Allied Corps way to easy?

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Bonesoul
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by Bonesoul » Mon May 05, 2014 6:56 pm

ThorHa wrote:I tend to disagree. The RNG has saved me as much losses as it inflicted.

Regards,
Thorsten
Tarrak wrote:From my experience using the "diced chess" option feels like reducing the difficulty level by one, using "chess" more like reducing it by two levels. A lot of the loses and costs you are suffering in PC are coming from flukes in the RNG. Lowering them has a significant impact imho.
How do you agree with two seemingly contradictory statements, it simple just be me :twisted:

Thor is right, with full RNG the normal distribution applies and therefore you will get as many good results as bad over time. But I also agree with Tarrak than reducing the randomness of results, has the effect of decreasing the difficulty, at least for the better player. My logic here, and this may sound odd is to do with the randomness of randomness, let me try to explain.

Most of the times I benefit from a favourable RNG is when I am being attacked, where I am attacking, by a combination of suppression, mass attack and terrain choices I'm looking at X-0 or at worst X-1 odds in my favour. So with full randomness, I can benefit at most from 1 benefit on a favourable roll often no benefit, where as an unfavourable roll can affect me much more. This makes it more of a skew normal distribution as the maximum benefit of good results is capped while of bad results isn't (again this is where I'm attacking not where I'm being attacked).

The other issue is that a bad RNG result is likely to be far more damaging to my attacking strategy than my defensive. In my attack phase its not just the one result, its a series of interlocking attack's leading to my desired goal for that turn, the goal could be anything, getting a unit next to a flag city to prevent unit spam, or in place to surround a juicy KV-1C and force a surrender (prestige, my prescious!!!) would be two examples. A bad RNG roll in this case dosent just affect that one attack but the whole series in the turn and cause me not to achieve my desired goal.

On defence, where I'm more likely to get the full benefit of a good RNG roll, it would be very unusual for my entire defensive line for that turn to be reliant on said good roll. Yes the casualty numbers may have been better than expected, but there is no knock on effect anywhere else, unlike a bad one on my attack.

So, though in absolute casualty terms it may even out as Thor said, in terms of impact on overall strategy in a scenario, bad RNG on attack is likely to have a greater impact than a good one on Defence. As a result as Tarrik said, reducing the scope of RNG, at least for me would tend to have the effect of making any particular scenario easer, I'm less likley to have a planed strategy fail.

Cheers
Bone

PS: For reference I'm on full RNG for my play through, though I would most likely go for dice chess and adjust something else if necessary to maintain or increase difficulty on another play through.

MartyWard
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by MartyWard » Mon May 05, 2014 7:09 pm

I don't really see a lot of 'bad' rolls but maybe that is because I usually don't attack unless it is heavily in my favor. So if the prediction is 6-0 and the result 8-1 I don't think that is very out of line. I can only remember a handful of times when the results were what I would say very wrong. Now if I was more inclined to attack where the prediction was 4-4 or 5-8 then I might have seen more variations. Plus we don't know what the prediction is for the AI attack so when one of my units vaporizes I don't know if it was a freak roll or to be expected.

ThvN
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ThvN » Wed May 07, 2014 1:12 am

About the RNG, there is a different dice roll that is being made during combat that truly gets me annoyed sometimes: the initiative bonus roll. Like Bonesoul, sometimes the RNG can cause a cascading failure but it is rare although very memorable due to psychological effects I guess.

But about the initiative bonus roll: Before combat, each unit rolls for a +0, +1 or +2 bonus to their initiative, which is added to the value after weather/terrain caps. If units with high ini meet on an open field, it not very noticable, although fighter plane combat can sometimes go drastically lopsided if one side gets the +2 while their unmodified ini was equal, but this roll can truly mess up the combat results if the capped ini is very low, such as when fighting in cities.

The ini heroes have been capped in a later patch at +1 because they were seen as 'too good' (I agree with that), but this roll can still randomly add a +2 difference in ini during combat. I know it is supposed to be another 'fortunes of war' mechanism but whenever something goes terribly wrong and I check the combat log the little "Dice roll: +2" frequently is there on top, mocking me. :(


About Allied Corps being too easy: I think that some of the units are not well balanced, an inheritance from when these unit stats were necessary to make them into a worthy opponent to the war machine a German player could field using all the best equipment without many limitations.

I am going to make a prediction, but please note I'm in no way involved in development, I'm just a mod (basically no more than a glorified tour guide).
Soviet Corps, which will hopefully be the next PzC expansion, will run the risk of being too easy unless the scenarios are made a bit unrealistic or the equipment file gets a bit of a make-over. The reason is simple: right now some Soviet units are way too good when a player has access to them.

If a future Soviet player gets the stock equipment file to purchase his core he will have early access to some very tough and reliable (84 fuel/11 ammo) units like the KV-1. :? Other problem areas: the BA-10, and the mid-to-late-war roster has some scary long-range switchable SU's. I really hope some 'recalibration' will be possible but that would probably dilute the existing content? I'm really curious how this will be handled.

End of rant, sorry about the hijack.

captainjack
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by captainjack » Wed May 07, 2014 4:24 am

I find the initiative sequence a bit odd, and would have expected the weather cap to come in before heroes and arguably before experience as well. Experienced units should always be at an advantage compared with green units. They might not be able to see any further in the snow but they would have better patrols and be better prepared which should give them an edge irrespective of weather and terrain. Maybe the weather and terrain cap should affect base initiative, then experience and then heroes, so even in the worst conditions your 5* Oleh Dir, gets initiative 3 (base and experience and hero all capped at 1).

ThorHa
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ThorHa » Wed May 07, 2014 10:57 am

@ThvN:

If they really give the player early access to the full Soviet equipment, the only chance to balance the scenarios are giving the Germans ridiculous amounts of units.

PC is like all "lite" tactical wargames unable to model the real German advantages - doctrine, training, tactical awareness, mission type tactics, logistics, leadership. Which is quite logical for games without models for logistics, communication lines, morale etc.

But in this case to have unlimited access to the full Soviet arsenal will simply lead to nothing than bullshit. The bare minimum necessary would be to limit access to certain unit types in their historical proportion. Additionally I already argued somewhere else - German tanks should always, always, always have the first shot because of the inherent limits of the Soviet 2 manned turrets. Which simply translates into way too high initiative for Soviet armour prior 1944. And this is true for other units as well until 43, when the Soviets finally adapted their battlefield tactics.

Regards,
Thorsten

ThvN
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ThvN » Wed May 07, 2014 7:49 pm

captainjack wrote:I find the initiative sequence a bit odd, and would have expected the weather cap to come in before heroes and arguably before experience as well. Experienced units should always be at an advantage compared with green units. They might not be able to see any further in the snow but they would have better patrols and be better prepared which should give them an edge irrespective of weather and terrain. Maybe the weather and terrain cap should affect base initiative, then experience and then heroes, so even in the worst conditions your 5* Oleh Dir, gets initiative 3 (base and experience and hero all capped at 1).
Yes, I'm hoping the current system might be modified a bit, like you describe. I don't mind weather and terrain caps that equalise things a bit, but nullifying all these bonuses is a bit strange. Your idea is very interesting, I agree that just capping the base ini without restricting the bonuses would not be enough. Before reading your post, I was thinking about how high the ini differences can get, experience gives +1 for every two stars (using the 1.20 exp table) for infantry, tanks, AT and fighters. So experience bonus for ini could be +3 max, but that would require a full five stars so +1 or +2 (from three stars on) would be a lot more common.

Ini heroes that are awarded have been capped at +1, so only special heroes are more than that. Ambushes make the basic (unmodified) ini zero, but during bad weather and with the random roll this can still give bad results. Also, I'm not sure what to do with the +3 ini bonus for AT units (for when they are attacked by tanks/recon units).

If the weather cap=1, then, like you said, every bonus can be max. +1 as well (including the random roll?), that would still give a noticable difference. So terrain cap=2 would also be the cap for all separate bonuses? This would mean that hills (cap=5) would not cap any bonuses unless there was a +6 ini hero, do I understand that correctly? So generally any terrain with ini cap=3 or higher would basically allow the full bonus for every category. A difference of 5 ini is enough to fire all strength points at the enemy before he can retaliate, to give an idea.

ThorHa wrote:If they really give the player early access to the full Soviet equipment, the only chance to balance the scenarios are giving the Germans ridiculous amounts of units.
Well, the players airforce will be inferior, even the best Soviet fighter (MiG-3) will be no match for a Bf 109 E. So a big AI Luftwaffe might help balance things a little bit? Well, as long as they don't allow too many SPAAG's (T-90 :roll:).

But looking at the announced unit list some gaps will be filled, although I'm hoping they won't try to compensate too much and nerf some units a bit. Since horse transport will be added I'm curious how they will balance the typical strengths and weaknesses of the Soviet military. Soviet mobile AA and artillery were practically non-existent, just like APC's, but any changes to the existing units can only be small to prevent messing up the existing campaigns and MP scenarios. Difficult indeed.
But in this case to have unlimited access to the full Soviet arsenal will simply lead to nothing than bullshit. The bare minimum necessary would be to limit access to certain unit types in their historical proportion.
This is exactly what I'm afraid of. Just like with AC, the 'Churchill syndrome' will strike and player cores will not have any T-34's but KV-1A's instead (and the B becomes available about a month after the start of Barbarossa). Limiting prestige will not help a lot, and might even encourage buying the toughest, most survivable units.

Then I read the KV-2 will become a switchable unit as well. I like the idea, but then again I can keep myself from buying more than one SiG... The current Soviet roster around Barbarossa gives access to the T-34/40, which is not very good but still a match for the best available Pz III's at that time (H model). It might be possible to impose some limitations, they did some things for AC that might be used to delay the introduction of certain units, but I doubt they will (or can) seriously alter the current system. But I'm hoping.

The most difficult will be the time period around Kursk (Operation Citadel, july-august 1943), players will have to face SE Panthers and Elefants, but at that time the Soviet unit roster has big gaps in capability (quite realistic, actually) until the KV-85 appears in september and the IS-1 a little later. Not exactly common units and they may cause players to be able skip the T-34-85 which appears late february 1944 for the IS-2 which appears just three months later...

I like using good units but simply looking through the current equipment file the whole T-34 series seems one of the less attractive units to use in a core, which would be a shame. Oh well, there is always modding, and for some people the flamethrower tanks and other rarities might soothe the pain... :P

ThorHa
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ThorHa » Wed May 07, 2014 10:58 pm

@ThvN:

Just 2 additional remarks:

In 1941/42 the real problem will be the KVs. I would buy this one solely as long as prestige allows, as they are so much superior to all the alternatives that T34 would never show up in my core. Air Force is hardly the counter, as a decent player will learn to use his fighters mainly defensively (hell, I even do that with the German air force in the 41/42 dlcs to minimize own casualties) in conjunction with AA. I doubt that any AI feasible will learn to counter that effectively.

Same problem with the SUs later - no reason to buy any alternative, ever.

The opposite problem is easier to solve - Tigers at Kursk - as it is up to the scenario designer to limit its numbers. Soviet Corps will mainly be a single player campaign, so the AI opposition is a design choice.

Regards,
Thorsten

MartyWard
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by MartyWard » Thu May 08, 2014 12:48 am

Maybe instead of allowing you to buy units when they were historically available the designers will not allow it until a certain point well past when they were in service. This could simulate that while a model was in service they could only be alloted to you as aux units by Stavka. So maybe you wouldn't be able to buy a core KV-A until mid 42.

captainjack
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by captainjack » Thu May 08, 2014 7:59 am

Perhaps it's me, but recently when I played the mod which is based on the old PGForever Soviet campaign, I found it even harder than the original. Even the KV1A and T34 were overwhelmed very quickly. Based on this very limited experience I can't see the soviet steamroller doing quite so well.

Egge
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by Egge » Thu May 08, 2014 2:27 pm

ThorHa wrote:@ThvN:
In 1941/42 the real problem will be the KVs. I would buy this one solely as long as prestige allows, as they are so much superior to all the alternatives that T34 would never show up in my core.
This is a general problem of game system. IMHO, there is no reason to buy inferor equipment, at least for your core units. I'd rather buy one Tiger rather than two PanzerIV. Moreover, loosely speaking a campaign is about minimizing one's losses, not about actually winning the specefic scenario. In the long run, suffering casualties will cause serious porblems whereas not winning a single scenario usually has no real impact.
Hence, a KV-1, due to it's higher ground defense, is superior to a T34, just like a German Tiger tank is better than a Panther.

Bonesoul
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by Bonesoul » Thu May 08, 2014 4:00 pm

Why not just give the KV tanks some of the limitations that historically lead to the soviet heavy tank program almost being cancelled, it was only the impact of Tigers/Panthers which lead to a rethink and the IS tanks of the late war.

They were so much more expensive than a T-38, prestige cost should be at least double and associated repair costs very high.

They were much more unreliable mechanically, no idea how to model.

Due to their wiehgt they were way slower with much more limited range, reduce their move to 2-3 and they arent going to be as useful, especially if time is short, reduce fuel and ammo also to make them require very regular resupply.

They had very poor vision and very slow fire rates, especially where any great turret rotation was required, low innitiative and reduced rate of fire could simulate this.

As a last one, they had no snorkel capability and were too heavy for almost all bridges, how usefull would they be in a core when they can only cross a river in one place on the map and thats in some inconvenient spot. Frozen rivers wouldnt necessarily be a possible crossing point given their weight either, unlike for lighter units.

Cheers
Bone

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by MartyWard » Thu May 08, 2014 5:06 pm

Bonesoul wrote:Why not just give the KV tanks some of the limitations that historically lead to the soviet heavy tank program almost being cancelled, it was only the impact of Tigers/Panthers which lead to a rethink and the IS tanks of the late war.

They were so much more expensive than a T-38, prestige cost should be at least double and associated repair costs very high.

They were much more unreliable mechanically, no idea how to model.

Due to their wiehgt they were way slower with much more limited range, reduce their move to 2-3 and they arent going to be as useful, especially if time is short, reduce fuel and ammo also to make them require very regular resupply.

They had very poor vision and very slow fire rates, especially where any great turret rotation was required, low innitiative and reduced rate of fire could simulate this.

As a last one, they had no snorkel capability and were too heavy for almost all bridges, how usefull would they be in a core when they can only cross a river in one place on the map and thats in some inconvenient spot. Frozen rivers wouldnt necessarily be a possible crossing point given their weight either, unlike for lighter units.

Cheers
Bone
There are certainly ways it could be modeled within the current system that would make T34 and other tanks a choice.

ThvN
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ThvN » Thu May 08, 2014 10:12 pm

In the game, a course method to model reliability is simply giving a unit lower fuel and ammo stats. Compare the stock T-34/40 and T-34/41 for example, or the Panther D and A models. These versions should theoretically have the same range, but the earlier versions were not as reliable, so the fuel stat means it needs more 'maintenance' when travelling and low ammo makes sure it can't fight as long as the more reliable model.

So it can be modeled, but I expect that there will be very little changes to the existing units, if the previous expansions are taken as an example. I know it can be fixed but my assumption is based on the expectation that there will be very few official changes to rebalance anything. During Allied Corps, the Valentine tanks got a small boost and some inaccuries were rectified, but no changes were made to prevent the Churchill becoming the default choice and no allied units were nerfed to better balance them for human players. It is possible to add an extra nationality with their own equipment (like the German forces you use in the tutorial), so some sort of Soviet unit roster for humans can be made separately from the existing one, who knows.

The problem of availability is not just the unlimited quantities you can purchase, some units are available way to early and in theaters that they weren't used in. Then there are the stats of some units themselves, like mentioned, the early KV's had big mobility problems, the gearbox was very weak and they could not keep up with the T-34 (This was why the KV-1S was developed).

But right now they have 11 ammo and 84 fuel, and initiative similar or better to the PzIII equivalents, with move 5 to make sure you can keep up with anything. This makes them dangerous on the defense and the offensive when the AI is using them, but I'm worried when the AI will have to tackle human-controlled KV's. With German hardware it will quickly run out of talent.

The AI cannot first suppress, surround and bomb a KV-1 like a human player would. The only clear solutions are modifying the equipment file (already discussed), introduce new game mechanics (which is risky with so much existing content), so the most likely option would be that scenario writing will have to limit the impact of powercores by making the Germans too strong (so player with a 'historic' core will suffer) or more creative ideas like, for example, very small cores with a large number of auxiliaries. Anyway, I'm very curious how it will be handled.

Bonesoul
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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by Bonesoul » Thu May 08, 2014 11:39 pm

In almost every game it gets a little more difficult as you progress, not great jumps, but the end game is usually harder than the start, if nothing else because players get better as they play and learn. This fits logically with the German grand campaign where historically in 39-41 they were in the asendancy and then from Moscow onwatds in ever increasing decline through to wars end, so much so that for a game you dont really want historical accuracy of 44-45 if your playing germany. Someone put it very well, would anyone really like to feel how a german commander did in late 44 and consider it entertainment. But the point is the difficulty gradient fits.

For a Soviet grand campaign its the opposite, matching history in the early scenario your going to get hammered but in the late game almost couldnt loose so not just in terms of units but in terms of maintaining a realistic feel while maintaining a degree of challenge could be hard.

For example a seelow heights scenario in a russian grand campaign cant possibly use historic numbers, player gets 1 million men and AI gets 112,000 player gets 6 thanks to the AI's 1.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_ ... ow_Heights for those interested.

What will be interesting is to see how the developers make a soviet corps work, unless they catch us all by suprise and start it in 45 against the allies.

Cheers
Bone

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ThorHa » Fri May 09, 2014 7:51 am

Once you realize PzC simply can't simulate all the things decisive for real battlefields - doctrine, training, leadership, logistics, communication - it becomes easy to realize that PzC in no stage of the campaigns and in no scneario ever resembles the real war, not even close. It's a game. And if you shelve historical plausibility, something PzC has to do no matter what the devs want or state officially, it becomes easy again. You just have to develop scenarios that are fun for the player.

In fact if you even try to simulate something historically correct you have already commited the first mistake as you try something impossible within the game engine restrictions.

Regards,
Thorsten

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ThvN » Fri May 09, 2014 2:40 pm

Well, to me PzC is a game foremost. I like this game precisely because it has quick but not too simplistic gameplay; the engine could serve as a good base to put some different flavour on (I read somewhere that the upcoming WH40k game uses an engine loosely based on the PzC one). Like playing chess variants with different pieces and modified rules, PzC could easily be converted into a turn-based tactical wargame set in the 'Dune' universe, for example.

If I want some by-the-numbers historical simulation I'll look elsewhere. Every wargame has to balance gameplay to historical accuracy, but this being a turn-based game (a genre that I love, but has been dying off. No more M.A.X. and the later HoMM titles have been very unappealing) means any realism is already out of the door. In fact, I'm impressed at how much realism is in this game, considering the basic limitations of the format.

I have no idea why some people insist on trying to make it 100% accurate. I've modded other games that I play(ed) with friends and most said they wanted 'more realism', but when given it they usually didn't like it. As long as the game is reliable and predictable enough to give me outcomes that give me the impression that they are historically accurate enough, I'm happy. But that is why some units in PzC stand out too much: their in-game performance is too far away from my idea of what it should be. Sometimes it helps to simply check the frightening rate of attrition that some of these 'weak' units had in reality, but still some issues remain. But it doesn't ruin the game, it's still fun, and a lot of things can be modded.

Still, the problem of balance is getting a bit more noticable as the Allied expansions come out, which is logical considering the initial emphasis on the German campaigns. I just hope they don't try to compensate everything with scenario design and will actually start to nerf some units. If they don't I can always mod some simple changes myself, but than the scenarios might need some adjusting as well, and I don't want to spend my time modding this game while I could be playing it. :wink:

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by MartyWard » Fri May 09, 2014 3:17 pm

ThvN wrote:Still, the problem of balance is getting a bit more noticable as the Allied expansions come out, which is logical considering the initial emphasis on the German campaigns. I just hope they don't try to compensate everything with scenario design and will actually start to nerf some units. If they don't I can always mod some simple changes myself, but than the scenarios might need some adjusting as well, and I don't want to spend my time modding this game while I could be playing it. :wink:
They face a tough task if they want to make a fun game. How do you make a game historical and fun where one side has overwhelming advantages over the other about 2/3rds of the way through it? How do you make a fun historical game of France '40 with you as the French or playing the Russian in Barbarossa? You know you are going to get waxed if it's historical so you have to make some changes if you want it to be fun.

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by ThorHa » Fri May 09, 2014 3:58 pm

Marty, although we know that France has lost astonishingly fast, the outcome was neither predictable nor inevitable. In tanks, artillery, air, manpower the continental forces of France (together with its British ally) were on par with the Germans.

It would be absolutely no problem to set up a fictional French campaign, where they as a defender first actually win. You woul not even need to stretch reality, like the PzC original Wehrmacht campaign from 42 forward, not the slightest bit.

The French army was as mishandled as its air force, had incompetent leaders and outdated doctrines, but in the hands of a competemt leadership and on the defense with all the advantages of interior lines I would take the French forces any time of the day and pretty sure to win against the Germans from 1940.

Some historians argue quite convincingly that the French anticipated a loss so much that they fought accordingly. May well be, but it did not have to happen like it did, there was nothing giving Germany an overwhelming advantage in equipment.

Regards,
Thorsten

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by MartyWard » Fri May 09, 2014 4:01 pm

I think one way the game could be more 'balanced' would be by using the SE type units. The Soviet SE units could be called Guards and have limited upgrades. Instead of like the Germans where the minority of your units were SE the Soviets could have a lot more of them and the core deployment limits would be much lower.

For example in 1942 the Core deployment might be 15 but you could have 15 'Guard' units in your core so you could deploy 30 units total. If Guard were only T34's and Inf type then 1/2 your force would be those type of units and the other 1/2 used for Artillery, Planes, AAA, AT etc along with the higher end units. Higher end Guards units could be introduced at a slower rate then normal core units. In 44 you may have 25 'Guards' and still only have 15 regular core units to deploy. This would give you a chance to have some of the tougher units without being able to deploy a lot of them.

Also the Soviets relied more on mass than elite troops so the loss of core units should not be a big deal. Experience should be harder to get for non-Guards units, if possible, so you would be encouraged to develop and keep those alive and if the regular core unit was lost it is no big deal as the chance of getting them to 5 stars should be low.

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Re: Allied Corps way to easy?

Post by MartyWard » Fri May 09, 2014 4:06 pm

ThorHa wrote:Marty, although we know that France has lost astonishingly fast, the outcome was neither predictable nor inevitable. In tanks, artillery, air, manpower the continental forces of France (together with its British ally) were on par with the Germans.

It would be absolutely no problem to set up a fictional French campaign, where they as a defender first actually win. You woul not even need to stretch reality, like the PzC original Wehrmacht campaign from 42 forward, not the slightest bit.

The French army was as mishandled as its air force, had incompetent leaders and outdated doctrines, but in the hands of a competemt leadership and on the defense with all the advantages of interior lines I would take the French forces any time of the day and pretty sure to win against the Germans from 1940.

Some historians argue quite convincingly that the French anticipated a loss so much that they fought accordingly. May well be, but it did not have to happen like it did, there was nothing giving Germany an overwhelming advantage in equipment.

Regards,
Thorsten
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.

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