What needs updating in PFE ? (Full Version)

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Rasputitsa -> What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 10:02:35 AM)

Withdrawal :

See detail in this thread, but if you select withdrawal, even if you do not actually issue the order, the unit will still withdraw.


Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 10:06:47 AM)

Supply :

The problem I had was when adding 'combat supply' to units still in the Reinforcements 'Arrivals' list, which scrambled the overall amount of supply and this may be a 'Windows 10' issue, as it hasn't happened in 'Windows 7'.

However, there is no advantage in using this feature, which was added in v1.03, as the unit arrives with the combat supply already applied, but is unable to move, so you get no advantage from early supply. You might as well wait until the unit appears on the map and apply the combat supply then, see this thread.


Similar problem with the 'combat supply' button in the 'Withdrawal' list, which seems to scramble the supply system. A better use of a 'combat supply' button in the 'Withdrawal' list would be to recover supply back to the main pools, from units about to leave the theatre.


Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 10:13:09 AM)

More Supply :

NAPLES and TARANTO seem to be overpowered as supply sources to the Allies, as when they are at full capacity they provide 100% supply to huge areas of the map, apparently irrespective of terrain, or weather limitations, which should be more significant, see this thread.


and again :


Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 10:30:22 AM)

Supply Again :

The 'Supply Status' overlay creates a hole in the game FOW, as it clearly shows where enemy units are, as the blue arrows in the image show (these must be Allied units). I'm not sure if there is an answer, or even if there needs to be an answer, as you could just look at this as low level intelligence.


Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 10:45:56 AM)

Axis Air :

Axis air seems to be heavily disadvantaged in the game, such that it might as well not be there. Obviously the Allies had a huge superiority, but historically the Axis were able to conserve some of their air power throughout the campaign.

The Allies don't seem to suffer any losses in wiping out the Axis air.

There should be some protection in not flying missions and holding back some Axis aircraft for later, without having them all destroyed, whatever you do, see this thread :


That Axis air units get hammered is not too surprising, noting the Allied air superiority, but the Axis losses are extreme and there doesn't seem to be any loss to the Allies, unless it is hidden in FOW.

Wikipedia shows the Axis with 722 aircraft in Sept. 1943, ending with 79 aircraft in April 1945, but lost **4500+ during the Italian and Balkan campaigns, whilst the Allies lost over 8000 aircraft, indicating an very active air campaign, but these Allied losses do not seem to appear in the game.

**"Luftwaffe Aircraft Losses By Theater, September 1943-October 1944". The Air Force Historical Foundation.

In detail, 4,468 Axis operational losses are given for Italy and the Balkans, for the period of September 1943 to October 1944.

As the game is currently configured the air to air campaign is very short and conclusive with Axis air power ceasing to exist within the first few turns. The Axis averages 50% loses each combat turn, which seems a very high, especially as the Allies have such little loss.

Historically, the Axis lost 1441 aircraft during Sep-Dec 1943 for the Italian and Balkan theatres, but still had 1160 aircraft on strength for the period Jan-May 1944, losing another 2000+ during this time. So losses are significant, but the Luftwaffe was still able to contest the air war until well into 1944, there might be an issue over Axis % air losses and the balance of Axis replacement air strength.

However, simple aircraft numbers do not necessarily indicate effectiveness, but others on the forum have also queried the Axis poor air performance.

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 10:52:26 AM)

Attack with no Advance :

It would be good to have the option to launch an attack and be able to select 'no advance'(spoiling/diversion attack), whereas the chance of advance into the battle hex is more random right now, see thread :


Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 10:56:31 AM)

Terrain Mapping :

There is a problem in the way the game screen information bar, combat reports and the manual text refer to hex terrain types. I think the map detail and the way the game handles terrain data is correct, but all game text references, combat reports, the Map Legend and manual references have 'Hilly' and 'Rough' terrain transposed (CHEMKID map legend has been corrected). See this thread for more detail :



This hex (06,61) is actually 'hilly', which looks correct on the map, but text references call it 'rough'.

I think the game is working OK with all terrain combat effects and movement allowances being correctly applied, it's just the text headings and labels which are transposed.

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 11:27:13 AM)

Fortifications :

The way fortification happens in the game looks more like digging in, it happens whenever a unit stops and is achieved quite quickly, so eventually you end up with a rash of 'fortifications' around the map, which don't seem to add much to the defence of the 'fortified' hexes.

The fortifications of the 'Gustav', 'Gothic', etc., lines where substantial positions and imposed a significant delay on the Allies. Perhaps there should be more coherent defence lines in the game, even if they have to be 'hard-coded', to ensure that they are actual lines, using terrain, and have a much more significant defensive value.

Maybe several 'line' options could be available and not just the historic lines, with the decision of which lines to activate left to the player, with an appropriate building delay and cost. Not sure how the AI handles this, but at least it would allow the AI to have a coherent line defence, instead of random and chance fortification hexes.

The current game routine could be retained as digging-in, which the Allies could do as well, with a deeper fortification routine taking longer to achieve and giving more defensive benefits, as befitting the construction of prepared concrete fortifications, which would take longer than a 4 day turn to have an effect.

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 11:30:25 AM)

Message Archive :

The game provides information messages and combat reports, which is all very useful, but the combat reports have gone when each screen is cancelled to progress the turn. I am taking screen shots to record these combat reports info boxes, which hold a lot of information on the unit status of both sides.

Some Information messages can be viewed after each turn resolution in the 'Display Past Messages' button, but not all messages appear here and an archive would be useful to refer back to messages from earlier turns.

The excellence of these games is that they do not drown you in data and anything that shows on the screen is relevant and needs to be noted.

It would be very useful to have a message archive (button) to be able to refer back to information like combat reports, shown during the current resolution phase and also from previous turns.

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 12:10:31 PM)

View Settings/Supply Status Buttons :

The View Settings and Supply Status buttons seem to have been transposed, as the oil drum symbol brings in the settings panel (see image) and the 'S' button shows the supply overlay.


Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 12:43:38 PM)

Zones of Control :

The manual states that ZOCs are important in this game and so they are, with the AI demonstrating that it is fully able to set up a defence line with very few units, by making good use of interlocking ZOCs. Unfortunately the AI can become trapped in the same web of ZOCs, by allowing itself to be encircled too easily. On many occasions the Axis AI made a good job of using well timed withdrawals, just before a major attack was to be made, but on other occasions it crowded units into hopeless positions, which were too easily cut-off. The Axis AI was placing great importance on holding ports, which is sensible, but went into over-kill, risking far too many units, to be pinned against the coast and destroyed.

Historically, the Axis found it much easier to slip away, after holding ground, and maybe there is some fix which can moderate the effects of ZOC on the Axis AI in these situations, after all, the Axis knew the ground better, as they had been in occupation for sometimes months, whilst the Allies were always, to some extent, moving into the unknown. I think what I am suggesting is moderating the effect of ZOCs when hexes are, or have been, your own territory.

It is more likely that a side can exert control over a hex that has been recently in its ownership, by demolitions, booby-traps and stay-behind units, etc., than the opposing side could exert the same control over a hex that it has never previously occupied.

Is there a case that, where units from opposing sides can exert a ZOC over the same hex, the side which had previous ownership of the hex should take priory in ZOC, or that the ZOC effects should be initially mitigated/neutralised until the new owner has been in position more that one turn and can exert full control. This is intended to give the AI a chance to escape, as I think it needs the help.

Could there be a feature where, by selecting a unit and pressing a hot-key, all the hexes where that unit exerts an active ZOC could be highlighted.

Edit :

There is a quote and I cannot remember who, but may have been Kesselring, that Axis demolitions forced such a delay on the Allied advance that Axis fighting troops did not add much more to that delay.

Game Manual : Also, I prefer that a unit has the ability to perform only one action at a time. So no leave a ZoC, move, enter a different ZoC and attack in this game.

In the game, as Allies, the ZOC do impose a significant delay factor, which is correct, but it is also adversely affects the Axis AI which may be too much, getting trapped in ZOC. The AI needs a helping hand, maybe a get-out-of-jail-free card in certain circumstances, with a delay (one turn) in the Allies being able to establish ZOC in newly won ex-Axis territory.

Some mitigation of the above Manual reference, so that the Axis AI does not get trapped so easily.

Obviously the Allies are not in the business of blowing up territory they are trying to liberate, so this only applies to the Axis.

It would be useful to be able to see ZOC ownership (hot key) and the Axis should initially have priority where ZOC might be contested, but to emphasis, this is only a short term advantage to the Axis, in the initial turn of transfer of hex ownership, after that, business as usual.

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 1:05:01 PM)

Allied Beach-heads :

The Allied AI is not good at protecting its amphibious beach-heads and when the beach-head is lost, game over.

Effect of Naval Gunfire

After Dieppe 1942 no significant Allied beach-head was lost to enemy action. At 'Omaha', Normandy 1944 and Salerno 1943, the Allied commanders considered abandoning the beach-heads, but that did not happen and naval gunfire was decisive. Naval fire support can reach all parts of a PFE hex (7.5 miles across) and break up concentrations of enemy forces, meaning that landing forces can be pinned into the beach-head, but not necessarily eliminated.

The beach-head contains 1000's of support troops and equipment, even if no actual unit counters are in a beach-head hex, in reality, the beach-head hex is never empty and has massive gunfire support.

Naval gunfire support is already available in the game for the actual landing (Manual - Amphibious units invading a beach that turn fire at double strength to represent naval support), the proposal is that similar support should continue through the following turns.

Where a beach-head symbol has been placed and 'Beach' hexes designated, naval gunfire support should make adjacent coastal 'Beach' hexes immune from capture, or at least provide sufficient additional combat odds to make the beach-head very difficult to capture. This may place a limit on how many beach-head hexes can be supported by the available naval forces, irrespective of how many amphibious points are available.

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 1:12:00 PM)

Armoured Units in Mountain Terrain :

Armoured units would have difficulty in occupying and operating through mountain terrain and would be unable to deploy their full mobile capability except along valley roads. Motorised units have a higher proportion of infantry and can make better use of mountain terrain.

Should armoured units be limited only to be able to cross mountain terrain hex-sides (in either direction), if there is a road crossing that hex-side ?

This also could be extended to 'Hilly' terrain, as in the context of the Italian Campaign, Cassino is 'Hilly' terrain and not suitable for tanks, but would that be too restrictive and cause problems for the AI ?

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 2:05:07 PM)

Disruption :

I think that the 'disruption' feature should be more pronounced, as you find units in action for months, but hardly affected by disruption. Disruption does occur in certain circumstances, but should also be present as an accumulating background effect just for being in action, over long periods of time.

Only lack of supply and combat seem to have a really significant effect on disruption, when it should be also have an additional constant gradual buildup over time.

Many units show hardly any disruption at all after being in the frontline continuously for the whole game, which should be enough to gradually build up disruption even without combat, or difficult terrain.

Units in good supply seem to be immune from disruption, but the balance should require some rest periods in a scenario of 100+ turns, although the AI may need some help with this and not be penalised as much.


Edit : had a re-think on this and I am confusing 'disruption' with 'fatigue' and the scale of the game. Unit scale is mainly divisions and although a division may be in action for the whole of a campaign, the component parts of the division, the battalions, or even brigades, may be exchanged and will not necessarily be in action all the time.

'Disruption' would be the result of battle damage and shortage of supply, meaning equipment and vehicles cannot fully be deployed, so I was surprised that disruption only had a significant effect on very few occasions, but I suppose it's how it was, unless other people have similar experiences.

The game does not cover 'fatigue' specifically so 'disruption' must handle it all.

pzgndr -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 10:19:00 PM)

Based on updates for CotD, two additional updates might be an editor for scenario adjustments and the random scenario selection option? That would be good.

Michael T -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (8/11/2019 11:33:18 PM)

I would have loved to see this game system applied to North Africa.

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (3/23/2020 12:44:21 PM)

Playing Axis, it seems that Mountain troops are included in the same replacements pool as ordinary infantry. Mountain troops should have their own replacement pool, as other specialised units have, such as paratroops and commandos.

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (3/23/2020 12:49:01 PM)

It would be useful to be able to merge units of the same type, when in the same hex. Units that have suffered losses are practically useless and very vulnerable, so merging is a realistic way to deal with units which are the debris of battles. Historically, units were combined when not strong enough to fight alone.

EDIT : 24th Mar 2020.

The game is already able to combine the data and attributes of separate units, as shown in the battle reports, see left panel below :


Whenever more than one unit is in the same hex, units of the same type (e.g. using the same replacement pool) could have a 'Merge' option appear in the Actions available (see right panel above), provided they did not exceed a set total strength limit for the combined unit.

After selecting 'Merge' a new panel would show the units in that hex, which are eligible to merge, for the player to confirm the merging unit and complete the action.

Replacement pools should be reviewed to ensure that only units of similar type and nationality groups can be merged.

I have already mentioned that mountain troops should have their own replacement pool and perhaps so should SS units, but British and Commonwealth units could be merged, subject to limitations on manpower for certain nations, such as New Zealand.

fondfoat -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (3/30/2020 5:13:14 PM)

I was thinking about picking this up. Was anything you mentioned here fixed?

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (3/30/2020 6:31:30 PM)


ORIGINAL: fondfoat

I was thinking about picking this up. Was anything you mentioned here fixed?

All of the above are suggestions for if and when the game is updated, in the mean time the game is fully playable and stable.

I posted an AAR in some detail to try and show to the detail which is in the game. All the screen shots are using the CHEMKID map and counter mod and unfortunately CHEMKID has since left the forum, but I have copies of the mods if you decide to get the game.

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (4/4/2020 8:26:39 AM)

Unit Stack Value and Strength Points :

There is not a always a direct correlation between these two factors, HG MOT Div. has a Stack Value (5) and an initial strength of (19), 26th Pz Div. has a Stack Value (4) and initial strength (14), 29th MOT Div. has Stack Value (3) and also an initial strength also (14). 305th INF Div. also has a Stack Value of (3), but a strength of only (9).

Motorised units are likely to have a greater Stack Value, as having a significant number vehicles will increase the unit's footprint in terms of filling the terrain, but GER 1st FsJ has a Stack Value (5), which seems a lot for a unit which should be light on vehicles and a strength of (15), which reflects the fighting power of the paratroops.

As a unit takes losses the strength points reduce, but the Stack Value stays the same.

This makes some sense, as the unit size (Stack Value) shows the unit's potential, whereas the available strength points show how much of the unit's power is actually ready to fight. This is all probably WAD, but does it need to be adjusted.

The manual confirms that the Stacking Value represents the physical size of the unit, but when a unit has been significantly reduced by losses, then the Stacking Value should also reduce, especially when a unit is reduced in strength and stays that way, because of lack of replacements.

If GER 1st FsJ Div. is reduced to strength (1) and there are no replacements, which is likely, it still retains its Stack Value of (5), which means that other units cannot be placed in the same mountain hex, where the stacking limit is (5), but the FsJ would no longer have their original physical size to justify their Stack Value.

Again from the Manual : 'Friendly units can also block movement due to their occupation of a hex that cannot otherwise be entered due to stacking limitations'. - So a unit reduced in size by heavy losses could still block a hex for other friendly units to move through.

Stacking Value is also used to calculate Allied amphibious transport capacity, but units are usually at full strength at that stage of the game and I am not sure you would want to amphibiously move a unit with heavy losses, but still, Stacking Value should reflect the actual size of the unit, if it has been reduced significantly.

I am not proposing a direct correlation, between Stack Value and strength points, as there is need for variation, but there should be some dynamic adjustment of Stack Value to reflect large losses of strength. The game makes dynamic adjustments in the case of units capability for generating an LOC, which is changed when a unit is forced to retreat, likewise, when strength changes by certain limits the Stack Value should change also.


Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (5/1/2020 2:46:15 PM)

Here's a situation which occurred in the AAR that I am posting :


In the main image the highlighted unit (GER 94th) is in a mountain hex and was ordered to 'withdraw' last turn, but the Allies launched an attack and the 94th was unable to withdraw and remains in the mountain hex.

Next turn hoping to try again and 'withdraw' the 94th, but there is no 'withdraw' option available only 'attack'. I am not sure why this is, as the Axis still control the hex into which the 94th could withdraw. I can plot an 'attack' into any of the 4 adjoining hexes which contain enemy units, but I have no option to plot a move into the empty adjoining hexes.

The Supply overlay shows that the Axis still control the adjoining black highlighted hex and although it may now be affected by Allied ZOCs, there should be nothing to stop a 'withdraw' move.

The 'Replacement' button is available in the unit info box, also 'combat supply' can be selected, so the unit is not isolated (hex has 70% supply) and although a 'withdrawal' may fail, I am not even being allowed the option.

I can see that there may be effects from Allied ZOCs, but other Axis units also have a ZOC influence here and it is still Axis territory, so there should be no prohibition on having a withdraw option.

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (5/16/2020 3:21:48 PM)

To add flexibility into the game it would be good to have an option to return Combat Supply and maybe also Strength Points, from units, back to their respective pools, maybe with the same limitations that apply to allocating these items in the first place.

That would be for combat supply, one level could be returned to the combat supply pool each turn, for strength points, three points per turn could be returned to the relevant replacement pool (Armour/Infantry/Airborne) each turn.

In the case of combat supply, this would complete the action for that unit for that turn turn, as it is when combat supply is allocated to a unit.

In the case of strength points, there is already an option to disband units and return strength points to the replacement pool, but I suggest that this should be available in part, without fully disbanding a unit

You get situations where units at full strength and full combat supply sit idle, whilst other units desperately need these resources. In reality, commanders would transfer resources and manpower to more threatened parts of their forces.

In reality this would use transport capacity, so perhaps there should be a limit on how many times this procedure could be used in any turn, or a fuel penalty to avoid over-use of this feature.

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (10/15/2020 10:52:27 AM)

Terrain Error :

Hex (12,52) is being counted as 'open' terrain, with a stack limit of (10), when the map graphic shows it as hills.


There is a further error, already noted, where 'hilly' and 'rough' terrain are transposed in the map legend and manual text, although it is only a presentational error, as the data seems to be applied correctly for relevant map terrains.

The adjoining hexes around (12,52) are listed as 'rough', where they are obviously 'hilly', so (12,52) should show 'hilly' when all errors are corrected.

The map legend on the CHEMKID map mod was corrected some time ago, so use the graphics as a guide to terrain.

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (10/16/2020 10:14:44 AM)

Terrain Error 2

I scanned the map hexes to see if there were any more errors and found just one more :


Indicated as 'Hills' when it is 'Open' terrain on the map, which has dropped the stack limit to (7).

Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (10/16/2020 10:20:27 AM)

Hotkeys :

Doesn't look like the hotkeys are working, don't know if it's just me, but I don't use them anyway.


Rasputitsa -> RE: What needs updating in PFE ? (10/16/2020 10:27:28 AM)

Message Archive :

I asked if a message archive could be created so that you could look back over the messages that the game gives you, but have since found that you can 'lift' the text out of the message panel, by highlighting and copying the text into a separate file, to save and have for reference.

The access is the same as the battle reports in 'Campaigns on the Danube', where the text can also be copied.


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