A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Discuss

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Andy2012
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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:20 pm

bebro wrote:IMO the player should not be low on RP all the time. However, as some replies show, "low" is not an absolute amount - it can depend on a number of things (how much losses does player X take, what does he expect to buy, esp. in high-cost units, how does he handle upgrades?)

If the consensus is that things are ok on normal and allow a decent core, ppl struggling should consider going one step down with the difficulty.

If the consensus is that things are too frustrating already on normal, we can change things - as we did on some occasions.

Re turn times/numbers, this would IMO depend on specific scns - personally I don't want to battle the clock all the time, rather the enemy. But there's surely a case for low time in certain battles
Yeah, consensus is hard to reach when you dont really discuss it. I think it would also help to have a small plug-in program in the beta versions which neatly summarises data about units bought, reinforcements taken, damage taken, credits left etc. Kind of like an OoB data collector so you wouldnt have to rely that much on people posting short stuff like "I like it, works well". But that's why I thought I ask around.
But please keep posting, I am learning a ton and I think the devs do, too. :D

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by WarHomer » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:36 am

For difficulty modifiers I prefer secondary objectives (that are actually worth completing), enemy strenght (quality/placement not just quantity), mission complexity (not just move from point A to point B and/or hold ground) and fun surprises (sudden flanking attack, reversing/changing of orders, but not completely out of the blue).

One of my favorite missions in PC's Afrika Korps was the one where you had to do a challenging (at least in Italian Challenge mode) fighting retreat to a city in the lower left corner and after beating the forces there - got reinforcements and you had to counterattack back.

The difficulty should IMO definitely not be lowered.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by GabeKnight » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:40 am

Actually two of the things Erik already incorporated into his Germany Grand Campaign added quite the challenge for me when played for the very first time (and after that, too, of course... :wink: ), and I adapted and changed my ways of deployment and tactics after that (for the better, I think):

1) Many (if not all) bridges being blown up by "retreating" enemy units. This resulted in either really cautious planning to "liberate" that bridge in one turn before the enemy had the chance to blow them up or to always have some engineer unit on "stand-by". Very interesting and challenging concept on many maps and enemy positions. Granted, it was somewhat annoying at first, but I actually miss that aspect in the vanilla scens by now... :D

2) Allow the enemy units to repair by giving the AI more RP/turn. Most stock campaigns give like 2-5 RP/turn to the enemy, that means, if you damage an enemy unit, you'll know they stay that way for the rest of the mission - except some cheap infantry or AT units the AI's able to repair.

If you don't "starve" the AI, you'll have to destroy most, if not all, stray units, because they WILL COME BACK if you don't... :wink: :lol:

Especially with enemy dogfighters that keep repairing to full and come back at you, that's something else to the vanilla scens entirely. It's a must to destroy them before they're able to retreat. Not very easy when there are five of them around...and you know, that whatever damage you're inflicting on them counts for nothing if you let them escape and land... :shock: :? :lol:

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Erik2 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:42 pm

1) Interesting that the bridge destroying events finally get a few pats on the back :D

2) As I've mentioned earlier (several times), I always start a scenario with 1 unit = 1 resource income pr turn. Then I add or remove depending on play balance etc.
This seem to work fine in quite a few scenarios :wink:
I was never a fan of the start-the-AI theory. It often leads to the hopeless attack-with-close-to-dead-units tactics by the AI.

bebro
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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by bebro » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:17 pm

Andy2012 wrote: Another thing that came to my mind is upgrade prices and units prices and necessary units in your core to win. Sure, you cant win without arty or an airforce - but you dont actually need heavy tanks like the Panther or Tiger. I avoided them or just could never afford them in Panzerkrieg and in Sandstorm I didnt bother because my Pz IV J or G were sufficient. Also, those upgrades between versions are sometimes ridiculously expensive. Sometimes, I think this should be modified a bit, too. But I am not sure how. What do you guys think about this problem?
To come back to this:

At the end of PK I had 2 Tigers, plus a couple Pz IVs. For the 1st Tiger I had a Pz 38 nursed to high XP in early-mid PK, then kept him in reserve. So I suddenly had a 4 star Tiger in 43 after upgrading. Similar for the other - kept a Pz III L in service, then turned it into a Tiger. Not exactly cheap, but easily doable.

If needed I deployed those outdated models in secondary roles - hunting down weaker units etc. So that they do not take much losses before I can upgrade them to Tiger (or later Panther, once we're over the "unreliable" 1st model)

Otoh I don't use like 4 or 5 of the heaviest arty together though (as I saw in some screenshots). Personally I'm fine if ppl have to make some choices. I really loved PzC, but getting quite a lot of "super-units" was rather too easy there IMO.

Andy2012
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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:29 am

To come back to this:

At the end of PK I had 2 Tigers, plus a couple Pz IVs. For the 1st Tiger I had a Pz 38 nursed to high XP in early-mid PK, then kept him in reserve. So I suddenly had a 4 star Tiger in 43 after upgrading. Similar for the other - kept a Pz III L in service, then turned it into a Tiger. Not exactly cheap, but easily doable.

If needed I deployed those outdated models in secondary roles - hunting down weaker units etc. So that they do not take much losses before I can upgrade them to Tiger (or later Panther, once we're over the "unreliable" 1st model)

Otoh I don't use like 4 or 5 of the heaviest arty together though (as I saw in some screenshots). Personally I'm fine if ppl have to make some choices. I really loved PzC, but getting quite a lot of "super-units" was rather too easy there IMO.
This thread is working great, thanks for the feedback, guys. Keep them coming. This is a lot more complex than I thought.

@bebro: Even though I enjoyed PK a lot (and all other DLCs), I think the strategy you are describing is not a proof of core management and nursing through upgrades. Rather, it seems a bit off to me, both in gameplay and in historical accuracy (yeah, that is less important). I mean, I am supposed to keep an old, mostly useless tank around and then flip it into an elite unit (that I havent used for months in a campaign) by supplying it with top tier equipment? What player -except a dev who knows this game like the back of his hand- is going to do that and exploit that possibility? Upgrading when new stuff becomes available is the usual, motivating route (at least for me).
I agree about the super-units, but you can add other weaknesses for compensation. Unreliable is already there and there is the ridiculous upgrade costs and so on, maybe even weak flanks.
Still, I would say that some upgrades are overpriced (I think it was around 100 for Stug F to F/8 and another 100 or so to Stug III G, all for 1 point more in attack) and that this discourages core nursing and upgrading. (At least it felt like that for me.) I think that some modifications here might be worth pondering - even though I am not sure about a ready solution. How does everybody else feel about this?

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by bebro » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:22 am

I'm not saying anyone *should* do this, but it remains an option ;)

It's a bit of a stretch maybe, but Pz III M (not much above L) were still used in 43. Pz38 (albeit G) was still used early 42.

Andy2012
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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:55 am

bebro wrote:I'm not saying anyone *should* do this, but it remains an option ;)

It's a bit of a stretch maybe, but Pz III M (not much above L) were still used in 43. Pz38 (albeit G) was still used early 42.
Okay, but you do have to be an expert in all things OoB and know the campaign and the units like the back of your hand to see this opportunity.

Another thing that came to my mind again (I think I already suggested this): Switch ability for fighter bombers and Stukas (could even be a Ruestsatz specialisation). This way, you can switch your Me109, FW 190s and Stukas between different roles on the airfield (like between torpedoes and bombs in the original) and save on expensive, permanent upgrades. Adds a new layer and maybe even increases gameplay depth and difficulty. Could be a fun thing for Endkrieg, maybe? What do you guys think?

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by 13obo » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:10 pm

Well, to be fair, all you need for this is knowledge of the unit date availability (unit navigator/units.csv) and the missions chronology (quick check on product page then Wikipedia of date of battles), for that.

In general, most games at highest difficulty are also designed to be played with foreknowledge of the game mechanics and even knowledge on the future progression of the story/game.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by CoolDTA » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:08 pm

I agree with Andy: upgrades in the same path (Pz III, Pz IV etc.) are way too expensive. This is handled much, much better in PzC in which you get a good discount if you stay in the same path. If you don't, you'll pay the full price which is okay. The OoB-way results in most variants being useless. Don't really understand the logic.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by GabeKnight » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:44 pm

Andy2012 wrote:I mean, I am supposed to keep an old, mostly useless tank around and then flip it into an elite unit (that I havent used for months in a campaign) by supplying it with top tier equipment? What player -except a dev who knows this game like the back of his hand- is going to do that and exploit that possibility?
I thought it to be general knowledge that units can be up-/downgraded within the same class (and keeping their experience) :?: :) .
Disbanding units in singleplayer mostly makes no sense. What else do you do with your outdated units (or some reward units) that have no reasonable upgrade path?
And in Panzerkrieg there's also the imported core option available: take some outdated PzIII and import it as a Tiger. At the end of Panzerkrieg I'll always end up with many units that still remain "unimported" from Blitzkrieg.
Andy2012 wrote:Another thing that came to my mind again (I think I already suggested this): Switch ability for fighter bombers and Stukas (could even be a Ruestsatz specialisation).
Good idea overall, but IMO can be easily worked-around with adding "air-exit-hexes" with a re-deploy option in the scenarios.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:21 pm

@GabeKnight: Yes, I know that they keep exp. But keeping an unused tank in the roster for a while is something I havent done, especially not when I am on a tight budget. Maybe this is just my playstyle or a feature of Panzercorps I loved (discounted upgrades). I feel like this hoarding an old unit and then putting it in a Tiger is a bit irrational, just like you were supposed to hoard all the prestige in the PC grand campaign and then spend it in 44-45.

Also, the air-exit only works when you have a large roster of unused air units in your core. And then it's not the same unit, commander and so on.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by GabeKnight » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:01 am

Andy2012 wrote:@GabeKnight: Yes, I know that they keep exp. But keeping an unused tank in the roster for a while is something I havent done, especially not when I am on a tight budget. Maybe this is just my playstyle or a feature of Panzercorps I loved (discounted upgrades). I feel like this hoarding an old unit and then putting it in a Tiger is a bit irrational, just like you were supposed to hoard all the prestige in the PC grand campaign and then spend it in 44-45.
I began this practice with the early Jap/US campaigns, where I always had like a ton of RP to spend and thus a very diversified core with many units that became obsolete and thus just gathered dust in my roster.
Granted, Panzerkrieg's got quite the scarce RP management overall. But wasn't there some T34 tank reward early in the campaign (and a KV later on)? What did do you with them? You couldn't have used those units a few scens later as they're becoming really weak in comparison, because there are no upgrades available. That's one of those units I'd use to "cross-upgrade" to a Tiger/Panther.
Andy2012 wrote:Also, the air-exit only works when you have a large roster of unused air units in your core. And then it's not the same unit, commander and so on.
But then again you'd have to rebalance all the older DLC, as you'd effectively cut the player's required air-core-force by half... :wink:

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by Andy2012 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:09 am

@GabeKnight: I think I turned my KV into a PzIV because I needed a tank but didnt want to spend on an unreliable Tiger or Panther. Has been a while since I played that DLC.

And I dont think you need to rebalance all other DLCs. Make it a spec exclusively for Endkrieg. They removed the Waffen SS for Sandstorm, too. It would just be cool to get extra cannons on your Me 109 and use it against heavy bombers, land it, switch for lighter load outs and be a dogfighter again. Or switch a Stuka between a cannon loadout against tanks and a bomb loadout against heavy infantry.

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Re: A long beach. With trenches. Sandstorm - Review and Disc

Post by CoolDTA » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:59 pm

GabeKnight wrote: Disbanding units in singleplayer mostly makes no sense. What else do you do with your outdated units (or some reward units) that have no reasonable upgrade path?
I was wondering what's the point in this, but since it is Gabe, I had to check. If I have sthg extra in the roster it is usually some obsolete reward vehicle with zero exp. And yes, you can save same RPs by upgrading such a unit instead of buying a new one. It is not much, but I think especially at higher lvls every bit counts. Thanks for the tip, Gabe! :D

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