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Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

Interested in playing a Multiplayer game? Here is the list of what goons own and how good they are. Add yourself, and just ask, we're mostly a friendly lot!



The enemy are on you, you spend and hour moving the reserves up to the front, another hour setting up the supply lines, and you've lost track of the time you've spent looking for a chink in their lines. The war is hotting up.
Then your significant other walks into the room. “honey? Is your computer broken again? The screen is covered in lines. Also, why do we have a large withdrawals on this bank statement? ”

Welcome to the world of Grognard games.

What is a Grognard game?

This is a hard question. Basically its any game that promotes depth and historical accuracy over graphics – None of the Total War games need apply.
These are games that take hours to play, and months or years to master. But they provide a much deeper experience than most games.

Graphics and UI

Lets get this straight – most of these games look like they we made twenty years ago – polygons are none existent. And for some reason, the designers never seem to be able to put together a user interface that takes less than ten clicks to do anything, or has about fifty buttons on it.

Price

Lets get another thing in the open – most Grog game companies seem to hate money – they have decided that they are a niche market, and need to price their games like each one is made of sold gold.
They've been told many a time that lower prices = higher volume and more profits, but nope, they don't listen.

What's in it for me then?

Simply put, these games are, once you get past the learning overhang, fantastic – they offer choices and depth that no other game can match. The feeling of breaking that enemy line, outwitting your opponent and winning.


Where to start?

First of all, pick a period that interests you, then take a look at the options. Here are a selection of games and games companies.

Lets start with one of the pretty ones shall we?


Combat Mission

This long running series of games is a WEGO/real time strategy series that mainly covers WWII, the older titles are showing their age!



But the CM2 engine ones look fairly good and even have a modern era game for those of us who want to play with M1 Abrams.




Matrix games

Matrix games is really your first stop when looking for strategy games, as they are the biggest publisher on the block at the moment, and they have everything from hexed based games to the updated games of the close combat series - you should be able to find something for your tastes here. Listing their games would make for a wall of text, so visit their site and have a look.

War in the Pacific

Of these, War In the Pacific is their big seller, and my personal favourite. It covers the titular war in turns of one to three days. allowing you to use any of the ships or planes in stunning and sometime brain breaking detail.



Interested? Then try my ongoing, Three Year (so far) LP where I try and beat the war in real time. Skip forward a year to find the images, as this is so old, the first ones have been eaten and I don't have the time to go back and replace them!


War in the East



Another game of interest is War in the East – a regimental/division scale game that features a map of Russia at 10km hex scale! This one is a monster, and is the best (IMO) game for recreating the Great Patriotic War. All we need do now is survive the wait until War in the West comes out!

Interested? Try my German LP or uPen's Russian one

Command Ops- Battles from the Bulge

Their other big hitter is the real-time pausable giant Command Ops- Battles from the Bulge – this one has good ai, a Company scale setting and also has a Market Garden expansion.



This also has older versions covering Market Garden and Crete, which may be more to your wallets liking.

Unity of Command

Interested in the Eastern front but no willing to go big? Unity of Command it a great beginners game, simpler and easy to get into, it can be called more of a puzzle game, but then again, that may be what your interested in – its also available on steam and doesn’t cost the earth!




Panzer Corps



This is a classic game given a new engine, again, it could be considered a light game, but its not without its tactical depth. It has numerous expansions, and covers many theaters.


Ygolonac posted:

For cheap bastards (like me), Steel Panthers: World At War (Matrix) and SP: Main Battle Tank and SP: WW2 (original by The Camo Workshop, Windows version by Shrapnel Games) offer free, full versions. Smaller-scale tactical battles, where each unit is a vehicle/squad/fireteam/individual soldier, straight turn-based hex-grid warfare. SPWAW is World War 2, but scenarios and Orders of Battle have been created that extend the playable dates to WWI and Korea. (Might have been stretched even farther, I've not kept up on it.) SPWW2 is, duh, World War 2, and I've not played much with it, but SPMBT I've wasted *months* on - running for the close of WWII all the way to a "projected" view of 2020, the game allows you to discover the answer to the burning questions of the ages, like "If Finland mounted an amphibious landing at Brisbane, who would win?"

Both variants are based on the released code of Steel Panthers 3, and each has its own feature-set. However, either would be good to start with, to see if you (or someone you know) would actually be interested in cardboard-pushing.

Download links:

SPWAW: http://www.matrixgames.com/products...erals%20Edition
(The "v8.20 Full" links are the free version.)

winSPWW2: http://www.shrapnelgames.com/Demos/FV_WW2.html
winSPMBT: http://www.shrapnelgames.com/Demos/FV_MBT.html


HPS Simulations

These guys are the old school, nothing but hexes and detail. again a list would be to long, so visit their site. I’ve never played any of these, so this will be brief.
Their main products include the Squad battle series - covering large number of wars including the Vietnam war - a often overlooked war for gaming.
They also cover the large scale operations for most periods. here is their Kursk 43 game.

pesty13480 posted:

I enjoyed Defending the Reich, also from the people at HPS. I apologize for the size of the screenshot, but it's pretty representative of what you'll find in the title. And by representative, I mean, pretty much one of two screens you have hope of seeing. The whole point of the game is to, depending on the nation, annihilate German cities as the head of Bomber Command or, conversely, try to stop Germany from getting quite so annihilated as it could be. It's a simpler version of Grigsby's Eagle Day to Bombing the Reich, and it's conceit is that you're running the "nightfighter" war. I think it's a good entry level game given that things are fairly simplified and you can run through turns with alacrity.

The downside is that there's not all that much variety. If you're playing as Bomber Command, you're setting up a series of sorties, scouting missions, spoof missions, and rotating crews to preserve morale and experience. After that, you pretty much hit the end of turn button and pray that you end up knocking out enough acreage to stay on par with historical levels.

As the Germans, you assign upgrades and replacements where you can, and try to keep as many of your planes and veterans as operational as possible. The catch is that you really don't have anywhere near enough resources to do what you need to do, so you're just playing catchup. Also, you're going to lose, no matter what you do, so it's basically a game of trying to minimize damage done to you. It's pretty depressing actually.

The game takes into account weather, moon light, fatigue and all that good stuff.

Worth a go I'd say.


Take command/Scourge of war

These games are semi sequels, the second being made by one of the programmers of the first after the company broke up and he used the source code. These real time games allow you to command either side during their set battle and feature a dammed good AI - you can command a whole army by giving your subordinates their orders and letting them pan the attack, or you can take command down to individual regiments and manage the battle one hot spot at a time.

Take Command: Second Manassas is the first game, set in the battle of 2nd Bull run 2nd Manassas. its a few years old now, but available on steam for a decent low price!


Scourge of War
This is the new game, set around the ACW’s most famous battle. as well; as a graphics upgrade, it also features multiplayer! The base game covers Gettysburg, and has two expansions – Pipe Creek and Antitum, and there is a stand along release for Chancellorsville.



interested? Guess who's Lped this one as well! (This thread is rapidly turning into a self promotion thing, but I'm insane, so don't listen to me.

Goon MP Battles!
Some of us formed up and fought a couple of battles, Here are the results.
Battle 1 - Union Generals 1861 Style
Battle 2 - The Battle of the Gully.


Jutland & Distant Guns

these games feature real time naval battles of the ironclad era - either WWI or he Russian - Japanese war. features include - Hundreds of ships, detailed damage models and the worst interface known to man.



Interested? - Me again! There is a reason I'm writing this OP!


Histwar - Les Grognards



Best described as Total War for Grognards - look it even has it in the title! this game by a one man French team looks old but apparently has a great AI. I've not tried it, but it looks interesting.


AGEOD Games

These are a series of games using counters on maps that cover the American Civil War, Prussia, The American Revolution and the Russian Revolution, and has been expanded to Rome with their latest release.

Grey Hunter fucked around with this message at Mar 30, 2014 around 09:50

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Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

OH GOD WHAT DO I DO?

So you've just paid a lot of money for your first game, and now your confused. Well, here are few hints to get you going. These are general, as they need to apply to every game.

1) Try the smaller scenarios. - This may sound like a no brainer, but you'd be amazed how many people try and jump into a 150 turn mega campaign without having a clue on the basics.

2) Check for an LP – if not here, then on the game forums. That will give you an idea of what you should be looking out for, and how the play flows

3) Understand your supply lines. - Almost every grog game has a supply stat, and if you don't understand that, then your doomed. If you don't read all of the 1000 page manual, at least read the bit telling you how to get bullets, fuel and prostitutes to your men.

4) Take it slow. These are complex games, and take a while to click – I've been playing War in the Pacific for three years now, and I'm still learning things.

NATO Symbols.

If you are playing a WWII game, then you probably have noticed that the units have weird lines and circles on them. These are Nato symbols, and are shorthand to allow you to know what your unit is. There are a large number of them, but I'll go over reading these things.

First up, I should show you some.



Scary eh? Well, lets break it down. Ignore the numbers, as they are only for War In the East. The first unit is am SS Motorized division – the two crossed lines denote infantry, as shown on the unit to the right of it, the two dots mean motorized.
The Third on is a circle, which means armoured, HQ means Headquarters, the two circles mean air unit.
But what about the X's above that symbol? Well, that denotes the size of a unit.

[Imgur](http://i.imgur.com/MLqvJ5o)

This is a more complete (but not totally) list of units. The boxed off area shows the small sizes from a section/squad (about 10 men, depending on nationality and period) through platoon, company and all the way up to Brigade. But my examples above have more X's don't they, well, that's simple.

X – Brigade
XX – Division
XXX – Corps
XXXX – Army
XXXXX – Front

Once you have learned NATO, you will quickly be able to piece together what you are seeing – if it helps, print off a NATO sheet and stick it next to your computer, after a while, it will become second nature.

Finally, if you are interested in anything, or have any questions, ask. Every game has its quirks in the simulation, and more experienced players will be able to tell you what your doing wrong.

Above all, give these games a go, they are interesting, and unlike anything else you have ever played.


I really need to talk to someone!

Well, head over to the discord channel - https://discordapp.com/invite/0blIq7586QA4EQhM

Grey Hunter fucked around with this message at May 11, 2016 around 07:24

uPen
Jan 25, 2010

Zu Rodina!

The link to the multiplayer spreadsheet is still broken

e: And that's a really good OP, I've always wanted to try combat mission but the price...

uPen fucked around with this message at Apr 14, 2013 around 05:27

apseudonym
Feb 25, 2011



Yay new thread! I've added myself to the spreadsheet so I can get in on getting my rear end kicked in PBEMs.

To start this thread off with a question, what do you guys recommend for modern era games? Some M1A1 v T80 style action.

E: Steel Beasts? Has anyone played it because that pricetag is terrifying.

apseudonym fucked around with this message at Apr 14, 2013 around 07:02

JDCorley
Jun 28, 2004

Elminster don't surf


Thank you for this...I'm a guy who hasn't played grog-games on a computer at all - I was doing chit-and-hex wargames for a while in the 1980s but eventually discovered that girls were really interesting. Now that I'm married and these types of games can be played on a laptop rather than on two dining room tables pushed together, I'm interested especially in introductory-level grog. Will definitely be reading more.

Reformed Pessimist
Apr 18, 2007


Are there any games of this type that would cover fleet level naval combat from the age of sail? I tried East India Company by Paradox but it didn't really do it for me. It's more of a trade simulator in my opinion with a small bit of naval combat mixed in. It didn't really have the depth I was looking for. I want to make decisions about what sort of shot to load in cannons, what sort of trim sails should have, etc. I want class of ship and the weather to actually matter in a battle.

I'm looking for something where you'd be in command of a fleet of warships and engage in large fleet battles with enemy forces. I wouldn't be terribly interested in a ground combat component unless it was really limited and not a major factor in the game. My main interest is ship to ship combat.

I get the impression that this isn't a super popular genre for these types of games as the only ones I find referenced are over a decade or more old at this point. Still I've always enjoyed this time period and read a lot of naval fiction set in that time period.

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

A note: there's currently an ongoing Decisive Campaigns: From Warsaw to Paris multiplayer group. This is one of the few PBEM games that lets you cram multiple players onto each side and it's great.

I can't speak for the others, but when our current Case Yellow game is over I'm up for playing again but mixing up the scenario variants. We have space for around 3-4 more people if you have/get this game.

Lichtenstein
May 31, 2012

It'll make sense, eventually.


uPen posted:

I've always wanted to try combat mission but the price...

Try the demos! Battlefront tends to update them with new scenario for each module released, so between Shock Force, Battle for Normandy and Fortress Italy you've probably got a few days worth of gameplay

Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

Right, at he end of the last thread we had some interest in WITE Multiplayer games - These are the people who expressed Interest.

Jakse
Me!
Alchenar
uPen

So, I'm still up for a game, so anyone want to play me, I've not really played since the LP, and I don't mind which side I have!

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

Grey Hunter posted:

Right, at he end of the last thread we had some interest in WITE Multiplayer games - These are the people who expressed Interest.

Jakse
Me!
Alchenar
uPen

So, I'm still up for a game, so anyone want to play me, I've not really played since the LP, and I don't mind which side I have!

I am playing Jakse (still haven't sent turn 1, sorry!).

Chump Farts
May 8, 2009

There is no Coordinator but Narduzzi, and Shilique is his Prophet.


Great new OP/thread.


Grey Hunter posted:

Right, at he end of the last thread we had some interest in WITE Multiplayer games - These are the people who expressed Interest.

Jakse
Me!
Alchenar
uPen

So, I'm still up for a game, so anyone want to play me, I've not really played since the LP, and I don't mind which side I have!

I'm still down for doing more of the smaller scenarios if people want, but I think 1 grand campaign is all I could handle on that front for now.

Also yeah, Warsaw to Paris owns and everyone should PBEM it as frequently as possible.

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

Jakse posted:

Also yeah, Warsaw to Paris owns and everyone should PBEM it as frequently as possible.

Advice that could be taken by our current Netherlands player...

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

Alchenar posted:

Advice that could be taken by our current Netherlands player...

I'm still working on the turn!

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

gradenko_2000 posted:

I'm still working on the turn!

You're playing the Netherlands, it's not like there's much for you to do!

Swabbleflange
Apr 18, 2008



The idea of playing these games has always appealed to me, but I've never really taken the plunge. A couple of the Matrix Games titles passed through my hands several years ago, but the presentation on loading fried my brain, or maybe I didn't have the time to dedicate to the learning curve back then. I've made the slightest of inroads by buying Battle of the Bulge on iPad. I'm just really attracted to the notion of getting way deep into one particular game, and basically have that be The Game I Play for a while.

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

Swabbleflange posted:

The idea of playing these games has always appealed to me, but I've never really taken the plunge. A couple of the Matrix Games titles passed through my hands several years ago, but the presentation on loading fried my brain, or maybe I didn't have the time to dedicate to the learning curve back then. I've made the slightest of inroads by buying Battle of the Bulge on iPad. I'm just really attracted to the notion of getting way deep into one particular game, and basically have that be The Game I Play for a while.

Get the Combat Mission demos and play them. If you find yourself playing the demo missions over and over again and seeing what happens/you can do differently then you can take the plunge.

Serpentis
May 31, 2011

Well, if I really HAVE to shoot you in the bollocks to shut you up, then I guess I'll need to, post-haste, for everyone else's sake.


Alchenar posted:

You're playing the Netherlands, it's not like there's much for you to do!

The same could be said of the Belgians at the start, and look how well that's turned out But yes, Warsaw to Paris is great fun once you get the hang of it. Is DC2 (Case Blue, right?) worth getting?

Alikchi
Aug 18, 2010

Thumbs up I agree


Case Blue is good fun. The scenarios are larger, longer and more complicated - you can get more out of them. There are a few other improvements (the card system) as well.

I just don't play it as much because I'm kind of burned out on the eastern front.

ElBrak
Aug 24, 2004

"Muerte, buen compinche. Muerte."

Grey Hunter posted:

Right, at he end of the last thread we had some interest in WITE Multiplayer games - These are the people who expressed Interest.

Jakse
Me!
Alchenar
uPen

So, I'm still up for a game, so anyone want to play me, I've not really played since the LP, and I don't mind which side I have!

I am available for WITE games as well.

uPen
Jan 25, 2010

Zu Rodina!

Grey Hunter posted:

Right, at he end of the last thread we had some interest in WITE Multiplayer games - These are the people who expressed Interest.

Jakse
Me!
Alchenar
uPen

So, I'm still up for a game, so anyone want to play me, I've not really played since the LP, and I don't mind which side I have!

What scenarios are you interested in or are you looking for a grand campaign? I think I could handle anything right now except another GC where I play the Soviets.

Gorilla Radio
May 10, 2007
On behalf of the Serbs, we're very sorry for the Hillary Clinton sniper incident. Next time, we'll aim better.

Are there any other games besides The Operational Art of War and Steel Panthers: Main Battle Tank that cover multiple time periods in one package?

Shimrra Jamaane
Aug 9, 2007

Can you believe this shit?


Who made that great tutorial guide for WiTE that focused around the Leningrad scenario? I desperately need it, and any other helpful guides anyone can recommend besides the Grey LP.

Oh, and I was browsing the Matrix forums and I noticed this post by a staff member.

quote:

Our website was hacked several months ago and we had to delete all of the material in it. Since it had been built 12 years ago using html and was very cumbersome to update, we decided to stick with a very basic website that would allow us to easily post new items when we had something we wanted to share. It's nothing special, but thanks in part to my 15 year old son's help, our new website has finally been put together and you can see it at https://www.2by3games.com. The what's new section has a very short video showing the weather screen in WitW, and it fast forwards through a year of weather. Notice the map covers the entire area of our War in Europe map, but the playable area for WitW 43-45 is the boxed area in the lower right. The weather system is much more sophisticated than the weather system in WitE.

These are the people programming these games?

Shimrra Jamaane fucked around with this message at Apr 16, 2013 around 01:19

Riso
Oct 11, 2008

by merry exmarx


I'd like to suggest the following game for the aspiring grognard: Hannibal: Rome and Carthage in the Second Punic War

Granted, the graphics are not world shattering, the pricing is still a bit too much, and there is no multiplayer.

However, it is easy to play, the AI is very smart, and there's actually a demo!

Alikchi
Aug 18, 2010

Thumbs up I agree


Yeah, Hannibal owns. It's literally one scenario with one side but I must have played it 30 times. So good.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

I think finally figured out all the recent hubbub on the WITE forums: Apparently the "difficulty checks" for the various dice rolls done during logistics and combat is different if a unit is directly attached to an Army versus being attached to a Corps HQ.

Attaching a unit to a Corps means you have the Army (and Army Group/Front and High Command) to catch you if you fail, but attaching a unit to an Army means the roll you have to pass is so much easier that you still pass more rolls anyway, even without the added "protection".

The Axis don't get any penalties for attaching units directly to Army HQs (the Soviets having no choice), German commanders tend to be better overall, and having units attached to Army HQs means a bigger pool of units that can activate as Reserves of each other. All this is leading to gameplay where the Axis are incentivized to skip the Corps HQ entirely and just use Army HQs, particularly for defense, and then just attaching Support Units directly to divisions to work around the 5-hex SU commitment range.

Shimrra Jamaane posted:

Who made that great tutorial guide for WiTE that focused around the Leningrad scenario? I desperately need it, and any other helpful guides anyone can recommend besides the Grey LP.

Oh, and I was browsing the Matrix forums and I noticed this post by a staff member.


These are the people programming these games?

Link to that Road to Leningrad "Operational Boot Camp" on the Matrix forums.

I also wrote a guide to it myself, although mine focuses more on controls and interface rather than strategy. Pastebin here. I think I covered most of it except the air war and rail repair.

gradenko_2000 fucked around with this message at Apr 22, 2013 around 04:40

DeceasedHorse
Nov 11, 2005


So yesterday after bashing my head against the John tiller games for a few good (still working out such advanced concepts as moving and what 90% of the buttons do) I decided to drop 20 bucks on panzer corps Africa corps. I figured I'd spend a few minutes on the tutorial and then get back to bio shock 3.

Ten hours later I realized i sort of realized I had forgotten to eat and oh look it's midnight. And I tried to play a free more turns in my desperate attempt to finally seize Tobruk and oops late for work. It may lack the insane detail of the more grognardy games but it's cheap, has little spirits that go pew pew instead of NATO counters. It's historicity is somewhat questionable in terms of actual details but it does a surprisingly good job of capturing the see saw , open and fluid theater of north Africa and the AFV arms race. It's definitely a bit puzzlish and combat results are a bit too variable at times but it was definitely worth the 20 bucks.

Qwo
Sep 27, 2011


Oh man, thanks for this! I stumbled across the Rome AGEOD games a while back but totally forgot what they were called. How good are those AGEOD Rome games (Alea Iacta Est, Birth of Rome, etc.)? I tried playing Europa Universalis Rome recently and all it did was give me the sads.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

DeceasedHorse posted:

panzer corps Africa corps

The Panzer Corps Mega Pack is set to release tomorrow. No idea on the price, but it's basically a compilation of all 10 DLC campaigns that were made over the last year or so. That's about ~100 scenarios that you can take your Core through, and supposedly these new campaigns make heavy use of scripting and triggers to create challenges beyond just "get all these objectives by x date". You'll get to escort units, repel triggered counter-attacks, have your objectives change mid-mission, and scramble across multiple points on the map as the Allies launch staggered invasions on several beaches.

Qwo posted:

Oh man, thanks for this! I stumbled across the Rome AGEOD games a while back but totally forgot what they were called. How good are those AGEOD Rome games (Alea Iacta Est, Birth of Rome, etc.)? I tried playing Europa Universalis Rome recently and all it did was give me the sads.

AJE is one of, if not the best of the AGEOD games. For reference, the other good ones are American Civil War, Rise of Prussia and Revolution Under Siege. The bad ones are Pride of Nations and World War One. Don't know much about Napoleon's Campaigns (probably good?). Wars in America isn't really bad, just that the scenario set is uninspired.

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

gradenko_2000 posted:

AJE is one of, if not the best of the AGEOD games. For reference, the other good ones are American Civil War, Rise of Prussia and Revolution Under Siege. The bad ones are Pride of Nations and World War One. Don't know much about Napoleon's Campaigns (probably good?). Wars in America isn't really bad, just that the scenario set is uninspired.

"of the AGEOD games" is the major qualifying statement here.

They are pretty much the poster child of interesting wargames hidden beneath poorly coded and slow engines with massively unhelpful UIs and all the important information hidden.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Just an fyi: indiegamestand has Achtung Panzer: Operation Star up for pay what you want for the next 4 days. I haven't played it, but I guess you can't really go wrong for the price of a coffee.

EightDeer
Dec 2, 2011



gradenko_2000 posted:

The Panzer Corps Mega Pack is set to release tomorrow. No idea on the price, but it's basically a compilation of all 10 DLC campaigns that were made over the last year or so. That's about ~100 scenarios that you can take your Core through, and supposedly these new campaigns make heavy use of scripting and triggers to create challenges beyond just "get all these objectives by x date". You'll get to escort units, repel triggered counter-attacks, have your objectives change mid-mission, and scramble across multiple points on the map as the Allies launch staggered invasions on several beaches.

I looked at Slitherine's homepage, and I'm a bit confused by the large array of products sold under the name Panzer Corps. Let me see if I have this franchise straight:

1) It's aiming to be an updated version of Panzer General.
2) Panzer Corps: Wehrmacht is the original game.
3) Panzer Corps: Afrika Korps is an expansion for PC:W.
4) The full, branching campaign from PG (AKA the main reason to play it) has been chopped up into many DLCs, one per year and front, e.g. 1941 West and 1941 East are two separate DLCs.
5) Panzer Corps: Allied Corps is an upcoming release that lets you play the Allies. It's not a standalone expansion; it's a new full game.

Two things I didn't quite get:
A) The main page for PC:W mentions core units and a campaign. I thought the campaign was sold as DLC. What's going on here?
B) Is PC:AK a stand-alone expansion or not?

Morholt
Mar 18, 2006

Contrary to popular belief, tic-tac-toe isn't purely a game of chance.

A) The main game includes a full ~20 mission campaign. The DLC campaigns are much more detailed, operations that are a single mission in the standard campaign might be 3-5 separate missions in the DLC campaigns.
B) Yes, AK is a stand-alone expansion.

Chump Farts
May 8, 2009

There is no Coordinator but Narduzzi, and Shilique is his Prophet.


I found the Africa Korps scenarios far more interesting and slightly less puzzlesque and have heard the DLC is similar. I may shell out for this in all honesty.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

EightDeer posted:

I looked at Slitherine's homepage, and I'm a bit confused by the large array of products sold under the name Panzer Corps. Let me see if I have this franchise straight:

1) It's aiming to be an updated version of Panzer General.
2) Panzer Corps: Wehrmacht is the original game.
3) Panzer Corps: Afrika Korps is an expansion for PC:W.
4) The full, branching campaign from PG (AKA the main reason to play it) has been chopped up into many DLCs, one per year and front, e.g. 1941 West and 1941 East are two separate DLCs.
5) Panzer Corps: Allied Corps is an upcoming release that lets you play the Allies. It's not a standalone expansion; it's a new full game.

Two things I didn't quite get:
A) The main page for PC:W mentions core units and a campaign. I thought the campaign was sold as DLC. What's going on here?
B) Is PC:AK a stand-alone expansion or not?

* It's aiming to be an updated version of Panzer General

* Panzer Corps Wehrmacht is the original game

* Panzer Corps Afrika Korps is a STAND-ALONE game. You don't need PC:Wehrmacht to play it, and the campaign only covers North Africa, with speculative scenarios in the Middle East and India

* PC:Wehrmacht already has a full branching campaign, and it's pretty much a remake of Panzer General's campaign, minus the North Africa scenarios. And I mean remake as in the Norway, Barbarossa, Stalingrad and all the other scenarios are carbon-copies of what you'd find in PG.

* The DLC campaigns are totally brand new. Imagine a dozen scenarios just for Poland, or a dozen just for 44-West. Because there are so many, the scale is a bit smaller. Think Panzer General 2 where instead of capturing Moscow you're fighting over the highway at Volokolamsk, or instead of Warsaw you're outflanking the Poles at Ciecanow. Well, you still get a Warsaw scenario in the 39 campaign DLC, but as a final fight centered around just that city.

* The DLC campaigns mention core units because you can string all of the DLC campaigns together and bring your core units across the whole thing. Whereas you might have nursed your tank unit across a dozen battles of Panzer General or PC:Wehrmacht's original campaign, having the Mega-Pack means you get to fight with your core for 30 battles or more. The experience rules are changed somewhat though, so you don't have 5-star superunits by the Battle of France.

* Panzer Corps: Afrika Korps being a stand-alone game means it's compatible with the DLC campaigns. You don't need PC:Wehrmacht to play the Afrika Korps game, and just having the Afrika Korps game means you can still play the DLC campaigns.

* Panzer Corps: Allied Corps is yet-unreleased, but is going to be a stand-alone game as well.

====

Achtung Panzer Operation Star is on sale at IndieGameStand for the next 3 days. Not a stellar game from what I've heard (Combat Mission is still better?), but hey, it was only a buck.

gradenko_2000 fucked around with this message at Apr 23, 2013 around 01:37

uPen
Jan 25, 2010

Zu Rodina!

ArchangeI posted:

Just an fyi: indiegamestand has Achtung Panzer: Operation Star up for pay what you want for the next 4 days. I haven't played it, but I guess you can't really go wrong for the price of a coffee.

Just got this for $1, now to find out if I've been ripped off.

Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

uPen posted:

Just got this for $1, now to find out if I've been ripped off.

Same here....

uPen
Jan 25, 2010

Zu Rodina!

After playing this for about 20 minutes I'm pretty sure I got exactly what I paid for.

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

uPen posted:

After playing this for about 20 minutes I'm pretty sure I got exactly what I paid for.

In a stroke of design genius all of the operations start in darkness so you have to slog through an hour of the worst kind of battle before you get to see the game in the daylight.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

I had a few hours to kill this afternoon, so I read through the WITE manual's chapters on air units and tried to write a summary plus a compilation of stuff I've picked up along the way. Maybe some of you will find it useful

===

Basics

* Air Groups are the actual "squadrons" of a single plane type that actually flies the missions. Air Groups can either be assigned to Air Bases to actually fly the missions, or they can be assigned to the National Reserve.

* Air Bases need to be placed in Clear, Light Woods, or City hexes in order for its assigned Air Groups to fly missions.

Air Group Assignment to Air Bases

* There are many designations for Air Bases, but mechanically they are all window-dressing, with one exception: For the Soviets, Level Bomber and Transport Air Groups need to be assigned to a "VVS" designated Air Base, and set to fly Night Missions, for those Air Groups to attempt to fly partisan re-supply missions during the logistics phase.

* A maximum of 9 Air Groups can be assigned to an Air Base. There are no limits on how many aircraft those 9 Groups actually represent - they could all be 40 aircraft Gruppes (German) or Air Regiments (Soviet)

* Air Bases have a certain number of Support Squads, which is visible from the (right-click) detail screen. Every plane needs a corresponding number of Support Squads. The total number of Support Squads needed by all the aircraft assigned to an Air Base should be below the actual number of Squads in that Air Base, in order to avoid a penalty to repairing damaged aircraft during the logistics phase.

Aircraft that go unrepaired after a logistics phase have a chance of being "written off" and destroyed outright).
Keeping Support Needed under Support Available will also prevent ready aircraft from becoming damaged (through lack of maintenance)
Keeping Support Needed under Support Available will also cause larger reductions in fatigue.

* For the Axis: Air Groups of a certain nationality can only be assigned to Air Bases of the same nationality.



* Fighter-Bomber Groups need to be assigned specifically in the Air Group detail window if they are to fly in the Fighter role or in the Bomber role. However, these Groups come into the game already trained in one role or another, and asking them to fly in a role that they were not trained in will penalize them in combat.

* Air Groups also need to be assigned specifically in the Air Group detail window if they are to fly Night Missions.

Air Base Assignment to Air Headquarters

* Air Base units can only be assigned to Air Headquarters units, with some exceptions:

There are German Air Bases that are attached directly to Land Army HQs. These Air Bases cannot be re-assigned to any other HQ.
German Air HQs designated "Fliegerkorp" can only be assigned Air HQs designated "Luftflotte", or to Land Army Group HQs.
German Air HQs designated "Luftflotte" can only be assigned to Land Army Group HQs.
Axis Minor Air HQs can only be assigned to Land Army Group HQs of the same nationality.
"Slovakia Air Command" and "Finnish Air Command" cannot be reassigned

Soviet Air HQs can only attach to Land Front HQs or Land Military District HQs.

Trick: It was discovered that there are actually no limits to what Air Groups can be assigned to the Air Bases that are directly attached to German Land Army HQs. The developer intent was for these Air Bases to be stocked with Recon Air Groups, to provide recon for the Army as it advances, but any Air Groups can be assigned to them. The trick is to assign Level Bomber Groups, since they require LOTS of fuel. This causes the Army HQ to requisition a lot of fuel from the supply net during the logistics phase. The next part of the trick is that the game makes no distinction between "aircraft fuel" and "vehicle fuel". The final effect is that the land units under the Army HQ end up getting a lot of fuel being made available for them, even if the only reason for the extra fuel draw was to feed the Level Bomber Groups. This is rather powerful for keeping Panzer Armies topped up on gas. This doesn't happen anywhere else, because in all other instances, land units and Air Bases report to completely different HQs. Some may consider this gamey/exploitative

* There is no limit to the number of Air Bases that can be assigned to an Air HQ.

* An Airbase needs to be within 5 hexes of its German Fliegerkorps HQ, or within 15 hexes of its German Luftflotte HQ or 45 hexes of its Soviet Air Command/Air Army.

* Air Bases assigned to different Luftflotte HQs or Air Army HQs will NOT participate together in air missions. Air Bases assigned to different Fliegerkorps HQs can still cooperate, if both Fliegerkorps report to the same Luftflotte.

Morale

* An Air Group, regardless of whether it is assigned to the Reserve or is active in an Air Base, increases morale at the rate of [100 - currentMorale / 10] per turn. An active Air Group may still lose net morale due to combat, though.

* Soviet Guards Status: If all of the Air Groups assigned to a single Air Base have collectively destroyed so many aircraft and/or ground units, the Air Base may earn Guards status, which gives the assigned Air Groups a 10 point morale boost over National Morale

In 1941, the threshold is 400 destroyed aircraft/ground units
In 1942, the threshold is 600 destroyed aircraft/ground units
In 1943 and later, the threshold is 1200 destroyed aircraft/ground units

National Reserve

* Assigning an Air Group to the National Reserve increases the experience of its pilots and lets the Group reinforce to full strength faster. Assigning an Air Group to the National Reserve also gives it an increase of as much as 15 morale just for going into the Reserve.

* An Air Group that is transferred to the National Reserve will not actually show up in the Reserve until the next turn, and so a unit transferred TO the Reserve cannot be transferred FROM the Reserve to an Air Base within the same turn.

AI-assisted Air Base Management



* There is a setting in the Air Base details called "Aviation Commitment" and "Aviation Range" and is intended to help the player automate the managing of Air Groups between the Air Base and the National Reserve.

Aviation Commitment ranges from 0 to 9 and tells the AI to try and keep that many Air Groups assigned to that Air Base. For example, if Commitment is set to 5, the AI will try to keep 5 Air Groups assigned to that Air Base. If there are less than 5 Groups assigned to the Air Base, the AI will draw the strongest available units from the National Reserve. If there are more than 5 Groups assigned to the Air Base, the AI will send the weakest assigned units to the National Reserve. The AI will also send Groups to the National Reserve if it determines that the Group is too weak (and then replace the Group with fresher units from the Reserve if it dips below Commitment level)

Aviation Range then ranges from [less than 20 hexes, less than 40 hexes, more than 40 hexes, all ranges]. This determines the kind of aircraft that the AI will try to assign to that Air Base. If, for example, the Aviation Range is set to [more than 40 hexes], then Air Groups using old Soviet I-15 biplanes will be removed from the Air Base and re-assigned to the National Reserve. The AI will then try to replace these with Groups flying planes that do meet the range requirements, especially if removing the ineligible Groups causes the Air Base to fall under the Commitment level that was set.

Ordering Air Missions

Recon - press F5 to order Recon missions. Right-clicking will cause a Recon mission to be flown with the AI deciding on the planes to use. Shift-right-clicking will let you select which specific Groups will fly the mission. Note that there is a limit to how much "Detection Level" you can get from flying recon missions. I believe it's a maximum of DL 5 for front-line units, while units that you don't have direct contact with are limited to DL 3.

Bomb Unit - press F6 to order Bomb Unit missions. Right-clicking will let the AI choose the Groups. Shift-right-clicking will let you select specific Groups. This mission is used to damage/destroy ground unit elements, softening them up before a ground attack.

Note that if you only select Fighter Groups, then the game will simulate a "Fighter Sweep" wherein your fighters will try to shoot down as many fighters as possible, hopefully so that follow-on attacks will encounter less defending fighters. You do however need to have bombers within range, even if you never include them in the Bomb Unit missions. These sweep missions are best used targeting Air Bases directly.

Another trick is that Bomb Unit missions can be used to drive up the Detection Level of a unit, since the maximum DL you can get from Bomb Unit missions is higher than Recon.

Bomb Airfield - press F7 to order Bomb Airfield missions. Right-clicking will let the AI choose the Groups. Shift-right-clicking will let you select specific Groups. This mission is used to damage/destroy aircraft on the ground.

Bomb City - press F8 to order Bomb City missions. Right-clicking will let the AI choose the Groups. Shift-right-clicking will let you select specific Groups. This mission is used to damage/destroy industry in cities. Note that if you have units that are supposed to be isolated, but are receiving (beach-head) supply because of a Port, you can use the Bomb City mission to damage the Port until it can no longer be used as a supply source. I have heard that this may require a lot of bombers/attacks, though.

Air Transport - press F9 to order Air Transport missions. Right-clicking will let the AI choose the Groups. Shift-right-clicking will let you select specific Groups. This mission is used to air-drop supplies and/or fuel to friendly units.

Shift-right-clicking will let you specifically choose whether to drop supplies or fuel, and is the only way to force Level Bomber Groups to participate in such missions. Note that this mission is very effective at distributing fuel, perhaps ahistorically so, especially if the German player uses his Level Bombers to significantly increase the transport capacity.

Interdiction - this mission is flown automatically during the opponent's turn. Whenever a spotted enemy unit tries to move, there is a chance based on its Detection Level that an Interdiction mission will be flown against it. Similar to Bomb Unit missions, Interdiction missions will try to damage/destroy ground unit elements, but it will also try to reduce the enemy's MP, possibly causing their movement to fall short.

Ground Support - this mission is flown automatically whenever ground combat occurs, whether offensive or defensive. Similar to Bomb Unit missions, Ground Support missions will try to damage/destroy ground unit elements, in the hopes of turning the final CV odds in your favor.

Note the hotkey X will toggle whether or not any Ground Support missions will be flown at all. This is important for two reasons:
There are some missions that can only be flown once per turn (covered later). Disabling Ground Support will prevent your bomber units from locking themselves out of these once-a-turn missions.
Late in the war, the Luftwaffe may find itself badly outnumbered and outclassed. Limiting Ground Support will allow you to prevent your planes from flying into missions where they would only get chewed up

"Miles Flown"

A Group can only fly so many miles per turn, based on the cruise speed of the plane being used and the morale and experience of the Group. The short version is that you want to keep the morale and experience of Groups from dropping, before it becomes an artificial cap on their range and/or the number of times they can fly missions.

The other thing to note is that moving the Air Base on the map will cause the Air Groups under that Air Base to accrue mileage.

The final thing to note is that certain missions CANNOT be flown if the Air Group already has any accrued mileage:
Bomb Ground Unit
Bomb City
Bomb Airfield (night)
Air Transport (night)
Air Transport (day, for Level Bombers)
Air Transfer


This effectively means that these missions can only be flown once per day, and that moving an Air Base automatically prevents the Groups under that Air Base from flying these missions.

The other remaining missions can be flown repeatedly until a Group maxes out its Miles Flown:
Recon
Bomb Airfield (day)
Air Transport (day, for actual Transports)
Ground Support
Escorts for any kind of mission

What this means is that you should, as much as possible, run all of the once-a-turn missions first before anything else.

Air Doctrine



Pressing hotkey D will take you to the Air Doctrine screen, where you can change several settings:

Percent Required to Fly - this tells the AI which Groups are eligible to fly missions. If this is set to 30%, then any Group with at least 30% of its maximum TOE of aircraft are ready, will fly missions. That is, a Group with a maximum TOE 40 aircraft will fly if it has at least 12 ready aircraft. A low setting will allow more Groups to participate, which a setting of 105% or higher will effectively cause zero missions of any kind to be flown at all.

Ground Support/Ground Attack/Airfield Attack/Interdiction Attack/City Attack - this tells the AI how many bombers it should send on these missions. Every time you ask the AI to launch a mission, it does its own calculation on how many bombers to send, based on availability, target strength, etc. This setting acts as a multiplier on that calculation. If the AI thinks it needs to send 10 bombers against a target, and this doctrine is set to 50%, it will only send 5 bombers.

Ground Support Escort/Ground Attack Escort/Airfield Attack Escort/Interdiction Attack Escort/City Attack Escort - this tells the AI how many escorts to send with the bombers, as a percentage of the bomers. That is, if the AI decides to send 5 bombers against a target and this doctrine is set to 300%, the AI will try to commit 3 times as many fighters as there are bombers, or 15 fighters.

Fighter Intercept - this tells the AI how many fighters to send as interceptors when defending against enemy strikes. That is, if the AI detects 10 incoming bombers during combat and this doctrine is set to 100%, the AI will try to send just as many fighters as there are bombers, or 10 fighters.

Note that if you use shift-right-click, then the doctrine settings are effectively ignored, since you yourself are selecting which Groups will fly. The exceptions to this are Interdiction, Ground Support and Interception missions, since those are always effectively AI-controlled and so you'll still have to manage the doctrine settings at least for them at the minimum.

Finally, while the AI may commit enough Groups to try and fly a 100 bomber mission, the game does simulate mid-mission aborts due aircraft reliability, morale, experience, fatigue and other such factors. Particularly for the Soviets in the early war, it may be necessary to crank the doctrine levels high and reduce the Percent Required to Fly just so your missions will arrive on-target with a decent number of planes.

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Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


Why are "attack units", "attack this particular ground facility", and "attack any other type of ground facility" all different actions? I can maaaaybe understand distinguishing on a strategic level between "disrupt these units" vs. "bomb these buildings," but wouldn't it be better to sum up the last two as "bomb ground facilities"? At least it saves one button...

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