OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

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Mojko
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OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by Mojko » Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:01 am

I would like to provide you with an in-depth comparison of the Order of Battle and Panzer Corps 2 game mechanics. I'm purposefully omitting discussion about graphics and scenario design to keep the discussion focused on game mechanics only. I broke the game mechanics into multiple sections. Each section will have a description, comparison and also a winner. The goal is to provide some context for people who are not sure if they want to try PC2 and how is it different from OOB. Feel free to post your opinions on the various sections as well :D.

Supply nodes

OOB - limited supply nodes
PC2 - unlimited supply nodes, border supply

In OOB every supply node has a specific number of supply this node provides which can be affected by interactions with some units (strategic bomber - damage, engineer - repair). This enables interesting opportunities in scenario design as a player may be highly motivated to defend certain supply nodes instead of abandoning certain areas and shortening front lines. On the other hand, in PC2 such strategic supply decisions are not present. Supply decisions are limited local encirclements especially because every border tile acts as a supply node. Damaging supply nodes is also not possible.

Transparency of the supply mechanic is explicit in OOB as the UI indicates supply areas for every team. Supply values of nodes can be shown on demand with supply overlay. PC2 has no such UI and player is left guessing where the supply route weaknesses are.

Winner: OOB

Encirclement / deny supply

OOB - tactical to strategic level
PC2 - tactical level only

PC2 has infinite value supply nodes and the border of the map also provides an infinite supply

Denying supply on a large scale is mostly not possible which limits the player choice of strategy.

Winner: OOB

Unit upgrades location

OOB - upgrade for core units can happen anywhere (outside off deployment phase)
PC2 - upgrades for all units available only on supply hex only (outside off deployment phase)

Limiting the option to upgrade units gives the player an opportunity to make interesting decisions. Good planning and insight are rewarded.

Winner: PC2

Unit upgrades availability

OOB - no upgrades for auxiliary units
PC2 - upgrades for auxiliary units possible

The possibility of the upgrading of auxiliary units is potentially problematic for scenario design as it introduces another variable that depends on the player. A player with a lot of resources may turn a weak auxiliary unit into a much more powerful unit which throws the scenario out of balance.

Winner: OOB

Unit upgrades cost

OOB - upgrade penalties present, discount groups available
PC2 - no upgrade penalties, unit cost difference is paid even if negative

Having no unit upgrade penalties means less decision making possibilities as a unit upgrade can be reverted any penalties. This makes unit upgrade choice much less impactful.

Winner: OOB

Interchange the position of two adjacent units

OOB - yes
PC2 - yes (no custom hotkey)  

Airforce - bombing runs

OOB - multiple bombing runs
PC2 - single bombing run

Having the option to bomb one unit with only one plane means that the player has to choose targets much more carefully. This leads to more interesting decision-making situations.

Winner: PC2  

Airforce - fuel system

OOB - fuel system, landed aircraft vulnerability
PC2 - no fuel, auto return to airfield at the end of turn

Without a fuel system in PC2 there is no fuel management layer that takes away decision making from opportunity from the player. Fuel management is especially interesting when both planes and airports move separately (aircraft carrier) which requires good coordination. This is where OOB shines and it also provides the ability to damage landed aircraft which is impossible in PC2.

Winner: OOB  

Organic transport

OOB - no
PC2 - yes

This feature allows a unit that is using transport to choose to move less than the maximum range in order to perform disembark action at the end at the cost of losing attack action. This makes the towed and foot units more viable and gives the player more choice when it comes to unit composition.

Winner: PC2

Leaders

OOB - scenario designer choice, single leader per unit
PC2 - random, up to 3 leaders per unit

Scenario designer choice gives better historical flavor experience but on the other hand, random leader reward increases replayability. Overall, PC2 has leaders who are more impactful as multiple leaders can be assigned to a single unit producing interesting combinations.

Winner: PC2

Captured equipment

OOB - scenario designer choice
PC2 - the player can attempt to encircle and capture

Giving the player the option to capture enemy vehicles as a game mechanic produces interesting choices. For example, capturing Matilda tanks early on gives player advantage as early German tanks are much more fragile. It also opens interesting opportunities for a campaign like the Winter War where capturing enemy equipment may be much more necessary.

Winner: PC2  

Unit survivability

OOB - high
PC2 - low

OOB has built-in mechanics that help weakened units survive. For example, artillery deals less damage to units with less strength, aircraft takes less damage when low on strength. On the other hand, PC2 has mechanics that promote the opposite like overstrength and overwhelm. Making the units survive longer gives more choice and opportunity to make impactful decisions.

For example, the player can choose to encircle just to cut off enemy retreat.

Winner: OOB

Support fire

OOB - anti-tank, anti-air
PC2 - anti-tank, anti-air, infantry-support, counter-battery, destroyer-land-support

PC2 introduced multiple types of support fire and these are distributed among units as traits. Typically, smaller caliber artillery provides infantry-support and higher caliber artillery provides counter-battery fire. This gives the player a good reason to pick any of the wide range of artillery, not just the heaviest ones.

Winner: PC2

Naval combat

OOB - advanced, damaged units have penalties (attack, movement)
PC2 - basic, damaged units have no combat penalties

OOB provides complex naval combat with features such as unit maneuvering (reduced damage when moving), torpedo attacks vulnerability, carriers (carrier aircraft), damaged unit management and unit landing system (related to supply and efficiency). Naval combat in PC2 is essentially land combat on water.

Winner: OOB

Player traits

OOB - tree-like skill structure which is unlocked over time, low to medium impact (with exceptions), all skills are positive
PC2 - skills are chosen at the start and are never changed, medium to high impact, skills can be positive and negative

PC2 introduced a strength-weakness system that allows the player to take on weaknesses in order to pick up strengths. The impact of this selection is in effect from the start of the game and remains in place until the end of the campaign. This allows the player to alter the game rules to suit own playstyle. This means more interesting decisions and more replayability.

Winner: PC2 

Transport supply cost

OOB - fixed, any unit transport costs the same
PC2 - variable, horse and truck transport costs 0 slots/supply, armored transport costs 1 slots/supply

Having different transport costs in terms of supply produces more interesting choices for the player.

Winner: PC2 

Prototypes

OOB - scenario designer choice
PC2 - built-in mechanic

PC2 gives the player the option to use prototypes which are limited units. These can be purchased only in limited quantities. This gives the player interesting choices to make as prototype units are often difficult to reinforce but are likely to be more powerful compared to regular units.

Winner: PC2 

Recon units

OOB - dedicated unit class, no combat bonuses
PC2 - no dedicated unit class (recon, tactical bomber), combat bonuses

PC2 added an interesting mechanic for recons - they provide combat bonuses for adjacent units (depends if it's a ground or air recon). Combat bonuses make other units do more damage and suffer fewer casualties. On the other hand, OOB has very little use of ground recon units.

Winner: PC2

Resource pools

OOB - separate resource pools possible for auxiliary units
PC2 - shared resource pool

OOB supports the option of having separate resource pools for different army groups. This provides the scenario with more possibilities for example "rescue isolated pocket" scenario is much better if the isolated army group has a separate resource pool so that player can't break the scenario balance with carry-over resources.

Winner: OOB

Suppression

OOB - carry-over until the unit rests
PC2 - no carry-over unless encircled

Quick suppression recovery in PC2 reduces the tactical options for the player and direct attack usually more viable compare to encirclement.

Winner: OOB

Cross-class unit upgrades

OOB - yes, via unit switch action, no experience penalty
PC2 - yes, via similar unit class (vehicles, planes), experience penalty present

Winner: PC2

Looking forward to your feedback :D .
Last edited by Mojko on Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by bru888 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:57 am

My feedback is to simply compliment you on a thorough analysis and to thank you for it . I will say no more as I have been identified as a fanboy. ;)
- Bru

best75
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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by best75 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:32 am

Nice, a good look at the differences.

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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by kondi754 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:10 am

I appreciate this comparison attempt, but this is still your subjective judgment.
For example: the possibility of multiple air attack on 1 hex is an advantage, not a disadvantage of OoB in my opinion

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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by terminator » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:19 am

Mojko wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:01 am
Interchange the position of two adjacent units

OOB - yes
PC2 - no

Winner: OOB    

Looking forward to your feedback :D .
Interchange the position of two adjacent units => PC2 - yes (it is a somewhat hidden but quite functional feature)

:arrow: Equality

Mojko
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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by Mojko » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:19 am

terminator wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:19 am
Interchange the position of two adjacent units => PC2 - yes (it is a somewhat hidden but quite functional feature)

:arrow: Equality
Good to know, thanks :)
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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by GabeKnight » Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:01 am

Mojko wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:01 am
Unit upgrades location

OOB - upgrade for core units can happen anywhere (outside off deployment phase)
PC2 - upgrades for all units available only on supply hex only (outside off deployment phase)

Limiting the option to upgrade units gives the player an opportunity to make interesting decisions. Good planning and insight are rewarded.
Well, nah, doesn't seem to matter much IMO. Deployment over flagged hexes, repairs/upgrades everywhere. Does it really matter if I have to move a few hexes into a town to upgrade my unit? Maybe I'll lose a turn, and that's it. Seems more like a bother than a feature. :?

Mojko wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:01 am
Organic transport

This feature allows a unit that is using transport to choose to move less than the maximum range in order to perform disembark action at the end at the cost of losing attack action. This makes the towed and foot units more viable and gives the player more choice when it comes to unit composition.
It reminds me of a neat feature that was requested for OoB a while ago: To be able to choose whether an unit uses transport even when moving inside the unit's regular movement range (e.g. one hex movement). That would really be nice.

Mojko wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:01 am
Leaders

OOB - scenario designer choice, single leader per unit
PC2 - random, up to 3 leaders per unit

Scenario designer choice gives better historical flavor experience but on the other hand, random leader reward increases replayability. Overall, PC2 has leaders who are more impactful as multiple leaders can be assigned to a single unit producing interesting combinations.
Personally, I'm quite unsatisfied that the OoB commanders' bonuses don't stack and in the case of overlapping "ranges of influence" I don't even know which commander will be picked by the game.
And from what I've read over there at the PC2 forums, the "hero" bonuses are somewhat unbalanced when using the "right" combination of heroes on a unit.

Mojko wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:01 am
Support fire

OOB - anti-tank, anti-air
PC2 - anti-tank, anti-air, infantry-support, counter-battery, destroyer-land-support

PC2 introduced multiple types of support fire and these are distributed among units as traits. Typically, smaller caliber artillery provides infantry-support and higher caliber artillery provides counter-battery fire. This gives the player a good reason to pick any of the wide range of artillery, not just the heaviest ones.
Yeah: "This gives the player a good reason to pick any of the wide range of artillery, not just the heaviest ones". I admit, that's somewhat of a problem with OoB. You're right, I can't find any good use for those small (2CP) mountain guns and such myself, and I'd like to change that. Any ideas how ?

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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by sIg3b » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:58 pm

I have played neither (so far) and I don´t have time to learn both; so I am obviously interested in the comparison.

Most important question for me: Which is closer to the original 5 star series? Especially regarding army management.

I want to be able to get ahead of or fall behind the curve; thinking ahead a few months should be important.

The original Fantasy General from SSI was the perfect army management game imo. You had to choose between finishing fast, maximizing experience and getting secondary objectives.

Everything was outcome dependent; you had to earn additional slots by finishing fast; earn heroes by taking secondary objectives; earn artifacts by either; unlocking advanced units was not free, either: You had to spend gold for research.

There was never enough gold to go around, even on easy; so all decisions mattered, both short term and long term. I feel all newer games have watered down the long term decision making tremendously. Can you convince me otherwise?

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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by Erik2 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:44 pm

I don't think there's a playable demo for PzC2.

But you can get OOB for free and play the Bootcamp tutorial (4 scenarios covering all the land-air-sea basics).
That should give you a general idea wether OOB suites you or not.

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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by Mojko » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:51 pm

GabeKnight wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:01 am
Yeah: "This gives the player a good reason to pick any of the wide range of artillery, not just the heaviest ones". I admit, that's somewhat of a problem with OoB. You're right, I can't find any good use for those small (2CP) mountain guns and such myself, and I'd like to change that. Any ideas how ?
I already suggested the remedy for this - all small-caliber artillery should get the support fire trait.
sIg3b wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:58 pm
Most important question for me: Which is closer to the original 5 star series? Especially regarding army management.

There was never enough gold to go around, even on easy; so all decisions mattered, both short term and long term. I feel all newer games have watered down the long term decision making tremendously. Can you convince me otherwise?
I would say that PC2 is closer to the original series, however, I find difficulty really easy. I play on 1 difficulty level higher than the default (middle difficulty) which comes with a 30% prestige penalty and I'm floating tens of thousands of prestige points as I'm unable to spend them. The biggest difference in PC2 is that unit upgrades do not have any penalties. When you upgrade a unit you pay the difference in cost between the two units even if the difference is negative (you get your money back in such case). The campaign is quite bland as well as it's lacking bonus objectives or battle phases. This is not surprising though as this is just the vanilla game and what we're really waiting for is the grand campaign DLCs which will arrive eventually.

My recommendation for you is as follows:

- try out OOB for now as it's free (you can play the first scenario of all the campaigns and you can even play full campaigns which are user-created, there are some high-quality user-created campaigns out there)
- wait with the purchase of PC2 until there are some DLCs out and there is a good price for a bundle
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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by sIg3b » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:36 pm

Thanks; bootcamp tutorial sounds good, because the time investment isn´t that big.

My fear is that both games are a bit too close to Wh40k Armageddon which was my biggest disappointment, game-wise, of the past few years.

No problem with the graphics or the story, but practically no carry-over of success and failure between scenarios killed the game for me.

You see, in Armageddon you start any campaign scenario with a set amount of slots and prestige, totally independent of what happened before; meaning the campaign as campaign is pointless. It´s simply a string of individual scenarios, where the outcome of the previous scenario has near zero influence on the start of the next scenario. You can sell all your units and buy different ones between scenarios, meaning what I like best about games of this sort, the long-term commitment to a strategic plan, is nonexistent!

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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by Mojko » Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:46 am

sIg3b wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:36 pm
Thanks; bootcamp tutorial sounds good, because the time investment isn´t that big.

My fear is that both games are a bit too close to Wh40k Armageddon which was my biggest disappointment, game-wise, of the past few years.

No problem with the graphics or the story, but practically no carry-over of success and failure between scenarios killed the game for me.

You see, in Armageddon you start any campaign scenario with a set amount of slots and prestige, totally independent of what happened before; meaning the campaign as campaign is pointless. It´s simply a string of individual scenarios, where the outcome of the previous scenario has near zero influence on the start of the next scenario. You can sell all your units and buy different ones between scenarios, meaning what I like best about games of this sort, the long-term commitment to a strategic plan, is nonexistent!
In that case, you will really like OOB because rewards for secondary objectives are sometimes rewarded in later scenarios in the campaign. This gives a nice continuity flavor to the game. I personally prefer this over the branching campaign.

Both OOB and PC2 carry over the following things between scenarios in the campaign:

- resources
- core units
- leaders
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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by bebro » Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:13 pm

OOB also cam variables for later effects in cam - not sure how this is done in PzC2.

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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:41 pm

Mojko wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:51 pm
GabeKnight wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:01 am
Yeah: "This gives the player a good reason to pick any of the wide range of artillery, not just the heaviest ones". I admit, that's somewhat of a problem with OoB. You're right, I can't find any good use for those small (2CP) mountain guns and such myself, and I'd like to change that. Any ideas how ?
I already suggested the remedy for this - all small-caliber artillery should get the support fire trait.
You mean like the arty-support in PC? With the current OoB arty mechanic? Every arty unit would be in the reds after one turn of enemy attack... and the arty would have to be adjacent to my infantry units, too? Well, I don't know... sounds like zero survivability for the arty unit.

But no, I meant an idea with the existing OoB engine, not feature requests for future versions. Something I could do in my mod.

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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by Zekedia222 » Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:34 pm

Mojko wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:51 pm
GabeKnight wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:01 am
Yeah: "This gives the player a good reason to pick any of the wide range of artillery, not just the heaviest ones". I admit, that's somewhat of a problem with OoB. You're right, I can't find any good use for those small (2CP) mountain guns and such myself, and I'd like to change that. Any ideas how ?
I already suggested the remedy for this - all small-caliber artillery should get the support fire trait.
I don’t think all small caliber artillery should get this trait. To me, it makes more sense that it should be only the guns which were intended as infantry support guns, such as the German le.IG 7.5cm gun, or the Japanese Type 91 75mm infantry gun.
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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by Mojko » Sat May 30, 2020 7:14 pm

Finished my first playthrough of Panzer Corps 2 and here are my thoughts:

- overall very enjoyable, I especially enjoyed the general strength-weakness system which is essentially built in-game mods
- scenario design is underwhelming (lack of secondary objectives, simple game objectives - capture or defend all victory hexes) but this is consistent with their business model from their first game (the base game is mostly a game engine demo and the real quality content is coming as DLCs later)
- very underwhelming naval combat (little strategy needed)
- underwhelming air combat (no fuel management)
- the supply system is present but can be used mostly for tactical encirclements, in other words, I never ran out of supply or was racing for supply hexes, this is mostly because of their weird choice of the border supply system (every hex on the edge of the map acts as a supply hex)
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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by WarHomer » Sun May 31, 2020 5:06 am

Mojko wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:01 am
Support fire

OOB - anti-tank, anti-air
PC2 - anti-tank, anti-air, infantry-support, counter-battery, destroyer-land-support

PC2 introduced multiple types of support fire and these are distributed among units as traits. Typically, smaller caliber artillery provides infantry-support and higher caliber artillery provides counter-battery fire. This gives the player a good reason to pick any of the wide range of artillery, not just the heaviest ones.
Yeah: "This gives the player a good reason to pick any of the wide range of artillery, not just the heaviest ones". I admit, that's somewhat of a problem with OoB. You're right, I can't find any good use for those small (2CP) mountain guns and such myself, and I'd like to change that. Any ideas how ?
[/quote]


Move (without transport) and fire and less (not just 1) CP can get me to pick different arty.

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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by KarisFraMauro » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:52 am

Although I'm curious about Panzer Corps 2, my laptop is too ancient to run it. Might upgrade one of these days... I do play Order of Battle and Panzer Corps though. Well I used to play Panzer Corps. Ultimately I grew frustrated with PC's emphasis on constantly rushing. You have all these mechanics for enhancing defence (entrenchement, terrain, rugged defence, artillery support) that are basically pointless because if you pause to employ any of them you end up missing out on the fast completion objective. And just to tilt the scales even further weather will periodically turn your entire air force into so much statuary. Obviously it's not like it's impossible to meet the speed objectives, but after a while it felt more like an exercise in frustration than anything actually fun.

Funny thing is, while I like the campaigns for Order of Battle it's multiplayer that I feel truly shines. I've been playing The Russian Campaign 1 vs 1 custom multiplayer map and just blown away in so many respects. The way new units are gradually introduced. The fantastic length (120 turns?!). The sheer scale of the map, which really does justice to Operation Barbarossa. And it's far from the only gem out there, even though it is my favourite at the moment.

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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by GabeKnight » Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:41 pm

WarHomer wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 5:06 am
Move (without transport) and fire and less (not just 1) CP can get me to pick different arty.
OK, thanks, I'll give it a thought and add it to my list.

Next, I want to test in my mod if it's possible to allow motorized units access to pine forest and rough desert hexes. I mean I know it's possible, but I'm not sure if it may break some (or too many) scens. This has to be tested thoroughly first. Also, the track_light speed in forests has to be decreased in my opinion. I'll test that, too.

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Re: OOB vs PC2 game mechanics

Post by Erik2 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:48 pm

GabeKnight wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:41 pm
WarHomer wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 5:06 am
Move (without transport) and fire and less (not just 1) CP can get me to pick different arty.
OK, thanks, I'll give it a thought and add it to my list.

Next, I want to test in my mod if it's possible to allow motorized units access to pine forest and rough desert hexes. I mean I know it's possible, but I'm not sure if it may break some (or too many) scens. This has to be tested thoroughly first. Also, the track_light speed in forests has to be decreased in my opinion. I'll test that, too.
Is there any way to mod a road working in jungle, mountain and other non-vehicle terrain?
And decrease combat efficiency drastically?

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