Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

PC : Turn based WW2 goodness in the mold of Panzer General. This promises to be a true classic!

Moderators: Slitherine Core, Panzer Corps Moderators, Panzer Corps Design

Trifler
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:57 pm

Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by Trifler » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:40 am

In an effort to combine the information scattered out there about the custom difficulty settings added with Allied Corps and the 1.20 patch of Panzer Corps/Afrika Corps, I'm writing this short guide. Unfortunately, I don't know if it's possible to make a table on this forum. If someone knows a way, please let me know and I'll update this post to use it. For now I'll do the best I can. I have also posted this on the Matrix Games forum.

To set a custom difficulty, you can either do so at the start of a new game, or you can do so between missions. This also means that you can change the difficulty over the course of the game if you wish. When you see the difficulty screen, you'll notice that there is now and Advanced tab. Clicking on it takes you to the custom difficulty options.

As of the 1.21 patch, the sliders automatically adjust to whatever difficulty was selected on the Basic tab (Sergeant, etc.) and become independent of the other tab once the Custom Difficulty checkbox has been checked. This allows the player to see what settings are used by each difficulty setting.

Currently there are no tooltips so I'll describe what each setting does. Some are straightforward and some are not, but I'll cover them all.

Custom Difficulty - You have to check this box in order for any of the sliders to override the difficulty setting selected on the Basic tab. However, the Advanced Options listed below will work either way.

Player Prestige - This slider affects how much prestige you earn. Note that if you set this to 0%, you will literally never earn a single prestige point (game breaker).

AI Prestige - This slider affects how much prestige the AI earns. As above, if you set this to 0% the AI will have no prestige to work with. I'm not sure if that would break the game, but certainly the AI would not be able to reinforce damaged units, etc.

Player Experience - This slider affects how much experience your units earn. At 0% your units will remain at 0-stars forever and you'll never be able to use overstrength.

AI Experience - This slider affects how much experience the AI's units earn.

Player Strength - This slider modifies the default strength of your units, as shown by the number over each unit on the map. Overstrength always goes up to five higher than what this is set to.

AI Strength - This slider modifies the default strength of the AI's units, as shown by the number over each unit on the map. Overstrength always goes up to five higher than what this is set to.

Number of turns - This slider modifies the number of turns you have available to complete each mission. The number in parenthesis is the actual number of turns added or subtracted.

AI Level - I wasn't able to find a detailed description of each setting, but Sergeant and Lieutenant difficulties use 0, Colonel uses 1, and the higher difficulties use 2. AI Level 2 is basically the best AI the developers have been able to create. On 0 the enemies tend to not move much in combat. They just hold their positions, for the most part. That doesn't count moving towards scripted objectives, of course. Level 1 sees enemies actively position themselves in combat to try and surround your units. AI units will move to support nearby AI units. AI air units seem much better at staying in groups. The AI's fighters will cover their bombers, whereas on level 0 they seem to each do their own thing. I haven't played on level 2 so I can't really say anything about it other than it's obviously going to be more challenging than level 1. Other players have said that level 2 AI is much more aggressive. In heavily scripted scenarios, the effect of AI Level is not as noticeable since the AI has to follow the script.

Game Rules - If you're new to the game, then this setting is probably irrelevant to you and you'll just stick with 1.20. If you've been playing since Panzer Corps came out, then you're probably used to the rules from 1.14 and earlier. The 1.20 rule set changes the following:

* Prestige soft cap
* Class-specific experience effects:
  • AT gets +2 Hard Attack per 100 xp
    Fighters get +2 Air Attack per 100 xp
    AA guns get +2 Air Attack per 100 xp
* Forcing enemy units to surrender earns you prestige
* Overstrength is progressively more expensive with every point applied
* Initiative heroes are limited to +1 bonus
* Entrenchment gives a defense bonus of 2x the entrenchment level against ranged attacks
* Close terrain now gives +4 defense bonus to ground units vs. fighter and tactical bomber attack
* Overstrength is lost after upgrade
* Replacements come suppressed
* Train transportation takes 2 turns instead of 3

The prestige soft cap means that your units earn prestige as normal up to a certain amount. What this amount is depends on the mission, with subsequent missions in a campaign having a higher number. This slows down the rate at which players can potentially accumulate prestige and generally help keep things balanced over the course of a campaign. As a "soft" cap, you will still earn some prestige after reaching the cap, but only a small fraction of normal.

With the bonus damage per star (1 star = 100 xp), the smaller AT and AA guns become far more effective. Since most of the smaller versions can move further each turn, the damage bonus makes them worthy of additional consideration.

With the 1.14 rule set, overstrength cost the same amount of prestige per point, and the cost varied depending on the purchase cost of the unit. With the 1.20 rule set, the cost of raising overstrength from 12 to 13 is far higher than the cost of raising it from 10 to 11. In addition, upgrading between families returns a unit to 10 strength if it was overstrength. Upgrading within the same series/family doesn't reset the unit's strength. This means that with 1.20 you want to upgrade and then add overstrength, whereas with 1.14 you would want to add overstrength before upgrading.

Combat Random (Chance):
Normal - There is a chance that the prediction is considerably off and you are either lucky or unlucky. The possible deviation could be as high as 100%.
Limited - There is a chance that the prediction is somewhat off, but not by more than 20%.
None - Everything happens as predicted. Random chance only occurs with Rugged Defense.

Reform Units - This was a cheat that has now been given a place in the UI. If one of your units is destroyed, it will return to your unit reserve with zero strength at the begin of the following scenario. You can now reform it back to to it's basic strength by paying the costs for the unit to make it available for deployment again. This will preserve the unit's heroes and history list, but it will still lose all of its experience. If you chose not to reform the unit at the beginning of the next scenario you can keep it in your reserve list as long as you like.

Difficulty Presets
So that's all good information, but it would really help if we had something to relate it to. So now I'm going to write the settings that are used for each of the basic difficulty settings. This information comes straight from the diff.pzdat file in the Panzer Corps/Data folder. It's also visible within the game as of 1.21.

Sergeant
Player Prestige: 200%
Player Experience: 200%
Player Strength: 0
AI Prestige: 50%
AI Experience: 50%
AI Strength: -5
Turns: +5
AI Level: 0

Lieutenant
Player Prestige: 150%
Player Experience: 100%
Player Strength: 0
AI Prestige: 80%
AI Experience: 80%
AI Strength: 0
Turns: 0
AI Level: 0

Colonel
Player Prestige: 100%
Player Experience: 100%
Player Strength: 0
AI Prestige: 100%
AI Experience: 100%
AI Strength: 0
Turns: 0
AI Level: 1

General
Player Prestige: 100%
Player Experience: 100%
Player Strength: 0
AI Prestige: 150%
AI Experience: 100%
AI Strength: 0
Turns: 0
AI Level: 2

Field Marshal
Player Prestige: 100%
Player Experience: 50%
Player Strength: 0
AI Prestige: 150%
AI Experience: 100%
AI Strength: 0
Turns: 0
AI Level: 2

I thank the developers for adding these custom difficulty settings. Now for example, if a player finds Sergeant too easy/simple and Lieutenant too much of a jump, one can do something like use the Sergeant settings with an AI Level of 1, or whatever the player wants. Maybe you want a Lieutenant level of difficulty, but you want to change the way the difficulty is determined. Colonel settings with an AI Strength of -3 or -4 could do that for you. You can even change the difficulty settings between missions, so if you get stuck on one, you can lower the settings for that mission and turn them back up again afterwards.

Unlockable Difficulty Presets
Winning the last mission of any of the main campaigns (Wermacht, Afrika Corps, Allied Corps, or Soviet Corps, but not the Grand Campaign add-on) on Field Marshal will unlock the following difficulty levels, except for Ultimate. Unlocking Ultimate appears to require winning the last mission on Rommel, but that is not confirmed. If anyone knows the requirements for unlocking Ultimate, please let me know. Using easier difficulty settings prior to the last mission is permissible. If you don't feel like doing that for whatever reason, then just use the custom difficulty to mimic the settings. Doing so may (untested) prevent you from gaining the following achievements: Father of Blitzkrieg (win on Guderian), Strategic Genius (win on Manstein), or Desert Fox (win on Rommel).

Guderian (Same as General, but with 5 fewer turns to complete each mission)
Player Prestige: 100%
Player Experience: 100%
Player Strength: 0
AI Prestige: 150%
AI Experience: 100%
AI Strength: 0
Turns: -5
AI Level: 2

Manstein (Enemies have 15 strength)
Player Prestige: 100%
Player Experience: 100%
Player Strength: 0
AI Prestige: 150%
AI Experience: 100%
AI Strength: +5
Turns: 0
AI Level: 2

Rommel
Player Prestige: 50%
Player Experience: 100%
Player Strength: 0
AI Prestige: 150%
AI Experience: 100%
AI Strength: 0
Turns: 0
AI Level: 2

Ultimate
Player Prestige: 50%
Player Experience: 50%
Player Strength: 0
AI Prestige: 150%
AI Experience: 100%
AI Strength: +5
Turns: -5
AI Level: 2
Last edited by Trifler on Thu May 11, 2017 10:41 pm, edited 25 times in total.

Magic1111
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
Posts: 716
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:11 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Custom Difficulty Settings

Post by Magic1111 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:32 am

Wow, very helpful post! Many thx! :D

Tarrak
Panzer Corps Moderator
Panzer Corps Moderator
Posts: 1177
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:01 pm

Re: Custom Difficulty Settings

Post by Tarrak » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:59 am

Very nice summary. Thank you for your work. I am sure a lot of people will find it useful as questions about the advanced options comes up quite often.

As a correction afaik you only need to check the custom difficulty checkbox if you want any of the sliders to have any effect. Without selecting it you can still chose either to play with 1.20 or 1.14 rules, use the randomness limiting options and reform units.

I also moved the topic out of the AAR subforum to the main Panzer Corps forum so more people are likely to find it.

Aloo
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:38 pm
Location: Poland
Contact:

Re: Custom Difficulty Settings

Post by Aloo » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:05 pm

Trifler wrote: The prestige soft cap means that your units earn prestige as normal up to a certain amount. What this amount is depends on the mission, with subsequent missions in a campaign having a higher number. This helps keep units from reach five stars early in a campaign and unbalancing things. As a "soft" cap, your units will still earn some XP, but only a small fraction of normal.
Are you sure about the bold part? Lower prestige doesn't affect XP, it just doesn't allow you to build up your core as fast.
Trifler wrote: In addition, upgrading a unit returns it to 10 strength if it was overstrength. This means that with 1.20 you want to upgrade and then add overstrength, whereas with 1.14 you would want to add overstrength before upgrading.
This is partially true as upgrading within the family keeps your overstrength.
Trifler wrote: Reform Units - This is a cheat that has now been given a place in the UI. If one of your units is destroyed, it will return to your unit reserve with zero strength. You then have until the end of the scenario to reinforce it back up to at least 1 strength so it will carry over into the next scenario. The important thing here is that it prevents the loss of the unit's experience and heroes.
The other benefit is that you can sell this unit w/o reforming and get back your prestige.

Tarrak
Panzer Corps Moderator
Panzer Corps Moderator
Posts: 1177
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:01 pm

Re: Custom Difficulty Settings

Post by Tarrak » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:03 pm

Aloo wrote:
Trifler wrote: The prestige soft cap means that your units earn prestige as normal up to a certain amount. What this amount is depends on the mission, with subsequent missions in a campaign having a higher number. This helps keep units from reach five stars early in a campaign and unbalancing things. As a "soft" cap, your units will still earn some XP, but only a small fraction of normal.
Are you sure about the bold part? Lower prestige doesn't affect XP, it just doesn't allow you to build up your core as fast.
I totally missed that part in the original post and you are right Aloo it is indeed wrong. The prestige soft cap got nothing to do with the experience the units get but with the prestige (as in the ingame currency) the player get. It calculates the value of the troops you deployed in the current scenario (units in your reserve and the amount of the prestige you have do not count) and if it's over a certain threshold it reduces to amount of prestige you earn in this mission. The more expensive, and so the stronger, you core forces are the less prestige you gain for completing the scenario.

Trifler
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:57 pm

Re: Custom Difficulty Settings

Post by Trifler » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:41 pm

Aloo wrote:
Trifler wrote: The prestige soft cap means that your units earn prestige as normal up to a certain amount. What this amount is depends on the mission, with subsequent missions in a campaign having a higher number. This helps keep units from reach five stars early in a campaign and unbalancing things. As a "soft" cap, your units will still earn some XP, but only a small fraction of normal.
Are you sure about the bold part? Lower prestige doesn't affect XP, it just doesn't allow you to build up your core as fast.
Trifler wrote: In addition, upgrading a unit returns it to 10 strength if it was overstrength. This means that with 1.20 you want to upgrade and then add overstrength, whereas with 1.14 you would want to add overstrength before upgrading.
This is partially true as upgrading within the family keeps your overstrength.
Hmm it's not sending me e-mail notifications. Good thing I checked in here manually.

Sorry I got the prestige cap mixed up with XP in my head. Agreed regarding upgrading within a family. I was already considering adding a note about that before I saw your post. I'll edit the post now.

VPaulus
Slitherine
Slitherine
Posts: 7678
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:33 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Custom Difficulty Settings

Post by VPaulus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:04 pm

Trifler wrote:Hmm it's not sending me e-mail notifications. Good thing I checked in here manually.
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=43097

Tarrak
Panzer Corps Moderator
Panzer Corps Moderator
Posts: 1177
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:01 pm

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by Tarrak » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:16 pm

One more correction to your post Trifler i already posted before but you seemed to have missed it:

You only need to check the custom difficulty checkbox if you want any of the sliders to have any effect. Without selecting it you can still chose either to play with 1.20 or 1.14 rules, use the randomness limiting options and reform units.

Aloo
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:38 pm
Location: Poland
Contact:

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by Aloo » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:27 pm

Trifler wrote:
Reform Units - This is a cheat that has now been given a place in the UI. If one of your units is destroyed, it will return to your unit reserve with zero strength. You then have until the end of the scenario to reinforce it back up to at least 1 strength so it will carry over into the next scenario. The important thing here is that it prevents the loss of the unit's experience and heroes. Alternatively, you can sell the unit to regain the unit's purchase cost even though it's at zero strength.
I believe that the bold part is not true. The unit looses all of its XP but keeps its history and heroes.

orlinos
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz  251/1
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:29 am

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by orlinos » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:43 pm

Aloo wrote:
Trifler wrote:
Reform Units - This is a cheat that has now been given a place in the UI. If one of your units is destroyed, it will return to your unit reserve with zero strength. You then have until the end of the scenario to reinforce it back up to at least 1 strength so it will carry over into the next scenario. The important thing here is that it prevents the loss of the unit's experience and heroes. Alternatively, you can sell the unit to regain the unit's purchase cost even though it's at zero strength.
I believe that the bold part is not true. The unit looses all of its XP but keeps its history and heroes.
Also, unless something has changed as of 1.20 (have not installed it yet), the reform units feature does not demand the player to reform the unit to keep it in the rooster. I still carry my KIA KV-B with me - because I'm not yet decided whether to keep it.

At least in 1.14, the player does not reinforce the unit by one point, but has to pay the full unit price to bring it back into service - with all heroes intact and 0 experience. Alternatively he can sell the "dead" unit - gaining its price in prestige, but loosing heroes and unit history forever.
Piotr 'Orlinos' Kozlowski

KeldorKatarn
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1248
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:22 am

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by KeldorKatarn » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:02 pm

How does this "reforming" work in the first place, never used it? Is the unit still in my core after a KIA with strength 0 and I need to reinforce it to full? if so what are the costs for that?

Aloo
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:38 pm
Location: Poland
Contact:

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by Aloo » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:15 pm

You need to reinforce it to full for the full price of the unit. You get your unit back with no XP but with full history and heroes. Or you sell it off without reinforcing it for its full price (which I think is not how it should work as I see no reason to get back the prestige for a lost unit).

Trifler
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:57 pm

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by Trifler » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:05 am

Tarrak wrote:One more correction to your post Trifler i already posted before but you seemed to have missed it:

You only need to check the custom difficulty checkbox if you want any of the sliders to have any effect. Without selecting it you can still chose either to play with 1.20 or 1.14 rules, use the randomness limiting options and reform units.
I saw this one, but I don't see how it's going to affect any of the players. I went ahead and changed "settings" to "sliders" though.
Last edited by Trifler on Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Trifler
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:57 pm

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by Trifler » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:07 am

Aloo wrote:You need to reinforce it to full for the full price of the unit. You get your unit back with no XP but with full history and heroes. Or you sell it off without reinforcing it for its full price (which I think is not how it should work as I see no reason to get back the prestige for a lost unit).
Oh it loses its XP? Please confirm and then I'll edit the post.

Tarrak
Panzer Corps Moderator
Panzer Corps Moderator
Posts: 1177
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:01 pm

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by Tarrak » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:15 am

Trifler wrote:
Tarrak wrote:One more correction to your post Trifler i already posted before but you seemed to have missed it:

You only need to check the custom difficulty checkbox if you want any of the sliders to have any effect. Without selecting it you can still chose either to play with 1.20 or 1.14 rules, use the randomness limiting options and reform units.
I saw this one, but I don't see how it's going to affect any of the players. I went ahead and changed "settings" to "sliders" though.
Well if people think they need to check the custom difficulty checkbox in order to get for example the reform units mode to work they will override their standard difficulty setting and will have to recreate it with the sliders. Without checking the box it is possible to play on one of the predefined difficulty settings with for example dice mode activated.

Magic1111
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
Posts: 716
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:11 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by Magic1111 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:34 am

Trifler wrote:Oh it loses its XP? Please confirm and then I'll edit the post.
Yes, I can confirm this! When "Reform Units" cheat is activated and an own Unit is KIA, then the Unit appear in the List with "0" (zero) strange and without XP, but with a Hero (when the Unit had a hero before KIA)and with full history list.

Then you´ve the choice between sell the unit and become the renown back, or you must pay the full price to become a strange from "0" (zero) to "10"!

Trifler
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:57 pm

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by Trifler » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:44 am

Aloo wrote:You need to reinforce it to full for the full price of the unit. You get your unit back with no XP but with full history and heroes. Or you sell it off without reinforcing it for its full price (which I think is not how it should work as I see no reason to get back the prestige for a lost unit).
Thanks Aloo and Magic1111. I've updated that part now. Let me know if you find anything else.
Tarrak wrote:Well if people think they need to check the custom difficulty checkbox in order to get for example the reform units mode to work they will override their standard difficulty setting and will have to recreate it with the sliders. Without checking the box it is possible to play on one of the predefined difficulty settings with for example dice mode activated.
I see what you're getting at now. Another reason for my suggestion at the bottom then, as it would eliminate this concern. ;)

BTW I checked that link you posted and I've triple checked everything, but I'm still not receiving e-mail notifications. My e-mail address is listed correctly in the settings, this thread is marked as being "watched", etc.

VPaulus
Slitherine
Slitherine
Posts: 7678
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:33 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by VPaulus » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:50 pm

Trifler wrote:BTW I checked that link you posted and I've triple checked everything, but I'm still not receiving e-mail notifications. My e-mail address is listed correctly in the settings, this thread is marked as being "watched", etc.
Check if this thread is subscribed or not.

Magic1111
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
Posts: 716
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:11 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by Magic1111 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:17 pm

Trifler wrote:Thanks Aloo and Magic1111. I've updated that part now. Let me know if you find anything else.
You´re welcome mate! And congratulations for a "sticky-Thread"! :wink:

Trifler
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:57 pm

Re: Custom and Advanced Difficulty Settings

Post by Trifler » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:23 pm

VPaulus wrote:
Trifler wrote:BTW I checked that link you posted and I've triple checked everything, but I'm still not receiving e-mail notifications. My e-mail address is listed correctly in the settings, this thread is marked as being "watched", etc.
Check if this thread is subscribed or not.
I used the "Notify me if this thread is replied to" checkbox before and three hours ago I checked my User Control Panel and it listed this thread as being subscribed (aka "watched). That always subscribes me permanently on other forums. However, now it doesn't list this thread as being subscribed again. I'll try using the Subscribe link in the bottom left corner this time and see if that makes a difference.

Post Reply

Return to “Panzer Corps”