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RE: Panzer Command FAQ

 
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RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/19/2006 11:06:57 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood
Ok on this "reaction" phase. I noticed you called it a "turn based" game. Am I to assume we do all the targeting and firing for each unit ala SPWAW type during this reaction phase?


Nope, targeting and firing can happen in both phases. The main difference is that the reaction phase is only for "reactions" rather than "orders" so your choices are much more limited.

quote:

And/or Does the AI automatically do some of the reaction fire if we should miss something more important or that it feels is more important ala Combat Mission?


Absolutely. If you like, you can just click to go on to the next phase once the reaction phase comes up and the AI will handle targeting for you, no problem. The AI will not move your units, but it will definitely target enemies that are in range and give you a decent chance to do some damage.

quote:

Also can the AI play itself. In other words will it play both sides if I do nothing but load a scenario, assuming is will have individual pickable scenarios as well as a campaign? You did sort of compare it to Panzer General and I seem to recall I could let the AI play itself and just watch. Same here or no?


Nope. I don't recall Panzer General doing that, actually. I recall that option in TOAW and CM, but IIRC you had to play one side or the other in Panzer General (at least in the original).

Regards,

- Erik

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Post #: 61
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/20/2006 7:51:14 AM   
Chris Merchant


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Hi

I can't see any mention of TCP/IP multiplayer support - will this be available?

cheers

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Post #: 62
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/20/2006 10:09:54 AM   
ravinhood


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Thanks for the quick responses Erik. Here's some more. heh

Will we be able to move the units through HQ's ala Combat Mission? Like a double click on the HQ's and all units under that HQ's will be activated?

Will Infantry be able to ride on tanks, trucks and any other large enough vehicles?

What is the scheme for melee between infantry? Do they goto hand to hand or stand/kneel across from each other and trade fire ala Combat Mission?

What kind of scenarios are planned? Assault? Defend? Meeting? Probe? ?????

Will the loss of a HQ unit have a great effect on command and control??

Will the AI (for either side) take cover on its own during the phases if it comes under heavy fire?

Is there a rally phase or some form of internal rally when units break and/or panic?

(in reply to Chris Merchant)
Post #: 63
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/20/2006 4:58:58 PM   
hank

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Hank,


I'm not sure of the view controls you reference. However, you can definitely zoom out and zoom in. You never see enemies that your troops/tanks haven't spotted though you can look over the whole battlefield in terms of seeing the terrain. The spotting of your units determines what can be seen and each unit individually tracks what it can and can't see.

Regards,

- Erik


You answered my ? Mr. Rutins. It sounds a lot like steelbeasts and ground control combined. Its quite impressive looking from the screenshots you've posted.

hank

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 64
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/20/2006 7:03:24 PM   
benpark


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Any screens of Campaign mode yet? Will there be variable paths to take?

Thanks for the answers and the screens, Erik!

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Post #: 65
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/20/2006 7:33:45 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chris Merchant
I can't see any mention of TCP/IP multiplayer support - will this be available?


Nope, at least not initially. The PBEM system will be the initial multiplayer method. There's only so much you can really fit into a first release, particularly for a 3D game on our budget.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 66
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/20/2006 7:38:14 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood
Will we be able to move the units through HQ's ala Combat Mission? Like a double click on the HQ's and all units under that HQ's will be activated?


Click on the HQ, issue a group order and its subordinate units will obey. You can also issue individual orders.

quote:

Will Infantry be able to ride on tanks, trucks and any other large enough vehicles?


Yes.

quote:

What is the scheme for melee between infantry? Do they goto hand to hand or stand/kneel across from each other and trade fire ala Combat Mission?


Below 30 meters is "close assault" and is handled by a those rules whether infantry are attacking other infantry or vehicles. As far as the animations, I'm afraid you won't see them bayoneting each other. We just didn't have the budget for that degree of eye candy. They'll be firing close to each other. I'd love to see a real 3D melee, perhaps in a future release.

quote:

What kind of scenarios are planned? Assault? Defend? Meeting? Probe? ?????


Due to the nature of the campaigns and the player's position in them, the majority are Assault / Defend with a few Meeting engagements.

quote:

Will the loss of a HQ unit have a great effect on command and control??


The loss of an HQ can affect it's platoon temporarily. I wouldn't say a "great" effect but a significant one.

quote:

Will the AI (for either side) take cover on its own during the phases if it comes under heavy fire?


The AI always tries to use cover when available and reasonable, in my experience.

quote:

Is there a rally phase or some form of internal rally when units break and/or panic?


There are morale rules, units can break and rally based on their ratings and the situation. Units that fail to rally long enough are gone.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 67
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/20/2006 7:40:51 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: benpark
Any screens of Campaign mode yet? Will there be variable paths to take?


Not yet, sorry. The Campaign is still in development and will likely take us another month to finish. We'll post some shots as soon as it's ready. The campaign itself is linear, following a generally historical path with some allowances for replayability of each battle and maximum reusability of the maps by modders and post-release scenario folks. However, the battles can be quite replayable based on force choices, how well you've been doing in terms of losses and experience, the difficulty level you are playing at, etc.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 68
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/21/2006 7:28:05 PM   
irrelevant


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Is the campaign playable only vs the AI, or will campaign mode also be available for PBEM?

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Post #: 69
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/22/2006 6:34:16 PM   
kipanderson

 

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Eric, hi,

All looks and sounds great…. “very” CM but there is no harm in that as Battelfront.com move on to the next engine the fact that you guys “run with the ball” with something approaching the current CM engine is good, not bad :). I am also a fan of the idea of a series along the lines of the John Tiller Panzer Campaigns series… all sounds great. I look upon it as a “product improved CMX1” and that is a very good thing, not a bad thing… I will be buying it for sure as will many of my CM chums.

Now for the tricky question ;) has “the” big problem with the CMX1 engine been corrected in Panzer Commander?

The question is does Panzer Commander have each friendly unit doing its own spotting of enemy units, Relative Spotting in CM Speak, or once one of your friendly units has spotted an enemy unit have “all” your friendly units in Line Of Sight (LOS) of that enemy unit spotted it also. Let me explain for those unfamiliar with CM.

In CM if you have ten friendly tanks advancing over open terrain and one of your tanks spots an enemy AT gun all your friendly units in LOS of the enemy AT gun will have spotted it also. Every friendly unit spots on behalf of each other, as long as they are in LOS of the enemy unit. If CM had a weakness this is it.

What is needed is for each friendly unit to have to do its own spotting so all units in LOS of a given enemy unit do not all spot it at once…. if you follow my rantings ;)

Finally…. amongst most, but certainly not all, CM fans this one matters… so I very much hope the spotting routines in Panzer Commander are done by each unit on its own and not as in the current, first generation CM engine.

Sounds good,
All the best,
Kip.


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Post #: 70
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/22/2006 6:55:30 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Kip,

quote:

ORIGINAL: kipanderson
All looks and sounds great…. “very” CM but there is no harm in that as Battelfront.com move on to the next engine the fact that you guys “run with the ball” with something approaching the current CM engine is good, not bad :). I am also a fan of the idea of a series along the lines of the John Tiller Panzer Campaigns series… all sounds great. I look upon it as a “product improved CMX1” and that is a very good thing, not a bad thing… I will be buying it for sure as will many of my CM chums.


Thanks for the kind words on that.

quote:

The question is does Panzer Commander have each friendly unit doing its own spotting of enemy units, Relative Spotting in CM Speak, or once one of your friendly units has spotted an enemy unit have “all” your friendly units in Line Of Sight (LOS) of that enemy unit spotted it also. Let me explain for those unfamiliar with CM.

In CM if you have ten friendly tanks advancing over open terrain and one of your tanks spots an enemy AT gun all your friendly units in LOS of the enemy AT gun will have spotted it also. Every friendly unit spots on behalf of each other, as long as they are in LOS of the enemy unit. If CM had a weakness this is it.

What is needed is for each friendly unit to have to do its own spotting so all units in LOS of a given enemy unit do not all spot it at once…. if you follow my rantings ;)


Each individual unit does its own spotting. If Tank #1 in a platoon can see an anti-tank gun, but Tank #2 technically has a line of sight (if there were no deductions for cover and distance) but is 50m further away than Tank #1 and fails its sighting check to actually "see" the ATG, it won't be able to actually fire at it just because Tank #1 spotted it.

Regards,

- Erik

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Post #: 71
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/22/2006 7:01:53 PM   
kipanderson

 

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EriK,

“Each individual unit does its own spotting. If Tank #1 in a platoon can see an anti-tank gun, but Tank #2 technically has a line of sight (if there were no deductions for cover and distance) but is 50m further away than Tank #1 and fails its sighting check to actually "see" the ATG, it won't be able to actually fire at it just because Tank #1 spotted it.”

EriK… that is great news.. in CM Speak you do indeed have Relative Spotting as opposed to the CMX1 Absolute Spotting… great :) many a CM fan will buy both your new games and of course the second generation CM games. Room for both :)

All the best,
Kip.


< Message edited by kipanderson -- 2/22/2006 7:02:27 PM >

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Post #: 72
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/22/2006 7:15:29 PM   
kipanderson

 

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Erik, hi,

BTW… “If” you could marry a truly operational layer and Panzer Command you would really have take off… But I do know it is asking a lot.

A Panzer Campaigns type game married to a Panzer Command and you would have take off :)

All the best,
Kip.

(in reply to kipanderson)
Post #: 73
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/22/2006 7:26:09 PM   
Andreas1968

 

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Hi

I think I know the answer, but I am going to ask it anyway - will there be a Mac version?

Thanks a lot in advance for the answer. It looks like you have a very interesting product with a lot of potential there.

All the best

Andreas

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Post #: 74
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/23/2006 12:27:16 AM   
Becket


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Looks great. I know you say it's not trying to be the next CM, but honestly that's going to be the bar in terms of gameplay. Most of the complexity of CM was under the hood, and it played simply.

Anyway, it looks great, and I'm moderately pumped to see it! (Especially since CM won't have a WWII East Front update for a long time (first CMSF, then CMX2 Normandy)).

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Post #: 75
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/23/2006 12:28:23 AM   
Becket


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Andreas1968

Hi

I think I know the answer, but I am going to ask it anyway - will there be a Mac version?

Thanks a lot in advance for the answer. It looks like you have a very interesting product with a lot of potential there.

All the best

Andreas


Whoa. Hi Andreas (we didn't interact much on the CM forums, but it's good to see you here, your posts there are typically must-read affairs. :))

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Post #: 76
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/23/2006 12:35:42 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: kipanderson
BTW… “If” you could marry a truly operational layer and Panzer Command you would really have take off… But I do know it is asking a lot.

A Panzer Campaigns type game married to a Panzer Command and you would have take off :)


I'd love to see that too. In time, perhaps...

The way the data works in the XML files, I think one could even build an external engine to do this.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 77
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/23/2006 12:36:36 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Andreas,

quote:

ORIGINAL: Andreas1968
I think I know the answer, but I am going to ask it anyway - will there be a Mac version?

Thanks a lot in advance for the answer. It looks like you have a very interesting product with a lot of potential there.


Sorry, but we don't have the ability to develop for Mac at this time. We're open to discussing the possibilities if someone else would like to do a port though.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 78
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/23/2006 12:37:57 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Becket,

quote:

ORIGINAL: Becket
Looks great. I know you say it's not trying to be the next CM, but honestly that's going to be the bar in terms of gameplay. Most of the complexity of CM was under the hood, and it played simply.

Anyway, it looks great, and I'm moderately pumped to see it! (Especially since CM won't have a WWII East Front update for a long time (first CMSF, then CMX2 Normandy)).


Thanks! I agree that CM is elegant in how it plays and is chock full of gameplay. However, we feel that Panzer Command is fun too and I hope you will agree once you get a chance to play it.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 79
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/23/2006 12:47:44 AM   
Becket


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I hope so too. I realize my message can be read the wrong way, so let me clarify - I think the bar will be to make sure this game has simple and accessible gameplay, but with tactical depth. If you do that, then, for me at least, it should be a joy, whether or not it has every vehicle ever built or covers an entire theater.

Board wargames can co-exist on the same topics, no reason for computer wargames to be any different. :)


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Post #: 80
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/23/2006 9:50:31 AM   
Andreas1968

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Sorry, but we don't have the ability to develop for Mac at this time. We're open to discussing the possibilities if someone else would like to do a port though.

Regards,

- Erik



Thanks a lot Erik, I understand that it may not be possible for you to do that. Hopefully you'll find someone able to port it.

All the best

Andreas

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Post #: 81
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/23/2006 6:38:15 PM   
kipanderson

 

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Erik,

The fact that one can dig about in the text files is definitely a big plus. It means that we can all optimise the game to our own tastes to make up for some detail that is missing.

When it comes to operational games keeping it simple matters. Panzer Command with an additional operational layer that is fully playable would give the series legs even well after CMX2 moves to WWII.

You would no doubt be the first to admit that Panzer Command will not hold its own in depth of realism to CMX2, however you wish to define realism. But something along the lines of Panzer Campaigns, straightforward 2D look down, battalion, 1km to a hex operational game released as a package with each version of Panzer Commands and you could have years of life in the series. In my view. Just like Panzer Campaigns which we all know is in reality years out of date in the sense of not being cutting edge.

One point though, any operational game needs to be WEGO… for wargame it really is the future… in fact the present even :).

All the best,
Kip.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 82
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/24/2006 5:15:31 PM   
folke


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Looks really great..

Is there some kind of export of the results to xml or txt after a finished game?
Would be great to have, would be great to parse for info
for example a pbem club or something like that ;)

--
Regards Folke
Sweden

< Message edited by folke -- 2/24/2006 5:27:06 PM >

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Post #: 83
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 2/25/2006 2:28:38 PM   
ASHBERY76


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It would be nice to see a movie of this puppy in action.

< Message edited by ASHBERY76 -- 3/19/2006 5:38:55 PM >

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Post #: 84
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 3/8/2006 7:37:17 AM   
OGSF

 

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This looks really good. Sorry for the CM comparisons, but I have been playing CM for over 5 years. Until I found this game, there was no other to match it. So, a few questions...

1) From the screenshots it looks like the infantry squads are represented by 3 figures. Is that correct and can a squad be displayed with all individuals represented (9 man squad = 9 figures displayed)?

2) How are ambushes handled, from the ambushers perspective? Cover arcs (to use a CM term)?

3) Does artillery and armour have the ability to fire smoke? And if so, can other units fire into the smoke blindly and potentially cause casualties to units inside or behind the smoke?

4) Do vehicles bog? Can they be unbogged?

5) Can structures such as buildings and bridges be destroyed by artillery or direct fire from tanks?

6) Will a playable demo be released?

7) In the Series, should it go ahead, there will be a Normandy based campaignwon't there, huh? Huh?

Thanks for any response, and thanks for developing this game. I wasn't looking forward to Syria that much!

-- OGSF

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Post #: 85
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 6/20/2006 11:04:57 PM   
Michael Dorosh


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I'm also curious about how deformable the buildings are, and haven't seen it discussed yet.

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Post #: 86
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 6/21/2006 6:27:43 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Looks like I've been missing some posts in this thread. Sorry about that!

quote:

ORIGINAL: kipanderson
The fact that one can dig about in the text files is definitely a big plus. It means that we can all optimise the game to our own tastes to make up for some detail that is missing.


Yep, that's the idea. You can customize every piece of data for any unit in the game. You can also customize the scenario data and the campaign structure. The graphics are also easily customizable. The only limitations come in with the maps and the models. The former we don't have a good map editor we can release yet, but we do have plans to do that much sooner rather than later in an expansion. The model info is in there, but you need software we don't provide to work with it. The terrain on the maps is customizable, but each map is currently its own 3D model, basically, and that makes the underlying map itself a big job to create or modify until we get a map editor finished.

quote:

When it comes to operational games keeping it simple matters. Panzer Command with an additional operational layer that is fully playable would give the series legs even well after CMX2 moves to WWII.


Agreed, we start with a campaign system, but we definitely would like to add an operational "layer" in the future to allow for some additional decisions. I'd like to see something like what we did with the SPWAW Mega-Campaigns at a minimum.

quote:

You would no doubt be the first to admit that Panzer Command will not hold its own in depth of realism to CMX2, however you wish to define realism. But something along the lines of Panzer Campaigns, straightforward 2D look down, battalion, 1km to a hex operational game released as a package with each version of Panzer Commands and you could have years of life in the series. In my view.


We're definitely not trying to, nor will we trump CM in terms of realism. I see CM as much more of a very realistic WWII combat simulator, where Panzer Command is a realistic WWII game. However, this is also our first release and we have plans to support the customers who help us continue development by releasing affordable expansions that add campaigns, units, terrain and additional rules and features. The end result should be a system that "matures" fairly quickly.

We have a bit of a hill to climb though. For one thing I'm the first to admit that CM really did 3D tactical combat well. I own all the CM titles and enjoy playing them. There are many conventions that are in CM that really make sense on the 3D tactical side. With CM as the pioneer, a fair amount of what is done in Panzer Command may look like CM. In a 3D tactical game, using rubber bands for order location and targeting makes sense, as does using lines to show platoons, etc. Nevertheless, I give the folks at Battlefront a lot of respect and credit for the great job they did with the CM series and I tip my hat to them and their influence in the 3D tactical genre.

I think Panzer Command may be more accessible to some gamers who found CM to have a higher learning curve than they wanted. I've found that it's a bit easier to play and master than CM. As I said above though, this is only the beginning of the Panzer Command story and we've got a lot more to tell!

Regards,

- Erik

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Erik Rutins
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Post #: 87
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 6/21/2006 6:28:59 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: folke
Is there some kind of export of the results to xml or txt after a finished game?
Would be great to have, would be great to parse for info
for example a pbem club or something like that ;)


Not at present, but there is a scenario end screen that shows all the results. We can certainly add a data dump to our future features list as well. Also, for PBEM each phase is saved as a separate file, so going back and reviewing is easy.

Regards,

- Erik

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Erik Rutins
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(in reply to folke)
Post #: 88
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 6/21/2006 6:47:38 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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OGSF,

quote:

ORIGINAL: OGSF
This looks really good. Sorry for the CM comparisons, but I have been playing CM for over 5 years. Until I found this game, there was no other to match it. So, a few questions...


Yep, thanks and understood. You've picked almost all the areas where we don't compare well to CM by design. Part of that is because this is the first game in a series and we focused on implementing things that would give us the biggest bang for the buck, so to speak, in the year of development that we had. The good news is that we can do a lot in a year and we have plans to implement much of what's not in this release in the future. I'll note that below as I answer.

quote:

1) From the screenshots it looks like the infantry squads are represented by 3 figures. Is that correct and can a squad be displayed with all individuals represented (9 man squad = 9 figures displayed)?


Yes, by default we show three figures. However, there is a "Limit Infantry Off" option which shows as many as is defined in the data for that squad type. In the release version, this ups it to five figures, but we include an example in the manual of how easy it is to edit that up to 8 or 10 figures and give them the weapons you want them to have when they show up in-game. The reason the default is three is for performance. We don't want folks to have a bad experience performance-wise with the default settings, so we keep them conservative. However, on my Athlon XP 3000+ with 1GB RAM and a GeForce 6800, I run a version where squads are at their historical numbers and the performance is fine for me.

quote:

2) How are ambushes handled, from the ambushers perspective? Cover arcs (to use a CM term)?


No cover arcs at present. CM added that in CMBB as I recall and we may add something like that in the future as well. However, there are targeting rules built into each unit type. Infantry, for example, will tend to hold fire on vehicle targets until they get into close assault range. Infantry in cover is very tough to spot, so there's a good chance of springing an ambush. AT guns won't fire until they have at least an "average" shot. By default, an AT gun has a 90 degree arc of fire so you can position it to take that into account and create an ambush through the combination of line of sight and targeting rules. Also, being "hull down" for vehicles makes you harder to spot and limits where you can be hit. Being stationary in general helps a lot with not being spotted before you fire, etc.

You can't fine tune an ambush in Panzer Command the way you can in CM, but I have sprung many ambushes nevertheless just based on terrain, LOS and unit type.

We made a good deal of choices for the initial release based on the campaign. This was largely a high speed, dynamic armored duel over open terrain so a lot of what got in and what was pushed to future expansions came down to how useful it would be for this campaign.

quote:

3) Does artillery and armour have the ability to fire smoke? And if so, can other units fire into the smoke blindly and potentially cause casualties to units inside or behind the smoke?


Not in this release. Degrading smoke and dust, not just from deliberate smoke generation but also from general battlefield smoke and movement, is planned for a future expansion. Area fire is in this release so once you get degrading smoke, you'll be able to fire blindly into it.

quote:

4) Do vehicles bog? Can they be unbogged?


No, we left this out in favor of terrain movement speed modifications which are generally less frustrating to players. Adding in terrain immobilization is definitely something we'd like to do , but for the initial release you'll see vehicles slowing down, sometimes a lot, when in difficult terrain but they will make it through.

quote:

5) Can structures such as buildings and bridges be destroyed by artillery or direct fire from tanks?


Nope, no destructible terrain in this release, however it's definitely on the list. We want to start blowing up those buildings too!

quote:

6) Will a playable demo be released?


Yes, we plan on one but we don't have a timeline on that as yet since we are focused on the release. I would guess that sometime after the first post-release update we will start looking at creating a demo.

quote:

7) In the Series, should it go ahead, there will be a Normandy based campaignwon't there, huh? Huh?


Yes, our current plan is for the first expansion to be an earlier East Front Summer campaign to allow us to bring in terrain that's a bit more varied in color and some more of the earlier German units. This would also add some new features to the game, more info on that later. The second expansion would take us to the West Front, but we have not yet decided on the exact location.

quote:

Thanks for any response, and thanks for developing this game. I wasn't looking forward to Syria that much!


No worries. I realize Panzer Command won't have everything you want in it, but we hope that you and others will give it a try. It's a fun game and we plan to run with this ball and grow the series in a lot of ways.

Regards,

- Erik



_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to OGSF)
Post #: 89
RE: Panzer Command FAQ - 6/21/2006 6:48:46 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32912
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline
FYI, for those that haven't checked lately, the Games section for Panzer Command (it's under Coming Soon) has a number of new screenshots and more will be added as we move towards the release date of June 29th.

Regards,

- Erik

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 90
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