Impossible Siege Video

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Kerensky
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Impossible Siege Video

Post by Kerensky » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:59 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC3uP5j ... e=youtu.be

EDIT: So apparently this video was from the stream, but I totally missed this part. But there is a highlight video directly of it, so I want to talk about that. I distinctly recall posing this conundrum, and this video is practically a direct response to the new 'triangle formation' problem I thought support arty/support ATG would create.

So let's analyze all the cool stuff going on in this short clip.

1. Recon have purpose beyond simple visual spotting. They have adjacency bonuses for other units. The quintessential offensive support unit. I luv it. Made even more powerful because phase movement means you can move from attack location to attack location and support multiple offensive actions in a single turn. How's that for useful recon? Sounds useful to me. ;)
2. Air recon also perform this function, for stacking combat bonuses. A hell of a lot more interesting than just flying around doing zero damage and looking at stuff like some kind of well mannered tourist.
3. Units can retreat more than one hex. I expected that enemy infantry to surrender. Pretty crazy to see it walk through a unit on a retreat auto move...
4. Beating a triangle formation takes a lot of special knowledge, but it is possible. Relies on a host of mechanics to overcome, but is very easy to set up. Doubly so when support units are self propelled.

So it's great to have new mechanics to combat new situations and add more flexibility to the game.
However.

I see a lot of problems with this demonstration. Well not problems, but potential opportunities.

Triangles are easy to set up, but extremely difficult to break. To set up, just put a support arty next to a support ATG and combine with a third anchor unit. Which may or may not be another arty/at unit itself. To crack it though... you'll need suppression fire, and have to correctly prioritize who to suppress. And then you still have to make hard decisions and attack into entrenched positions without softening them up with bombardment, because you used your bombardment on supporting units. And if those supporting units are to tough, you'll need to make sacrifice plays like that split unit suicide just to drain ammo. While that is awesome for multiplayer battles, where every unit is expendable to accomplish your objectives... I question how many times players will make this sacrifice play in a campaign setting where players howl when they lose just a few of their precious units, even as they massacre AI units by the dozens or hundreds.

All that complexity makes me see these advanced tactics as options for advanced players. But I want new and average players to have access to these features. And what I see doesn't install much confidence in me that players will understand what is going on here.

So some refinement would help a ton. The game needs to give more feedback for players when special things are happening. Otherwise, how do players see and learn that these noncombat units have these special abilities? They have to know this formation beforehand, it's not represented anywhere currently. A good answer, to no surprise, is the historical answer. What if recon aircraft, instead of dropping bombs, dropped flares on enemy units they are over?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Target_indicator

Now you have a strong visual indicator for the player that something special is happening. Flares are making the unit easier to attack. This is a very strong visual debuff. And I would hope it is graphically pleased and not immersion breaking like an abstract image would be.

Recon units also need something, but I dunno if they should launch flares... Maybe they can point spotlights at enemy units?
Last edited by Kerensky on Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Kerensky
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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by Kerensky » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:26 pm

Also, that multihex retreat rule needs refinement. Imagine trying to pin down a tank or recon car that can move more than 2 hexes? Man that must be one crazy retreat move... more on this later. ;)

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by Kerensky » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:38 pm

Taking example from the British Pathfinders and their flare drops... why not have a visual indicator of flares for this special recon/air recon effect?

Image

Retributarr
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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by Retributarr » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:27 pm

Kerensky wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:38 pm
Taking example from the British Pathfinders and their flare drops... why not have a visual indicator of flares for this special recon/air recon effect?

Image
My personal first impression of the "Flare" illustration...is that it seems not to be quite ''Visually-Stunning" enough!.

For example,...could not the lit-up 'Flare-Region' be high-lighted...by more than just a just a Bon-Fire indicator, but also to have the affected hexes also somehow brightened/enhanced with increased brightness...to help visually indicate or highlight the target zone more visually?.

This Flare operation should be very-obvious/very-distinct from the other regions on the Game-Map.

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by Kerensky » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:20 pm

Retributarr wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:27 pm
My personal first impression of the "Flare" illustration...is that it seems not to be quite ''Visually-Stunning" enough!.

For example,...could not the lit-up 'Flare-Region' be high-lighted...by more than just a just a Bon-Fire indicator, but also to have the affected hexes also somehow brightened/enhanced with increased brightness...to help visually indicate or highlight the target zone more visually?.

This Flare operation should be very-obvious/very-distinct from the other regions on the Game-Map.
Well this depends on a lot of things. As a static image, sure it might not be visually eye attracting enough. But with all the other graphical improvements in this game, I would think the flares would also reflect that. Like all the flashy animation that comes from units firing with fire and smoke. If the flares twinkled and sparkled and acted as a light source, that is definitely eye catching, but hopefully not overwhelming as full hex graphic recoloring.

spaff
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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by spaff » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:06 pm

My take on the video is that they are showing how to exploit gameplay mechanics instead of showing good gameplay. The scenario has 7 units attacking against 6 units that are very well set for defense. Still attacking forces can go straight through the defence by exploiting suppression, movement, ammo and overrun mechanics. IMO in good/realistic gameplay attacking shouldn't be this easy and you should have to use some sort of maneuvring to attack a defence like this.

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by sn0wball » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:20 pm

Kerensky wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:59 am
2. Air recon also perform this function, for stacking combat bonuses. A hell of a lot more interesting than just flying around doing zero damage and looking at stuff like some kind of well mannered tourist.
I was pretty surprised that the 88 in AA mode did not fire upon the recon plane. It should.

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by Kerensky » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:11 pm

sn0wball wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:20 pm
I was pretty surprised that the 88 in AA mode did not fire upon the recon plane. It should.
This is an interesting point. I assume the AA doesn't fire because the air recon isn't technically firing either, it just moved. Perhaps it should. I wonder what the logistics of the encounter would be. It makes sense to just change the attack animation of the air recon to drop flares, and this 'attack' is what prompts units to engage in their normal AA behavior.
What happens if there are enemy fighters in the skies too, would they go for intercept?

But I feel that's a step backwards for air recon; they attack like everyone else instead of passively providing bonuses.
Maybe this special unit needs a special case?

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by Parallax » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:15 am

Kerensky wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:59 am
3. Units can retreat more than one hex. I expected that enemy infantry to surrender. Pretty crazy to see it walk through a unit on a retreat auto move...
OoB has very nasty feature, retreating unit can pass through river, swamps and mountains as if they were flat plains, while regular moving cost all unit movement points just to enter this hexes :evil:

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by JB72 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:09 am

Really nice video ! Thank you !

Molve
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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by Molve » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:02 pm

Kerensky wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:59 am
How's that for useful recon? Sounds useful to me. ;)
I apologize if my comments have played even a small part in making you sound so defensive about recon.

Yes, this actually does sound useful.

Thing is Kerensky, PC1 recon was useful too - that wasn't the criticism. The criticism was that to unlock the potential you would have to accept a lot of micromanagement; uncharacteristic of the game as a whole. You clearly bought in, and unlocked the full potential. A beginning player would only see the lifting of the fog of war, and then how the AI inevitably one-shotted their unit. Hashtag #notworthit

Time will tell if this PC2 quality of usefulness justifies the detailed order-giving.

Consider a hypothetical: Maybe just have recon project a "zone" of bonuses, so the player gets much the same benefit but with way less detailed management. My point is: each gameplay feature should have one thing foremost in mind - how does it gel with the purported nature of Panzer General/Corps as a "easy" "introductory" or indeed "beers'n'pretzels" style wargame?

Thank you for your detailed analysis :)

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by Kerensky » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:15 pm

Parallax wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:15 am
OoB has very nasty feature, retreating unit can pass through river, swamps and mountains as if they were flat plains, while regular moving cost all unit movement points just to enter this hexes :evil:
I wouldn't worry about that.
Not to throw shade on OOB, but PzC and PzC2 just does things differently.

I do remember what you're talking about from my time with OOB though. It comes with a combination of unlimited retreat moves and also the fact that the more a unit is damaged, the harder it is to kill. That was intentional for OOB as I recall, increasing unit TTK (time to kill) through unit resilience and also slipperiness.

I don't think there's anything wrong with units who have enough mobility to retreat over friendlies, but we'll see. And we'll make sure to bombard them with feedback if it causes problems. ;)

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by Kerensky » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:37 pm

Molve wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:02 pm
Consider a hypothetical: Maybe just have recon project a "zone" of bonuses, so the player gets much the same benefit but with way less detailed management. My point is: each gameplay feature should have one thing foremost in mind - how does it gel with the purported nature of Panzer General/Corps as a "easy" "introductory" or indeed "beers'n'pretzels" style wargame?
But they do project a zone of bonuses/aura. It overlays on top of their ZOC as it applies to units adjacent to recon. Or I guess for recon aircraft, under them.
Point is, I see no reason this should interfere with the beer and pretzels ideology at the heart of Panzer General. In fact, I would argue a zone of bonuses/aura that isn't the same area as zoc would create more confusion because now it's two separate and different things. Now you can just think of it as 'enemy unit in a recon's ZOC also gets a debuff/combat penalty''. That's very straight forward, and there's no need to create more elaborate and complex maneuvers (in Panzer Corps, you always stand adjacent to enemies to attack them anyways, and combined arms/mass attack is simulated by multiple adjacencies) and this also prevents the need for complex visual indicators. If recon aura extended past adjacency... what are they going to glow like Paladins? lol

Image

Keeping it simple with [Recon Zone of Control area] = [Recon debuff area just makes sense] . :!:

However.

I do very much agree this unit ability, in its current form, is not conductive to casual players. Because all these effects happen invisibly, your average player will have no clue that something special is happening, and won't know or respond to it or be encouraged to investigate further. How can they, it's an invisible effect. A veteran or elite doesn't need to see shiny graphical debuff effect to know what is going on, they intrinsically know 'recon near enemy = easier to attack enemy' because they do research, read forums, and even dive into the game files on a very detailed level.

But if the player can see 'something' strange happening, and then notice the battle seem to tilt in favor of units adjacent to friendly recons... they might investigate further. Or when the AI drives a recon plane over them, and flares drop, and then the AI attacks them, and the battle does a lot of damage to the player. They're going to, hopefully, notice that air recon isn't something to just ignore because it has no attack values. It's a target that needs attention and also maybe a tool for the player to wield themselves.

I have that criticism, but most importantly to remember this is NOT a problem with a broken system. It's an opportunity for a very interesting, new, and unique Panzer Corps 2 system to be even better. :)
This is why we need to give them constructive feedback. :mrgreen:

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by Kerensky » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:46 pm

While explaining that, another thought occurred to me. And it makes me like the idea of flaring recon-ed targets even more.

What happens with aircraft? I don't think a spotter aircraft adjacent to an enemy fighter should debuff the target. That doesn't make sense. But because it's happening invisibly, players might think any and all adjacent enemies are effected when that's not true.

And if you drop flares on ground units... but do nothing when adjacent to air units... That's a pretty clear indication that 'hey, you are affecting that ground unit!' and equally clear that 'hey, you are NOT affecting that fighter aircraft trying to shoot you down!'

Same logic applies to recon cars. They mark adjacent ground enemies (flare or spotlight or whatever). They do nothing and project no indicators when driving under or near enemy aircraft.

Bottom line, this is an important distinction that should be made. And it does require visibility of an indicator. Because in current form, with all affects being invisible... these cases of no effect happening are near impossible to decipher.

Heck if you want a ground recon unit especially made to 'spot' aircraft for debuffing... that could be a new specialty unit added in the game's future. The Spotlight.
Image

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by Molve » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:01 am

Kerensky wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:37 pm
This is why we need to give them constructive feedback. :mrgreen:
Absolutely.

Just to clarify: my point wasn't about "paladin auras". :wink:

My point was - don't ask players to micromanage the exact path of their recon units.

Instead of moving it one step, resolving that combat, moving it again, resolving those two combats, and finally moving it again... why not let it project its bonuses over a larger area, so you can just keep it in the vincinity to achieve the exact same result but with two important differences:

1) you don't need to move the unit painstakingly across the board, which includes the necessity for other units to leave hexes open for it*
2) you don't need to resolve combats in a particular order

Taken together 1+2 adds significant overhead. Just the way 2) adds a second priority order of battles (to the existing one; you already need to execute battles in a particular order to "unravel" a particularly well-defended spot) and will likely be something the AI fails at, plainly speaking.

My immediate concern, however, is 1. I believe it's far too much detail and clutter for a "beer and pretzels" level game.

If you make recons project their bonuses as far as they can see (which is a "zone" the game already handles) I consider that a very natural and very easy concept for players to grasp :) and it will save the game from significant overhead/micromanagement!

Not to mention the original complaint against recon 3) that they die too easily. If they do not need to get adjacent to the combat, it gets that much simpler to keep them alive.

Let me reiterate what an eye opener it was to be handed that flying recon of the campaign. What a game changer! It took me all of five minutes to say to myself "this is what all recon should be like"! :)

*) at the very least, consider making recon able to stop in already occupied hexes. The idea being that a few scout cars do not take up nearly as much space and logistics as a squad of tanks, or an infantry division. This change alone would immensely declutter the task of providing bonuses where they're needed. Of course, once you do that you'll hopefully see that it would be even better, cleaner and simpler to just let the recon project its bonuses at range, and get rid of the adjacency requirement altogether! :D

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by Sourdust » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:25 pm

Regarding comments about fighters and flak being triggered against air recon... remember, this is notionally an operational-level game. Recon plane units would represent squadrons of planes, dispersed across the front. We're talking either light artillery-spotter kinds of planes, or high-speed photo recon planes (mosquitos) that are next to impossible to intercept or shoot down with flak. The light liaison / spotter planes did not usually operate when enemy fighters were active over the front, and they usually wouldn't stray so close to enemy flak to get shot at. Sure, some would be brought down. But armies didn't have standing fighter patrols over them. So recon should generally be able to operate even where enemy has significant fighter or flak presence. Both fighters and flak were geared to destroying sizeable formations of enemy attack planes, not individual light spotters.

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by proline » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:16 am

Sourdust wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:25 pm
Regarding comments about fighters and flak being triggered against air recon... remember, this is notionally an operational-level game. Recon plane units would represent squadrons of planes, dispersed across the front. We're talking either light artillery-spotter kinds of planes, or high-speed photo recon planes (mosquitos) that are next to impossible to intercept or shoot down with flak. The light liaison / spotter planes did not usually operate when enemy fighters were active over the front, and they usually wouldn't stray so close to enemy flak to get shot at. Sure, some would be brought down. But armies didn't have standing fighter patrols over them. So recon should generally be able to operate even where enemy has significant fighter or flak presence. Both fighters and flak were geared to destroying sizeable formations of enemy attack planes, not individual light spotters.
Put another way- towards the end of the war the UK had good enough air defenses and was so overwhelming superior to the Luftwaffe that the Germans couldn't consistently get good aerial intel. The same could be said for mainland USA, Hawaii (once the war started), and other places that were very far from Japan. Other than that, spy planes operated pretty freely and were effective at getting pictures of their targets. Not to say they had no loses, but they were effective. That's different from PzC where they don't exist at all except for the Soviets and are super vulnerable to fighters and AA.

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Re: Impossible Siege Video

Post by AceDuceTrey » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:57 pm

Sourdust wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:25 pm
Regarding comments about fighters and flak being triggered against air recon... remember, this is notionally an operational-level game. Recon plane units would represent squadrons of planes, dispersed across the front. We're talking either light artillery-spotter kinds of planes, or high-speed photo recon planes (mosquitos) that are next to impossible to intercept or shoot down with flak. The light liaison / spotter planes did not usually operate when enemy fighters were active over the front, and they usually wouldn't stray so close to enemy flak to get shot at. Sure, some would be brought down. But armies didn't have standing fighter patrols over them. So recon should generally be able to operate even where enemy has significant fighter or flak presence. Both fighters and flak were geared to destroying sizeable formations of enemy attack planes, not individual light spotters.
Agree, Forward Observer "Liaison" aircraft typically flew "race track" patterns just behind friendly lines to observe and adjust artillery fire as well as collect info on enemy disposition and activity. But they did NOT (intentionally) over fly enemy positions! More concerning to me is how PC2 is going to handle the aircraft-antiaircraft interactions: no wargame to my knowledge has ever adequately addressed the various types of air attacks versus the various types of antiaircraft (AA) guns. Light AA (<30mm) were best at suppressing very low aerial attacks such as strafing/cannon/rocket, torpedo, and skip bombing due to their high rate of tracer fire. Medium AA (30-40mm) were more lethal versus low level tactical and dive bombers. Heavy AA (>70mm) were the only effective AA against medium and high altitude strategic bombers; they were also typically the only ones that could react to over flights. To give you an idea off the top of my head:
Lt. AA max 3 suppressions, 1 kill vs. very low; 1 Suppression versus low
Med. AA max 1 suppression, 1 kill vs. very low; 2 suppression, 2 kills low, 1 suppression medium altitude
Hvy. AA max no very low; 1 suppression, 1 kill low; 4 suppressions, 3 kills medium; 2 suppressions, 1 kill high altitude

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