The Longest Journey Begins with a Single Step
With the upcoming release of AO 1945 East, the total scenario count for the Axis Operations Campaign will stands at an incredible 142 scenarios. As I look back on that number and reflect on all the time spent over the years, I just want to thank all of our players for making this possible through to your continued support for the Panzer Corps series. Like Panzer Corps before, Panzer Corps 2 truly has a Grand Campaign worthy of such a name!
Back when we first starting discussing the plan for the Axis Operations, there were two tenants we swore to adhere to.
1. Panzer Corps 2’s Grand Campaign could not just be a copy or remake of the original Panzer Corps Grand Campaign. So while it was still a priority to not omit key battles of the Eastern Front such as Kursk, Axis Operations had to forge its own path; not just be a retread.
2. Panzer Corps 2’s Grand Campaign had to be even bigger and more advanced.
Even discussing the name of the series was put to debate. We couldn’t just call it ‘Grand Campaign’, the name needed to invoke a sense of being new and different, despite being a German orientated World War II campaign. We almost called it ‘European Operations’ a homage to one of the strategy games I played in my youth: Operation Europe on the Super Nintendo.
Those tenants influenced many decisions throughout the Axis Operations... It’s why we started in 1936 Spain, despite the many challenges the Spanish Civil War presented. Needing so many new units right after release was a big deal, setting the first DLC in a relatively unknown and less popular era instead of the usual WWII game cliché of going straight to Normandy or Stalingrad, the controversial decision to have only limited control of your Spanish allies through giving orders to an AI partner to represent the cooperation, not total authority, Germans had with the Spanish Nationalists...
The choice to begin 1939 not in Poland, but with that special Czechoslovakia and French Saar Offensive... the decision to have a series of Sea Lion scenarios, only to have them end in a German withdrawal.
As we near the end of that journey, I hope we have fulfilled these key promises for our players, and ourselves. But as a great villain once said: “The hardest choices require the strongest wills” and all of these difficult decisions and non-standard content has finally led us to this ongoing Alternate History path, as it was always planned to:
The Axis Operations Alternate History Campaign
Now we not only have a campaign that stands on its own apart from the original Panzer Corps Grand Campaign, which funnily enough exists as a popular Workshop item thanks to the hard effort of players who have ported that campaign into Panzer Corps 2, but we have the largest and most comprehensive Alternate History Campaign of its kind in any Panzer General type game!
Having to write an alternate history that extended beyond a simple hop from one Allied capital to another, or existed as just some bonus scenarios, has been immensely challenging, but has absolutely been worth it.
A ton of consideration and research was poured into not just might be the immediate result of victory, but also the long term rippling effects. Additionally, we had to map out what the Allied response to these Germans victories would be, thus creating not just new German offensives, but new Allied ones as well!
Ultimately, it’s allowed the Axis Operations to have something really unique to offer compared to the bountiful sea of other WW II games out there. And for 1945, there is certainly no shortage of surprises awaiting our players.
There’s going to be some enormous battles:
More Elite Objectives for deeply imported COREs to challenge themselves against:
Some very special appearances from multiple characters of the Axis Operations all interacting together:
We’ve even got a small appearance from the last warships of the Kriegsmarine:
We really can’t wait to share this latest Panzer Corps 2 Axis Operation campaign with you! But before we wrap up this Dev Diary, we have just a couple more items to go over...
New Unit Models
As has been tradition with the new Axis Operations DLC series, we once again have a few new units to showcase. This time around, the focus has absolutely been on some heavy duty panzers!
Panzer VII Lowe, Heavy Tank
Intended as a direct upgrade over the Panzer VI King Tiger, the Lion promised equivalent armor, a larger high velocity 10.5cm main gun, and most importantly, much improved reliability. Though the King Tiger and Lion would have had similar movement speeds, the in game stats for the Lion give it a 5 movement speed over the King Tiger’s 4 movement to represent this better vehicle reliability.
Unfortunately for the Lion, it would never enter production as heavy tank planning was dominated by the massive Panzer VIII Maus and more streamlined, general tank production was taking shape in the E Series. Therefore, the only way to access this new tank is as a limited availability Prototype or as a reward for completing various bonus objectives in the Axis Operation 1944 and 1945 campaigns.
Panther II, Medium Tank
Fake tank design or not, who could resist up gunning the legendary Panther Chassis with an 8.8cm main cannon? The Jagdpanther certainly turned out amazing!
Where the Panther G gives an excellent performance against any Allied medium tank such as the T-34-85, the Panther II has enough upgrades to continue to carry the tradition of Panther tank speed while being able to take on very late war Soviet tanks, such as the IS-2 or T-44.
Grille 17, Self Propelled Artillery
What happens when you mount a 17cm artillery gun on a Tiger chassis? You get a Grille 17!
Characterized by high defense values and its 4 range artillery gun, the Grille 17 is the ultimate heavy self propelled artillery weapon. Just watch out for that logistical footprint, the Grille 17 weighs in at a whopping 7 slots to field, the highest slot cost of any artillery unit!
Heuschrecke, Artillery Tank
Designed to replace a whole slew of German Assault Guns with a single design, the Heuschrecke featured a low velocity 10.5cm main gun mounted on a Panzer VI chassis. This vehicle would have also replaced vehicles such as the Wespe and Hummel as a self propelled artillery piece.
To represent the versatility of this design in Panzer Corps 2, the Heuschrecke is purchasable as an artillery unit, but it has the ability to switch into a tank class!
Black Prince, Heavy Tank
With the alternate history campaign extending beyond May of 1945, more Allied tank designs were needed to continue to challenge some of the fantastical German panzers available in Panzer Corps 2.
Coupling the thick armor protection of the infamous Churchill tank with the power of a long barrel 17 pounder main cannon just might give pause to even the latest German panzers.
Centurion I and II, Main Battle Tank
A post war design, the British Centurion Tank ended up proving itself to be a very effective design serving for decades, but we won’t seen the full production line of the 10 iterations of this tank so close to World War II. The Centurion I and Centurion II will make their appearances late in the alternate history path of Axis Operations 1945 campaign, rushed into service to defend the Crown Jewel of the British Empire from German and Japanese depredations!
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 playerbase, and we encourage you to continue to share your thoughts and wants for the game into the future!
One rather large change we had to make was a scenario renaming. It was reported that one of the chosen names for the Alternate History Campaign didn’t invoke the right meaning. The old name was supposed invoke reference to the WW I German victory on the Eastern Front, but focused on that, we missed the other, more obscure and not military related WW II era Operation Tannenburg.
As a result, the old Operation Tannenburg has been replaced with a new Operation Barca. I noticed there was precedent for German operation names to invoke the Punic War, so this seemed like an acceptable compromise.
We hope you enjoyed this advance look into some of the content that the alternate history 1945 campaign has on offer.
The dual campaigns of Axis Operations 1945 will be releasing together on June 22nd, so mark your calendars!