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Rob Zacny

Three Moves Ahead 518: PanzerBlitz

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Three Moves Ahead 518:

Three Moves Ahead 518


Panzer Blitz
As the Winter of Wargaming presses on, Rob and Bruce discuss the Avalon Hill classic PanzerBlitz and the interplay between game mechanics and the awesome war movie you see in your head. Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/3MA

Panzer Blitz

 

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Thank you for this amazing episode !

 

I discovered Panzerblitz only four years ago and I must admit I'm very impressed :

  • I love the artwork, from the wonderful box cover to the very elegant maps and counters.
  • It's a great "beer-and-pretzels" wargame : simple rules, quick turns, varied units and situations, etc.

 

As you said in the podcast, you don't have very elaborate decisions to make for each unit : move or shoot ! But there still is enough complexity to allow for some deep planning and analysis : the old General articles can attest to that.

 

Of course, it has long been superseded as a simulation and there are quite a few wonky rules, but the simplicity of the game makes it easy to modify the design without being overwhelmed by all the moving pieces. Jim Dunnigan himself seems to encourage modifications by providing "experimental rules". I only tried the experimental rule "Impulse movement & Impulse fire" : it seems to work pretty well as an alternative to the reaction fire rules of Panzer Leader. It does change the feel of the game, as it's now harder to "panzerbush" !

 

There are quite a few different rulesets around the net. For example, "Panzer Warrior" is intended as a consolidation of the Panzerblitz and Panzer Leader rules, while another variant uses the Arab-Israeli Wars rules as a basis. There is also Tactical Game X, a very modern reinterpretation.

 

It's pretty easy to try the game online : you can find the original rules at Boardgame Geek, Consimword or Imaginative Strategist (a site shock-full of Panzerblitz and Panzerleader material, but its founder sadly passed away in 2019) and download the Vassal or Tabletop Simulator module.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From the podcast, Panzer Blitz sounds like the board game equivalent of a Panzer General

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I received this as my first wargame for Christmas.  I must have been 10 or 11.  I enjoyed playing the game solo, but was not connected to a wargaming community.  I followed the rest of the series, branching to Squad Leader which eventually killed my interest.   PanzerBlitz rules were simple and exploitable in a way that broke immersion. Squad Leader broke immersion by having a ruleset that could not be retained, either seeding doubt as to whether the game was being played well, or necessitating frequent visits to the rule book.

 

I remember this game fondly and played all of the scenarios.

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