Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

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AlbertoC
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Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by AlbertoC » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:59 am

As 2018 is coming to an end, we are getting a lot of questions about the Panzer Corps 2 release date. Unfortunately, by now it has become clear that we won’t be able to release the game this year. This is something which some of you have already guessed, but we wanted to confirm it here so that there are no unrealistic expectations.

The game will be released next year, and we will announce the exact date as soon as we are reasonably confident about it.

After a deep dive into gameplay specifics in the last to issues of the Dev Diary, today we wanted to talk about a different topic. We have spent a lot of time lately polishing our random map engine. Let us take a look at what it can do.

Panzer Corps 2 is able to generate random maps of different sizes, and for any number of players from 2 to 8. These maps can be played both in single player and multiplayer mode. Random maps come in six primary types.


Continent

This type will be the most familiar to most Panzer Corps players. It has no bodies of water, besides rivers, and battles on such maps are 100% focused on ground and air warfare. Although scenarios generated on these maps are random, very similar battles could have happened in WW2 in real life. At the same time, it is great to explore all kinds of historical what-ifs, like allies fighting each other instead of Axis forces.

Continent maps might not look as fancy as the other types below, but there is a lot of gameplay to enjoy there. Perhaps more than in any other type.

Image


Coast

This map is similar to the previous type, but there is also a sea in one part of the map. Although naval component on such maps is limited, it cannot be ignored: if you don’t take advantage of it, your opponents will instead. An enemy capital ship bombarding your capital is not fun. :)

Image



Big Island

The name says it all; this map is one big island, completely surrounded by the sea. This map opens up a lot more space for naval warfare because you can easily reach any of the opponents by the sea and try to bombard their cities or surprise them by landing your troops behind their lines. However, battles on big islands are still resolved on the ground by the old trusty panzers. Superior strategy and tactics with your ground and air units is key to victory.

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Archipelago

Each player starts on his own private island, and there can be a few more “neutral” islands to conquer. Island hopping campaigns were not typical of the European Theatre, but here you can get a taste of what it would look like if the biggest European powers clashed over the control of a remote archipelago. Expect lots of naval action, because the islands are small enough, and most land hexes can be bombarded directly by capital ships. This is probably the only map where you cannot win without a strong fleet. Airforce is also important because aircraft based on one island can easily reach several surrounding ones. As for land battles, they are going to be smaller in scale but very fierce, because losing your home island will likely mean instant loss of the game.

Image


Big Lake

This map has one big lake in the middle of the map, while all players are placed on the coast around it. Another way to think of this type is “Big Island reversed”, with land replaced with water with land. This is another map with significant naval component because whoever controls the Lake will possess strategic initiative and can directly attack any of the opponents at any moment. So, expect large-scale battles both on the ground and for control of the Lake. Alternatively, you can play this map in winter, where you will be tempted to march your troops across the lake, but beware – the ice could thaw at any moment!

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Lakeland

If you have ever been to Finland, which is often called “'the land of a thousand lakes”, you can easily imagine Lakeland. On this map, the land is dotted with lakes of different size, and although land mass remains fully connected, water gives it a very complex structure which you need to carefully consider when planning your strategy. The naval component is once again small scale in Lakeland, but you can still surprise your opponents by unexpected naval landings. Playing this map in cold season could be another fun option, because every time the lakes freeze, each player will try to use this drastic change in map configuration to his advantage.

If there are any other types of random maps which you would like to see in Panzer Corps 2, let us know! And finally, in one of our future diaries, we will tell about various mission types which you can play on all these random maps.

Image

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by koopanique » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:00 pm

AlbertoC wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:59 am
Panzer Corps 2 is able to generate random maps of different sizes, and for any number of players from 2 to 8. These maps can be played both in single player and multiplayer mode. Random maps come in six primary types.
This sounds excellent, this is all again very good news to me.

A two-landmass map type would be cool! Players would have to fight for the sea separating the two landmasses. Landing operations would have to be more carefully prepared and larger in scale than in archipelago.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Rudankort » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:09 pm

koopanique wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:00 pm
A two-landmass map type would be cool! Players would have to fight for the sea separating the two landmasses. Landing operations would have to be more carefully prepared and larger in scale than in archipelago.
This is an excellent idea! :)

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by 13obo » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:57 pm

The geography of the maps looks good! The road networks (or density of settlements) can do a bit of trimming down as they look a bit too many to me atm. Or perhaps the density of settlements can be a setting for the player to tweak?

In any case, I was initially resistant to the idea of random maps, but you are right that knowing how vast Russia is, for example, it wouldn't be a surprise that battles were fought in something very closely resembling the random-generated one. Moreover, I'm not a history buff (or geography one), so I probably wouldn't even be able to distinguish a real map from a random one.

Thumbs up! Keep that delivery date far away for a more polished game!

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by bebro » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:14 pm

I think the terrain looks pretty cool in the diff. types of climate.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Molve » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:11 pm

Generating random maps with seas begs the question: how do ships get on the map?

(In PC you never actually build ships, as you know. The war would basically be over between commissioning a cruiser - let alone a carrier! - and actually completing the build...)

Of course I realize purchased naval units could represent a pre-existing fleet, at least if purchased at deployment (and not mid-scenario). What I'm really asking is: there must be some "naval prestige" points or some such, right? Something separate from the army and attached air units, I mean.

You can't ask a player to build a battleship if that sum of points could go towards an entire swarm of Tiger tanks... (at least not on the vast majority of European Theatre style maps, ie maps that doesn't absolutely require a navy. That archipelago above might be an exception, but that doesn't change this)

Thanks

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Kerensky » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:49 pm

1. Can random maps be saved and edited after created. For example, letting the generator pre built a multiplayer map might be nice to increase general design variety, but such randomly generated content will need inevitable fine tuning and tweaking to provide a proper balanced and potentially competitive multiplayer experience (PzC tournament style).

2. Frozen lake maps. I remember these, and I also remember why we stopped using them. Namely, take a lake frozen over and let's say a certain Italian tank was sitting in the middle of previously frozen now unfrozen lake, the game didn't really handle it very well. Hint, think Jesus.

Image

What has changed so this strange quirkiness doesn't create immersion breaking floating tanks? Can we get some kind of 'breaking through the ice' animation and instant death for foolish units caught in the middle of lakes when those lakes start to unfreeze?

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Rudankort » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:03 pm

13obo wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:57 pm
The geography of the maps looks good! The road networks (or density of settlements) can do a bit of trimming down as they look a bit too many to me atm. Or perhaps the density of settlements can be a setting for the player to tweak?
Yes, road and city density is already a setting, one of many controlling how the maps are generated. The number of major and minor rivers, hills, mountains, forests, swamps etc. can all be tweaked.
Molve wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:11 pm
Generating random maps with seas begs the question: how do ships get on the map?
The ships get on the map via Purchase screen, like in the good old Pacific General. This can happen both on deployment phase and in the middle of a scenario. I could separate ship slots from other slots, like PacGen did, but I decided very deliberately against it, because I did not want to impose a certain fleet size on the players of these maps. It is up to the player to decide what balance between ground, air and naval units he wants.
Kerensky wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:49 pm
1. Can random maps be saved and edited after created. For example, letting the generator pre built a multiplayer map might be nice to increase general design variety, but such randomly generated content will need inevitable fine tuning and tweaking to provide a proper balanced and potentially competitive multiplayer experience (PzC tournament style).
The editor has the same map generator built in, so you can generate a random map with any parameters without even launching the game. Then you can of course edit this map in any way you want, and save it afterwards.
Kerensky wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:49 pm
What has changed so this strange quirkiness doesn't create immersion breaking floating tanks? Can we get some kind of 'breaking through the ice' animation and instant death for foolish units caught in the middle of lakes when those lakes start to unfreeze?
Yes, the plan is to send these units directly to the bottom of the lake. We no longer have crashing planes in the game, so we needed some substitute, and sinking panzers looked like a good option. Admittedly, we have not implemented a cool animation for this yet, but it's on our list. :)

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Horst » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:30 pm

Will PzC2 have a line-of-sight system that land/naval units can't see what's behind terrain like settlements, forests, hills and mountains?

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Rudankort » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:03 pm

Horst wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:30 pm
Will PzC2 have a line-of-sight system that land/naval units can't see what's behind terrain like settlements, forests, hills and mountains?
We considered it and decided against it. All these mechanics simply force the player to spend more time and resources on routinely scouting the land and "combing" difficult terrain, which is not that much fun. In other words, this would make the game harder in a frustrating, uninteresting way.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Kerensky » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:08 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:03 pm
Horst wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:30 pm
Will PzC2 have a line-of-sight system that land/naval units can't see what's behind terrain like settlements, forests, hills and mountains?
We considered it and decided against it. All these mechanics simply force the player to spend more time and resources on routinely scouting the land and "combing" difficult terrain, which is not that much fun. In other words, this would make the game harder in a frustrating, uninteresting way.
Perhaps something in future then, but not as a default always on feature, but a toggle-able scenario specific setting. Dense city maps would gain a lot if tanks were really blind when driving down street lines.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Horst » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:14 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:03 pm
Horst wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:30 pm
Will PzC2 have a line-of-sight system that land/naval units can't see what's behind terrain like settlements, forests, hills and mountains?
We considered it and decided against it. All these mechanics simply force the player to spend more time and resources on routinely scouting the land and "combing" difficult terrain, which is not that much fun. In other words, this would make the game harder in a frustrating, uninteresting way.
Your arguments sounds strange to me. Hasn't WH40K Armageddon also a working LOS system but is no fun this way?
One of the reasons why I prefer OoB over PzC is/was the missing LoS.
There are enough people who want realism in wargames. There are also enough players who consider recon units a waste - true LOS is a valid argument for using recon units with phase-movement. Air-recon units can still help for detecting more on the ground.
At least consider it as another realism-toggle like weather, supply, fog-of-war, and undo! Enough players would appreciate it.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Rudankort » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:14 pm

Horst wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:14 pm
Your arguments sounds strange to me. Hasn't WH40K Armageddon also a working LOS system?
Armageddon had LOS for firing, it was a game with more emphasis on ranged combat. This had nothing to do with spotting.
Horst wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:14 pm
One of the reasons why I prefer OoB over PzC is/was the missing LoS.
Game rules must be considered as a whole. OoB had the front line, which could show enemy advance even in fog of war. In Panzer Corps the problem of unspotted enemy units is already much more severe. Enemy could be anywhere. Spotting area of your army is already quite limited, with many units having mere 1 or 2 spotting. I'm not convinced at all that reducing this area further, no matter by what rules, is a good idea. As a unique challenge in an individual scenario, like Kerensky suggested - maybe. In special situations, like bad weather, yes why not. PzC already had this rule. But not permanently. On the other hand, extending this area is no problem. We have "high ground" terrain trait in Panzer Corps 2, which can be used to spot further away.
Horst wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:14 pm
There are enough people who want realism in wargames.
Panzer Corps is very unrealistic if you consider its rules literally, but is very realistic once you accept its abstract nature. Spotting fits well in this framework. Just out of curiosity, how do you explain to yourself that each unit must have a single specific type? That only one unit is allowed per hex (when a single hex on some maps could fit the whole army group)? That only one movement and one attack is allowed per day (turn)? And if you can live with all these things, what makes LOS in particular so critical for your enjoyment of the game?
Horst wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:14 pm
There are also enough players who consider recon units a waste - true LOS is a valid argument for using recon units with phase-movement. Air-recon units can still help for detecting more on the ground.
At least consider it as another realism-toggle like weather, supply, fog-of-war, and undo! Enough players would appreciate it.
As soon as I can see a clear benefit to gameplay from changed spotting rules, I will gladly consider it. What exactly do you suggest? If terrain like forests blocks LOS instantly, this means that no units, including recon, can see more than 1 hex into a big forest which your army is passing. I've already explained why I don't think it's a good idea. And this would actually affect recons with their huge spotting range more than any other units, which will not make them more attractive. :) Do you suggest to make recons an exception from general LOS rules?

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by goose_2 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:59 pm

Kerensky wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:49 pm
1. Can random maps be saved and edited after created. For example, letting the generator pre built a multiplayer map might be nice to increase general design variety, but such randomly generated content will need inevitable fine tuning and tweaking to provide a proper balanced and potentially competitive multiplayer experience (PzC tournament style).

2. Frozen lake maps. I remember these, and I also remember why we stopped using them. Namely, take a lake frozen over and let's say a certain Italian tank was sitting in the middle of previously frozen now unfrozen lake, the game didn't really handle it very well. Hint, think Jesus.

Image

What has changed so this strange quirkiness doesn't create immersion breaking floating tanks? Can we get some kind of 'breaking through the ice' animation and instant death for foolish units caught in the middle of lakes when those lakes start to unfreeze?
I always like to think Jesus ;)
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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by Kerensky » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:05 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:14 pm
As soon as I can see a clear benefit to gameplay from changed spotting rules, I will gladly consider it. What exactly do you suggest? If terrain like forests blocks LOS instantly, this means that no units, including recon, can see more than 1 hex into a big forest which your army is passing. I've already explained why I don't think it's a good idea. And this would actually affect recons with their huge spotting range more than any other units, which will not make them more attractive. :) Do you suggest to make recons an exception from general LOS rules?
I agree LOS mechanics in the general game are out of place in Panzer Corps.

But I still think they could find a nice place in dense city map types. With such a blanket of city hexes, it's very easy for units to move quite swiftly as these terrain types are the only terrain types to have no movement penalties but be considered some of the best terrains for entrenching and close combat. With a severe restriction on sight, trying to navigate dense clusters of city hexes gains an extra facet that is quite setting appropriate. You can easily have a large ambushing force a mere 2 hexes away and be unaware of them because a row of city hexes/buildings is between the two forces. That is the essence of urban warfare, and some of the most interesting Panzer Corps scenarios were urban warfare ones.

Again, very scenario specific settings, not a blanket game setting.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by dalfrede » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:09 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:03 pm
Horst wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:30 pm
Will PzC2 have a line-of-sight system that land/naval units can't see what's behind terrain like settlements, forests, hills and mountains?
We considered it and decided against it. All these mechanics simply force the player to spend more time and resources on routinely scouting the land and "combing" difficult terrain, which is not that much fun. In other words, this would make the game harder in a frustrating, uninteresting way.
May I suggest a compromise to the LOS debate. Reduce info for blocked LOS. One can see the unit is there, but ammo, entrenchment et al is not revealed. I am not sure about revealing strength.
It would be similar to the case of how many pixels does it take to see a target versus how many pixels does it take to identify a target.
In the first Gulf War, M2s would spot for M1s. After the war this led to a redesigned 3 FOV telescope to replace the old 2 FOV sight for the M1 tank.

On a side note: the Dev Diaries are released in Slitherine 'Global Announcements' and 'PzC2 Announcements' simultaneously, The replies to each are separate.
But the 'Global Announcements' thread gets dropped with it's replies, while the 'PzC2 Announcements' replies remain for future reference.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by terminator » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:35 pm

What is the maximal map size ?

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by stephenkman » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:23 pm

Maps look awesome.

I love PzC, it's a very balanced game which makes it very playable over and over.

I have two wishes:

1. The ability to rename units - this will make it easier to identify units with special abilities and core units.

2. The ability to mark the map where you suspect enemy units are, with a "?" perhaps (the old Panzer Blitz board game had these). For instance, you attack a unit in foggy conditions and artillery briefly reveals itself when it fires, you can mark that spot so you remember it next turn. Or, a remote unit is about to be destroyed in an ambush and you want to remember that there were three units in that location.

Thanks!

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by PawelS » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:20 am

You can rename units in PzC1 using Alt+N.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #6

Post by hugh2711 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:38 am

I love the idea of random generated maps. This will vastly increase the replayability and longevity of the game for single players.

I also would like to know; 'what is the maximum map size'
This will of course be determined by the strength of the computer.
While I am sort of resigned to getting a new laptop :-( it woud still be good to be able to turn off all the eye candy settings BEFORE generating the map enabling faster response and bigger maps. Of course we all know bigger maps are better/more fun e.g. battlefield europe etc.

I also like the idea of a map that is two land masses completely seperated by a body of water of varying sizes.

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