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DCRBrown

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Jun 3 13 10:38 AM

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The Deluxe Edition of PanzerGrenadier WW2 rules is finally nearing completion!

 

Players will find the Deluxe Edition has far greater emphasis on command & control and slicker mechanisms that create a higher tempo game, filled with uncertainty and player interaction. Similar to General de Brigade Napoleonic rules the desire has been to rework the rules avoiding continual reference to charts, providing a game that is fast paced, easy to learn and with a minimum of record keeping.

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The previous IGOUGO mechanism has been amend to provide greater interaction by the opposing player in your turn - nearer a "WeBothGo" style mechanism! There is no sitting back and merely watching your opponent in his phase - you will be actively involved throughout!

PanzerGrenadier rules have been designed for those players who wish to have a little more substance and little more thought in their WW2 games as well as enjoyment. DB

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#2 [url]

Jun 11 13 1:37 PM

Hi Dave

Interesting news.

I will be pre ordering when it is available for pre order.

I have just completed an adaption for Cold War [1945 to 1990] for my modern player group so it will be interesting to see what needs changing.

Will there be any changes to the vehicle armour and weapon system systems?

Kelvin

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#3 [url]

Jun 11 13 1:43 PM

Hi Dave

If you need some play testing done my group has played since 1st edition and currently play 2nd edition frequently [and love the new scenario book].

You are welcome to contact me if you would like some testing and reporting done at some point.

I have done this for several other rules sets in the past [no WW2 set yet!]

Paul Marsh will vouch for us if need be [See British Grenadier]

Kelvin Bampfield

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DCRBrown

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Jul 10 13 12:36 PM

55,

No significant changes - unless you think there should be??

Now the deluxe edition is 99% finished and off to production I'll shortly start posting a play-through of a small game highlighting as many of the new mechanisms as possible.

DB

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#8 [url]

Jul 10 13 3:24 PM

so still 6+ on 2d6 to hit then add weapon facter ect? i hope this is the case as the thursday night crew have just got every thing fixed in there heads at long lastimage and i dont want to re lable all my tanks ,guns ectimage

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#9 [url]

Jul 10 13 9:44 PM

Dave,

I am looking forward to the "Deluxe Edition of PanzerGrenadier WW2." Last November I met a fellow who is heavy into WW2 gaming using the "Flames of War" (FoW) rules and he introduced me to a bunch of other fellows who also do FoW. So I have many more wargaming partners. I only have one other friend who games Napoleonics. So for the last few months I have been busy putting together enough German and American forces to have a respectable game. The FoW games don't take near as long as "General de Brigade Deluxe Edition" (my favorite Napoleonic rules) games but the FoW rules are the IGOUGO which I don't particularly care for. I much prefer the GdB format. So again, I look forward to "Deluxe Edition of PanzerGrenadier WW2." I do hope my FoW 15mm WW2 models & figures are compatible with "Deluxe Edition of PanzerGrenadier WW2."


God bless,
John T.

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DCRBrown

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Jul 11 13 11:16 AM

55,

Yes - 6 is still the basic "hit" number.

So any score of 6+ is a hit. Any score of a 5 or less a miss.

This is a consistent rule "theme" - the same for all Direct Fire and all Indirect Artillery Fire.

DB

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#15 [url]

Nov 16 13 9:36 PM

Delay Disaster ?!

Dave - was chatting to Dave of Caliver today at Warfare & understand that he has no plans to get the Deluxe rules out this year. Plan is next year "in time for Salute" - bloomin heck that's 6 months away ! Surely not true???smiley: mad

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DCRBrown

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Dec 4 13 3:51 PM

IF,

Yes, probably nearer the mark, Dave wants to tie the release in with a big show - so that's understandable.

Nonetheless it does give me more time to add an extra introductory scenario, more pics and double check various sections!!Thumbsup

image

See next months Miniature Wargames for an article on some of the design aspects.

DB

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DCRBrown

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Feb 27 14 11:30 AM

PANZERGRENADIER DELUXE : DESIGN THOUGHTS No 1.

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With skies darkening there were no clear orders coming over the radio, only curses, claims of hits and reports of vehicles brewed...."  5 Royal Tank Regt. Western Desert. 1941.


 

What Scale To Set The Deluxe Edition Rules At? First of all I had to decide upon the level of combat that the game would represent. Skirmish, squad level, battalion level? I simply went with what I had previously enjoyed, with the individual units being the section or squad and with the platoon as the basic tactical unit. This allows players to have enough detail to identify with individual units, (rather than a more generic "battalion" or "division") and recreate the tactical aspects of fighting Second World War actions. This level permitted differing weapon types to be represented, thus players could clearly distinguish between rifles, assault rifles or light machine guns and their differing tactical usage. I think many wargamers like a nod at this detail but most prefer not to become bogged down with things like ammunition expenditure and exact rates of fire. It also meant that players can field two, three or more companies, perhaps as much as a battalion supported by all the elements that wargamers enjoy, support weapons, anti-tank guns, artillery and of course, tanks. After all is it not the presence or combined presence of these weapons on the battlefield that made WW2 combat what it was? So the level was set. Sections as the lowest tactical unit, using platoons and companies permitting players to field the equivalent of a battalion or "Battlegroup".

 

Figure and Ground Scale: This was fairly easy to establish as it seems the vast majority of WW2 wargamers have either 15mm or 20mm figures, with 10mm and 28mm joining on the periphery. Also one has to accept the fact that we are battling within an artificial boundary, (usually a 6 foot x 4 foot table). This is an important aspect when one is dealing with vastly differing weapon systems, from short range sub-machine guns right through to high velocity 128mm guns. You need to hit a middle ground where numerous weapon types can be portrayed on the tabletop without damaging the basics of the game. Many wargamers wish to field tanks with infantry and this is where the larger scales start to suffer. When fielding a 28mm Tiger tank the playing area shrinks significantly, so much so that you have to amend weapon ranges to what appear to be "unrealistically" short ranges given the size of the figures you are using. By staying with 15mm/20mm we overcome this if we accept the battle is fought at "battle ranges". The average infantry combat took place at around 250 yards or less, so an effective range for our 15mm infantry equates to 10"-12" (300 yards) and looks right on the table for a standard battle range. The average tank combat usually took place at under 1,000 yards. Tanks ranges for 15mm models are on average 24"-32" (600yds to 800yrds) and again this is about right for battle ranges. (Yes, I know that some 88mm gun in Russia probably took out several hundred T/34s at 15 miles, but in general they didn’t.) Hence the figure scale and the range scale are acceptable (or "feel" right) for both the table top and what we are trying to represent - reasonably realistic battle ranges.


 

Deluxe PanzerGrenadier provides two differing figure and ground scales. This provides players with flexibility as to the scale of the combats they wish to represent. The standard rules use a figure scale of:

 

a)    1 Infantry Figure Model = 2 - 4 men.  A base of three figures = A section or squad.

b)    1 AFV Model = 2 - 3 AFV’s. An AFV model = An AFV section or troop.

c)    1 Artillery Model = 2 - 3 guns. A gun model = A gun section.

And a ground scale of:  approximately 1” = 25 yards/meters for 15mm; and approximately 1” = 20 yards/meters for 20mm.

 

The rules also work actually perfectly well for a 1:1 figure ratio, (so the figures that you see on the table are exactly what you have). 

a)    1 Infantry Figure Model = 1 Man. A base of two or three figures = A rifle or weapons team.

b)    1 AFV Model = 1 Tank or AFV.

c)    1 Artillery Model = 1 Gun.

 

Each base of figures represents a team and four teams make up a section.  1 Section contains: 1 x command team, 1 x LMG team and 2 x rifle teams. Four sections make up your platoon.

 

The rules are detailed enough to permit this secondary scale if players want to represent smaller combats within the same playing area. The only aspect that is amended is weapon ranges. So, if using the 1:1 scale it is suggested that with 15mm figures you use the 20mm weapon ranges and if using 20mm figures either double or increase by 50% the existing weapon ranges.


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Rules, Rules, Rules.   So the game uses sections and platoons at the tactical level with players using a WW2 battalion or Battlegroup as their standard "army". (Or is using the secondary scale teams, sections and platoons, with the company as the wargame "army".) But what of the rules, what type of wargame is the Deluxe Edition to be? The devil, as we all know, is in the detail. What is more important to the wargame; a very detailed representation, a wargame accurate representation, or a vague, roll loads of dice representation of WW2 combat? I suggest we need the sort of rules that concentrate less on ammunition types, (such as HESH), less of volumes of dice and more on command. Do we really need to know that a HESH shell is better at 600 yards whereas the APFSDS shell is less accurate at 1,000 yards? No, because we are not the gunner or the tank commander. They are trained to know if they are in HESH range - it's not down to the player, who's probably never fired such a weapon in his life, to guess! Or do we dilute WW2 down into a one rule fits all periods generic wargame, where quite frankly a Russian PPSH SMG is no different to a British SA80, or some futuristic "bolter"? I wanted to develop rules that encouraged command decisions, such as when best to attack or defend and tactical considerations, what weapons or tactics to use to overcome strongpoints or machine gun nests and when to take advantage of an opponent's weak points or flanks, i.e. were an accurate wargames representation.

Next Update:- Command & Control.

 

 

 

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DCRBrown

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Mar 12 14 6:08 PM

PANZERGRENADIER DELUXE DESIGN THOUGHTS 2

COMMAND & CONTROL
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Command and Control in WW2 Wargaming. How does one make an attempt at modeling WW2 command and control? It order to bring some definition to this very broad aspect it was important to try and identify the essence of WW2 tactical command. I believe that this was the ability of commanders to keep their men moving, to keep pressing forward or defending tenaciously, being able to adjust their battle plan if necessary and to manage the chaos of the battlefield. (A vast over-simplification, I know, but I think it's important to focus on one core aspect, as a designer cannot model it all.) I must admit in the instances where I've been "in command", (very occasionally under the threat of fire, but never, thankfully actually under fire!) I did not sit back and watch as every unit did exactly as I wanted and nor did I sit back unable to exercise any command and simply watched as various units activated due to a card or die being drawn. What I experienced was some units doing what was required, carrying out their task and reporting back with results, while other units became stuck or needed extra help, or worse still I simply never heard from them again! This is where I made my command choices - concentrate on ensuring my successful units kept going and got extra support, or concentrate on supporting the struggling units or spend all my time trying to on finding out what on earth  my "incommunicado" units were doing!

 

Command Friction. To try and represent this command friction I introduced a combination of platoon activation and exercising command via "command points" (or HQ Impetus as they are called in PanzerGrenadier Deluxe) as the way forward. Impetus is a better phrase than command points to describe what the commanders (or actually you!) are doing and  influencing on the battlefield - its concentrating their efforts in keeping their battle plan on track.

 

The activation rules represent command and control at the tactical level with your Battlegroup HQ, (i.e. you) influencing this via platoon activations and use of other tactical assets such as artillery or air strikes. The exact translation as to how an HQ does this is not strictly relevant - it clearly has to be abstracted in order for a very complicated system of battlefield control (or chaos) to be modelled in simple effective manner. This impetus/momentum makes its way down the command chain - "reminding" company and platoon officers to get a grip and carry out their mission objectives, whatever those might be. In PanzerGrenadier HQ Impetus and platoon activations represent the command struggle against inertia. It could be used to ensure your Tigers reinforce your crumbling line in time, or to ensure an attack on an enemy strongpoint keeps going and doesn't become bogged down. Thus activation replaces the need to take a morale test for your men, replaces the need to see how motivated they are, replaces the need to see what orders they may undertake and so on.

 

So, in PanzerGrenadier HQ Impetus is used to:

·         Permit activation attempts of platoons or combat groups that are not currently In HQ Contact;

·         Increase a failed activation score to ensure activation;

·         Utilise a Combined Arms Combat Group;

·         Issue special orders such as Coordinated Infantry Assault, Banzai Charge or Human Wave;

·         Request Off Board Artillery and Air Missions and

·         Deploy reserves.

 

WW2 battlefield command & control had significant limitations and this is also replicated in PanzerGrenadier. The activation rules represent command and control at the tactical level and your Headquarters units influence this via platoon and combat group activations. Thus you, (the Battlegroup HQ) dictate where you will concentrate your command effort for this turn. You use HQ Impetus to overcome battlefield inertia and employ specific tactics such as massed charges or artillery attacks.

 

Some players may argue against activation, claiming that platoon commanders receive orders and then simply carry them out - well, I am afraid that didn't always happen, (it still doesn't happen now, even with far more elaborate radio communications), and probably happened far less in WW2 than we assume. Officers and NCOs became bogged down, lost momentum or simply were confused by their position on the battlefield and become uncertain as what to do next - this is represented in PanzerGrenadier by platoons failing to activate. Hence HQ Impetus is vital to keep your men motivated and keep your battle plan on track!


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The next layer of command was, especially as the game was aimed at fielding roughly a battalion, company headquarter units. Therefore I decided that Company HQs would form an intrinsic element of the command chain. Platoons within HQ contact (command radius if you like) only require an activation roll, whereas those platoons not in HQ contact require an activation roll and HQ impetus to keep them motivated and moving. These Company HQs are urging men forward; ensuring men keep advancing, deploying reserves as necessary, rallying troops and sending them back into the action. I.E. Getting soldiers to do things!  Thus it becomes important as to where you position your HQ elements.

 

 

 

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Finally added to this command mix is your Army Doctrine. Each WW2 army had its own unique command doctrine, with some armies exercising initiative right down to junior NCO level, while others exercised far less, often requiring orders to be initiated much higher up the command chain. This is addressed via a simple mechanism that hinges on whether your valuable HQ Impetus can be delivered or not to platoons without commanders, thus the presence of command sections is important. Some armies can cope without direct command, (such as the Germans) and may receive additional HQ Impetus regardless of whether they are commanded or not. Whereas less well trained armies (such as the Russians) relied heavily on their officers and as such can only receive additional HQ Impetus if they have a command section present within the combat group or platoon. This simple mechanism is effective in permitting better commanded armies greater flexibility, they are able to split platoons and issue multiple orders and still be confident of HQ Impetus support should they need it. While the poorer armies, although they can try such sophisticated tactics, will not be able to receive Impetus and as such quite likely to fail. These poorer armies are generally forced to rely upon commanded platoons to carry out their tactical choices and losses to command sections have a significant impact.

 

The command mechanisms in PanzerGrenadier encourage a wargamer to "manage" the battle through a hopefully "wargamer" friendly systems. So if a player commands (manages) with a plan and with some thought, then with a bit of luck things will go his way. Whereas if he commands (manages) with no plan and little thought then he will need a lot of luck for the battle to swing in his favour.

 

A by-product of platoon or combat group activation is that it also removes the requirement for a fixed game turn. In PanzerGrenadier there is no movement phase, no shooting phase and no melee phase. Each activation blends all these separate phases into one single phase or more properly "engagement". This means the game flows better and creates an environment where nothing is guaranteed as the "comfort blanket of certainty" built into a standard wargame turn sequence has been removed.

 

There was also a design requirement to ensure that a game turn was not fixed and a player did not always know when his current phase would end. This all helps with creating uncertainty in the chaos of battle. In many wargames each player is permitted a gentlemanly move or fire of all his troops, the play then finishes for that turn when all is done. Well, I think we are moving away from such a structured game environment and moving into far more random systems and all for the better. To model this uncertainty "command confusion" was introduced into PanzerGrenadier - this simply represents a complete loss of command or complete "inactivity" for that turn. So when a very a low activation score occurs you cannot influence the roll in any way, so that platoon remains inactive. But added to this already unhelpful mix is the prospect that this low activation roll could trigger the immediate end of the phase and your turn at this point. This is deliberately both in and out of the players control, he doesn't know when a command confusion roll will occur but he does mange his Impetus - so what do you do, use your Impetus to ensure your men get moving quickly and leave yourself vulnerable to a command confusion roll, or use Impetus more prudently, ensuring a slower but perhaps more predictable and longer response? Patton and Montgomery come to mind!

 

D.B.


 

Last Edited By: DCRBrown Apr 14 14 10:06 AM. Edited 1 time.

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DCRBrown

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Apr 14 14 10:41 AM


PANZERGRENADIER DELUXE - DESIGN THOUGHTS pt 3.

 

MAPS, DEPLOYMENT and SPOTTING.

This part of PanzerGrenadier Deluxe design thoughts examines the initial deployment of forces, spotting and the exploitation of reserve platoons.

 

“Some of the SS would let us go over their well concealed trenches…then they would pop up and shoot you from behind.”The Wiltshire Regt. - Normandy 1944

 

The Battle Map. In attack and defend scenarios the defending player is encouraged to note his deployments on a sketch or battle map. Why is this done? Well in WW2 very few commanders ever faced an opponent whose forces were nicely lined up and perfectly visible, even down to collar marks, so he could tell good regiments from bad! By mapping or making a quick note of the deployment of your defending forces you create an almost empty battlefield with few elements on table. This brings players a bit closer to the reality of warfare. The enemy should be generally hidden and hard to spot and to achieve this there is no simpler or more effective method than to draw a simple two minute deployment map at the beginning of game. Think of your battle map as your officers and commanders orders briefing! Map deployment also requires and represents planning, and planning is a vital aspect of command and control. It's all about where your forces deploy, where you place your tactically important units, your artillery, and your reserves and so on. It honestly doesn't take more than a few minutes and adds significantly to the game. This method also creates great dividends and tension for the rest of the game and during play. Players yearn for innovative game systems that create tension and uncertainty, yet often forget the fact that drawing a simple map with tactical deployments will create pretty much what we are looking for. In a PanzerGrenadier game your forces are not deployed for all to see and react to, suddenly your opponent enters an almost empty battlefield where reconnaissance and probing attacks are essential! An additional advantage that concealed deployment brings is that attacking players become anxious, uncertain of enemy dispositions and act with "realistic" hesitancy. The player commanding the Tiger platoon is not quite so confident now, as unseen Bazookas or PIATs could be hidden in every bush or hedgerow! (And often are!)

 
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Spotting the Enemy.

All the tanks which have been lost .... have been due to very well sited and camouflaged guns....they are quite impossible to see." Lt. Colonel Wilson. Italy 1943.

 

As mentioned many WW2 wargames often start with all the models and figures placed on the tabletop, yet this seems contrary to the actual combats of WW2. Yes, I know we have nice models and we want them on the table, but if we allow every model to be on the table then we might as well be Blucher at Ligny with all our Prussian forces on display - i.e. it's an anachronism. The single most overriding factor that research tells us is that attacking forces usually enter what is described as an "empty battlefield", the enemy is mostly hidden. Now, if all your troops are deployed on the table then the opposing player can immediately react to the presence of those units even though none of them have actually been spotted by your brave figures! Any kind of spotting rules have limited impact when the opponent can simply avoid all your machine gun nests and antitank guns because you very kindly place them on the table for all to see! It is this sort of situation that PanzerGrenadier avoids by using concealed troop dispositions and incorporating many of the traditional wargame "spotting" aspects or rules into firing - so the firing rules combine both target acquisition and firepower aspects. I.E. If a target is at long range then negative direct fire modifiers not only reflect the potential drop in firepower at such ranges but more importantly modifiers also reflect the difficulty in acquiring the target in the first place. So, if the target is at long range and in cover then it becomes even harder to spot and therefore hit and damage. Combined with this PanzerGrenadier maintains rules that cover maximum target acquisition distances, so even when the models are eventually placed on the table top your Tiger 2 still can't sit back with its long 88mm gun and expect to engage my sneaky infantry at ludicrously long range!

 

To further add to the uncertainty mix, PanzerGrenadier uses blinds or fog of war cards to screen exact troop types and dispositions, as in common with my General de Brigade and many other rules. These fog of war cards in PanzerGrenadier do not however provide the player with universal "cloaking" ability, they are limited to just infantry. Vehicles were intentionally excluded, mainly because tanks and AFVs are somewhat easy to spot, being large, extremely noisy vehicles that throw up considerable amounts of smoke and dust that you can see, and more importantly hear, a mile off! (As any infantryman who has had the distinct displeasure of a joint exercise with armored vehicles will testify!) Also the fact that WW2 tanks and anti-tank guns often opened fire from very long ranges shows how difficult it was for attacking tanks to close in undetected upon the enemy. It simply isn't "realistic" to have tanks in the middle of the gaming table "hidden" under blinds from a row of deployed 88mm anti-tank guns. After all if this were the reality of WW2 warfare then Operation Goodwood and numerous Soviet armoured attacks would have overrun the German defensive lines within minutes! (E.G. At Kursk German tanks and guns were engaging Soviet tanks at well over 1,000 yards and had significant results - no fog of war issue here.) So, fog of war cards are restricted to just infantry and PanzerGrenadier also insists they "contain" something, an infantry section, platoon or whatever, so there are no "blanks". This is because daylight battlefield reconnaissance was usually based on some grain of truthful intelligence, even if the numbers ascertained were inaccurate or exaggerated! Soldiers will realise very quickly if there is enemy presence in an area but not exactly what they are facing or how many. The idea that one could deploy a whole line of blanks and that your opponents troops are deceived by "nothing" is perhaps just a bit too much game and not enough reality. Nonetheless one can still achieve a similar effect with PanzerGrenadier by simply deploying just one section, say an MMG section under one blind and the MMG's platoon commander under an adjacent card. Now, the enemy reports that your sections are in the area but your strength and composition are completely unknown.

 
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Deploying Reserves & Removing the 300 Foot General. Finally, PanzerGrenadier permits the build-up of troops in certain sectors or the deployment of reinforcements and keeps this vital intelligence from the enemy. How is this done? Well, the winner of the initiative, (determined at the beginning of each turn) is given sole access to the important Exploit phase. In this phase a player is permitted to bring on infantry reserves directly onto a Company HQs current position. This "on table" or "deep table" reserve deployment can be accounted for by actions such as hidden movement, infiltration or maybe the infantry have simply been dropped off from nearby transports and then rapidly moved up into position, hidden from enemy view by the smoke and confusion of battle. (The rules do restricted each HQ to just one platoon reinforcement per turn and only infantry may deploy in such a manner. Reserve tanks and guns must enter the table in the usual manner on the board edge; after all it's difficult to be that stealthy with a tank!) By permitting this deployment of deep table reserve forces your clever outflanking manoeuvre is not immediately spotted by your opponent and a player can now surprise his adversary by keeping reserve troops hidden until they are ready to deploy. This way the opponent cannot instantly predict what's going to happen, he cannot immediately launch an counter-attack or send his machine-gunners rapidly over to reinforce a defensive position because he can see your model soldiers slowly making their way up the table each turn. Deep table deployment means players are uncertain as to where reserves will arrive, rewards planning and encourages the use of mobile reserves. (Isn’t that what wargames are all about!) Very few generals in history have been able to accurately predict where enemy reserves will be deployed, especially at a tactical WW2 level and the use of deep table reserve moves significantly helps to overcome some of the inherent disadvantages of playing wargames with models. Say goodbye, at least in part, to the three hundred foot general!

D.B.

Last Edited By: DCRBrown Apr 14 14 10:47 AM. Edited 1 time.

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