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Subject: Close assaults and forts rss

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Steve Shockley
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Just started playing this game, and liking it. Most rules are logical and clear, but I did experience a bit of confusion playing situation one last night.

Say I have some units surrounding my enemy, in hexes adjacent to him, and he has a few units under a fort. I also have a couple of units ON the fort.

Now I know I can close assault his fort with my units on top of the fort, as if they were in an adjacent hex. But can my other units (the ones in adjacent hexes), join in the close assault? And if so, would I have to make two attack rolls, one against the fort and one against my own units stacked on top of the fort?

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Gregory Wong
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It's been decades since I've played PB according to the rules as written, so I had to look up the relevant rules on Forts and CAT attacks. Your situation is not explicitly addressed in the rules. Also, just to stir up the pot a bit, under CAT attacks, it says,"the defending stack must be treated as one combined defense factor".

I'll have to check my PB guide in the Q&A section to see if it addressed there. I'll get back to you in a day or two.
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Gregory Wong
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I'm back. Nothing in the PB Guides addresses this issue.

So, let's apply real world logic.

A Fort can represent a network of bunkers, weapon pits, and entrenchments in the area represented by a hex. Units "on top" of a fort are in the area of the hex, but are not occupying those bunkers, weapon pits, and entrenchments. Furthermore, the rule that says friendly units on top of the fort prevent enemy units inside the fort from moving away implies that the friendly units have surrounded the enemy units.

In a direct fire situation, the attacker will be blasting away from a distance. Having units on top of the fort means they are "danger close" or close enough to the target to get hit themselves. As per above, they are surrounding the enemy in the fort an may even be in amongst them. Hence, the rule about rolling two attacks applies.

CAT attacks represent close order attacks. You're getting into range of hand grenades and flamethrowers (the engineer bonus). So even though the CAT attack is launched from an adjacent hex, the attackers are really rushing into the target hex. In your example, I think there is less risk of attacking friendly units because everyone is at the same range.

Therefore, if I were the GM, I would rule that there is no friendly fire in this case. Combine the attack factors of participating CAT units whether adjacent or on top and apply this against the Fort defense.

The game is 50 years old. No one will begrudge you to tweak the rules to your satisfaction.
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Scott Clinton
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I am working from memory, but I do not think so: No.

CAT is for "Close Assault Tactics" and represents house-to-house, etc. All units must be *in* the hex to attack the enemy.

I am pretty sure about this, but like I said, I do not have the rules in front of me right now.

Scott
 
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Gregory Wong
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Grumbling Grognard wrote:
I am working from memory, but I do not think so: No.

CAT is for "Close Assault Tactics" and represents house-to-house, etc. All units must be *in* the hex to attack the enemy.

I am pretty sure about this, but like I said, I do not have the rules in front of me right now.

Scott


Not sure what you mean by "units must be *in* the hex to attack the enemy." If you are referring to what's happening in real life, then I agree. However, if you are referring to the rules, then I disagree. According to the rules, CAT attacks are made from the hex(es) adjacent to the target hex. The Fort is an exception since friendly units are allowed to occupy the same hex as enemy units which are wholly inside the Fort.

I also agree with you in that you don't do two separate attacks (see my earlier response).
 
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Steve Shockley
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I agree that thematically, it makes sense to allow the CAT attack with the combined AFs of the units in the hex and the units adjacent. I was a little surprised the rules didn't address it, as otherwise they seem quite good.

It's a good tactic too, especially when the fort is located on a narrow hill like the one at the top of board 2 in Situation 1. It has the added bonus of preventing the units in the fort from making their own CAT attacks. I learned that close assaults are highly effective, as the minus 2 to your die roll makes low odds attacks viable. I think part of the reason I found myself wondering about its legality was that it is such a powerful tactic.

Thanks for the help!

 
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Scott Clinton
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hmmmm, I must be getting old but I thought you had to be IN the hex for a CAT attack. Maybe they changed it for Panzer Leader (a game for which I have a lot more experience)....or maybe I am getting too old.

 
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Gregory Wong
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Grumbling Grognard wrote:
hmmmm, I must be getting old but I thought you had to be IN the hex for a CAT attack. Maybe they changed it for Panzer Leader (a game for which I have a lot more experience)....or maybe I am getting too old.



In Panzer Leader and The Arab-Israeli Wars, CAT attacks are made by adjacent units. Sorry, but we're both old.
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Gregory Wong
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Magnus Maximus wrote:
I agree that thematically, it makes sense to allow the CAT attack with the combined AFs of the units in the hex and the units adjacent. I was a little surprised the rules didn't address it, as otherwise they seem quite good.

It's a good tactic too, especially when the fort is located on a narrow hill like the one at the top of board 2 in Situation 1. It has the added bonus of preventing the units in the fort from making their own CAT attacks. I learned that close assaults are highly effective, as the minus 2 to your die roll makes low odds attacks viable. I think part of the reason I found myself wondering about its legality was that it is such a powerful tactic.

Thanks for the help!



CAT attacks are powerful (especially with an engineer). This is balanced by the difficulty of getting the necessary infantry into position. First, they are often transported by fragile trucks and halftracks. Then, unless you can find covering terrain near the target, you'll have to expose your infantry in the open as they approach the target. Try launching CAT attacks on board 3.
 
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Steve Shockley
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saxophone wrote:
Magnus Maximus wrote:
I agree that thematically, it makes sense to allow the CAT attack with the combined AFs of the units in the hex and the units adjacent. I was a little surprised the rules didn't address it, as otherwise they seem quite good.

It's a good tactic too, especially when the fort is located on a narrow hill like the one at the top of board 2 in Situation 1. It has the added bonus of preventing the units in the fort from making their own CAT attacks. I learned that close assaults are highly effective, as the minus 2 to your die roll makes low odds attacks viable. I think part of the reason I found myself wondering about its legality was that it is such a powerful tactic.

Thanks for the help!



CAT attacks are powerful (especially with an engineer). This is balanced by the difficulty of getting the necessary infantry into position. First, they are often transported by fragile trucks and halftracks. Then, unless you can find covering terrain near the target, you'll have to expose your infantry in the open as they approach the target. Try launching CAT attacks on board 3.


Yes, I learned the hard way just how fragile those trucks and wagons are! Defense factor of 1 makes a lot of attacks on them auto-kills.

In the last game, I ended up using one of my T-34 units to transport some infantry. Of course, the added defense you get is somewhat balanced by the fact that losing a tank unit and an infantry in one attack would be quite devastating!

I've played Situation 1 twice now, taking the Russians both times. I won a marginal victory with 8 points, followed by a loss. I'm just using the basic PB rules. Very cool game. I see why it is so well loved.

 
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Gregory Wong
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Magnus Maximus wrote:

...

Yes, I learned the hard way just how fragile those trucks and wagons are! Defense factor of 1 makes a lot of attacks on them auto-kills.

In the last game, I ended up using one of my T-34 units to transport some infantry. Of course, the added defense you get is somewhat balanced by the fact that losing a tank unit and an infantry in one attack would be quite devastating!



Don't forget that infantry being transported by a tank can be attacked separately from the tank. In this case, the infantry have a defense of 1.

PB was the second real wargame my brother and I ever bought. Luftwaffe was our first. We bought it at Toys R Us, soon to be just a memory. When I revisit the game, there are a few rules that I term as silly and choose to ignore. The whole "attack the weakest unit first" rule is one I choose to ignore. I think they got rid of that rule in Panzer Leader.

Another silly rule is the one that says non-armored units in a town become armored. This rule didn't get removed until The Arab-Israeli wars.

Your mileage may vary.
 
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Brian McCue
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saxophone wrote:
Don't forget that infantry being transported by a tank can be attacked separately from the tank. In this case, the infantry have a defense of 1.

So they have to be attacked separately.

saxophone wrote:
The whole "attack the weakest unit first" rule is one I choose to ignore.

OK.
 
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Gregory Wong
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brianmccue wrote:

So they have to be attacked separately.


No. They may be attacked separately.

The point I'm trying to make is that even though CAT attacks are powerful, it is not a trivial matter getting the infantry into position for a CAT attack. Trucks, wagons, and halftracks are fragile. Trucks, and especially wagons have poor off-road movement. Even though tanks have good off-road movement and are less fragile, the infantry can be attacked separately from the tanks thus making them fragile.
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Steve Shockley
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saxophone wrote:
Magnus Maximus wrote:

...

Yes, I learned the hard way just how fragile those trucks and wagons are! Defense factor of 1 makes a lot of attacks on them auto-kills.

In the last game, I ended up using one of my T-34 units to transport some infantry. Of course, the added defense you get is somewhat balanced by the fact that losing a tank unit and an infantry in one attack would be quite devastating!



Don't forget that infantry being transported by a tank can be attacked separately from the tank. In this case, the infantry have a defense of 1.


Ah, I missed that rule. Good to know.
 
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Chris Moberg
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Panzer Leader says two separate attack roles. PL Rules page 10. Section 10 under "Forts" Subsection A.

Assuming this supersedes PB rules
 
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Brett Christensen
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BJhoneycut wrote:
Panzer Leader says two separate attack roles. PL Rules page 10. Section 10 under "Forts" Subsection A.

Assuming this supersedes PB rules


That is referring to making attacks against an enemy fort with enemy units on top.
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