TITLE (YEAR): Panzer Korps: Divisional Warfare Miniatures System (2008)
AUTHOR: Manny Granillo II
PUBLISHER: Hoplite Research, LLC.
PUBLICATION DATE: 2008
WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM:
PRICE: $39.95 (in 2008)
REVIEWED BY: Mark “Extra Crispy” Severin
- World War 2
- Interwar (1936-1939)
The Panzer Korps rule book is an 8.5” x 11” paperback. It runs 96 pages. It has a color cover and interior. It includes four playsheets that must be removed or copied from the rule book.
Panzer Korps is a Grand Tactical/Operational level rule set. In Panzer Korps each player commands a division (possibly more) comprised of multiple brigades.
A typical army is fairly small:
- A German Fallshirmjager division would be three regiments. Each regiment is made up of nine infantry stands and three support stands for a total of 30 infantry figures, plus one AT gun and one mortar, each with crew. The entire division would be about 120 foot figures plus about a dozen guns.
- A Soviet Tank Corps is made up of 3 brigades. Each brigade has three battalions of T34s. So 9 T34s per brigade and 27 T34s per Corps. Also attached would be a Motorized Brigade of about 505 infantry figures. The corps would also include various support battalions of 3 companies each.
- An example battalion from the rule book: the 49th Infantry. Three stands of 3 figures, one MG team, one mortar team, one AT gun with crew and one truck. Total of 16 figures and one vehicle.
The base unit is a battalion comprised, generally, of three companies, where one stand/vehicle = one company.
- Ground Scale 1” = 50 meters
- Time Scale 1 Turn = 1 Day. Each turn is made up of a variable number of 2-hour Day Segments, with a single night segment.
- Figure/Base Ratio: Variable but generally 1 stand = 1 company
- Recommended Figure: 15/20mm
- Table Size: 4’ x 6’ will give a good battle area
- Game Length: Not Known
- Infantry/Artillery: 2” x 1”
- Vehicle: Leave vehicles unbased
- Support Companies/Smaller Units: Not specified but based on diagrams about 1” x 1”
Based so the included diagrams the game is fully compatible with figures based for the popular Flames of War rule set.
- The Field Day: In this phase weather and initiative are determined. In this phase players also determine how many Day Segments the turn will have.
- Tactical Turn – repeat for each Day Segment
- Logistics Phase: Panicked units may recover. Unit integrity is checked.
- Bombardment & Air Support Phase: Artillery bombardment and air operations are conducted and resolved.
- Movement Phase: The player with initiative rolls their Decision Die and moves first. The second player then does the same.
- Fire Phase: Artillery, vehicles and AT guns fire first, followed by small arms. Fire is NOT simultaneous.
- Close Combat Phase
- Morale Phase
Command and Control: C&C is modeled in two ways. First armies are organized into formations which in turn are grouped into Force Commands. In most cases a battalion is a formation and are grouped into force commands of 6-12 formations. Second, each Force Command has one of five quality ratings (from worst to best: Yellow, Blue, Red, White, Black). In each tactical turn a Force Command rolls a d6 and cross references the result with their quality on a chart. The result indicates how many units of that Force Command may move or rally. An especially bad roll can result in a Panic Freeze. Further, units within a Force Command must remain within 2” of each other.
Fire Combat: Fire combat uses an opposed die roll system with different sided-dice. When firing each formation uses a different Fire Die ranging from a D4 to a D12. The die is determined by troop quality, weapon type and whether or not the unit is suppressed. The target rolls a Cover Die - again from a D4 to a D12 depending on armor and available cover from terrain - and this is compared to the Fire Die. If the Fire Die is larger than the Cover Die the target receives 1 to 3 Disorder markers depending on the difference between the two die rolls.
Close Combat: To engage in close combat attacking units must assault which requires passing a morale check. Close combat is based on morale. You cross reference the unit’s morale with it’s opponent’s morale and read a letter result. Each letter corresponds to a certain number of disorder markers inflicted (why the chart didn’t just use the number to begin with is a mystery). Each side has possible modifiers which cause column shifts on the table to their opponent. Finally an opposed die roll inflicts a detrimental column shift on the loser.
Disruption: In Panzer Korps combat causes disruption. As units are attacked they accumulate disruption markers. They may reduce their disruption during the Logistics Phase.
Included with the rule book are sample divisions from different nationalities. These are clearly examples only, as the selection is of widely varying types. For example, for Germany you get Fallschirmjagers 1943-45 and Panzer Division 1943-45. For the Japanese a sample infantry division is provided, while for the US there is a Marine Division (1942) and an infantry division (1943-45).
The rule book does include extensive weapons and unti charts, so it should be possible to easily recreate almost any OOB or TO&E you want.
The rule book also includes two introductory scenarios: Drive on Benghazi (a hypothetical scenario set in N. Africa with Italians attacking the 4th Indian Division) and Into the Abyss, the 1st SS Panzer’s attack toward the Driva iver in March 1945.
Overall I have several impressions of the rule book:
First, it could stand some graphic cleaning up – it currently uses colored backgrounds, various fonts, borders and call out boxes. I found it a bit hard to read and scan as a result. The charts pages I found especially hard on the eyes.
Second, based on an initial read, there is a feeling that there is quite a bit of gray area to be mined out. For example, unit terminology is inconsistent and can be confusing. For example, in the chapter on Decision Dice, the author refers to formations; command groups; force organization; force commands and force groups. A glossary defining with a clear definition of each would be helpful.
Additionally, some concepts are not well introduced. Units, for example, have a basic morale (veteran, trained etc.). They also have a quality rating which affects their command dice. Then they can acquire disruptions. Finally, depending on their morale, they have a limited number of times they can recover from panic. I found all these hard to keep straight and I think there would need to be quite a bit of careful testing of the rules to make sure they are understood before launching into a full game.
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