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Panzer Corps 2 - Axis Operations 1943 - Dev Diary 1

Published on April 20, 2022

Panzer Corps 2 - Axis Operations 1943 - Dev Diary 1


Opening Statement

Greetings, Panzer Generals! Before we begin with this Developer Diary, we thought it to be important to address the elephant in the room. No, not this Elephant with its 8.8cm gun...

But rather, the time gap since the last Axis Operations installment. The first five chapters in the series came out in pretty rapid succession, but then there was many months passing after the 1942 campaign released.

For that, all we can give you is our apologies. But let us assure you now, it was time well spent recuperating, planning, and continuing work on the awesome game that is Panzer Corps 2.

One of the biggest time eaters has been needed to plan, and execute, the concept of a split timeline. There's a lot of groundbreakings to take content that is usually added as a fun bonus with no reasonable connections or lingering effects, and instead integrating that in a Grand Campaign that is ongoing.

Ultimately though, this could mean even more than just a split timeline. Specifically, one of the concepts we've put a lot of thought into the classical late war problem of 'why am I losing the war if I keep winning every battle?'. In theory, we can potentially explore that winning potential, and completely recontextualize the nature of what 'winning' the late war German historical campaign means.

What if, for example, there were scenarios you couldn't lose in 1944, but instead your task during each scenario was accomplished as much as you can inside of it. Did you just survive the scenario, or did you 'win' it? Victory might only get you as far as a historical outcome, where anything less spells eventual doom.

The bottom line though, we are at a point where we want the Axis Operations Grand Campaign to be much, much more than just a machine stamping out scenarios, and a lot of extra time and energy was needed to conceptualize just how we could continue to innovate, before we could begin to produce the content. Which leads us to...


The effect on Axis Operations 1943 East

With that extra-long gap of time between 1942 and the upcoming 1943 campaign, we've had a real opportunity to take 1943 to the next level, and we want to shine a spotlight on several of the campaign highlights here today.

In this sixth chapter of the Axis Operation Grand Campaign, we're going to take a look at some of the surprises in the Axis Operation Kursk battles, returning customization options, a lot more historical goodies, and a very special ending that players have been asking us to get in the game for a long time now.


Kursk in the Axis Operations

Now we're all certainly familiar with that historical tagline for Kursk of the 'Largest Tank Battle in History'. And with our game literally having 'Panzer' as part of its title, we definitely have that aspect of the battle in play.

There's going to be lots of action for your brand-new Panthers, Tigers, and other German armor to engage in.

But more than that, we wanted to take advantage of Panzer Corps 2's unique game systems to make the various scenarios that explore the Battle of Kursk to be a lot more than just tanks clashing against each other.

Some of these battle maps are so dense, that internal testing shows progress of the player's army slowed down to a rate of advancing just 1 hex per turn! The historical Soviet defenses of Kursk have been brought to life in the Axis Operations 1943 campaign, as layers of minefields, supporting anti-tank weapons, hardened strongpoints, and Soviet air support will fight their hardest to stop your German spearheads from penetrating into the Kursk Salient!

Most dangerously, the Soviet forces have learned from the past years of conflict and the power of German air support, and now there are many squadrons of Soviet aircraft who have the very specific mission and ability to provide support fire... against ground attacks!


A returning feature

As you can see in the above image, something we've finally been able to return to the Axis Operations that players enjoyed in the Vanilla Campaign is the ability to turn off the turn limit for this campaign.

We have structured as many scenarios as possible to allow for the disabling of the turn limit, if the player so desires. We haven't quite got every single scenario to play without a turn limit, many defensive objectives require the timer to govern their conclusion, but as much as possible for this, and future DLC, we will strive to once again allow players to disable the scenario turn limits.


More History than any past DLC

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the extra time we've had with 1943, is we have had a lot more time to weave more history into the content. There is, without a doubt, more text in briefings, debriefings, and scenario messages than any DLC we have produced so far.

Extra special attention has been given to the mannerisms and speech patterns of the historical figures you will encounter in this campaign. For example, many of Erich von Manstein's appearances now directly reflect his true thoughts on the conflicts on the Eastern Front he participated in. This is thanks to us having the time to fully read and absorb some of his extensive writings on the war, to use as reference and to inject authenticity to his character.


Also, less History than any past DLC (but more history)

The other thing we have had extra time to really explore is, at long last, the ability for the players actions to actually influence not just their tactical victories, but potentially alter the course of the full war on the Eastern Front!

Be warned, consider everything you read from here on a MAJOR SPOILER!!!

In the past, even in the original Grand Campaign, we've never really been able to explore a proper historical outcome. This has always resulted in extremely truncated bits of content, more like just a bonus mission. You finish off Germany as the Allied Powers, and you get a single bonus scenario to explore Operation Unthinkable. You capture Moscow, and teleport to the East Coast of the United States. Or you manage a miraculous victory at the Battle of the Bulge, and go on to a truly fanciful series of events that leads you to Sealion 45. Fun stuff, but complete flights of fancy that act more like bonus material than a fleshed out and highly detailed campaign.

In Axis Operations 1943 though, we are able to present a major split in the timeline. We did extensive research on the idea of 'what would Germany do next after a victory at Kursk?' And we found that the answer was not 'go on to take Moscow and end the war with Soviet Russia'. After all, before the Battle of Kursk, who had even heard of Kursk? Even in planning for Operation Citadel, German leaders realized how ridiculous the amount of effort and resources being prepared to take basically nowhere that no one had previously even heard of.

What that means is the historical branch of the Panzer Corps 2 Axis Operations campaign is taking shape like no campaign before it has. We've planned and research a wealth of information to offer our take on what German victory at Kursk could result in both short and long term.

Suffice to say, the fighting on the Eastern Front is not going to magically stop, but whole new campaigns are going to be fought as your victories erase events such as the German retreat from the Dneiper River, and are replaced by new frontlines that Allied and Axis leadership will have to consider and plan for...

Your Feedback

As always, we are reading and listening to your feedback. Many thousands of posts and messages have greatly improved Panzer Corps 2 for its entire player base, and we encourage you to continue to share your thoughts and wants for the game in the future!

We especially encourage anyone who would like to participate in the DLC BETA testing to do so.


We hope you enjoyed this first glimpse into the upcoming 1943 Axis Operations DLC campaign, and stay tuned for at least one more of these Dev Diaries to come where we will explore some of the new units, briefing images, and true historical content being added to this latest DLC campaign.

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