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Subject: Staggered Initiative procedure rss

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Warren Smith
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I have read a number of old threads about the Panzer initiative system with great interest. I'm liking the game as a whole but am still not sure what I think about all of it having only played 2+ games.

But, in thinking about the Staggered Initiative optional rule, given smaller scenarios such as #1 or #2, I'm wondering how others would assign the formations to be staggered. So, for Scenario 1 the Germans have 2 platoons (?) of 5 PzIVH and then a CHQ. Would the CHQ constitute a separate group to figure into initiative thereby having 3 groups, or would you just combine it with one of the other German platoons and use 2 groups?

The rule as stated basically says "agree what you're going to do and stick with it" but I'm hoping for a bit more definitive "do it this way".

Thanks for any comments.
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Brian Scott
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I have actually only played MBT thus far and have not yet tried Panzer yet (though I intend to) but AFAIK the two games share the exact same basic initiative system and the same staggered initiative optional rules.

In MBT I have been doing staggered initiative by command rather than by formation organization. That is, the first player chooses a group of units that share the same Fire or Short Halt command and fires with them, then the second player does the same, and so on.

I think doing it this way has a couple of advantages. One is that it makes it easier to track during the phase which units have acted and which have not, since you can use some convention with the command markers (flip them, rotate them, etc.) to indicate that a command has acted. The other advantage is that doing it this way seems to make intuitive sense to me in the sense that units in close proximity and sharing a command can act together and perhaps gain an advantage over units spread out under many different command markers.

Of course, I've only played solo so far so I don't have the issue of convincing anybody else that this makes sense...
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Jason Smith
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wsmithjr wrote:
So, for Scenario 1 the Germans have 2 platoons (?) of 5 PzIVH and then a CHQ. Would the CHQ constitute a separate group to figure into initiative thereby having 3 groups, or would you just combine it with one of the other German platoons and use 2 groups?

The rule as stated basically says "agree what you're going to do and stick with it" but I'm hoping for a bit more definitive "do it this way".


Yes, the Germans have 3 separate groups consisting of two platoons of 5 tanks each and a command unit. The original staggered initiative rules stated that initiative is rolled separately for each of these three groups.

The recently added phrase
Quote:
...or use any predetermined grouping.
suggests that combining the command unit with one of the other platoons for initiative purposes is now officially acceptable.

I, however, roll initiative on a per command basis. Since I only allow units from the same platoon to share commands (a variation of rule 7.4.2), the way I group units for initiative purposes is simply a bit more granular than the official way of doing it. So in the case where all members of a platoon share the same command, my way of grouping units for initiative is the same as described in the rules. The newly added phrase, "use any predetermined grouping" adds some legitimacy to how I group my units for initiative.

I implement initiative on a command basis as follows.

During the fire phase, initiative is rolled to determine who gets to execute a Fire or Short Halt command. Once a Fire command is executed, the opposing player may immediately execute Overwatch commands against the unit that just fired. I don't wait until the end of the Fire phase as stated in the rules. Once a player is finished executing Overwatch commands, then the other player immediately executes any and all Overwatch commands against units that just executed an Overwatch command. This continues until all Overwatch commands that were originally triggered by the Fire or Short Halt command have been executed. Initiative is now rolled again to determine which player gets to execute the next Fire/Short Halt command.

During the Movement phase, initiative is also rolled to see who gets to execute the next Move command or move portion of a Short Halt command. However, since it is sometimes desirable for your opponent to move first, the winner of the initiative roll gets to decide who moves next.

(Edit: Initiative rolls for movement are only made when either both players want to go or both don't want to go. If only one player wants to move, initiative is not rolled.)

I've used these rules both with Panzer and MBT in face to face sessions for the last six games, and my gaming buddy and I are quite satisfied with the results.
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Matthew Jones
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Jayman66 wrote:

I've used these rules both with Panzer and MBT in face to face sessions for the last six games, and my gaming buddy and I are quite satisfied with the results.


That was a nice succinct set of writing for your house rules and I like it very much. I have a few questions for the thread.

1. Do you find that constantly rolling slows the game down much?

2. (slightly off topic) If I've read the MBT rules, what percentage of the system transfers over directly to Panzer? At first blush, quite a bit, but it would be nice to get a veteran or elite grade opinion...
 
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Jason Smith
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Sigrdrifa wrote:

Do you find that constantly rolling slows the game down much?


When determining who fires first, making more initiative rolls is well worth the effort.

During the movement phase, determining who goes next is not necessarily resolved with an initiative roll. If one player wants to move but the other does not, initiative is not rolled. It's not unusual to complete the movement phase with only a few initiative rolls.

While I allow more than one command to be issued per platoon, in practice, since a platoon typically only consists of two or three units, only one command will be issued per platoon.

Finally, each Overwatch command reduces the number of possible initiative rolls.

So while my rules for initiative add some play time, it's not as much as one might think.
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