Multiplayer Tips

PC : Turn based WW2 goodness in the mold of Panzer General. This promises to be a true classic!

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Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
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Re: Multiplayer Tips

Post by Stephen1024 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:11 pm

PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:02 pm
Wow, I think this is an impressive list and probably these best practices apply to both, AI and MP I would say...
Being able to pull this off just like that... Chapeau! 8)
Thanks have put it in both threads as some looking for single player tips won't check Mp thread.

Panzer Corps Tournament 3rd Place
Panzer Corps Tournament 3rd Place
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Re: Multiplayer Tips

Post by Gwaylare » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:46 pm

So I want to bring up some points to your attention where I see major differences between single player and multiplayer games in Panzer Corps. Within the tournament I had some games where it was quite obvious that my opponent was playing a single player style. So if you start playing multiplayer you need to throw away some of your behavior you have learned within the campaign.

Core units and non core units:
Within the campaign non core units (grey numbers) are an add on to your core force. Most times they are weaker, because they lack heros and are not choosen according to your strategy. They are just placed by the scenario designer and the are expendable. Better to loose a non core unit than to loose a core unit together with a hero. They are cannon fodder.
These roles are switched in multiplayer games. Those non core units are not replaceable. If you loose them, they are just gone. Core units are replaceable. So in the beginning of a game non core units are more valueable then core units of the same type, because you will not get a free core slot by loosing a non core unit. So in the first turns I try to eliminate especially those valueable non core units, even if they are low value units. Later on when you are not any longer able to field a full set of core units, there is no difference any more.
So learn to guard your non core units, learn to love your non core units.

The keyboard:
There are some important key you should know about, so Panzer Corps is not a mouse only game. Some feature are just accessible by hotkeys. Some are helpfull within the campaing as well.

C: This will open a dialog with the lost units. Ok nice statistics ;-) But in some maps you do have more core units on the map then available core slots. So you have to loose some units before purchasing the first new unit. So it might help to keep an eye on your losses to see when the first purchase will be possible.

Ctrl + Click: This will open an extended combat prediction window. There you learn about the initiative, all the bonuses for this combat and the chances you will have to kill and suppress an opponent unit. This is very usefull to learn about the combat mechanics, if you use this whenever you do not understand why a short prediction for an attack is very bad or very good. This is required to plan your artillery attacks, because the short prediction will just show kills. Most unexpected combat results are cause by initiative or close combat values against infantry.
In this window for some units you will find a rate of fire, when it is different to 100%. This does means they do roll less or more dice than there strength indicates. For example most heavier artillery just has a rate of fire of 80% or 90% (Gustav just has 40%), so they are not as strong as they seem to be. Other units like StuG III has a rate of 110%. With strength 10 they will roll 11 dice instead of ten. The german flame tank has a rate of fire of 140% and is much better then you think about it while having a view to the in game stats.
Most things you are able to learn about the calculation of combat figures are visible in this dialog.
The greatest problem with dialog is, that it is only available if you can do the attack, not when you have to move first. Usally you are playing without the undo option in multiplayer, so you have to use both the short preview and the extended one.

Some things you cannot learn from the extended combat prediction window. So whenever a combat result has unexpected figures hit the key L.

L: This will open a combat log of the last combat you have initiated. This almost looks like the extended combat prediction window but it contains all the dice which were rolled.
Whenever you lost a combat you had checked before with Ctrl + Click you should check what was going wrong:
-The easiest solution is just bad luck. The opponent just rolled 98, 99, 97, ... Nothing to figure out here, you cannot control luck.
-You have lost initiative. There is a roll for initiative before combat. In preview you had initiative and your losses should be moderate. But you lost the initiative roll and now more opponent dice are rolled to hurt you. So your losses are higher then expected and now you are rolling less dice. Again you cannot control the dice, but you can check if there is a risk and if it is usefull to bring in a supporter to get a mass attack bonus.
-A rugged defence was rolled and this often has a major effect to battle.

When you lost a battle just check if this was just bad luck or if there is some game mechanic you did not know or forget about. If you just blame bad luck you will not improve your skills. While learning Panzer Corps about 66% of bad combat results are not related to bad luck, but very often the dice are blamed.

D: This will disband the active unit. This is very usefull for core units, because it will free up a core slot.
In the current tournament we are playing historical campaign maps. In first turn ofter there are units which are expendable. In most cases this are AT or AA units sometimes weak recons. So if you have enough prestige get rid of them and buy more valueable units. For example in Kiev in the north there is a mobile AA and a Marder and in Kiev you are very short with core slots. Well you will find some better units to purchase in turn 1.
Sometimes it is even worth to sacrifice a valueable troop to buy a specialist, especially a bridge builder.
Some units are getting obsolete after some time of combat. For example in Norway or Greece the allies do have just one fighter. If this one is shot down it is unlikly the will buy a new one, so disbanding all your fighters is an option. Fighter still have a use to scout and to reduce entrenchment but it is limited. Additional ground units may speed up the advance better then fighters. In both sceanrios I dispanded expencive figthers and bought cheap mountaineer.
To repair a unit is much cheaper then to buy a new one, but sometimes you do not have time to do that. So disbanding a unit and buying a new unit in near position might be an option. Sometimes you can think of paying a cost to teleport a unit, by disband it somewhere and buy it somewhere else.

I do not remember a game where I did not disband at least one unit.

So if you never used your keyboard, give it a try. You will not believe that there was a time before you start to use it ;-)

Panzer Corps Tournament 3rd Place
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Re: Multiplayer Tips

Post by Gwaylare » Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:30 pm

Surround, Suppress and Surrender:
Goose did mention the three S already. This is the basic of any combat which will give you a major benefit.
A unit will surrender at end of combat if and only if it is fully suppressed, it has entrechment level 0, the attack is not broken up by opponent artillery and there is no hex field it is able retreat to.
You do not need a hit against a fully suppressed unit, you just need a die to roll. A strength 1 infantry will let a fully suppressed Tiger surrender with a 100% chance. But in most cases a lot of the suppression is done by the final attack itself.

When you plan to surrender a unit always check those conditions, especially entrenchment. The entrenchment before the final attack should be <=1, because Entrenchment is reduced before retreating is checked. For a unit in a city with entrenchment 3 you have to fire twice with artillery or you have to use your airforce to attack the city. When no second ari or plane is available it might work to attack with an infantry first, then use the artillery and attack again with a second infantry. If the units surrenders this way it is more effective than using the artillery first.

A surrendered opponent unit is fine, but this is just the beginning. Usally you perform this to get to the freed hex field to attack an artillery behind the unit. Once the artillery of a defence is broken it is easy to attack the rest of the units. Surrendering and freeing fields to move to does stick together. So most of the time I do not think which opponent unit i want to surrender but where I want to move to.

The defence against this tactics is quite easy. Just let a free field behind all your units. Easy in theory, but hard to manage on the battlefield. When you read the lines above you should have recognised, that by moving a unit to hex freed by a surrendering a unit is a major risk. This unit does not have a field to retreat to, so it may surrender next turn to the opponent as well. You are not playing against the AI, your opponent do know all the tricks as well. So there are some things to take care about while advancing with your units.
-If you are hitting the only artillery around with a tank quite hard and there is no major tank nearby, then the tank should be quite safe.
-If the attacking unit is cheap and the damage to an artillery is more valueable then the unit itself it is just a sacrifice. While you are planing the attack you do know, that this unit will not survive the next turn.
-The next important option is where recons come into battle. Recons are not really used to do this recon stuff only. They are used to fill hexes to surround opponent units and free them up after the attack. So the advanceing unit has a field to retreat to and has a much safer position.

I addition to that recons are able to sneak into free fields the opponent left to retreat to. By using the recon movement you are able to surround a unit which is not possible to surround without a recon. Again you may have to sacrifice the recon, but it is worth to do it for a valueable unit.

Because everybody tries to keep free fields in the back to retreat, sometimes the situation is getting more complex. Then you have to suppress and push another unit first to fill this free field and start to surrender the unit after that. Lifever said that playing Panzer Corps is a little bit like doing a puzzle and this is really a good description. Be creative.

Purchasing and Replacements:
Supply is critical for warfare. So in Panzer Corps we can buy new units and replace losses of existing units. So I guess I am not telling anything new here. Because you suffer much more losses in multiplayer and there is no safe and reload button it is good to know the details:
-An unit will get about 50% reduced replacements, if there is an adjacent opponent unit. It is not more expensive but you are not able to fill up to the maximum. If there are two adjacent opponent units replacements are blocked. Aircraft does reduce replacement if they are on top of the unit and if the weather does not block the attack of this aircraft. Units in cities or fortifications does get a small bonus, if replacements are blocked.
If you are not able to kill units, you should try to block replacements at least with an aircraft.
-Replacement will fill up ammo as well. So especially for artillery it is an option to use (Elite) replacements insteed of supply unit.
-In Panzer Corps you can purchase units direct into battle. When you are the attacker and just occupied a city you are able to purchase units after holding it for a complete turn. So if you conquer it in turn 1 and hold it through turn 2 you can purchase in turn 3. this is a hidden counter and not visible in the game. So you have to count yourself.
-An adjacent ground unit (no aircraft or ship) is able block purchasing a unit.
-You can purchase a unit directly adjacent to an opponent unit, sometimes this will help to let a unit surrender.
-Especially you are able to purchase a bridge builder direcly onto a river. This may give you the option of an surprise attack over a river.

So I do not want to talk much about the weather, but in multiplayer games there is one interessting consequence of a turned based game.
If you had the first turn (attacker), your opponent will always have the same weather you have in your turn. So if there is rain or snow and visibility is reduced, this does count for your opponent as well. This is an ideal turn to do any sneaky things. Crossing rivers, starting paratrooper or just some repositioning to another flank. You know for sure that your opponent has the same problems with the visibility.

If you had the second turn (defender), this will not work in the same manner. You have the same weather your opponent already have had. So you have to look at the weather forcast, which is not as precise as before. So you have to rely on a chance of a little bit more than 80% to get the weather. Ok sounds not fair, but here you do have another option the attack does not have. The attacker is sure about the defender will have the same weather, but the defender may be for 80% sure about the attacker next turn has different weather. So if it is clear and the forecast is rain you can fly out with your bombers to attack units without fighter support. You have a 80% chance of rain and the opponent will not be able to strike back next turn with fighters or AA.

Be aware that the weather forcast may be not the same for attacker and defender. One or ever both sides may have a wrong forecast.
On the other hand just the attacker does get new weather. So he has the chance to speculate on a change of weather to use it as a surprise like crossing frozen rivers. The defender always uses "old" weather. So frozen rivers are always already known to the attacker, when the defender gets frozen rivers.

So keep in mind any thoughts about weather depends on your role (attacker/defender) and if you think about the weather you will get in your next turn or the opponent will have in the following turn. This does may affect winter maps (Bersaglieri and the bear) or maps with a lot of rain.

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Re: Multiplayer Tips

Post by woken » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:04 am

Outstanding work laying out this info Gwaylare !

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Re: Multiplayer Tips

Post by PeteMitchell » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:52 am

woken wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:04 am
Outstanding work laying out this info Gwaylare !
+1 :D 8)
Great stuff, thanks a lot!
Comprehensive Battlefield Europe AAR:

Panzer Corps Tournament 3rd Place
Panzer Corps Tournament 3rd Place
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Re: Multiplayer Tips

Post by Alfredoallu » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:51 pm

Awesome! I played this game blindfolded for the longest time.
When I started the tournament I didn't know about core units and how to disband units.
Until today I didn't know about the other keys.

Thanks Gwaylare!

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Re: Multiplayer Tips

Post by PeteMitchell » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:30 pm

So from the few MP maps I played so far I think I can say that a lot depends on reading the map carefully and correctly (early on) as well as then from anticipating major moves of the opponent, also were to possibly surprise and/or outflank him...
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