New Icon Ideas

Here are some icon issues:
  • Standardize icon format for compatibility between PGX and PGF, both in graphic format and in standardized unit slots (so we know #35 is Tiger I so that multiple efiles work with multiple icon sheets in multiple games)
  • Pick a style (SSI "monochromatic" or more color? Larger aircraft icons? PG2 icons (slightly overhead view and large infantry)? Overhead view to match overhead view of map?)
  • Provide information about the unit in or on the icon, such as a flag to denote "bazooka" or "'43" infantry or an airborne symbol to denote airborne guns and vehicles that will ot be evident from the information box, so you can tell at a glance of the map without having to move the mouse to the unit
  • A game that reads the efile and displays tiny icons (a parachute for airborne, a mattock for mountain movement) on the unit icon will require fewer unit icons (you would not need to make another PaK36 unit icon with the airborne symbol)
Here are some icon experiments:

The first two show a parachute symbol that could denote airborne HW, mortars, ATG, artillery, and vehicles (and, for consistency, a standard infantry with new airborne symbol could replace the SSI icon of some Sad Sack dragging a white parachute across Europe).

Next is a Pack Mule transport that is similar to the cavalry icon.

The others show a single soldier to denote an infantry unit (or light artillery unit), which is consistent with cavalry or armor units that show a single cavalryman or tank (not a cluster of tanks).

The type of figure could tell you the type of unit, as indicated in the examples.

The sizes and artwork are rough for the experiment but this gives a general idea of the icons on the map.

If making the icons smaller leads to two soldiers per icon, the "lead" soldier can indicate type (conscript, reserve, grenadier, etc.) and the following soldier can switch from rifle to bazooka for "43" infantry.

However, cavalry works with one soldier and a one-soldier icon can denote bazooka with a tiny symbol or flag.

Update 12/23/09

All the icons here are no bigger (taller) than the original PG cavalry icon (within a certain margin of error). Any smaller and the horses usually look very bad and the men are close to being stick figures again:

Update 12/26/09

Here are the color single-soldier infantry icons with color vehicles made by others (different contrast levels but gives a general idea):

Here are "monochromatic" single-soldier infantry icons with standard PG vehicles (different contrast levels but gives a general idea):


Add Artillery VT Proximity Fuze

Add the revolutionary VT proximity fuze to US anti-aircraft (AA), air defense (AD), and artillery (ATY) to close another startling hole in original PG/AG and Pacific General (PACG).

The US secret weapon used miniature radar in a shell to tell it when to explode and OSRD's Vannevar Bush estimated that the VT improved US 5" AA effectiveness by 5x. The VT greatly increased the effectiveness of both AA/AD against aircraft (including kamikazes and V-1 buzz bombs) and artillery against ground targets.
Add the VT to US AA/AD/artillery in PG/AG/PACG by significantly increasing Soft Attack (SA) and adjust costs accordingly.

Existing ship/gun units can upgrade to VT ammunition in the same way that AT gun and tank destroyer units can upgrade to HVAP/APCR/APDS ammunition.

See also:

Add radios for artillery command-control-communications

Artillery's Initiative, HEAT ammunition, and anti-tank (AT) Hard Attack (HA)


Fix Costs for Better AI

Skewed unit cost relative to combat value can cause an AI that considers cost to perform poorly when attacking or buying so use costs that reflect combat value.

Compare AGW estimates against PG unit costs:

42.........96.....Polish cavalry
99.........72.....Polish (AF) 75mm artillery
78.........24.....Polish TK3 tank
45.........24.....Polish (AF) 37mm ATG
30.........24.....Polish infantry
63.........12.....PzIA tank

  • Polish cavalry is worth half a 75mm but costs a third more
  • Polish cavalry is worth about the same as partisans but costs 4x more (Polish cavalry Ground Defense (GD) of 2 is weaker than partisans, as weak as artillery, and as weak as 1939 Polish infantry while mounted in trucks)
  • Some units cost double what they should (Polish cavalry)
  • Other units cost only 1/3 or 1/5 what they should (TK3, PzIA)
  • AT units need to be discounted (discount included in $45 price) because, unlike other units, they have class penalties (AT penalty) with no offsetting class advantage but the PG 37mm $24 stills seems underpriced
  • AT and AD costs are grossly inconsistent within their respective classes
  • Efiles that raise cost for rairity or to discourage purchases will fool an AI that considers cost into making bad decisions
  • An AI that generates its own estimate of combat value instead of using efile cost will avoid being fooled by efile costs that do not reflect game/combat value
A test of AI purchases in the PG Poland scenario suggests that the PG AI might buy underpriced units.

Instant Airfields. Blowing Bridges

Infrastructure: Instant Airfields, Blowing Bridges, Seabees, Cutting Trails, Building Roads and Railways, Saboteurs


Add US Marsden Mat Pierced Steel Planking (PSP) for an instant airfield. Many countries took months to build an airfield, which is well beyond the scope of a scenario, but the US used PSP for significantly faster operation. The US PSP unit would be like a bridging unit but with 0 movement, organic transport for mobility, and "aircraft carrier" class.

We can add other improvised airfields if PG Forever (PGF) adds different airfield types for different types of planes:
  • Aircraft carriers for carrier aircraft
  • Unpaved airfields for light or Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) planes such as a Spitfire or Storch, where a moble airfield (trucked aircraft carrier) represents a unit's staff (planning, ground crew, logistics) that can operate from a grass field

The PG/AG bridging engineers as a super combat unit is strange since it is difficult to build a bridge (even a pontoon bridge) before you own both sides of the river. Units like the Seabees worked under fire and defended themselves but were not elite combat units. The seabees recruited skilled craftsmen who would be considered old men for commandos. Seabees are not SEALs.

It would be more realistic for an assault unit to suffer the river penalty while crossing in boats to secure the bridgehead before a separate bridging unit gets to work.

The problem is that AG uses the bridging unit as an elite assault force even when a bridge is unecessary in Overlord despite the existence of a separate US combat-engineer unit. Therefore, it is not practical to change the bridging units much without compromising existing scenarios which have critical first turns. However, you can add a more normal, non-combat bridging unit as a supplement.

The gameplay advantage of non-combat bridging units is that you can leave them in place as infrastructure (especially for games which add supply lines) and the enemy can try to destroy them by air attacks.

Blowing Bridges

The two problems for realistic infrastructure like bridges:
  • You cannot capture a bridge that is a unit, so cannot use the other side's bridge (which is OK for some applications like pontoon bridges or PSP airfields that are essentially bases with base defenses and could be demolished before surrender--but not OK for all situations)
  • You cannot blow (disband) a bridge that is not a unit
We need a bridge unit or terrain that both sides can cross and both sides can attack/blow when adjacent (possibly limit bridge-blowing to certain units like engineers).

Building Roads/Railways, Cutting Trails

It would be good to have trail (through jungle), road, and rail units like the non-combat bridge units that you can lay end-to end or use to replace terrain to build trails, roads, and railroads.


The ability to blow bridge/road/rail infrastructure would bring new importance to paratroopers,
commandos, and partisans.


Add Glider Guns, Special Ops

Add Airborne troops' heavier equipment that they parachute-dropped or glider-landed.

German Fallschirmjager (FJ):
British Air-Landing (AL):
  • 3inch mortar
  • 20mm Polsten AD
  • 2 pdr
  • 6 pdr
  • Jeep recon
  • Tetrarch tank
  • M22 Locust tank
US Glider Infantry (GI):
  • 81mm mortar
  • M3A1 37mm
  • M1A1 57mm
  • 75mm pack howitzer
  • M3 light 105mm howitzer
  • Jeep recon
Show airborne's glider-landed gun towers by giving the guns about half the transports' normal movement to account for limbering and unlimbering time:
  • German kettenrad for 1941 Crete invasion
  • British/US jeeps for 1944 Normandy invasion
You usually cannot buy sea transport so you can use paradrops to simulate even seaborne commando raids such as Operations Frankton ("Cockleshell Heroes"), Chariot (St Nazaire raid), Agreement (Tobruk), and the Bruneville and Norway raids with small commando units that have high naval attack and spotting=3:
  • British/French/Polish Commando troop
  • German Skorzeny unit
  • US UDT (Underwater Demolition Team, pre-SEAL)?
The allies also dropped special agents or small teams who, unlike the typical German agent in Britain, tried to multiply their strength by organizing or fomenting local resistance, which you can represent by the following airborne units:
  • Soviet Partisan Detachment, army team dropped to provide cadre of partisan unit
  • Infiltrators, NKVD, MIR/SOE, OSS (pre-CIA), dropped to foment espionage and generally disrupt German control

Add Gun/Rocket Assault Craft

The Western allies developed several specialized, heavily armed landing craft for close support of amphibious landings, which you can represent as "ground"-class units that have sea movement:
  • LCG(L)=4.7inch naval guns, 119mm is close to JagdTiger's size (tank class)
  • LCF2 FlaK=20mm (AD class for air-defense of ground units)
  • LCT(R)=Rockets (artillery class for support fire of ground units)

Add Realistic Spotting Ranges

PG/AG give one spotting range for both air and ground spotting but PG/AG are primarily a ground war so ground spotting should trump air spotting.

Most pilots are "watching their six" (back) or looking for "the Hun in the Sun" and not trying to count bayonets on the ground.

Those of you who downloaded the Thanksgiving beta efile might have noticed the plane spotting=0 or 1.

Possible Air Units' Spotting Ranges:
  • 0=strategic bombers
  • 1=most planes
  • 3=high-altitude/strategic recon
  • 5=low-altitude/tactical recon
I considered giving tank busters like Hs129 spotting=2 but I do not want to make them powerful air recon, as the tank busters might be more likely to be on the receiving end of recon, going where recon told them rather than telling ground commanders what they're shooting.

Navy observation planes are important for amphibious or coastal battles like Operation Torch.

Low-Altitude/Tactical Recon
  • German Fi156 Storch
  • German Fw189 Flying Eye
  • Soviet Po-2 (U-2)
  • Soviet R-5
  • Soviet R-Z
  • British Lysander
  • British Walrus
  • US L-4 Grasshopper
  • US OS2U Kingfisher
High-Altitude/Strategic Recon
  • German He70F Blitz
  • German Ju86P-2
  • German Do215B
  • German Fw200 Condor
  • German Bv138
  • British Blenheim
  • British PR Spitfire
  • British PR Mosquito
  • US F4/F-5 Lightning
There is a question about turn-around time of photo recon but there is a game reason to provide long-range recon that can recon rear areas farther from friendly airfields and you can assume within the limits of the game that the flights were done earlier.

Possible Non-Recon Ground Units' Spotting Ranges:
  • 0=Soviet penal battalion
  • 1=Closed-top tanks/SP, low-quality infantry, rear-area units, transports
  • 2=Open-top vehicles, regular infantry, front-line towed guns/artillery (range=1 mortar)
  • 3=Special infantry (cavalry, rangers, partisans)
Possible Recon Ground Units' Spotting Ranges:
  • 2=Tank (T-60, M24)
  • 3=Closed-top armored car (BA-64, Puma)
  • 4=Other (Dingo, jeep, cavalry scout)

Fix Rocket artillery

Rockets were high-intensity "shock and awe" barrages but suffered these drawbacks when compared to conventional artillery:
  • Long-reload times to prepare multiple barrels for next fast barrage
  • Time to move and redeploy because the rocket trails invited fast destruction from the enemy's counter-battery fire
Low ammo supply simulates both long reload time and time to redeploy within a hex.

The trade-off is high SA/HA for low ammo.

Possible New Rocket Units (besides the obvious nebelwerfers and katyushas:

Add All-Terrain Truck Transport

Show the important military difference in trucks by adding all-terrain trucks to organic transport.

I generally treat unpowered axles (4x2, 6x4) and heavy trucks with only 4 wheels (4x4 3-ton) as "wheeled" and other all-powered axles (4x4 light/medium, 6x6) as "all-terrain."

  • German Opel 6700 Blitz
  • British Bedford QLT Trooper ("Drooper")
  • Soviet GAZ AAA
  • Italian Fiat CL

  • German Krupp Protze
  • British CMP (Canadian Military Pattern)
  • Soviet "Studer" (Lend Lease US military trucks)
  • US Deuce and a Half
I consider hp and hp/ton in speed.

The LRDG recon unit can be all-terrain even though the LRDG used some CMP 4x2 because the North American trucks were among the best and the LRDG trained carefully in unditching techniques.

Transports should be restricted so that the Morris Quad is used for artillery but not infantry, the Universal (Bren) Carrier is used for the 3inch mortar but not rifle infantry, etc.

Add glider-landed transport to airborne guns.