Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by Kerensky » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:35 pm

adiekmann wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:31 am
Kerensky has written in several posts on this forum warning of this danger in discussions that have come up regarding a wide variety of suggestions. I have grown to appreciate his judgement concerning where to draw the line between what would make a good addition/change to the game and what goes too far and would likely become cumbersome and problematic.
Thanks for the vote of confidence. For what it's worth, I also lean towards the Panzer General/Panzer Corps way of doing things over the more complex (and confusing) machinations of OOB or similar, more complex strategy games. But that doesn't mean more advanced features and mechanics are bad. A lot of the time it comes down to proper translating of very cool and intriguing theoretical ideas into actually practical and functional gameplay components.

I don't reject the idea of more complex ship mechanics, but I would like to make sure it is tempered properly and is conductive to the player's experience, rather than ending up being a very frustrating ordeal. Like in the preview image they shared, we get a nice view of a lot of ships (model sizes do need work as mentioned). But are any of them damaged with these special damage types? I honestly hope not, because it is impossible to tell from looking at the image. And when a ship like a carrier could be so crippled as to no longer properly function as an aircraft carrier... that's going to be really important information to communicate to a player because the massive effect something like that will have on a player's decision making processes.

To demonstrate, I would call this the 'minimum' communication/quality of life level required to properly support this planned feature of special ship damage.

When a ship suffers special damage, something that clearly cannot be displayed in, or communicated through, a raw Hit Point number, there needs to be a graphical UI element that demonstrates this to the player in no uncertain terms. As I stated above, I think this could be cool if it was more graphical rather than some kind of arbitrary UI-looking button/icon.

Image

If I asked anyone to look at the above image, and tell me which two ships of all the ones present have special system damage, I would hope people would be able to easily point out the two ships with black smoke coming out of them. When I steal a glance at this image, it certainly pops out to me, but it also does so in what I would call an unobtrusive manner. I would define something intrusive as... surrounding each ship with multiple icons each tracking a certain system for the respective ship. Could you imagine what it would look like if every ship had an engine, main gun, aa gun, radar, and so on icon displayed around it? Calling that obtrusive is putting it nicely. :P

This graphic clearly demonstrates there is 'something' wrong with these 2 ships that have billowing smoke coming out of them. But because it's just a cool looking smoke graphic, it's also a very vague and doesn't actually say what is specifically wrong with the ship. For that, you will need to look at the ship more closely, such as a Panzer Corps style expanded unit information panel, which now shows exactly what is wrong with this specific ship in a very clear way through UI elements.

Image

I think this level of information and communication the game is sending to the player makes potentially complex systems far less intimidating and worrisome. :mrgreen:

As an extra, perhaps mousing over each of these systems displayed a tooltip that further explains the effect these systems have. Moving your cursor over 'AA guns' creates a tooltip that says: "Damaged AA turret – reduced air attack."
Last edited by Kerensky on Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:55 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by Kerensky » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:40 pm

ptje63 wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:44 am
Supporting this question: repairing a badly "wounded" ship of any sort could take longer than a scenario may last...
I agree with this concern, but I would put forth it is the responsibility of the individual scenario and content creators (hi) to properly design scenarios that take the mechanics of ship warfare into consideration when planning and mapping out such things as time limit, distance ships need to travel, expectation of ships needing X turns of downtime to repair, distance and availability of ports to repair at, and so on.

If a content creator understands the principles clearly, it shouldn't be an insurmountable problem to design scenarios accordingly. It's when you ignore them and just plop ships down because history says they belong off the coast of such-and-such location that the game breaks down.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by proline » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:16 pm

Kerensky wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:40 pm
ptje63 wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:44 am
Supporting this question: repairing a badly "wounded" ship of any sort could take longer than a scenario may last...
I agree with this concern, but I would put forth it is the responsibility of the individual scenario and content creators (hi) to properly design scenarios that take the mechanics of ship warfare into consideration when planning and mapping out such things as time limit, distance ships need to travel, expectation of ships needing X turns of downtime to repair, distance and availability of ports to repair at, and so on.

If a content creator understands the principles clearly, it shouldn't be an insurmountable problem to design scenarios accordingly. It's when you ignore them and just plop ships down because history says they belong off the coast of such-and-such location that the game breaks down.
I think most would agree that repair adds strategic depth to PzC and it provides strategic tension between different options- when to withdraw damaged units from a fights to save them, whether to spend money on repairs, when to sacrifice units, etc. Going too far down the "historical" rabbit hole would mean that there would no port repairs of damaged naval assets because historically such repairs took longer than any one battle. It would also mean sea repairs would have limited, though occasionally important, effects. Making both port and sea repairs viable strategies necessarily means taking a step back from "historical" and that's ok.

In PzC, port repairs of capital ships are so slow that they are almost never a factor. If your capital ship is damaged to strength 3 it's always better to use it until it dies and then buy a bomber to finish enemy ships rather than spend 2 turns getting it to port, 7 repairing it, and 5 more getting it back to the action which has since moved on. Waiting 10+ turns to use an ability doesn't play well. So I'm basically routing for naval repair (port repairs at least) to get less historical rather than more.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by proline » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:20 pm

AlbertoC wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:51 pm
Damage model

All ships are single entities, and their strength number indicates hit points. Reduced hit points do not automatically reduce the ship’s firepower. Larger ships, like battleships and heavy cruisers, have more hit points to reflect their higher survivability. All damage done to ships falls in two categories: “kills” and “wounds”. “Wounds” can be repaired in open sea, while “kills” can only be repaired in ports. One “wound” per turn is healed automatically. Unspent move and attack actions are used to heal additional “wounds”.
How, if at all, is the mechanic of ships being boarded vs. scuttled being handled? Scuttling in shallow water could, for example, create an asset that can be captured. While not many capital ships were boarded in WW2, it was a viable mechanic against transport ships.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by adiekmann » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:14 am

Narwhal wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:29 pm
I actually prefer OoB over Panzer Corps 1 for exactly this reason : Naval Battles are actually interesting and unique (while ground battle - while different - have the same level of fun), so to each his own :).
I would not call either game strategic though. They are tactical or operational at best.
When I think of tactical games, I think more in terms of games like Company of Heroes. But that's okay, it isn't important.

I may have come across too negative, but I do like many of the differences in Order of Battle and those expressed in this post for PC2. I just wanted to caution the developers to make sure they work well.

A few of them drive me nuts however. Like the orientation of the ships and the difference in damage they inflict based on that distance. I'm sorry, but the scale (in terms of hex distance between units) of a game like PC just doesn't warrant this kind of rule, and quite frankly not in OoB either. It crosses the line of more annoying than fun. Takes away more than adds. Plus it just doesn't make sense unless the range of ships and the number of hexes are greatly increased proportionally in scale. Also, the shallow/deep water effects to different types of ships. Again, for similar scale reasons stated above. But again I keep an open mind. There may be things I don't know. Hell, I'm sure there are. For example, perhaps in naval heavy scenarios the scale/size of the maps will be greatly increased to make these changes more workable than I am currently imagining.

Those really are my only grips, based largely on OoB. I actually like all of the multitude of other changes that were announced.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by adiekmann » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:23 am

PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:17 pm
Regarding automatically returning planes, I had read this in previous dev diaries already, what if the map is bigger and you want to transfer planes from one area to another or you want to fly a long-distance attack (which might require more than one turn, possible given the range of some planes): could you then switch off the auto-return-function to airfields and carriers?
This is a very interesting and important question that I hadn't thought of before. Clearly there must be a way to transfer air units to another base? I hope we get some clarification on this point.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by Kerensky » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:28 am

proline wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:16 pm
I think most would agree that repair adds strategic depth to PzC and it provides strategic tension between different options- when to withdraw damaged units from a fights to save them, whether to spend money on repairs, when to sacrifice units, etc. Going too far down the "historical" rabbit hole would mean that there would no port repairs of damaged naval assets because historically such repairs took longer than any one battle. It would also mean sea repairs would have limited, though occasionally important, effects. Making both port and sea repairs viable strategies necessarily means taking a step back from "historical" and that's ok.

In PzC, port repairs of capital ships are so slow that they are almost never a factor. If your capital ship is damaged to strength 3 it's always better to use it until it dies and then buy a bomber to finish enemy ships rather than spend 2 turns getting it to port, 7 repairing it, and 5 more getting it back to the action which has since moved on. Waiting 10+ turns to use an ability doesn't play well. So I'm basically routing for naval repair (port repairs at least) to get less historical rather than more.
I think they took this into consideration, and not necessarily at the cost of historical accuracy either.
Damage model

All ships are single entities, and their strength number indicates hit points. Reduced hit points do not automatically reduce the ship’s firepower. Larger ships, like battleships and heavy cruisers, have more hit points to reflect their higher survivability. All damage done to ships falls in two categories: “kills” and “wounds”. “Wounds” can be repaired in open sea, while “kills” can only be repaired in ports. One “wound” per turn is healed automatically. Unspent move and attack actions are used to heal additional “wounds”.
There is some decision making here without sailing back to port. Move and act less aggressively, spend more time healing. Or perhaps better terminology to use would be spending less crew activity on offensive action and more efforts being redirected into damage control efforts. I'm pretty sure there's a story out there about an Allied carrier being struck by Japanese bombs and being out of action only temporarily.
Although the damage caused by the kamikaze attack was serious, she was able to make temporary repairs and remain on the front lines.
https://ww2db.com/ship_spec.php?ship_id=A309

So damage control operations is totally inline with historical accuracy. I mean just ask IJN Taiho how not engaging in proper damage control operations turned out. :wink:

Perhaps this could be a nice future to expand ship experience levels with. Higher experience level ships are better at executing repairs at sea. No experience ships cannot ever fix damaged subsystems and must return to port or repair between scenarios. 3 star experience means you can fix damaged systems after 2 turns. 5 star experience ships repair damaged systems in 1 turn. I don't expect something like this for 1.0, which I can almost guarantee won't have ships as part of the player CORE, but it lays the groundwork for the future if there ever is a campaign where ships are part of the player CORE.

Perhaps to more directly respond to your suggestion. I don't think it's a bad idea for port repairs to be massively accelerated because as you said, by history a ship in repair lasts far longer than the timeline of any given scenario. What if this slow process of repairs only affected the slow repair over time effects of ships at sea, to emulate damage control operations and efforts. But if you drag a ship all the way to port, it can fully repair everything with a single extra turn.

So move to port, however many turns that takes.
Spend next full turn to repair ship to 100%, just like standard Panzer General one turn of reinforcing without enemies nearby fully restores the unit.
And then following turn ready to go back out to sea and fight.

That sounds like a good pace of play to me. Definitely a good moderate solution against the two extremes of fully repairing ships at sea in a single turn which is outrageously fast (even if its how ground units work) against the other extreme, which as you pointed out could easily be 10+ turns of inactivity.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by airbornemongo101 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:13 am

Keep up the great work Kerensky

I'm really looking forward to this release, and agree with your suppositions

BTW, are you getting in any BattleTech (PC) game time in doing all of this hard work?
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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by proline » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:31 am

adiekmann wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:14 am
A few of them drive me nuts however. Like the orientation of the ships and the difference in damage they inflict based on that distance.
Yeah, I don't see this particular mechanic adding to either the historical nature of the game nor the tactics. The problem is that capital ships have movement that is roughly the same as their range. On a hexagonal grid in a turn based game this makes historical (and interesting) tactics impossible.

E.g. Battle of the Denmark Straight- the Bismarck was able to travel parallel to the Hood so that the Hood was kept at a great distance maximizing the benefits of the Bismarck's bigger guns. The Hood had two bad options- continue parallel such that all the Hood's guns and all the Bismarck's guns could fire at each other from long range, or try to close the gap faster by pointing straight at the Bismarck which could then still use all its guns while the Hood would only be able to use some of them. Very interesting.

Nothing that interesting will happen in PzC 2. An attempt at that would look like this- the Bismarck and Hood start off separated and oriented parallel. The Bismarck takes a shot at the Hood's side. Then the Bismarck has three options- first, move closer to the Hood in which case the following turn the Hood will be able to choose any range or orientation it wants, getting a favorable result. Second, move straight (the historical course). But then on the Hood's turn it can move to the point behind the Bismarck but perpendicular to Bismarck, allowing the Hood to fire with all guns on the Bismarck's ass turrets presumably getting a favorable result. Third, Bismarck can move straight away from Hood, at which point Hood pursues and fires with the two ships pointed the same way and the Hood's forward turrets getting a decent shot at the Bismarck rear turrets for a relatively even exchange. In none of the three scenarios is the Bismarck able to maintain its historical favorable firing orientation for more than half a turn.

Basically in a turn based hex game it seems to me that you can't really control orientation much at all. Furthermore, controlling range is limited to keeping your distance and even that involves firing and moving away which would allow the enemy the option to turn around and disengage entirely. The reason the tactics worked historically is because the distance travelled between shots was much less than the range of the shots. PzC likely won't be like that.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by Kerensky » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:35 am

airbornemongo101 wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:13 am
Keep up the great work Kerensky

I'm really looking forward to this release, and agree with your suppositions

BTW, are you getting in any BattleTech (PC) game time in doing all of this hard work?
Thanks! But I'm afraid I can't take any credit for Panzer Corps 2 at this point. I'm just giving my feedback as I see it to maybe help some of their interesting ideas to be even better ones once it gets in the hands of the players. :!:

As for BattleTech, as someone who personally sunk money into one of the highest tiers of their kickstarter... it started out really promising, but it's really not panned out well lately, as evidenced by the reception of the first piece of their 'season pass' which was both underwhelming and overpriced. Like it's kind of incredible to have spent so much on their kickstarter, but I still haven't picked up their season pass. I just don't want to support what they're doing with it. Pretty ironic for someone calling themself 'Kerensky' lol :roll:

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by airbornemongo101 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:18 pm

I didn't know about the Kickstarter (or even what Kickstarter was ) until BT came out

I'm not doing the season pass either, I'll buy the stuff when it comes out, maybe a little in advance, but not that far out

Well, I'll stop this now before we get yelled at for being off-topic

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by ptje63 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:24 pm

Repairing a wounded capital ship takes way more expenses, manpower and materials than in case of other units. Hoe would this be calculated in comparison? What amount of prestige would this take?
Also: what I always thought strange in PC1 is that sinking a ship gives low experience points for a bomber when compared to damaging/destroying other units.
Please remove the silly possibility of an infantry unit of damaging a capital ship.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by proline » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:26 am

ptje63 wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:24 pm
Please remove the silly possibility of an infantry unit of damaging a capital ship.
It always amazes me how often the "I want it realistic" crowd actually doesn't know what is realistic. Often it comes down to a lack of imagination- picturing an infantry unit as a couple boys with rifles instead of a large mix of different specialists with different equipment and plenty of ingenuity. Infantry do damage capital ships in the real world. The USS Cole bombing was carried out by a much less sophisticated unit than a WW2 infantry unit. There were also plenty of successful midget sub attacks in WW2. And you could read about the capture of the dutch fleet at Den Helder in which a cavalry charge captured 14 ships (it's possible to stand on water depending on the conditions, again that's where lack of imagination comes in). Various ships have also become vulnerable to infantry by running aground as well.

So yeah, a very slight chance of infantry doing 1 point of damage to a capital ship that is very close to shore isn't even close to being silly.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by jeffoot77 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:47 am

no , it is silly to damage a big ship with just an anfantery unit except in a harbor

the uss cole was attacked in a harbor so it doesn' t count and the capture of the dutch fleet at Den Helder was in 1798 with just some cannons to defend it!
In ww2, it was just impossible for a regular infantery to make damage to a big capital battle ship, don't be ridiculous. he was not talking of e-boat or small ships but CAPITAL ships .

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by ptje63 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:45 pm

proline wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:26 am
ptje63 wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:24 pm
Please remove the silly possibility of an infantry unit of damaging a capital ship.
It always amazes me how often the "I want it realistic" crowd actually doesn't know what is realistic. Often it comes down to a lack of imagination- picturing an infantry unit as a couple boys with rifles instead of a large mix of different specialists with different equipment and plenty of ingenuity. Infantry do damage capital ships in the real world. The USS Cole bombing was carried out by a much less sophisticated unit than a WW2 infantry unit. There were also plenty of successful midget sub attacks in WW2. And you could read about the capture of the dutch fleet at Den Helder in which a cavalry charge captured 14 ships (it's possible to stand on water depending on the conditions, again that's where lack of imagination comes in). Various ships have also become vulnerable to infantry by running aground as well.

So yeah, a very slight chance of infantry doing 1 point of damage to a capital ship that is very close to shore isn't even close to being silly.
I dont remember ever joining the "I want it realistic" crowd and I dont think my remark can be put aside with your arguments. I am well aware of what an infantry unit consists of but still consider it unrealistic. Want to use panzerschrecks to sink USS Lexington? Throw handgrenades to damage the Tirpitz?
For that matter: a large part of this forum consists of arguments pro and con regarding realistic parameters for all units that take part in PC.
In the closing turns of the Suez Canal scenario a British carrier Lies remains lying idle next to a shore hex. I used an infantry unit to damage it for 1 point each turn gaining experience. Silly but I took the chance.
Bismarck lying in harbor for repairs can certainly be scuttled by a small demolition party, yes. But that was not my argument.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by ptje63 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:49 pm

proline wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:26 am
ptje63 wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:24 pm
Please remove the silly possibility of an infantry unit of damaging a capital ship.
And you could read about the capture of the dutch fleet at Den Helder in which a cavalry charge captured 14 ships (it's possible to stand on water depending on the conditions, again that's where lack of imagination comes in).
I'm Dutch.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by ptje63 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:28 pm

proline wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:26 am
ptje63 wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:24 pm
Please remove the silly possibility of an infantry unit of damaging a capital ship.
It always amazes me how often the "I want it realistic" crowd actually doesn't know what is realistic. Often it comes down to a lack of imagination- picturing an infantry unit as a couple boys with rifles instead of a large mix of different specialists with different equipment and plenty of ingenuity. Infantry do damage capital ships in the real world. The USS Cole bombing was carried out by a much less sophisticated unit than a WW2 infantry unit. There were also plenty of successful midget sub attacks in WW2. And you could read about the capture of the dutch fleet at Den Helder in which a cavalry charge captured 14 ships (it's possible to stand on water depending on the conditions, again that's where lack of imagination comes in). Various ships have also become vulnerable to infantry by running aground as well.

So yeah, a very slight chance of infantry doing 1 point of damage to a capital ship that is very close to shore isn't even close to being silly.
I re-read your comments and dont appreciate your (double) personal "lack of imagination" remarks. I would suggest you rephrase your comments.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by proline » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:09 am

ptje63 wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:45 pm
In the closing turns of the Suez Canal scenario a British carrier Lies remains lying idle next to a shore hex. I used an infantry unit to damage it for 1 point each turn gaining experience. Silly but I took the chance.
Aircraft carriers were, historically, exceedingly fragile units because they literally have dozens of tanks of gasoline on top of them in fuel tanks that are designed to be lightweight at the cost of some robustness. In 1967, the USS Forrestal was crippled with the deaths of over 100 men due to a single rocket that didn't even explode. So yeah, if a carrier comes right next to shore it's entirely possible that a large infantry formation could find a way to blow it up entirely, let alone do 1 point of damage.
ptje63 wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:28 pm
I re-read your comments and dont appreciate your (double) personal "lack of imagination" remarks. I would suggest you rephrase your comments.
I stand by my comments. People who complain about realism almost always choose to imagine ground units as simply a few of whatever the unit icon is. They think of a Panzer unit as a handful of Panzers, nothing else, or infantry as just a platoon of GIs, or artillery as just a gun. Then they whine and cry that somehow infantry can do a point of damage to aircraft now and then. In reality the game just isn't like that and never has been going right back to Panzer General in the mid 1990s.

This is a more strategic level game than that. Ground units are predominantly what their icon shows, but they do contain at least a token amount of the necessary support units. So an infantry unit does indeed have a couple AA guns, some AT equipment, a couple pieces of artillery, etc. so it's not just riflemen. Also some trucks and supplies. Similarly, tank units have a few infantry to protect them, a bit of AA, supply and repair vehicles, a token amount of recon, etc.

If you don't imagine it that way you will forever be frustrated and making annoying statements like "home come fighters can damage tanks, that's so not historical?" or "why don't tanks have a vision of 1- you can barely see in a tank!" while asking for changes that would clearly make the game less fun. For example, if artillery units are really just the guns with absolutely no infantry or AT to protect them, then they should die in one shot to any ground unit that gets near them. Clearly that wouldn't make the game better. If an Elefant is just the Elefant, which had no secondary weaponry, then it should have zero effect on infantry and they should be able to just walk up to it and toss a grenade inside thereby one-shotting a very expensive unit. In the actual game, and Elefant has some infantry protection, and that enemy infantry unit does have some supply trucks the elefant can shoot at.

So yeah, you are imagining the game wrong. If you don't like that term call it something else, but I mean "wrong" in the sense that it reduces your understanding and enjoyment of the game for no benefit to you.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by ptje63 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:41 am

There is no need to stress the point that my request seems rediculous to you.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by proline » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:47 pm

ptje63 wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:41 am
There is no need to stress the point that my request seems rediculous to you.
Where did I say it was ridiculous? Let's stick to what I actually said. It's a very common mistake to think that units in PG / PzC / PzC2 represent a single instance of said thing the way a zergling unit in Starcraft is one zergling or a marine is one marine. The problem is strategy games made like that don't work, because for them to be "realistic" you'd have to spend all your time moving around individual infantry men and supply trucks. Even in Starcraft that realism leads to unrealistic scenarios such as a handful of marines killing a battlecruiser.

What I did say is the solution to the above problem is not to make changes to the game that make it less fun but more "realistic" and instead use your imagination a bit. Because let's face it- the more units that are invulnerable to other units and the more units that can one-shot other units the less fun the game gets. And the realism advice usually boils down to one of those two- make naval invulnerable to ground, make tanks invulnerable to air, etc.

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