The Panzers Roll....
The tanks prepare for action. The fuel tanks topped off and the ammo loaded. The commanders confer one final time to review the battle plan. They await your orders.
As the fog clears, your beleaguered battle group once again moves into position to cover the retreating infantry. It is their only possible escape route. Failure is not an option – it never is. Your ranks have thinned since your first days on the Eastern Front. Those once halcyon times have now come and gone. The objective is simple. It is just a matter of holding the line until the reinforcements arrive.
The sharp report of a tank gun to your right quickly focuses your attention back to the situation at hand. The enemy is quickly advancing. You order the flank element to engage, all the while keeping a sharp eye peeled to the left thinking this is just another diversionary feint.
Again, your suspicions are correct. Their main force just broke over the rise on your left. You order the main body forward. The engines rumble, the guns crack and explosions erupt. Your forces will once more carry the day!
Panzer is designed for small unit actions from platoon to battalion-sized formations, simulating combined-arms operations during World War II. The game is all about commanding a force of vehicles, crew served weapons, leg units and their attached weapons, and a slew of supporting elements including artillery and aircraft. It’s about understanding their strengths, whether they be armor, firepower or speed, or the weaknesses whether they be grade, morale or limited command control. In keeping with
this approach Panzer’s scale is 1:1 for vehicles, towed guns, and aircraft with each counter representing a single combat unit. The leg unit counters are scaled at squads, half-squads and sections, including their attached weapons. Off-map artillery units are batteries of 2-6 tubes. The ground scale is 100 meters per hex. The time scale is fluid with each complete turn representing approximately 30 seconds to 15 minutes.
More than just a single game, Panzer is a game system that will eventually encompass the entire Western Theater during WWII. The initial three releases, Panzer,
and Panzer Expansions #1 and #2, focus on the Eastern Front and the massive battles that highlight its brutal action from 1941 to 1945.
The Panzer base set kicks off the action with a cross-section of units from the Soviet and German Forces covering a period from 1943-1945, including everything needed to fight it out. These 32 (16 Soviet and 16 German) distinct units are represented on individual double-sided, Data Cards that contain all of the information necessary to fight those units. Some of the Data Cards contain the information for more than a single unit. For example, the Soviet and German Squads, Half-Squads & Sections Data Cards contain the information for all leg units. Reference either the Data Card Key - Vehicle or the Data Card Key - Leg for example Data Cards and an explanation of
what all the information means.
In addition, the base set includes the rule book for the entire series, organized into Basic, Advanced and Optional Rules sections. The Basic Game rules are structure for just vehicle on vehicle situations. They outline how vehicles move and fight as well as utilizing a simpler front/rear armor system for resolving AP (Armor Piercing) direct fire than the Advanced Game, as illustrated in the Basic Game AP Fire Example.
The Advanced Game Rules expand on the Basic Rules by addition of specific vehicle armor locations, GP (General Purpose) direct and indirect fire, the addition of Leg units and Towed Guns, Artillery, Aircraft, Close Assault and Hand-to-Hand Combat, and Overrun Combat. In Panzer GP Fire is the collective term used for HE, leg small arms, artillery, aircraft, and close combat actions. Reference either the AP Fire Example or the GP Fire Example for more information on Advance Game Fire types.
The Optional Rules expand the game to all new heights with a slew of possibilities including Morale, Platoon and Section Command Control, Non-Radio Units, Turrets (opened or buttoned up), Pinning Fire, Engineer vs. Terrain Combat, Mines & Mine Fields, Weight Limitations, Camouflage, Dual Driving Controls, Amphibious Movement, Fires, Long Guns, Terrain, Time of Day & Weather Conditions, Limited Spotting, Counter Battery, Variable AP Penetration, Illumination Fire Missions, Towed Unit platform Gun Mounts, Variable Track Damage, Soviet Early War Communications, Brew Up Modifiers, Hidden Units, Reaction Fire, Lower Hull Hits, Narrow Roads & Paths, Fire Priority, Vehicle Collateral Damage, Infantry Smoke, Crawling, Tank Fright.
At first, that may seem like a complicated list of rules. However, optional rules are just that, optional. Players employ them as desired. In fact, many of the Advanced Game elements are not even required in the scenarios. The game system is very modular in design. It can be as simple or as complicated as desired.
In the base set, scenarios are fought out on the included 22” x 34” mapboard with the 176 (88 double-side) 7/8” (22mm) double-sided counters for the vehicles, towed guns and aircraft and the 120 (60 double-sided) 5/8” (16mm) counters for all the leg units. All of the damage, turrets, reference, status and terrain effects are also represented on 5/8” (16mm) counters. Also included are all the game charts, tables, reference sheets, and the 4 d10 dice necessary for play. The mapboard features large 1” (25mm) hexes for ease of play.
When playing, players utilizing the quick and easy counter-based command system, players ‘order’ each their units to fire, move, fire & move, overwatch (opportunity fire) or just sit tight (No Command).
These five basic commands control all of the action in the game. In the Basic Game, each and every unit receives its own individual command counter. In the Advanced Game, the Command Control rules (if the players decide to add that element to the game) limit the number of distinct commands available for each company-sized formation based on its formation grade. That means that some units must share a command, performing the same action dictated by the order.
Those companies with superior formation grade not only receive more commands they have a wider command range giving those units sharing a command greater flexibility. For example, a company of 10 tanks possessing Seasoned grade receives 6 distinct commands (and any number of No Commands), and those units
sharing a command must be in adjacent hexes; if Green grade, it receives 4 distinct commands (and any number of No Commands) and those units sharing a command must be stacked in the same hex. Therefore, formation integrity is a critical aspect as well as the limits it places on formations.
Panzer Major Points
Game system designed for small unit actions from platoon to battalion-sized formations
Vehicles, towed guns and aircraft are scaled at 1:1 with each 7/8” double-sided counter representing a single unit
The 5/8” double-sided leg unit counters are scaled at squads, half-squads and sections, including their attached weapons
Ground scale is 100 meters per hex
Comprehensive yet quick to play
Basic set includes a 22” x 34” mapboard
Expansion sets include multiple double-sided geomorphic mapboards
Full color illustrated manual with various player aids and reference cards
Modular rules system with Basic, Advanced and Optional rules section. Players may keep it simple or as complex as desired.
Includes rules for:
Vehicle include 11 unique hit locations, armor angles and penetration charts for level, rising and falling fire
Various ammunition type, e.g., AP, HVAP, APCR, HEAT, HE
Indirect fire, both on gameboard and off gameboard
Air-to-ground and anti-aircraft combat
All of the unit data is included on the full-color data cards.
The streamlined chit-based command system moves the action along at a brisk pace
Scenario and TO&E Reference Book
The add-on modules expand the game from the basic set.
Covers the major theaters of WWII including the:
TIME SCALE 15 second to 15 minutes per turn
MAP SCALE 1 meters per hex
UNIT SCALE Individual tanks, vehicles, towed guns and aircraft; infantry squads, half-squads, and sections
NUMBER OF PLAYERS Two or more
2 Sumary Cards
16 full-color Tank Data Cards
Three full-color countersheets
22x34 inch map with one inch hexes
Five Player Aid Cards
Four 10-sided dice
It may not be possible to ship very heavy items outside of the Mainland UK.
Released: 20 September 2016