AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

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jeannot le lapin
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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is a disaster

Post by jeannot le lapin » Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:36 pm

NightPhoenix wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:40 am
No, but i do think that it shows that in magnitude, the Saar offensive was just a sideshow compared to the fighting in Poland. I think Kondi's point is, he wants to play the big battles. He wants to fight where the biggest action is. Breaking through Polish lines, fighting tooth and nail to get through the say: heavily fortified defenses at Mlawa. Compared this to: laying mines. It just doesn't strike the imagination and doesn't sound exciting. And i kinda agree. It's a matter of taste. I get that. But i'm the kind of person that wants to be right where the action is, i wanna be excited. I want to imagine flamethrower guys firing through the bunker slits with mortar fire banging all around. Not laying mines, or pulling off a raid on a small city that i've never heard of, and is of no importance to the war at all. Having A mission on the Saar offensive would be pretty cool, i agree. but 5.....
I live not far from this area and I saw the names of the cities Sarreguemines, Forbach, Saarbrucken on road signs.

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Retributarr » Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:38 pm

Kerensky wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:13 pm

Au contraire, mon ami. I distinctly recall the original Grand Campaign being extremely controversial in its own right.

Well, so far we've at least not been accused of reselling the same old Grand Campaign all over again in the sequell. :mrgreen:
"Thank-God"... for that!. Why "Regurgitate" the same 'Olde-Play-Booke' all over again?... how 'Hideously-Mundane' that would have been!. Thank-You!!!... "Kerensky" for having the "fore-sight"... gut's and determination [Like Gen. Patton] to 'Renew/Re-invigorate' this 'Game'!.

I'm not at all 'Interested' in entangling myself in one 'Head-Banger'... 'Kursk-Style' battle after another without-end!... I prefer the 'Ebb & Flow'... a swinging of the 'Clock-Pendulum' or the 'Ebb and Flow of the Tides'... as it were. AAnndd!!… you have just seemed to have done 'Just-That!'.

Don't let these?... these?... 'Disrupters'... disrupt or unhinge your progress and your "Zestful-Creativeness!".

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Turtler » Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:19 am

I feel like I'm kind of in the middle of the road here, because while I lean towards preferring a rampage in Poland and am a bit of a Western Alliedaboo that doesn't mean I won't play, and the added battles and new ideas really made me curious. But when I was checking the raw data of the campaign way back when (IIRC it was on one of the now patched out GOG files) it did feel very offputting. Granted, it didn't involve seeing much in the way of the "interlude" screens or the like, but the transition was so sudden it made me think I had missed some kind of unheralded pre-Poland border conflict between the Germans and French in early 1939. But no, it turns out it was just the Saar offensive. Now, I admit I am biased towards going full Poland, but that doesn't mean I hate the Saar or the idea of playing around in it. I feel five scenarios is excessive, but that's just me, and I doubtless would play through it and probably be interested.

But it does feel very odd in terms of gameplay. Also from a story perspective, it feels very, very, Very Off for me, especially for someone continuing in from the Spanish Civil War. By which point you are UNQUESTIONABLY the rising field star of the German military, or at least very much up there. Especially if Czechoslovakia did not turn into a great bloodbath boondoggle that would make Herr Shicklegruber reach for his pistol. So in this decisive campaign on a two front war, when the majority of the German military is being amassed to strike a decisive blow on the Eastern Front....

......the star of the Condor Legion AND their probably-veteran (elite by the standards of the time) troops get told to sit on the Western frontier with their thumbs up their rear and wait in case the Western Allies attack?

The disconnect feels bad. Like, did Goebbels get angry with us because our aide did not let him sleep with Capitaina Vega so he decided to stick us on the border? Did the other Wehrmacht officers get jealous and conspire to try and keep us on what was expected to be the static side of the front? And did nobody decide to send us the memo that war is coming?

I feel like a much, much more elegant solution to this would be something very familiar to PC2. After Czechoslovakia, give us the choice to either join the Polish campaign (maybe depending on which army group we go with) or to go West to make the French tremble at our very presence. That way people who want Poland can kill Poles (maybe in a couple different ways), while people who want to defeat the "Greatest Army in the World" with daring, bluff, and unconventional strategy can Wacht am Saar. And in terms of "immersion" I think it would give us a choice more befitting the status the player and their core would command (even as a relatively "new" commander in 1939, let alone the war horse of Iberia) rather than making me question when we ate Halder's corn flakes.

I figure this would respect both the daring and will of the developers for this, and also the wishes of the diverse PC fanbase with an added bonus of replay-ability.

That's just my two cents though.

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by KesaAnna » Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:23 am

My favorite campaigns ( irrespective of this game specifically ) are ;

-- The Spanish Civil War . :mrgreen:

-- Poland

-- North Afrika

So , yeah , I , too , wanted to be neck - deep in Poland , not screwing around with the French in the Saar. :(

So I would be lieing if I claimed I didn't get where Kondi is coming from.

---

On the other hand , to inject some realism into the role play , ( though , granted , some don't want , don't appreciate , or plain don't see any role play in this game ) you wouldn't always be at the very center of the big photo ops , would you ?

After all , there was no Waffen SS at Stalingrad , and even Hitler himself was not at every big show.

And I suspect that some aspect of hindsight enters into this ; We do know what happened , and what did not happen.

But as for those who were IN THAT MOMENT , GOING FORWARD ?

Uh .... who says the Saar is a side show ??

Near as I can determine , the near - universal German reaction to the British and French declaration of war was , " OH NO !! " And Hitler seemed to be just about the ONLY person who was NOT deeply worried about the Western front.

And , at least initially , and so far , this DLC conveys that uncertainty. --- At least to me.

For example , In SCW , and in the original grand campaign , I pretty much have at least a vague idea going in what the deal is.

With this DLC though , every scenario has begun with worry and uncertainty .

In Czechoslovakia , well , this is an army ; it's an instrument of brute force . ---

But now we are supposed to be girl scouts ? :shock:

And in the Saar : I don't know if 5 units of French infantry are headed my way , or fifty units of pipe - swinging , romping - stomping , heavy French tanks . ( And even with my Verdeja tank , at this date in time , French tanks are top - drawer stuff . )

I think that , " What am I supposed to do here ? What's the deal ? " , is rather good design.

( Even if I would rather be in Poland. )

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Turtler » Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:44 am

@KesaAnna Thanks for the civil and well reasoned post, as well as being able to see both sides (as I hope I do too).

But to address some of your points:
KesaAnna wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:23 am
On the other hand , to inject some realism into the role play , ( though , granted , some don't want , don't appreciate , or plain don't see any role play in this game ) you wouldn't always be at the very center of the big photo ops , would you ?

After all , there was no Waffen SS at Stalingrad , and even Hitler himself was not at every big show.
Sure, but that's a "problem" I think the campaign tree does very well. The Grand Campaigns for both games and the default campaign for PC2 make it very clear: you will not be the Belle of every Ball. You physically Cannot. And the very first choice you have to make in the vanilla PC2 campaign is: do you go with AG N or AG S? (Which ties into my main caveat with this and the "Did we shoot Goering's wife?" complaint of railroading).

And I think the campaign trees up to this point have shown that very well.
KesaAnna wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:23 am
And I suspect that some aspect of hindsight enters into this ; We do know what happened , and what did not happen.

But as for those who were IN THAT MOMENT , GOING FORWARD ?

Uh .... who says the Saar is a side show ??
I see the point you're TRYING to make, but I think it falls apart under close scrutiny, even with knowledge at the time.

But to answer your question of "who says the Saar is a side show?"

A: Hitler, the OKW, the OKH, and most of the Reich's government and military.

but to put it another way:

B: How do you define what a "side show" is?

Because if you're defining side show by the intensity and violence of enemy opposition and casualties given and taken, then sure, it was not clear at the time whether the Saar or Poland would be the main event (though I do think German command had a fairly good idea beforehand that the Western Allies would not move quickly).

But if we're defining it by the operational focus- where most of the effort, supplies, resources, and so on for the decisive offensives are- then there is simply no contest. Poland it is.

In both 1914 and 1939 Germany faced a two front war it was ill equipped to win in the long run. In both cases, German military tradition and planning dictated a holding action on one front with a decisive offensive on the other to destroy the enemy on that front, before scurrying back across Germany to confront and defeat the other.

In 1914, the Germans decided to make their decisive offensive against the West. In 1939, it was against Poland.

So while for all the OKW knew the Western Allies might have suddenly become possessed by the spirit of Charles de Gaulle, thrown out a decade or so of doctrinal and strategic thinking, and decided to cross into the Saarland with dozens of divisions, that wouldn't change the *immediate* focus on what was the side show and what was the main event form the German perspective: the main event was a decisive strike to destroy Poland with the lion's share of the German military plus homies like the Soviet Union and Slovakia. The Western Allies and whatever gains they made in the face of a delaying action would be dealt with after Poland. That was what the German military knew (or at least planned) going forward, and one doesn't have to metagame to know it.

And more importantly, I think the timing and opportunity is particularly "off." Of all the times to railroad the player and force them onto the front of the designers' choice- something that even the PC2 campaign has more leeway with given the branching choice for North Poland or South Poland- we, the Condor of Spain, commander of the Legion, one of by far the most decorated and experienced officers the Reich has.... gets told in no uncertain terms that they will watch the Saar and like it even as most of everybody is going to the Polish border? Something that an apparently newly minted officer in PC2's vanilla campaign does not get pigeonholed into?

I don't have a problem with the campaign taking control out of our hands from time to time and reminding us we cannot be the Belle of every Ball, but this feels *particularly* jarring. Hence why witticisms about "Who did we P--s off and why?"

Hence why I would say give the player Choice, like the vanilla campaign does at the start of WWII.
Last edited by Turtler on Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by adiekmann » Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:48 am

I hesitate to even post this, because, AO39 is already done so what's the point? But...

My general idea may prove fruitful going forward if its even possible.

You begin in Poland, the French start their Saar Offensive, High Command says, "Oh Sh*t!" and orders you to transfer a fraction of your forces to the West to deal with it.

Now, that's just for the basic narrative. Would it be possible where you design it so that you are forced to split your core? I don't know. But if so, just like the beginning of PC's first 1942 West DLC, you must choose x-number of core units to transfer to the West to deal with the French incursion. You have a couple of scenarios where you play there, then it switches back to Poland where you are still in control of the rest of your core. Yes, you play those in turn but they could be made to seem to be happening simultaneously in terms of historical dates. So unlike the 1942 WEST DLC, you do not lose the rest of your core and after the French offensive is dealt with, you are allowed to bring your entire core, East and West, back together to continue the rest of the campaign.

Kerensky, from a programming/design point of view, is that even possible? I see such an example solving severing "problems," including how to keep cores size lower down the road from being HUGE and allowing for a design perspective to keep things manageable without being forced into artificially limiting one's units.

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Kerensky » Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:58 am

Turtler wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:19 am
.....the star of the Condor Legion AND their probably-veteran (elite by the standards of the time) troops get told to sit on the Western frontier with their thumbs up their rear and wait in case the Western Allies attack?
My understanding of the situation is that after the Spanish Civil War, the Condor Legion were being paraded around. Commanders and soldiers all. Galland surely wasn't instantly redeployed to fight in Poland. The experience and expertise of the Spanish Civil War was being put to use to train and form training plans for more soldiers. They weren't just being sent to one frontline after another. That is a luxury we get, because it's a video game and we can teleport the player and their entire Army at will and at speed.

For example:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Sperrle

Commander of the air elements of the Condor Legion for most of the Spanish Civil War and after that...
"The aerial part of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia was carried out by 500–650 aircraft belonging to Sperrle's newly renamed air fleet, Luftflotte 3."
and then
"On 1 September 1939, the Wehrmacht invaded Poland prompting the British Empire and France to declare war in her defence. Sperrle's Luftflotte 3 remained guarding German air space in western Germany and did not contribute to the German invasion"

So... completely by accident if anything your campaign journey so far follows Sperrle to a T. That is completely by accident, I swear I didn't plan it that way. I just had a vague understanding of where the Condor Legion ended up after Spain. I didn't know it was actually crazy close to actual history. :mrgreen:
Last edited by Kerensky on Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Kerensky » Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:01 am

It's reflected in the Czech debriefing. After all that time in Spain, you and your veterans get a rest, and they get to go on celebratory parades.
"Supposedly we're going as part of the remilitarization effort, but there hasn't been any activity in the Rhineland since it was reoccupied in 1936. So it certainly looks like parade duty to me."

"I don't know about you, but after all the time I spent in Spain, only to then be rushed out here to Czechoslovakia... I certainly could use a few months of R&R. Maybe now is a good time to invite Ana Sofia to Germany..."

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Kerensky » Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:06 am

adiekmann wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:48 am

Kerensky, from a programming/design point of view, is that even possible? I see such an example solving severing "problems," including how to keep cores size lower down the road from being HUGE and allowing for a design perspective to keep things manageable without being forced into artificially limiting one's units.
I think there are a lot more challenges than there appears at first glance to make this possible. How do you pick units to split off? How do you keep track of all the units that have split off, who you don't see after X scenarios?
Not unsolvable, but would take all the resources of a DLC's production to solve. If it's a good for for the production budget, sure. But there are always an abundance of ideas, but only so much time to work to really implement all of them.

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Kerensky » Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:21 am

Turtler wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:44 am
Hence why I would say give the player Choice, like the vanilla campaign does at the start of WWII.
It is perhaps the most ultimate of ironies that as ridiculously large as the Grand Campaign is, it's still not quite large enough to satisfy everyone. SCW + 1939 is a longer campaign path than the longest campaign path available in base game Panzer Corps 2. SCW + 1939 leaves us... not even at Norway yet, meaning 2 DLC of content (Axis Operations) vs 2 scenarios of content (Base Game 2 North or 2 South Polands) to reach the same position in the war. Two of the larger and more complex Polish scenarios of AO 1939 are enormous compared to the base game's tutorial-esque Polish content.

And as amazing as that is, and again it speaks to the incredible size and scale WWII was fought on... If we bulked out Poland, the next complaint would be not enough Winter War. If we had a complete Winter War... next complaint is another Nazi-friendly campaign instead of a Allied/Soviet campaign. A line has to be drawn somewhere. :)

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Retributarr » Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:33 am

Turtler wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:44 am

And more importantly, I think the timing and opportunity is particularly "off." Of all the times to railroad the player and force them onto the front of the designers' choice.

I don't have a problem with the campaign taking control out of our hands from time to time and reminding us we cannot be the Belle of every Ball, but this feels *particularly* jarring.

Hence why I would say give the player Choice, like the vanilla campaign does at the start of WWII.
I "Agree!!!"... the player "should be given the choice"... to deal with the 'Saar-Offensive or to dash head-long into Poland'. In my case!... At first... I would like to play as the 'French and British' desperately daring to make the very-risky and dangerous attempt to take on the daunting task of breaking-through the 'Siegfried-Line'... to then have the chance to try to de-rail the German invasion of Poland. Then... if successful... now both the Western Allies and the Poles could take on... go on the 'Offensive'... 'The-Gamble'... 'The-Operation' or Mission of trying to bring 'Hitler to his Knees'.

As well as later on... I would like to be the 'Germans'... doing all that I could with what-ever under-equipped sparse resources that I would have available at my disposal to make an earnest effort to stop the 'French and British' from making any meaningful head-way at all!... to stop them 'Dead-in-their-Tracks!... to give the German forces in Poland the best opportunity to be successful!.

If Hitler's armies prevail... well... they will now have 'Poland'... while the defeated Western forces hurridly scurry and scamper back to France... to prepare for the inevitable German Invasion.

If Hitler's armies are forced to 'Capitulate'... then the choice is either for him to decide... to Demobilize his forces or... now join with the Western Allies... in their planned for effort!... "Operation-Unthinkable"... which was the directive to take out the Russian threat to Europe... to defeat their armed forces... to 'Defeat-Stalin!' as well as his twisted ambitions... and then I would presume?... to then publicly hang him in 'Red-Square'.

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by KesaAnna » Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:12 am

Retributarr wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:33 am
I would like to be the 'Germans'... doing all that I could with what-ever under-equipped sparse resources that I would have available at my disposal to make an earnest effort to stop the 'French and British' from making any meaningful head-way at all!... to stop them 'Dead-in-their-Tracks!... to give the German forces in Poland the best opportunity to be successful!.
Since you mention it ---

In Spain I trained up 6 really nice fighter aircraft units , ( one of those converted from a Strat bomber unit , so I took a big experience hit in the conversion ) 3 Tac bomber units , and two Strat bomber units.

Naturally , in Czechoslovakia , they all had to sit on their hands. But then Czechoslovakia ( marvelously so I think ) was a Girl Scout mission.

First mission of the Saar ? I had to choose just one fighter unit out of all my beautiful boys , and two Tac bombers . For the rest I had to make do with auxiliaries . :P

My " Dead Eagles " ( my beloved AA regiment ) ? Because of core constraints , I had to park the entire regiment , and again go with green auxiliaries I just met. :P

My absolute favorite artillery unit ? I had to put those boys in mothballs too ! :( ( But my horse - drawn 75's got a chance to play . :D )

And so it went.

But I absolutely had to finally turn out the infantry of the 25th Hessian Division , and that consumed a lot of core slots !

Anyway --
Retributarr wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:33 am
doing all that I could with what-ever under-equipped sparse resources that I would have available at my disposal to make an earnest effort to stop the 'French and British' from making any meaningful head-way at all!
-- And ---
Retributarr wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:33 am
to give the German forces in Poland the best opportunity to be successful!.
--- Is , so far , exactly how this DLC is playing out for me. :D

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Turtler » Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:02 am

Firstly Kerensky, thank you kindly for the quick and courteous reply.
Kerensky wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:58 am
My understanding of the situation is that after the Spanish Civil War, the Condor Legion were being paraded around. Commanders and soldiers all.
Pretty much. Though it's also notable that this was during the sort of interlude between the end of Spanish combat operations and the start of first the Czechoslovak crisis and then the big event in Poland.
Kerensky wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:58 am
Galland surely wasn't instantly redeployed to fight in Poland.
Sure, but if you have Galland at all it's because you wrangled enough Commendation points to have him and then spent it, meaning his career path is probably rather different from historical where he went back to testing. So that feels a bit like double dipping in terms of explanation. Especially since your commendation buyout was in part helping Galland see more frontline service.
Kerensky wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:58 am
The experience and expertise of the Spanish Civil War was being put to use to train and form training plans for more soldiers. They weren't just being sent to one frontline after another. That is a luxury we get, because it's a video game and we can teleport the player and their entire Army at will and at speed.

For example:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Sperrle

Commander of the air elements of the Condor Legion for most of the Spanish Civil War and after that...
Certainly, but that's probably more of an excuse to do something like the gap between Morning Sun and Rising Sun, where you can transfer your core forces over with one star of experience (which is probably less than what you had but still better than nothing like starting fresh) to go ham on the Western Allies. And in any case, it does nothing at all to change the fact that your player avatar is your player avatar (indeed, the campaign as written seems to Assume you fought through the Spanish Civil War, even if you just started 1939 up as the first one). So you would expect some more leeway in your posting.

Kerensky wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:58 am
So... completely by accident if anything your campaign journey so far follows Sperrle to a T. That is completely by accident, I swear I didn't plan it that way. I just had a vague understanding of where the Condor Legion ended up after Spain. I didn't know it was actually crazy close to actual history. :mrgreen:
Understandable, and I think this is a testament to the amount of care and research you and the other devs put in to this campaign. So my compliments. The issue I have, of course, is twofold:

A: Ironically, the Sperrle point you make helps underline my issue with the "badmouthed Hitler's vegetarianism, sent to the Western Front to be a roadblock" thing:
Wikipedia Article on Hugo Sperrle wrote:On 1 September 1939, the Wehrmacht invaded Poland prompting the British Empire and France to declare war in her defence. Sperrle's Luftflotte 3 remained guarding German air space in western Germany and did not contribute to the German invasion, made possible by the non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union. The air fleet's Order of battle had been stripped of almost all of the combat units it held in March 1939. Only two reconnaissance staffel (squadrons) and a single bomber unit attached to Wekusta 51 remained.
So in other words, Sperrle is the exception that proves my point: Poland was the central issue of the German military in September 1939, with almost everybody moving to try and defeat it fast and almost everybody else having to sacrifice in order to fuel the effort.

and

B: It doesn't change the fact that our command and equipment is exponentially more land-oriented than Sperrle's ever was (going back to the Condor Campaign that is the previous DLC), and we are also a lot more decorated.
Kerensky wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:01 am
It's reflected in the Czech debriefing. After all that time in Spain, you and your veterans get a rest, and they get to go on celebratory parades.
"Supposedly we're going as part of the remilitarization effort, but there hasn't been any activity in the Rhineland since it was reoccupied in 1936. So it certainly looks like parade duty to me."

"I don't know about you, but after all the time I spent in Spain, only to then be rushed out here to Czechoslovakia... I certainly could use a few months of R&R. Maybe now is a good time to invite Ana Sofia to Germany..."
I hadn't reached that point yet (and admittedly I largely looked through the starting briefings rather than the outros), but IMHO that sort of connection makes things worse and more glaring. And not just because there was the whole "almost half a year between the completion of the Bohemian occupation and the start of WWII in Europe proper" thing.

And it almost gets back to the "Did NOBODY send us a memo?!?" caveat I had earlier, which made it more jarring (and made me start looking around for a mythical French attack before Poland) that hurts connectivity with the rest of the campaign.

Historically, Shicklegruber and co weren't that subtle about what was to come. By May 1939 at the latest he had made it abundantly clear to his military command that an invasion of Poland would be coming in the next months and to ready for it. Meaning that our friend the aide would be both sorely disappointed and quickly setting about to prepare the core force and associated units for military action (at least by August). Which IMHO makes the "THE FRENCH ARE ATTACKIIING!" intro to the next scenario more jarring and a bit out of it.

This is again why I feel that some kind of interlude transition where we pick between the East and West would make more sense in terms of flow and gameplay, by telling us (both in reality and with our characters) what is to come, and giving us the choice to decide where we're going.

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Hexaboo » Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:16 am

Pitching in on the argument of the 1939 shenanigans in the West being 'too small a thing, too tiny a battle': I haven't seen anyone 'scandalised' about the Spanish Civil War DLC, even though it blows the quantities of various equipment way out of proportion. Take the Trubia tank, which you see around every corner in the game: only 4 were ever built, and their active combat history is limited to a battle that's not even in the game (Siege/Battle of Oviedo). Other Spanish-built AFVs were manufactured in similar numbers, and the Soviets only supplied about 300 tanks throughout the entire 2.5 years of the war, so in many scenarios, you can comfortably imagine that the corresponding units stand for no more than 1-2 tanks. Outrage!

And, ahem, if we gauged and judged everything that happened in WW2 in terms of scale, there should only be the Soviet-German Front (yes, please), and stuff like Rommel's silly romp in North Africa, or, say, Market Garden, would be dismissed as inconsequential and tiny blips on the radar of that war.

The point is, PzC (or PG, for that matter), has never been about accurate scale, and has very often been about 'would it make an interesting scenario?': this was particularly true about the Grand Campaign in PzC1, which put a magnifying glass on dozens of minor battles, and moved the focus away from the stale formula of 'Poland-Norway-France-Barbarossa-Stalingrad etc. etc.' The Czechoslovak and Western 1939 scenarios in this DLC are very much a continuation of that tradition, and these scenarios are indeed great in terms of gameplay, and make you actually look up WW2 stuff that you've hardly known much about, which is always a good thing.

A 1940 DLC that's 80% Norway and 20% France would be wild! :mrgreen:

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Kerensky » Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:22 am

Hexaboo wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:16 am
Pitching in on the argument of the 1939 shenanigans in the West being 'too small a thing, too tiny a battle': I haven't seen anyone 'scandalised' about the Spanish Civil War DLC, even though it blows the quantities of various equipment way out of proportion. Take the Trubia tank, which you see around every corner in the game: only 4 were ever built, and their active combat history is limited to a battle that's not even in the game (Siege/Battle of Oviedo). Other Spanish-built AFVs were manufactured in similar numbers, and the Soviets only supplied about 300 tanks throughout the entire 2.5 years of the war, so in many scenarios, you can comfortably imagine that the corresponding units stand for no more than 1-2 tanks. Outrage!
I refuse to believe such an adorable looking vehicle was such a rare thing. :evil: I still want a plushie toy made of that tank, the shape of it absolutely perfect to be turned into a stuffed toy!

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Turtler » Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:34 am

Retributarr wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:33 am
I "Agree!!!"... the player "should be given the choice"... to deal with the 'Saar-Offensive or to dash head-long into Poland'.
Thanks, and glad to see it wasn't just me going insane. And while it would of course involve more production time and costs, it strikes me as relatively reasonable to make another 3 or so scenarios to cover the gap before the Bzura (at most 6-8 with 3-4 per North or South) and then give us the choice ala the start of the vanilla campaign or 1941.

of course, I know full well I am biased (as the consumer rather than the Mofo who has to make it work) and so I try and keep that in mind, but I think even factoring this in even one "Early Poland" route of 2-3 scenarios would greatly increase the life expectancy of AO 1939 by adding replay value. Again, I don't absolutely hate the idea of playing on the Saar and would never ever ever do it; just the contrary. It's just that I probably wouldn't choose to do that in the first run. but I am interested in seeing what you all cooked up.
Retributarr wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:33 am
In my case!... At first... I would like to play as the 'French and British' desperately daring to make the very-risky and dangerous attempt to take on the daunting task of breaking-through the 'Siegfried-Line'... to then have the chance to try to de-rail the German invasion of Poland. Then... if successful... now both the Western Allies and the Poles could take on... go on the 'Offensive'... 'The-Gamble'... 'The-Operation' or Mission of trying to bring 'Hitler to his Knees'.
This feels a bit more like fan campaign material, ala the Operation Unthinkable and Taman campaigns by the inestimate WookieeDavidson. Even before the fact Axis command seems to have had a fairly good idea that any Western Allied offensive would take a couple weeks at the least to get going, and probably not be full bore. Which is borne out by what happened and the ultimate French withdrawal from their limited gains in the Saarland. I'd like to play that (in the same way I kind of wish it happened in reality), but it feels a bit too much to dedicate more than 1 (maybe 2 or 3 at the most) scenarios to it in some inevitable "Western Allied Operations" DLC, and certainly far too much to justify a branching campaign for a hypothetical invasion of the Reich in 1939/1940 given how that'd quickly spiral into making two parallel sets of grand campaigns.

That said, it'd make an absolutely fascinating alt history fan campaign I would absolutely play to the hilt.
Retributarr wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:33 am
As well as later on... I would like to be the 'Germans'... doing all that I could with what-ever under-equipped sparse resources that I would have available at my disposal to make an earnest effort to stop the 'French and British' from making any meaningful head-way at all!... to stop them 'Dead-in-their-Tracks!... to give the German forces in Poland the best opportunity to be successful!.
Well, it seems like AO 1939 as written does a spectacular job of doing that as is, though I will have to play through myself.
Retributarr wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:33 am
If Hitler's armies are forced to 'Capitulate'... then the choice is either for him to decide... to Demobilize his forces or... now join with the Western Allies... in their planned for effort!... "Operation-Unthinkable"... which was the directive to take out the Russian threat to Europe... to defeat their armed forces... to 'Defeat-Stalin!' as well as his twisted ambitions... and then I would presume?... to then publicly hang him in 'Red-Square'.
I don't see it, at least with Shicklegruber. Hitler was a fanatic even by the standards of Ludendorff and was absolutely obsessed with the defeat of 1918, meaning that if he had the power he intended to resist invasion of the Reich to the bitter end. And in any case the West (or really anyone) was unlikely to try and come to terms that would retain the NSDAP. They hadn't decided on unconditional surrender yet (and I doubt they would in the backdrop of a successful Western Allied breach of the Westwall in the early war), but Hitler has shown he cannot be trusted and isn't likely.

More likely: Hitler gets taken out (either by the Western Allies, his own military and bureaucracy, or some combination of the above) and the ultimatum is given to Halder or whoever heads up the ramshackle German authority...if they are even given a choice rather than a "You will do as you are Told" or "We will take it from here."

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Turtler » Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:41 am

Kerensky wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:21 am
Turtler wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:44 am
Hence why I would say give the player Choice, like the vanilla campaign does at the start of WWII.
It is perhaps the most ultimate of ironies that as ridiculously large as the Grand Campaign is, it's still not quite large enough to satisfy everyone. SCW + 1939 is a longer campaign path than the longest campaign path available in base game Panzer Corps 2. SCW + 1939 leaves us... not even at Norway yet, meaning 2 DLC of content (Axis Operations) vs 2 scenarios of content (Base Game 2 North or 2 South Polands) to reach the same position in the war. Two of the larger and more complex Polish scenarios of AO 1939 are enormous compared to the base game's tutorial-esque Polish content.
I agree, and I can absolutely see this. Which is again why I have tried to keep my suggestion modest, precisely because I know that every single scenario will have to be made by real people at real expense. And indeed, it was partially the extreme care put into both the Grand Campaign of 1939 in the original PC and the expanded treatment given in the PC2 Vanilla Campaign that raised my hopes.
Kerensky wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:21 am
And as amazing as that is, and again it speaks to the incredible size and scale WWII was fought on... If we bulked out Poland, the next complaint would be not enough Winter War. If we had a complete Winter War... next complaint is another Nazi-friendly campaign instead of a Allied/Soviet campaign. A line has to be drawn somewhere. :)
Sure, I get that, but

A: The "Nahtzee Friendly Campaign" moral botherers will be around regardless, and there's not much to do but ignore them, especially pending whatever future Allied/Soviet/What Have You Campaigns there are.

B: Honestly, I find myself in the opposite camp. Though I decided not to mention it earlier, I found the "Random German Kampfgruppe in the Winter War" stuff to be rather odd and ahistorical, especially for such a rather historical (by TBS Panzer General anyway) campaign. Granted, I'll probably still play it at some point (What can I say? I'm a simple man. I see Soviet units, I instinctively want to blow them up), but I for one would have been entirely happy to trade the Winter War scenarios in exchange for an equivalent number of Polish campaign ones.

Of course, that is just my opinion and I am sure people would disagree with me. But that's also why I believe that making use of branching paths is so important: precisely to give people the leeway to tailor the experience to what they want.

And yes, the Trubia should totally have plushies of it. Do I detect a chance for Slitherine and/or Matrix to diversity their business portfolio? : P

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Turtler » Sat Aug 22, 2020 8:15 am

Hexaboo wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:16 am
Pitching in on the argument of the 1939 shenanigans in the West being 'too small a thing, too tiny a battle': I haven't seen anyone 'scandalised' about the Spanish Civil War DLC, even though it blows the quantities of various equipment way out of proportion....
That's the thing. I can only speak for myself, but my complaint was never that the Saar Offensive had five scenarios to it or that there was elements of fantasy in the campaign tree (to be honest, I could have done without the ahistorical Winter War stuff, especially since during it the Reich was by and large supporting the Soviets). It was that there was no opportunity to go into Poland early.

And personally, I found that to be more irritating than the Saar campaign tree (Which I am honestly excited for and think it is both fitting and a worthy addition to the PG/PC lineage, even if not necessarily my preferred path or what I would play first) and its existence. Again, I frankly would rather trade the existence of the Winter War scenarios for an equivalent number of Pre-Bzura Polish ones than chop off the Saar one.

Which is why my central complaint was not "REEE, A FICTIONAL WARGAME IS AHISTORICAL", it was "this feels unduly railroaded and not all that logical or flowing, in MY Personal Opinion."

That said...
Hexaboo wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:16 am
Take the Trubia tank, which you see around every corner in the game: only 4 were ever built, and their active combat history is limited to a battle that's not even in the game (Siege/Battle of Oviedo).
I'm not sure where you got this information, but this is the first I've heard of it being limited only to Oveido and seems to be heavily contradicted by most other sources I've seen.

Not that the Trubia and its variants were overrepresented in game, they clearly are. But it seems like they were produced a BIIIT more than 4 and they saw action more than just at Oveido.

https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/spai ... _naval.php
Trubia Naval Article on tanks-encyclopedia.com wrote: On that same day (April 5th), the Trubia-Naval would see combat on the Urquiola road destroying a Nationalist ‘tiznao’ (an improvised armored car) and later taking a hill defended by the Condor Legion and capturing a car. On the 7th, No. 12 was lost to the Nationalists in Barazar. On the 27th, due Nationalist advance, the Trubia-Navals retreated to Durango/Yurreta, 26km from Bilbao, where they were reinforced with BA-6 armored cars. In Yurreta, they covered the infantry retreat and BA-6 assault on the Guernica road, before they themselves retreated.

Throughout May, the Trubia-Naval were divided up and sent to cover different infantry retreats in the fallback to Bilbao.
On June 3rd, several Trubia-Naval with infantry support assaulted Peña Lemona and managed to retake the crag, though this resulted in 5 crewmen being wounded and the unit being taken to Algorta (north of Bilbao) for replenishment. By the 17th, they were back in action again covering a retreat. A day later, the general retreat was ordered and the Trubia-Naval returned to Bilbao to defend the city center whilst the city was being evacuated before the impending Nationalist entry into the city on the 19th. The Trubia-Navals would not be captured though and they retreated towards Santander.
https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/italy-sp ... a-serie-a/
Trubia Series article on tanks-encyclopedia.com wrote: Following this small offensive, the vehicles were to be deployed defensively in the besieged city of Oviedo. Multiple further breakdowns meant that they were used statically in defensive positions; one defended La Argañosa (the western entrance to the city) and the other two, one of which was now operated by elements of the Civil Guards, were situated between Campo de los Patos street and the arms factory defending the eastern approach along the Santander road.
The one situated in La Argañosa was destroyed at some point before the end of the initial Republican offensive on Asturias in October by Nationalist forces to prevent Republican irregulars from capturing it, as it was broken down and could not be towed to safety due to the crossfire. The remaining two Trubia Serie A’s continued to be used for defensive duties.
So basically, we're looking at quite a lot more than just 4 Trubias at Oveido, and they were a recognizable and somewhat feared part of Republican forces in the Northern Campaign. That's still far less than we see in the SCW AO, but considering how PC has always but always overplayed the role of prototypes and rare weapons (as shown by the Verdie we get when advancing on Madrid in spite of it being a WWII vintage design rather than a 1936 one) it feels more or less par for the course.
Hexaboo wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:16 am
Other Spanish-built AFVs were manufactured in similar numbers,
Again, seeing as how the Trubia seems to have been far more heavily represented in real life than your previous comments, that isn't as damning as it seems. And that's probably in part because a lot of SCW AFVs (especially those of domestic Spanish make) were ad hoc, one of a kind, and otherwise not very uniform, meaning it's all but impossible to replicate the anarchy of almost every unit being at least somewhat different and there being such a wide array ones.
Hexaboo wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:16 am
and the Soviets only supplied about 300 tanks throughout the entire 2.5 years of the war,
IIRC the number of "proper" tanks was 331, but factoring in Armored Cars or the like (both those shipped over to Spain by Soviet freighters and built in Spain under Soviet guidance) and that goes up to at least 500+.

Hexaboo wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:16 am
so in many scenarios, you can comfortably imagine that the corresponding units stand for no more than 1-2 tanks. Outrage!
What outrage?

I mean, it shouldn't really surprise anyone that Panzer General and Panzer Corps have a history of playing fast and loose with unit scale, and so unit representation of 1-2 tanks would largely fit. Especially when you realize that a lot of the "captured vehicles" would probably just be spare parts and whatnot.

In any case, my issue was never really with "OMG THIS VEHICLE IS IN THE WRONG PLACE AND TIME!" (Especially not while slaughtering Int'l Brigades using my Verdie), and neither was my issue with the early 1939 AO. It was a matter of campaign pacing and tone, especially with the outbreak of WWII not being very well conveyed.
Hexaboo wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:16 am
And, ahem, if we gauged and judged everything that happened in WW2 in terms of scale, there should only be the Soviet-German Front (yes, please), and stuff like Rommel's silly romp in North Africa, or, say, Market Garden, would be dismissed as inconsequential and tiny blips on the radar of that war.
Sorry, but no. And if someone is going to bring up the "Western Allies only faced 20 divisions (...of Panzer Divs, as opposed to the Mechanized and especially far, FAR greater number of Infantrie divisions)" I am going to blow a gasket. Yeah, the Western Fronts were a lot smaller than the Ostkrieg.

No, that doesn't mean they were "inconsequential" or "tiny" in the slightest, especially when you realize how crucial some rather small campaigns like Velikiye Luki were, and how criminally underrepresented in Eastern Front games and campaigns that the Rzhev Salient campaigns are.

Market Garden played out on a scale slightly smaller than 3rd Kharkov over extremely constrained terrain, for vital access across the Rhine that was the bastion of Germany's West Wall and the conquest of the Ruhr. That's small compared to the massive slogging matches of Kiev 1941, Moscow, Stalingrad, and so on, but then most Eastern Front battles were as well.

North Africa and its assorted spinoffs (like East Africa) was an epic spanning at least two continents and involving more than 3/4ths of a million Axis regulars on land alone, to say nothing of assorted bit players like Iraq, Vichy France, and the unfortunate Iranians, much less the naval and air component, let alone the *other side of the war* with the Allied contributions. That's EASILY on par with the Black Sea littoral campaigns, including the vital slogging in the Caucasus. And is anybody here really going to claim that the Caucasus front was "tiny" or "unimportant"?

I'm happy to give the Soviets their due credit- which they often don't get-, and I gladly patronize a lot of Eastern Front campaigns and scenarios on all sides, like Soviet Storm for the original PC. But the idea that everything outside of the Eastern Front of WWII was "tiny" or "inconsequential" is utterly unsupportable in fact and needs to be taken out and Katyn'd in a ditch somewhere.

In any case, my issue was never that we play in the Saar- indeed, I find it positive. Or that it was 'ahistorical" (as if muh boy Verdaja wasn't). It was that I feel the campaign layout and execution could have been handled better even in the linear path we see, and that it would have been even better with a small branching path at the start of WWII.

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Hexaboo » Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:24 am

Turtler wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 8:15 am
That's the thing. I can only speak for myself, but my complaint was never that the Saar Offensive had five scenarios to it or that there was elements of fantasy in the campaign tree (to be honest, I could have done without the ahistorical Winter War stuff, especially since during it the Reich was by and large supporting the Soviets). It was that there was no opportunity to go into Poland early.
And personally, I found that to be more irritating than the Saar campaign tree (Which I am honestly excited for and think it is both fitting and a worthy addition to the PG/PC lineage, even if not necessarily my preferred path or what I would play first) and its existence. Again, I frankly would rather trade the existence of the Winter War scenarios for an equivalent number of Pre-Bzura Polish ones than chop off the Saar one.
Which is why my central complaint was not "REEE, A FICTIONAL WARGAME IS AHISTORICAL", it was "this feels unduly railroaded and not all that logical or flowing, in MY Personal Opinion."
That said...

[Various points about scale etc. and outrage!]
There have been other people making direct scale arguments (with screencaps from Wikipedia, no less) that I was addressing. And my whole point was that this game wasn't about the scale, there is no outrage to begin with. :)

Re: Trubia, yeah, there were just 4 pre-war ones, and probably a dozen wartime Trubia-Navales, my point still being valid. :) They were very few, and the DLC (unfortunately) only has one mission in the region where they were used, i.e. Bilbao.

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Re: AO 1939 scn tree is VERY controversial

Post by Turtler » Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:11 am

Hexaboo wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:24 am
There have been other people making direct scale arguments (with screencaps from Wikipedia, no less) that I was addressing. And my whole point was that this game wasn't about the scale, there is no outrage to begin with. :)
Fair, and I entirely agree there. Especially since scale and strict adherence to historical accuracy has never been a big problem of mine with AO 1939, and scale isn't really as much of a problem for me as it was the lack of choice. Though of course I realize my opinion is not everyone's, especially those complaining about it.
Hexaboo wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:24 am
Re: Trubia, yeah, there were just 4 pre-war ones, and probably a dozen wartime Trubia-Navales, my point still being valid. :) They were very few, and the DLC (unfortunately) only has one mission in the region where they were used, i.e. Bilbao.
Agreed, they were certainly very few relative to the others (especially T-26s... oh dear, I can only imagine how those would go if we replaced most of the Trubias with those). And in any case all of that pales in comparison to the Verdie, something that wasn't even conceptually a thing for more han two years after you can get it.

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