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TBS Panzer General / Fantasy General / Panzer Corps Introduction

Self-Ejected

Thac0

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I'm very into cock and ball torture
So I have been completely addicted to this Panzer General clone called Warhammer Sanctus Reach recently.
The only logical progression now is to actually play Panzer General. The problem is there are like 15 different games to this series.

Can I have a quick overview which of the Panzer and Fantasy General games are worth playing? Also what is a good entry point?
Is the newest Fantasy General II also worth playing? Also what is Panzer Corps, is it related to Panzer General, and is it worth playing aswell?
 

Anomander

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Oct 22, 2015
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Fantasy General 2 is great but it's somewhat different from core Panzer General. There's some rpg elements (heroes, skills, experience, "quests"). If you like fantasy you can try this. For me it's better than second world war (always the same Stalingrad etc).
For Panzer I would start with Panzer Corps 1 or 2. You can say it's a remake of Panzer General. New graphics, modern interface etc. It's basically Panzer General "definite edition" or what's the remake are called this days.
There some differences between Corps 1 and 2 and I personally prefer first. There's like a million dlcs, but after main campaign it gets repetive.

There's also Order of Batlle, but I only tried demo so hard to say anything about that.
 

Darth Roxor

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I played Panzer General 1 and 2, Fantasy General and Rites of War and liked all of them a lot. PGs are both great and there's really nothing that you can say against them in my view. FG is also pretty good but IMO drags on too much and you have enough of it by the time you start the final campaign. Rites of War otoh is THE W40k panzer general clone and despite some quirks it's also highly enjoyable - it has kickass production values too, the maps and spritework are top notch.

I haven't played any other panzer general clone because I heard bad things about all of them and figured I don't wanna bother. The only one I tried was W40k Armageddon and thought it was crap, but at least it made me glad I ignored the other Slitherine games if it's any representative of all of them.
 

dacencora

Guest
Just FYI, Sanctus Reach is not a Panzer clone because it's on a square grid, but I digress. The modern PG 40k clone is Armageddon and yeah you can see that Roxor isn't a big fan of it. I don't think it's terrible, but Rites of War is certainly better.

If you really want more games like Sanctus Reach, there are a ton of games on the same engine:
  • Field of Glory II
  • Field of Glory II: Medieval
  • Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector
  • Pike and Shot: Campaigns
  • Sengoku Jidai
  • Hell
  • BBC Battle Academy
If you haven't played the Sons of Cadia xpac for Sanctus Reach, I would recommend that you do.

As far as Fantasy General II goes, I played it for about 10 hours and I found it pretty boring. Expeditions: Viking has more interesting tactical combat and more interesting squad management than FG2 (I know they're technically different, but they're both TB-tacticals on a hex grid with RPG elements). I just found the units really boring in FG2, and they put a pretty big focus on the """story""" which is p. banal and shitty, IMO. There's some light C&C, so some people may like it, but like I said, I mostly found it boring. The unit progression can be pretty interesting, but the beginning of the game is full of mostly samey encounters, and you're mostly fighting the exact same units that you yourself have, which, again, is pretty boring to me. It had a lot of good ideas and good things going for it, but ultimately the execution was lacking. The expansions might have fixed some of these issues, but I haven't played any of them. The lack of flying units in the original campaign was a major oversight too. If you want a "modern" Fantasy General, I would play Fantasy Wars/Elven Legacy. You could also try the Eador series, but it's not as close to FG as Fantasy Wars and Elven Legacy.
 
Glory to Ukraine
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There's also Order of Batlle, but I only tried demo so hard to say anything about that.

I personally prefer Order of Battle to most other PG-clones, primarily because of the "encirclement" mechanic the game has (ie you can cut off enemy units from supply by smart maneuvering, cut off units lose combat efficiency over time - of course the same can happen to your units too). Other than that OoB has generally more emphasis on morale/readiness, for example artillery and strategic bombers usually dont damage enemy units like in most PG-clones, but instead decrease their readiness (though they can also do damage from time to time, its not their main purpose), thus making them easier to defeat by your other units. These things aside, OoB is PG-clone like any other.

There is Open General, which can be downloaded for free and has a ton of custom content as well. I liked 40K Armageddon, out of the older releases I liked People´s General, which was basically PG2 with modern units.

Field of Glory/Pike & Shot games are pretty great, though I personally wouldnt put them in the same cathegory as PG.
 

Zboj Lamignat

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Feb 15, 2012
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First time I hear someone calling Sanctus Reach a PG-clone, but whatever.

I've played all original SSI games extensively (with the exception of Star General - was never able to get my hands on a copy) and I think all of them are extremely fun and worth playing. Just forget about the 3d ones. That was the equivalent of a dying person emptying their bowels.

PG2 and Fantasy General are my two personal favorites, Pacific General is also rated very highly among the fans. You can get all three on GOG. OpenGen used to be fun, but I think it's been a long time since it moved away from being an expanded PG2 and ventured into typical "warning! modders at work" territory. I'd say start with PG2, but I don't know if it won't make the older games feel a bit basic when you play them. If you want to pick an older one, can't go wrong with Fantasy General. One of the best casual TB strategy games ever with awesome production values and even awesome-er soundtrack.

When it comes to modern-ish clones, I've grown fond of PC1 over the years, but skip the base campaign and go with the dlc ones. It does have some basic design changes that are very questionable, though, and the mission design is not always great. But it can also be more varied than in originals. WH Arma was also kinda fun for the first chapter, but it's a poorly designed game that tries to match PG formula with some WH rules and ideas and it often results in some heavy dumbfuckery. I didn't like the various 3d ones at all. PC2 is just plain shit, slow and tiresome. FG2 doesn't feel like FG at all and instead feels like you're playing nu-civ combat without city building. Fantasy Wars was p nice, but graphics require... some getting used to.

Anyway, if you want more details about a particular title then ask away.
 

KateMicucci

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Sep 2, 2017
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I've played FG1 and PG1.

PG can be frustrating because you need to take all of the cities almost as fast as your panzers can drive. If you're one day late on an objective and get only "minor victory" it puts you on the mission path to inevitable defeat.

FG is more forgiving with the timers, but the combat mechanics are more complex. There are more viable army comps in FG than there are in PG and lots of hero units. You can pick between four different characters who each play differently. On the second island the enemy general spams a spell that will keep killing your air force.
 

Parabalus

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Fantasy General and Fantasy General 2 are both great. The campaign in both cases has some light RPG elements which add a lot of flavour. FG2 has a bit more of it, but the core gameplay is basically the same.

I liked WH: Battlesector too, very similar level of RPG elements in the campaign, not surprising since it's Slitherine like FG2.
 

Lacrymas

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Both FG1 and 2 are pretty good. FG1 is better, but the difference in quality isn't huge. Try out Fantasy Wars and Elven Legacy too.
The lack of flying units in the original campaign was a major oversight too.
The Onslaught DLC introduced flying units to the main campaign.
 

ValeVelKal

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Messages
1,605
IMO the best Panzer General clones are Order of Battle (but not all campaigns) and Panzer General 3 Scorched Earth (but absolutely avoid Panzer General 3 3D).

Fantasy General is great. Fantasy Wars not great due to vanilla scenario and bland level design. It has one redeeming quality I will never forget though : in the last 2 maps of the game (out of 30 or 40), it pulls a new full fledged AI faction (several units for each “class”, new 3D asset and not palette roll, new voice,… )that you have never ever seen before in the game, even as a teaser. Only game of the genre where you spend the last levels checking “what the Hell is this ? And what the Hell is that ?” I guess cut content reinjected in the game.
Elven Legacy, same engine, is much better thanks to a really good level design.


People General is another recommendation, but it is complex -play it last.


There are a string of mobiles games that are PG clones that have all the correct things called 1941 Frozen Front 1942 Pacific Front etc. The first one (1941) is the best by a landslide, the third is really worth playing but short. Make sure you download and pay for the Premium version, else you will get the pay-to-win + ads spam version. You can pay to win in the “premium” version but it is a legacy feature, I finished the 4 games without ever paying in-game.

I did not play Pacific General or Star General.

I like Armaggeddon... but the balancing does not scale for Titan units, so the game starts great, and totally breaks down by the middle of the second chapter. On the other hand, the Ork Hunter campaign is awesome as it is almost only infantry combat with light vehicle support.
But the best W40K game of the genre ("tactical with a lot of units") is Final Liberation by a landslide.
 
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EtcEtcEtc

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Jan 16, 2017
Messages
403
So I have been completely addicted to this Panzer General clone called Warhammer Sanctus Reach recently.
The only logical progression now is to actually play Panzer General. The problem is there are like 15 different games to this series.

Can I have a quick overview which of the Panzer and Fantasy General games are worth playing? Also what is a good entry point?
Is the newest Fantasy General II also worth playing? Also what is Panzer Corps, is it related to Panzer General, and is it worth playing aswell?


Someone already filled you in on Sanctus Reach = Battle Academy Engine - so I'll just get to the recommending. I love Panzer General, it was my intro to wargames, and it makes a great intro.

Don't even spend money btw - you can get PG and Allied General for free built for modern software via the guy who, I believe, later made Panzer Corps.

https://panzergeneraldownload.com/panzer-general-forever.html

If those do it for you, you can go further down the Five Star General line w/ Fantasy General or Pacific General or Panzer General 2. Or get Panzer Corps and play the Grand Campaign, which I still haven't done but it's 5 bucks and people swear by it.

OR you can stray off and get games similar to PG - like Order of Battle which is basically Panzer Corps with supply. Or Unity of Command games which are like a more complex Panzer General with greater logistics and supply then Order of Battle. Or Strategic Command World War One/Two which are like Grand Strategy versions of Panzer General and are also great.

And if you REALLY love Panzer General and want to play nothing but Panzer General games for the rest of your life, download Open General which has like... 500 scenarios ranging from Antiquity to Modern War all built around PG rules. Some of those work better then others, and they are all fan made so quality may vary - but it's still a ton of stuff.

There's also Open Panzer, which some people say is a remake of Panzer General 2 for modern systems, but looks like a whole different campaign & scenarios just in the same engine/ruleset to me.
 

ValeVelKal

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Aug 24, 2011
Messages
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Yeah, correction, I said Panzer Corps is the best but Panzer Corps is mediocre, I meant Order of Battle, but NOT all campaigns.

Outstanding campaigns :
- China as Japanese
- Pacific as either US or Japanese
- Burma
- Finland

Good campaigns :
- US Marines
- Afrika Corps

Avoid absolutely :
- Kriegsmarine

Run-of-the-mill :
- Everything else.

Unity of Command II is also an outstanding game, though way more complex than PG. I would avoid UoC1,which is very puzzly due to extremely tight time-limits.

Totally free : Battle for Wesnoth (fantasy) is really good as well.
 
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I think Order of Battle might be my favorite of the PG games now, but not all campaigns like user said above. After Order of Battle I think I like PG2 next then PG then Fantasy General, then maybe Panzer Corp 1, although it got tiresome I suppose.

Not really the same type of Game but since people mentioned Unity of Command, the new Decisive Campaigns: Ardennes is really good.

I was hesitant to buy it at first but its great. however it (and Unity of Command II) are quite different types of games IMO compared to PG; especially Decisive Campaigns, which is quite complex, like a detailed board wargame although it handles it all for you and you don't actually need to know all the rules to play, but it helps to understand what they are in order to make good choices--again though, its not really a PG clone, its more like a monster board wargame clone.
 

Ol' Willy

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So I have been completely addicted to this Panzer General clone called Warhammer Sanctus Reach recently.
The only logical progression now is to actually play Panzer General. The problem is there are like 15 different games to this series.

Can I have a quick overview which of the Panzer and Fantasy General games are worth playing? Also what is a good entry point?
Is the newest Fantasy General II also worth playing? Also what is Panzer Corps, is it related to Panzer General, and is it worth playing aswell?
Panzer General I is classic. It is also biggest in the scale, just look at something like Balkans map. You won't get such scale in any other game in the series. Also, some mechanics there are fairly unique. There's almost no PG1 clones, most went PG2 route.
There are cool mods for PG1 by some Czech guy, for example, his version of Pacific War. Can give you the link if you are interested.

Allied General is decent, but worse than PG1.

Pacific General is cool and underrated game, introduced new naval mechanics.

Panzer General 2 is another classic. But it is fairly different from the first game.

If you liked PG2 formula and can't get enough, play Open General. Very similar ruleset, but amount of campaigns is truly overwhelming. Want to play Franco-Prussian war? Or Italian campaign in WW2? WW1? It has it all.
 

Zboj Lamignat

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Messages
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Just a note regarding the newer games if you want to get the taste of classic experience first: while people often advertise certain titles as "exactly like PG", the only honest-to-god well-known and non-indie/mobile/mod PG clone is PC1. And even that one has some differences that weigh heavily on how the game plays, like artillery and its killing power.

All the other titles introduce their own mechanics and changes (some good, some not so much), but, first and foremost, are much different when it comes to the number's game (damage, deadliness and resilience of units) and how the game flows. For example, the difference between, let's say, PG2 and often mentioned OOB is pretty stark in that regard.
 

ValeVelKal

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Aug 24, 2011
Messages
1,605
Ok, so further to this, my rating of the "close Panzer General games". I call "close Panzer General game" a game :
- Based on hex-Grid,
- With different unit classes,
- Where you buy units with prestige point or equivalent,
- Where units have some number of HP that it can recover by resting, though the max HP can decrease during a battle
- Where default range is 1 for land units,

From best to worst, each time considering the player is playing the best available campaign/chapter/whatever
1. Order of Battle
2. Panzer General III - Scortched Earth
3. Fantasy General
4. People General
5. Panzer General 2
(gap in quality)
6. Panzer Corps
7. Elven Legacy - there are 4 of them, I don't remember which is which and they were unequal)
8. Warhammer : Armaggeddon (thanks to its Chapter 1 and Ork Hunter campaign, else would be last)
9. Fantasy Wars
10. Rites of Wars (I am a bit of an exception there - most people liked it more)
(gap)
11. Panzer General 1 (it aged)
12. Allied General
(gap)
13. Panzer General 3D:Assault

Haven't played : Star General, Fantasy General 2, Pacific General, Panzer Corps 2 / OpenPanzer


And now, adding the games with the same "spirit" though not clones (ranged attack, individual characters, ...)

1. Unity of Command II
(gap)
2. Battle for Wesnoth
3. Order of Battle
4. Panzer General III - Scortched Earth
5. Fantasy General
6. People General
7. Panzer General 2
(gap)
8. Panzer Corps
9. Elven Legacy
10. Warhammer : Armaggeddon
11. 1941 Frozen Front
12. Fantasy Wars
13. Rites of Wars
14. 1943 Deadly Desert
15. 1942 Pacific War
16. 1944 Burning Bridges
(gap)
17. Unity of Command 1
18. Panzer General 1 (it aged)
19. Allied General
(gap)
20. Panzer General 3D:Assault
21+. A bunch of mobiles games I don't even want to name but eh, I work on mobile games so I know them

Haven't played the Battle Academy either. Will update if I think of more games.
 
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Dayyālu

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Shaper Crypt
Fantasy General is a very dear game to me, particularly because it evolves and improves the basic PG gameplay with some clever additions, hero units, basic spellcasting and varied enemies. It also manages to give the player a wider set of tools and space to apply such tools: one of the typical failing of PG clones is the almost fetishization of the "puzzle-like" aspects of the original games, with time limits and unit limits hitting hard on player choices. Panzer Corps is particularly bad on that regard, I remember that I could not be bothered to play it more than a couple hours. One point needs to be made, the last "island" of Fantasy General does feel too much like a waste of time, being essentially "your princess is in another castle, grind another island with the same setup with most of your units already maxed".

Fantasy General II is a different beast, but as a relaxing TB games with some PG inspirations it works fine. Campaign design and unit design improved for every new expansion they threw out, but even the baseline game offers some clear replayability, interesting scenarions and amusingly enough some clear C&C stuff - you get different units and different "unlocks" depending on your actions on the campaign, heroes gets different traits, items are useful for some amusing builds. It's nonetheless an evolution of the PG style and not a stale copy.

Armageddon.... everyone else said it, it's a decent effort for the first campaign and then it collapses completely when Titan and Super-Heavy units get thrown into the mix.

Rites of war is a cookie-cutter PG clone. But you get smug Eldar campaign and the campaign is unarguably well designed, with a good use of the enemy roster. Better than Armageddon for sure.

Enjoyed PG1 for what it was, Allied General was an insane slog for the Soviet campaign - I swear I almost popped a vein on Berlin, the amount of everything the Germans get when you're given inferior equipment, inferior numbers and inferior positions is rage-inducing - but the other Allied campaigns are better and more varied.

Also, Fantasy General 1 soundtrack: when it's so good they had to recycle pieces for the sequel.

 

Taka-Haradin puolipeikko

Filthy Kalinite
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I wouldn't call Sanctus Reach Panzer General-like. Steel Panthers is closer analogue from same era.
Shrapnel Games has free versions of WW2 and more modern battles of it and GOG sells SP adaptation of WH40k Final Liberation.

Of the games made in same engine as Sanctus Reach I had most fun with Pike & Shot, 30-year war is such an underutilized setting and it has some good mods that cover Zulu wars for example.

By the way, does anyone know good way to run PG2 on laptop? Damn thing keeps causing me grief when I want to re-play it and I just decide to do something else then.

edit.
Fantasy General is good entry point and my personal favorite of the series.
Battle for Westnoth is also fine starting point.
 
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Self-Ejected

Thac0

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I'm very into cock and ball torture
Thanks for all the input. I searched for the games on Gog, and found that I already own Fantasy General from god knows where. Started with that one for now, as it is a dearly beloved title here.

Good times, surprisingly sensible UI for a DOS game.
 

Zboj Lamignat

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Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
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Nice, have fun. You're also in luck, because they've fixed some issues with game's performance recently and it's now very playable without fiddling with dosbox config.
 

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