Even games which pride themselves on historical authenticity can get a bit weird, given the topsy-turvy and-up-down world we live in. World War 1 multiplayer FPS Tannenberg is recreating reported real-world events from the winter of 1916/17, when… Russian and German troops temporarily joined forces to fight the ravenous packs of wolves trying to eat ’em. Tannenberg today started a special event where wolves will sometimes arrive on the battlefield to cause a bit of trouble, and players can team up to fight them – or try to take advantage of the other team being gnawed on. So yes, you will use military armaments to fight wolves. Good times on the Eastern Front.
The ‘Wolf Truce’ event starts today and will run until Monday the 22nd of April. It’ll be active on all matches over the weekend, then over the next week transition to just winter maps. And yes, apparently this really did happen, as covered in some history books and a New York Times report:
“So persistent were the half-starved beasts in their attacks on small groups of soldiers that they became a serious menace even to fighting men in the trenches. Poison, rifle fire, hand grenades, and even machine guns were successively tried in attempts to eradicate the nuisances. But all to no avail. The wolves–nowhere to be found quite so large and powerful as in Russia–were desperate in their hunger and regardless of danger. Fresh packs would appear in place of those that were killed by Russian and German troops.
“As a last resort, the two adversaries, with the consent of their commanders, entered into negotiations for an armistice and joined forces to overcome the wolf plague. For a short time there was peace. And in no haphazard fashion was the task of vanquishing the mutual foe undertaken. The wolves were gradually rounded up, and eventually several hundred of them were killed. The others fled in all directions, making their escape from carnage the like of which they had never encountered.”
Alrighty then. War really is awful.
Tannenberg’s predecessor, Verdun, also celebrated strange history by calling a Christmas truce to play football.
As for how this reenactment plays out, developers Blackmill Games explain:
“In any battle over the weekend, and every battle on Winter maps while the event is live there will be a pack of wolves descending on the battlefield, forced by hunger and the chaos of the war to seek human prey. Players on both teams will have to decide amongst themselves whether or not to call a truce to deal with the new threat – but the battle clock will continue ticking, and should one team be in a weaker position they may decide to try and take advantage of the unexpected attack…”
Everyone in a match will get a special medal if they see a wolftruce to a successful conclusion by all surviving a pack attack without attacking the other team.