Air units in PC2

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uran21
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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by uran21 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:23 am

PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:21 pm
Will this apply to ground units as well?
Fuel stays for ground units, they are resupplied on per turn basis but ground units can be blocked off supply by surrounding them with continuous ZOC.

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by uran21 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:28 am

Molve wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:57 pm

As opposed to the ground war, where even obsolete units can still be useful.

I realize this "dimension" is at least three actual variables - offense, defense and initiative - but still. It is madness to purchase anything else than the best fighter.
PG, PzC1 as well as PzC2 do not have a concept where quantity counts as quality. Attack and defense values are absolute numbers so higher is always better. Lesser equipment in ground war could survive but only if you were nursing it and keeping it out of main front line. Ground war is richer because there are two target types, Soft and Hard, then you have different defense values used in close terrain and in the open. Various terrain also has various effects on movement and combat. For naval and air war there is no such thing, air units cannot even hold ground on their own. They are support asset of naval or ground warfare.

Take Bf 110 for example, it was used as a bomber but is not so good as Stuka, it was a fighter but no match to Bf 109. So the only reason to have it in your core is to have something where Bf 110 excelled in (which changes nothing in concept higher is always better it just finds a niche for it). We were considering two options for fighters, the concept of heavy fighters to be better against larger aircraft like strategic bombers and concept of high and low altitudes to have two fighter types for a dogfight.

In naval warfare perfect triangle between capital ship - destroyer - submarine was achieved by utilizing close defense (as ASW) where submarine would target close defense of capital ships and special rules (capital ships were prohibited from attacking submarines).
Take into account how close defense statistic lies wasted in airwar. By utilizing it we could achieve effect without adding a new target type but the same effect can be achieved with special rules and adding traits.

Despite all that final decision is still inconclusive. Heavy fighters would still be vulnerable to dogfighters and its usefulness depends on target type of the enemy airforce. The question of different altitude fighters is problematic from target identification at a glance point of view. While the game is 3D there is already a need for UI element to identify at which hex aircraft is hovering, if they would take different positions within a hex this would only create a greater mess.

Take into account the question of the optimal core was addressed by introducing core slots where each unit has different "price" to be placed on the map in terms of core slots.

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:44 am

Molve wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:57 pm
I realize this "dimension" is at least three actual variables - offense, defense and initiative - but still. It is madness to purchase anything else than the best fighter.
I tend to agree, i.e. on bigger maps (like in the Battlefield Europe mod), I often use secondary fighters against bombers or early Soviet Union fighters... while I use better fighters with higher initiative against other (mostly British) fighters, maybe compare here as well: viewtopic.php?f=121&t=87700

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by Molve » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:32 pm

uran21 wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:28 am
PG, PzC1 as well as PzC2 do not have a concept where quantity counts as quality. Attack and defense values are absolute numbers so higher is always better. Lesser equipment in ground war could survive but only if you were nursing it and keeping it out of main front line. Ground war is richer because there are two target types, Soft and Hard, then you have different defense values used in close terrain and in the open. Various terrain also has various effects on movement and combat. For naval and air war there is no such thing, air units cannot even hold ground on their own. They are support asset of naval or ground warfare.

Take Bf 110 for example, it was used as a bomber but is not so good as Stuka, it was a fighter but no match to Bf 109. So the only reason to have it in your core is to have something where Bf 110 excelled in (which changes nothing in concept higher is always better it just finds a niche for it).
Yes, you are now explaining what I am after. I know this, maybe you are only clarifying for the other readers? I am asking what if any development is made to improve and enrichen this aspect of the game, specifically because from history it seemed more than "best fighter" had its uses.

We were considering two options for fighters, the concept of heavy fighters to be better against larger aircraft like strategic bombers and concept of high and low altitudes to have two fighter types for a dogfight.

Take into account how close defense statistic lies wasted in airwar. By utilizing it we could achieve effect without adding a new target type but the same effect can be achieved with special rules and adding traits.

Despite all that final decision is still inconclusive. Heavy fighters would still be vulnerable to dogfighters and its usefulness depends on target type of the enemy airforce. The question of different altitude fighters is problematic from target identification at a glance point of view. While the game is 3D there is already a need for UI element to identify at which hex aircraft is hovering, if they would take different positions within a hex this would only create a greater mess.

Take into account the question of the optimal core was addressed by introducing core slots where each unit has different "price" to be placed on the map in terms of core slots.
Can I ask if you speak for the dev team or personal wish list only? Does this mean the dev team is aware of this issue? You/they still haven't decided what if anything to do? Or your answer is "no"? Or am I misunderstanding your reply / why you are responding?

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by uran21 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:54 pm

Molve wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:32 pm
Yes, you are now explaining what I am after. I know this, maybe you are only clarifying for the other readers? I am asking what if any development is made to improve and enrichen this aspect of the game, specifically because from history it seemed more than "best fighter" had its uses.
A higher value will stay better value because unit statistic values are absolute numbers. Nothing is changed in here. The only possibility is to find certain complementary roles or/and specific niches for some units. An example P-51 can be a better fighter but P-47 can have additional ground attack capability but still sufficient fighter. So when you have a unit with sufficient statistics to do the job you may choose that one over the best one for some secondary reason (core slots may be one of them). But the emphasis is here on sufficient, not outright lesser statistics. Using the best equipment is not inherently wrong, it provides a reason for progression but complementary roles are welcomed when applicable.

Molve wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:32 pm
Can I ask if you speak for the dev team or personal wish list only? Does this mean the dev team is aware of this issue? You/they still haven't decided what if anything to do? Or your answer is "no"? Or am I misunderstanding your reply / why you are responding?
I can speak in my personal name as someone who was involved in internal discussions about it. At first heavy fighter and altitude concept seemed interesting but when you try to translate it to practice it does not look so bright. First heavy fighter stays vulnerable to dogfighters so conceptually nothing is changed here it even gets worse. If they are removed from the tactical bomber class they will lose interception protection. If they are the only ones capable of effectively dealing with strategic bombers it would be irritating not to have it for such situations. But unlike in ground war, there is much fewer air targets in general and strategic bombers present even lesser percentage of all units on the map. If you want to eliminate target from the sky you will need several dedicated heavy fighters. So for such a marginal situation, you need a whole set of separate unit types. What could work is to leave heavy fighters in tactical bomber class to make them benefit from interception. To leave dogfighters to have enough punch against strategic bombers not to create a need for specialized unit type but to give heavy fighters a bonus against strategic bombers so they are marginally better than dogfighters which will increase their usefulness in general.
Do remember how ground units work in conjunction supporting each other so specialized types are just addition to the effort.

When you look at altitude concept where theoretically one wants (for Germans) to preserve the use of Bf 109 alongside Fw 190. First, there is Bf109E and there is no complementary fighter, then relatively early Bf109F comes along and the situation is the same for a long time until Bf109G comes and its carrier is disrupted by the arrival of Fw190. Situation stays unchanged until Bf109K arrives but at that point, we get a rapid advance of jet fighters. So the concept is not something to be applied in general for the whole course of the war and recognition of targets is based on reading special traits for attacker and defender.

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by Rudankort » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:26 pm

Hi guys!

Just quickly adding my take on the topic, in addition to many good points already made.
Molve wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:29 am
1. To the devs: Will the air battle model be different in PC2?
There are many changes in the game which affect air combat, and I expect that the cumulative effect of these changes will be that the problems you outlined will be less pronounced. However, a better unit always deals more damage and takes less losses in return, this is pretty fundamental, and in air war this is more critical than on the ground, because it is so easy to mass-attack enemy unit.

Here are some examples of how new mechanics affect air war.

- With new slot system, you might be choosing between buying a single top-end plane, or two inferior ones. So, it is a less obvious choice than in Panzer Corps. Although weaker planes will be more vulnerable, they can attack 2x more targets in a single turn, launch mass attacks on the enemy etc.

- If even the best fighter you have is weaker than your opponent's, you at least have an overstrength option which you can use to try and compensate the difference. Of course, your enemy can do the same, but since his planes probably cost more slots to begin with, this can be super expensive for him in terms of slots.

- New air base system means that some areas of the map can be unreachable for enemy aircraft, so you can try and concentrate on those areas with your own planes, or at least choose the base outside the reach of enemy planes. This way you make sure your planes cannot be destroyed on the base, and can wait and strike when a good chance presents itself. You can also detect high activity of enemy aircraft in one part of the map, and rebase to a different part of the map, where you will enjoy a local air superiority. Note that rebase can be done at a very long distance (2x normal range), so you can reach the opposite part of the map in a single turn. And when your opponent realizes what you have done, he will need an extra turn to react and rebase (some of) his own aircraft.

- It is also easier to catch enemy planes in ambush when they return to their base, so you can try to use this to compensate weakness of your air units.

- There is a very important new rule which ties aircraft accuracy to distance from the base. The further away you fly, the less fuel you have for actual mission, which naturally reduces your efficiency. So, as long as you operate your aircraft close to the base, and the enemy needs to fly far to reach your aircraft, the difference in stats could be compensated.

- New combat model (with added accuracy parameter) means that all combat is slightly less bloody than it was in Panzer Corps, which helps air war in particular. The "window of equality" becomes wider. Although if you let several enemy fighters to mass-attack your unprotected bomber, you still have a high chance of losing it.

- Unlike Panzer Corps, where you could only replace aircraft on airfield hex, in PzC2 you can replace on any hex next to base, so replacing is easier, and much cheaper than buying a new aircraft, so even if you take heavy losses, it is not the end of the world.

- Strategic bombers in general have higher ranges than most other planes, so they have better chances to strike where the enemy cannot reach them. In general, range is an additional very important stat which did not exist in Panzer Corps. You might want to choose a plane with lower attack but with higher range.

- You can create serious problems for your opponent by sneaking to his air base and capturing it, even if he has air superiority. This is especially handy if you get a few turns of bad weather, when his planes cannot rebase and will be lost on the spot. But even in good weather, his planes will lose the whole next turn on rebasing to a different airfield, and you can safely unleash your own air force on him.

- In addition to 3 classic air classes (fighters, tactical and strategic bombers) we are adding a full-blown fourth class - recon plane. Recon planes come in varieties too - high altitude planes used for usual spotting duty, and low altitude planes, which have other useful traits (e. g. increase accuracy of bombardment). Plus, there are more unit traits, medals and heroes related to air units.

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:37 pm

Thanks Rudankort, this sounds promising!

Please allow one question on this one:
Rudankort wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:26 pm
- New air base system means that some areas of the map can be unreachable for enemy aircraft, so you can try and concentrate on those areas with your own planes, or at least choose the base outside the reach of enemy planes.
Have you guys thought of engineering units that can build airfields, e.g. maybe similar to bridge engineers (that also should be able to blow up bridges by the way)?

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by Rudankort » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:47 pm

PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:37 pm
Have you guys thought of engineering units that can build airfields, e.g. maybe similar to bridge engineers (that also should be able to blow up bridges by the way)?
Indeed we have, it's on our "do if time allows" wish list. :) Amy suggestions how this unit might look?

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:44 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:47 pm
PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:37 pm
Have you guys thought of engineering units that can build airfields, e.g. maybe similar to bridge engineers (that also should be able to blow up bridges by the way)?
Indeed we have, it's on our "do if time allows" wish list. :) Amy suggestions how this unit might look?
Thanks! How it might look, well not necessarily but I would expect you need some (light) earth moving and/or levelling equipment, maybe compare below.

I could also imagine it to be a one-off unit, i.e. the unit disappears once the airport has been constructed, similar as McGuba does the minelaying/fort construction in his Battlefield Europe mod.

Ah and on the plane types, he and Intenso82 have also worked on some planes to drop sea mines by the way...

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by Molve » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:48 pm

Thank you Rudankort!
uran21 wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:54 pm
Molve wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:32 pm
Yes, you are now explaining what I am after. I know this, maybe you are only clarifying for the other readers? I am asking what if any development is made to improve and enrichen this aspect of the game, specifically because from history it seemed more than "best fighter" had its uses.
A higher value will stay better value because unit statistic values are absolute numbers. Nothing is changed in here. The only possibility is to find certain complementary roles or/and specific niches for some units. An example P-51 can be a better fighter but P-47 can have additional ground attack capability but still sufficient fighter. So when you have a unit with sufficient statistics to do the job you may choose that one over the best one for some secondary reason (core slots may be one of them). But the emphasis is here on sufficient, not outright lesser statistics. Using the best equipment is not inherently wrong, it provides a reason for progression but complementary roles are welcomed when applicable.
The reason you might feel you aren't getting my best reception to your posts is that a post like this comes across as just reiterating the problem. Again.

Yes, I (for the third time) already know this. My question is if it's going to change, for the sake of more variety.

In theory you can enjoy the better ground attack capabilities of something like a Bf110... but in practice anything less than the top-line fighter is just a drain on your prestige! (Maybe not against Poland and France, but with the hindsight you get for playing the game)

A fighter unit that can't survive on its own against the AI (who preys on weakness) simply has no place in your core, unless you're playing for funsies or maybe you have mastered some highly artificial trap-baiting approach that relies more on AI exploitation than anything resembling normal play.

That creates a discrepancy between historic evaluations and gameplay results.

What you explain is not a must, it is not a god-given characteristic of the game. It is something a game design can change if it wants to. It might appear more historical for one unit to have the value 12 when another has the value 18, but if the practical play effects are neither historical nor fun, then it is time for change, or at least discuss it.

So when you say "Nothing is changed in here" it appears as if you aren't really listening to what I have to say. Why isn't it changed? Was change even discussed?

And so on - contrast Rudankort's reply that I found very informative. It was also acknowledging of the problem, as opposed to just restating it.

Now I have my answer: lots of little things will change, enough to give hope PC2 will not feel as .... simplistic when it comes to the air war :)

Maybe it's a language issue. Have a nice day.

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by uran21 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:27 pm

Molve wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:48 pm
Yes, I (for the third time) already know this. My question is if it's going to change, for the sake of more variety.
Maybe you have a feeling of getting the same answers because you keep asking the same question!?

This are the answers you got so far.
uran21 wrote:PG, PzC1 as well as PzC2 do not have a concept where quantity counts as quality.
uran21 wrote:A higher value will stay better value because unit statistic values are absolute numbers. Nothing is changed in here.
Rudankort wrote:However, a better unit always deals more damage and takes less losses in return, this is pretty fundamental, and in air war this is more critical than on the ground, because it is so easy to mass-attack enemy unit.
When it comes to why.
Molve wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:48 pm
So when you say "Nothing is changed in here" it appears as if you aren't really listening to what I have to say. Why isn't it changed? Was change even discussed?
The reason why it was not changed is that we are speaking about the sequel and not completely different game. So some fundamental elements will stay the way they are and the only possibility is to find a solution within those boundaries. A discussion was held based on solutions within those boundaries. Brainstorm result of those discussions related to a heavy fighter, low and high altitude fighters, as well as difference in difficulties to find a solution for air war as opposed to ground war (which suffers from the same problem but is less pronounced), can be found in my posts above.

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by dalfrede » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:53 pm

uran21 wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:23 am
If aircraft is returned to base every turn there is actually no need for physical switching. Target will be chosen before taking off. Aircraft will be engaged in a dogfight or bombing ground targets, and after it bombs ground target and gets attacked by an enemy fighter on enemy’s turn it already dropped bombs. So those fighters that were extensively used for ground support will have raised ground attack values.
That covers the historical side of the issue, but for gameplay?
Which brings up the issue of experience.
I first thought of TB switching after noticing that 'Helmut Lent' and his Me410 became a role player in GC44.
Russian fighters started to target him and he needed protection.
At 5* he was no better a fighter pilot than as a 0* rookie.

I have not rerun the GC with switchable TB/Fighters, but I have tested in in AC, and USC. Without changing stats, but just using the experience bonus had an significant effect on the utility of the Mosquito and P38.
[I used Nico's equip mod with an upgrade path for the P38].

Note: The AI has no trouble using Artillery switch for AA and AT, it doesn't seem to notice Fighter/TB switching in it's equip file.

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by sn0wball » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:59 am

Rudankort wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:26 pm
- With new slot system, you might be choosing between buying a single top-end plane, or two inferior ones. So, it is a less obvious choice than in Panzer Corps. Although weaker planes will be more vulnerable, they can attack 2x more targets in a single turn, launch mass attacks on the enemy etc.

- If even the best fighter you have is weaker than your opponent's, you at least have an overstrength option which you can use to try and compensate the difference. Of course, your enemy can do the same, but since his planes probably cost more slots to begin with, this can be super expensive for him in terms of slots.
The game would benefit greatly if (slightly) obsolete units still retain a useful place.
- New combat model (with added accuracy parameter) means that all combat is slightly less bloody than it was in Panzer Corps, which helps air war in particular. The "window of equality" becomes wider. Although if you let several enemy fighters to mass-attack your unprotected bomber, you still have a high chance of losing it.
This will be very important. Having played the Battlefield Europe Mod for some time, aircombat is much mroe satisfying there. Using bombers unprotected is costly, but not nescessarily deadly. Same goes for fighters.
- Unlike Panzer Corps, where you could only replace aircraft on airfield hex, in PzC2 you can replace on any hex next to base, so replacing is easier, and much cheaper than buying a new aircraft, so even if you take heavy losses, it is not the end of the world.
Good idea. Perhaps there should be different types of airfield - a full blown airport can serve more planes than a small frontier airfield. Some might even have no repair functionality at all ...
- Strategic bombers in general have higher ranges than most other planes, so they have better chances to strike where the enemy cannot reach them. In general, range is an additional very important stat which did not exist in Panzer Corps. You might want to choose a plane with lower attack but with higher range.
Adding range to the game, especially in escort fighters, is a good idea.

- You can create serious problems for your opponent by sneaking to his air base and capturing it, even if he has air superiority. This is especially handy if you get a few turns of bad weather, when his planes cannot rebase and will be lost on the spot. But even in good weather, his planes will lose the whole next turn on rebasing to a different airfield, and you can safely unleash your own air force on him.
This is a tough one. At first glance, the idea is splendid. But losing a whole airfleet to a lucky strike by paratroopers would also be very frustrating. This will create a need for serious security behind the lines - at least if the AI is able to do such a thing. For the campaign, this might mean to leave valuable core units behind or have aux units regularily assigned for that task.

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:41 pm

sn0wball wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:59 am
Rudankort wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:26 pm
New combat model (with added accuracy parameter) means that all combat is slightly less bloody than it was in Panzer Corps, which helps air war in particular. The "window of equality" becomes wider. Although if you let several enemy fighters to mass-attack your unprotected bomber, you still have a high chance of losing it.
This will be very important. Having played the Battlefield Europe Mod for some time, aircombat is much mroe satisfying there. Using bombers unprotected is costly, but not nescessarily deadly. Same goes for fighters.
I agree, this is partly due to a more balanced/more correct/just better equipment file (originally based on deducter's work). I wish Rudankort and team could/would consider this (at least to some extent)...

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by uran21 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:11 pm

dalfrede wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:53 pm
uran21 wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:23 am
If aircraft is returned to base every turn there is actually no need for physical switching. Target will be chosen before taking off. Aircraft will be engaged in a dogfight or bombing ground targets, and after it bombs ground target and gets attacked by an enemy fighter on enemy’s turn it already dropped bombs. So those fighters that were extensively used for ground support will have raised ground attack values.
That covers the historical side of the issue, but for gameplay?
Which brings up the issue of experience.
I first thought of TB switching after noticing that 'Helmut Lent' and his Me410 became a role player in GC44.
Russian fighters started to target him and he needed protection.
At 5* he was no better a fighter pilot than as a 0* rookie.

I have not rerun the GC with switchable TB/Fighters, but I have tested in in AC, and USC. Without changing stats, but just using the experience bonus had an significant effect on the utility of the Mosquito and P38.
[I used Nico's equip mod with an upgrade path for the P38].

Note: The AI has no trouble using Artillery switch for AA and AT, it doesn't seem to notice Fighter/TB switching in it's equip file.
I was thinking more about the secondary role of single-engine fighters like P-47. Twin engine ones need more help.
Some of the tools at disposal would be to make AI redistribute fire across several units instead of always mass attacking the weakest one.
Increasing survivability through defense stats but not making attack values on pair with dogfighters.
Making cross-class upgrades so experienced fighter pilot can take fighter-bomber role.
Giving them a slight bonus against strategic bombers so they excel in something without reducing stats for dogfighters in the same role not to disturb the balance if fighter-bombers are not used.

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by sn0wball » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:04 pm

uran21 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:11 pm
Some of the tools at disposal would be to make AI redistribute fire across several units instead of always mass attacking the weakest one.
I think it would be nice to have a switch for the AI to choose between maximum brutality and efficiency or long term campaign sportsmanship. In the latter mode, it might spare badly mauled core units if there are other viable targets. This would work also for ground units.

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by uran21 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:23 pm

sn0wball wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:04 pm
uran21 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:11 pm
Some of the tools at disposal would be to make AI redistribute fire across several units instead of always mass attacking the weakest one.
I think it would be nice to have a switch for the AI to choose between maximum brutality and efficiency or long term campaign sportsmanship. In the latter mode, it might spare badly mauled core units if there are other viable targets. This would work also for ground units.
I am not so much for sparing unit that can be killed by a single shot as to preventing for such situations to happen. 4 - 5 attacks on the weakest unit are bad for several reasons and when it comes to brutality and efficiency it is quite doubtful is targeting weakest units and being passive towards stronger ones anyhow "smart". Brutal AI would know how to dispose of strong units, targeting weakest ones is just low hanging fruit and deception for the observer. But not to go deep into it if you are suggesting an option in UI for such things I fully agree.

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Re: Air units in PC2

Post by Retributarr » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:18 pm

Easy-Quick Identification of "Class/Category" of 'Air-Units':

When 'Air-Units' are on the Map, I would like to have a 'Simple' means of quickly/easily identifying what I am dealing with.

This way, without making my life difficult, I could quickly determine what category of equipment to use to deal with the threat I am dealt with!.

This mean's, that I will now unquestioningly know what type of 'Anti-Air' units that will work in dealing with my opponent...as well as what type of 'Air-Craft' that I will need to remove the enemy aircraft.

A Simple Identification Method:

Suggestions!:
***Include a 'Color' identification method on the Air-Unit depicted, such as a 'Back-Ground' highlight or a marker of some sort in/on or...in the Unit Icon Hex.

***Have two color's at least...One for High Altitude Air-Craft & One for Low Altitude Operating Air-Craft.

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