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Subject: Fixing the big problems with Panzer Leader rss

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Scott Clinton
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Fixing Panzer Leader

The Arab Israeli Wars - Designer's Notes, p29 wrote:
...two changes that were made to correct fundamental problems with the game design. First, virtually all movement rates have been considerably reduced. Movement rates in the previous games were far too high, permitting movement far greater than realistically possible...

To reduce the moment rates, the criteria for establishing speed was altered. In Panzer Leader, speed in miles-per-hour was divided by three to give the moment rate. This was changed. In Arab-Israeli Wars, the speed in miles-per-hour was divided by five (or in kilometers-per-hour by eight). To convert previous moment rates to make them comparable with those in Arab-Israeli Wars, multiply a vehicular rate by .6 ...

The second change in the unit counters also resulted from a fundamental change in the game design. Indirect fire was treated very simplistically in Panzer Leader...

The revised indirect fire rule applies the total number of indirect firing points against each unit in the target hex. To make this possible without making indirect fire excessively powerful, it was necessary to divide the attack strength of indirect fire units (all '(H)' - class units) by four. The strength of mortars was also reduced, but not as severely...


(edit: backward calculations reveal the solution for mortars is to divide '(M)' class units by 1.6)

So, there it is. The big changes to "fix" Panzer Leader. Break out the calculator and give this old classic a re-try!

GG


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Joe Kundlak
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In my mind Panzer Leader is a too old of a design all in all. It would need new rule concepts introduced to be a more modern game (and to be able to compete with the current crop of similarly-sized platoon-based wargames).
 
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Frank Clarke
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If you can't afford a calculator, divide the time represented by each turn by 0.6. It is a lot quicker, and you end up with the same movement speed.
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Scott Clinton
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Joeyeti wrote:
In my mind Panzer Leader is a too old of a design all in all. It would need new rule concepts introduced to be a more modern game (and to be able to compete with the current crop of similarly-sized platoon-based wargames).


I have seen quite a few games claim to be successors to this game's line, but none of the games maarketed as such are easy to learn or as easy to play as this with the huge scope and scale of this game and all seem to take much longer in your typical game scenario.

Both ease of learning and play as well as the game length are items that always seem to suffer with "more modern designs", yet are never mentioned when people try to play down the old Avalon Hill games. IMHO, they are extremely important factors in "game play".

Of course, that is my 2 cents. I would love to hear about the game I have not tried that does this better.

GG

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Scott Clinton
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juster2 wrote:
If you can't afford a calculator, divide the time represented by each turn by 0.6. It is a lot quicker, and you end up with the same movement speed.




No, I think not.

You ignore the fact that the firepower and all other game effects would remain the same for a change in time scale.

IMHO, that would entirely disrupt the system and be a cure much, much worse than the problem.

GG
 
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Peter Lloyd
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Grumbling Grognard wrote:
MHO, that would entirely disrupt the system and be a cure much, much worse than the problem.


You did begin with "Fixing Panzer Leader". Any change to the system, including those from AIW, are going to have unintended effects on the game. Sticking with the movement changes for the moment, slowing the vehicles does improve infantry's value in the fight, but since scenario lengths stay the same, does it improve their utility in the battle?

Also with the slower vehicles, aren't OP attacks going to increase? Since it is already a rather bloody CRT, is not the body count going to increase? More time driving, less time shooting, more wrecks on the battlefield. Looks harder on the attacker.

Just saying, be careful with fixing things that you don't really want changed. The combat system is rather dated though.
 
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Scott Clinton
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plloyd1010 wrote:
Grumbling Grognard wrote:
MHO, that would entirely disrupt the system and be a cure much, much worse than the problem.


You did begin with "Fixing Panzer Leader". Any change to the system, including those from AIW, are going to have unintended effects on the game. Sticking with the movement changes for the moment, slowing the vehicles does improve infantry's value in the fight, but since scenario lengths stay the same, does it improve their utility in the battle?

Also with the slower vehicles, aren't OP attacks going to increase? Since it is already a rather bloody CRT, is not the body count going to increase? More time driving, less time shooting, more wrecks on the battlefield. Looks harder on the attacker.

Just saying, be careful with fixing things that you don't really want changed. The combat system is rather dated though.


No, you miss the point entirely. Unless you are saying to change the number of turns in the scenarios (and I do not see that above), any 'change' to the time represented would have zero impact on the game (play).

The fix, as mentioned is from the designer to fix what he considered and most considered the main flaws in an otherwise very neat, simple system.

YMMV,
GG
 
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Steve
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juster2 wrote:
If you can't afford a calculator, divide the time represented by each turn by 0.6. It is a lot quicker, and you end up with the same movement speed.

OK, 6/0.6 =10. So, turns are now 10 min. long. This is very good.

However, Inf. was too slow. If Inf. used to have a MF of 1.4 which was rounded down to 1, now it becomes 1.4/0.6 =2.33, which we can round down to 2 hexes /turn. And Cav. [but not wagons] now has a MF of 4.

This solves the problem that Inf. was too slow, but it needs some additional rules.
. . a] Inf. can move just 1 hex if it will make a CAT attack this turn.

. . b] Inf. can move at most 3 hexes /turn along a road.


 
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Steve
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Grumbling Grognard wrote:
plloyd1010 wrote:
Grumbling Grognard wrote:
MHO, that would entirely disrupt the system and be a cure much, much worse than the problem.


You did begin with "Fixing Panzer Leader". Any change to the system, including those from AIW, are going to have unintended effects on the game. Sticking with the movement changes for the moment, slowing the vehicles does improve infantry's value in the fight, but since scenario lengths stay the same, does it improve their utility in the battle?

Also with the slower vehicles, aren't OP attacks going to increase? Since it is already a rather bloody CRT, is not the body count going to increase? More time driving, less time shooting, more wrecks on the battlefield. Looks harder on the attacker.

Just saying, be careful with fixing things that you don't really want changed. The combat system is rather dated though.


No, you miss the point entirely. Unless you are saying to change the number of turns in the scenarios (and I do not see that above), any 'change' to the time represented would have zero impact on the game (play).

The fix, as mentioned is from the designer to fix what he considered and most considered the main flaws in an otherwise very neat, simple system.

YMMV,
GG

I think what plloyd was saying is that if we compare the 2 suggested changes, then --
. . 1] Your change --
. . . . a] Requires all the vehicle MF to be reduced. A pain in the ass.
. . . . b] This makes it harder for them to zip from bush to bush, so they will suffer more loses.
. . . . c] Unless the Situations have more game turns [divide by 0.6], the players will have less ability or "time" to achieve their Victory conditions.

. . 2] His change [with or without my change to Inf.] --
. . . . a] Turns are 10 min. long.
. . . . b] Play of the game changes very little. Specifically, the number of turns in a game is not changed.
. . . . c] The bloody CRT is made less bloody by amount x%, but the turns have x% more time in them also, so the amount of damage is unchanged per turn. This may be a good thing because maybe the CRT was too bloody before for the claimed length of the turns.
. . . . d] With my change Inf. is more useful. This is the change to the game that matters.

BTW -- it has been explained to me that the AF of the Inf. units are really their AT weapon strength in CAT on AFV. To get their I-class AF for use against soft targets it should be AF x3 out to half range and x2 beyond that. Cav. should be AF x2 at all ranges. This would reduce Infantry's relative AF during CAT against soft units, so this also needs to be x2 or even x3 [or maybe AF for CAT = (AF+1) x2]. Cav. would be AF x1.5 during CAT on soft units.

.......................................................................
I do like the idea of have Art. attack each and every unit in the target hex with the same AF, and it needs to be much less.
. . 1] At point blank range = 1 or 2 hexes, Art. AF = 1x AF.
. . 2] For direct fire and spotted indirect fire, AF = AF/4, round to nearest or up.
. . 3] It would even be possible to have spotted indirect fire be AF/5 or AF/6.
. . 4] The smallest H & M units [AF = 2, 3, & 4] would always be AF or at worst AF/2, round up.
. . 5] The stronger Mortars might be AF/2 or AF/1.6 as you said.

 
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Frank Clarke
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Steve1501 wrote:
However, Inf. was too slow.

Infantry are 1/8 the road speed of a 24 mph PvIV, 3 mph, which sounds about right to me, I don't see a horrific level of unrealism there.

I'm prepared to force the Infantry to run at 6mph on roads, which is about 10kph or 40 hexes per hour. A 10k run in an hour is OK in a T-shirt, but it is a bit harsh with 30 pounds of kit and a rifle (speaking from personal experience) when you have to navigate and look out for enemy.
If you slow the tanks down, the infantry are moving at Rambo-like speed by comparison. However, you probably aren't really moving the Infanteers for 10 moves without some relaxing Direct Fire and Close Assualting. And waiting for something to happen.
So I would be OK with speeding up the infantry because it it fun to do so, even though it would be a bit of a physical stretch in real life.
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Steve
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juster2 wrote:
Steve1501 wrote:
However, Inf. was too slow.

Infantry are 1/8 the road speed of a 24 mph PvIV, 3 mph, which sounds about right to me, I don't see a horrific level of unrealism there.

I'm prepared to force the Infantry to run at 6mph on roads, which is about 10kph or 40 hexes per hour. A 10k run in an hour is OK in a T-shirt, but it is a bit harsh with 30 pounds of kit and a rifle (speaking from personal experience) when you have to navigate and look out for enemy.
If you slow the tanks down, the infantry are moving at Rambo-like speed by comparison. However, you probably aren't really moving the Infanteers for 10 moves without some relaxing Direct Fire and Close Assualting. And waiting for something to happen.
So I would be OK with speeding up the infantry because it it fun to do so, even though it would be a bit of a physical stretch in real life.

Frank, I think you didn't understand. If it is decided to reduce the MF of a PzIV to 5 then the PzIV can move 10 hexes down a road. And Inf. is still limited to 2 hexes on a road. Then, 10/2 =5, tanks are 5 times faster. This is because the tanks can't move constantly in a column at their full speed. Inf. marches [IIRC] at 3.7 mph. During a 10 min. turn they will not be taking any rest breaks. It would be rare for Inf. to move 5+ turns in a row at full speed down a road in any actual game.

The other set or rules are --
The PzIV still has a MF of 8 and Inf.'s MF is now 2 [just 3 down a road]. There are just 6 turns in an hour though. The PzIV can move 8x2x6 = 96 hexes in an hour. Inf. can move 3*6 =18 hexes/hr. 96/18 =5.33, tanks are 5.33 times faster.

........................................................................
Off roads --

Was originally 8 for a PzIV and 1 for Inf. == 8/1 = 8 times faster.

With the OP's change now 5 for a PzIV and still 1 for Inf. == 5/1 = 5 times faster.

With change it is 8 for a PzIV and 2 for Inf. == 8/2 = 4 times faster.

.....................................................................
If it is decided to change the MF of the vehicles then Inf. will move relatively faster either way. The difference is that my way you don't have to change all the MF of all the different vehicles you only have to change the Inf. and the rare Cav. This is much easier to do in your head.

 
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Peter Lloyd
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Grumbling Grognard wrote:
No, you miss the point entirely. Unless you are saying to change the number of turns in the scenarios (and I do not see that above), any 'change' to the time represented would have zero impact on the game (play).

The fix, as mentioned is from the designer to fix what he considered and most considered the main flaws in an otherwise very neat, simple system.

I don't think I missed anything. I described the distortion effects in general, and hopefully adequate terms. I pointed out that more turns would likely be needed to accomplish the same results, and suggested that if time were extended, the losses (especially to the attacker) may be prohibitive. I too read the the AIW designer's notes, as well as PL, and designer articles in the magazines for all 3 games in the series.

Consider moving from cover to cover. Opportunity fire was usually triggered in 2 hexes, now it is almost always 1 hex. In congested terrain where open space is often only one hex, now there is shot opportunity where there was none before. In the open, there is simply another turn of shooting. Movement which had been 7-10 movement points is now 4-6. This means longer marches to engagement and objectives. Certainly more time to run a convoy across the board, after spending more time securing the road.

I got the game when it came out, and did try the suggested changes. If I recall correctly, after nearly 40 years , closing with the enemy often took an extra turn. Driving across the width of 2 boards took 1 more turn (as in 3 turns now), as was driving the length of one board. I did not specifically suggest more turn per scenario, and neither did you. I simply pointed out the effects of slower vehicles. Lengthening scenarios, would fix the time issue, but would create another.

Grumbling Grognard wrote:
The fix, as mentioned is from the designer to fix what he considered and most considered the main flaws in an otherwise very neat, simple system.

True enough, and so what? Are you trying say that because Mr. Carus is the designer, the effect of his suggestions is somehow changed?
 
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Scott Clinton
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Wow... blush

Seriously, what I posted is strait from the *Designer's* notes as he published in the last installment of the game system. These were published well over a quarter of century ago and with the assistance of the Avalon Hill game design team for "The Arab Israeli Wars".

I do not think any of the other ideas posted fix the issues presented without impacting the rest of the game system (more?) adversly.

Take or leave these notes; I just re-posted it from the designer of the system.

GG
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Scott Clinton
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Steve1501 wrote:
...
If it is decided to change the MF of the vehicles then Inf. will move relatively faster either way. The difference is that my way you don't have to change all the MF of all the different vehicles you only have to change the Inf. and the rare Cav. This is much easier to do in your head.


Yes, and that alters the balance between range, attack factor and movement distance in a different way than what was suggested by the designer (i.e. tanks can still cross the range distance just as fast as before).

There are several factors at play that the designer considered that are not being considered (enough?) IMO.

GG
 
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Scott Clinton
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Steve1501 wrote:
...
If it is decided to change the MF of the vehicles then Inf. will move relatively faster either way. The difference is that my way you don't have to change all the MF of all the different vehicles you only have to change the Inf. and the rare Cav. This is much easier to do in your head.


Yes, and that alters the balance between range, attack factor and movement distance in a different way than what was suggested by the designer (i.e. tanks can still cross the range distance just as fast as before).

There are several factors at play that the designer considered that are not being considered (enough?) IMO.


plloyd1010 wrote:
True enough, and so what? Are you trying say that because Mr. Carus is the designer, the effect of his suggestions is somehow changed?


No, I am trying to say both:

1.) He desingned the entire system. He did this for a living. He was quite good at it. He almost surely spent alot more time working on the solution than you did. He almost surely had help from other talented game designers. His ideas were play tested. His ideas worked

2.) I grew out of liking debates like this in Jr. High School and I stopped tolerating them when I tossed out my exwife.

good day,
GG

 
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Peter Lloyd
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1.a) No he didn't, that was James Dunnigan.

1.b) Do the experiment. Special pleading was one of the flags Carl Sagan mentioned in his package.

2.) Sounds more like "I can't stand to have my suggestions questioned, so I'll take my marbles and go home!"

Grognard indeed...

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Scott Clinton
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for god's sake grow up.

i simply quoted a repost from the designer's notes from the series directly addressing the issue.

if you must be critical of everything fine, but try to be mature at the very least.
 
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Peter Lloyd
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Just let us know the experimental games go.
 
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Steve
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Grumbling Grognard wrote:
Steve1501 wrote:
...
If it is decided to change the MF of the vehicles then Inf. will move relatively faster either way. The difference is that my way you don't have to change all the MF of all the different vehicles you only have to change the Inf. and the rare Cav. This is much easier to do in your head.


Yes, and that alters the balance between range, attack factor and movement distance in a different way than what was suggested by the designer (i.e. tanks can still cross the range distance just as fast as before).

There are several factors at play that the designer considered that are not being considered (enough?) IMO.

GG

Yes, you are right. I didn't realize this was the intent. Changing the counters may be the best solution, but it is still a pain in the ass.

A way to avoid this would be to use the 10 min. turns with a variation of the idea in the original PB rules and split each turn into 2 half turns. I still want Inf. to have a total MF of 2, 1 in each half turn.

This is just a thought. For those who don't want to change all the vehicle counters.
 
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Joe Kundlak
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I think one of the issues of the more modern wargames of comparable scale vs. Panzer Leader is the current saturation of the board game market + the fact that wargames were more popular back in the older days (hence more people bought things like Panzer Leader and still have it or have passed it to their children since). And there were a lot fewer games in each category, thus Panzer Leader did not have THAT much competition among Platoon-sized wargames.

The truth is that changing underlying concepts without changing the PL counters is night impossible, unless you devise some elaborate tables and/or calculations. And that is no way to go for most of the folks (unless you create your own house-ruled system and stick to it for your own group's fun).

Hence for me the solution for a "new" Panzer Leader, that would retain its "feeling" of sorts, is to:

1. Change the counter values, perhaps to a Hard + Soft + Movement (+ Morale?) combination
2. Ditch the weapon type designations entirely (those factors would be included in the Soft and Hard values) - this is my main pet peeve for the PL game, the constant need to reference/remember the effects of H vs I etc. and double/divide the numbers involved. Yes, you get used to it over time perhaps, but...
3. Introduce a single di(c)e roll mechanic used for all of combat with simple bonuses/maluses for terrain and conditions, which takes into account the Soft and Hard values
4. Adjust Terrain effects (perhaps the existing maps would not even need to be changed, just the effects of the hexsides etc., who knows?)
5. Anything else that needs tweaking with respect to the above points

 
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Robert McConnell
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This thread is seriously misnamed. It should be: How NOT to fix the big problems with Panzer Leader, because the game is already perfect.shake Why post a misleading subject line when you have no intention of changing the original rule set to reflect some of the known shortcomings with the system? I know that is a rhetorical question, so I don't really need a reply. Then you flog anyone who has the temerity to question your point of view. Strange. It is not childish to debate illogical or seemingly unrealistic rules in a game- people do that all the time on here. The variant forums seek- specifically- to do just that. Anyway, I have a hard time understanding people who cannot accept that other viewpoints are valid. Go figure.
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Byron Henderson
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If you want to change the Indirect Fire system, there are variant articles here on the Geek that do just that. I posted one that Fred Schwartz tested over several scenarios and he enjoyed it (and used it in his "Panzer Warrior" rules, also posted on this site).

If you want to change movement, you either change the factors on the counters (either with a marker or by making new counters) or you just remember the new MF once you do the math (it's not too difficult; MF of 10 become 6, 8 becomes 5, etc...).

It's up to you if/how you wish to do it.
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Robert McConnell
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Byron, the easiest way to rectify this would be to correspondingly increase the terrain costs (new/modified TEC, which anyone can make on their computer) and keep the movement factors of the original counters. Clear terrain would cost 1.6 MF, round to 1.5, so a 10 gets you 6 hexes (at a cost of 9 MF) of movement. No muss, no fuss.


Bob


pugbuddy wrote:
If you want to change the Indirect Fire system, there are variant articles here on the Geek that do just that. I posted one that Fred Schwartz tested over several scenarios and he enjoyed it (and used it in his "Panzer Warrior" rules, also posted on this site).

If you want to change movement, you either change the factors on the counters (either with a marker or by making new counters) or you just remember the new MF once you do the math (it's not too difficult; MF of 10 become 6, 8 becomes 5, etc...).

It's up to you if/how you wish to do it.
 
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Yes, that is an option but may run into some issues in fixing things like movement in and out of gullies or up slopes/hillsides. I personally don't see the need to fix the movement factors (if I ever learn to use Illustrator I have considered making a copy of the game counters with AIW movement factors) but I have no issue with others doing it if they so wish. I was just trying to throw out a couple of simple options that will get you there.
 
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Steve
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pugbuddy wrote:
Yes, that is an option but may run into some issues in fixing things like movement in and out of gullies or up slopes/hillsides. I personally don't see the need to fix the movement factors (if I ever learn to use Illustrator I have considered making a copy of the game counters with AIW movement factors) but I have no issue with others doing it if they so wish. I was just trying to throw out a couple of simple options that will get you there.

I think that Scott (Grumbling Grognard) said in this thread, above, that he wants to slow the tanks down so that the game is less "Panzer Bush" and more of a simulation. At least as far as tank speeds are concerned. He doesn't want to change anything else because the game is "perfect out of the box".

On the other hand, I think that the game is deeply flawed compared to more modern games at this scale. Never the less, I like the maps and the range of counters, so I want to change it to make it much better.

voyger2lcats and I started on PB.

I decided that using a difference system for AT guns vs AFV on the CRT and not letting you ever combine 2 weapons [for this at least] would be better. I added 2 new columns in the mid-range from 1-2 to 2-1, this smooths out those huge jumps [like the one that goes from 1 X at 2-1 to 3 X's at 3-1].

I came up with the idea of using all the different sizes of dice to more slowly reduce the power of the AT guns as range increases. Because there are more sides on the larger dice there is less chance that any given cell or box on the CRT will be 'indicated' by the die roll. This reduces the chance of each result without removing any of the results.

When I want to extend my rules to PL I will have a problem with PL's use of weaker units for the smaller Ger. Plat. and Br. tank & Troops. They don't work at all with the difference system. I'm looking for a creative solution to this now that also works when fighting Inf.

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