Panzer Corps Preview

by on 12th Apr 2011

Tim van-der-Moer and Lukas Nijsten


The Lordz Games Studio were totally honest about Panzer Corps' inspiration, which was the only realistic option anyway. A turn-based strategy game where you control the Germans, from the invasion of Poland onwards? A branching campaign, including some alternate history scenarios, depending upon player performance? Core units carrying over from battle to battle, providing continuity? I see something of the Panzer General in you, my son.

Panzer Corps includes 26 scenarios, covering the European Theatre of WII from 1939 to 1945, with 400 different units divided into 19 unit types. Prestige is the currency of the game, used to purchase, upgrade, reinforce, and resupply units. Units can gain experience and win medals, and can be assigned historical aces to boost their performance (Michael Wittman for panzer units, for example). Combined arms is the main focus of the game, and players must co-ordinate air support, artillery, infantry, armour, and naval units, in order to stand a chance.

More specialised units have been introduced. Designer Lukas Nijsten gave an example of bridging detachments: "If you place them on a river, they will allow other units to move across without any movement penalty...there are a lot of special units that have unique uses."

Weather and terrain will influence the course of each battle, with bad weather changing attack and movement values, and 17 different terrain types. An additional feature is rail movement. While units can be assigned trucks or half-tracks for faster movement, they can also move by rail, albeit in a very vulnerable state. Cities are hubs for rail networks, increasing their importance further.

Numerous graphical touches make the game look quite nice, with different explosions providing visual feedback on the success of attacks, and the visual style and display options have been designed with everything from netbooks to big HD displays in mind. Units are very detailed, and modelled in 3D, made up of anywhere between 3,000 and 6,000 polys, even though the game aims for a "2D boardgame" feel.

The soundtrack was created by Alessandro Ponti, he of Battlefield Academy damnably catchy fame, with a "darker feel" in mind, and each unit will have unique sounds, giving players another way to tell them apart.

The Lordz want to make Panzer Corps feel very familiar, and Panzer General players (that's…almost all of us?) will instantly be at home with the game ("Five minutes and you're away." as Tim van der Moer, managing director of The Lordz, estimated), which will expand in scope as the war goes on. Van der Moer explained, "In the initial build, the first scenario, Poland, you got 75 units right from the start. Well, a new player, he will go nuts." so they introduced a tutorial, and incrementally increased the number of units the player controls. In order to keep track of the whole battlefield, a strategic map is available, and you can play the game from there if you prefer the big picture.

Panzer Corps will track a lot of stats, and will store a record of your games. Much like chess notation, each move will be recorded, and you will be able to replay battles. Slitherine’s nicely integrated play-by-email system will be included. A scenario editor will also be available, allowing players to create their own maps and units.

The Lordz don't seem to be shy of challenges at the moment, inviting Panzer Corps' comparison to Panzer General, one of strategy gaming's sacred cows, while also creating a WWI strategy game (Commander: The Great War), working on Allied and Pacific Corps ("Oh, we can't talk about those." said van der Moer and Nijsten, separately, but in the exact same tone, with the exact same secretive smile) and a Napoleonic game ("We can't talk about that, either.").

Developed by The Lordz Games Studio and published by Slitherine, Panzer Corps is due for a 15th May release in EFIGS, with Polish, Russian, and Dutch also to be supported.

 

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Guest_wullffy_*\
23 May 2011 - 6:41pm
Guest_wullffy_*
I loved playing Panzer general (still do) and whist you are to be commended for updating it, to play on newer OS's it seems to me you are only updating the graphics and adding very little new gameplay. Bridging units and weather effects were in the original and you seem to say they are added. I hope this will be reflected in the price, if it is I will certainly buy it.
Slaughter\
15 Apr 2011 - 3:52pm
Slaughter
Interesting! Panzer General was a great game, so I welcome games that takes it's inspiration from there.
FullAuto\
14 Apr 2011 - 2:57pm
FullAuto
Does look like it might be a good update.
Space Voyager\
14 Apr 2011 - 1:41pm
Space Voyager
Well, I loved Panzer General, so I don't see a reason not to like this one, too! :)

 

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Game Card

Panzer Corps Box
Developer: The Lordz Games Studio
Publisher: Slitherine
Released:15/05/2011

Screenshots

Databank