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Subject: Direct fire at spotted units in town hexes (discussion) rss

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Theodore Balas

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Here's one for you...

When you've got a group of spotted and unspotted units in a town hex and the opponent directly attacks the town hex then -with the new rules clarifications*- the defender uses the defensive values of the spotted units.

However I find this rather unbalanced in favour of the attacker.

Aside from the -1 die modifier, the only advantage the defender has is the fact that he can stack units in order to add up their defensive values.

The use of the above rule partially negates this advantage making town hexes less efective in many cases**.

Therefore I find that having the defender choose if unspotted units add up their defence values is more balanced...

Any thoughts***?
_____________________________________________________
* http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/41169/panzer-leader-clarif...
(par. 3.9, page 9, 1st answer)

** e.g.
- When stacking 3 infantry and an AT gun, then the AT gun is not safe until the infantry units are spotted.
- When stacking different types of units, your long range units are not safe until the short range units can fire at the enemy.
By then ofcource you'll already have lost the advantage of having long range units but anyway...

*** Perhaps you will say that this rule can be used in favour of the defender since he doesn't risk his unspotted units. Well having the defender choose if an unspotted unit adds up its defence value (without beeing spotted ofcourse...) gives this option to the defender as well.
Now as long as realism is concerned I don't find that this change affects the game in any way so... ninja
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Byron Henderson
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>the only advantage the defender has is the fact that he can stack units in order to add up their defensive values.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Spotted units in a town hex can be fired upon and it doesn't actually matter how they are stacked. At a guess I think you are referring to the fact that defending units in a town must be attacked as a single unit (they cannot be attacked individually).

The original intent of the rule, IMHO, is that the unspotted units in the hex do not suffer because the other unit(s) have been spotted. If you want the advantage of the full stack's defense factor then have the unspotted units direct fire out of the town so they are spotted (as long as there is an enemy unit at which to fire). Infantry, with a four hex range, usually can find an enemy unit at which to fire; they don't have to do so at good odds just to be spotted.

I don't dislike your option to let the defender choose if unspotted units add their defense values (at the cost of becoming spotted) but I'm not sure it doesn't give the defender too much flexibility in this situation.

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Alan Sutton
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pugbuddy wrote:
...... but I'm not sure it doesn't give the defender too much flexibility in this situation.



Giving the defender the choice of whether unspotted units can be fired at is also extremely unrealistic. How would this be possible if these units are still unseen ("unspotted") by the enemy?

I'm not saying this idea is a bad way out of this rules contradiction/loophole. It merely raises other contradictions doesn't it? and so, as a solution, is not that elegant. I don't think this problem can be satisfactorily resolved to be honest. Any solution will either be unrealistic or unbalanced. The rules about firing on stacks in towns and the rules about spotted units are, in fact, contradictory at this point.

Given these problems only imperfect house rules, agreed before play, can avoid some heated arguments later during a game. With goodwill a way can be found through the morass that is the Panzer leader rulebook.

Panzer Leader is a flawed game for a few reasons but that doesn't stop me loving it. Its speed, violence and tension mean it can rise above its inconsistencies. The fact that it is still played in 2012 about 40 years after first appearing proves that.

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Elliot Wilen
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The town rules in PB/PL are a major peeve. You might take inspiration from later iterations of the system.

Arab-Israeli Wars gets rid of the forced combined attack and the armored status of towns, and just gives a +5 bonus to the total defense strength of the defending unit(s), as well as the existing +1 to the die roll. But the towns in AIW may represent something different from the towns in PB and especially PL.

Panzerblitz 2 also gets rid of the armored status, and it gives a +2 for towns, +3 for cities. Armored units in towns must be attacked individually (which is the general rule in PB2), but infantry in towns must be attacked as a group.

The armored status of towns in PB/PL causes weird effects when the attacker has "A" weapons, but it makes sense for the other weapon types. I'd just say that towns are only considered armored against non-"A" weapons. But then I'd also consider adding in the CAAT variant that's been floating around here and at Consimworld.
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Byron Henderson
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Here are the city/town rules I favor (they are posted in the Variant thread here on BGG). The main goal is to remove the "armor-centric" destruction of units in cities and the option of diluting fire by using transport units. I also recommend using the CAAT rule.

Cities

1. Units in city hexes are considered armored targets whether or not such units actually are armored. Units stacked together in city hexes must be attacked as one combined defense strength when using direct fire.

2. “A” class units, using Direct Fire against units in cities, use their normal attack factor (they are not doubled).

3. Truck and wagon units are ignored for purposes of Indirect Fire against units in city hexes.

a. If truck and/or wagon units are stacked with combat units in a city hex, only count the combat units in the hex when determining (dividing) the Indirect Fire strength.

b. After the attack is conducted, apply the same results suffered by the combat units in the hex to any truck and/or wagon units in the hex.

c. If a city hex includes only truck and/or wagon units, all units in the hex are considered a single unit with a defense strength of “1”.

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Eddy del Rio
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My take on the intersection of the Spotting, Direct Fire (DF), Indirect Fire (IF) and woods/town hex rules. First let me say that, given the scale of the game (250m/hex), I see the Spotting Rule as the means by which otherwise concealed units are revealed. My take on the spotting rules is as follows:

When a single unit in a woods/town hex becomes spotted it enables two things,
1.) DF against itself, and
2.) IF against its hex (and all units therein).

Any other unspotted units in its same hex are
1.) invulnerable to DF, but
2.) vulnerable to IF.

Therefore I would mark all units that become spotted for purposes of DF target eligibility, but any [single] spotted unit enables IF against all units present in that hex.

This is a straight forward and "realistic" interpretation.

Unfortunately, I believe the rules could have used more clarity when discussing spotted units as per DF vs IF application.
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Alan Sutton
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edelrio wrote:
..............

This is a straight forward and "realistic" interpretation.
......................


Nice one Eddy. Why didn't I think of this?

As my post suggests, elegance and lack of complication have to be overriding factors when resolving rulebook inconsistencies.
 
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Joe Kundlak
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To add to Eddy's IF rules, I will repeat what I pasted here reg. IF against Town hexes:

Scatter happens either if:

- all of the spotting units leave the LOS to the target town hex
- or all spotted units from the target town hex leave

before IF is resolved. After the scatter is resolved, the effect is then applied to where the fire scattered (so it may even be applied to the original town hex to any remaining unspotted units).


The part avout the spotted units leaving the Town hex is not present in the rules and only appears in the Q&A doc by Alan Arvold. I will make sure it makes its appearance in my rules rewrite.
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