rules are just that, optional. They are neither the designer's nor the
editor's wish list nor the logical tournament rules. They are just a set
of additional rules that have been left out largely on the grounds of
usefulness versus playability. Some of them you might play with always and
others might be appropriate to a particular scenario; a hasty mobile
defence scenario might use, say, 'heavy equipment'
and 'revealed movement.' Use them sparingly and
they can enhance the game without burdening it too much...more
Our new standard spotting rule exposes vehicle units to spotting when
entering concealing terrain and that's a penalty to those whose doctrine
is stealth and mobility like aggressively handled medium anti-tank
batteries and late war tank destroyer platoons. This optional rule
restores the ability to stealthily enter a concealing terrain hex, but
only when unspotted and at a tactical cost. And unloading certain types of
heavy equipment may optionally reveal
units anyhow; but tank destroyers and medium anti-tank guns can now slip
into concealment if they have time.
A unit entering an adjacent concealing terrain hex may do so using
'concealed movement' by expending its entire movement allowance; a
vehicle unit must also be leaving a hex not in line-of-sight of
an eligible enemy spotting unit. A unit may expend no other movement
factors during the movement phase it moves using 'concealed movement.'
The 'concealed movement' does not negate impassable hex sides1
and a vehicle unit still must cross impassable hex sides via a road to
enter an adjacent concealing terrain hex.
Units with a movement factor of one (1) always benefit from concealed
movement unless using quick march or the road movement rate.
Concealed movement exists solely to provide a
method for units to enter concealed terrain hexes without being spotted.
Loading and unloading
It also seems clear that the original loading and unloading rules were
crafted for an earlier version of the game where only infantry heavy
weapons and medium anti-tank guns were intended among unit types in the
game. In a game turn of six minutes, which is just about enough time
to set up a battery of 81mm mortars in haste, it seems improbable that
heavy guns, especially indirect fire artillery, would be set up and
registered in a single turn. So beyond our standard
transporting rule we offer the option to restrict the mobility of some
This is one of those rules not intended to be
played as much as it is intended to convince players and scenario
designers of the inadvisability of moving heavy, immobile equipment around
in the very short time frame of a typical scenario. It also
considerably enhances the value of the self-propelled versions of the same
equipment; which is intentional.
Units with a movement allowance of zero (0) require a number of full
turns to load and unload depending on the range of the unloading unit as
At the completion of the move in
which loading or unloading commences the range of the unloading passenger
unit is used to enter the first column of the accompanying table. A 'count
down' loading or unloading marker2
denominated with the number of turns from the corresponding second column
is then placed on the transporting unit. At the beginning of each of the
owning player's subsequent player turns the loading or unloading turn
marker is removed, and the next marker reducing the turns remaining by one
(1) is replaced on the unit; when the last marker is removed the unit is
loaded or unloaded and may move in transport or fire freely, respectively,
in the ensuing phases of the current player turn.
Alternatively, a player may
choose to commence loading an unloading unit, or vice versa, in lieu of
replacing the next marker; in this case the corresponding opposite type of
marker of equal value replaces the current one and the 'count-down' is not
The replacement of any loading or unloading marker of sufficient
denomination at the commencement of each owning player's player turn triggers
spotting for both transport and passenger units in concealing terrain when
within the line of sight of an eligible opposing unit.
Note that the use of the range factor for quantifying
the number of turns required penalises 'H' class artillery over 'A' class
anti-tank guns; this is intentional. In a perfect world certain
weapons like the pedestal-mounted 88mm gun would be further penalised but
not in this game. The housekeeping associated with this optional rule
is bad enough and the rule really intended to dissuade players from
redeploying artillery except where strictly necessary, as when entering the
game in transport. Click on the image in Figure 1 for
a full-size version of these counters suitable for editing or printing.
Revealed movement exist solely to enable spotting
of loading or unloading enemy units in concealing terrain but also in
line-of-sight of an eligible friendly unit.
Whenever a loading or unloading turn marker of two (2) turn value or
greater is placed in a concealed hex within the line of sight of an
eligible opposing unit the transporting and passenger units are considered
'spotted' as if entering the hex during the movement phase.
movement can be an exception to the rule that all movement must occur in
the movement phase; marker replacement may be performed at the beginning
of the player turn before the combat phase.
See the standard spotting
rule for further clarification.
The 'rolling thunder' rule allows the use of powerful artillery in certain
scenarios without having to deploy it on the map-board; off-board artillery
was first introduced in Arab-Israeli Wars:
A player may be provided with '(H)' class units stipulated in the scenario
but not placed on the map, though off-board counters are used to record
their indirect fire segment activity.
These units may conduct
indirect fire attacks normally once each during the friendly indirect fire
segment and may have registration markers placed for them in any map-board
hex (disregarding range) in line-of-sight of an eligible, friendly face-up
observing unit during the registration segment. Exception:
The scenario designer may restrict off-board artillery by turn
and unit, map area, portion of map area or hex row or any combination
thereof, as sees fit.
Off-board artillery may also
include naval artillery where appropriate counters are provided.
After firing the attacking unit(s) are inverted.
Observation for 'rolling thunder' may only be conducted by forward
observer units stipulated in the respective scenario.
This rule is a concise restatement of the off-board
artillery rule provided in Arab-Israeli Wars except: units are
represented by counters, units may not be freely combined with other
artillery unless markers
for identical types of firing units are present in the target hex or units
are eligible for and
using 'barrage,' and the registration
marker method is used for pre-registering fire, avoiding written orders.
Here's another optional rule to use when there is only
a little artillery and it would be handy to have opponents guessing where it
was committed each turn:
One (1) friendly registration marker
may be placed per turn for each friendly, undispersed indirect fire unit
as normal but each indirect fire unit may have two (2) registration
markers on the map-board at one time and may declare an eligible
registered indirect fire attack on units in either of them, but not both,
in each indirect fire segment.
2: 'Shell game'
registration marker examples for two each of German and Soviet 120mm
specific registration markers are provided for each indirect fire unit,
one marked 'odd' the other 'even' and both with the unique identifier of
the firing unit. The 'odd' marker is placed in odd-numbered turns and the
'even' marker in even-numbered turns. In most cases the pending marker is
the 'stale' one of the unit's current on-map pair; it must be removed. Friendly
'stale' registration markers are removed from the map-board and new ones (re)placed
at the owning player's discretion, but only on hexes spotted and in
current line-of-sight of undispersed, eligible, friendly observing units
All other limitations and allowances governing registration markers
pertain. The scenario designer may stipulate providing 'shell game'
markers for selected units only.
This rule gives the indirect firing player a bit
more flexibility at the expense of an increased population of markers and
deferred housekeeping. Click on the image in Figure 2
for a full-size version of these example counters suitable for editing or
Most organic artillery could make 250m adjustments to
pre-registered indirect fire relatively easily, this rule penalises 'shoot
from the hip' half as much for targets in hexes adjacent to the unit's
registration marker and permits 'nearby' interdiction during the opponent's
movement phase, mostly for organic indirect fire units:
An '(H)' class unit conducting a 'shoot from the hip' indirect fire attack
into an eligible target hex adjacent to the unit's registration
marker suffers instead an additional die roll modifier for the attack of
plus one (+1) only. An 'M' class unit die roll modifier is unaffected.
Also, an eligible indirect fire
unit may conduct an 'interdiction' indirect fire attack once during the
opposing player's movement phase when a spotted opposing unit enters a hex
in line-of-sight of an eligible, friendly face-up observing unit and adjacent
to the indirect fire unit's registration marker. This attack suffers
an additional die roll modifier of plus one (+1) for both '(H)' and 'M'
class indirect fire units. Other 'interdiction' restrictions apply.
It is intended this rule could apply to all, some
or none of each faction's artillery, as the scenario requires. This rule is
appropriate for most defending factions, however basic in observation, with
a minimum of registered indirect fire capability and could be used by any
defending major power from early in the war. In the attack this ability
assumes a higher degree of sophistication for the faction; for example
German, US, post-invasion British and late war Russian.
A little rule to make open-topped vehicles more
vulnerable to bombardment:
'(H)' and 'M' class units enjoy a minus one (-1) die roll modifier when
resolving indirect fire attacks against 'C(I)' and '(H)' class vehicle
This is intended to discomfit SdKfz 251s, Bren
carriers, M3A1 half-tracks and open-topped self-propelled artillery which do
not share the protection of most armoured vehicles from plunging fire;
applies to air attacks too.
v0.1 Revised: April 05, 2013
2 Unloading markers for multiple turn
unloading; required to unload longer range weapons with the optional
loading and unloading rules.
The original PanzerBlitz was marred by a
rules shortfall which excluded firing at moving units. But can this
oversight be remedied without making things worse?