Unit types hard to distinguish

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tripecac
Corporal - Strongpoint
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Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:19 pm

Unit types hard to distinguish

Post by tripecac » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:27 am

Is there a mod, setting, or trick which makes it easier to distinguish unit types on the map?

For example, I often find it hard to tell the difference between bomber vs fighter, or troop transport vs gun ship. Even arty vs anti-tank can be hard to distinguish.

Maybe I just have bad eyes? Or are other people having problems recognizing unit types quickly?

Kerensky
Content Designer
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Re: Unit types hard to distinguish

Post by Kerensky » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:39 am

On the right side menu when you select or mouse over a unit, there is an image the five experience stars. This is the best reference for knowing exactly what class a unit belongs to.

In fact, mousing over that area of the screen will tell you exactly "Unit Class: XXX"

tripecac
Corporal - Strongpoint
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Re: Unit types hard to distinguish

Post by tripecac » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:51 am

I like that unit class hover. However, in order for it to work, you need to first click on the unit to examine. This is an extra step.

It would be nice if the unit class would be visible when hovering the mouse over a unit. Is there a mod that can do this?

danhanegan
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
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Re: Unit types hard to distinguish

Post by danhanegan » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:16 am

There are certain consistencies you get used to. AT guns always have level barrels, and usually a visible gun shield; towed artillery and AA guns have barrels that rise at an angle. Towed artillery normally has 2 wheel carriages with split trails and never a gun shield; AA guns have 4 wheel carriages with no trails, but may or may not have a gun shield. Pioneers/grenadiers have 2 figures, wehrmacht and the alpine have 3... which corresponds to the leg movement rate of the infantry. Grenadiers/heavy weapon infantry always have a tripod machinegun in the silhouette, no other infantry does. Parachute infantry are the odd men out, 3 leg move but 2 figures, but the dragging parachutes are clearly visible. If a vehicle has a visible turret it is probably a tank, if not, it will be an AT or AA vehicle. Granted AT and AA vehicles are hard to tell apart, especially the halftrack versions; fortunately such vehicles are pretty rare in panzer corps. The silhouettes of fighters are usually smaller than tactical bombers which are usually smaller than the silhouettes of strategic bombers. Fighters normally have single engines , strategic bombers always at least 2 engines and often four, whereas tac bombers are about half single engine and half two engine. My advice is, next time you start a scenario, take a few minutes to look at the units and the rollover descriptions noted above and look for what is consistent between units of the same class, and what changes when you look at a unit of a different but similar looking class.

The vehicle and aircraft sihouettes in Panzer Corps do bear a good resemblance to the actual vehicles they represent, it helps to be familiar with the real world vehicles. But I understand that that level of familiarity is a bit much to ask of a casual gamer using Panzer Corps as his introduction to WW2 gaming.

tripecac
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Re: Unit types hard to distinguish

Post by tripecac » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:14 am

Thanks for the tips about the silhouettes. I used to know these things back when I played Panzer General, but have become accustomed to easier UIs.

I think with a few tweaks Panzer Corps could be made a lot more accessible to newcomers, whether they are "casual" or not. Changing colors from grey-vs-green to red-vs-blue would be a huge help, IMO. Positioning hover information directly above the hex in question would also help, instead of hiding it away in a fixed-location box on the right. Making it brain-dead-easy to distinguish unit types by making their icons clearer would also save time. Making prestige and experience gains more visible, and in an accessible log, would also help us see what's going on. Displaying city names on the map instead of requiring a hover would also help us relate to the locations a bit more.

I understand that part of the goal of Panzer Corps is to replicate the Panzer General experience. However, games have improved in clarity since the Panzer General days. I wish Panzer Corps could be made a little clearer, at the expense of abandoning some of the Panzer General "look and feel".

(By the way, although I'm not a grognard, Panzer Corps is not my intro to WW2 gaming, and neither was Panzer General. Back in the '80s I was pushing cardboard counters, reading The General, building miniatures, creating my own wargames, etc. Perhaps it's just old age or something, but my eyes and patience aren't what they used to be! Game UI means a lot more to me now than it did back then.)

orlinos
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
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Re: Unit types hard to distinguish

Post by orlinos » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:45 pm

tripecac wrote:Thanks for the tips about the silhouettes. I used to know these things back when I played Panzer General, but have become accustomed to easier UIs.

I think with a few tweaks Panzer Corps could be made a lot more accessible to newcomers, whether they are "casual" or not. Changing colors from grey-vs-green to red-vs-blue would be a huge help, IMO. Positioning hover information directly above the hex in question would also help, instead of hiding it away in a fixed-location box on the right. Making it brain-dead-easy to distinguish unit types by making their icons clearer would also save time. Making prestige and experience gains more visible, and in an accessible log, would also help us see what's going on. Displaying city names on the map instead of requiring a hover would also help us relate to the locations a bit more.
Putting hover information directly over hexes might in fact sometimes make the picture less clear - at least for me - since I now know if the hex is a hill, city or a swamp - but I do a lot of mousing around the battlefield to try to test different moves etc. Too much info - that is not really needed all the time - can obscure the picture.

The same with city names overlays that has been mentioned in another thread - in most cases names are not really needed to play - but I would not object to having some toggle to display them.

With unit types - I have not, until Panzer Corps, been any WWII knowledge fan, but I had no problems with distinguishing between most of units. I did have problems with AT and Arty StuGs (kind of blurry on my old monitor), different BF 109 models; and Focke Wolf bomber looks far too similar to fighter version.

What I did was to copy Afrika AT StuGs art into vanilla folder, so they are now instantly distinguished by being yellow. I did the same with BF 109's - keeping one model vanilla and the next one Afrikan. Tactical FW's use sepia versions I took from the Mod section.

Much better, I do not "protect" my tanks with AT StuGs any more or charge T-34 with StuG IIIB's. :D
Piotr 'Orlinos' Kozlowski

robman
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
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Re: Unit types hard to distinguish

Post by robman » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:16 pm

It might be helpful to make a few different skins available for each unit, and allow the user to change the skin as part of the normal interface, much as the user can change the unit name already. That would facilitate unit recognition (and, yes, I have lost a few tac bombers because I thought they were fighters), combat group organization, and just general fiddling around.

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