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Subject: Playable Kampfpanzer rss

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Tim Benjamin
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
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The central 'lesson' of Kampfpanzer is the role of Panic in tactical combat. However, the written Panic rules dominate the game to an extent that it becomes a comedy of chaos. We propose this variant that still gives Panic its due but makes planning much more worthwhile.

Playable Kampfpanzer
Tim Benjamin & Skip Franklin

(Following the rulebook numbering system)

4.0 Sequence of play

4.1 A) Simultaneous plotting of all actions.
4.1 B) Only units with Movement (Overrun), Opportunity & H Fires plotted actions roll for Panic. Failure cancels the action with no other effects. (Direct Fire cannot Panic.)
4.1 C) Simultaneous Direct Fire executed. Disruption cancels Movement (Overrun) plots.
4.1 D) Panic Movement Plot.
4.1 E) Plotted Movement (Overrun) executed.
4.1 F) Disruption Removal.

8.0 Zones of Control

8.1) (clarification 2nd sentence) “It may also ignore the presence of other Enemy Zones of Control in the hex, adjacent to the Overrun unit, from where the Overrun is initiated.

9.0 Combat Execution

9.12) (addition) When Infantry is in covered terrain, Infantry can attack adjacent Armor at -2.
9.18) (addition) All non-H attacks have the final Attack Strength of an attack decreased by each Panic Level greater than 1 (e.g. Panic Level of 3 decreases the total Attack Strength of a given attack by 2). This is exactly equivalent to left column shifts.
9.24) Opportunity Fire does NOT suffer Panic Level Attack Strength decreases.
9.34) Direct H Fire has a +1 dr modification for each 10 hexes of range (0-9 normal, 10-19 +1, etc).
9.6) Overrun Attacks are unchanged.
9.70) (addition) Disrupted units suffer a -1 dr mod for each level of Disruption.

11.0 Panic

11.1) Units plotted to move that Panic move towards nearest covering terrain. If more than one covering terrain hex is equidistant, then movement is towards the nearest covering terrain in the direction of the Friendly board edge. Infantry moves 1 hex. Vehicles move a randomly determined number (1-6) of Movement Points. Movement is in straight lines with a maximum of one direction change. If a direction change is required, then the longest direction leg is the first path taken (e.g. D3 E1). If already in cover, the unit will move towards friendly board edge but will stop in the last hex of cover.
11.4) (addition) Direct non-H Fire never Panics but suffers Attack Strength decreases (9.18, left column shifts).).
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Michael Sommers
United States
New Jersey
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While I certainly agree that the Panic rules in this and related games are not ideal, I don't think your suggestions are the solution. The key is that Panic is a bad name for the rule. Your rules would work well if Panic only meant panic, but Panic includes not just literal panic, but also things like lost orders, misunderstood orders, faulty intelligence, "initiative" on the part of soldiers or units, and other forms of confusion in general. In short, loss of command control.

Also, doing nothing as a result of Panic doesn't have to mean literally doing nothing. For instance, a unit ordered to fire but that Panics and thus does nothing could, in real life, mean that the unit shot at an empty place they thought was occupied by the enemy; they saw movement in the woods over there and emptied their magazines at it, but it turned out to be only a couple of deer (now much-ventilated venison).

Really good Panic rules would have to be fairly complex, I think. Different types of units would need different rules: infantry is much less likely to move off in a random direction than tanks, while at the same time they are more likely to hit the dirt (stop moving, in game terms) than tanks. There should also be more Panic results than random movement or not shooting.

This is the kind of thing I am thinking of, just off the top of my head:

Die Initial Orders
Roll Move Fire
1 Do nothing Do nothing
2 Run away Run away
3 Move randomly Shoot randomly
4 Shoot randomly Move randomly
5 Move at half speed Shoot with half strength
6 Dig in Shoot at closest enemy

As I said, just off the top of my head, but you get the idea.
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