Here we restate the original spotting requirement for woods and town
hexes, adjacent spotting, and eligibility requirements. We add the Panzer
Leader spotting of firing units along with the substantial change of
permitting spotting of moving units, basically vehicles, on entering
woods or town qualified with an exemption for vehicles moving very slowly
which we formalise as a new movement rate while leaving the door open to
additionally spot heavy units loading or unloading within the hex.
Our housekeeping gains one sub-marker and spotted marker substitution or
removal while retaining the Panzer Leader requirement for placing
and removing spotted markers throughout play.
In the original game 'spotting' of target units in
concealing terrain is necessary for all kinds of fire. Though woods or
town hex sides block line-of-sight, enemy units in woods or
town hexes can still be fired upon by a unit in line-of-sight of
the target hex if the requirement of 'spotting' is met by some friendly
unit. In PanzerBlitz this requirement could be fulfilled only by
any undispersed, adjacent friendly unit; including,
controversially, truck and wagon units.
A unit in concealing terrain1 may
not be fired upon unless spotted. A unit in or entering a concealing
terrain hex is not spotted unless adjacent to an eligible
opposing unit or in line-of-sight of an eligible opposing unit
while entering the hex, firing from the hex, or conducting 'revealed
the hex. Optional: A
unit entering concealing terrain from an adjacent hex using
while in line-of-sight of an eligible
opposing unit is not spotted
unless the entered hex is also adjacent to an eligible opposing unit.
A 'spotted' marker is immediately placed on a spotted unit unless
spotted while firing during the opponent's movement phase when an
'opportunity spotted' marker is placed instead.
The 'spotted' or 'opportunity
spotted' marker is immediately removed when a unit enters non-concealing
terrain or no eligible opposing unit remains in line-of-sight of
the spotted unit.
Additionally, at the
conclusion of the opposing player's player turn, friendly
units with non-zero movement allowances have
markers removed; all friendly 'opportunity spotted' markers are replaced
with 'spotted' markers.
A dispersed or 'C' class unit may not spot.4
A unit in non-concealing terrain in line-of-sight of an eligible
opposing unit is always spotted, 'spotted' and
'opportunity spotted' markers are
only used with units in concealing terrain.
When spotting non-adjacent enemy units, the spotting player is
responsible for the placement of spotting markers. No spotting
marker may be placed after the conclusion of the phase in which spotting
occurs. Exception: Adjacent
One consequence of this admirably simple but
troublesome rule is that players may advance units invulnerably over open
ground if they are concealed appropriately at turn end. In the absence of
an opportunity to fire upon moving enemy units in the original game
defenders are helplessly frustrated from interfering.
In a PanzerBlitz example (see Figure
1) the hapless A/T battery can do nothing but watch as the Hetzer
platoon enters the town from a clear hex in LOS (A) and continues to move
through open terrain to occupy the adjacent woods hex (B;) granted, the
battery will get an opportunity to fire in the next player turn but will
also suffer the additional die roll penalty modifier (+1) for firing on
units in woods. The battery is also now spotted to its likely
This is not a likely result in a real world
situation and is defensible as a rule choice only with a generously broad
interpretation of the 'simplicity is playability' argument. On the
other hand, as we shall see, the material outcome is probably not affected
as badly as it may seem although we are missing out on a range of
potential outcomes which would add nuance and flavour to the game as well
as give us a more plausible script for the after-action reports of our
Another consequence is that in Panzer
Leader the spotting rules are revised to provide for spotting of
firing units from concealed hexes and the idea, which we have adopted, of
'spotted markers.' As usual the Panzer Leader rules tend to
be a bit wordy and slightly repetitive compared to the original. We also
see the introduction of the related notion of opportunity fire as an
optional rule, addressed
elsewhere, but with implications for our previous game example.
In another PanzerBlitz example (see Figure
2) the advancing German infantry platoon suffers three successive
turns of fire from the Soviet machine gun company without any support from
their mortars. The Platoon Leader spotting rules remedy this and we
gratefully will include in our revision the spotting rule which spots
firing enemy units when in line-of-sight of eligible friendly units.
With this rule however, comes an implication:
once spotted, this machine gun unit remains spotted while in German
line-of-sight. For this Soviet MG unit with an movement factor of nil (0)
that makes perfect sense but infantry and vehicle units, which
theoretically should be able to adjust their position within cover like
woods or towns, also remain spotted indefinitely unless they move out of
We want more nuance, and since we've also
extended spotting of moving units into concealed hexes when in
line-of-sight it would probably be a good idea to have a mechanism to
permit the spotted units 'melt' back into concealment; in our revised rule
by removing spotted markers at the end of the opposing player's player
If the newly concealed unit opens up again, or
moves, it is re-spotted; if it doesn't it stays concealed. This is
intended to reflect the ability, arguably the natural tendency, of a unit
to conceal itself when exposed. It will also come in handy when we are
putting together our rule for indirect fire and looking for ways to
mitigate what is likely to be slightly overpowered artillery.
In our rules a transporting unit, for example
trucks, might remain unspotted when entering a concealing hex using
concealed movement. However our optional rules allow for unloading
in a subsequent movement phase to conditionally reveal the transporting
unit and passenger to eligible spotting units.
We believe that a vehicle unit entering a
concealed hex is vulnerable to spotting so we've included conditional
spotting of some moving units in concealed terrain. Unless a unit
enters a concealed hex using concealed
movement it can now be spotted; noting that a unit with a movement
factor of one (1) moves normally using concealed movement so is likewise
exempted from spotting. This exposes all vehicle units moving
normally and infantry units moving with the quick march option or at the
road movement rate. Infantry units, then, and man-portable weapons like
some mortars, remain unspottable; conferring on them a unique capability
while preserving a useful feature of the original games.
For purposes of play a 'spotted' unit, therefore,
becomes any unit in friendly line-of-sight in non-concealing terrain or
bearing a 'spotted' marker of either type; preserving the Panzer Leader
rule but enhancing recording for units which were spotted while firing
during the opponent's movement phase.
We have also added to the complexity of the game
a new movement option, concealed movement, and a new 'opportunity spotted'
marker. We will also stipulate 'opportunity spotted' markers should
be mounted on the reverse of 'spotted' markers to mitigate the play-time
overhead of finding one; we would rather build the extra effort into
crafting the game than playing it and this way our net cost for fetching a
'spotted' marker remains the same as the original marker rule.
v0.1 Revised: April 05, 2013