Designer's Notes

Welcome to the foremost, most accurate WWII land warfare game simulation system (or it will be when completed.)
You may notice that there is no advertising on this site.   This is a paid for commercial site. But, the game system is
free to everyone wanting to play it.  You may ask "How does he make any money doing this?"  Well, its like that old joke - We lose money one each sale, but we make it up with our volume.  Actually this has a little bit of truth in it.  Usually it takes about $2,000-$3,000 to develop and produce a about 1,000 rules sets.  Since I've only made a profit on one of the 5 game systems I've developed I decided to cut my loses up front and pay the $15 each month for this site.  I lose less money.   Besides I don't like the marketing, selling, delivering and hassling with printers and distributors that goes on in the production.  I just like the design and art so this way I get to do the fun part and skip the unpleasant things.

Why Play Panzer War?
Why Panzer War and not some other 1:1 rule set like ASL or  1:many Speamhead or skirmish Battleground?  Many other games covering this scale and detail seem to be like Avalon Hill's Advanced Squad Leader board game.  With +3 ,+2 , +0 -3 or some factor added to a basic to-hit number for each weapon for 3-5 range bands.  While these probably are better for playing miniatures than ASL itself, they are probably not a good as made for miniatures rules.   Only a few rules have originality one is WRG's Armor & Infantry Rules 1939 - 1950 or their clone Firefly.   Another is Combat Commander Modern rules or its WWII version called Battlefield Commander.  These were written before ASL and don't take anything from them.  Of course we go into pretty much detail in Panzer War and some may not care or like that much detail.   For those that don't care there are plenty of more streamlined less detailed rules too choose from.  There are also many large scale games that portend that you are controlling a brigade, division or the entire Eastern Front.  It seems though as this great field marshal you also lead each company into hiding behind the shed in Mrs. Higgins garden.   Then there are rules systems that are said to be for almost any scale.  Just multiply (or divide) something by a number.  You know what they say about a system of many scales?  It's master of none.

Now the Reasons:
1.  Panzer War is rare in that you can calculate what the armor of a vehicle will be if you don't find it in the charts.  Armor value isn't given in quatludes or some other made up factors.  The armor values are basically the armor basis in centimeters multiplied by 1 over the cosine of the angle.  (This will get you in very close agreement  to what we would calculate, though we also would include armor quality and curvature.)  (Cast or heavily bolted armor may be only worth 95% of plate.)
2.  Have you ever read accounts where several tanks were knocked out in a minute or two of fierce combat?  Have you ever played a game where a single tank could knock out two or three enemy tanks in a single turn?  Probably not.  Not unless you play Panzer War.  And multiple hits can be determined from a single die roll so you save time.  One of the fellows who helped shape our multiple hit rules concept was a M60A3 tank gunner.  His concept of fire was three shots - three hits - three kills within 15 seconds.  He demanded (and whined) until we got something acceptable to him.  That is why in Panzer War a single tank, like a Tiger or Panther or PaK gun can ambush a group of Shermans or T-34s and destroy 2-3 or even 4-5 in a single 75 second game turn.  A Michael Wittmann commanded tank can disembowel a entire platoon of tanks in a turn or two.  Can any other set of rules do that? 

For those not familiar with the turn sequence, the closest thing to describing the turn sequence in Panzer War is to think of it something like two turns of a u-go-I-go type game (WRG as an example) stuck together.  With only one orders issuing, one morale, one artillery and one infantry phase.  The movement is done for two turns and when firing occurs you back in time and resolve things.
Why play Panzer War and not a large scale game like Command Discussion or Spearhead?  Those games while touting that you can run a division don't do a very simulating the commanders situations.  Basically the general is not back a HQ getting dispatches from the front but rather straddles the battlefield like colossus.   He knows to the inch were each and every unit is and how close it is to the enemy.  What general wouldn't like to have GPS in WWII?

Helping Out:
Persons wanting to help either in play testing or contributing to rule ideas and development are welcome.  Use the Forum to a communicate with the authors.


Rounded armor
- The round factors are unique to Panzer War.  These are easily integrated into the game system thanks to the variable penetration rule.  Roundness is only given to a turret armor face if the ricochet will clear the vehicle.  If it merely channels it into another face then roundness is not awarded.  Example:  The lower gun mantle of the German Panther tank is not awarded a 'r' even though it is clearly round.  This is because it can deflect a striking shell onto the drivers compartment roof.  Many semi-spherical gun mantles are only awarded an 'r' and not an 'r2' because the lower part of the round face will just deflect a striking shell onto another vehicle face while only the upper half will deflect it up and away from the vehicle.

Bolted armor - is indicated by a '+' (plus sign) between two armor values (example:  8+3 ).  The first value is the normal plate and the second number is the add-on plate. Use the sum of both numbers when determining if an AP shell can penetrate the armor.  If the AP shell does not penetrate both plates but does the add-on plate roll for possible casualties on the Spall Table.  If a HE shell does not penetrate the full sum of both numbers but does penetrate the second number roll on the Spall Table.  In addition if a '6' is rolled the plate is blown off the vehicle.  In this case only use the first number for armor value for that vehicle the remainder of the game.

Spaced armor - is indicated by a s or 'S' next to the armor value.    When struck by shaped charge, HEAT weapons add+ 5 to the sum the armor number for 's' armor.  And add +10 for 'S' armor.  Airland War uses only one notation, a number following the 's' as in 's30' for the HEAT defensive armor basis.  In this case the armor would be '30' for HEAT,  So you would see '10s30' , where the 10 is the normal armor protection and the 30 is the HEAT protection. 

Additionally anti-tank rifles (ATR) must use the APDS, APCR, HVAP Variable Penetration table when trying to penetrate spaced armor.  Some German anti-tank gunshields are also spaced so be on the watch for this.  (This does not apply to machineguns, however, which use the normal AP VP table.)

Underlined armor - is indicated by underlining (10) the armor basis.  This indicates the armor is highly angled to the horizontal.   This armor is treated like all other armor except when struck by APDS, APCR, HVAP or shells rated as 'SE'.  This armor tends to deflect APDS, APCR, HVAP projectiles.  It tends to increase the penetration of 'SE' rated shells.

This is subject to change on a whim or if I get a better idea.

Size - We had to define vehicles as to their sizes.  Since we quantumized everything else we decided to quantumize the sizes. 
There wasn't a lot of data showing the effect of size had on hit probability.  The only thing of significance found so far was 17 pdr testing vs. hull up (9') targets and hull down (3') targets.   This is what we based our rules on. When computing the various to hit probabilities it was found that a 17 pdr had a difference of about 6-7% drop in chance to hit for every foot of vertical height distance at about 1000 yds.  Since our +1 / -1 system varies by 10% a 10% change in the to-hit number would mean the height distance should be  about 17 inches or 430mm.  So starting there we compile the following size definition table: