PanzerBitz   Opportunity Firepotting    
  Opportunity fire is absent altogether from the original PanzerBlitz and while an optional rule appears in Panzer Leader, the rule is confounded in Arab-Israeli Wars whose authors became entangled with it; see the harmony for details. The simple Panzer Leader rule is better than none and we will expand on it while avoiding some of the deep water encountered by the Arab-Israeli Wars designers.

We will boldly dispense, however, with the movement allowance expenditure requirement before permitting opportunity fire on a moving enemy unit. Our new rule says that when an enemy unit enters a hex where it is spotted, in line-of-sight and within half range of an eligible friendly firing unit it may be attacked then and there. This pares down much canonical rule-making from later editions and discards the concept of an 'activated' unit...more

We've reduced range by half so there are fewer long range firing opportunities but we've also enabled spotting of some units entering concealing terrain so there should be more close range ones. Units at long range can now move about more freely, units at close range at more risk of blocking roads in towns or at impassable woods hex sides in previously concealing terrain. A defender may threaten interdiction against specific points on the map-board yet withhold fire at discretion; perhaps reluctant of the adverse die roll modifier. A trade-off of complexity for nuance, hopefully.

We are also thankfully dispensing with 'opportunity fired' markers, made redundant by our new 'D' and 'DD' ones for instead noting dispersed units.  We will, however, need some 'opportunity spotted' markers to tidy up housekeeping.

Opportunity Fire
The opportunity fire rule is basically an attempt to remedy an omission in the earliest game without adding undue complexity from later versions.

GENERAL RULE:
A spotted opposing unit entering a hex in line-of-sight1 and within half range (rounded down) of an eligible, friendly face-up unit may be attacked with direct fire once during the opponent's movement phase. The opportunity fire attack suffers a die roll modifier of plus one (+1)
2 along with other modifiers applicable in the hex entered and is otherwise conducted normally as direct fire. Exception: Enemy units conducting overrun attacks are immune while in the hex occupied by the unit overrun.

Eligibility: Any eligible, undispersed, face-up unit with direct fire capability.

Limitation: Each opposing unit may be attacked by opportunity fire only once per opposing player movement phase and only one eligible, friendly unit may conduct each opportunity fire attack, opportunity fire may not be combined, even by units firing from the same hex. Exception: Any eligible units in a single hex adjacent to the target unit may be combined in a single direct fire attack.

Recording: After firing the attacking unit is inverted. Attacked units that suffer no combat result may continue their move.

Note: The firing player may require the moving player to retrace hexes during movement of the target unit and may announce an opportunity fire attack on any eligible hex traversed by the moving unit at any time up to and including the end of the target unit's move but only before the beginning of another move or the end of the player's movement phase.

Tournament: No retracing is permitted; the firing player must declare attacks as the moving unit enters each hex.

We've also now given eligible units the ability to combine fire when an opposing unit moves adjacent.

Interdiction
The interdiction rule adds another very similar opportunity to fire during the moving player's turn, but with pre-registered artillery. Taken together with 'opportunity fire' the increased chance of lethality in the opposing players turn from possibly attacking already dispersed units is the reward for combined arms co-operation.

GENERAL RULE:
An eligible indirect fire unit may conduct an 'interdiction' indirect fire attack once during the opposing player's movement phase when a spotted opposing unit enters a hex in line-of-sight of an eligible, friendly face-up observing unit and containing the indirect fire unit's registration marker.

Each interdiction attack suffers no adverse die roll modifier save other modifiers applicable in the target hex2 and is otherwise conducted normally as indirect fire. Exception: See 'horseshoes.'

Eligibility: For observing, see observing rule; for interdicting, any undispersed, face-up unit with indirect fire capability and a registration marker in an observed target hex.

Limitation: Each opposing unit may be attacked by interdiction only once per opposing player movement phase and only one eligible, friendly unit may conduct each interdiction attack; interdiction attacks may not be combined, even among units with registration markers in the same target hex.

Recording: After firing the attacking unit is inverted.

In all cases the interdicting player is foregoing indirect fire or moving in the subsequent player turn.

Shaun Appleby
v0.1 Revised: April 05, 2013

1 See spotting.
2 In addition to any adverse modifiers from terrain.
 
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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