[REF] Introductory Documentation

Panzer / Allied General Remake: Strategies, Tactics, Efiles, Custom Campaigns, Customizations, Documentation.

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HexCode
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[REF] Introductory Documentation

Post by HexCode » 2019-10-01 01:58, Tuesday

CONTENT LINKS
============

Introduction
Panzer General Forever (PGF)
PGF -- Frequently Asked Questions
PGF -- Basic Game Orientation
PGF -- Customization / Mods
PGF -- The Future
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=130#p334

PGF -- Basic Folder Structure
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=130#p355

PGF -- Glossary
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=130#p372

PGF -- Basic Download
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=130#p412

PGF -- Strategic & Tactical Notes
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=130#p595

PGF -- Unit Classes
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=130#p662

PGF -- Terrain Generic Descriptors
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=130#p961

PGF -- Unit Attributes: Fixed Stats During Play
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=130#p1707

PGF -- Unit Attributes: Variable Stats During Play
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=130#p1871

PGF -- Key Play System Elements
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=130#p1893


===================================================================

INTRODUCTION
==============

PG Forever is a remake of SSI's Panzer General as well as Allied General since these two games share the same play rules. The goal was to preserve the characteristic looks and feel of the original games while improving, at the same time, such aspects as compatibility with less dated hardware and operating systems, the user inerface (UI), multiplayer play, and the ability to customize content.

Great attention was paid to replicating the game mechanics of the original games. However, the actual play experience is not the same because of the markedly different AI present. Gameplay per se is quite faithfully preserved. Nevertheless, some old game features such as battle animations, voice overs and PBEM are not present.

New features include a different UI, improved overall usability, a combat log and extended combat prediction, replay, online multiplayer play and mods that can readily be included and accessed via the main screen. The ability to design custom content is much improved and the game features a capability that makes conversion of old PG1-DOS mods possible.

The game was released in late 2009. Further improvements and polishing of the code per se are highly unlikely. For all practical purposes, the development project has been discontinued.



A cleaned up, slightly edited and (hopefully) a bit more accessible PG-FOREVER (PGF) introductory commentary authored by PGF's developer follows:

PANZER GENERAL FOREVER (PGF)
==============================

The goal of the PG-FOREVER (PGF) project is to preserve the game mechanics and characteristic look-and-feel of the classic Panzer General 1 and Allied General games while improving other aspects of the game: compatibility with modern hardware and Windows versions, UI, usability, multiplayer capability, AI and game customizability.

Veteran players will feel themselves at home with PGF because it is a remarkably faithful remake. Even the most obscure game rules were carefully researched and preserved to make sure the gameplay is as close to the original(s) as humanly possible (99% of the time one does not detect any differences at all). At the same time, one can enjoy all the new features and benefits made possible by this remake.

PGF -- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
===================================

In this section I'll answer some FAQs about the game.

General questions
-----------------------

[Q] What are the system requirements?
[A] PGF runs under Windows 2000 or later. Windows 9x and NT are NOT supported. There are no specific hardware requirements; any PC able to run the OS should be able to run PGF as well.

[Q] What about other platforms? Linux, Mac?
[A] There is no official version of PGF for any platforms other than MS-Windows. However, you may have some luck using emulation (like Wine).

[Q] How much does it cost?
[A] PGF is freeware and will remain so in the future!

[Q] Are there any features from the original PG missing in PGF?
[A] Yes. There are a few features from the original game which are not implemented in PGF. Some of them may be added later but I consider them low priority. Here is a rough list:

- PBEM mode
- Splash screens, movies and animations before scenarios
- In-game combat animations
- View terrain mode
- Dossiers

[Q] I like PGF! How else can I help?
[A] You can help by spreading the word. The more players we have the more issues we'll detect and fix, thus making the game better and better all the time. If you have a blog or a web site, consider posting some information about PGF there. This will help a lot.

Also, you can help by converting an existing campaign into PGF format, or by designing a new scenario or even a new campaign.

[Q] Is this legal?
[A] The legal status of my remake is similar to the status of most other remakes out there. I don't have an official permission from Ubisoft to copy their game and I doubt I could obtain such a permission. So, de jure, my work is illegal!

De facto, PG is an old game which is available as a free download from many large abandonware websites. I don't see how providing a remake of the game which is already available for free can damage the company which originally produced it. However, if Ubisoft think otherwise and contact me regarding this, I'll be happy to discuss this matter with them and try to find a solution which will suit everyone.

Questions About Gameplay
---------------------------------

[Q] What hot keys can I use in PGF?
[A] Full list of hot keys is available in the game itself. Just open the system menu (button with a floppy disk drive icon) and choose "Show Hot Keys".

[Q] I want to see a unit's flag, suppression, kills, battle honors or some other info not available on the main screen. How can I do that?
[A] Alt+click the unit, and you will get all the details shown in a separate dialog.

[Q] How do I rename a unit?
[A] Select the unit and press Alt+N to invoke the rename dialog.

[Q] I need to quickly check the ownership flag of a city, but it is obscured by a unit's strength label. What can I do?
[A] Press and hold Space key to temporarily hide all strength labels on the tactical map.

[Q] How can I distinguish units which have already moved?
[A] PGF supports 2 ways of indicating moved / unmoved units: blinking dots (as in PG-DOS) and grayed strength labels. Either one of these methods (or even both simultaneously) can be activated via System Menu --> Settings.

[Q] In the original game I could hover the cursor over a port / airfield to see the number of available sea / air transports. How can I do the same in PGF?
[A] Just hover the mouse over the Embark / Disembark button and you will see the number of transports in a tooltip.

[Q] When I go to the Main Menu, my current game is lost. Why is that?
[A] The reason is that you don't really need to go to the Main Menu unless you want to terminate the current game and start a new one. All commands related to the current game (including Save Game etc) are available from the System Menu. You don't need to go to the Main Menu to invoke them.

[Q] In some scenarios (e.g., Poland, Sidi Baranni) the strategic map is not available. Why is that?
[A] If the tactical map fits completely on the screen the strategic map is not available.

[Q] My AD refuses to shoot at aircraft. What's the problem?
[A] The most common reason is bad weather (rain or snow). You can check the current weather at the top-right part of the main screen. If the weather is good, check the AD's ammo; it should have at least 1 ammo point in order to fire.

[Q] My aircraft keep running out of fuel. Any hints?
[A] When moving a plane, you will see some hexes marked with a red border. These are dangerous hexes; you don't have enough fuel to return to base from there (unless you capture an airfield nearby). Pay attention to this warning.

[Q] In the combat log I can see die rolls for kills and suppression but the total number of suppression points is bigger. Why is that?
[A] Each kill also gives you a half-point of suppression which gets added to the sum.

[Q] In the combat log I can see that the die roll modifier is -10 but there are still die rolls of 20. Does the game depict die rolls before applying the modifier?
[A] No, the die rolls are shown with the modifier already applied. However, the game does not apply the modifier when it rolls 1 or 20. This means that a weak unit always has a small chance of inflicting some damage to a much stronger opponent as well as a small chance of escaping total destruction from the opponent's (counter)attack.

[Q] I want to know more about the internal game mechanics. Where can I find information?
[A] Check the doc subfolder in PGF's folder. There are some useful documents there; in particular, Panzer General FAQ.txt has a lot of information. There are a few errors there as well though...

[Q] Can PGF load saved games from PG1 / AG?
[A] No.

[Q] Is there a saved game editor available?
[A] None at the moment.

[Q] How can I cheat?
[A] Please refer to the PGForever Cheat Codes.txt file in the doc subfolder.

PGF -- BASIC GAME ORIENTATION
==============================

To help one understand better what PGF is and how it compares to the original PG1 / AG, here is an overview of the key game features.

Big "Tactical Map"
PGF can use all available screen estate to depict the Tactical Map. One can scale PGF's window across multiple monitors (if one has them) or, if this is not enough, switch the game to full-screen mode. In this case, all controls will be hidden, and the Tactical Map will occupy the entire screen. Full-screen mode is toggled using the "F" key.

Informative "Main Screen"
The main game screen now includes the Tactical Map, the Mini Map, prestige, weather forecast and all important unit statistics. There is no need to switch to different views to access this information.

Clear Indication of Possible Moves and Attacks
Possible hex moves are now highlighted in green and possible hex attacks in red. While moving units, one always sees the unspotted area. This will help one to plan moves better.

One-Click "Mount PLUS Move"
One can now see directly on the Tactical Map where a unit can go on its own and where, using its organic transport. The latter hexes are highlighted in yellow. Clicking any of these hexes will perform an instant "Mount PLUS Move". One can also mount / dismount units manually as in the original game, if preferable.

One-Click Disembarkation
When moving sea / air transports, all possible disembarkation hexes will be highlighted in yellow. Clicking any of these hexes will immediately disembark the unit. One can also use the Embark / Disembark button (it is useful when disembarking onto the same hex -- as is the case with air-landing).

Informative Tooltips
The Game Buttons now provide useful information to the player.

Improved "Strategic Map"
The Strategic Map is now generated as a scaled-down version of the Tactical Map and is much easier to consult.

"Unit Panel"
One can now work with the unit list; just open the Unit Panel. Campaign Deployment is much easier to carry out because one can instantly jump to the requisite unit from the reserve pool without leaving the Main Screen.

"Sleep One Turn / Always"
One can now easily exclude a unit from the "Next Unit" sequence -- just use the "Sleep one turn" (Z) or "Sleep always" (Shift+Z) commands. This is especially useful in the case of garrisoning units. Selecting the unit manually returns it to the "Next Unit" sequence.

Improved "New Equipment Available Screen"
One can now see all newly available unit statistics and jump between them at will.

Improved "Purchase Screen"
The Purchase Screen now depicts many more units at a time and easily allows list scrolling by using the scroll bar or mouse wheel.

"Combat Log" and "Extended Combat Prediction"
While playing PG1, I often wondered about combat outcomes. The PG FAQ offered some hints about this but many aspects were missing. After I researched all PG1 game formulas for PGF, I've come up with an idea to demystify PG1 combat game mechanics for all the other players as well. This is how the Combat Log feature came into existence.

The Combat Log can be invoked after any combat using the "L" key.

The log contains all combat details, including effective initiative, attack and defense factors, defensive fire, rugged defense likelihood, actual die rolls used to resolve the combat and even all level bomber special attack considerations.

One can invoke a similar dialog before a combat as well. This feature is called "Extended Combat Prediction".

Use Ctrl+click on the enemy target to invoke it (the crosshairs will change to blue, indicating that the attack will likely be advantageous to the attacker). Naturally, the game will not show the actual die rolls, but all the other pertinent information will be there.

"Game Replay" / "Game Log"
Another interesting new feature in PGF not present in the original game(s) is Game Replay. After finishing an interesting battle or scenario, one can save the Game Log to disk. Later, one can replay and watch the saved log much like a movie or share it with other players over the Internet. Using Game Replay is the ultimate method of sharing gaming experience.

New AI
The authors of many strategic games claim that they have programmed an absolutely great, smart and intelligent AI. I will not claim anything like that. I'll tell what the PGF AI really is.

The new AI in PGF:
- Never cheats.
- Plays better than in the original game(s). [This appears to be the general concensus among playtesters]
- Supports 3 different levels of play (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced). The AI does not get any material bonuses on higher levels; it just plays stronger.

The Basic Level is similar to the AI in PG1 / AG and is recommended for novice players. Veteran players will most likely prefer the Advanced Level. Moreover, for maximum challenge, one can still use the Prestige / Experience controls before the game starts (as in the original games).

Online Multiplayer
PGF allows one to play PG1 / AG with others online. One can play both single scenarios and campaigns this way and can also save games in the progress and resume them later.

Side-by-Side Game Themes
In reality, PGF is not a single game but, rather, a gaming platform where many game themes can be installed side-by-side (sharing the common game engine and some key files). By default, the most recent PGF installation package includes 4 game themes: Panzer General, Allied General, Kaiser General and K.U.K. General. The last two game themes are EXPERIMENTAL and may not work perfectly yet...

I hope that, in the future, more game themes will be converted or created from scratch for PGF and it will be possible to browse, download and install such game themes directly under the PGF umbrella.

PGF -- CUSTOMIZATION / MODS
============================

Customizability in PGF is not perfect yet but already provides much more flexibility than any of SSI's games (including PG2 and PG3) ever sported. Here is a preliminary list of things one can mod / customize.

UI
The appearance and layout of all game screens are defined using image and HTML files. By editing the HTML code, one can not only change the appearence of UI elements (e.g., size, color, font etc) at will but can also reposition various elements to create a completely new layout. Thus, one can mimick the UI of PG-DOS or PG-WIN. In the future, I plan to include several UI layouts with PGF so that users may choose a layout they like best.

Campaigns
This aspect was particularly difficult (virtually impossible) to modify in the original game(s). Now one can control many campaign aspects (e.g., possible outcomes, victory conditions, campaign tree etc) by editing a few simple tables in MS-Excel, MS-WordPad or some capable plain text editor.

Campaign Briefings
Campaign Briefings are now stored in plain text files and can be easily edited using a text editor. Unlike in the original game(s), one can now use HTML tags to format text in briefings, add tables, images etc One can also choose a campaign path by simply adding a few hyperlinks to the briefing files.

Equipment Tables
Working with Equipment Tables is very easy now - it's just a big table editable in MS-Excel, for example. All the power of MS-Excel is at one's service -- one can modify unit statistics, copy units, sort them, find / replace text and much more.

Scenario Statistics
Scenario Statistics are laid out in plain text files editable in MS-Excel. Quite a few things which were hard-coded in the original game(s) are now editable: new unit experience, per-turn prestige allotments, bonuses for capturing flagged hexes, maximum unit experience, maximum unit strength, move order (Axis or Allies move first), victory conditions, purchasable unit classes etc.

Graphics
All game objects - unit icons, terrain tiles, flags etc are now stored in plain BMP files and can be easily modified using a graphics editor of choice (MS Paint, PhotoShop etc).

Way Fewer Hard-Coded Limitations
There are way fewer artificial limitations coded into the game engine. Map size, equipment table size, number of scenarios and campaigns are only limited by available RAM (modern PCs can hold A LOT of info in RAM). Those interested in modding PGF should check out the PGForever Modding Guide.txt document in the "doc" subfolder.

PG-DOS Converter
PGF can be used to quickly convert a PG-DOS based custom scenario into PGF format. To do this, just run PGF using this command line:

PGForever.exe /convert /game <game_folder>

where <game_folder> is a subfolder inside the PGF main folder where the converted files will be placed. PGF will prompt for the location of the PG-DOS installation (one needs to specify the PG-DOS root folder (NOT the DAT folder inside it!!) and then attempt to perform the conversion. If all goes well, to play the newly converted game one should issue this command:

PGForever.exe /game <game_folder>

Alternativaly, one can place a game theme thumbnail graphics file in <game_folder> (for an example, see inside PGF's "pg" or "ag" folder) and PGF will promptly display it in the game selection dialog.

PGF -- THE FUTURE
==================

When an author attempts to deliver a finished software product, there are so many different things that merit his careful attention that no single aspect ends up getting the attention it deserves... That is the reason why modding is so widespread (not only in software but also in hardware). So, after PGF Version 1.00 I hope to switch to a "modder mode" and work leisurely on some specific game aspects. In particular, I plan to do further work in the following areas:

Better AI
There can be no such thing as a "Perfect AI", ever! It is something one can always improve a bit more... In the future, I want to make the AI not only more challenging but also to be an opponent which is more interesting and fun to play against than at present. Of course, the computer will never become intelligent in the traditional sense of the word. Nevertheless, there are a lot of things which CAN be improved.

Better Online Multiplayer
There are a lot of things yet to be desired with the current multiplayer functionality.

First, one has to find opponents outside the gaming framework and this is likely quite difficult. In the future, I'm thinking about notifying all the users playing against the AI that an online game is available; hopefully, these "AI Warriors" would consider joining a human opponent in battle instead... Building a stronger, dedicated community around the game paradigm is also a must.

Second, the functionality must eventually support more users playing the same scenario. Currently this number is 2 and this leaves a lot to be desired... In the future, having multiple sides, multiple players per side and the option to mix AI and human players would do a lot to popularize online play. Also, I'm thinking about adding observers who could watch other people playing without them being active participants.

Finally, it might be an interesting direction to explore campaigns where each player is responsible for a core.

Editors and Further Customization
While many aspects of the game can already be edited in MS-Excel or MS-Paint, this is not an optimal way to edit maps and scenarios. Entering hex coordinates, tile images and terrain types manually can be a nightmare... We need a WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") editor for all that!

Besides editors, I intend to work on moving ever more of hardcoded stuff from the game engine into external support files. Thus, I plan to move all terrain types, unit classes, weather zones, movement types and tables and target types into data files where it will be easy to edit them or add more entities. In perspective, I'm thinking of using some script language (like Lua or Python) to code all game rules and formulas. Then it will be possible to change them at will without modifying the game executable.

Thanks to every one who helped to test and improve PG Forever!
Last edited by HexCode on 2019-11-29 02:17, Friday, edited 17 times in total.

HexCode
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PGF -- BASIC FOLDER STRUCTURE

Post by HexCode » 2019-10-01 16:21, Tuesday

PGF -- BASIC FOLDER STRUCTURE
=============================

To assist those who download PGF V. 1.02 as de facto "abandonware" from "somewhere", here's the standard hard disk folder structure accompanied by a bit of commentary:

[PGF Main/Root Folder Name]
--------------------------------------

Virtually any filename will do. BUT, for rather esoteric reasons, DO NOT adopt a filename that starts with the character "#" !!

The following TWO files MUST be present here or else...

HTMLAYOUT.DLL
PGFOREVER.EXE

HTMLAYOUT.DLL is absolutely necessary for the User Interface (UI) to work properly. PGFOREVER.EXE is PGF's main and only executable and, hence, well, if it's not there, forget it...

The following TWO files MUST be present here as well:

AG.BAT
PG.BAT

"AG" stands for "Allied General". This BATCH FILE activates the PGF re-make of SSI's (STOCK) Allied General.

"PG" stands for "Panzer General". This BATCH FILE activates the PGF re-make of SSI's (STOCK) Panzer General 1.

These two batch files share a common, very very simple internal structure:

@start PGForever.exe /game ?g
exit

Depending on the re-make, the question mark stands for either the letter "a" or the letter "p".

[AG Re-Make Sub-Folder Name]
----------------------------------------

Capitalizing everything for better readability:

.. \AG

One level further down sub-folders:

.. \AG\GRAPHICS
.. \AG\LOG
.. \AG\REPLAY
.. \AG\SAVE
.. \AG\SCENARIO
.. \AG\UI

[DEFAULT Sub-Folder Name]
------------------------------------

Capitalizing everything for better readability:

.. \DEFAULT

One level further down sub-folders:

.. \DEFAULT\GRAPHICS
.. \DEFAULT\SCENARIO
.. \DEFAULT\SOUND
.. \DEFAULT\UI

[LOG Sub-Folder Name]
------------------------------

Capitalizing everything for better readability:

.. \LOG

[PG Re-Make Sub-Folder Name]
----------------------------------------

Capitalizing everything for better readability:

.. \PG

One level further down sub-folders:

.. \PG\LOG
.. \PG\REPLAY
.. \PG\SAVE
.. \PG\SCENARIO
.. \PG\SOUND


The multiplayer setup is an... advanced topic. So are all these Mods "out there".
Last edited by HexCode on 2019-10-06 17:02, Sunday, edited 2 times in total.

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PGF -- GLOSSARY

Post by HexCode » 2019-10-02 04:31, Wednesday

PGF -- GLOSSARY
===============

AFV
Acronym for "armored fighting vehicle". This generic reference represents any kind of tank, assault gun, self-propelled artillery, half-track, etc.

AIR DEFENSE
A unit used exclusively for shooting at enemy aircraft operating within their firing radius, making them handy near targets that are likely to be bombed. They generally have a bracketed soft and hard attack factor, meaning that they can return fire only at enemy land units that attack them.

AIR SUPERIORITY
A condition in which one side of a conflict enjoys sufficient numerical superiority in the air as to be able to operate with minimal risk of intercept.

AIR SUPREMACY
A condition in which one side of a conflict has eliminated the enemy air force as a viable battlefield asset. The side that attains air supremacy can operate with impunity in the skies above the battlefield.

AMBUSH
A tactical situation in which one unit emerges from a concealed position to conduct a surprise attack on a moving enemy formation.

ANTI-AIRCRAFT
Although this unit has a decent air-attack strength, it tends to have a range of zero, meaning that it has to drive right under the enemy air unit in order to shoot at it. It can attack enemy land units too (although it should be used only in a pinch).

ARTILLERY
A collective group of ranged weaponry that employs a ballistic trajectory to engage its targets instead of firing line of sight. Types of artillery include towed field guns, mortars, assault guns and so forth.

ASSAULT GUNS
A type of self-propelled artillery unit with a range of one and a high initiative rating. This unit is extremely valuable in conducting a strategic defense.

ASW
Acronym for "Anti-Submarine Warfare". In PGF, a rating that ship units have in lieu of the close defense rating that land and air units possess.

AUXILIARY UNIT
In a campaign game, a unit that is there for only this particular battle (scenario). It is not part of your core forces that go with you from battle to battle in a campaign. By its nature, it is more expendable in battle because it disappears at the end of the scenario anyway. This unit is differentiated from a core unit by having its strength numbers posted in white vice black.

BLITZKRIEG
German for "Lightning Warfare". A battle plan that requires air superiority and consists of:

1) Bombarding enemy lines with air and artillery forces to create a breech.

2) Exploiting the breech with mobile armored and infantry forces, bypassing enemy strong points and encircling as many enemy units as is feasible.

3) Disrupting the enemy's rear areas with these exploiting units.

4) Conducting air and para-drop operations to cause the enemy's remaining front-line forces to collapse from disrupted communications, after being cut off from their rear areas.

5) Mopping up the bypassed enemy strong points.


BOMBER
A plane designed exclusively for the delivery of ordnance against surface targets, regardless of whether this delivery is accomplished from level flight or by diving at the target. This plane possesses some defensive capability against other aircraft, such as fighters, but it cannot initiate attacks against these more maneuverable air assets.

CAP
Acronym for "Combat Air Patrol". Fighters that conduct this mission are attempting to intercept enemy bombers and fighters entering contested airspace in proximity to friendly areas of operation.

COMBINED ARMS
Military concept that encourages the use of a variety of weapon types in support of one another during a combined assault. In layman's terms, it implies the conduct of preliminary bombardment by artillery, naval units, air power (as available), followed up by a ground assault using both armor and infantry.

CORE UNIT
In a campaign game, a unit you take with you to the next scenario, complete with any adjustments it might have in its experience and any campaign medals it may have won. You must preserve the quantity and quality of these troops because you will use them in your future battles. Viewed on the map, these units are indicated by the black numbers showing their strength.

D#
A die roll probability range. The number is the maximum die roll, with 0 as the base. For example, a d10 means that the computer will roll a 10-sided die, generating a pseudo-random integer between 0 and 9.

DISMOUNTED
Describes a unit not using any form of wheeled or tracked (i.e., organic) transport.

ENGINEER UNIT
A subcategory of infantry unit type that includes all engineers, bridging engineers and German "Pioniere" units.

FIGHTER
An air unit whose primary purpose is to engage and destroy enemy aircraft. Secondary roles include escorting friendly bomber units and conducting air-support missions against ground targets (see CAP, also).

FIGHTER-BOMBER
Airplane type with both an unbracketed air attack factor (that is, it can initiate air-to-air combat whereas an air unit with a bracketed air combat strength cannot) and some reasonable values for its soft, hard and naval attack factors. Found under the Tac-Bomber listing in the Unit Purchase menu, examples of this type of airplane include the German Bf110, Me210 and Me410 series. Note that Ju87 "Stuka" series planes are not considered fighter-bombers according to this definition because they cannot initiate air-to-air combat (that is, they are not really fighters).

FLANK
The side of a military formation or defensive position. Because most weaponry is arranged to the front in anticipation of enemy attack, the sides are naturally weaker and easier to exploit.

HARD
A target's defense type; AFVs and defensive structures (e.g., forts and strong-points) are considered to be "hard" targets and, hence, enemy units attack them using their hard attack factors.

HEXES
The spaces formed by the hexagonal grid superimposed on the maps. These spaces are used to regulate movement and for determining some units' firing ranges. As per earlier board wargaming conventions, such hexes have also been referred to as "squares".

INITIATIVE
A numerical rating that determines which unit will fire on the other first as they engage in combat. This value is modified by experience. The higher the initiative rating, the better, with tied rating engagements resolved by both units inflicting their damage on the enemy simultaneously.

LEG
A unit that is walking, rather than riding in vehicles, to move around the map. All dismounted infantry and gun unit types (plus cavalry) can be lumped into one "leg" unit category. "Leg" units are "soft" targets.

MECHANIZED
Infantry units mounted on armored transports such as half-tracks (referred to as "mechanized infantry"); when mounted this way, they become "hard" targets.

MOTORIZED
Infantry units mounted on truck transports (referred to as "motorized infantry"); when mounted this way, they remain "soft" targets. Truck transports move rapidly through clear terrain and along roads but are very vulnerable to enemy attacks.

MOUNTED
Infantry units on horseback (cavalry units -- referred to as "mounted infantry"); Also refers to other types of infantry or artillery that are using wheeled or tracked vehicles as a form of (organic) transportation.

OUT-OF-THE-SUN
A phrase that describes certain sudden air unit engagements where a moving air unit runs into a hitherto undetected enemy air unit. In such instances, the enemy air units enjoy considerable combat advantages over their unlucky adversaries.

PARTISANS
Irregular, low-quality troops fighting behind enemy lines to disrupt enemy operations. At the beginning of some scenarios in PGF, the Allied side has a few "Partisan" units starting behind Axis lines. Unfortunately, when newly purchased, "Partisans" are initially placed like other friendly units rather than deep behind enemy lines.

PIONIERE
German combat engineers. They specialized in using flamethrowers, mines, explosives, smoke etc. They blew things apart and, on occasion, built them back up again.

PRESTIGE POINTS
An abstract political and economic representation of the number of resources committed to the game that is being played. These points are spent to "purchase" new units and replace losses in depleted ones.

RUGGED DEFENSE
A special situation in which an entrenched ground unit mounts an exceptionally credible defense, inflicting disproportionate casualties on the enemy attacker.

SPA
Acronym for "Self-Propelled Artillery". These artillery pieces are permanently mounted on vehicles. They might be either "soft" targets, if they're mounted on a truck chassis, or "hard" targets, if they're mounted on a tank or half-track chassis. Examples of the former type are the Soviet rocket artillery units. The German StuG IIIb, Hummel and Wespe units are examples of the latter type.

SOFT
A target's defense type. Infantry, cavalry, dismounted guns and truck transports are considered to be "soft" targets and, hence, enemy units attack them using their soft attack factors.

SQUARE
Older nickname for a hex. A single space on a wargame board is often referred to as either a "hex" or a "square". These two terms became synonymous because, although most modern wargames use a hexagonal grid on their maps, early wargames and maps used by the military employed a square grid.

SURPRISE CONTACT
A phrase that describes certain sudden naval unit engagements where a moving naval unit runs into a hitherto undetected enemy naval unit. In such instances, the enemy naval units enjoy considerable combat advantages over their unlucky adversaries.

TANK
An AFV that has a turret, affording it a 360-degree field of fire.

UNIT
An individual piece in a wargame that represents a military formation such as a squad, regiment, corps or army. In PGF, unit scales are somewhat amorphous. Unit sizes in the game tend to vary between regiments, brigades and divisions.
Last edited by HexCode on 2019-10-06 17:07, Sunday, edited 2 times in total.

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PGF -- BASIC DOWNLOAD

Post by HexCode » 2019-10-03 05:35, Thursday

PGF -- BASIC DOWNLOAD
======================

As of this writing, the basic PGF Version 1.02 package can be directly downloaded via

http://panzergeneraldownload.com/downlo ... _v1.02.zip

The package is compressed in ZIP format. Its content core consists of SSI's Panzer General I (PG1) and Allied General (AG) content. A couple of custom campaigns are also included to illustrate the software's capabilities in handily accommodating diverse custom content.

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PGF -- STRATEGIC & TACTICAL NOTES

Post by HexCode » 2019-10-11 23:50, Friday

PGF -- STRATEGIC & TACTICAL NOTES
=================================

[REF] AI Module Behavior
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=148


hosts a multitude of posts covering various strategic / tactical capabilities and limitations as they pertain to PGF. Although the commentary exclusively focuses on the AI Module's behavior, the quoted, italicized text's scope and usefulness are much wider.
Last edited by HexCode on 2020-01-05 23:06, Sunday, edited 2 times in total.

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PGF -- UNIT CLASSES

Post by HexCode » 2019-10-14 23:21, Monday

PGF -- UNIT CLASSES
===================

Military formations, referred to as Units, are grouped into either one of three (3) distinct Super-Classes: Ground, Naval and Air.


GROUND SUPER-CLASS
----------------------------

The Ground Super-Class comprises nine (9) distinct Unit Classes: Infantry, Tank, Recon, Anti-Tank, Artillery, Anti-Aircraft, Air Defense, Structure, Ground Transport.

Infantry

The Infantry Class accommodates several different Unit Types. Infantry formations are the most common fighting elements in any army. They're quite versatile. Their advantage lies not in their speed but in their ability to effectively fight in cities, forests and other difficult terrain. Although vulnerable to artillery fire and armored vehicles when in open terrain, they're not easily dug out of well-entrenched defensive positions unless attacked by enemy infantry and artillery in coordination. A powerful armored offensive can be halted or significantly delayed by a single well-positioned and well-entrenched infantry unit if the attacking armor lacks proper support.

Heavy Weapons Units are more effective than "ordinary" infantry when attacking. They're more suitable for assault roles but move more slowly.

Cavalry Units are mounted infantry. Compared to "ordinary" infantry, they're significantly more mobile but weaker in combat.

Paratroop (and Ranger / Commando) Units are lightly-armed but highly-trained infantry able to paradrop from air transports.

Engineer (and Pioniere) Units are very effective at assaulting heavily entrenched positions because their special training and equipment enables them to avoid nasty ambushes.

Bridging Engineer Units carry bridging equipment that allows them to serve as bridges for other friendly units while dismounted on river terrain.

Tank

The Tank Class is a key ingredient of combined arms warfare. Because of their speed, armor and heavy weaponry, Tank Units are inclined to taking aggressive risks and survive. However, although tanks dominate in open country, they're vulnerable to enemy infantry in cities, forests and other difficult terrain. In addition, they can be seriously challenged by anti-tank guns and tank destroyers. Quite importantly, tanks require air support to fend off attacks by enemy bombers.

Recon

The Recon Class accommodates highly mobile but lightly armored units sporting superior spotting capabilities. They can pinpoint the locations of enemy units, seize and hold cities, ports and airfields temporarily, and successfully attack weakened enemy units and vulnerable units such as units mounted on organic support. Recon Class Units are most useful on the offense where they serve as pathfinders.

Anti-Tank

The Anti-Tank Class accommodates two (2) Unit Types: Towed Anti-Tank Guns (ATGs) and Tank Destroyers (TDs).

ATGs are quite effective on defense, especially if heavily entrenched. However, they're vulnerable while mounted on organic transport which makes it difficult to use them effectively on the offensive.

TDs are less expensive than tanks for the equivalent gun size, but less well-armored and often lack a turret. Although their intended purpose is to fight Tank Class Units, TDs can also be used to effectively overrun other ground unit types in open country.

When defending against Tank Class Units, Anti-Tank Class Units get in the first shot. However, when attacking Tank Class Units, Anti-Tank Class Units fire second. Therefore, the key to Anti-Tank Class Unit tactics is to move "smartly" but fight defensively against enemy Tank Class Units.

Artillery

The Artillery Class accommodates two (2) Unit Types: Towed Artillery Guns and Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA).

Artillery units cannot fire at the end of their movement.

Artillery's role is to bombard enemy units from a distance often in support of friendly units. It's suitable for softening up enemy targets prior to commencing offensive attacks. Moreover, it's valuable in providing defensive fire when adjacent friendly units come under ground attacks. To this effect, artillery is best deployed immediately behind friendly units. More often than not, artillery units are quite vulnerable to attacks by a variety of enemy unit classes and types.

The main advantage of SPA units is that they can keep moving without having to mount and dismount organic transports.

While in tow, Artillery Gun units are quite vulnerable and are unable to fire in defense of adjacent friendly units.

Anti-Aircraft

The Anti-Aircraft (AA) Class' primary use is to respond quickly to the presence of enemy air units. In order to fire at an enemy air unit, the AA Class Unit must be in the same hex as the targeted enemy air unit.

AA Units may fire and move or vice versa. They can attack enemy ground units as well. AA Units can keep up with a quick moving attack force and, when properly employed, assist in mopping up weakened enemy infantry units. However, AA Units are quite vulnerable to attacks by enemy tank, anti-tank and artillery units.

Air Defense

The Air Defense Class accommodates two (2) Unit Types: Towed Air Defense Guns and Self-Propelled Air Defense ones (SPAD).

Air defense units cannot fire at the end of their movement. Moreover, they cannot initiate combat against enemy ground units.

The Air Defense (AD) Class' primary use is to defend relatively stationary ground units against enemy airpower in defensive engagements. Secondarily, given proper protection, they can also be useful in supporting offensives by fending off enemy aerial counterattacks.

Because of their ranged attack and protective fire capabilities, well placed AD units can keep enemy aircraft at bay around a vital objective or protect a difficult ground assault from disruption.

While in tow, Air Defense Gun units are quite vulnerable and are unable to fire in defense of adjacent friendly units. In addition, even when not mounted, such units are quite vulnerable to attacks by enemy ranged fire.

Structure

The Structure Class accommodates two (2) Unit Types: Forts and Strongpoints.

Forts are networks of immovable, strongly-built heavy artillery and infantry positions. They have ample reserves of ammo and strong attack capabilities. Their primary use is to shoot aggressively at any approaching enemy unit.

Strongpoints are light networks of pillboxes and field fortifications.

Aerial bombardment followed by assault by infantry units not subject to "rugged defense" mishaps is the most effective method of eliminating enemy Structure Units that cannot be bypassed.

Ground Transport

The Ground Transport Class accommodates two (2) Unit Types: Trucks and Tracked Transports.

A ground transport is specifically assigned to a unit and cannot be shared (i.e., organic).

Organic transport is useful for granting otherwise slow units greater mobility. However, while mounted, if unprotected, the transported units as well as their organic transports are quite vulnerable to all sorts of enemy attacks.

Trucks are faster on roads but half-tracks are sturdier and move quicker in difficult terrain.


NAVAL SUPER-CLASS
-------------------------

The Naval Super-Class comprises five (5) distinct Unit Classes: Submarine, Destroyer, Capital Ship, Aircraft Carrier, Naval Transport.

Submarine

The Submarine Class' primary use is to attack and sink enemy naval units.

Submarine Class Units often remain undetected by enemy units even when they find themselves within spotting range of such units.

During their half-turn, Submarine Class Units always shoot first when they attack.

The Submarine Class can be deadly against most enemy naval units. Destroyers and tactical bombers are the only units that can attack enemy submarines. Even then, submarines are often able to simply evade such attacks by maneuvering / submerging.

Destroyer

The Destroyer Class accommodates four (4) Unit Types: Destroyers, Destroyer Escorts, Patrol Craft and Torpedo Boats.

The Destroyer Class' primary use is to protect friendly naval units from enemy submarine units. Contextually, together with friendly tactical bomber units, Destroyer Class Units often constitute quite effective "sub-killer" task groups.

Destroyer Class Units are quite vulnerable to enemy capital ship fire as well to certain types of aerial attack.

Destroyer Class Units are the only naval units capable of attacking enemy submarine units. Moreover, during their half-turn, Destroyer Class Units always shoot first when they attack them.

Capital Ship

The Capital Ship Class accommodates four (4) Unit Types: Battleships, Battle Cruisers, Heavy Cruisers and Light Cruisers.

Capital ships may move and shoot in either order.

Capital Ship Class' primary use is to defeat an enemy fleet by making ranged attacks. Secondarily, following a naval victory, capital ships can engage in shore bombardment. Enemy soft targets are quite vulnerable to such bombardments.

Capital ships shot at by enemy capital ships immediately shoot back.

Capital ships repair very slowly.

Aircraft Carrier

Aircraft Carrier Class' primary use is to serve as a mobile airfield for friendly Fighter and Tactical Bomber Class units. Secondarily, aircraft carriers have excellent spotting ranges.

Unlike airfields, aircraft carriers can only resupply / repair friendly air units which are collocated in the same hex.

Aircraft carriers are quite vulnerable to enemy naval attacks and repair very slowly.

Naval Transport

Naval transport is non-organic.

Naval Transport Class' use is to allow friendly ground units to embark at friendly ports or coastal cities, travel at sea and disembark in any unoccupied coastal hex.

Unless properly protected, naval transports are quite vulnerable to both enemy naval and aerial attacks.


AIR SUPER-CLASS
----------------------

The Air Super-Class comprises four (4) distinct Unit Classes: Fighter, Tactical Bomber, Level Bomber, Air Transport.

Fighter

Fighter Class' primary use is to clear the skies of enemy air units (i.e., achieving air superiority). Secondarily, fighter units are able to protect adjacent friendly bomber and ground units by intercepting enemy aerial attacks.

Losses in fighter vs. fighter combat are often heavy. To this effect, getting the first shot in through superior initiative and experience is critical.

Fighter units are also capable of strafing enemy infantry, artillery and transport units with some effect. They can also help softening up entrenched enemy units.

Fighter units are vulnerable to enemy air defense / attack / interception fire.

Tactical Bomber

The Tactical Bomber Class accommodates two (2) Unit Types: Surface Attack Bombers and Fighter-Bombers.

The Tactical Bomber Class' primary use is to attack a variety of enemy class / type units.

Surface attack bomber units can only initiate attacks against enemy ground and naval units. In addition, fighter-bomber units can also initiate attacks against enemy air units though they tend to be less effective than fighter units.

Unprotected enemy transport and artillery units are quite vulnerable when attacked by tactical bombers. Moreover, tactical bombers can inflict substantial losses on unprotected enemy infantry, tank and anti-tank class units. They can also help softening up entrenched enemy units.

Tactical bombers are the only air units that can attack enemy submarine units.

Tactical bomber units are vulnerable to enemy air defense / attack / interception fire. Also, unless escorted by friendly fighter units, tactical bomber units are quite vulnerable to enemy fighter unit attacks.

Level Bomber

The Level Bomber Class accommodates three (3) Unit Types: Light, Medium and Heavy Level Bombers.

Level Bomber Class Units represent high-altitude, long-range bombers sporting varied degrees of accuracy. Their primary use is to initiate attacks aimed at suppressing / neutralizing rather than outright destroying unprotected surface targets.

Successful attacks by level bombers reduce fuel and ammo points of enemy units. They also inflict suppression which lasts until the end of the half-turn (i.e., prolonged suppression).

Attacks by level bombers against enemy cities, ports and airfields (i.e., carpet bombing) inflict prestige damage on the enemy; moreover, they may neutralize the target as well. Neutralized targets have no nationality flags. Only dismounted infantry can recapture / repair neutralized targets.

Level bomber units are immune to enemy surface fire except for AA and AD class units. To this effect, level bomber units are vulnerable to enemy air defense / attack / interception fire. Also, unless escorted by friendly fighter units, level bomber units are quite vulnerable to enemy fighter unit attacks.

Air Transport

Air transport is non-organic.

Air Transport Class' use is to allow friendly infantry, light artillery and light anti-tank units to embark at friendly airfields, fly and disembark in any unoccupied airfield hex. Moreover, paratroop-like units may attempt to "jump" into any unoccupied land hex.

Unless properly protected, air transports are quite vulnerable to both enemy AA / AD and aerial attacks.

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PGF -- TERRAIN GENERIC DESCRIPTORS

Post by HexCode » 2019-10-26 00:25, Saturday

PGF -- TERRAIN GENERIC DESCRIPTORS
==================================

PGF's "classic" content maps collectively feature the following terrain generic descriptors:

Airfield
Bocage
City
Clear
Coast
Coastal City
Desert
Escarpment
Forest
Fortification
Lake
Mountain
Ocean
Port
Port City
Port Facility
River
Rough
Rough Desert
Swamp

A hex's terrain impacts unit movement and combat in many, many ways.
Last edited by HexCode on 2019-11-29 19:16, Friday, edited 1 time in total.

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PGF -- UNIT ATTRIBUTES: FIXED STATS DURING PLAY

Post by HexCode » 2019-11-19 21:13, Tuesday

PGF -- UNIT ATTRIBUTES: FIXED STATS DURING PLAY
===============================================

PGF's "classic" UI displays the following fixed stats for each unit (type):

Icon

Depictive image assigned to the unit (type).

Generic Name

Alphanumeric descriptor globally assigned to the unit (type).

Class

Unit Class designation assigned to the unit (type).

Cost

Prestige point cost of building a new such unit (type).

Maximum Ammo

The unit's ammunition capacity.

Max Fuel

The unit's fuel capacity.

Movement Allowance & Method

Movement points and assigned Movement Method (e.g., Leg, Towed, Wheeled etc).

Spotting

The range in hexes at which the unit can spot enemy units in fair weather.

Range

The unit's shooting range in hexes.

Initiative

A most important factor influencing whether or not the unit shoots first, simultaneously or last at an enemy unit while engaging in combat.

Soft Attack

The unit's attack value against "soft" targets. If bracketed, the unit may not initiate combat but can respond to it.

Hard Attack

The unit's attack value against "hard" targets. If bracketed, the unit may not initiate combat but can respond to it.

Air Attack

The unit's attack value against "air" targets. If bracketed, the unit may not initiate combat but can respond to it.

Naval Attack

The unit's attack value against "naval" targets.

Ground Defense

The unit's defense value against attacks by ground or naval units.

Air Defense

The unit's defense value against attacks by air units.

Close / ASW Defense

The unit will use its Close Defense value in "close assaults". When an enemy unit puts up a "Rugged Defense", the unit uses its Close Defense value. This value is also used by naval targets when they are subjected to submarine attacks.

Target Type

Target type assigned to the unit. There are four (4) target types: Soft, Hard, Air and Naval.

Commission

The name of the scenario in which the unit was commissioned and the date of its commissioning.
Last edited by HexCode on 2019-11-27 20:22, Wednesday, edited 1 time in total.

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PGF -- UNIT ATTRIBUTES: VARIABLE STATS DURING PLAY

Post by HexCode » 2019-11-27 20:17, Wednesday

PGF -- UNIT ATTRIBUTES: VARIABLE STATS DURING PLAY
==================================================

PGF's "classic" UI displays the following variable (i.e., snapshot) stats for each unit (type):

Effective Name

Custom alphanumeric descriptor assigned to the unit (type) by the human player.

Fuel Availability

The unit's currently remaining fuel points.

Ammo Availability

The unit's currently remaining ammo points.

Entrenchment Level

The unit's current Entrenchment Level.

Experience

The unit's current Experience points.

Strength

The unit's current Strength points.

Kills

The unit's current, cumulative tally of enemy units hitherto eliminated.

Suppression

The unit's currently suppressed strength points.

Battle Honors

The unit's current display of (cumulatively) earned Battle Honors.

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PGF -- KEY PLAY SYSTEM ELEMENTS

Post by HexCode » 2019-11-29 02:15, Friday

PGF -- KEY PLAY SYSTEM ELEMENTS
================================

Movement

Each unit is assigned a Movement Point Allowance (MPA) per turn that is "spent" as it moves on the map. The movement points "spent" in entering a hex depend on the hex's terrain, prevailing weather conditions and the unit's Movement Method (MM). For units subject to fuel consumption, every movement point "spent" triggers a corresponding consumption of one (1) fuel point.

Entering a river hex automatically ends a ground unit's movement, unless the ground is frozen. Ground units exit river hexes without incurring any movement point penalties. In all cases, dismounted friendly bridging engineer units occupying a river hex are capable of serving as bridges, thereby potentially assisting the unobstructed movement across rivers of other friendly ground units.

In almost all instances, entering a mountain hex automatically ends a ground unit's movement. Ground units exit mountain hexes without incurring any movement point penalties.

Movement ends prematurely when a moving unit encounters an enemy unit occupying an adjacent hex. If the encounter is an ambush (i.e., an attempt to enter a hex containing a hitherto hidden enemy unit), automatic combat is usually triggered, significantly favoring the hidden enemy unit's odds.

TO BE CONTINUED . . .

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