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Subject: So, stack this up against the other existing systems... rss

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Greg S
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...and I beg your pardon if some of these don't match up - that's why I'm asking!

1. Panzer Grenadier
2. ASL/ASLSK
3. ATS
4. Conflict of Heroes
5. Fighting Formations

I have all of the above, and I'm always wondering if the "latest and greatest" has more to offer, or characteristics that make it a cut above the others.

Just a note: not meaning to start a flame war here. Everyone has their favorites. I just want a comparison.
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Eddie Carlson
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essayons7 wrote:
...and I beg your pardon if some of these don't match up - that's why I'm asking!

1. Panzer Grenadier
2. ASL/ASLSK
3. ATS
4. Conflict of Heroes
5. Fighting Formations

I have all of the above, and I'm always wondering if the "latest and greatest" has more to offer, or characteristics that make it a cut above the others.

Just a note: not meaning to start a flame war here. Everyone has their favorites. I just want a comparison.


I think you will have to answer for yourself if it is a cut above. It really depends on what you are looking for. For me, I enjoy the detail of armor combat above the mentioned games, so it is a plus in my book. Against Fighting Formations for example, I really enjoy the flexible initiative system whereas Panzer is more traditional. The rules don't have a programmed structure like CoH, but offers a basic, advanced and optional rule system making the experience modular to suite your needs. It can be complex, but not as detailed as ASL. I'm not really sure how it stacks up to Panzer Grenadier other than to say the big difference between Panzer and most of these games is that the unit combat stats are on seperate cards and no one the counters allowing for a deep level of detail.
I saw a mention somewhere that ASL deluxe had used unit cards but the system was not fully supported and died out. In Panzer, the system works great and is proven from the games in it's lineage. For me, I enjoy FF and CoH systems, but Panzer really gives me the feel of table top gaming of minatures but using the counters instead. I really like it, but you'll have to make the final decision if it is a cut above. I'd say it is unique and excels at what it does.
Just noticed the CBT. Engineer in your profile, I was a 12B, 317th ENGR. BN, CBT. Heavy Mech. 24th and 3rd ID.
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Greg S
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

After I posted this, I realized that I may have been a bit premature, since the updated Panzer has yet to be shipped out. I may take the plunge, if for no other reason than the miniatures feel you mention.

I was a 12B in the 7th ENGR BN CBT, 5ID, Ft. Polk Louisiana! Small world!
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Eddie Carlson
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Once I get the game and expansions in hand, I'll be posting updated play videos. Hopefully that will help to answer questions that you have as well. Even though the game hasn't released yet, it's past iterations give a pretty good idea to how the game plays.
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essayons7 wrote:
...and I beg your pardon if some of these don't match up - that's why I'm asking!

1. Panzer Grenadier
2. ASL/ASLSK
3. ATS
4. Conflict of Heroes
5. Fighting Formations


I own, or have owned, all of those as well.

1 - Panzer Grenadier - The scale for this is far different. The beauty of PG is that it does a nice job of demonstrating the constraints of command and control throughout combat.

2 - ASL/ASLSK - The focus in Panzer really seems to be on armored combat where ASL attempts to provide a system that can be many things all at once.

3 - ATS - ATS, like ASL, attempts to mold itself to fit an incredible variety of situations. The game I had was Darkest December and it did an admirable job of Battle of the Bulge. That said, my play time with it was quite limited.

4 - Conflict of Heroes - You're looking at a pretty progressive / Euro take on tactical combat. I am not sure how I feel about the whole CAP system still. I like it, but it also feels kind of unnecessarily gamey.

5 - Fighting Formations - The variable initiative structure of the game gives this a whole other meta-gaming level that I don't think other wargames have really attempted for the scale.

From what I can tell if you're an armor nut...Panzer is going to give you that outlet.
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1. Panzer Grenadier
Different scale, not really comparable at all.

2. ASL/ASLSK
While ASL may be more complicated, Panzer (once you get to the advanced game) is more detailed. To me, ASL always felt like an infantry game with tanks, while Panzer seems to be a tank game with infantry.

5. Fighting Formations
Radically new/different gameplay on the part of FF makes comparison difficult.
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Fen Yan
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If I were to rate these games in terms of "tactical tension" which is the quality of interesting and gut-wrenching decisions on the mapboard then I would put ASL up on top with Panzer (based on my playings of a previous game in the series, MBT) as second.

However Panzer is simpler than ASL and like the previous posts have stated, it's more about the tanks and less about the squads.
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Greg S
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Based on the kind answers given, I've pre-ordered this.

Looking forward to some AP goodness!

Thanks again for the feedback!
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Nevin Ball
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I played ATS almost exclusively for a few years before it started collecting dust on my shelf. I was getting put off by the constant revisions and I started getting into other games, thanks in part to BGG. I love the ATS system but it's a "life-style game" due to its complexity. I hope Panzer is more accessible but gives me the detail I want.
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Eddie Carlson
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Nevin wrote:
I played ATS almost exclusively for a few years before it started collecting dust on my shelf. I was getting put off by the constant revisions and I started getting into other games, thanks in part to BGG. I love the ATS system but it's a "life-style game" due to its complexity. I hope Panzer is more accessible but gives me the detail I want.


I'm not sure how much detail you need, but for me, the basic rules are lacking some detail in terms of the armor combat. By adding in the advanced AP combat alone, the game takes on a greater feel for the armor system. Infantry are there, but not as detailed as ASL or ATS from my understanding, but still detailed in terms of what they can do.

I really think if you go over the rules, you'll find the system is robust by allowing you to add the rules you want as your comfort level with the system increases. This gives you a chance to play right away with just the basic rules and add the complexity and details from the advanced rules and optional rules at your own pace.
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Mack McGraw
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Another big plus for Panzer, I believe, is the ability to create your own scenarios or campaigns with forces you organize or create within the system.
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Arthur Dougherty
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Here's my incredibly incomplete take on answering the question based on my plays of the systems, reading rules of the others, my understanding of what Panzer does well, watching video reviews, etc. Hopefully it offers some insight.

1) Panzer Grenadier is a lighter system at a different scale. I really like this system, but it's better for giving you a larger overall picture of the action that can encompass multiple days. Much lighter rules, not very specific on the details. Because it goes for higher level picture, some scenarios can take forever when there are dozens and dozens of turns. I doubt Panzer will ever have a 64 turn scenario.

2) ASL/ASLSK... read some ASL rules, have played the SK and the original Squad Leader. From what I understand, this system's forte is infantry and while there is most definitely armor, I imagine Panzer's armor rules are smoother and probably yield more detailed results. I personally don't have much love for ASL because I don't want to get involved with that potential weight of rules. Panzer seems like a much more streamlined package, albeit with far less detail on the infantry side.

3) ATS is more familiar to me than ASL, and I would probably say that ATS is Panzer's closet competitor on the list. ATS does some similar things with their armor procedures, but in less detail. But it seems to offer some more detail on the INF side than Panzer does. I feel like the rulebooks are roughly the same length and ATS has modules out (if you can track them down) covering a lot of the action in WW2. Personally I feel like if you really want to focus on armor, Panzer is the way to go. If you don't mind sacrificing some armor detail, you might get a little more INF flavor while still getting some decent armor action in ATS. Panzer's components blow ATS away in a lot of cases and Critical Hit is no GMT.

4) Conflict of Heroes is what I feel to be a great successor to the original Squad Leader. As others have mentioned, the mechanics can be more gamey with action and command point tracks, some cards, chit pull damage, but the end result is a game where the whole far exceeds the sum of its parts. It's easy to teach, the components are awesome, and the system as a whole can be more detailed than you would expect from something that seems so simple at first. But the fidelity of Panzer's armor blows away anything in Conflict of Heroes. If you were only going to play the light rules of Panzer, Conflict of Heroes might give it a run for its money, but with the advanced rules, Panzer will give you a much deeper experience.

5) I've only played fighting formations once, and while I liked it a lot (much more than Combat Commander), it has a really, really different feel from classic tactical wargames. Not a bad thing, but if you want a more classic wargame feel, you have to choose Panzer. I feel like Fighting Formations has the most euro-y mechanics on this list.

In the end, I had to wonder if Panzer was worth purchasing since I had invested heavily in ATS and in the end I decided there was too much overlap and I could probably skip Panzer. A few weeks later, my copies of Panzer and the two expansions showed up... I forgot that I had preordered them months before I sat there weighing Panzer versus ATS. I've played ATS, Conflict, ASLSK, FF, and PG. Conflict is the smoothest tactical system. FF is really interesting but could never be my main tactical system because I like more classic mechanics. ASL's weight is not worth the effort to me because I feel like ATS hits the sweet spot. PG is really fast and fun to play, but it's really apples and oranges here. I've heard that Panzer doesn't stress the details on INF as much as other systems, and my gut tells me in the end ATS will strike a better balance. But my gut also tells me that Panzer's mechanics might be more interesting.
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Jim F
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Panzer (advanced rules) is a good system. Very easy to set up a few counters and play. I've tried it infantry only and that worked surprisingly well.

I would like to see more variety of infantry units and historical modules.
 
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Howard Jones
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How does it stack up to White Star Rising? I finally got off the fence and ordered it the other day -- but now I'm reading all of these great reviews about Panzer. Has anyone played them both?
 
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Martin Tyman
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joneshoward wrote:
How does it stack up to White Star Rising? I finally got off the fence and ordered it the other day -- but now I'm reading all of these great reviews about Panzer. Has anyone played them both?


I have both. White Star Rising is at a totally different scale. A tank counter in WSR is several vehicles. So no turrets, facing, different AP ammo, different armor locations, etc. I still enjoy WSR because despite its zoomed out scale it still packs a lot of detail (AP range, AP power, armor, GP range, GP power, movement) versus just an attack, defense, and movement number.
 
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Arthur Dougherty
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I've only played Lock and Load's World at War system, but I think it has some commonalities to White Star Rising (I thought I heard White Star was the WW2 version of World at War's WW3). If that's the case, then White Star Rising would be closer to Panzer Grenadier in scale than Panzer. It might use a fun chit-pull system for activation, but would also be incredibly light rules-wise. Attacks are basically rolling some D6s to beat your attack value, then the defender gets his defense roll possibly modified by terrain (I think I'm remembering that right for World at War off the top of my head). I had a lot of fun soloing some World at War, it's really fast and I barely had to look at the rules. But I would imagine someone looking at Panzer wants the crunch, and World at War doesn't bring that at all. I think White Star Rising is just as light.
 
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Howard Jones
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Martin, Arthur, thanks for your SWIFT replies.

I had thought WSR was one counter per unit -- now I'm disappointed with the order I placed and am wishing I'd picked up Panzer. I'm glad you say it's light and fun. Fun is good, just as long as I get a real sense of small unit tactics skill actually mattering.
 
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Arthur Dougherty
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I think the Lock and Load Band of Brothers games are the ones that would be similar in scale to Panzer. They also bring a heavier ruleset so the crunch might feel better.
 
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