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Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:14 pm
by AlbertoC
Welcome to the first issue of Panzer Corps 2 Developer Diary. The initial announcement of Panzer Corps 2 was a little while ago now, and we understand that it left many people waiting for more information. In this issue we will try to provide a general overview of where we are going with this project and what to expect from it. We will provide much more information on each individual aspect of the game in future diaries.


Gameplay changes

Panzer Corps was intended as a spiritual sequel to the classic Panzer General series, and we were very careful to preserve the traditions of that series that made it so great for its day. We are taking the same very careful approach to game design in Panzer Corps 2. We are not trying to fix things which are not broken in the first place. Many aspects of the game, including the list of unit classes and unit stats, remain unchanged, and Panzer Corps veterans will feel themselves instantly at home with the new game. At the same time, we are giving the player a number of new tactical options, which will make the playing experience even more interesting and engaging. Here are some examples of these options:

Overrun. This was probably the most requested feature in Panzer Corps, and we had no other option other than to include it. Overrun is a unique ability of tanks to run over crippled enemy units and destroy them in the process, without spending their move or attack action. This feature not only helps to better represent the role of tanks in WW2, but also gives many interesting tactical implications from a pure gameplay point of view.

Encirclements. Panzer Corps is a “wargame” in the first place, and for most players its “war” aspect is the most interesting of all. On the other hand, moving around non-combat supply units, counting supply points etc. is much less fun. For this reason, we decided early on that the new game would not include a full-blown realistic model of supply. However, we felt that cutting enemy units from supply was a very interesting and useful tactical option, so we have included it in the game. It works like this: when a group of units is encircled by the enemy (only “passable” terrain needs to be blocked), it no longer receives any supply, and on top of this, encircled units will get a progressive combat penalty every turn. So now, the player has a choice: tackle the next objective head on, or try to encircle it and weaken the defenders before dealing with them.


Infantry unit is isolated on a small peninsula by the sea and the enemy. It does not get any supply here.

Splitting units. In Panzer Corps 2 any unit can be split into two equal halves (of course, at a cost of additional unit slots) which will act on the battlefield as two independent units. Splitting has countless tactical uses, especially in combination with encirclements as described above. Certain unit classes can especially benefit from it, like recon.

Captured units. Captured units in Panzer Corps campaigns were so popular, we’ve decided to make them a part of core game mechanics. When you force enemy unit to surrender, its equipment is captured and added to a pool. Later you can use this pool to create new units or replenish existing ones for free. This adds yet another tactical consideration: shall I destroy this unit, or try to make it surrender instead?

Unique hero abilities. Unlike Panzer Corps, where heroes only gave stat boosts to units, in Panzer Corps 2 they will have many unique tactical abilities, and some of these abilities will be synergistic. So, using your heroes in the best way possible will be a different task in every playthrough.

Air and Naval Warfare. Other major changes will happen in air and naval warfare. Ground combat was the most sophisticated and interesting part of Panzer Corps. With so many different rules, unit classes and terrain types, ground war was a varied and rich gameplay experience. We felt that air and naval warfare was somewhat lacking in comparison. Our ultimate goal in the sequel is to make them interesting enough to allow dedicated “naval only” and “air only” scenarios, and to achieve this goal, we are looking at various “naval only” and “air only” hex-based wargames for inspiration.

The most important change in the air war is that all aircraft act from airfields now, and return to their base automatically at the beginning of their turn. Also, just as in real life, the effectiveness of aircraft drops as the distance to their base increases. This means that all air rules and mechanics from Panzer Corps (like mass attack, interceptors etc.) remain in place, but at the same time the airfields, their location on the map, timely capture and proper defense become key elements in air warfare.

As for naval war, naval terrain is “by definition” less interesting than ground terrain, with endless sea hexes going in all directions. To compensate for this, ships themselves will be more complex entities, with various factors (like orientation and position of turrets) affecting combat effectiveness, and a damage model (inspired by Pacific General) going beyond the simple “strength number” under the ship. Carrier and submarine classes will be much better fleshed out to represent their unique roles in naval war. A more advanced naval model will allow this series to branch out into any theatre of war in the future, including the “naval-heavy” Pacific, something which Panzer Corps never did.

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:26 pm
by 13obo
Woah, so the developer finally succumbed to the relentless demand for updates from the existing fanbase. Good, looking forward to future ones!

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:01 pm
by kenthart
Did I miss the expected roll out date? Any idea when? And will there be an opportunity for testers to help sort out the bugs early? Good luck. Kind of looking forward to it although I agree the graphics seem a little lame at the moment. There should be a 2D option. What exactly does a "spiritual sequel" entail?

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:13 pm
by Retributarr
From the Map-Depiction, my first impression is that the Units in it with the depicted BackGround just might blend together a little too much, making it difficult to see where your Units' are verses the Campaign/Scenario-Map!. Would it be possible to have a built-In-adjustment tab or what-ever, so that one could adjust the intensity of the Darkness/Brightness of the Units and or also the BackGround-Scenery? make it easier for the Player to see what is going on and to easily see who is where and in what terrain situation!.

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:06 pm
by goose_2
This is very interesting new concepts that I would like to playtest before they are fully implemented as some areas I see possibly breaking the current game, but want to play test first before I make a judgment...

I was also hoping for some Multiplayer specific information, but frankly anything at this point is nice

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:16 pm
by zakblood
i also would hold judgement until a beta screenshot was shown at least, as a lot can change from alpha to beta, but i like what i see so far so thanks for the alpha preview

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:13 pm
by Kerensky
Personally, I've never been too terribly concerned with graphics. Sure it would be nice if it was prettier, but getting too pretty causes problems too. Mostly in the form of game performance and system requirements. If you've ever sat through disgusting long load times of Xcom2 or BattleTech, even after installing on an SSD drive, you know what I mean. Panzer Corps was great for being approachable, I'd hate to see it ruined by high system requirements and disgustingly long load times.

That said, since it's going to be a 3D game engine, I would think there would be some kind of zoom or camera controls to actually look at everything from many angles.

I'm more interested in the new mechanics and seeing how they play. For example, splitting sounds interesting, but it pretty much goes against all the rules of good combat. You should always consolidate strength, not spread it, especially in long PVE campaign environments where snowball effects make winner win more and losers lose more. Is it actually going to be effective general tactic, or a gimmick that requires specific scenario design to enable functionality of? I mean, if splitting a unit takes extra core slots, why not just have full normal core slots of cheaper units and have them all proper 10 strength instead of expensive 5 strength units. It's generally always better to have weaker 10 strengths than stronger 5 strengths. This is why all those custom maps with 1 and 2 strength Tiger tanks units were interesting in concept, but invariably failed in practice.

So we'll see with more information or something actually hands on how the new rules hold up in practice, and if they expand the design and tactical possibilities of the game, or if they actually inhibit it instead.

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:49 pm
by BiteNibbleChomp
They speak! :D


Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:55 am
by AlbertoC
goose_2 wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:06 pm
I was also hoping for some Multiplayer specific information, but frankly anything at this point is nice
That will come.

We have some really interesting news about multiplayer - but we have further dev diaries planned, which will be published during the summer.

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:58 am
by gerbercage
Do this game/game engine make use of many core/thread CPU or still only using one like most of the game?

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:15 am
by mcc6256
They need to resize the units.They're out of proportion to each other.

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:22 am
by Edgewalker
This all looks very promising ! Just don't forget about pbem fans and give us a good variety of multiplayer maps on release :-)

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:03 pm
I completely disagree, I am in early accesa if Panzer Strategy and for now its totally unplayiable because balance, and game play, and 3D animation are terribly boring and unusefull. I like more much OOB animations.

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:44 pm
by auda
When writing my response for another thread, I came up with this idea, so excuse me if I double post this part, but I found this thread later and more suitable to post it.

An interesting way to solve this 3d 'issue' would be to keep the generated 3d terrain as it is, but make the units very small, like the size of the trees (yeah those cous-cous looking grains :P) in the OP's 2nd attached screenshot. The hex size could be a third the size of what it's now. At this zoom level (please refer to the screenshot again) the units would look like small specs, but would have a quick-id icon over it. When zoomed-in, one can see the models and battle animations better, and since each unit would be represented with more unit models, battles like infantry vs. infantry or tank vs. infantry could look more alive. Just imagine an infantry unit with 10 repeated models attacking the port like it is in the screenshot, or a group of tanks moving across the flat fields. Then the zoom-in serves as a more 'tactical' map mode, and the zoomed-out as a strategic mode.

The reasoning behind the above suggestion is to utilize the appeal of terrain that is now generously offered in 3d. So why not taking everything else into the next step as well? Think somewhere between Rome Total War and Civ 5 for example.

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:31 am
by DJ88
The screenshots are looking better since the first ones were shown. The scale was waaaay too large earlier. Glad to see some improvements. I still think the scale is bit too large for ground units. This is starting to look more similar to Panzer General 2 and less like PG 3D. IMO should not go 3D until Panzer Corps 3 is out. Better to keep it closer to Panzer General 2 with more realistic graphics and scale. Keep up the good work and improvements.

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:09 am
by Sourdust
Well, good to see something at long last!

The graphics do nothing at all for me, they're bland exhibit "early 21st century 3D render style", which is to say no style at all. I can't see that these graphics justify the shift to 3D. Unity of Command 2 team is doing a far better job producing a coherent and interesting visual style for their new game (even in 3D). I hate zooming and rotating around a map with a camera, it feels like camera is used as a crutch for bad graphic design. I'd rather have things presented well in max 2 scales, or better yet 1 scale with a mini-map.

As for gameplay, some positive signs here. Synergistic heroes and an airfield-based air war model are great. I never liked how air units were just parked in the air all over the map in PC...

The introduction of encirclement is also potentially good, depending on how it's implemented. Not so sure about overruns, I don't think they are needed, and could be easily abused. Tanks/artillery are already dominant in the game; add in overrun for fully suppressed units, and I can easily see all-tank/artillery armies being completely dominant.

Interested to see what devs come up with for the naval innovations. It's really hard to make a naval game and a land game co-exist and both be compelling. Naval not only operates on different "terrain", but vastly different time scale as well. Much of the interesting naval battles in WW2 occurred at nighttime, and things like surprise, starting range, torpedoes, radar, and positioning (crossing the T) are among the crucial elements that make naval combat interesting in this period. Hard to capture the essence of that in a quasi-operational level game in which individual units line up and shoot in an orderly fashion at one another - but I'm glad you're giving it a go!

Splitting units will presumably be important if you're trying to encircle an enemy group, but as others have said it goes against the core combat mechanic of the game, so you'd want to have a good reason to do it.

I don't like the captured units mechanic at all. I know people liked using Char B1s etc. in PC, but the truth is that too much captured equipment makes the armies feel less unique, breaks immersion and encourages lazy play. I'd like to see less captured equipment, not more.

I'm keen to see what devs make of the whole prestige system / power curve / campaign progression. This to my mind is where the game will be made or broken, and I do hope there is some serious innovation in the works. It looks like devs are being cautious or conservative in what they're doing with the game (eg no changes to unit classes or stats). I'd rather something that takes a few more design risks...

Good luck, look forward to reading more

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:03 am
by IainMcNeil
When you see 3D moving you'll understanf why it looks so cool. Obviously all you have so far is flat screenshots so clearly you cant tell why its better than 2D pre rendered.

These are pre alpha screens. The size of units has not been set. Everything is likely to change.

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:26 am
Hi Ian, I love so much 3d animation and moving of OOB, specially I love that infantry has improving weapons: ex in 39 only guns and molotov, after handbombs, machinegun, gunbombs and finally bazooka, panzerfaust or piat. I hope we can se something similar (or more better) in PC2.

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:13 pm
by Obadiah333
Finally some news!!!!! Can't wait to play! I hope its ready by Christmas.

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #1

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:34 pm
by bebro
Splitting units in two sounds interesting, but I understand it costs another unit slot? Then why not just use another unit, and all with full str. Unless it's a prob to fill the slots...I guess we need to see how it works in detail.

Air model with planes auto-returning reminds me a bit on SSI's in People's General...