Allied Corps way to easy?

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ThorHa
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ThorHa » Fri May 09, 2014 4:14 pm

@THvN:

Nice to see somebody remembering MAX. While the standard game was 100% boring because the AI was unable to even remotely cope with the speed an aggressive player accumulated resources, the campaign was the hardest and best designed I have ever seen on a strategy- or wargame. By design, not by competent AI, but that has not improved since then. And if i say hardest I say that on a background of 150 plus 4x and wargames, turn based very much preferred.

But give HOMM a chance. While I still like 3 most, I enjoyed 4 and 5 and even find the actual 6 not that bad.

Regards,
Thorsten

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ThorHa » Fri May 09, 2014 4:18 pm

@Marty:

Especially if you make it historically accurate (meaning giving the player the historical French forces WITHOUT their incompetent leadership) a French campaign could be fun.

Regards,
Thorsten

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by nikivdd » Fri May 09, 2014 4:21 pm

MartyWard wrote:
The fact is if you make it historical it is not fun to play the French in 1940 or the Russian in 1941. As part of a longer campaign you can fudge it by calling it a victory if you do not get crushed as bad as happened historical. Some people don't mind that but as a general rule it is just not a fun subject.

Just look at how many computer games put you in that position against an AI. None. How many people played War in Europe and volunteered to just play France? Not many, just the guy who couldn't commit to the long game :) The designers will have to keep the game interesting and fun where the Germans had overwhelming force and when the player has overwhelming force, not an easy task.
If historical is not much of an issue, such a campaign can easily start with a small fictional French expeditionary force in Poland in a starter core including some Polish units too. All units that survive move to Norway or France. Polish core units can easily be "upgraded" into French unit type ones at the western front.

Also, what-if Stalin decided to invade Eastern Europe two weeks before the launch of operation Barbarossa?

I think there is no lack of campaign possibilities in Panzer Corps.
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by MartyWard » Fri May 09, 2014 4:24 pm

ThorHa wrote:@Marty:

Especially if you make it historically accurate (meaning giving the player the historical French forces WITHOUT their incompetent leadership) a French campaign could be fun.

Regards,
Thorsten
The same could be said about Barbarossa but that leadership was part of the equation. I'm sure it would be fun to play but then the game would be pretty short if WWII ended in 1940! :)

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by MartyWard » Fri May 09, 2014 4:29 pm

nikivdd wrote:
MartyWard wrote:
The fact is if you make it historical it is not fun to play the French in 1940 or the Russian in 1941. As part of a longer campaign you can fudge it by calling it a victory if you do not get crushed as bad as happened historical. Some people don't mind that but as a general rule it is just not a fun subject.

Just look at how many computer games put you in that position against an AI. None. How many people played War in Europe and volunteered to just play France? Not many, just the guy who couldn't commit to the long game :) The designers will have to keep the game interesting and fun where the Germans had overwhelming force and when the player has overwhelming force, not an easy task.
If historical is not much of an issue, such a campaign can easily start with a small fictional French expeditionary force in Poland in a starter core including some Polish units too. All units that survive move to Norway or France. Polish core units can easily be "upgraded" into French unit type ones at the western front.

Also, what-if Stalin decided to invade Eastern Europe two weeks before the launch of operation Barbarossa?

I think there is no lack of campaign possibilities in Panzer Corps.
There are tons of 'what if' potentials in the game. Making them fun to play though out the whole war is the challenge. What I like to see is if it was possible to have a 'wining' German scenario track and a 'losing' track. If in a GC you achieved a certain number of DV's or DV's in certain scenarios the tide turned and the possibility of winning came into being. For example instead of retreating from Stalingrad there was a 43 campaign that had you advancing father into Russia. If you kept winning you advance father until you actually conquer Russia. If you start losing you go back to the original campaigns where the end is known. Same could be done in the West, You invade England early, you go to say Mexico or Canada or Africa and as long as you keep winning to keep going. If you lose it back to the East Front! :)

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by nikivdd » Fri May 09, 2014 4:58 pm

MartyWard wrote:
There are tons of 'what if' potentials in the game. Making them fun to play though out the whole war is the challenge. What I like to see is if it was possible to have a 'wining' German scenario track and a 'losing' track. If in a GC you achieved a certain number of DV's or DV's in certain scenarios the tide turned and the possibility of winning came into being. For example instead of retreating from Stalingrad there was a 43 campaign that had you advancing father into Russia. If you kept winning you advance father until you actually conquer Russia. If you start losing you go back to the original campaigns where the end is known. Same could be done in the West, You invade England early, you go to say Mexico or Canada or Africa and as long as you keep winning to keep going. If you lose it back to the East Front! :)
A unhistorical campaign path at the Eastern Front can be done surely. For certain missions, not achieving a DV, finishes the campaign and your core is saved for one of the already released DLCs.
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ksasaki » Fri May 09, 2014 6:17 pm

as far as "realistic campaigns" I admit it is interesting but it might not be so fun. I played a Russian Mod where you started out in Siberia and your planes had equal or worse stats than the Japanese planes, and your infantry was worse. It's not fun when you lost 20 units out of your core by the second mission! Part of the fun is seeing your little Pz 1B work his way up to a Tiger. That is the "RPG" part that really appeals to me. It could easily be abstracted into fantasy or sci-fi.

On a related note, anyone know any games that have this kind of PzC kind of gameplay, but in a sci-fi setting?

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ThvN » Fri May 09, 2014 8:38 pm

Just came back from some shopping :shock: this topic is gathering momentum, it seems! Some random comments:

@ThorHA:

Turn-based seems to be making a come-back lately, but the genre had almost been starved in previous years. What were your favourites during the past years?

About HoMM 4-6: I made the mistake of trying them as they first came out, and I remember the bugs and balance made a pretty bad impression. But I have to say the newer combat rules were actually an improvement.

M.A.X.: the campaign was basically too difficult for me, but I agree it was very well designed. And yes, even with unbalanced settings the AI made no big impression on me during free play, but still I would really like for a similar game to be remade. And multiplayer is brutal, especially when friends are much better... I can still run it on an obsolete machine but MAX often becomes corrupt after more than an hour playing.

@ksasaki:
I don't know if you ever played the original Allied General, were the Soviets started in Finland. Actually quite a difficult scenario to begin with, but in reality the Soviets had massive losses so it should have been even worse. Which wouldn't have been fun, of course. The proposed unit list for Soviet Corps includes Finnish units, so maybe the Winter War will make a comeback, it will be interesting to see how much of the original meatgrinder is played down to keep it from getting too frustrating.

@everyone:
On the French campaign, the more I read about it the more it seems it could have been very different if they had actually modernized the tactics instead of just their equipment. The weakest parts seemed to have been the air defense system and the very slow communication network. But don't forget they poured most of their defense budget into the Maginot Line, a serious error that crippled all other defense programs.

For a PzC campaign, being able to purchase their best units in unlimited quantities (which in reality were still being produced in very low volumes, getting the bugs worked out) could make a powerful force. And there are actually some 'historical' scenarios that could be very interesting, like the 1939 Saar Offensive, a French reaction to the German invasion of Poland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saar_Offensive. The 'Phoney War' ('Sitzkrieg') wasn't all that quiet.

Ahistorical Eastern front battles could probably fill a couple of DLC's I guess, and still be less ahistorical than many stock scenarios. The first half of the existing GC '42-'43 West is a good string of fictional scenarios (that are still fun I think!), and the latter half of GC'45 West and AK are fictional as well, but still very entertaining.

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ThorHa » Fri May 09, 2014 9:43 pm

MAX:

The only game I remember ever where the campaign forced me to restart several scenarios not one time but actually 2 times before I performed good enough. For comparison - PG in slightly above average difficulty only forced a restart one time, in the Norway scenario.

There were not too many turn based games last years. Only one real recommendation - Fantasy General and its succesor Elven Legacy. Should be fun for PG addicts especially (basically the exact same principles applied to the usual mix of medieval and fantasy creatures). Civ 5 is boring, HOMM 6 just more of the same, Warlocks induced hopes of kind of Master of Magic remake but much less depth and a non existing AI (THIS is the only resemblance to MOM).

So I kept myself entertained with Total War mods (for Tolkien fans there is nothing better than the total conversion 3rd age), tried some out of the way TBS like Disciples (a total disappointment), got angry at Age of Wonders 2 (totally different gameplay), liked the King Arthur RTS, really loved the Spellforce series (the I version with its add ons tells an addictive story) and came back to older loves time and again (MoM 2, SSI games). Was pleasantly surprised by all of Paradox games (HOI I to III, Europa Universalis I to III etc.) but noticed the games do resemble sand box modes much more than games - the basic engine simply can't handle the level of complexity.

I hope for more TBS in the future again, if not from the big companies, then crowdfunded like Kronos (the Battle Isle successor). It seems some people understood that there is a bunch of partly well earning gamers out, game socialized by PG, MoO and MoM, Civ 1), who are eager to spend money at something similar 8) .

Regards,
Thorsten

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by Bonesoul » Sat May 10, 2014 12:27 am

The problem with looking back at what happened historically, is we have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and also the benefit of the knowledge and tactics developed since. German blitzkrieg tactics were something no one had experienced before, though (with that 20/20 vision) it can be argued that they were a logical extension of late WW I breakthrough tactics, I doubt even the Germans realised how effective they would be. The improvements in reliability and speed of AFV's combined with improved communications made the ability to exploit the initial breakthrough something almost un imaginable even 15 or 20 years earlier. Leave us not to forget most senior commanders would have been officers from WW I and most military colleges would have been teaching based on the lessons learned there, predominantly static trench warfare and in itself a massive step forwards from anything experienced pre 1918.

As to additional PzC scenarios, though i'm happy to talk realism when it comes up, at the end of the day I want a fun challenge which can be tailored to a difficulty level I enjoy, Dune with sandworm MkII flamm is fine by me.

The worry seems to be that with the way that the overall engine works and the apparent inability to have different unit stats for the same vehicle for different campaigns, a soviet corps will need something to stop an immediate snowball of KV cores. Marty's idea of Guard units being T-38 and not upgradeable to KV or IS sounds workable, there are no current soviet SE units so a free had is available as to how they could develop I guess. The only downside is it risks reducing choice and hence replay ability, though I know its hard to do, the ideal is that many different routes can lead to the same result.

All I can say is good luck to the Dev's and where are my sandworms!!!

Cheers
Bone

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by Bonesoul » Sat May 10, 2014 12:49 am

Have to agree with Thor HOI and EU by paradox are both great fun, Total War Rome or my favourite Empire (I would give medieval a miss). If you want one where economics is key Battlegoat's SR2010 (2020 not as good to me) will drive you mad until learn its tricks. Hex based tactical have been out of favour for a while which is why i'm enjoying PzC so much, nostalgia "when I were a lad things were ard" and all that :)

In a sci-fi setting the X-Com series might be worth a look.

My hope is that the modder's out there will create sufficient content for a variant release pack a bit like the civ II fantastic worlds.

God I feel old
Bone

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by hs1611 » Sat May 10, 2014 1:12 pm

The solution for how to design a proper Soviet campaign, forcing the player to use massive amounts of inferior units, is actually quite simple.
Small CORE, lots of AUX units.

In the beginning Soviet goals should be to defend only a few Victory Hexes or having a certain number of units escape encirclement, using AUX units as cannon fodder to delay the Germans and the CORE to achieve the objectives.
Later on, when the Soviets are on the offensive, do the same thing, weak AUX units to mass charge German lines, CORE units to exploit any breakthroughs.

In that way you can have only ubber units in your CORE, but so few that they won't be able to win any scenarios by themselves, so you'll need to use the AUX units.
AUX units, although numerous should be weak enough, or obsolete enough, that to achieve anything with them you have to be prepared to sacrifice them.

That way the player gets to have a strong CORE, with units that are able to survive scenario after scenario, but is still forced to use mass charges of cannon foder AUX units to accomplish his goals.

You can have 50 or 60 good German units against 10 or 15 Soviet CORE units and a lot of weak AUX units. So as the Soviets you will have numeric superiority but of inferior units, instead of the other way around as it is now on the German campaigns.

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by Scholomancer » Sat May 10, 2014 7:22 pm

I have two related suggestions for increasing the variety of units for Allied Corps as well as the early defensive campaigns for the Allied and Soviet Corps. I'll lay it out for the Allied Corps but the same principle applies to the Soviet Corps.

One, while you can build up your core within the DLC to what's needed for gameplay, but much like GLC 42\43, you can only bring a small number of those units from the previous DLCs into the next DLC. Then you rebuild your core up again, and perhaps again. Sure, some gamers won't like it but it will keep things historically balanced.

Two, I think it's fair that to improve gameplay, the programmers will look past the strategic imbalance and focus on actual battlefield numbers. They'll do this may making many of the scenarios small-scale so that even a strategically outnumbered side will have local numerical superiority. 3 Infantry Divisions can then easily turn into 24 Battalions with associated artillery, anti-tank and support units and should be fun for most gamers, even if their own core forces morph from division to battalion scaled units from scenario to scenario! :)

Based on these two ideas, here were my thoughts for the early Allied DLCs if they are ever developed. I'll lay out my thoughts below, jump on me if you like.

First, I believe that Allied Corps was lacking the "allied"; you were either British or US, and you had aux minor nationalities. Although the extra air power was nice I would have liked to see the Allied SE or bonus units be Polish, NZ, CDN, FF ground units each with their own special characteristics. Just some thoughts were Polish and Greek Mtn troops, Cdn paratroopers, the Free French Infantry with extra mobility, Indian Heavy Weapons, etc. Of course, they should be upgradeable into '43 stats. Then you get the extra ground power plus some of the multinational "realism". Perhaps SE or perhaps something along the lines of inserting German special units in the v 1.14 update. viewtopic.php?f=121&t=42115

Two, for the early Allied DC I think it's important to not look at the strategic imbalance or even historic inevitability by focusing and narrowing the scale of the battle into some fun and gameable scenarios without getting too far offtrack.

Building on my first suggestion, your first units are Polish. As we all know the Polish defensive campaign was full of small scale counter attacks and successful defenses that the DC could focus on. This defensive campaign can result in a climatic Battle of Warsaw, an ahistorical breakout and a fairly historical retreat to the Rumanian Bridgehead. While there should be a fair-sized core during this DC, you are allowed to bring only 2-3 highly experienced Polish units into the 1940 DC that you cannot buy again until 1944 unless they pop up as SE. This is historical, btw for those unaware of the 1st and 2nd Polish Divisions that were part of the French strategic reserve in May 1940.

For the 1940 DC, you have your small Polish core force imported and are given enough prestige to restock with a French core for this DC. Again, many opportunities for successful defensive scenarios and small-scale counter attacks aplenty here to get your gaming on and to build experience for core forces. A successful defence in the Dunkirk area could be followed by either an evac off the beach followed by a redeployment in unoccupied France (which occurred for the French forces) or an ahistorical breakout through German lines back into unoccupied France. This could be again followed by defensive victories over Panzer spearheads and a final evac out of France, and an opportunity to bring over 5 elite Polish and French core units, again with the inability to buy these units types again until 1944ish or so unless they come in as SE.

For DCFall 1940\1941 your small but highly experienced core can finally be filled out with British and ANZAC forces with scenarios ranging from the Western Desert to Greece, Ethiopia, Vichy Syria or parallel tracks dealing with the German invasion of the Balkans or in North Africa. It'd be a good touch at this point to bring in a Greek Mtn SE\bonus unit. If you brought French or Polish tank or air types, the UK tech tree would be the obvious upgrade path until at least 1943. After the Fall 1940\1941 DLC, you would carry your full core over into future DLCs.

I actually very much enjoyed the Allied Corps scenarios in the Western Desert, and I am not sure where and how those would dovetail together, but you would then have a fully multinational core force, and you can watch your Polish 3TP from Poznan develop into a Comet in Berlin. :)

You'll notice my thoughts involved two ahistorical breakouts from Warsaw and Dunkirk, but I am comfortable with it, and I know the programmers are as they had the ahistorical breakouts from Stalingrad and East Prussia, and I've never seen any criticism about them (nor should they recieve any, those were great scenarios).

And for any Soviet Corps DLCs the same two themes should apply. Either reduce the scale of the battlefield for playability and\or a limited core import between the first one or two DLCs to keep things balanced, or maybe an ahistorical breakout or two for fun.

I'm not a modder and although I'm interested in the mods, I'm not sure enough of myself to start monkeying around with files to try them out. Just wanted to get some thoughts out but I always know the next DLC gives me my PzC fix for new content, and eagerly await the release of more.

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by SirGarnet » Thu May 29, 2014 5:41 am

hs1611 wrote:The solution for how to design a proper Soviet campaign, forcing the player to use massive amounts of inferior units, is actually quite simple.
Small CORE, lots of AUX units.

In the beginning Soviet goals should be to defend only a few Victory Hexes or having a certain number of units escape encirclement, using AUX units as cannon fodder to delay the Germans and the CORE to achieve the objectives.
Later on, when the Soviets are on the offensive, do the same thing, weak AUX units to mass charge German lines, CORE units to exploit any breakthroughs.

In that way you can have only ubber units in your CORE, but so few that they won't be able to win any scenarios by themselves, so you'll need to use the AUX units.
AUX units, although numerous should be weak enough, or obsolete enough, that to achieve anything with them you have to be prepared to sacrifice them.

That way the player gets to have a strong CORE, with units that are able to survive scenario after scenario, but is still forced to use mass charges of cannon foder AUX units to accomplish his goals.

You can have 50 or 60 good German units against 10 or 15 Soviet CORE units and a lot of weak AUX units. So as the Soviets you will have numeric superiority but of inferior units, instead of the other way around as it is now on the German campaigns.
This sounds rather good BUT I would suggest that the player be allowed to pick or "buy" cheap a few of the AUX units (that distinguished themselves?) after the battle and carry them forward as a small reserve - or part of a larger reserve that can only be deployed in part (or maybe staged over the turns) to fill in for lost units (including AUX). Attack in depth with multiple echelons, as well as massive preparatory fires, became Soviet doctrine so it can give the right feel. There is also the possibility of picking some of the AUX troops at deployment.

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by hs1611 » Thu May 29, 2014 1:06 pm

That might work too with the caveat that you should not be able to buy superior AUX units. Just weak or obsolete ones to replace losses.

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by hugh2711 » Thu May 29, 2014 6:42 pm

I am impressed some people actually remember MAX, used to love that. It was abandoned but there is currently a project called MAX reloaded wich is trying to recreate it; cross platforn, i.e. unix and apple as well as windows. I believe they have got it up to 200 turns, the old game would usually crash by 400 turns

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by MartyWard » Thu May 29, 2014 7:10 pm

hugh2711 wrote:I am impressed some people actually remember MAX, used to love that. It was abandoned but there is currently a project called MAX reloaded wich is trying to recreate it; cross platforn, i.e. unix and apple as well as windows. I believe they have got it up to 200 turns, the old game would usually crash by 400 turns
GOG has both Max and Max2 on their site. They claim all their games will run on XP, Vista, Windows 7 & 8.

http://www.gog.com/game/m_a_x_m_a_x_2

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by boredatwork » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:20 am

hs1611 wrote:The solution for how to design a proper Soviet campaign, forcing the player to use massive amounts of inferior units, is actually quite simple.
Small CORE, lots of AUX units.
I would disagree - the CORE force is what makes the PG series of games enjoyable.

The real problem with trying to shoe horn a soviet campaign into the PzC system is people (myself included) don't like to lose core units (see poll http://slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=121&t=38306) which defeats the RPG value of the game but Soviets historically suffer heavy loses. Consequently the "flavour" of the campaign is unnecessarily skewed to prevent *ANY* loses with reasonably cautious play.

The simple solution - already 99% implemented in the code (via cheats) is reduce the death penalty. (see below)


That would allow a soviet "Zerg" style force to still be heavily damaged scenario after scenario thus making the scenario content interesting (you forces being caught up in a pocket and having to be rebuilt for example), while still allowing it to slowly gain experience, medals, leaders, and history thus keeping the desirable elements of RPG growth.

boredatwork wrote:
uran21 wrote:How much it is acceptable for you to lose Core units regardless is it obvious player's mistake in question or overwhelming challenge causing it?
I think your question is flawed because currently it is possible to lose core units without the player really making mistakes or really being challenged in the process.
This seems like something that would be good to tie to the difficulty level. On Colonel you should rarely lose core units, and/or reform units should allow any destroyed units to come back to the battlefield with minimal experience lost and should cost the same prestige as buying a new unit. On a higher difficulty, like FM, the AI can be more aggressive at focusing and killing some of your units, so you should lose some units here and there. In addition the reform units option should work similarly to how it does now: all experience lost. I'd go further and remove the heroes too.
I disagree that there is an innevitable link between unit turnover and increasing challenge - Just because some people get their biggest enjoyment out of the RPG elements of the game does **NOT** mean we're looking for easy content.

On the contrary I would argue given that the units in PzC are IMO unrealistically fragile (for an operational scale) the current perma death actually works against making it challenging in a good way. Having the AI abandon a strong defensive position just to pick off one of your units while simultaneously making itself much easier to kill by the rest of your force the next turn isn't making the game *challenging* in the fun sense of the word - merely annoying. Instead of being rewarded for good play, players are harshly punished for not playing perfectly. And perfect frequently means, at least in the DLC, methodical, cautious, boring advance because there is no reward for agressive daring maneuver commensurate with the risk.

Because it is so annoying to lose an elite core unit, particularly to random chance the developers are forced to lower the overall difficulty to reduce the possiblity of it happening. Consequently in the average scenario if a player is playing good he'll have his entire core available from start to finish increasing the requirements to provide late game AI spam spawn cannon fodder to keep the game challenging.

Short of a major mechanics change...

I would rather see core "deaths" merely represent units that are so fatigued/in need of maintenace/disorganised that they are permently withdrawn from the current **scenario** to rest and refit but otherwise still "alive" and with enough veterans that they retain most of their experience.

Do that and you can make difficulty *much* harder by giving the AI tougher units (via scaling the base strength above 10) and making it more ruthless so that it can actually force many units to withdraw leaving the player without the resources to successfully complete a scenario, without actually impacting the player's RPG experience.



Post 1.10 that is how I'm enjoying the game, albeit via cheat codes and the ability to mod difficulty - using reform units/exp to keep my units alive from start to finish (albeit at the cost of a star of experience) while playing on a custom difficulty level somewhere between FM and Manstein. The game is more challenging in a good way now as opposed to the YOINK!!!YOU WERE KILLING ME BUT I NINJAED YOUR FAVORITE INFANTRY, TIME TO RELOAD SUCKER!!! "challenge" it presented before.

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by Fallschmjaeger » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:42 pm

To bring together a few of these points that may or may not have come up. In the original Allied General there was the Russian campaign which I never beat back then. i think is where this topic headed.

Similarly like someone said about using an Italian force, I saw the french mentioned too. One thing i used to like to do in the old AG was keep a french mountain infantry who could theoretically buy french equipment when they took a town but that was all garbage with at best the beginner tank and simple artillery. I just started the basic panzer corp and havn't been able to buy any other peoples stuff. I'll try next time I'm in greece or the caucuses.

I think PzC is too easy too. Like i said i played them 20 years ago and i don't remember an invasion of america or even Berlin. I saw the berlin map back then in the stand alone scenario's and even tried it a few times but never played it in the campaign for PzG or AG. I remember Ardennes, I think i naturally just wound up there all the time and that was my end. First time i put in PzC I major victoried right to (maybe not right through) the US. I don't think i ever majored sea lion as a teenager was my problem if i won it at all. Another problem with AC/AG was the more or less linear campaign. They should have given you the russians too. Maybe i was just too young and impetuous to fight defensive battles.

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by Scholomancer » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:57 pm

Well, Soviet Corps should be coming out in about 6 months or so.. I personally wouldn't mind some AC DLC release before then... :)

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