Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

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hugh2711
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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by hugh2711 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:53 pm

Hi Rudankort.
The AAR thread and REPLAY is here, spoils of war is about halfway down.
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtop ... 45&t=81741
Astonishingly it plays exactly like a game of chess on a board with the recon as a standard (chess) tactical sacrifice to take and control the centre. There is something about that map that gives it the feel of a chess board. Although I played it very badly and rushed it I have a beforehand 'strategy' and afterwards 'comments' in the AAR.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by dalfrede » Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:27 pm

The Great Recon Debate

Have any of you rounders played AK or USc?

The Italian Sahariana with switchable infantry is very useful, and hits hard.

Willys Jeep is the best recon in the game.
Admittedly the attack and defense values are overly generous, which is why it is not purchasable. It eats 88s for lunch and as a soft target can stand up to a Panther. A Panther that stops on a forest hex to attack Willy will suffer much more damage from ranger Smokey the next turn than Willy received from the Panther.

If you what a 5 star recon in GC use the Kradschützen.
Nico's mod has 36 Krads, 39 Krads, and 43 Krads; All with reconmove.
As [soft target] infantry they can shelter in cities and other close terrain. I added a dismounted mode to match Sahariana utility.
I had several Krads with >1500 kills.
Proline note: these mods work on the Mac.

The problem in GC43-45 is not 'Useless Recons'. Its that there are so many d@mn Russian tanks!
By GC44 I have found that Panthers are fragile, let alone recon.

Perhaps we should give the JagPanthers reconmove so its new support fire can protect recon easier.

Note: turning off soft cap in not an option, there is no 'soft cap off' button. It is a hack/mod, allowed by the game.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by hugh2711 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:36 pm

I never use kradschutzen at all.

Molve
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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Molve » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:53 am

Kerensky wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:21 pm
Well you are free to disagree, but it doesn't make you any more correct than it makes me incorrect. It's just a difference of opinion. But I will not malign recon unit types when there is a clear and useful purpose to them, that I readily use and make good use of, though perhaps it's not the one you personally care for, subscribe to, want, or desire.
I still haven't managed to explain myself.

I am not trying to get you to change your opinion. I am trying to make you see that your opinion isn't the one that the development of PC2 needs.

Change recon, not because you think it needs to change, but because you realize the customer base doesn't like the current implementation.

Thus, there is no need to be defensive. I am not saying you are incorrect. Whether we agree or disagree on recon's actual merits is not relevant. I'm not asking you to malign anything. When I am talking about shortcomings of recon, I am trying to explain and verbalise what a regular customer might percieve. Not force you into sharing that perception.

What I am asking, is that you set aside your own opinion. I do not believe it is representative of the PC customer. Remember: expert players can percieve PC as a serious game. For most players, it's a beers and pretzels game.

I believe PC1 is a failed design (re: recon), not because it can't be made to work, but because the average player can't make it work. It doesn't fit the overall model of the game; keeping recon alive is not impossible, but it's not easy enough.

I believe it should not merely be "touched up" or "refined". I believe development is best served by scrapping the PC1 model and coming up with something that the player find easier to use.

This has nothing to do with realism. It is about fun. Too many customers don't find recon fun, so it's time for a change. :)

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Molve » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:08 am

This made me remember two experiences I had with the old Panzer General-era Five Stars series.

The modern game (Modern General? Don't remember) failed because the devs forgot what makes this sort of game fun - unrealistic survivability of hero units. I didn't play it too much; one early scenario featured Soviet vs Chinese (or was it NATO?) in Siberia somewhere. I gave up when I realized the devs lost sight of the core game strength. High attack values and long range might be realistic, but it does not fit the way PG plays. I realized the enemy AI could target and kill off just about any single one of my units. It felt hopeless to attach yourself emotionally to your units, and that's why PG/PC is a success.

In PG/PC just losing units isn't true. Or rather, the AI never goes all out, except for specific and thereby avoidable cases. Basic lesson: your core units, the ones you nurture and see "grow" should generally present the enemy with sufficiently low rates of success, that the AI simply chooses something else to kill. (Bonus lesson: don't make the AI too good. Be careful what you wish for. The simplistic nature of PG-level AI is actually imo a core strength of the game!)

In short, in this game, all your units felt like how recon feels in Panzer Corps. This is a bad thing, and it killed off my interest in playing that game further.

M

PS. The other experience was with the sci fi game, Star General maybe? It has nothing to do with recon :)

That was even worse. The devs of that game even forgot to include the basic stones-paper-scissors nature of WWII era warfare (tanks beats infantry in open terrain, infantry beats tanks in closed terrain, artillery defeats closed terrain but loses to both tanks and infantry). That game was a hot mess, akin to huge tank battles on featureless grassland - no strategy or tactics needed, just bigger spaceships. A classic case of "what were they even thinking?"

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Rudankort » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:09 pm

Molve wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:53 am
I still haven't managed to explain myself.

I am not trying to get you to change your opinion. I am trying to make you see that your opinion isn't the one that the development of PC2 needs.

Change recon, not because you think it needs to change, but because you realize the customer base doesn't like the current implementation.
You've made yourself abundantly clear, and I have heard you. However, I would like to point out that it is too easy and tempting (but not necessarily right) to call everyone who does not share your opinion "marginals". People playing Multiplayer? Marginals! People who play with historical cores? Marginals! People who want realism in the game? Marginals! People who split their core into "elite" and "expendable" parts? Damn expert elitist marginals!

The truth is, neither me nor you have exact data on the preferences of our customer base. The only thing which we do have and which resembles proper statistics is this:
https://steamcommunity.com/stats/268400/achievements/
Yes, it is not perfect and it is skewed by the fact that Panzer Corps did not release on Steam on day one. However, as time goes by and more and more new people discover Panzer Corps, it is getting more and more representative. And it is very interesting indeed to look at this page and think about the implications of the numbers.

Out of all people who own the game, 11.7% got the "Polished off the Polish" achievement, which means they bought and finished the very first DLC of the Grand Campaign. 11% got "Elite Recon" achievement, which means they brought a recon unit to five stars in their campaigns. It's pretty clear that the latter group, which is smaller than the first one by a whopping 0.7%, consists of odd marginals who had zero fun with the game for strange reasons which only they can understand.

Another example. 0.3% of all our players played the whole Grand Campaign to the end and were awarded "The Grandest Campaigner" achievement. We can safely assume that they played it in a casual "beer and pretzel" manner and had a lot of fun with it. Another 0.3% of people finished at least one campaign on Manstein difficulty and obtained "Strategic Genius" achievement. There is no doubt that these elitist masochist marginals can be safely ignored. After all, they did not purchase the whole Grand Campaign, so who cares about them?

Jokes aside, from my experience as a game designer, I have learnt that it is very dangerous to oversimplify these matters. Player community is extremely varied and heterogeneous, and things which they enjoy can be totally opposite. By far the largest part of our customer base is silent and never speaks out on any public forums, and their interests can only be deduced indirectly, by things like the statistics above. The strength of PG design was not in its RPG element, or any other separate element for that matter. It's real strength was that it could appeal to many different tastes of different people at the same time. It was both simple and complex, both casual and competitive, both entertaining and educational, both historical and fantastic, both a military simulation and an abstract chess-like intellectual exercise. It managed to balance all these elements well, and it was also a bridge between different tastes and interests. For example, people who wanted "just another strategy" could learn something about the history of ww2, and people who wanted to play casual could suddenly discover the beauty of more serious wargaming.
Molve wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:53 am
I believe PC1 is a failed design (re: recon), not because it can't be made to work, but because the average player can't make it work. It doesn't fit the overall model of the game; keeping recon alive is not impossible, but it's not easy enough.

I believe it should not merely be "touched up" or "refined". I believe development is best served by scrapping the PC1 model and coming up with something that the player find easier to use.
I believe that you are also vastly oversimplifying the problem of recons, when in reality it is very complex and interconnected with other game mechanics.

Look at german recons for example. Early recons have GD of 6. This is very much inline with GD of tanks of the period, including Panzer I, II, 38(t), early III and IV. The problem with keeping recons alive does not exist in 39-40. If people do not use a lot of recon in this period, this must be because they don't bring in enough value. Recon move and +1 spotting, compared to tanks, is apparently not enough to compensate lack of firepower, especially when your fighters have already gained air superiority and can easily scout victory hexes ahead.

In late game, we have a whole bunch of interconnected problems.

On one hand, spotting heroes appear on everything. This might not have been a good design decision in the first place.

On the other hand, high-end tanks become so dominant, scenario designers need to give the AI a lot of such tanks as well, which makes ALL less protected armored units (not just recons) less viable, which dalfrede has pointed out above. I would argue that it is the problem of high-end tanks in general which needs to be fixed, and the changes in game formulas which I explained above are trying to do it, among other things.

On yet another hand :) recons are not getting enough bonuses from experience. It's not a problem per se to bring them to 5-star level. The above statistics proves it. The hardest class by far to bring to 5 stars is AA (which is very understandable), while recons are very similar to AT and even fighters in this regard. But if we look at exp table, we will see that recons only get 0.5 soft/hard attack, and 1/0.5 ground/air defense per star. Compare this to tanks which get 0.5 to initiative, 1 to both attack ratings (!) and same 0.5/1 to defense. So, an already not so useful class gains much less from elite status than others. But, just as an example, what would happen if recons gained +1 to spotting and +1 to movement with each star? And maybe also +2 to defense at each level? It could become a pretty amazing unit in late war (perhaps too amazing), and then bringing it to 5 stars might make more sense.

What I'm trying to say is, throwing everything into a dust bin and starting from scratch is not necessarily a good approach to game design. Especially when you are creating a sequel to a very long and beloved game series. The devil is in detail, and it might be more productive to identify real problems and fix them by precise tweaks. At the same time, a completely new system would have its own set of completely new problems. For example, the idea of recon by point and click might be perceived as very dumbed down in general and not providing enough RPG element which you so strongly support.
Molve wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:53 am
This has nothing to do with realism. It is about fun. Too many customers don't find recon fun, so it's time for a change. :)
If only it were so easy. :) As a player, I actually do share your view that Panzer Corps is a game, and as such, its main focus must be on enjoyment and entertainment. But there is a very large, very vocal and very passionate group of people for whom realism is paramount. If I announced in the next dev diary that games must be about fun and I don't care about realism any more, the outcry would be deafening.

Vulnerability of recon class could be fixed very easily by making all recon units soft targets. The only thing which prevents me from doing it is, I cannot find a good enough justification for this from realism point of view.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by 13obo » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:24 pm

If Rudankort hadn't answered so politely and nicely, I'd have said "Molve got burned". But he was great with examples of people's varied play styles and explained his insider thinking brilliantly, so let's just say I think Rudankort just won here.

Sorry, I don't mean to start a flame war but rather to point out that his involvement recently with the community, has been nothing but brilliant and exemplary for anyone else. Please keep it up and whatever future controversial topics/debates arise, I'll know that we're in the best of hands!

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by dalfrede » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:24 pm

hugh2711 wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:36 pm
I never use kradschutzen at all.
Which was my point. It requires a mod, so few people use it.

As soft target infantry a Krad would have survived the tank assault in your Spoils of War play through. And is tougher that cavalry, so as a Krad that unit could have survived.
Of course allowing a Soviet to occupy the city where your infantry could then maim it helped you. A tactic very useful in defensive scenarios.

My issue with the new Recon Traits in PzC2 is are cavalry/motorcycles infantry or recon. Can they be both?
Its similar to flame tanks not having the close trait. A weapon with a range of 50m does not have close trait but a rifle/MG with a range of +200m does?

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Argelas » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:57 pm

I just checked my core from the end of the Grand Campaign, and I have 5* units from all classes, except recon. I remember the AA took more effort, but my 8.8s always got special treatment :)

I have one (captured and probably never used) recon in the core. I had more before, but at some point they died. I agree, that at the later points even Panthers seemed vulnerable, so I only have a few of these, all with defense heroes. I have even lighter tanks in the core, but they surely did not see any action in the later years. For the same reason, the recons did not get replaced, and I also found the Panzer II Flamm, funny as it was, needed too much care to keep alive. Maybe I would have tried to keep a Recon alive if I had aimed for a requirement, but that would have been a lot of extra work.

I recently started Soviet Corps and after trying to stop the German offensive with my unoptimized core failed horribly, I switched to only KVs. This might have been a little bit too much, as the Germans must now feel like I did before, but it only starts to feel too strong now (on a strategic level, that they are still no match in a single combat is ok), after the hardest part seems to be over. I like that the Germans attack with all sorts of tanks, even Panzer I (in '42), and I would find it more fun to counter them with a more heterogenous force, but for some scenarios it felt like this was not a realistic option, as it makes the game much harder and does not even reward me with more presige (as I suffer more losses I have to replace in-scenario).

I found it very interesting to read, that the neccessity to give the AI so many heavy tanks is in large parts to counter the player's all heavy tank cores. I would have loved to use lighter tanks, older variants of existing units or recons (I love the recon move ability), but against these enemies, and still wanting major victories, it was not possible / too much effort. So I had to do the same as most people and use only the latest and mostly the heaviest models. The ability to have 2 Panzer IVs instead of a Tiger II sounds fun, as you can do much more with two units, but if I have to go against a wall of IS2s, I will still have to use the Tiger, as losing units hurts a lot, especially late in the Grand Campaign when they have been with me for so long.

If you can change the formula in a way that the big cats are still awesome, but much more uncommon, resulting in the AI no longer having to resort to too many heavy tanks, and fielding an army composed of a mix of weak and strong units becomes enjoyable, I'm all for it. If the same formula also gives a fun experience for a very small outnumbered army of untouchable overstrength heavy tanks even better.

A parameter that controls the amount of unit points for the player and the AI might be nice, so you can play with a small weak or large strong core, but I suppose it is far too much work to make scenarios / campigns with variable points for the AI.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Kerensky » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:29 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:09 pm
You've made yourself abundantly clear, and I have heard you. However......
A well written response from Rudankort, I don't think I could say anything more or better so I'll leave it at that. :mrgreen:

However when he did whip out those achievement stats, he covered something that I actually overlooked. They *do* track acquisition rates for 5 star units across unit classes. And their acquisition rates are very well distributed. As I predicted, and am not at all surprised to see confirmed, tanks, artillery, and tactical bombers are directly at the top in terms of being acquired more often and by more players. Sitting at 15.2, 14.8, and 14.5 precents respectively. To my surprise, infantry comes in next at 14.1%... maybe I need to use my infantry better, clearly they don't struggle as much as I thought!***

Then comes strat bombers, fighters, and anti-tank in the low teen percentages. Finally we get to recon, but though they are second from bottom, they aren't behind by a huge margin. 11% is not far from the highest 15.2 tank percent. This roughly translates that for every 3 players who have acquired a 5 star tank, 2 of them also have a acquired a 5 star recon. If anyone is struggling, it's poor old AD way down at 6.2%. But then that's what happens when you're a ground unit with extremely limited mobility and your primary purpose is damaging the fastest and most mobile units in the whole game, aircraft. lol

So if anything, the stats look really good! As has been repeated again and again in this thread though, we've seen what Panzer Corps is like. Let's see what Panzer Corps 2 is like now for recon. I kind of think they might be abusively good. If they have recon movement, and they have adjacency bonuses... imagine moving a recon unit next to enemy A, using other units to pummel enemy A with recon adjacency bonuses, and then recon moves adjacent to enemy B, and other units attack enemy B, and so on until the recon finally runs out of moves.

That's behavior we've never seen in Panzer General before. The only equivalent I can think of is tank overrun. PG2 tanks with their overrun was the only way for a single unit to engage with or interact with multiple enemy units in a single turn.

But that's also potentially problematic, because while it could be cool for recon to have awesome utility... awesome utility does not translate into earning experience, earning heroes, and earning awards. Which could lead to them falling behind, and maybe they need special experience rules just like how Strategic Bombers get special experience for performing their utility role as opposed to the general experience from kills mechanics.

*** Actually this is a result of Manstein difficulty playing, as we saw from that 1943 East AAR link:
deducter wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:34 pm
Due to the way Manstein difficulty works, infantry is at a particular disadvantage. There are no good way to suppress tanks, except using the Ju 87G. Hence, even attacking tanks with infantry in close terrain will suffer high casualties, due to the inflated SA value of late war experienced tanks and the relative vulnerability of infantry.

Infantry is still great on the other difficulties, because often one attack in close terrain is enough to suppress or nearly completely suppress armored strength, especially with high INI infantry like the HW infantry.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Kerensky » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:44 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:09 pm
If only it were so easy. :) As a player, I actually do share your view that Panzer Corps is a game, and as such, its main focus must be on enjoyment and entertainment. But there is a very large, very vocal and very passionate group of people for whom realism is paramount. If I announced in the next dev diary that games must be about fun and I don't care about realism any more, the outcry would be deafening.
And there is a very recent, very relevant example of just this. Look no further than this year's Battlefield V. What's something they put into Battlefield V? Not just women, but bionic armed women. Fighting on the frontlines of WW2. Nevermind the woman part of it, some examples of this do clearly exist, if in extremely limited scope. And more so on Eastern Front than Western Front. As I recall there was a Russian air unit called the Night Witches... or something like that, and there is documentation of female Russian tankers. But bionic arm soldiers, and a woman as well?

https://blogs-images.forbes.com/erikkai ... _wLogo.png

Well that was making a lot of waves with a lot of discussion going on in general gaming news. This video has a great explanation, and I highly recommend watching the whole thing, but this timestamp link is the most relevant part to the dangers of flaunting your historical audience in a historical ww2 game.

https://youtu.be/UA5DSjEdNJc?t=1222

You know, I'm pretty sure I'm part of the party that thinks of this as a game for fun too. ;) How many of my scenario designs... let's say bend... history a little bit to promote more interesting gameplay? Enough that I'm at least going to try a little bit harder if I ever get to make PzC2 content to stir up less such controversies... lol

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by proline » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:14 am

Rudankort wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:41 pm
proline wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:28 pm
So what's changing exactly?
In Panzer Corps combat round is one stage, with each shot resulting in deflect, suppress or kill. When attack is significantly higher than defense, the defender will suffer huge losses. In Panzer Corps 2 this process is two stage. First, all shots are interpreted as hits or misses, based on unit's accuracy. Second, each hit is interpreted as deflect, suppress or kill as before. Base unit accuracy is a global parameter which can be modified to make the game less or more bloody (making it 100% reverts the game to Panzer Corps 1 behavior). Main modifier of accuracy is experience, each star gives you a certain bonus to accuracy, and a certain (smaller) penalty to enemy units attacking you. All these parameters are configured in the game rules file. This gives experience a unique niche in the game, because it is difficult to replicate its effects by other means, although some unit traits and heroes can affect accuracy, plus overstrength naturally increases the number of hits.
If you do this with the current equipment file it will mean that units don't die as easily, which is a pretty profound change. It would mean many more interactions in a scenario that starts off the same so gameplay would be quite different. It would also mean that if you expose a unit the chance of losing it would be lower. Some might consider that more forgiving and more fun, but the flip side of that is that if you do outflank your opponent your chance of being able to actually pick off a few artillery from the back becomes lower. Finally, if you don't set accuracy the same for all units of a given experience it would massively alter the relative value of different units.

All this could I guess be fixed by reworking the equipment file entirely, but do you really want to go down that rabbit hole?

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Gwaylare » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:48 pm

So I love the idea of random maps, they work really well with Fiels of Glory II. But I really wonder about the type of maps you have choosen. To classify maps I did expect something like mountains, hills, swamp, large river, bocage, forests, ... to describe the major terrain on the map. The description about how much water is on a map is fine for games like civilization, but for a tank based game? So the focus should be on land based batlles, I think.

To be honest I do not like the implementation of ships in Panzer Corps and for me it does not fit into this game at all. It is implemented as a swimming artillery, which really feels strange. Especially if they are able to fire half way through greece, italy or norway. The counter for ships are stragtegic bombers??? Using submarines to scout land based defence???

If you have games with a larger strategic base like resources, supply lines and production, it makes sense to combine sea and land forces. For a game like Panzer Corps it does not. Or will Panzer Corps mutate to a new Battle Isle?
Last edited by Gwaylare on Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by 13obo » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:05 pm

What was described in the dev diary is very similar to other random map generators- you set up the type of map which differs based on amount of water. However, and this was already mentioned by Rudankort, there are numerous other options for setting up the map such as the vegetation, the geography, number of settlements, etc.

On the point of ships- I think I also read that the PzC 2 implementation of them will be much better and balanced than what it was for PzC. I hope for something at the level of OOB (using it again as an example as it has such good mechanics). Ships are of different types in OOB and adhere to the rock-paper-scissors principle as well- destroyers sink submarines, submarines sink battleships, and battleships sink destroyers (and provide good cover fire). Careers are weak against battleships and subs but provide for air support which is invaluable unless enemy has air too.

Rudankort, would you give us some detail on the naval component of the game? Pretty pleaaaaaaaaaaaaase?

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Patrick Ward » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:58 pm

Gwaylare wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:48 pm
So I love the idea of random maps, they work really well with Fiels of Glory II. But I really wonder about the type of maps you have choosen. To classify maps I did expect something like mountains, hills, swamp, large river, bocage, forests, ... to describe the major terrain on the map. The description about how much water is on a map is fine for games like civilization, but for a tank based game? So the focus should be on land based batlles, I think.
Fog is a tactical game, hense the use of terrain types to describe a map subtype. A map can be dominated by one particular terrain type since the area covered is relatively small.

PzC is primarily a strategic/operational game so covers a much greater area and contains many terrain types. They need to be described by their larger geographical features.

It doesn't make sense to describe a map as montainous if it can cover high mountain ranges, through hills, plateaus with farmland, river valeys and down to the sea ..
..........................

Pat a Pixel Pusher

..........................

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Rudankort » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:06 pm

dalfrede wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:24 pm
My issue with the new Recon Traits in PzC2 is are cavalry/motorcycles infantry or recon. Can they be both?
In our last internal discussion my vote was for leaving cavalry in infantry class, but moving motorcycles to recon. But Kresimir is not convinced. His preference is to keep the recon class more "uniform". Anything can happen before the release, we shall see. BTW, how do you imagine them being in two classes at the same time?
dalfrede wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:24 pm
Its similar to flame tanks not having the close trait. A weapon with a range of 50m does not have close trait but a rifle/MG with a range of +200m does?
Well close trait is not about the range of the weapon, but about unit's ability to exploit the opponent's vulnerabilities at close range. A tank is too big and clumsy for that. For the most part, it's a unique ability of infantry.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Rudankort » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:13 pm

proline wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:14 am
If you do this with the current equipment file it will mean that units don't die as easily, which is a pretty profound change. It would mean many more interactions in a scenario that starts off the same so gameplay would be quite different. It would also mean that if you expose a unit the chance of losing it would be lower. Some might consider that more forgiving and more fun, but the flip side of that is that if you do outflank your opponent your chance of being able to actually pick off a few artillery from the back becomes lower. Finally, if you don't set accuracy the same for all units of a given experience it would massively alter the relative value of different units.

All this could I guess be fixed by reworking the equipment file entirely, but do you really want to go down that rabbit hole?
Well, we are already pretty deep down that hole. :) Of course, reusing existing file could save us quite some effort and it was tempting to go this way. But we never did major equipment tweaks in PzC, because of the fear to break existing content. And once Panzer Corps 2 has accumulated some content of its own, we will be in the same situation again. Now we have a unique opportunity to try and solve some of the PzC old issues and create an overall better balanced file.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Rudankort » Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:13 pm

Gwaylare wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:48 pm
So I love the idea of random maps, they work really well with Fiels of Glory II. But I really wonder about the type of maps you have choosen. To classify maps I did expect something like mountains, hills, swamp, large river, bocage, forests, ... to describe the major terrain on the map. The description about how much water is on a map is fine for games like civilization, but for a tank based game? So the focus should be on land based batlles, I think.
In addition to what Patrick has said, I think that landmass is a canvas where you paint the map. Since water is impassable to ground units, it shapes the land and basically allows us to create maps which are not only rectangular, but much more varied in their shapes. And only on the next step we add terrain, which can also be very different. But I felt that land terrain was better described as parameters (sliders) than some predefined map types. Maps full of forest or bocage or even hills might play pretty similarly, because these terrain types have similar properties in Panzer Corps. On the other hand, by controlling the percentage of close terrain, you get maps with various degrees of "openness" which can be no less important for tactics. So, I am going to provide a slider for each terrain type, and different combinations of these sliders will result in a very wide variety of maps. I'll try to make some examples and post them later.
Gwaylare wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:48 pm
To be honest I do not like the implementation of ships in Panzer Corps and for me it does not fit into this game at all. It is implemented as a swimming artillery, which really feels strange. Especially if they are able to fire half way through greece, italy or norway. The counter for ships are stragtegic bombers??? Using submarines to scout land based defence???
Well to be fair, when many artillery types have a range of 3 hexes, putting ships above that range does make some sense. :) But I agree with you that there were quite some problems with naval implementation in Panzer Corps. Is there any other WW2 TBS where you actually enjoy the implementation of naval warfare?
Gwaylare wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:48 pm
If you have games with a larger strategic base like resources, supply lines and production, it makes sense to combine sea and land forces. For a game like Panzer Corps it does not. Or will Panzer Corps mutate to a new Battle Isle?
Panzer Corps will not mutate into anything. :) But ships were always an integral part of 5-star series. In some games they were more prominent than in the others (of course, Pacific General immediately jumps to mind), but even in the good old Panzer General some of the most memorable scenarios featured a naval component, like Norway, Sea Lion, Crete, Husky, D-Day, Washington. It would be hard to imagine the next Panzer Corps game without ships, especially considering that I hope to cover the Pacific Theatre in the new series as well. So, if we both agree that the current implementation is not ideal, then the only possible direction is to improve and expand it.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by proline » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:35 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:13 pm
So, if we both agree that the current implementation is not ideal, then the only possible direction is to improve and expand it.
Indeed. Sounds like the perfect subject for Dev Diary #7.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Rudankort » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:23 am

13obo wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:05 pm
On the point of ships- I think I also read that the PzC 2 implementation of them will be much better and balanced than what it was for PzC. I hope for something at the level of OOB (using it again as an example as it has such good mechanics). Ships are of different types in OOB and adhere to the rock-paper-scissors principle as well- destroyers sink submarines, submarines sink battleships, and battleships sink destroyers (and provide good cover fire). Careers are weak against battleships and subs but provide for air support which is invaluable unless enemy has air too.
There is no doubt that OoB has a better fleshed out naval component than Panzer Corps. However, this discription: "Ships are of different types in OOB and adhere to the rock-paper-scissors principle as well- destroyers sink submarines, submarines sink battleships, and battleships sink destroyers" fully applies to Panzer Corps as well. ;)

I think, naval component in Panzer Corps 2 will be developed at about the same level as in OoB. I'm not going to copy their rules directly, especially more obscure ones (like keeping the distance to enemy ship in order to maximize the damage), and so far I don't plan to use any attacks with cool down. But you will see many of the same elements, like deep/shallow sea terrain, naval mines, torpedoes, submerged and surfaced states for submarines etc. In addition to all this you can expect several new "support fire" interactions between ship types, plus damage model inspired by critical hits system from PacGen, but slightly more advanced. For example, these critical hits will not be fully random, but will depend on the direction and type of the attack. Torpedo which hits a ship from behind has a good chance to damage propeller or steering, but will never damage one of the turrets.
13obo wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:05 pm
Rudankort, would you give us some detail on the naval component of the game? Pretty pleaaaaaaaaaaaaase?
Indeed, as proline suggested, answering this question in full would require at least a full-blown dev diary. Dev diary 7 is already prepared, but I'll try my best to cover this topic asap. :)

PS. Thanks for your kind words and for support. :)
Last edited by Rudankort on Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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