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Subject: Modern Alternative to PanzerBlitz / Panzer Leader ? rss

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Hi everyone,

can someone recommend a modern alternative to PanzerBlitz / Panzer Leader at platoon-company level covering WW2?

Thanks
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Erik Nicely
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Panzer Grenadier
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Bob Zurunkel
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There's Nations at War: White Star Rising, Nations at War: Desert Heat, and Nations at War: Stalin's Triumph.
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Russ Williams
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Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division may be of interest too. (And has an excellent well-written rulebook.) (But it's platoons and squads.)
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Andy Daglish
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Thunder at Cassino
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James Brown
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Westie wrote:



But did you think of Nations at War? whistle
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Bob Zurunkel
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topman1 wrote:
Westie wrote:



But did you think of Nations at War? whistle


I got them fairly recently, haven't actually played them yet. The components are nice. Looks like the Stalin's Triumph one hasn't been released yet.
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Chris Brown
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Panzerblitz: Hill of Death
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Mike Hoyt

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I have quite a few of the PanzerGrenadier games that I'd like to sell. I mixed the units from the various games, sorted them all out by nationality, so it will be difficult to sell them as stand-alone games, but if somebody wants the whole collection, let me know
 
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Eric Walters
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"...the art of manoeuvering armies...an art which none may master by the light of nature. but to which, if he is to attain success, a man must serve a long apprenticeship." -- G.F.R. Henderson
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So much depends on what you are looking for in a game. As you can tell by the responses so far, people are confused regarding what you are actually looking for. Is it a far more recent design dealing with World War 2 ground tactical armored combat at the "counter/unit is a platoon" scale? Or are you looking for a modern armored warfare combat system/series/game that is at the same scale?

Newer treatments of World War II armored combat at the platoon scale:

My impression of the NATIONS AT WAR system--whether we're talking WHITE STAR RISING or DESERT HEAT--is that it's a good intro-level game, heavy on narrative, chaos, and excitement. It's a little light on simulation value if that is what you looking for. It's got the historical theme but is meant more as a fun competitive game than anything else. I love it as a "beer and pretzels" title to play when everybody loves to talk trash, drink somewhat heavily, and push counters around.

PANZER BLITZ: HILL OF DEATH is quite interesting but is confined to one title and the Carentan expansion. Word is more will be coming out in this series, but I will believe it when I see it. Tried to please the old guard in keeping some features of the old system but updating it with quite a few tweaks/redesigns. The artwork is far better, but for some it's not enough to salvage the system. Biggest thing is the Ops Chit system to create an initiative based impulse sequence of play that--while quite exciting--is difficult to imagine what it represents. So it feels a little artificial. The other thing is that the system is very focused on a couple Normandy battles, not swirling East Front actions.

DEATH RIDE series by Grognard Simulations. This is seriously worth checking out, despite the expense. In my opinion it's one of the best WW 2 tactical systems to emerge and it's been refined a great deal since its initial release. Titles are focused primarily on Kursk and Salerno at the platoon and company level, but there's a couple of intro titles in North Africa if you can locate some copies. Not for the casual gamer--it's not that the system is all that hard, it's that the games are big, intricate, and involved. Lots of smaller scenarios so you can digest it, but this is a lifestyle/commitment game in my judgment.

PANZERGENDADIER series. I recommend this with some reservation. It's a favorite of mine but gamers either love it or hate it. Lots of titles, lots of scenarios (most of which are not playtested for competitive balance), great support network from both Avalanche Press but especially the PG-HQ website. Try ELSENBORN RIDGE or the freebie set the company offers and decide whether or not this is for you. It's not as bloody as many other tactical games and the situations reach a climax in a fairly slow, building fashion. But that accords well with history--yet for many it's just not that exciting to play.

Contemporary/modern warfare at the unit counter = platoon scale:

WORLD AT WAR series. A "smashmouth" style tactical game--more game than simulation--that is great fun. Postulates WW 3 in Europe (and even the U.S.!) at the tactical level. Closely related to NATIONS AT WAR, which descended from this system. A guilty pleasure.

STICKS AND BONES series. Mark Walker left LNL and WORLD AT WAR to create his own quick-playing games on post-WW 3 conflict involving the U.S., the Soviets, and the Poles. Definitely a beer and pretzels games and some of the scenarios have balance issues.

FIRST BATTLES series (GDW). Not my favorite. There's a number of titles here (e.g., SANDS OF WAR, TEST OF ARMS, etc.) but I think it's simply too vanilla. But others really like it; your mileage may vary. Easy to find on the secondary market since these are LONG out of print.

MECHWAR 2 (SPI). Dense and complicated. Comes with two titles, RED STAR/WHITE STAR 2 and SUEZ TO GOLAN. Cookie-cutter OOBs but great maps. Definitely designed to be more simulation than game. Not for the faint of heart.

MAIN BATTLE AREA/DESERT VICTORY (Omega Games). One of my favorite platoon-level game systems with horrible graphics. Focuses on the role of planning in tactical level combat. The challenge is to create flexible plans at the battalion level that require little adjustment in execution. Out of print but available on the secondary market. Screams for a graphics update!

ASSAULT series (GDW). This is my absolute favorite platoon-level contemporary hypothetical WW 3 in Europe game. Far more a simulation than a game, the biggest draw is the command and control system (elegant and effective in highlighting the difference between NATO and the Warsaw Pact without "doctrine/idiocy rules"). It also uses variable OOBs, limited intelligence, and variable victory conditions to add a very high level of tension throughout. Highest replayability of all the games I've listed.
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Tom Willcockson
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Quote:
Is it a far more recent design dealing with World War 2 ground tactical armored combat at the "counter/unit is a platoon" scale?


Pretty much what what I'm looking for, with geomorphic boards as well as historical boards. Hill of Death system is I suppose what will get closest to it if it continues to develop and would love to see the old PB PL scenarios recast in the new system, but not sure if there will ever be anything more out of this one. One minor quibble, but I wish a game where a counter represents a tank platoon would have multiple vehicle images on the counter to make that point rather than a single tank illustration which makes it seem like a single AFV.
 
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Ellis Simpson
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Do not overlook La Bataille de France 1940 by Juan Carlos Cebrian and Niko Eskubi (artwork by Niko) which is published by Compass.

See http://www.compassgames.com/military-simulations/la-bataille....

It has a number of distinguishing features.

Here's an extract from my BGG review(https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1386246/blitzkrieg-west...):

Quote:
"Summary: reasonably fast, and minor rule and system quibbles aside, you will quickly be playing the situation and not struggling to master the mechanics.

It is similar to Avalanche's PanzerGrenadier system in terms of scale and the alternating activations, but different enough to stand apart. And materially different in a way I prefer. Here you are activating formations, and you need to manage them under fire, especially when they start taking hits. The morale system is straightforward, but its application here to the formations makes for quite a unique experience. You will not be able to fight to the last cardboard soldier!

The potential for combining formations in activation is one I admire. Simple and effective."


And, if the 1940 campaign doesn't do it for you, Paths to Hell - covering Barbarossa - is about to be released.

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Quote:
My impression of the NATIONS AT WAR system--whether we're talking WHITE STAR RISING or DESERT HEAT--is that it's a good intro-level game, heavy on narrative, chaos, and excitement.


As time is unfortunately a limiting factor, I feel NATIONS AT WAR comes close to what I am looking for, although as you mentioned it seems to be a bit light on the simulation side.

What I think could be even closer is PANZERBLITZ: HILL OF DEATH, which seems to modernize the PB / PL rules from the 70s. Unfortunately, this is limited to a very specific scenario.

It would be great to be able to play the whole West front / East front campaign in different scenarios that involves both AFVs and infantry without getting into "skirmish-level / house-to-house fighting".

Not sure if there are games that would even cover the whole West front or East front campaign in one go...
 
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Not "modern" in the sense of being recently published and in print but I believe the Tank Leader games are generally well regarded: Eastern Front Tank Leader, Western Front Tank Leader, Desert Steel. Based on what I read about the games they're worth a look if you're willing to shop used.

There were rumblings about an update/reprint a few years ago. I don't know to what extent John Hill was going to be involved but possibly his death last year has complicated things even if only on the IP rights front.
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Edmund Hon
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There is also Tactical GameX, a completely new set of rules that is 100% backwards compatible with the PL/PB components.
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But if I see this correctly, there are only the counters available for Tactical GameX ? Any idea where the rules are?
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Russ Williams
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SquadGamer wrote:
But if I see this correctly, there are only the counters available for Tactical GameX ? Any idea where the rules are?

The BGG game entry's weblinks section
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/175509/tact...
has a link to them.
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L. SCHMITT
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Tank Leader covers the three main fronts and is still the best around IMHO. Nations at War is no simulation to me and Panzergrenadier is rather disappointing when dealing with tanks.
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Quote:
Tank Leader covers the three main fronts and is still the best around IMHO.


Looks interesting, but it seems to be out of print.

But there actually seems to be a PnP version available with material developed by Markus Stumptner from the TU Wien:

http://www.dbai.tuwien.ac.at/user/mst/games/tl.html
 
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Rick Thompson
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SquadGamer wrote:
Quote:
Tank Leader covers the three main fronts and is still the best around IMHO.


Looks interesting, but it seems to be out of print.

Or is there a PnP-version available somewhere?


Out of print, but pretty easy to find in the secondary market. There are several of each listed in the BGG Marketplace for around $25-30 each.
 
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Tony Doran
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This may seem odd, but, if you liked the originals, but just think the raw had too many problems, you might consider keeping them and connecting with one or another of the groups which have updated the rulesets and even the counters. One such discusdion is going on right now in the CSW Pnzerblitz forum.
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Found this GeekList from 2009 (a bit dated) with an overview of some of the options suggested here. Might need a little update...
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