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This page contains tips and information about how to play Panzer General II


Panzer General II Manual (US)

 Panzer General II Leaders

Panzer General II Hotkeys Unit combat factors explained



Basic Tactics
by El Condoro

View as a document online

Checklist each turn:

Pour water on your excitement and the temptation to plunge straight in and do a few checks BEFORE you start moving anything.

  • WATCH THE REPLAY – this will provide heaps of clues about your enemy and what he’s doing.
    HOWEVER, if the weather has changed from “Clear” (visibility 2) on the previous turn to “Snow” or “Rain” (visibility 1) this turn, the visibility will still be set on 2. If you run the replay it will go back to 1 and some units may ‘disappear’. In some cases it is better NOT to run the replay.

  • How far can each unit move and what hexes will they end in?

  • Have you checked for unseen units using recon – don’t get surprised!

  • How far can your planes fly (do they have fuel for return trip? Do they have ammo?)

  • Look out for enemy Overwatch leaders! (Check the ones you can see before moving).

  • Experience level of your troops and the enemy’s – this will affect battle results

  • Check for unseen artillery before trying an overrun – they might prevent it and leave you stranded

  • Fuel levels of units – perhaps it would be better to refuel this turn, especially if you are expecting a large attack.

  • Ammo levels of units (will need at least 2 for an overrun bug attack) – especially if you are expecting many enemy units to attack against an artillery ‘protected’ position. If you have 2 rounds left you might do some damage with an attack, but if you expect 6 enemy units will attack next turn you might be better to rearm back to your limit.

The overrun bug

NB: This is not available with recent patches and versions of the panzer2.exe file.

Tanks can move 2 less than their maximum move, overrun one or more units, fire normally on another, and then get back their full movement.

  • Check terrain type to make sure you won’t get caught out

  • Check for hidden artillery that may prevent the overrun

  • 10 strength artillery units (with ammo) adjacent to units prevent them being overrun

Order of attack:

This will vary from attack to attack, and situation to situation.  Some general order of attack hints:

  • Air attacks

  • Artillery attack (these first 2 may be better swapped)

  • Softening attacks (infantry, recon, AT)

  • Attacks to drain artillery (do not have to be against the targeted unit but are designed to drain the artillery that protect it).

  • Overrun attacks (tanks)


  • Tanks, armoured and recon units are vulnerable to infantry attacks in city, mountain and forest type hexes

  • Units will generally suffer greater close assault casualties in city, forest and mountain hexes

  • Infantry that are not subject to tank attacks and artillery fire will suffer less from other infantry in the open than in these hex types

  • Aim to ‘push’ enemy units into less advantageous terrain. For example, a tank next to a forest with one of your infantry units nearby. The infantry cannot attack the tank in the open and succeed and there’s not enough firepower available to destroy the tank from other sources. Aim to soften it and force it to retreat into the forest hex with what is available where the infantry can easily finish it off. Use recon and other units to ‘guide’ the enemy into the hex if necessary.

  • To destroy or damage? Generally it is better to completely destroy an enemy unit if you can but if you know he has very limited prestige available to replace losses it may be better to do damage. For example, AD has a choice of 2 targets, 1 on 2 points and 1 on 8. The AI estimates doing 5 points of damage. You could take out the 2 point target (and ‘waste’ 3 points) or damage the 8 pointer (and use all damage points). Now the enemy units are both weak and can be finished off later.

  • Units cannot rearm if 3 or more enemy units are adjacent (or overhead). A Jagdtiger without ammo can be rendered useless (for that turn) by 2 or 3 weak infantry units placed adjacent to it, or a couple of planes overhead.

The Combat Formula Explained
by Thunderbolt

Here's this Formula once again. Yes, there are many steps and calculations here, but they all are pretty easy. Just make these calculations a few times and you'll see that it's really easy.

Well, here's the "mystical" Formula  . I divided calculations into three
A&D - Attack and defense bonuses and penalties
Init - Initiative bonuses and penalties
Odds - Getting odds.
A&D1. If weather is snow or rain add 3 to defense.
No changes if weather is overcast or fair.

A&D2. If unit is in a river, subtract 4 from defense and attack

A&D3. Add Entrenchment to defense. Add 2 * Entrenchment for infantry in City,
Forest or Mountain attacked by Tanks, AT or Recons.
Every attack decreases Entrenchment by 1, but not below Base Level. Infantry
in Close Combat (against units in City, Forest or Mountain) decreases
Entrenchment by 2 and can decrease it below Base Level down to 0.
A&D4. Add Experience bars both to defense and attack

A&D5. Add RDM (Ranged Defense Modifier) to defense with following algorithm:
a) Attack at range 2:
both defender and attacker add RDM to defense
b) Attack at range 1, Defender has Range of attack = 1:
Attacker adds RDM to defense, defender adds 1/2 RDM (If RDM = 3, add 1, if
RDM = 5, add 2)
ń) Attack at range 1, Defender has Range of attack = 2:
both defender and attacker add 1/2 RDM to defense
d) AntiTank after movement doesn't add RDM to defense even for range 2
It's true, RDM is added to defense even for Range 1 attack.
A&D6. Every received attack decreases defense by 2. But arty, bombers, ships
and forts always fire at unmodified defense. It means softening doesn't help
you to improve odds for bombers or arty. They MAKE softenings, but they
DON'T USE softenings. Hope, you understand a difference.
Now it's time for INITIATIVE. Remember that it's a most important value in
tactics of PG2. If a unit loses initiative, its attack is decreased by 4, if
it wins initiative, its attack is increased up to 4.
Init1. For range 1 attacks, attacker's initiative is decreased down to 8. If
it's already lower than 8, it is not changed. Defender's initiative is not

Init2. Different terrains have different initiative "caps". It means
"natural" initiative (initiative without bars modifiers) cannot be higher
than the cap value.
City = 1
Mountain = 8
Forest = 3
Rough/Hills/Bocage = 5
Clear = 99 (no cap)

These caps work only for Range 1 attack. The cap value is common for
attacker and defender, and is evaluated as maximum of cap values of terrain
hexes the units are at.

A (attacker) is in Clear, D (defender) is in City. No cap (99).
A is in city, D is in clear. No cap.
A is in forest, D is in hills. Both units have initiative cap = 5.
A is in city, D is in city. Both units have initiative cap = 1.

Init3. Any unit that can both move and attack (any unit before movement,
Tanks after overrun, recons, units with Recon Movement leader) doesn't lose
initiative. It means:
a) If its initiative is greater than defender's initiative - no change
b) If its initiative is lower than defender's initiative then decrease
defender's initiative down to attacker's one.

Init4. Experience changes initiative:
0 bars no changes
1 bar +1 Initiative
2 bars +1 Initiative
3 bar +2 Initiative
4 bars +2 Initiative
5 bars +3 Initiative

Init5. Every sustained attack decreases initiative by 1.

Init6. AT w/o leader has penalty for movement: -2 initiative. If now its
initiative is not greater than defender's initiative then it is reset to 0.

Init7. If defender is w/o ammo, then it can't fire back and attacker doesn't
lose initiative. There is NO any other penalties for units w/o ammo.

Init8. If attacker attacks from Range 2, and defender has Range = 1, then
defender can't fire back and attacker doesn't lose initiative.

Init9. If either defender or attacker has "big" defense (Defense - Attack is
4 or greater), then it doesn't lose initiative.
Odds1. If unit loses initiative, substract 4 from its attack.

Odds2. If unit wins initiative, add initiative difference (but maximum is
+4) to its attack.

Odds3. Calculate for both units the difference between its attack and
opponent's defense.

Odds4. Now take the odds for 10 strength unit from the table below:

Dif Odds

| -100..-5 | 0.5 |
| -4 | 1
| -3 | 2
| -2 | 2.5
| -1 | 3
| 0 | 3.5
| 1 | 4
| 2 | 4.5
| 3 | 5
| 4 | 5.5
| 5 | 5.5
| 6 | 5.5
| 7 | 6
| 8 | 6
| 9 | 6.5
| 10 | 6.5
| 11 | 6.5
| 12 | 7
| 13 | 7
| 14 | 7.5
| 15 | 7.5
| 16 | 7.5
| 17 | 8

and so on.

3.5 means 3 for 10 str and 2 for 5 str,
3 means 3 for 10 str and 1 for 5 str

One exception: 0.5 means 1 for 10 str and 0 for any understrengthed unit
(with 9 or less strength points)

I hope you understand how can you calculate odds for under- or
overstrengthed units :-)

For arty there's another table, I think I'll list it too, but later.
Do I make these calculations before every combat? Certainly, not. I make
them when I want to make an overrun, but I am not sure that I can make it.
When I see an opponent's army I easy see my chances: how many softenings I
need, how many units I'll kill etc

Some interesting things you can find in formula:

ANY 10 str arty prevents overruns of all adjacent units.

If you want to make an overrun of a unit with big initiative, first you have
to decrease its initiative down to 8.

Use overrun of weak units to get an initiative bonus (see Init3)

Softenings: use the odds table for seeing how your odds will change after
the softenings.