various rule exceptions with links to the relevant exception rules.

List of game FAQs

6-2 Column movement: Austro-Hungarian exception

See rule 40-2: Austrian-Hungarians cannot column move closer to enemies.

6-9 Moving from ZOC to ZOC

The last clause (about not expending "four or more movement points to cross the terrain in the hexside/hex") means only the terrain costs, just as it says. I.e. the ZOC cost is irrelevant.

7-6 Rail movement into enemy ZOC

German-specific rule 37.3 evidently exceptionally permits Germans to use rail movement into a Russian ZOC (but not any other enemy ZOC).

7-9 Rail Capacity: "double" track has unlimited capacity

"Single" track can only move 1 division per movement phase, but "double" track is unlimited.

7-9 Rail Capacity: German exception

See rule 37-5: Germans can move 2 divisions along a single track rail.

9-7 Restoring rail in trench/devastation

The wording in the 2 sentences seem contradictory. Apparently the intent is that if an engineer starts turn 1 in the hex and does not move, then at the end of turn 2 (not the end of turn 1), the rail is restored.

10 Zones of Control do not extend across hexsides a unit cannot move across

A unit's zone of control does not extend across hexsides the unit cannot move across. This includes sea, lake, and sometimes alpine hexsides.
Confirmed by Dave Schroeder:

11-1 Stacking: US exception

See rule 49-1: US infantry & marine units are double-sized.

14-3 Combat losses reduced by retreat: Austro-Hungarian & Italian exceptions.

See rules 40-6 & 42-3: Austro-Hungarians and Italians don't get their combat losses reduced by 1/3 when retreating.

14-4 Forced retreat: don't count artillery

See rule 29-14: Retreat is forced if must eliminate at least half the Strength Point total not including artillery or units which retreated into the hex in this phase.

14-4 Forced retreat: at least one third for several nations

See rules 40-4 (Russia in 1914-1918), 41-2 (Austria-Hungary in 1914-1918), 42-2 (Italy in 1914-1917), 47-2 (Romania).

14-9 Retreating column attack being supplied

"The retreating Column Attack may only be supplied if all the attacking units were supplied in the combat that resulted in the case 7 retreat." Case 7 means that every adjacent hex has an enemy unit or has an enemy ZOC with no friendly unit (so no supply line to another hex is possible), but it is still possible that the retreating units are supplied: they might be stacked with a friendly HQ, or they might be certain cavalry units which are always supplied (30-1).

14-15 Retreating units "may" retreat again

The "may" in "They may retreat again" does not imply choice, but the possibility that it might happen. I.e. if a retreated unit retreats into a friendly occupied hex which is then attacked and forced to retreat, then all the units (including the already retreated unit) must retreat.

19-1 Serbia & Ottoman automatically supplied for Counterattack

See rules 43-1 (Serbia) & 46-1 (Ottoman).

19-2 You can partially supply a unit

The rules are not very clear about this, but unit supply is not all or nothing. You can e.g. spend one supply point to partially supply a 6-strength unit, so it will have 4 supplied (full) strength and 2 unsupplied (half) strength, giving a total of 5.

19-11 Sum unsupplied unit strengths, then halve and round down

Apparently you sum all unsupplied units and then halve the sum and round down. (As opposed to halving and rounding the units individually and then summing those halved-and-rounded values.)

19-14 Artillery adjacent to HQ always supplied

Apparently this rule doesn't hold across an impassible hexside.

20-2 Round to nearest whole number: round .5 down

.5 is equally close to 0 and 1. Apparently the intent is to round it down (helping the defender, not the attacker).

20-5 Combat losses must be taken by the surrounded units... first

If all surrounded units are eliminated and there are still strength losses to take, then surely the remaining losses are then applied to the remaining non-surrouded units.

20-13 Units destroyed in pocket, except Germans

See rule 37-7 (German exception).

21 Fortresses: Russian fortresses are worse

See rule 41-4 for various exceptions about Russian fortresses.

22-9 vaguely defined "front line"

Unfortunately there exists no clearer formalization of this nebulous "follow the spirit" paragraph.

22-19 Bulgarian Solid Defense

The Bulgarian army is represented by brigades (with a "full-strength brigade" symbol accordingly), so how many bulgarian strength points per hexside are required to fullfill the solid defense critera?

Arguments have been made for:

  • 5 (the other option instead of division size)
  • 2 (brigade size, since they have no divisions)
  • 4 (assume two brigades make a division equivalent)
  • 3 (like their Serbian and Greek Neighbors)
  • Bulgarians can't make solid defense


26-3 City and urban hexside demoralization doubled for Germany

See rule 37-6.

27-3 Recombining divisions & divisional components

Robert Lloyd explains in that the intention is flexibility rather than having to literally make exchanges from a limited countermix:

I have had some exchanges with David Schroeder recently which suggest one should not be concerned with counter mix limits. In his conception the unit is just a repository of Strength Points with which you can be quite flexible. The counter mix if you have all the modules is quite generous and has some redundancy in it.

I would add a caution in relation to this. The principle of flexibility is not completely unlimited and there are certain rules that constrain it. Most possibly all of these are in the campaign game. These are designed to ensure you do not subvert the production system by using replacements to build new strength (as opposed to replace it). These include the rules which say you cannot build a unit past its initial strength.

To answer your question if you combine damaged divisions into one full strength Division, then that is OK so long as the Division you build up was already existing either on the map or in the dead pile. The Divisions which you then reduce to zero strength go into the dead pile and could be brought back with replacements. There is no need to go through the brigade level in any of this nor need you worry about whether you have enough brigade counters.

Think of dead pile units as existing units with zero strength.

The Vassal module is great here because it effectively is an unlimited potential force pool with all allowed variations. However, you must still not breach the prohibition of creating new strength from nothing. An example of that would be if you converted an 8 strength division into two 4 strength divisions where the extra division was not in the dead pool or already on the map and part of a recombination.

29-13 Attack vs unprotected artillery eliminates it

If artillery is not stacked with non-artillery combat units, then merely attacking it suffices to eliminate it. "You have to attack the artillery unit. You can do it as a column attack. You can do the attack unsupplied. The artillery unit is eliminated, and any who attacked can advance into the hex after combat."
(Unlike Engineers, which can be eliminated simply by moving onto them (9-9), you must attack artillery to eliminate it.)

30-4 Cavalry winter rules are in addition to 20 Surrounded Units and Surrender

Robert Lloyd explains in that cavalry is subject to rule 20. 30-4 is an additional logistical requirement for cavalry in winter.

Rule 30-4 does not have any implications for surround and surrender (Rule 20) applying to cavalry. The rules both apply.

The rules would benefit from a statement about supply in general because there are several strands to the rules about logistics and their relationship with each other is not obvious to beginners.

Rule 19 Supply would be better called Combat Supply because it relates purely to the use of supply points to enhance combat performance. There are (combat) supply lines from units to HQs. In this context cavalry need no (combat) supply to operate at full strength.

Rule 20 Surrounded Units and Surrender relates more to survival. It depends on lines of communication back to friendly country food and cities. It effects all kinds of units including cavalry (with fortresses being privileged to a degree).

Rule 30-4 might be called Cavalry Winter Attrition and is an example of a specific rule which adds an additional logistical requirement. The terminology of line of supply overlaps with that in Rule 19, but in detail it is different, and the consequences of not having this type of supply line is particular to this rule. This rule arguably has more in common with campaign game sustainment (see below) but even that is distinct.

32 Mountain units: various nationalities

Various nationalities have units automatically considered Mountain units. See rules 41-5 (Russia), 43-5 (Serbia), 45-2 (Bulgaria), 46-3 (Ottoman), 48-2 (Greek).

(Which raises the question: why aren't their counters simply marked with the mountain infantry symbol?)

34 Winter: cavalry effects

See rule 30-4 for additional winter-related rules (about cavalry needing supply lines from November through June).

37.3 German detraining in Russian ZOC

37.3 evidently permits Germans to use rail movement into a Russian ZOC (as an exception to 7-6).

[What Links Here]