Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Panzer Grenadier Project

Panzer Grenadier is currently my favorite WWII game. As opposed to Squad Leader, the rules are only 16 pages in length and each counter is a platoon rather than a squad, which makes the game less fiddly. Still, I find the longer scenarios (24 turns or so) to drag on a bit. My wargame buddy Craig and I have been testing out the Laskas Rock-n-Roll variant, which speeds the game up a lot by reducing the number of rolls. So far, the thing I like best about this variant is that it halves the number of game turns and doubles unit movement, and does away with the intermediate "demoralized" unit state.

I think the game models leadership very well. A unit can't advance into "harm's way" without being activated by a leader, and in addition, each activation is limited to a single hex, or a leader and all adjacent hexes. If the adjacent hexes contain a subordinate leader, that leader and his adjacent units can also activate. So, you can do assaults, but you really have to set them up.

Anyway, there is a project underway called PG-HQ which attempts to enter into a database all the scenarios in all the modules: how many counters, how many turns, what units, what maps, etc. I volunteered to help out. I've been assigned the West Wall and Siegfried Line "print and play" modules. I've managed to finish 4 of the West Wall scenarios. We'll see how long it takes me to get the rest done.

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