Damn it...where is my intel report

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MajorVictory
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
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Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by MajorVictory » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:33 pm

I like to suggest Panzer Corp add an Intel report to the deployment phase. Just add another icon next to info icon. Every time I start a new battle I have no idea what I'm really up against. I end up playing the first couple turns to find out what the battlefield looks like. I feel like I'm cheating a bit. If I was given some basic battlefield info it would really help me in the planning stage. I would know which units to purchase, upgrade and where to place em. Intel report can be really general info. Knowledge of New possible enemy units, large concentrations of troops, enemy AA guns around cities etc. Just an idea that I think would be realistic and really helpful.

MajorVictory
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by MajorVictory » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:18 pm

To explain this intel report a little further I would just like to add that any actual military operation has an intel report within the op order. I think it would be a really nice addition to Panzer Corp if the deployment phase ( also available throughout battle) had the option to look over some battlefield intel. It wouldn't need to be so in depth that it created spoilers, it would just provide basic info on the upcoming battle. For example, it could look something like this:


Weather......mostly clear with a 30% chance of rain (or snow, depending on scenario)
*with info like this I could plan accordingly...maybe I'd capture a city sooner, upgrade equipment so it's more maneuverable in inclement weather etc.

Enemy......reports show heavy AA presence around Stalingrad (for example), reports also indicate a new enemy tank has entered service named a T34, multiple enemy infantry units dug in around Kiev, also beware of minefields spread out along lenght of the front.
End Report
*with this info I would know to keep aircraft away from Stalingrad until I was able to deal with the AA threat. With the intel on the T34 I could concentrate on upgrading my tank corp or maybe purchase more anti tank equipment during deployment phase. If I knew there was a large infantry presence entrenched around an objective city, I could deploy my artillery in that vicinity to counter that threat. And if the intel report stated that there was minefields, I would be sure to have pioneer infantry available to deal with that particular issue.

These are just vague examples to give an idea what info intel reports could provide and how that info could change the way we plan for each battle. It would be great to see an update with these reports included, I think it would add a great deal of gameplay and strategy to the deployment phase, which is a very important part of the game, and the rest of the battle. What do u guys think?

dumbttt
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by dumbttt » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:09 pm

What irks me about the DLCs is the random appearance of enemy units, especially air units, without warning. It sucks to have huge swarm of enemy warplanes appearing out of nowhere, wrecking havoc on your core forces. Random appearance of land units can be a problem as well, but air units are of particular concern due to the great distance they can travel. They spawn near the edge of the map out of sight of your units, but can swoop across the map in a single turn, hitting your units where you thought they were safe. I think 1-2 turns before such random appearance, there should be a message saying something like "we have receive intelligence of huge incoming wave of enemy warplanes/armor"

captainjack
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by captainjack » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:52 am

Personally I think the briefings aren't too bad, though I have played most of the DLCs several times, so I have some idea what to expect. There are some scenarios where particular troop types are recommended in the briefing. Eben Emael suggests pioneer and paratroop units (it could have added grenadiers, as they are also Fortkillers), and one of the Polish scenarios warns of waves of attacks. There are one or two scenarios where you are advised to plan for naval units and often the auxiliary units give a bit of a clue as well. I agree warnings of minefields would be nice, but otherwise I think there is some challenge in making do with what apear to be the wrong units from time to time and the occasional total horror scenario can do wonders for your ability to think things through and plan better. From memory, there are a few scenarios (mainly AK and West) where you get intel on major troop movements with just enough time to prepare, but in the East scenarios from 1943 onwards it's pretty much sensible (and a bit dispiriting) to have a general expectation that bad things can happen at any time and from pretty much any direction.

The thing that bothers me is not so much the lack of intel for new attacks but having enemy units appear amongst your own troops and get a first attack in when you have total control of the area (this happens in Wassigny a bit, but is even worse on one of the West 42/43 scenarios - Messina from memory - where troops appeared in the gaps amongst my units, attacked first and wiped out about five experienced units before I could even get a shot in). I don't often restart a scenario when playing on Colonel, but this seemed so unfair I felt justified. So briefing notes or in-game intel is appreciated. New troops appearing unannounced outside my Zone of Control - annoying but OK. New troops appearing in my Zone of Control - Not OK unless they are saboteurs or partisan units.

ThvN
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by ThvN » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:44 am

Well, this is a difficult one. Some extra intel could change the way I would have played some scenarios the first time, but on the whole I am satisfied with just the occasional hint dropped during the briefing and being able to check the map before I deploy.

You have a couple of good points, esp. with the airwaves coming in, those can really mess up your plans. Personally speaking, my only real gripe is that often I'm not told that the AI will have the first move, but the rest is just seen by me as a test to see if you can adapt to new info/situations while playing, to which Panzer Corps lends itself very well. You can easily survey the map, reinforce and upgrade beforehand, or even do it during play if needed.

You know where all the bridges are, what terrain you will encounter, and a hex with 'fortification' graphics will be treated with caution by me until it is within spotting range. And, for a change, recon won't lie to you, you know everything about the units you can spot: stats, strength number, ammo/fuel remaining, entrenchment, and even the exact amount of suppression it has. Only the recently introduced minefields/camo trait add an element of surprise to the spotting system.

And in Afrika Corps and the latest GC's West, the occasional warning about the weather/enemy reinforcements coming in is already present (sometimes even explicit ones about airwaves coming in, ex.: Dunkirk '45). I have to say, in fairness, that the info given to me by being able to examine the exact map and position of the Victory Hexes before I deploy/overstrength/upgrade anything is already more reliable 'intel' than would have been available in reality.

This might be taken for granted, but even recent conflicts have shown that getting reliable geodata, let alone actual reliable OPFOR data, is still literally and figuratively a black art. And the Germans in WW2 had a subpar military intelligence network, and were lightweights when it came to good intel. With a separate deployment phase, you're not going in 'blind', and the only thing that can really ruin my deployment is the enemy having the first turn. This is why I save during the deployment phase, and this is my only really important savegame per scenario.

I must agree that intel briefings have a certain 'coolness', and might add immersion. The game that first introduced the concept of such a briefing for me was 'Airborne Ranger' by Microprose, and later on a useful and vivid example for me is 'F-19 Stealth Fighter', and in both games it added to the atmosphere and immersion, while being helpful as well. A game were this briefing concept was taken to far, in my opnion, was the 'Rainbow Six' series, were it actually detracted from the gameplay for me. But for Panzer Corps, the briefings and the ability to survey the map before deploying cover almost everything I need.

P.S. : captainjack, I thought Grenadiere do not have the fortkiller trait? Only the Pioniere and Fallschirmjäger AFAIK.

bebro
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by bebro » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:08 am

dumbttt wrote:What irks me about the DLCs is the random appearance of enemy units, especially air units, without warning. It sucks to have huge swarm of enemy warplanes appearing out of nowhere, wrecking havoc on your core forces. Random appearance of land units can be a problem as well, but air units are of particular concern due to the great distance they can travel. They spawn near the edge of the map out of sight of your units, but can swoop across the map in a single turn, hitting your units where you thought they were safe. I think 1-2 turns before such random appearance, there should be a message saying something like "we have receive intelligence of huge incoming wave of enemy warplanes/armor"
Well, in vanilla you could clear the skies in the beginning and then had a happy time - personally I think that you encounter additional forces you didn't know of before, and there's an element of uncertainty is way better.

I would agree that the player should be informed of substantial attacks (like when scores of enemy units appear or change their stance to offensive) but IMO it should never be so easy that the player gets *always* a complete picture of what is going on.

If an intel feature does this without essentially "removing" the fog of war than it could be a nice addition.

MajorVictory
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by MajorVictory » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:03 pm

The briefs do provide some info...I generally skip through em to get to the deployment phase ( my bad). I certainly wouldn't want the fog of war to be compromised, just a simple info on what to possibly expect. With all Intel and the best plans, things always go wrong. The ability to adjust is a great gameplay feature.

Once I play through a scenario a few times I wouldn't need an Intel report...I'm more concerned with the 1st couple play throughs. I do use the map to help with planning and some things are a given...like dug in troops around objectives, etc.I always try to play the game like chess, every piece is protected by another to counter enemy engagements. I've been playing this game since the the days of Panzer General, I got a good grasp on the game as a whole...just would like to see more battlefield Intel during deployment.

I guess I just have to pay more attention to the briefings.

dumbttt
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by dumbttt » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:49 pm

The thing that bothers me is not so much the lack of intel for new attacks but having enemy units appear amongst your own troops and get a first attack in when you have total control of the area (this happens in Wassigny a bit, but is even worse on one of the West 42/43 scenarios - Messina from memory - where troops appeared in the gaps amongst my units, attacked first and wiped out about five experienced units before I could even get a shot in).
I haven't experienced this, but it sounds totally horrible. Intel/warning would not really solve this as you have no time to react. Maybe the solution to this is to make these units unable to attack or move for the first turn. That would be reasonable and realistic. A warning would still be needed in the case of incoming aircraft as you probably can't see them where they spawned.

Anfield
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by Anfield » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:05 pm

You cant look at it through modern eyes, you have to remember its the 1940s. So you shouldnt know everything and where it is. For the most part the intel tells you whats out there and for the most part is correct. When it says expect armor attacks, thats what you get. Tells you the direction as well. Ive just played 2 DLC's for 42, told me dont go over that river and expect massive attacks coming for it. I followd orders and guess what, there were massive attacks over a large area along the river, but having read the intel I had no real issues dealing with them.

Now its true there are a few battle where attacking units are behind, mixed in with your troops. However those are only when the intel tells you that you will be defending in that battle. When you defend you never have the first turn on the first move. So you do have to plan for that somewhat. But getting hit hard on the first turn is what happens when you defend. How many times when we get the first move do our forces knock the heck out of units close to us??

I think they are fine, I play it as if its 1940s and I wont get all the intel like you would in modern warfare. And not knowing is half the fun of playing. The intels give you a heads up on anything major, and when you are told you are going to defend, expect to be hit first.

:-)

dumbttt
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by dumbttt » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:25 pm

Anfield wrote:You cant look at it through modern eyes, you have to remember its the 1940s. So you shouldnt know everything and where it is.

I think they are fine, I play it as if its 1940s and I wont get all the intel like you would in modern warfare. And not knowing is half the fun of playing. The intels give you a heads up on anything major, and when you are told you are going to defend, expect to be hit first.

:-)
It seems like you are missing the OP's point entirely. No one demands to know everything and where it is. Not knowing is not half the fun of playing, and sometimes in defensive scenarios you move first.

robman
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by robman » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:56 pm

I must confess that I am on the "more information please" side. Not that I want to remove the fog of war! But it would be nice to have a bit more information, in very general terms, about what sorts of enemy units and deployments to expect. Some of the briefings are quite useful in that way, but most are not. I would also like to know which side is moving first (after all, there's NOTHING realistic about turns), and during the deployment phase I would like to be able to see enemy units located within one or two hexes of the initial deployment zone, just to reduce the number of initial do-overs. But I can certainly understand why others prefer things as they are.

KeldorKatarn
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by KeldorKatarn » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:20 pm

I'm very against this I must confess. The briefings give me a realistic level of intel. getting a detailed report of what to expect in terms of enemy units... when did anybody ever have that? And frankly, that I'm to expect a lot of T34s on the eastern front when I'm warned about large tank concentrations (which the briefings do)... is that really a surprise?? I mean so far I read the briefings and maybe about the real battle that the map was supposed to represent and then I usually knew very well what to expect. Sure sometimes I was surprised by stuff but usually only when I advanced to quickly at the wrong moment without scouting ahead. I think more information makes careful advances pointless and recon units even less valuable...

Anfield
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by Anfield » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:55 pm

dumbttt wrote:
Anfield wrote:You cant look at it through modern eyes, you have to remember its the 1940s. So you shouldnt know everything and where it is.

I think they are fine, I play it as if its 1940s and I wont get all the intel like you would in modern warfare. And not knowing is half the fun of playing. The intels give you a heads up on anything major, and when you are told you are going to defend, expect to be hit first.

:-)
It seems like you are missing the OP's point entirely. No one demands to know everything and where it is. Not knowing is not half the fun of playing, and sometimes in defensive scenarios you move first.
Thats funny you say that, I just played a defensive game and I went first lol No I didnt miss the OP point, and I said not knowing is half the fun. I just think we get enough info now. :-)

captainjack
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Re: Damn it...where is my intel report

Post by captainjack » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:06 am

ThvN -
I'd better check. This could be mildly embarrassing, as I've been treating my grenadiers as if they were fortkillers and they seemed to be doing as well as the pioneers and paras when I was playing Maginot Line recently. Apologies to anyone who has set their grenadiers on forts on my account....
Just goes to show you 're never too experienced to press control + L after a successful attack and that it's a good idea to check the manual more than once.

Captainjack

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