Hello All! Welcome to the first dev diary of 2019. Today we wanted to make another dive into game mechanics. And since many people asked about naval rules, this is what we are going to cover in today’s issue.
Of course, the main focus of Panzer Corps series is ground warfare. Compared to that, ships can be considered less important. At the same time, scenarios involving ships and naval landings provide a different set of challenges and for this reason feel unique and memorable. In Panzer Corps 2 we wanted to try and make the ships even more interesting to play with, both in single player and multiplayer environment. In scenarios focused on naval warfare, ships can be purchased, upgraded and repaired in ports and can capture neutral and enemy ports. So, it is possible to have up to 8 fleets struggling for control of a map, much like it works for ground units. We keep the basic “rock – paper – scissors” approach from Panzer Corps for capital ships, destroyers and submarines, but add a number of new rules on top.
All ships are single entities, and their strength number indicates hit points. Reduced hit points do not automatically reduce the ship’s firepower. Larger ships, like battleships and heavy cruisers, have more hit points to reflect their higher survivability. All damage done to ships falls in two categories: “kills” and “wounds”. “Wounds” can be repaired in open sea, while “kills” can only be repaired in ports. One “wound” per turn is healed automatically. Unspent move and attack actions are used to heal additional “wounds”.
When attacking enemy ships, both distance to the target and relative orientation of the attacker and the defender affects the accuracy of the shot. Smaller ships are also harder to hit from long distance.
To better represent cooperation between ships, we introduce several new support fire rules.
– Destroyers provide support fire against enemy submarines.
– Ships with AA ability provide support fire against enemy bombers.
– Capital ships provide support fire to smaller ships and naval transports against enemy capital ships.
– Ships provide support fire to adjacent ground units against enemy ground units. This means that ships become very important in their role to support naval landings, especially destroyers because larger ships cannot enter shallow water.
Submarines can switch between submerged and surfaced states. Surfaced submarines have better movement speed, spotting and firing accuracy, but can be spotted and attacked like any other ship. Only surfaced submarines can enter shallow sea hexes. Submerged submarines are much more difficult to spot: they can only be spotted only by destroyers, and only if they moved on their turn. Submerged subs also ignore ZOC of enemy ships.
Carriers serve as mobile airfields. Air units attack from carriers and automatically return at the beginning of their turn. Each carrier has a certain aircraft capacity (up to 7), and aircraft types which it can carry are configured for each carrier type separately.
Each point of damage done to a ship also gives a certain chance to cause “special damage” which affects the ship’s stats in various ways. Here are some examples of special damage:
– Damaged turret – reduced naval/ground attack strength.
– Damaged AA turret – reduced air attack.
– Damaged propellers or engine room – reduced speed
– Damaged radar – reduced spotting
– Damaged sonar (destroyer) – can no longer detect submerged submarines
– Damaged flight deck (carriers) – all aircraft lose move and attack actions next turn
As was explained in previous dev diaries, embark only requires unspent attack action, which allows to embark a whole army in a single port in a single turn. Same is true for disembark: it only requires unspent attack action, which means that naval transport can move and disembark on the same turn. This makes naval landings much more flexible. Additionally, infantry units have a special ability to attack directly from landing craft. This, combined with damage and suppression from other ships, allows pushing enemy units back from the shore.