Panzer Corps 2

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

Moderators: Slitherine Core, Panzer Corps Design, Panzer Corps Moderators

proline
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by proline » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:40 pm

Lots of great suggestions, but as others have said, the way to make the game more fun, by far, would be a more clever AI. Human vs. human play is good, but much of the content is against the AI. Furthermore, human vs. human is never going to be all that popular for a turn based game where you wait minutes to days for the other player to take a turn. Now making the AI truly clever might be too hard, but at least deal with the common exploits like having it scout out defensive artillery or ambushes. Furthermore, the AI's damage calculations encourage it to lay passively and wait for the human to kill it. Something is wrong when it actually does more damage in the rain when it can't see anything and just attacks. Finally, it shouldn't be too hard to teach the AI how to do a surround or how to run a unit with more than one ammo point out of ammo and then kill it.

captainjack
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by captainjack » Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:49 pm

Razz1's suggestion for increasing the cost of replacements should be possible by modding the Gamerules file.
It would be pretty simple to create a gamesrules mod for each campaign which tweaks the cost of experienced units up slightly each year. I suspect that if using soft cap the combination would be crippling, but the Gamesrules mod could also adjust or disable soft cap as appropriate.

ptje63
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by ptje63 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:15 pm

Playing a strategic game as PC it all involves with overall view and control of various options. Around 1943-44 heading east this becomes more increasingly important. Whereas previous battles were easy or overcoming, now it becomes more difficult to adjust strategic goals, on short and long term. For me it becomes more important to know where is what unit, not just down to a single unit, but more where are my tanks, where is my artillery positioned. Are they evenly distributed along the front and where are the gaps. I would very much like more user adjustable short keys which can be user defined just for that purpose.

George_Parr
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by George_Parr » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:33 pm

One thing that I would like to see is a different approach to artillery.

At this point, using Germany as an example, you go with bigger and bigger artillery, even if that is kind of excessive. You start with 10.5cm guns, move to 15cm, on to 17cm and then to 21cm mortars, and it doesn't really make sense not to do it. If you go by what was mostly used, the 10.5cm howitzers were the standard divisional artillery, with the 15cm howitzers as support. The 21cm mortars were siege weapons or corps assets and indeed replaced by the 17cm gun, while it is currently the other way round in the game. The current approach also leads to problems with self-propelled artillery that comes in later on. Why buy Wespe or Hummel in 1943, when those are significantly weaker than the regular artillery you already have?

I would suggest splitting artillery into two fields, regular and siege. Not counting rocket artillery, which is kind of another field.
- Regular artillery would have the 10.5cm howitzer and the 15cm howitzer. If you want to put more limits on it, make it so that you need three 10.5cm guns for every 15cm gun. That way you could make sure that no one just goes with the 15cm guns all the time. Technological advances are still possible, just go from leFH 18 to leFH 18M to leFH18/40, or the comparable techs for the 15cm gun. This also allows for self-propelled guns to gain some meaning.

- Siege artillery would use the big guns, 17cm, 21cm and so on. To represent their lack of mobility, make it so that they cannot fire and move on the same turn (not counting retreats), requiring them to be set up before being put into action. Might be necessary to add a limit in numbers as well.

That way you could have a setup of, for example, 3x 10.5cm guns, 1x 15cm gun, 1x siege gun. And if you want to have more of the 15cm or siege gun, you first need more artillery as a whole. Though that probably isn't even necessary, as for any mission that requires lots of siege-guns, you could always add non-core artillery. And rocket artillery exist as further help as well.

As another minor addition, I would think about adding light mountain artillery. These could get the movement bonus granted to mountain units, slightly reduced because they aren't infantry, so maybe 2 free steps in the mountains (though not the peaks, or whatever they were called). That way you actually could field artillery in the mountains that can somewhat keep up with the mountaineers, while obviously lacking the punch of proper artillery.

--------------

Another small idea: how about adding the possibility of calling for transports?
Say you have a unit without transport, but you want to move it at a decent speed somewhere else. Just have a button that allows you to call in trucks (or something like that). The unit will have to sit out the entire round and cannot have moved or fired before the request either. Once the next round hits, the transport will be there and the unit can move, until you deactivate it again. Once you leave the transports (active decision) you would need to request a new one again, if you want to be transported further.

--------------

This next idea is a bit bigger, and it might require having two sets of scenarios. It's kind of another game mode, like the choice between simulation or arcade. It does go a bit into the same territory as the soft cap, but in a different way.
Create a stat based on how powerful and maintenance heavy a unit is and set a limit on how many points you can set up in a scenario. Infantry would obviously be pretty light on that (e.g set to 1), light and medium tanks would be more expensive (say 2 and 3), while a Tiger II or Jagdtiger would require quite a lot of points (say 5 or so). This would lead to not every unit being build to the max, because the scenario-cap wouldn't even allow so many big units to be used at the same time, so you don't just run around with just Panther, Kingtiger and Maus tanks plus the heavy tank destroyers near the end of the war. The limit would be for the scenarios, not the core itself, so you could have a bunch of expensive units, but can't always use just them.

This would lead to a more "natural" unit mix that takes into account what were the most common units in the field, instead of going for as much power as possible all the time. It would obviously require the enemy to be set up similarly. You don't want to force the player into having to run around with a lot of medium sized units while the Soviets come in with 50% IS-2, ISU-152 and so on.

Since this whole thing would be optional, it would likely require two versions of every scenario. One based on the limited option, where the player should meet an enemy that follows the same approach, and one option that ignores this and allows for as much power as the prestige allows the player to buy, with the enemy being set up to counter this.

TSPC37730
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by TSPC37730 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:49 pm

Some interesting suggestions. My one caution is that by adding more & more rules we'll be getting away from the casual nature & the simplicity of the original Panzer General. Those qualities were part of what made the game great.

But then it's not up to me. If we're so fortunate as to see a PC2 somewhere down the road, hopefully there'll be some great improvements & additions. In the big picture though, not everyone will be happy with everything.

Jamey00
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by Jamey00 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:28 pm

1) Eliminate hidden game mechanics

There are so many things that are not obvious. Here are a few:
  • Soft Cap. My biggest pet peeve with PC is that I didn't know it existed until I was in a Prestige hole with little way to deal with it. It has resulted in my GC being put on hold for a while.
  • Rate of Fire. For the few units which have a non-standard one, it matters a lot.
  • Combat mechanics in general. The details of combat resolution matter, and it is hard to understand the mechanics of initiative and attack/defense without finding explanations in the forums.
  • Terrain. Having to go find the terrain in a table in the Library is annoying. Even with that, so much is left unexplained (e.g. what is the impact of a river). On top of that, there is no way to definitively know what terrain a named victory hex is. I hate squinting at a victory hex in AC trying to decide if it is Dunes or a Hill. Even worse is looking at a city hex on a river and having no idea if it gives the river penalty or not.

2) Include the full unit list in the game
I originally bought PC on the iPad, and enjoyed the base campaign enough to buy the full GC bundle. Unless I have completely missed something, there is literally no way to get the full unit list without buying the PC version and looking at a text file (also, see above for hidden mechanics like RoF). That is not a good user experience, especially because I have no idea when new units will become available without referring to that text file.


3) Reduce the scale of major battles

I'm sure that some will disagree with me, but I enjoy PC the most with a more moderately sized Core. When the game went above about 25 Core units, I found it less enjoyable. Deployment involved a lot more decisions and I just took a lot longer to get through battles.

I'd suggest narrowing focus during massive battles instead of trying to show the whole thing.


4) Add cross platform support

I love playing PC on my iPad in my recliner or (especially) while traveling. It's a great platform. I'd enjoy it even more if I could just move my games between my iPad and PC so that I could enjoy a bigger screen when at home. Many games have started including cloud sync for their saved games, allowing you to cross platform with ease.


5) Rethink overstrength

Currently overstrength can turn experienced units into absolute beasts. It also can be a trap for newer players who are seduced by the power without realizing the longer term prestige implications (scaling costs and the fact that OS is lost when you upgrade unit types).

I'd argue that the game would function better if experience either enabled an inexpensive overstrength or it increased unit stats. Doing both is a bit much, and it can lead us newer players into bad decisions.

steelwarrior
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by steelwarrior » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:49 am

And finally an overrun ability for units of 1-2 strength with our tanks - so we do not have to chase them all across the map each turn again ;-D Just like in ole PG a free attack with 100% destruction guarantee;-D
Last edited by steelwarrior on Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

captainjack
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by captainjack » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:19 pm

steelwarrior wrote: an overrun ability for units of 1-2 strength with or tanks
With the added bonus that Panzer 1 and 2 would remain useful beyond the first scenario.

proline
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by proline » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:03 am

George_Parr wrote:One thing that I would like to see is a different approach to artillery.

At this point, using Germany as an example, you go with bigger and bigger artillery, even if that is kind of excessive. You start with 10.5cm guns, move to 15cm, on to 17cm and then to 21cm mortars, and it doesn't really make sense not to do it. If you go by what was mostly used, the 10.5cm howitzers were the standard divisional artillery, with the 15cm howitzers as support. The 21cm mortars were siege weapons or corps assets and indeed replaced by the 17cm gun, while it is currently the other way round in the game. The current approach also leads to problems with self-propelled artillery that comes in later on. Why buy Wespe or Hummel in 1943, when those are significantly weaker than the regular artillery you already have?
I'm not sure you've fully mastered the PzC artillery system. There are already two excellent reasons not to go with the biggest guns- namely the bigger sizes have a lower rate of fire, which means the maximum possible deaths / suppression is lower, and they also have low ammo. Furthermore, I'm puzzled by your question of why to buy self-propelled artillery- they offer three massive advantages. First, they can keep up with the action which means they fire more and get xp faster. Second, because they don't need to be packed for transport they are always ready to provide defensive fire. Third, they don't die as easy.

Playing the Germans for me actually requires using many diverse artillery- some of the big 21cm guns as they are the only thing that can suppress Russian heavy tanks (but low RoF), some 30 cm Nblwf for their amazing soft target suppression, some sIG 38(t) for all-purpose self-propelled work, and maybe a 280mm K5 on maps with a good rail network for their excellent hard attack. If you aren't using all of the above, try it and be amazed!

Now if you want to talk one-dimensional artillery, the U.S. would be a better example...

tenshin111
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by tenshin111 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:57 am

My Wishlist for a hypothetical Panzer Corps 2 is rather concise:

1. Better AI. Period.

2. Improved graphics (so that it adapts nicely to super high-resolution screens)

3. Clearer UI.

In the current version some information is hidden from the player or just barely visible, for example:

- RoF is not visible at all

- attached heroes and their associated bonuses are only visible while hovering mouse cursor over tiny "head icons"

- terrain effects are not visible at all (you have to search the Library for information)

- there is no "early warning" system for your air units when they're low on fuel - you have to inspect their icons reguarily, one by one, which becomes a chore when playing on really big maps

4. Better map editor + dedicated tools for adding/modifying game assets.

5. More options for game modders to tweak existing rules or combat mechanics. It would be even nicer to have an ability to add more rules to the game.

This way the base game can retain its semi-casual appeal and relative simplicity while hard-core fans can enjoy various mods that make the game more realistic or just different.

The amazing modding community is what has kept PzC alive for so many years and I really hope that when (if) PzC 2 comes out one day it will bring more tools and support for in-dept tweaking of the game engine :-)

PS.

Belated Happy New Year to everyone!

proline
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by proline » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:53 pm

tenshin111 wrote:My Wishlist for a hypothetical Panzer Corps 2 is rather concise
Excellent list, keeps the game fun and doesn't add complexity like so many of these suggestions. The main way to add fun is a better AI.

captainjack
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by captainjack » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:58 pm

tenshin111 wrote:there is no "early warning" system for your air units when they're low on fuel
I agree. It would be better if low fuel warning for aircraft was for any red-hexes within range. Even better would be colour coded aircraft icons on the strategic map so you can get a quick overview.

I'd like the ability to group units in the editor by name (eg Panzer Division 1, Attack force X) rather than by zone or by individual units. This would mean you could use conditional instructions better. Eg If this condition is met, Division 1 (4 tanks, 2 guns, three infantry) changes from Hold Fire to Attack, otherwise it moves to centre on hex (X, Y).

It would also improve the ability to vary scenarios each time they are replayed. eg both 4th Panzer and 5th Panzer Divisions are available to deploy, with x% chance of appearing each turn and the entire division deploys or does not. Existing editor tags could then be used to stop deployment of the second unit so that only the lucky winner deploys. Existing rules allow zones to be dispersed (so Zone X can have hexes at each corner and in the middle) which could then allow semi-random placement of one of several possible units, which would make scenarios more varied. This approach would add variety while keeping life manageable for the scenario creator, since scripts only have to address one division rather than a whole lot of individual units.

IttoOgami
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by IttoOgami » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:28 pm

I would like to have a little hint how much prestige the enemy has at hand. If it only is shown at the beginning of a scenario, or hinted indirectly in the mission briefing/scenaro messages. This would be only a little change, but make a big difference for decisions. At the moment, it is totally unclear if some of the starvation tactics like keeping enemy fighters alive or bomb flags with strategic bombers have any lasting effect.

tenshin111
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by tenshin111 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:42 am

IttoOgami wrote:I would like to have a little hint how much prestige the enemy has at hand. If it only is shown at the beginning of a scenario, or hinted indirectly in the mission briefing/scenaro messages. This would be only a little change, but make a big difference for decisions. At the moment, it is totally unclear if some of the starvation tactics like keeping enemy fighters alive or bomb flags with strategic bombers have any lasting effect.
No, this would be mostly useless feature. Many scenarios (like the whole Grand Campaign?) use scripted events to trigger enemy reinforcements/counterattacks. In other words, AI doesn't purchase those units but it "gets" them when certain conditions are met.

captainjack
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by captainjack » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:35 am

Further to Tenshin111's comments,

If I remember correctly, prestige loss from strategic bombers is [(2 + stars) x strength]/2, so the most you'd normally get would be 52 prestige per attack (half that in cloudy weather). Allowing for time refuelling, bad weather etc, two or three bombers of at least 3* and 13 strength (but preferably 4* and 14str) working as a team would probably be stripping something approaching 80 to 120 prestige each turn. This would probably make a difference to the AI ability to reinforce damaged units and maybe restrict spamming of defensive units around cities in the end game, but as Tenshin111 comments, it won't have any effect on scripted reinforcements.

In practice, you are probably better off neutralising cities to reduce spamming, and accept that any prestige reduction from attacking units in a victory hex is a nice bonus on top of the effects on troops in the city (ammo and fuel reduction, reduced entrenchment, and suppression).

wargovichr
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by wargovichr » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:04 am

Relatedly, in battles that went better than expected I would let the last city or next to last city spam units then use my newbie or low experienced units (to gain experience) to wipe them out, and one or two more times if enough remaining turns and enemy prestige. The idea was that I was draining AI's prestige horde for next battle, but in reality enemy prestige is scripted in for each battle.
Just like no matter how well you do the AI always fields experienced units next battle though they were all wiped out last battle.
And note that all AI spammed units arrive experienced...Yes the AI DOES cheat!

Hey, btw, I forget, when you destroy enemy unit named leaders (ex. Stalingrad, Berlin, etc., does one earn increased prestige for forced surrender other than strength related??

captainjack
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by captainjack » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:10 pm

Most of the named units are for added colour. However, quite a few mods give you prestige or bonus units for destroying special units or completing a mission.

The scenario editor is used to set a default experience level for new units it creates. In game, you could create a scenario stacked with 4* units but replacement units are all 1*, or everything is 1* but a few specials are scripted as 5* units. I have noticed that the AI seems to use only green replacements, so if you are struggling with very experienced enemy units, you don't necessarily need to finish them off as the AI will not only take a turn to reinforce them but they will come back less experienced. This is especially handy for dealing with overstrength highly experienced fighters, since a few AA shots can remove overstrength and cause them to drop an experience star or two, which can make them much more vulnerable to your own fighters.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by Narwhal » Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:12 pm

Reason to have less good units.

Currently, the only reason to prefer say a Panzer IVG over a Tiger is the Soft Cap, which is an heresy of game design and a trap to anyone without a deep understanding of the game.

I found Panzer General 3 had a way better way to handle this, which a double limit : how much units of a type you could have, and what was its top strenght.

So for instance in 1943, you could only have max 1 unit of Tiger, with a max strenght of 8, or you could have Panzer IV with a max strenght of 10, or Panzer III with max strenght of 12. You could keep captured S-35 around, but their max strenght is 8 only due to lack of spare parts.
By 1944, you could have 2 units of Tiger, still max strenght 8, etc... S-35 is max strenght 6 by then.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by PGBamaJP » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:08 pm

I have been playing the Battlefield Eruope MOD with my brother for a year or so. EXCELLENT Improvement (as a MOD).
I WISH! Slitherline/Lordz/Matrix, whoever, would actually do a Panzer Corps II (Game Engine). It would sell out again!
S/L/M Don't Need to DO a MOD, But Make the Game more Capable/Versatile to the Massive Modding Community.

Imagine a World Map with 2 Teams and Up to 5 or More Same-Team Players Making Simultaneous Moves in Their Respective Theatres of Operation (or Nations, Or Units) Just Like in the Real WWII ?!

Here is what is needed to make this great game even better:

1. World Size Map Capable (Hundreds of Thousands of Hexes or More)
a. Large Enough So That Naval & Artillery Units Ranges are Accurate Relative to Map ( in BEv1.7 my Capitol Ships Can Lob Shells Completely over Italy).
b. Scaled Large Enough to Accurately Represent Aircraft Ranges.
1. LAN & Internet Server Based Multiplayer (Not Just PBEM)
a. 2 Teams X 5 or More Players Each (Large/Long-Term Scenarios)
b.
3. Team Play Capable
a. 5 or More Player/AI Teams - Game Setup Provides for...
i) Nation (and All It's Units) OR MapArea-Theatre Assignment by Player/AI
ii) MapArea-Theatres of Control Over-Ride Player/AI-Nation Control of Units
iii) Same-Team Players/AIs Simulatneous Moves
iv) Individual Unit Re-Assignment Over-Ride of Player/AI-Nation
v) Team Commander-In-Chief Able to Over-Ride (& In Play) Unit ReAssignments
vi) Each Players Display Updates as Team's Other Players Are Moving Units.
4. Increase Number of Configurable Zones or Make Every Hex a Zone

George_Parr
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Re: Panzer Corps 2

Post by George_Parr » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:34 pm

proline wrote:I'm not sure you've fully mastered the PzC artillery system. There are already two excellent reasons not to go with the biggest guns- namely the bigger sizes have a lower rate of fire, which means the maximum possible deaths / suppression is lower, and they also have low ammo. Furthermore, I'm puzzled by your question of why to buy self-propelled artillery- they offer three massive advantages. First, they can keep up with the action which means they fire more and get xp faster. Second, because they don't need to be packed for transport they are always ready to provide defensive fire. Third, they don't die as easy.

Playing the Germans for me actually requires using many diverse artillery- some of the big 21cm guns as they are the only thing that can suppress Russian heavy tanks (but low RoF), some 30 cm Nblwf for their amazing soft target suppression, some sIG 38(t) for all-purpose self-propelled work, and maybe a 280mm K5 on maps with a good rail network for their excellent hard attack. If you aren't using all of the above, try it and be amazed!

Now if you want to talk one-dimensional artillery, the U.S. would be a better example...
I have mastered it just fine, thank you...

Self-propelled artillery comes at a time where much more powerful units are already available. Their defensive strength is negligible, it doesn't really make much of a difference, they shouldn't be in such a situation in the first place, and if they end up in one, they do suffer big losses all around. The only thing that truly offers something that regular artillery doesn't is the ability to move and provide cover right afterwards. But for that, you might as well use something like a StuG, StuH or Brummbär. Those don't offer any range offensively, but they do give defensive fire for other units and are much more durable. Sure, the lighter artillery pieces have better rates of fire, but that isn't all that important. Against infantry, all do the job well enough, and in the later stages you face off against way too many stronger targets to go with mostly light artillery. I never said that you should run around using just one type of artillery either. What I actually said is that the game doesn't really lend itself to go with what would be natural, instead offering plenty of reasons as for why you should go with heavier guns, especially when it comes to the later stages of the game, hardly a time where the nations all suddenly moved to using mostly siege artillery as regular artillery. Even 15cm guns were only the heavy divisional support to the regular artillery (as howitzers) or corps support if they were cannons.

I wasn't talking about one specific nation, I was talking about general ideas. And the fact is, the game doesn't really represent what was common and what was rather rare in the proper way. The standard-artillery piece for every nation of somewhat decent strength was between 76mm and 105mm. Those were used in far bigger numbers than any other guns, yet there isn't really much of a reason to go that route in the game. Yes, rate of fire does help out a bit, but it alone doesn't cause the artillery to be used in the way that you would expect it to be used. Having a clearer seperation between the types could improve the situation in that regard.

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