Recreating the crucial years of 1942 and 1943 on the eastern front is a massive undertaking, as is evolving the gameplay mechanics and the units roster to better represent the type of warfare waged in the huge battlefields of Russia.
As you might imagine, the Panzer is king (or should I say konig?) in Panzerkrieg. The new campaign starts in January 1942. By the end of 1941 the German rapid advance has been halted at Moscow and Leningrad by the valour of the Red Army and another implacable enemy: Russian winter.
This terrible war of attrition continues in January 1942, starting with the “Rhzev Meat Grinder” and the Demyansk Pocket. But the German staff knows that the Russian winter won’t last forever. Come the spring they will be able to launch a renewed offensive. The goal? To reach for the throat of the bear and strangle it. How? By striking at the Caucasus and the rich oil deposits of Baku.
What is new?
With over 40 new units to expand the German and Russian rosters, as well as other countries in the Axis, the primary focus was put on expanding the list of available units.
We will be focusing on some of the new units in a later developer diary, but for now let’s just say that mechanized warfare will dominate the battlefield. Imagine steel behemoths rolling on muddy fields, powerful airplanes bringing death from above and Stalinorgel guns unleashing destruction.
The developers really wanted to properly represent Russian terrain in Panzerkrieg, and the importance of it in a maneuvering war. They have completely revamped the movement value for different types of terrains (including paved and dirt roads) for different types of units (feet, wheels, tracks…).
The new terrain rules, coupled with new ways to affect encircled or cut-off units as well as all the new units themselves will make you face new situations and force you to adapt your strategy.
There is also one important change that we need to mention: artillery will now disorder after consecutive turns of fire due to guns overheating. Even guns need to take a break once in a while!
The Specialization System
Before we say anything of the new specializations, let’s repeat one thing: there’s a full carry-over system linking Blitzkrieg (the previous DLC) to Panzerkrieg (as well as future yet unannounced DLCs!), making it in all effects a megacampaign. Not only you will carry-over your forces, but your Commanders and your Specializations as well!
The new specializations reflect the challenges and initiatives of the German command, as well as new ways to interpret tank warfare. Some examples…
Organisation Todt, named after its founder Fritz Todt, this engineering group will be deployed on the frontline and assist you in repairing and constructing defenses and infrastucture.
You can also choose to expand the Waffen SS: it’s a controversial subject, but they were part of the campaign and we wanted to represent them. You can now expand the organisation and add more divisions by recruiting from a larger population pool.
You can choose to make use of Synthetic Fuel Plants or you can go for the Panzerfibel specialization and reform your tank manuals. By choosing the Goliath Mine specialization you can increase the destructive potential of your engineers. Or maybe you’d like to focus on the Pakfront: grouping several AT guns under a single officer, the guns can all fire at once against selective targets, maximizing the element of surprise and minimizing the chance for return fire. Interesting, right? You can also choose to adopt the Panzerkeil tank formation, allowing you to gain defensive bonuses in certain conditions.
Let’s conclude this entry for today by saying that the Artistocrats are also working on a Campaign editor!
That is the subject for another day, though. We have more things to show and tell you, and we’ll be back soon, very soon. It’s a promise! Stay tuned.