THE PANZERSTEF PG3D SITE :
THE DETAILED REVIEW


1) Introduction:
Panzer General 3D is the new SSI Wargame (very different from PG2) using a totally new system (Leaders and Action Concept) and new 3D Engine.
A leader is needed for each unit : Leaders have a level of promotions from 2 to 10 : this represent the number of orders to be used in one turn.
Orders can be Basic orders (Move, Attack, Resupply, Repair, Dismount, Rally) and Special orders (5 for each class: Camouflate, better recon,..).
==> Moving 3 times and firing 3 times in the same turn is normal in PG3D !


2) The Start of a game:
1) Choose Scenario/Campaign and set the difficulty (settings are very detailed)
2) Go to Scenario/Campaigns and read the briefing (check the primary/secondary hexes on overview map).
3) Go to Headquarters and build/upgrade your army (number of slots is limited): 
  • Choose 1 unit in Equipement Pool, 1 leader in Leaders Pool and assign the leader to the unit (need from 1 to 3 slots)
  • Promote some Leaders (some promotions are given, gain more during fight), so they can give more and better orders.
  • 4) Go to the battlefield and deploy your units.
    5) Quit the deploy mode and start to play. Every unit can use from 2 to 10 orders (= actions) in one turn (move, attack,....)
    6) Gain events (more slots, equipement, leaders, promotions, medals,...) by capturing primary and secondary objectives.
    7) Capture all Primary objectives to win.


    3) Comparison PG2 - PG3D:
     
    PG2 (dec 97) PG3D (oct 99)
    2D Maps (Beautifull but fixed)(same size as PG3D) 3D Maps (textured with relief) including Zoom and Rotations.
    2D Overview Map Intelligent
    Different colors for units already moved...
    2D Overview Maps Useless
    N
    o infos about units...but usefull to see units in forests or cities.
    2D units with fast animation. 3D units with nice animations (smoke/flames when damaged, dust when moving), but SLOW MOVES.
    5 campaigns (1 big, 4 smalls) and 42 scenarios + Online scenarios (+ New Stuff : 250 Scen + 15 Camp) 8 campaigns (4 bigs, 4 smalls) and 20 scenarios + online scenarios(?).
    "1 Move - 1 attack" System :
    Units can move once (except recon) and attack once (tanks also have overrun)
    "Action Combat" System (each unit has a leader with 2->10 orders per turn)
    Units can move and attack several times in one turn.
    Easy Recon  : every ennemy unit in spotted range is seen (exception with unit with Forest Camouflage leader) Hard Recon : Some units are harder to spot, even if under spotted range (cities, forests,..). It is needed to use special orders to have most accurate recon.
    Number of units in army only limited by prestige. Number of units limited by number of : (No prestige points!) Slots Available, Leaders Available, Equipements Available.
    Maximum Number of units involved in scenarios :
    100 for each side (most scenarios 25-75)
    Maximum Number of units involved in scenarios :
    26 for player : 30-50 for computer (but only 25 simultaneous)
    Leaders are only on some units (15 leaders max).
    Leaders have 2 Special Abilities (1 for unit class (8), 1 random(25))
    Every unit has a leader with a level of promotion from 2 to 10.
    1 promotion = 1 order (1 action). Leaders can gain promotions. Leaders may have 2 Special Abilities (medals) :1 for unit class (8), 1 random (33).
    Basic orders : Move, Attack, Resupply, Repair, Mount/Dismount, Embark/disembark
    Special orders : bridge destruction (engineers), ?
    Recon and retrenchement (up to 8?) are automated.
    Basic orders : Move, Attack, Resuply, Repair, Dismount, Rally (delete suppression), retrench (up to 3)
    Special orders : 5 for each class : total 40 (ex: patrol (better recon), camouflage (harder to see), ground attack (Flaks), hide in clouds (planes)....
    Units Stats :
    Stats (ex : Hard, Soft) :
    ex : Pz IIIH (9,7), Pz IVF2 (14,13), Tiger (17,15)
    Units Stats :
    Stats reduced (ex : Hard, Close, Defense) :
    ex : Pz IIIH (6,6), Pz IVF2 (10,11), Tiger (13,12)
    Units Strengh Points :
    Often 10 (or 5), can be extended up to 15 if unit is experimented. Same strengh for rare and common units.
    Units Strengh Points :
    8 for new units/prototypes, 10, 12, or 15 for units available in large number.
    Experience :
    Units get experience during fights. Experience is very usefull for units to get better results (and getting overstrengh ).
    Experience :
    No experience on equipement ! A leader can use a new equipement on every scenario with no consequences. Only Promotions level of Leader is important.
    Some Restrictions for Flaks, Arty and Anti-Tanks (not mounted):
    No attack after moving. Flaks can't be used as anti-tanks.
    No Restrictions for Flaks, Arty and Anti-Tanks (not mounted):
    Any unit can move and attack. Flaks can be used as anti-tanks (special order).
    Difficulty settings :
    Only a percentage (050-300) of basic prestige.
    Difficulty settings very detailed :
    Number of Leaders/Equipement, quality of Leaders/Equipements,....
    Support fire:
    Arty support on enemy inside arty range (limited by munitions)
    No infantry support for tanks.
    Support fire:
    Arty support on enemy inside arty range (limited by munitions and orders but very efficient)
    Infantry support for tanks attacking cities/forests...(if infantry is adjacent to ennemy)
    Initiative used to determine whose unit fire first. Retrenchement (-> 8) help to win inititative. Reserve fire : Save 1 order to be able to fire first when attacked for first time. Retrenchement (->3) help.
    Briefings in campaigns is nice (text and voices)
    Scenario Editor provided (but limited)
    Briefings in campaigns is not as good (text but no voices)
    No Scenario Editor available!
    Fire Range : (can be modified by leaders)
    Tanks = 1-2, Anti-Tanks = 1-2, Artys = 2-5, Flaks = 1-3
    Fire Range : (can be modified by leaders)
    Tanks = 1-2, Anti-Tanks = 1-2, Artys = 2-5?, Flaks = 1-3?
    Unit special abilities : special moves for recon unit, entrenchement ignored for engineers, Support fire from arty/flaks (suppression), overrun for tanks, paratroops, weather conditions (fighters/bombers) Unit special abilities : better moves for recon unit (1 free move), entrenchement ignored for engineers, Support fire from arty/flaks (suppression), overrun for tanks, paratroops, weather conditions (fighters/bombers)

    4) The Review:

    (+) THE GOOD THINGS :

    8 Campaigns : 4 longs : German Rommel (18), German Guderian (18), American Patton (16), English Montgomery (19) 3 shorts : German Kesselring (6), French Leclerc (7), American Patch (6) 1 very short : English O'Connor(3)

    The "Action Combat System" is really interesting (new but not optimized):
    Every unit is controled by a leader, who give orders using his promotion level (from 2 to 10). Orders are either Basic (Move, attack, Repair,...) or Special (5 for each class). A high level leader can give more orders (moves/attacks/repair/...), and use from 1->5 special orders (more powerfull)
    A better leader can make the difference...

    The Leaders Management is good, new but not so fun (Number of leaders is limited):
    Assign
    leaders to units between scenarios depending on their class units. Gain Medals (2 special abilities, like in PG2) during fights by capturing primary/secondary objectives, killing units or being promoted. Gain Promotions  by capturing some primary/secondary hexes. Promote leaders so they can use more orders and some special orders, more powerfull. Give Orders to units with Leaders Promotions (1 promotion = 1 order) (Basic Orders : move, attack, repair... or Special Orders (5 for each class)). Gain New Leaders during fights by capturing some primary/secondary objectives. Dismiss Leaders who are not interesting (not enough promotions). Leaders are either Killed or Missing in Action (come back in next scenario) when unit is destroyed.

    The Equipement management is good (except no experience points) (number of units is limited):
    Gain more units by capturing primary/secondary Objectives or between scenarios (provided by heeadquarters). Gain prototypes (and units stolen to ennemy) by capturing primary/secondary hexes). Units available in large number  receive more strengh points (up to 15) while new units/prototypes have only 8 points.

    Recon more realistic : recon units do not spot every unit in visual field : they need to use special order for most accurate recon. Some units can use special orders to hide (camouflate (infantry) or hide in clouds (planes))

    The Online Games system (not tested and not working on french version 1.0), with up to 4 players games (try Mplayer.com) : time can be limited depending on promotions total number.

    The 3D Maps (with Zoom, rotations, and option for better scrolling) are interesting

    Units animation are great (dust for moves, smoke (damages), flames (heavy damages), planes attacks/crashes...)

    The Difficulty Settings are well detailed to set the difficulty (many differents options, number/quality of leaders/equipement)

    (-) THE BAD THINGS :

    NO PBEM SUPPORT !!!
    (Play by Email) and no Head to Head Support (2 players on same computer) :
    Only Scenarios/Campaigns against Computer, or Online games)--> Hey SSI, a patch would be great !

    NO EAST FRONT !!! : Only West Front and Africa Front available --> another version may be expected (data or new game?) : more money for a game not optimized... PG2 has all fronts !

    Small number of units involved in campaigns (10-> 26 slots so about 12-15 units) and scenarios (12 ->26 slots, most around 15-18). The number of slots is sometimes reduced (!) and some units may be dismissed after a battle!

    Scenarios in campaigns are always the same way : You fight against some units in first 2 turns and then move fast to others VH, protected by some units. Second half of campaigns is very easy : you can make attacks from long range and hurt badly computer who can do nothing (step 1 : send recon near city, step 2 : send artys to attack flaks and infantries, step 3 : send bombers to destroy artys and tanks, step 4 : send tanks to finish units, step 5 : capture city and move Flak near units: step 6 : next city....Only 1 small group (12 units) can do this and achieve Brilliant victories ! Not fun !

    Simple Equipement Upgrade System : just choose a leader and assign new equipement..there is no EXPERIENCE POINTS. You can lose unit and/or leaders with no real consequences (easy to replace!). But losing an experimented unit in PG2 was a BIG problem and it was needed to take care of them as they were very hard to replace...

    Simple Leader Upgrade System : You can give promotions to leaders even if they did not fight at all ! Leader should score some casualties before being able to be promoted.

    The 3D Maps are not bigs (about same size as PG2, but PG3 units can move much faster), with no flags on hexes (just colours), no hex grid (hard for planes moves), Zoom is limited, and Scrolling is not great. The interest of these 3D maps is not evident for Strategy! Some spotted units are very hard to see (in cities, forests), and may cause bad surprises...

    The overview map does not show infos about units (if they have moved or not, like in PG2) and you need to watch it to notice position of spotted units (hard to see in forest or cities)

    The Units animations (mostly moves) are REALLY SLOW!!!
    Lucky, a double click will make unit go directly to hex, without animation

    Only 20 Solos Scenarios (against computer and only playable as attacker) --> more expected from players (if and when editor is available)?

    No Scenario/Campaign Editor available --> we can just hope that some players will create some (like in PG2).

    No Date! I could not find a date in the campaigns...you can just make an idea when new equipements comes (tigers..)

    No High Scores Table. When a campaign is finished, you have a score and that's all ! No way to remember.

    Some scenarios are just exact PG2 conversion (Map, Objectives..) ex : PG2 windsor in PG3D in Rommel Campaign?

    Some fire range are not easy to determine (mostly ennemy Flaks : Range 2 or 3 can be extended with special orders and medals.

     (+/-) MY OPINION :
    A new game, very different from PG2 (3D Maps and Action Combat System : units often move 3 times and fire 3 times!)

    My first opinion after playing the demo was not good, because i did not understood all concepts. Then my opinion was better (but maybe not great) after playing more. Now my opinion is getting down due to some major defaults...

    The system of Leaders/Orders is new and really interesting but there is some problems (the difference of promotions is too large (2 to 10), some leaders are promoted without fighting, no experience points, not many units involved...). System need to be improved (for East Front update?). Most battles look like the same, so there is less fun....

    The 3D maps are good (not as beautifull as PG2) with zoom and rotations, but does not really help players with visual field, and the animations are great to see, but moves are SLOW!!!

    It is really a shame that there is NO PBEM SUPPORT and NO EAST FRONT (quite interesting, and difficult):
    SSI is following a bad and dangerous strategy (giving up wargamers and trying to support only a more larger public...)
    Hey SSI, we are still waiting for PG2 1.1 Patch !!!! Will it be the same for PG3D and next games?

    Some good things, some bad things...i hope next game will be really improved from this good base and not only updated.
    PG2 IS STILL MY FAVOURITE WARGAME (even with so many bugs but a nice system).

    Conclusion : Try it (demo) before buying it (and read some reviews).... and don't expect a game similar to PG2 !
    If you like email games, just wait for next game...
    I would be interesting by your comments on this game..Email me