I offer for consideration, play, testing and comment my thoroughly revised Simple Panzer Grenadier game system in the attached Word document.
It is best to think of it as a new game using the components and many of the systems of the existing one, than as a modest tweak or set of optional rules.
The goal is something more like a more realistic Panzerblitz rather than a larger scale Squad Leader. Compared to the games as printed, it is designed to be far simpler, faster playing, less board clutter, more decisive combat, with realistic combined arms relationships. Leaders are not used, morale is simplified to a single state worse than good order, and while the same combat tables and procedures are used, the printed combat results far more frequently result in outright step losses rather than possible morale "dings".
Thanks enrique. I can post a dozen scenarios or so using these rules, for those interested in trying the system out.
As a simple starting point, I recommend the following, using the Elsenborn ridge module maps.
US defenders get 3 infantry platoons, 1 HMG platoon, 1 81mm mortar platoon, and off board support by a single battery of 105mm howitzer, which can hit the whole map if anyone can spot for them. Normal ammo limits as described in the rules for the mortars and howitzers; the howitzers are "dedicated support", ammo loss number 11+. The Americans set up first in a small village surrounded by open fields, wheat on their north. Any of them that set up outside the building hexes can start dug in (foxholes).
Then the Germans get 6 infantry platoons, 2 HMG platoons, and 2 81mm mortar platoons, in a road column one unit per hex, stretching out left of the US held village and out of sight of them initially. There is a large wood that gives out abiout 8 hexes from the American village; the Germans will be able to deploy there without being spotted, given the spotting rules as revised etc.
All units both sides are morale 7. US shaken loss limit is 3 steps, demoralized is 5 steps. German shaken loss limit is 6 steps, demoralized is 9 steps. Time limit is 15 game turns (it is usually decided before then). VPs are 1 for each enemy step loss plus 1 for each village hex held at the time limit (there are 4 of those total, and all start in US hands). Final VP count within +/- 2 is a draw, 3 higher for either side is a victory. Burden on the Germans to attack, obviously, since the US have a victory in hand if nothing happens.
It is a fine intro game for learning the new rules. The Germans should be able to win (handily) if they apply the right tactics, but they can hit their loss limits and snowball to a loss if they do it wrong.
Key things to keep in mind in this situation -
Spotting ranges. The buildings hexes are full cover for spotting, so even when they fire the American units will not be visible at long range. The Germans need to move in the open to get close enough to see the Americans, and will be seen at a longer distance themselves when they do so. The Americans can also drop indirect fire on them without firing the infantry, and remain unspotted that way until Germans get close.
Stacking dangers. The Germans in particular need to be wary of bunching up, or the 105s will crucify multiple units at once. Assault actions once actually up to the town, however, do generally require multiple units to be effective, and half of all assaulters must enter the hex they assault, up to the stacking limit.
Overwatch and "reserve" of actions. The Americans have few units, and each unit acts only once a turn. If all act early in the turn, the Germans can move "with impunity" for the rest of the current turn. Often it is better to save fire to prevent near approach than to take another "trash" shot at range. The Germans on the other hand can hold reply fire or the opportunity to "rush" over the American's heads, while risking moves closer with only a portion of their force.
Getting a move on. The Germans face a kind of timetable once they are in the open, in that the US 105s will fire continually with an average of 12 shots before running dry (11+ ammo depletion number). And an 11 or 12 from a battery of 105s is going to hurt something. Taking too long can let the US guns, alone, wrack up enough German losses to make the demoralization levels a danger and to make eventual victory harder in VP terms.
Above all, players of existing Pz Gdr will see how much more immediately deadly basic fire is in the revised rules.
Also pay attention to the rally rules, and particularly the restriction that rally actions may not be performed within 3 hexes of enemy units. This means the Germans typically need time to back off and rally and reapproach, so disrupted units can be out of the fight for several turns. The Americans may not be able to afford retreat to rally, though they can use the wheatfield and building "shadows" (LOS blockage from being behind rather than in them) to "shelter" from the Germans. Sometimes standing to fire with 1/2 FP may be the best a disrupted unit can do, if it can't expect to truly get clear and have time to rally unmolested.
That should get you started. More involved, "real" scenarios, I will post later today.
Groping for Kalach
Meeting engagement, late November 1942, southern Russia.
5th Tank Army vs 24th Panzer division during Operation Uranus.
Village objective in steppe terrain (use Kursk modules for maps)
Limited visibility rules are in effect (snowstorm at dusk),
use the 2nd spotting table.
Russian force enters column reinforcements turns 1-3 as indicated.
Turn 1 - 2 T-70 tank platoons 3 armor, 2-6 AT rating
Turn 2 - 3 T-34 M1943, 5 armor, 4-6 AT rating
with 3 SMG platoon as tank riders (6-1 infantry)
Turn 3 - 6 trucks carrying 3 4-2 motor rifle infantry,
1 HMG, 1 82mm mortar, 1 76mm gun with 4-6 AT rating.
Also from turn 3 on, 120mm support with 9+ ammo depletion.
Morale 7, shaken 9 step losses, demoralized 13 step losses.
German force enters column reinforcement turns 1-3 as indicated, other side of the map.
Turn 1 - 3 Panzer IVG platoon, 3 armor, 6-8 AT rating
Turn 2 - 4 SPW halftrack carrying 3 5-3 infantry, 1 HMG team
Turn 3 - 1 Marder III, 2 armor, 6-8 AT rating, plus 2 trucks carrying 1 81mm mortar, 1 50mm PAK with 3-7 AT rating.
Also from turn 3 on, 1 105mm off map support with 9+ ammo depletion.
Morale 7, shaken 8 steps, demoralized 11 step losses.
Snow ground condition rules are in effect. (Not deep snow), in addition to limited visibility.
All Russian tanks are low visibility AFVs (raise target unit cover condition one level to determine max spotting range).
Time limit 15 turns.
One VP for each building hex in the objective village controlled at game end.
One VP for each step loss caused to enemy force, ignoring trucks (but not half tracks).
4 VP bonus for demoralizing the enemy force (they must be over their higher loss limit).
VP totals within plus or minus 3 is a draw, otherwise the higher total wins.
This is a good learning game for the new AT combat system, the limited visibility rules, and ground condition effect on movement.
Simple Panzer Grenadier scenario
Rendulic the Ready
Russian assault, rifle army forces with heavy tank support vs German infantry division defense
July 1943, east face of Orel salient early in Operation Kutuzov
Steppe terrain with low ridges, Germans set up on higher ground, Russians initially in defilade behind first ridge.
German defenders set up first, anywhere but the first 10-hex width Russian start map
3 75mm PAK 6-8 AT rating, dug in
3 HMG platoon, dug in (foxholes)
6 5-3 infantry platoon with foxholes
2 81mm mortar platoons on map, 10+ ammo depletion, may be dug in
1 105mm howitzer off map in dedicated support, 11+ ammo depletion
12 wire obstacle hexes
6 tank ditch obstacle hexes (impassible to vehicles)
secretly record 3 AT minefield locations (bombardment factor 30)
secretly record 9 AP minefield locations (bombardment factor 8)
reinforcements arrive turn 8 as a line reinforcement on the German defended map edge
3 5-3 infantry platoons
morale 7, shaken 10 steps, demoralized 15 steps
Russians set up second within 3 hexes of their map edge (7 hexes from start of German set up zone), behind first higher ground.
3 KV-1 platoons (5 armor rating)
9 4-2 infantry platoons
3 HMG platoons
3 82mm mortar platoons
3 pioneer infantry platoons
1 122mm howitzer support off board, 9+ ammo depletion number
Time limit 20 turns.
Germans earn 2 VPs for each KV step destroyed, 1 for each other Russian step destroyed.
Russians earn 1 VP for each German step destroyed.
Russians each 1 VP for each Russian tank or infantry step (not HMGs or mortars) exited off the German map edge by the time limit.
This is a good scenario to learn combined arms tactics in the revised system.
Using 50% dummies for the mines, it can also be played solo as the Russians.
July 1943, wooded terrain with farmland corridors (and small village spots) in northern Ukraine
Meeting engagement between 5th Tank Corps and 5th Panzer division during initial exploitation phase of Operation Kutuzov
Germans set up first with the following force the only units on the map -
2 PSW 222 armored car
3 5-3 infantry platoon
3 SPW halftrack
1 SPW 251/9 short 75mm gun halftrack, AT rating 3-5.
Germans receive the following reinforcement groups at the indicated times, all as column reinforcements on "their" side of the map (south, historically)
turn 4 - 4 Panzer IVG with 3 armor, 6-8 AT rating
turn 5 - 3 trucks, 3 5-3 infantry
turn 6 - 3 trucks, HMG, 81mm mortar, 105mm howitzer
German force is morale 8, shaken 12 steps, demoralized 17 steps.
The Russians enter from the north edge in the following groups and times
Turn 1 - 2 T-70 tank platoon, 3 armor rating, 2-6 AT rating
plus 1 BA-64 MG armament armored car platoon
3 motorcycle recon infantry (4-2, mounted, speed 12)
Turn 3 - 3 T-34C model, 5 armor rating, 4-6 AT rating
carrying 3 SMG platoon tank riders (6-1 infantry)
Russian force is morale 7, shaken 12 steps, demoralized 18 steps.
Time limit 15 turns.
1 VP is earned for each enemy step destroyed, trucks excluded.
The Russians can also earn 1 VP for each tank step (only) exited off the German (south) edge of the map.
5 VPs for demoralizing the enemy force. Results within plus or minus 4 points are a draw, 5 or better margin is a win.
Kursk South break in battle
July 1943, Ukraine. German assault during Operation Zitadelle.
Russians set up first, anywhere but 5 southernmost hexes of the map
all units start dug in (foxholes)
6 4-2 infantry platoon
2 HMG platoon
2 82mm mortar platoon
1 120mm mortar (on map)
2 ATR platoon with 1-3 AT rating
2 45mm ATG battery with 2-5 AT rating
3 76mm gun on map (11+ ammo depletion, 4-6 AT rating)
4 wagons (not dug in)
12 wire obstacles
8 AT ditch obstacles
8 hidden AP minefield (8 bombardment factor)
2 hidden AT minefield (30 bombardment factor)
On turn 6, the Russians receive the following line reinforcement on their side of the map -
3 T-34C model, 5 armor rating, 4-6 AT rating
1 132mm rocket support, 9+ depletion number
Morale 7, shaken 12 steps, demoralized 16 steps.
German force enters as a line reinforcement along the southern edge on turn 1.
Meaning all units must be set up simultaneously along that edge, before actions begin.
1 Tiger platoon, armor rating 6
1 Panzer IIIN platoon, armor rating 3, 3-4 AT rating
4 Panzer IVG platoon, armor rating 3, 6-8 AT rating
3 SPW halftrack
1 SPW 251/9 short 75mm gun halftrack, 3-4 AT rating
6 6-3 SS infantry platoon
2 5-3 Pioneer platoon
2 HMG platoon
2 81mm mortar
normal support by 2 105mm howitzer 16 bombardment factor each plus
normal support by 1 150mm howitzer 24 bombardment factor.
All supporting guns are ammo depletion number 9+.
Shaken 15 steps, demoralized 21 steps
Tiger steps count double for loss limit and VP purposes.
Time limit 20 turns
1 VP for each enemy step destroyed, except Tiger steps count double.
5 VP German bonus for demoralizing the Russian force
5 VP Russian bonus for pushing German force to Shaken
Special automatic victory for the Russians if they demoralize the German force.
Germans earn 1 VP for each tank step (only Tiger, Panzer IV, Panzer III, not SPWs) exited off the Russian side of the map.
Germans must win by at least 10 VPs to win. 0 or less is a Russian victory, 1-9 net German VPs is a draw.
KG Eberbach at Tula
German probe, 30 October 1941, central Russia
Urban terrain map with Russians in the town and the Germans outside, trying to enter
Russian player sets up first -
NKVD detachment 2 4-2 infantry, 2 45mm ATG 2-5 AT rating, 2 trucks
Workers militia detachment 4 4-2 infantry, 2 HMG platoon, 2 ATR platoon with 1-3 AT rating
732 AAA detachment 3 37mm AA guns, 3 trucks
Guns may be dug in, infantry and MGs are not.
Morale 6, shaken 8 steps, demoralized 12 steps.
Germans enter as a column reinforcement on turns 1-3 as follows
Each side earns 1 VP for each enemy step destroyed, except German Panzer III steps count double.
Germans earn 1 VP for each infantry platoon step (only, not HMGs or tanks etc) in good order in building hexes at the end of the scenario.
Germans earn 5 VPs for demoralizing the Russian force. Russian automatically win if they demoralize the German force.
Germans need net 10 VPs or more to win, Russians win if the Germans have less than 5 net VPs, 6-9 net German VPs is a draw.
The Bloody Gulch
German attack near Caretan, June 13, 1944, Normandy.
Fields separated by wooded areas, road net, occasional small villages as single hexes.
US sets up first with elements 101st Airborne, 501st Parachute infantry regiment
6 5-3 parachute infantry, 1 HMG platoon.
The paratroopers are not dug in. Set up at least 6 hexes from German map edge.
Turn 8-10 reinforcements, elements CCA 2nd armored division
all as column reinforcements on the US side of the map
turn 8 - 3 Sherman platoon, 4 armor rating, 5-8 AT rating
turn 9 - 4 halftrack, 3 5-3 armored infantry, 1 HMG
turn 10 - 1 M10, 1 M8 AC, 1 M7 Priest
M10 is 3 armor rating, 6-8 AT rating.
M8 is 1 armor rating, 3-7 AT rating.
Priest is 16 bombardment factor SPA with 10+ ammo depletion number.
Morale 7, shaken 13, demoralized 19.
Germans attack on turn 1 as a line reinforcement on their side of the map.
Elements 17SS panzer grenadiers
9 6-3 SS infantry platoon
3 StuG IIIG, 3 armor rating with 6-8 AT rating
3 HMG platoon
3 81mm mortar
Morale 7, shaken 8, demoralized 13.
Special - the Germans do not get the Panzerfaust close assault and anti-overrun bonus (this unit didn't have any yet).
Each side earns 1 VP per enemy step destroyed.
US earns 5 VP for demoralizing the German force.
Germans win automatically if they demoralize the US force.
Net VP margin must be +5 in your favor to win, 4 or fewer net VPs either way is a draw.