PanzerBitz   Movement    
One of the conventional views which has emerged over the years, and it reflects negatively on the original game, is that the movement factors are unsound and dramatically overstate the actual mobility of the vehicles they purport to represent. It seems the major objection is that players tend to go steaming all over the map heedless of sober analysis of the terrain, season, horsepower and so forth which insists it can't be done. While this may be factually correct, there's a different view which sees the game turn as a much less precise commodity than the clearly stated 'six minutes' implies. This view tends to see a game turn more as an alternating pulse of activity where winning the tempo, like chess, is the object and less as the battlefield equivalent of an egg-timer... more

For now it seems prudent to basically let original unit movement factors and terrain costs stand, while consolidating and adding some sequel and aftermarket terrain types. There are some things we are changing that will mitigate the pace of movement in the earlier game, mostly by making the battlefield a little more lethal to moving units rather than just throttling them back.

Our new spotting rule, for example, does expose vehicle units to spotting when entering concealing terrain making movement more vulnerable to fire, both direct and indirect, and perhaps providing some restraint. Our opportunity fire rule gives new teeth to the defence and dispenses altogether with the movement allowance expenditure requirement before opening up on a moving enemy unit. We will be allowing indirect file to be pre-registered against specific hexes and interdict or perform opportunity fire on those locations while observing enemy movement. Our battlefield is certainly going to be a slightly more hostile environment for moving units; hopefully providing balance more in keeping with the original design philosophy.

Loading and Unloading
The transporting of units is integral to the play of the game and a reminder that one is simulating tactical warfare. Unfortunately the various rules governing transporting have also been the subject to several clarifications which themselves stimulated some controversy between the original developers and the publisher.  It isn't really hard, though, and with a little tweaking the transporting rules can be restated as follows:

An eligible transporting unit may load, transport or transport and unload an eligible passenger unit in a single friendly movement phase; a transporting and unloading unit may move up to half its movement allowance (rounded down,) either before or after unloading but not both, in the turn. The passenger unit may not move or fire during the same phase as loading or unloading and travels with (under) the transporting unit.
Transporting units may not unload in a hex if such procedures violate stacking limits.

While moving only transporting and passenger units are treated as a single unit with the characteristics of the transporting unit only; it moves, fires, stacks and is attacked accordingly. Any combat results affecting the transport are applied to the passenger unit equally and immediately. Exception: A transport suffering a DD result will immediately apply the result to and unload its passenger unit in the current hex at no movement factor cost. If this violates stacking limitations the owning player must remove the unloading transporting or passenger unit from play.

Transporting and passenger units are attacked separately when unloaded.  If a unit attracts opportunity fire by unloading it is considered unloaded for the purposes of combat while the opposite is true when the same situation occurs when loading. A transporting unit entering a hex with a passenger, however, is always considered loaded even if unloading in that hex.

Transporting units may fire while loading or unloading passengers, transported passengers may never fire. Exception: Transported observer units may observe for indirect fire on turns when loaded but the transporting unit must not move in the turn, though it may fire.

Eligibility: Only non-vehicle units may be transported and only 'C' class units may transport. Exception: Cavalry may not be transported and 'C(I)' units may transport. Exception: Some factions have doctrines permitting non-'C' class1 armoured vehicles to carry infantry or engineer units only.

Recording: Units transporting are stacked directly above passenger units in the stack.  When unloaded the transporting unit is placed beneath other transportable unloaded units.

NOTE: In the case of non-'C' class units transporting infantry and engineers the passenger unit is also considered a valid target with a defence factor of one (1) and may be attacked individually by direct fire and defends individually from indirect fire. Combat results affecting the transport still apply to the passenger but not of the passenger to the transport.  A DD result continues to force passenger unit to unload.

See also the optional rules for 'concealed movement' which affects transports and 'heavy equipment' and 'revealed movement' which add dimension, and housekeeping, to the load and unload process. Otherwise, not too bad, maybe even a bit satisfying, but we aren't out of the woods yet; there is still stacking and the dreaded 'road movement rate' to go yet.

Shaun Appleby
v0.1 Revised: April 05, 2013

 1 For the purposes of this rule the shorthand "non-'C' class" means neither 'C' nor 'C(I)' class .
Opportunity Fire
The original PanzerBlitz was marred by a rules shortfall which excluded firing at moving units. But can this oversight be remedied without making things worse?


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