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Panzer Grenadier: South Africa's War» Forums » Sessions

Subject: An ASLer plays Panzer Grenadier rss

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Dan Owsen
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I'm a long time ASL player and whiles I've played some other tactical systems (such as Panzer (first edition)), I always go back to ASL. The thing I like best about ASL is you can recreate just about any World War II situation (that you might see in a John Wayne movie).

So my buddy Butch suggests that we play Panzer Grenadier. I ask what got him interested in playing this. PG's scale is different from ASL he explains. The counters are platoons instead of squads, and therefore you can play much larger engagements, of battalions versus battalions. That sounds good, so off we go.

We set up a simple learning scenario (I had downloaded the rules and skimmed through them) that pitted an Italian tank force against a South African force dug-in on two hills. Butch spread out his Springbok forces between the hills. I decided to concentrate my Italian forces against one hill and charged!

My first mistake was thinking that tanks could effectively overrun dug-in troops. Whoops. Got a few guys tied up in assault, and they got whittled down pretty well. I lost the requisite number of steps for a major SA victory, but we kept playing until I eliminated one of the artillery pieces so it became a minor SA victory.

Overall, there are several things I like about Panzer Grenadier.

--Scale is nice. You can play much larger engagements than in ASL, and play them quickly.

--Different tactics. Overruns are generally not bad. It seems you need to soften up your target with direct fire before going in.

--Leaders are powerful! They add combat factors which can really shift the odds. Losing them is not good as it restricts your tactical options.

--Variable turn end. After you get three actions you roll to see if the turn ends. This adds a bit of uncertainty and could prevent the last turn crazy surge that does sometimes happen in ASL.

--Counter art. The counters are in color, have nifty national symbols and also the different Commonwealthy nations like South Africa, Australia, India, etc get their own colors.

After one scenario, I'm not sure I'm ready to sell off my ASL stuff, but I will say that PG is more interesting than I expected. As has been said by others, I think this game gets a bum rap because it is published by Avalanche, but I for one like Avalanche games in general, and this system seems to have enough support to continue to evolve and address any issues. The third edition rules seem pretty tight from a quick read through and after this game I plan to read them in more detail before next match.

Now I just need to make sure ASL doesn't find out I've been two-timing it...
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Richard Savage
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Great review! I have a few PG games myself, along with ASL, Conflict of Heroes and LnL. It's a fun game, and it's nice to see another ASL'er with a sense of humor about it!
 
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nick P
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You don't have to sell your ASL stuff to get into PG . Enjoy both. Incidently, the difficult reorientation I often hear described when squad gamers first play PG works the other way as well. After a year of little other than PG I started to try out ATS and Band of Heroes. It was most odd realising I couldn't just leave tropps sitting about or maneouvering slowly into position for an attack in three turns' time. Everybody was in a state of crisis and imminent danger.

I like SAs War and - as you point out - the attention to national insignia is one of the additional charms of the game.

I find your references to 'overruns' really funny in the context - it just ain't a PG type of word. For your info, if more than one unit locks into assault with an opponent one or more of the units can filter through and leave the hex next turn if they are not demoralised. I suppose that is a type of overrun.

Thanks for the review - good to see an ASLer 'lower' themselves to join us in PG country!

(edited due to spelling errors)
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Sam I am
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mummykitty wrote:

--Variable turn end. After you get three actions you roll to see if the turn ends. This adds a bit of uncertainty and could prevent the last turn crazy surge that does sometimes happen in ASL.

Now I just need to make sure ASL doesn't find out I've been two-timing it...


Sometimes? That is one of the things that always bug me about Mini conventions an a lot of board games. The last minute, "Oh, H im going to loose"/ "I already won", suicide charge. soblue
 
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Dan Owsen
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Thanks for the comments.

By the way, big sale on Panzer Grenadier stuff over at Avalanche Press. I bought Panzer Grenadier: Afrika Korps, Panzer Grenadier: Eastern Front, Panzer Grenadier: Road to Berlin, and Panzer Grenadier: Desert Rats for $100 plus shipping!

PG is just a different game from ASL, and I can definitely enjoy both.
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