PanzerBitz   Revision Summary

Original 1970 edition of PanzerBlitz published by the Avalon Hill Company

Primum non nocere - "First, do no harm"
Let's be clear, PanzerBlitz is a great game and always has been. It is fast-paced, tense and enjoyable and the easily visualised action afforded a groundbreaking experience in military board games back in 1970. The rules are concise, play is brisk and the game scale and organisational flexibility of the playing pieces enables an impressive variety of plausible objectives and victory conditions. By using the basic building blocks of military formations the game has enabled an aftermarket industry providing abundant variant forces and scenarios, some generously offered at no cost. What is not to like?... more

The PanzerBitz Challenge
We take the pledge:

To improve balance, enhance fidelity to tactical doctrine and restore playability to games in the PanzerBlitz franchise by revision of the rules of play, including tables, mechanics, markers and scenario stipulations, while remaining true to the original ethos of the game, adaptable to existing scenarios via addenda only and entirely compatible with existing physical components; specifically unit counters and map-boards.
Yeah, doesn't sound quite so easy when you put it that way...more

Opportunity and indirect fire both rely on spotting so our restatement of the spotting rule, along with our proposed tweaks, is a good starting point. No dramatic changes here beyond the loosening up of concealment spotting of moving units, specifically vehicles, which will hopefully stir things up and give opportunity fire additional teeth without creating a bloodbath or encumbering playability.

The original spotting rules permitted units to invulnerably advance through open areas using concealment at turn end and did not expose concealed firing units.  These issues were largely resolved in later revisions which introduced spotting of concealed firing units and 'spotted' markers.

We believe that a vehicle unit entering a concealed hex is vulnerable to spotting so we've included conditional spotting of some moving units in concealed terrain.  We have also proposed some minor housekeeping changes to the management of 'spotted' markers. rule

A Harmony of the Rulebooks: Spotting

Spotting rule comparison of versions found in official editions of PanzerBlitz, Panzer Leader, Arab-Israeli-Wars and other sources.
(21 Mar 13)

The original game basically says "two if Russian, three if German," and tried to dodge stacking limit detail otherwise, perhaps missing an opportunity to resolve other problematic areas in the rules like road movement.

Shaun Appleby
v0.1 Revised: April 12, 2013

  Opportunity Fire
Opportunity fire is absent altogether from the original PanzerBlitz and while an optional rule appears in Panzer Leader, the rule is confounded in Arab-Israeli Wars whose authors became entangled with it; see the harmony for details. The simple Panzer Leader rule is better than none and we will expand on it while avoiding some of the deep water encountered by the Arab-Israeli Wars designers.

We will boldly dispense, however, with the movement allowance expenditure requirement before permitting opportunity fire on a moving enemy unit. Our new rule says that when an enemy unit enters a hex where it is spotted, in line-of-sight and within half range of an eligible friendly firing unit it may be attacked then and there. This pares down much canonical rule-making from later editions and discards the concept of an 'activated' unit... more

A Harmony of the Rulebooks: Opportunity Fire
Opportunity fire rule comparison of versions found in official editions of PanzerBlitz, Panzer Leader, Arab-Israeli-Wars and other sources.
(21 Mar 13)

Direct fire
The original game provided a somewhat confusing range of direct fire options which were abandoned in the later Panzer Leader and Arab-Israeli Wars rules.  All agree that a unit may be attacked only once per combat phase but a few problems remain; primarily reconciliation of aggregated attack factors against armoured vehicles by multiple units with the 'tabletop' origins of the game. And it is attractive to retain aggregation when conducting high explosive fire against non-vehicle units. Also the issue of how to apply direct fire attacks against multiple units in a single target hex remains.

This revision opts for a simple solution, only one opposing unit may be attacked in any single direct fire attack and armoured vehicles can only be attacked by single firing units; our rule, then, can be refreshingly brief...more

Indirect Fire
An optional rule in the original game the more comprehensive Panzer Leader indirect fire rules changed again in Arab-Israeli Wars and for good reason.  One obvious problem is how to apply indirect attacks against multiple units in a single target hex. This revision is intended to reconcile longstanding inconsistencies among all three versions of the game when conducting indirect fire.

In the original rules the application of indirect fire relies on the direct fire rules and a few inconsistencies like the halving of indirect fire attack factors against units on slopes and hilltops seem problematic, not to mention the exclusion of Soviet howitzers and 160mm mortars... more

Revised Rules
bulletOptional rules
bulletCharts and Tables

Movement Rules
bulletLoading and unloading

Combat Rules
bulletCombat results
bulletDirect fire
bulletOpportunity fire
bulletIndirect fire
bulletParty line
bulletShoot from the hip

Optional Rules
bulletConcealed movement
bulletHeavy equipment
bulletRevealed movement
bulletRolling thunder
bulletShell game

Harmony of the Rulebooks
bulletOpportunity fire

Editor's Notes
bulletIf it ain't broke...
bulletThe PanzerBitz challenge
bulletA short rant on movement
bulletShoot first and ask later
bulletA note on optional rules

Home Up Spotting Opportunity Movement Combat Charts Harmony Optional Rules

Some rights reserved by Isis Systems P/L and licensor where applicable 2001-2013

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