“**Panzer Elite**

Non-doctrinal:

1 - Panzergrenadiere

Cost increased from 195 MP to 215 MP.

Doctrinal:

1 - Extreme Conditioning

Conditioning PGrens have been priced out.”

The above is taken from the changes made to panzer grenadiers in the most recent patch. The reason I make this post is due to the fact I believe there is currently no reason for the removal of the doctrine ‘Extreme Conditioning’ that is backed up but any real game design or balance. I hope to elucidate why I believe this is the case.

**Section 1: What are the Pop bonus designs?** As A preface, I think it's good to acknowledge the four major ways that pop bonuses currently exist in EIR doctrines.

1. Raw +4 individual population eg. Airborne, Luftwaffe

2. +4/3/2/2 team population eg. RCA, Blitzkrieg

3. Unit tied pop addition eg. US armor

4. Unit tied pop reduction eg. Scorched Earth.

As you can see, the higher the potential pop bonus, the greater the conditional restrictions are upon it. If you don't quite understand, here is a quick run down.

+4 individual pop is totally unconditional(outside of the opportunity cost of selecting the doctrine). However, the bonus is always 4 and that can be calculated by your opponent in any given situation.

Team pop bonuses are slightly stronger in that they need to be viewed on the Macro/team level rather than the individual level. On the aggregate, the team opposing a team with the team pop bonus will be playing down anywhere from 6-8 pop of units. If one team is organized, that means that it creates an aggregate cap of 12 - 32 pop. The conditional cap on this, of course, is that it requires the entire team to be playing on the same page, using the same doctrine. Again, with that information, any given opponent can counter that as long as you have an inherent understanding of the weaknesses and strengths of any given doctrine. Its also important to remember not all pop is equal. 6 pop has more value in the hands of Mysthalin than in the hands of Dire.

Then, lastly, you have the unit tied pop additions/subtractions. These additions and subtractions are hyper constricted in that they are only allowed by a core unit or set of units. This again allows counterplay so long as your opponent has understanding of the micro-meta such a company composition would create. The bonuses themselves scale if you have high quantities of a single unit type on the field, however, in doing so, it means at any given moment, you are more prone to be overrun due to susceptibility to any hard counter composition. This is the point I will hone in on when discussing Extreme Conditioning for SE.

**Section 2: The theoretical parameters of ‘Extreme Conditioning’ at 25 pop** For this, I think it is best to focus on the 2 prime population points of EIR; 25 and 40. This way, we can have some solid theoretical comparison but focus it down to two prime gameplay points and as such avoid theorycraft on other minutia of compositions.

Let us first take a look at the state of 4 pop Panzer Grenadiers at the 25 pop stage. A player would need to bring 4 panzer grenadier squads on the field to equate to the 4 pop bonus available to both Luftwaffe and Airborne. However, at even a cursory level examination, we can see that the 2 pop bonus doctrines are not even close to equal. In order to even achieve the +4 pop bonus with ‘Extreme Conditioning’, I am forced to inherently play 4 panzer grenadiers to gain that bonus, and the bonus itself is functionally consumed by the 4th panzer grenadier squad. When compared to the totally unconditional +4 bonus available to Airborne and Luftwaffe, we can see ‘Extreme Conditioning’ falls short.

However, some would say that you can extrapolate further. After all, 4 Pgren squads are only 16 out of 25 pop. As such, we can move quickly to the maximum possible population bonus that can be achieved at the 25 pop stage. By fielding 6 panzer grenadier squad, you achieve a de-facto +6 individual pop bonus, but again, at any cursory level examination, you can see that the conditions here are highly constricted. In having 24 pop tied into exactly one unit type, you make your entire on field composition susceptible to a single type of counterplay that may be bought by your opponent.

Additionally, without the pop bonus, the theoretical max Pgren squad count you can bring on field at 25 pop is 5. So, in function, you achieve this +6 pop bonus, you are only gaining 1 additional squad of panzer grenadiers in up front field presence. You are left with 1 pop which will probably go into a kettenkrad.

So, from this, we can see that at the 25 pop level, ‘Extreme Conditioning’ falls well within the design parameters of population bonuses.

**Section 3: The theoretical parameters of ‘Extreme Conditioning’ at 40 pop** At 40 pop is where the abilities of individual unit pop additions/reductions really begin to shine. However, even within these parameters, they still fall well within pop bonus design parameters, conditions/constrictions and balance

At 40 pop, you can gain a theoretical +10 individual population bonus by having the maximum 10 panzergrenadier squads on field. However, this still has the same pitfall of the 6 squads of panzergrenadiers at 25 pop in terms of available counterplay to your opponent. Even beyond that point, the theoretical max field presence only jumps by 2 panzer grenadier squads.

To achieve a composition that can provide varied threats to your opponent, you have to drop a panzergrenadier squad. However, for each squad which you drop, you lose inherent pop advantage.Dropping 1 squad of Conditioned Panzer grenadiers free’s up 4 pop, but it drops the total bonus to 9. To have 8 pop of non-pgren based field presence, you have to drop 2 squads, dropping you to +8 pop bonus on an individual level. Dropping even further Pgren squads after this point is actually a diminishing returns on the hard theoretical returns of ‘Extreme Conditioning’.

In addition to this, we still have to recognize the hard conditional requirements to achieve that maximum theoretical efficiency. You have to dedicate 80% of your field presence (32/40) to a single unit type. Which still means at any given time, you are still under severe threat of potential hard counter.

**Section 4; Wait, I don’t understand what maximum efficiency means** Efficiency predicates the maximum returns a doctrine provides when compared to the non doctrinal state. Maximum efficiency in ‘Extreme Conditioning’ lies at 8 pgren squads on field as it is where you can the largest unrestrained population bonus when compared to the non-doctrinal state.

“But wait” you say “How is +8 pop bonus more efficient than +10 pop bonus?”. Again, this is due to restraints on what that theoretical pop can be tied to compared to the non doctrinal state. In the non-doctrinal state, you can at most have a field presence of 8 panzer grenadier squad. In order to gain the full +10 bonus, you have to use the entirety of your population bonus on additional panzergrenadier squads. So while it is the highest theoretical bonus, it is not the most efficient value in a gameplay sense.

At 8 squads of Pgrens on field, you gain the same Infantry based field presence as your non-doctrinal state, but have 8 unrestricted population to be used.

If we chart this down

10 pgrens ----+10 bonus ----0 unrestricted pop bonus

9 pgrens ----+9 bonus ----4 unrestricted pop bonus

8 pgrens ----+8 bonus ----8 unrestricted pop bonus

7 pgrens ----+7 bonus ----7 unrestricted pop bonus

6 pgrens ----+6 bonus ----6 unrestricted pop bonus

5 pgrens ----+5 bonus ----5 unrestricted pop bonus

4 pgrens ----+4 bonus ----4 unrestricted pop bonus

3 pgrens ----+3 bonus ----3 unrestricted pop bonus

2 pgrens ----+2 bonus ----2 unrestricted pop bonus

1 pgrens ----+1 bonus ----1 unrestricted pop bonus

**Section 5: Gameplay variables (aka: shit dies).** “But Lothen” some say “When pgrens lose bodies, you can call more pgrens on field”. To which I say, this is true. However, the bonus here is not as large as you think. The pop distribution of a standard Pgren squad is 1-1-1-2. With the 2 pop being tied to a sergeant. This means every time a standard Pgren squad loses a body, the chances of it becoming equivalent to a Conditioned pgren squad increases quite drastically.

1 body loss ---- 25% chance of equivalency

2 body loss ---- 49.75% chance of equivalency

3 body loss ---- 74.8% chance of equivalency

Which means the utility retention as well as the continued call on aspect of ‘Extreme Conditioning’ is not as high as most people may believe. Any given 2 man standard Pgren squad has approximately a 50% chance of being no different than a 2 man Conditioned Panzergrenadier squad in terms of field presence.

**Section 6: In conclusion**Extreme Conditioning as a doctrine falls well inside the parameters of the design intent and balancing points of the current set of population bonuses. As such, there is no discernable reason for the doctrine to be priced out or removed.