CAOS is a top-down turn based simultaneous resolution simulation of combined arms land warfare between 1936 and 1945. It includes historical campaigns, battles and the CAOS Sand table which allows players to create scenarios and pit armies against each other from across the spectrum. CAOS may be played by two to four players depending on the scenario. Each hex represents approximately six kilometers and each game turn represents one 24-hour day.
Getting Started in CAOS
If you're new to CAOS, take a look at the quick guide to getting started in CAOS. It will walk you through how to create and join games in CAOS so you can get into the game quickly.
Core Game Concepts
Main Article: Impulse
Movement and combat are resolved by the game server as a series of movement and combat impulses. Units belonging to all players move simultaneously and the results of each impulse are applied immediately. Each battle fought is marked on the map and a combat report is generated. Combat reports and the replay function permits you to see the results of turn resolution impulse by impulse.
On any given impulse orders will be carried out in the order of:
Note: Air Missions ALWAYS take place before the beginning of turn resolution.
Main Article: Units
Units come in a wide variety of sizes and specializations in CAOS. From the simplest infantry to the heaviest tanks, the smallest rifle platoon and the largest mechanized brigade.
Some units - referred to as formations - contain smaller units inside of them that can be detached to use independently. Each individual unit can contain up to 3 different weapons types that vary from riflemen to King Tigers. Broadly speaking there are 3 different basic types of units in CAOS. Infantry, armor and artillery. Infantry and armor carry out most front line combat while artillery specializes in providing support from afar.
Zone of Control
Main Article: Zone of Control
Every unit or stack of combat units that have supply and at least 6 strength points extends a Zone of Control into the six surrounding hexes. Enemy units can move into but not through enemy or contested Zone of Control (ZoC) except under special circumstances.
Main Article: Stacking
Stacking points represent the amount of force that can effectively be placed in a single hex at any given time. All hexes have a stacking limit of 4 point except under special circumstances.
Main Article: Combat
Land Combat consists of a wide variety of combat orders but all land combat resolves in the following order:
- Armor Combat - Armored combat phase between the armored vehicles and anti-tank weapons of the attacker and defender.
- Close Combat - Close combat phase where strength points are lost and the outcome of the battle is decided.
- Retreat - Aftermath when a defeated defender may be forced to retreat and the attacker may advance if possible.
Main Article: Fire Missions
Artillery fills a unique support role in CAOS. All artillery has a range, from the longest range artillery pieces with a 5 hex range to the shortest range mortars with a range of 1. Though the vast majority of artillery in CAOS has a range of 2 hexes. Artillery can carry out fire missions and rain death down upon the enemy with barrage, increase the value of targeted friendly forces in close combat with fire support and neutralize enemy artillery with counter battery.
Main Article: Air Missions
Air missions in CAOS are currently divided into Aerial Bombardment, Aerial Reconnaissance, Air Support and Aerial Interdiction.
- Aerial Bombardment - Bombards enemy forces in targeted hex from the air on impulse 0.
- Air Support - Provides air support points to targeted friendly unit. Also provides air component of combined arms.
- Aerial Interdiction - Inhibits enemy movement through targeted road hex.
- Aerial Reconnaissance - Extends 2 hex line of sight around target hex.
Main Article: Terrain
Terrain in CAOS plays a significant role in game play, two different types of terrain exist. Terrain inside of hexes and terrain in between hexes. Both types of terrain can dramatically impact movement and combat. The effects of terrain can always checked by left clicking on a hex and looking at the listed effects in the bottom left side of the screen or by clicking and dragging between two hexes to check the effects of hex side terrain between the two.
Main Article: Facilities
Facilities range from man made fortifications such as minefields to civilian infrastructure such as ports and cities. Facilities are often important objectives required for victory and serve a wide variety of specialized roles.
CAOS has numerous different scenario types to choose from falling into three broad categories:
- Historical: (All scenarios where orders of battle are fixed according to historical force strengths and arrival dates.)
- Offensive: (One side attacks and one side defends.)
- Force Recon: (Fast paced scenarios. One side attacks and one defends, attacker races to sieze objective before defender reinforcements arive.)
- Mobile Warfare: (Both sides have per turn point income and battle for map control.)
Nations and Years
The time frame of CAOS stretches from 1936 to 1945, encompassing the entirety of the Second World War and the years immediately prior.
The nations of CAOS change dramatically throughout the time period, some such as France are no longer available after a particular year. No nation fights the exact same way from 1936 all the way to 1945, each year brings change and commanders must adapt their strategy and tactics accordingly.