I would be the first to admit I was wrong...

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Edmon
Slitherine
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I would be the first to admit I was wrong...

Post by Edmon » Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:54 pm

I thought heroes were the most powerful thing in the game and liberator and trophies a close second.

As an obessive TBS player, you are always looking for the most obvious, most powerful strategy to get victory on the hardest difficulty.

However, I have come to realise more and more that I was wrong and that the most powerful thing in the game is not these things, it is capturing/encirclement and the abilities that make it easy.

These abilities are:
Permeter Control.
Master of Blitz.
Flexible Command.
Deadly Grasp.

I am calling these "The power 4" and any 3 or 4 of them basically sets the difficulty to rookie mode. Even denying yourself air or artillery doesn't make them any less powerful. More on this below...

Lets talk about economy.

Economy wise, these abilities blow Tropies and Liberator out of the water. Captures are made against "Corporal" value. I.E. you get the full value of the item you capture in prestige as if you were playing the second most easy difficulty. While tropies doubles that value, without the "Power Four" you will never get that many captures nor will they normally be that high in strength when you capture them.

The reason why is because Flex allows you to split units down and thus make very weak units that can "poke" enemies into surrender doing the minimum damage of 1. It also allows you to surround a unit so it can't move, meaning you can avoid having to drain an enemies movement to make a capture. The encirclement with grasp, does 4 perminant suppression at the start of the enemy turn, so even if they took no damage from your bombers or artillery, most units will lose at least 40% of their fighting ability at the start of their turn, infantry a little less, but you can make the infantry a high priority for level bombing and thus remove their ability to fight without really doing any damage to them.

Combat wise, it's not as risky as you'd think, once it all clicks into place.

Suppression from encirclement happens at the start of the enemy turn. That means, with the movement bonuses provided by Blitz and Perm Control, all you have to do is plan out if you can surround the enemy or not and these skills make that much easier. As long as the encirclement is in place before your turn ends, you've won. You don't have to fight or risk anything, because at the start of their turn they will take the suppression damage that ensures that fighting back is almost impossible. Your units may be split, say a 10 stack into two 5's because of flex. But the enemy will be drained of 4 units by Grasp, making a 10 stack fight like a 6 stack. This is only on the very first turn and only if you don't add additional pain with cheap 1 slot level bombers or artillery. On the second turn, the enemy might as well be dead, as they will be totally or near totally disabled.

Since the enemy basically, in the vast majority of maps, does not move... you can build a wall around the edge of the map if you like and just have to close it. The only real threat is supply hexes. If they don't exist or can be easily taken, clean up is childs play and thousands and in some cases even 10's of thousands of prestige can be yours per mission.

In conclusion.
I am not sure yet what to do about this or how it can be balanced out, but it's clear to me that this combination once you "get it" vastly decreases the games difficulty and allows prestige printing to the point that you can just "buy" victory in later missions (if you like, or are bored and just want a head on fight) due to the unbelievable wealth that can be generated by the strategy.

The problem is, even if you tied capture gains to difficulty level, the fact that encirclement/grip basically "switches off" half the enemy before they can react, and basically disables them entirely by the second turn.. means they have absolutely no time to defend themselves or fight back. If you can see the possibility to make the circle on your turn and do so, they are effectively already dead with no chance of counterplay.

A complex issue, but yeah.

Still love the game and love that there was something even more overpowered to find than heroes are. Now I know about it and find myself joining in, I do feel like I am optimizing the fun out of the game a little bit...

Edit:
If you are unsure about just why this combination is so good, I hope this video will help to explain some of it:

https://youtu.be/ngWHrCe9DwA
Last edited by Edmon on Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

comradep
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
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Re: I would be the first to admit I was wrong...

Post by comradep » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:33 pm

That's also why I restarted without positive traits.

It's still challenging to capture as many units as possible, but winning isn't really an issue even with "Race against time" on.

In many cases, the AI is at most reactive. It just sits there until it knows it can whack something. That can, without the AI knowing it, make encirclements even easier.

ErissN6
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
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Re: I would be the first to admit I was wrong...

Post by ErissN6 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:53 pm

Edmon wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:54 pm
The only real threat is supply hexes.
Yeah, logistic is more important than strategy.

Duedman
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
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Re: I would be the first to admit I was wrong...

Post by Duedman » Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:07 pm

A major problem is the totally passive AI.
It should prioritize to get units out of encirclements quickly

The Devs countered that with giving many enemy supply hexes later on, so huge encirclement become a rarity.
This also matches the historic path of the war (and I think Devs intended this). At first, comunications and logistics were bad and Kiev, Bryansk and Vyasma happened. Later on it was a different story.
So without a competent AI, the Devs simply added a supply hex to every other victory point.

One suggestion for Deadly Grasp would be, to have 2 ticks of it. First 2 points suppression right at the start of the enemys turn (like normal surround), second 2 points at the start of the next players round.
That would - at least in the very first round of encirclement - leave the enemy at 80% strength in their turn. Instead of 60%.
Adding to that, do not completely keep the extra suppression caused by Arty/Stratbombers
In normal encirclement only take 1 of that suppression over into the next round. With grasp take 2.

I think this stuff would still make it worthwhile but take away the right amount of sillyness.

For Blitzkrieg the river crossing bonus should be (substantially) reduced.

For Perimeter Control it should be max 1 Hex "in a row".


That beeing said I have to state that I'M HAVING A BLAST by just using those skills. I'm not minmaxing everything but the tactical possibilities are just so much fun! On top of that, there just seems to be a solution for nearly every situation I carelessly fcked up.
Having played many many many TBS Games including PG und PC1 I really did not expect that!
In Contrast, I watched Edmons YT Vids of "Gates to Moscow" and it was absolutely painful (Trench Slot added to not having movement skills).

So maybe nerf the skills a bit. But not to much please. There is always the option not to use them!
Giant Europe Mod 2.0 - Sea Lion 44 with no fuel:

http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=145&t=95886

nexusno2000
Colonel - Fallschirmjäger
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Re: I would be the first to admit I was wrong...

Post by nexusno2000 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:15 pm

Welcome to the club :D

I ALWAYS take Perimeter Control. No Brainer.
Next Flexible Command (took a while to fully appreciate it).
Deadly Grasp is 3rd. Bc of the time frame of the scenarios, if you really want to use Encirclement, this is almost a must. A single turn, and some artillery, and they are all suppressed.
Master of Blitzkrieg is just the icing on the cake.

Current build:

Difficulty: Generalissimus
Traits (standard 2 pts): Infantry/Panzer General, Industry Connections, Deep Recon, Operational Initiative, Master of Blitzkreig, Deadly Grasp, Flexible Command, AA Veteran, Perimeter Control; No Overstrength, Denied Airforce, Retrograde, Inefficient Supply, Slow Modernization, Fear of the Unknown.
Special: No more than 1 hero per unit (to avoid hero-cheese)
Green Knight
https://www.youtube.com/c/GreenKnight2001

eddieballgame
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
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Re: I would be the first to admit I was wrong...

Post by eddieballgame » Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:48 pm

Edmon wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:54 pm
I thought heroes were the most powerful thing in the game and liberator and trophies a close second.

As an obessive TBS player, you are always looking for the most obvious, most powerful strategy to get victory on the hardest difficulty.

However, I have come to realise more and more that I was wrong and that the most powerful thing in the game is not these things, it is capturing/encirclement and the abilities that make it easy.

These abilities are:
Permeter Control.
Master of Blitz.
Flexible Command.
Deadly Grasp.

I am calling these "The power 4" and any 3 or 4 of them basically sets the difficulty to rookie mode. Even denying yourself air or artillery doesn't make them any less powerful. More on this below...
Thank you Edmon for your, respected, views.
These 4 Traits are valued, in the 'Rules', at +1
Staying with the default 2 pts for spending, would raising these 4 Traits to a +2 (for example) seem reasonable?
This would force having to take more negative Traits to...balance (?) a little.

Yours & Green Knight's videos have been a gold mine (for me) as a reference on how to play this game.

Edmon
Slitherine
Slitherine
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:50 pm

Re: I would be the first to admit I was wrong...

Post by Edmon » Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:11 pm

eddieballgame wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:48 pm
Edmon wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:54 pm
I thought heroes were the most powerful thing in the game and liberator and trophies a close second.

As an obessive TBS player, you are always looking for the most obvious, most powerful strategy to get victory on the hardest difficulty.

However, I have come to realise more and more that I was wrong and that the most powerful thing in the game is not these things, it is capturing/encirclement and the abilities that make it easy.

These abilities are:
Permeter Control.
Master of Blitz.
Flexible Command.
Deadly Grasp.

I am calling these "The power 4" and any 3 or 4 of them basically sets the difficulty to rookie mode. Even denying yourself air or artillery doesn't make them any less powerful. More on this below...
Thank you Edmon for your, respected, views.
These 4 Traits are valued, in the 'Rules', at +1
Staying with the default 2 pts for spending, would raising these 4 Traits to a +2 (for example) seem reasonable?
This would force having to take more negative Traits to...balance (?) a little.

Yours & Green Knight's videos have been a gold mine (for me) as a reference on how to play this game.
The biggest issue with them is that individually they aren't very good.

It's the combination that's uber. I will do a video on this soon.

Resolute
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
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Posts: 366
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: I would be the first to admit I was wrong...

Post by Resolute » Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:11 pm

These traits are good and are roughly the ones I take when playing on Generalissimus and creating encirclements is just great fun but they lose a lot of their value later in the campaign. ON Generalissimus it's fairly hard to keep the experience up (I still so much miss incremental reinforcements) and the AI will surpass you at some point and enciclements become so much harder due to the sheer amount of enemy troops. However they help a lot early in the campaing to stock up on prestige.
A trait I always take is actually aux units. I only use a maximum of three inf units but for Moscow, Stalingrad and Berlin, where lots of infantry is a must, I just buy a bunch of aux Pioneers.
Last edited by Resolute on Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Edmon
Slitherine
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Re: I would be the first to admit I was wrong...

Post by Edmon » Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:13 pm

Got that video made.

If you are unsure about just why this combination is so good, I hope this video will help to explain some of it.

https://youtu.be/ngWHrCe9DwA

eddieballgame
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
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Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:53 am

Re: I would be the first to admit I was wrong...

Post by eddieballgame » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:41 pm

Edmon wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:13 pm
Got that video made.

If you are unsure about just why this combination is so good, I hope this video will help to explain some of it.

https://youtu.be/ngWHrCe9DwA
Excellent video; I am now experimenting with the following adjustments.

Commander Trait Points set to '0' in the Advanced Options.
Next, all positive Traits are adjusted to +2 (except for Liberator & Killerteam +4).
All negative Trait points are adjusted to -2.
This ensures a 1 for 1 trade or a 2 for 1 one trade per liberator or Killerteam.

Attached the file if anyone is interested.
Attachments
TraitTest.zip
(1.82 KiB) Downloaded 18 times

Horseman
Colonel - Ju 88A
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Re: I would be the first to admit I was wrong...

Post by Horseman » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:01 am

Edmon wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:13 pm
Got that video made.

If you are unsure about just why this combination is so good, I hope this video will help to explain some of it.

https://youtu.be/ngWHrCe9DwA
Nice video (as per the norm for your channel, have started watching your BT stuff too now!)

Even without the "super 4" I'm finding encirclements to be very strong. I haven't been going for big grand encirclements (except Kiev) but smaller scale ones are quite common.

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