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Panzer (second edition)» Forums » General

Subject: FIGHTING FORMATIONS rss

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Freddy Dekker
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I've got FF on my 'to buy' list.
So I wonder if this is simular or better or
 
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Mark Buetow
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I would say it's more detailed to begin with. Each type of unit includes a stat card. The play is a bit more "old school" than Fighting Formations.

Two things make FF a little bit more "modern" in its approach. One is the Initiative track. Panzer is I Go U Go in two main phases, firing, then movement. In FF, combat is handled with the scaling dice mechanic while in Panzer it's a few rolls on tables using a bunch of modifiers.

I had initially thought that Panzer would be too complicated for my tastes but after getting all the materials, it's really not that bad. I find that both games are fun to play and any frustration I have isn't in rules or mechanics but in my own lack of armored tactical abilities.

Panzer currently has more types of units available and more scenarios, as well as the ability to "roll your own" which FF lacks. (No RSG like in Combat Commander; the Panzer scenario creation isn't guided in that way either).

FF abstracts much more of the detail than Panzer does. All you need to know about the tanks is on the counters whereas in Panzer, you reference the card for a variety of information.
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Freddy Dekker
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Thanks,

In general detail can be fun, but in this case I wonder if all this 'book keeping' does not distract too much from playing the game.

From your reply I get the impression you are expecting [or is that hoping for] expansions of FF.

Ordered FF and the day till arival will be loooooooooooong.

Is this game going to take the same flight as CC or are they going to leave it at just the base game and are allready proceding towards new games, what could be next... FLYING FORMATIONS? seems like a game all about planes might be just the challenge the designer might seek.

 
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Jim P.
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Malacandra wrote:

I find that both games are fun to play and any frustration I have isn't in rules or mechanics but in my own lack of armored tactical abilities.


This sure sums it up for me as well, Mark. At first the idea of controlling a 700 horsepower multi-ton vehicle makes you feel invincible on the Battleground; but in fact stealth, keeping cover and avoiding long movement phases out in the open are the best ways to keep you alive.

Panzer does have more detail but it is detail that most of us crave; such as where the incoming shell hit on the tank, the angle that the incoming hits strike the different areas of the tank frame, and whether the shell is able to penetrate. Fun stuff and easy to learn...and very little need to write down anything.

Chad Jensen incorporates a unique and truly innovative approach for how unit are activated in FF. Meanwhile. Jim Day has built a rock solid set of rules in the old school tradition. Heck, the rules themselves seem as solid AS a tank in Panzer.

They are both great games. To the OP: You must try them both!

Just my 1 1/2 cents.

Regards
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Freddy Dekker
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InvisibleRobots wrote:
[q="Malacandra"]


They are both great games. To the OP: You must try them both!



Seems like great games are like twin sisters....
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Ed Bradley
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I think my dream WW2 tactical wargame would be a blend of Fighting Formations combined with the vehicle rules from Panzer
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Freddy Dekker
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If I understand correctly that would mean a special chart for every vehicle?
Seems like it would really slow the game down.

Mind you, if panzer is priced more pleasantly in my part of the world I might just go for it, just to experience it.
 
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Ed Bradley
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sagitar wrote:
If I understand correctly that would mean a special chart for every vehicle?
Seems like it would really slow the game down.

Mind you, if panzer is priced more pleasantly in my part of the world I might just go for it, just to experience it.


Yes but these charts are on the Data Cards that you will have set out in front of you so it's not like you are leafing through a set of charts or a rulebook.

Of the games I've played Panzer is probably the most procedure-heavy but that's the price you pay for such a detailed simulation. And it's worth it.

Comparing Panzer to FF on cost depends if you think you can live with just the base Panzer game or whether you will want the expansions. Getting all three at once did sting a bit here in the UK.
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Freddy Dekker
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As will it here, even though I'll be buying from France.

For now I'll go for a cheap sale of FF and wait a bit till Panzer hopefully drops in price and than snap it up.
 
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Jason Smith
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sagitar wrote:
If I understand correctly that would mean a special chart for every vehicle?
Seems like it would really slow the game down.


The data cards actually speed play.
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Jason Smith
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Malacandra wrote:
Panzer is I Go U Go in two main phases, firing, then movement.


True, although the command mechanics make it really easy to modify the initiative rules to make combat and movement more simultaneous.



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Jason Cawley
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"Panzer is I Go U Go in two main phases, firing, then movement."

Um, no. As anyone who has actually played it will tell you, that is not how Panzer's sequence of play actually works. You might read that sequence in the rules or on a help card, but what actually happens is this -

First, both sides simultaneously and secretly select *orders* to give to their units. Units close enough to each other can share an order, and that can matter because there generally are not enough orders to go around, if all your units act separately. The main orders are move, fire, *overwatch*, and (much less used) short halt. You can also give a "no orders" order to stay within your order limits and to speed rally.

*Second*, initiative is determined for the game turn. The player with initiative will generally fire first and move second - each a benefit.

Stop right there. Notice, you pick the orders you give *before you know* whether the other guy will be going before you or after you. That is already very far from "I go, you go" with a fixed sequence of play.

Next, the *overwatch* order lets a unit *react* to enemy action. The enemy still gets to fire his shooters together in his fire phase, but an overwatch order unit on the other side can e.g. use the fact that an enemy opened fire to spot him at longer range. But the other (main) use of overwatch is to fire as the enemy is *moving*. The overwatcher can stop any moving unit in any hex he can see to fire at them, opportunity fire fashion. Resolve the shot and if the mover can, continue moving.

Again, not quite I go you go.

Another key game subsystem also needs to be explained, to "get" the sequencing and interactions. At the end of each turn, leg units (both infantry and guns) can choose to "go prone", getting a "full cover" marker. This dramatically reduces the range at which others can see that unit - while also reducing the range that unit can see, itself. The side with initiative gets to makes those choices second, after he sees the enemy choices.

The normal main determiners of spotting distance are unit type (vehicles easy, leg stuff hard), cover, and whether the unit is marked as having fired or having moved. It keeps that marker from the last turn. Also, leg infantry can move 1 hex - "crawling" - without leaving full cover status.

Why does all that matter for sequence of play? Well, you choose full cover status at the very end of the turn, which means it is effectively chosen "for" the next turn, before orders are given. You know which units will be able to see each other before you give those orders.

Often leg units will be able to "break contact" by not moving or firing for a turn and going prone - or by going prone and crawling 1 hex for a turn. They will then become invisible to anyone not immediately adjacent, typically. If they have cover they may well be able to "go invisible" even after having fired the previous turn, if the range is long enough.

Before the next turn, then, the following actions happen to determine who will or won't shoot at whom and when -

non-initiative picks full cover status for leg units
initiative player picks full cover status for leg units
both sides issue orders
initiative for the new turn is determined randomly

*then* comes initiative player fire phase.

In practice, that dance deviates very strongly from a fixed I go you go symmetric sequence of predictable actions. And you have to make many of the key decisions influencing the coming turn, *before* you know who goes first.
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Mark Buetow
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JasonC wrote:
"Panzer is I Go U Go in two main phases, firing, then movement."

Um, no. As anyone who has actually played it will tell you, that is not how Panzer's sequence of play actually works. You might read that sequence in the rules or on a help card, but what actually happens is this -



Yeah, I HAVE played Panzer. My comment was not to be an end-all be-all description of the Advanced Game turn sequence. It was simply to point out that there are two main phases, firing and movement, in which players alternate. If by "I Go, U Go" someone means "alternate by tanks or units," then no. One side, fires, then one side moves.

Yes, there are all kinds of additional details involved on actually playing the game. But I only intended to give a brief answer.
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