Tips and tricks for adjusting/making a OOB

Forum for the Panzer Campaigns games series
Aragorn2002
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Tips and tricks for adjusting/making a OOB

Post by Aragorn2002 »

I'm playing PZC since a long time and keep getting back to these games, especially since the latest new Eastern Front games. I wonder sometimes how accurate the OOB's are. I'm not saying they aren't, but just would like to hear your opinion.
Last edited by Aragorn2002 on Sat Oct 21, 2023 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Steel God
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Re: How accurate are the OOB's in Panzer Campaign?

Post by Steel God »

As accurate as available information can make them. It goes without saying that when the series was created in 1999 there was less information available on things like the Russian OOBs than there are now a generation later, but all games are begun with the best efforts at creating accurate OOBs, and as new information becomes available they're constantly revised. I would say that even for people who don't value the games as entertainment would find value in the OOBs as research. Are they perfect? No, but even the resources available to create them are contradictory at times and often incomplete, and that goes for western sources, albeit it not to the extent that it does for Russian or Axis sources. In fact, the Axis sources, being captured by the Allies were probably more generally "available" to the designers than were the Russian ones, although that has changed gradually over time. Now if someone wants to take issue with that and say that every battalion couldn't have been at exactly (pick a number) at the start of the battle because sick leave or what have you, well then no OOB is ever going to be accurate by that standard. But is there any value in that kind of accuracy? Will a battalion behave differently if it starts at X minus 9 men versus just X? Probably not even to justify the efforts to quantify it.
"Listen, I can design a better pencil, but I can't stop someone from sticking it up their nose." - John Tiller
Aragorn2002
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Re: How accurate are the OOB's in Panzer Campaign?

Post by Aragorn2002 »

That's a clear answer. Thank you.
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All_American
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Re: How accurate are the OOB's in Panzer Campaign?

Post by All_American »

Most releases come with designer notes within which you can find information about how OOBs were created. Some really phenomenal work has gone into those in recent years. Scheldt '44, Kiev '43 etc. all have remarkably detailed OOBs that are as correct as it can get in my opinion.

Detailed Orders of Battle are among the reasons why I purchase these games!
Last edited by All_American on Mon Sep 18, 2023 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Aragorn2002
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Re: How accurate are the OOB's in Panzer Campaign?

Post by Aragorn2002 »

So there are no adjustments for the sake of playability and balance? I sometimes have the impression the Russian side is weaker than in reality. Mind you, I'm not a OOB expert and I'm sure the people who made them are.
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All_American
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Re: How accurate are the OOB's in Panzer Campaign?

Post by All_American »

Heavy weapons companies are amalgamated into rifle companies in most Panzer Campaigns OOBs. Both for the sake of playability and that was generally how they were used historically.

There are also some instances where you get "mixed" tank battalions (especially Eastern Front 1941-42 titles) instead of a separate depiction of various tank models Soviets (and Germans with long and short barreled Pz IIIs-Pz IVs) were using. I could be missing a few others but other than these, safe to say PzC OOBs are pretty accurate.

Weakness of the Soviet divisions comes from the fact that they are mainly of Morale D (and C for Guards) with lower soft attack values than the Germans. I don't think anything from Soviets' historical orders of battle are omitted.
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DanTGN
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Re: How accurate are the OOB's in Panzer Campaign?

Post by DanTGN »

Aragorn2002 wrote: Mon Sep 18, 2023 7:50 am So there are no adjustments for the sake of playability and balance? I sometimes have the impression the Russian side is weaker than in reality. Mind you, I'm not a OOB expert and I'm sure the people who made them are.
Hi,

I am going to try to answer how detailed an OoB can be, before starting a new OoB you have to study the documents, to do this you have to immerse yourself deeply in both German and Soviet primary sources, in the case of the German ones it is basically studying the archives of the large units involved in the campaign and there you have to start with the NARA files, in them, apart from finding the units involved in the campaign, you also have to look at their status and I will click here to answer your question , to balance the Germans with respect to the Russians, who are generally worse category units, the only way is by reducing their theoretical strength depending on the state of the unit during the campaign and the other is to lower morale or add more fatigue to this, a medium-type German unit in 1941 is not the same as in 1944

Many times you cannot find what you are looking for in the documents and you must opt for secondary sources, sometimes there is sufficient bibliography and with recognized authors, which can lead to filling in the gaps that you may have in your OoB.

To get to this point, it can take months and months of reading and rereading, so an OoB of any PanzerCampaign involves studying the campaign to simulate in the game and which translates into the maximum historical fidelity that you can offer to the future player

I hope it answers the curiosity of the players :)

Greetings

Dani
Aragorn2002
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Re: How accurate are the OOB's in Panzer Campaign?

Post by Aragorn2002 »

Sounds like a hefty job, Dani. Thanks for explaining.
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Strela
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Re: How accurate are the OOB's in Panzer Campaign?

Post by Strela »

Aragorn2002 wrote: Mon Sep 18, 2023 7:50 am So there are no adjustments for the sake of playability and balance? I sometimes have the impression the Russian side is weaker than in reality. Mind you, I'm not a OOB expert and I'm sure the people who made them are.
Having been involved in all the PzC titles since Kharkov '43, as well as all the PzB series, I can say that there is little need for 'adjustments for the sake of playability and balance'.

The various sides strengths and weaknesses tend to help create the historical situation and force players to think asymmetrically. Getting the OOB, scenario setups (which take just as long), supply and air levels right and more often than not we can get a good starting facsimile of a battle or campaign. This is all impacted by trying to get the OOBs as accurate as possible without going down rabbit holes (i.e. too many unique unit types that are just clutter). There are some times compromises needed to make the game system work, such as the aforementioned 1941/42 mixed tank companies that reflected the German TOE of the time, but differentiated companies would prevent recombining into battalions which can have serious implications in game.

Do read the designer notes from the later titles and you will get a good feel for what DanTGN described above and the rationale for what has been included.
Aragorn2002
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Re: How accurate are the OOB's in Panzer Campaign?

Post by Aragorn2002 »

Thank you for the explanation, Strela. I also use a seperate copy of a PzC title (besides the original version, which I also play of course), to make adjustments, like for instance Kiev 1943 with most Panzerdivisions equipped with Pz V's. Not historically correct, but it gives me a lot of fun. I don't care much for balance. Playability is of course important, but it must be fun.
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