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Panzerfaust 3rd Edition Review

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Panzerfaust: Armored Fist 3rd Edition - WW2 Miniatures Rules Review

by Kommissar Dave

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Painted by DK

 

The first set of WW2 rules I'd ever gamed with was the excellent "WW2 Book of Armaments" by David Bruggeman and Scott Nicholas in 1987. The rules were a mixture of complexity and simplicity which appealed to the 'grognard' in me. It was charts galore and tons of statistics detailing every aspect of WW2 armour and armaments you could ever wish for. However, the infantry rules left me feeling unsatisfied as the game was armour orientated.

 

I was surprised when I found out that there was an updated edition called "Panzerfaust: Armored Fist" which is the 3rd Edition of the "WW2 Book of Armaments" rules written by Scott Nicholas and Peter Stone. Quickly obtaining a copy from Military Simulations by mail-order, I pored over the rules and had a test game.

 

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Painted by DK

The game is really too complex to provide anything more than a basic review. However, I shall try my best to convey the flavour of the game. Firstly, the game uses D6 only and is scaled to 20mm models. The game scale is 1:1 which is 1 infantry model = 1 infantry and 1 tank model = 1 tank. However, I don't see any difficulty with scaling the game to 15mm or lower scales, although 28mm could be tough. If you're using armour, I would recommend 6' x 4' boards or larger. Tank gun ranges are that long in the game. Lots of terrain is a must as well for a fun game.

 

The game uses an I-go, U-go turn sequence and follows a strictly detailed turn sequence with a pre-game procedure. Basically orders are written down at the beginning of the game and must be adhered to as far as possible. Orders can be changed only through the HQ unit which can be on-board or off-board. As can be seen, there needs to be some book-keeping involved which is not everyone’s cup of tea.

 

The turn sequence then begins with declaration of cover fire, movement, morale tests, direct fire, melee or engineering work, AA/Flak, Aircraft attacks and finally indirect fire. Then both players have a chance to amend orders. As can be seen, quite a hefty chore list. It gets worse as before firing; you will have to check each target using the observation table to determine if the target is in sight or not which will give modifiers either way. If the target can be observed, you then measure the range, determine to-hit rating and roll 3d6. You must roll below the score needed after modifiers. Should you hit the target, you then determine hit location and check if the shell penetrates the armour and penetration results. All in all, a set of rules that is not for the casual gamer.

 

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Painted by DK

The game comes with an excellent list of armour and weapons for all the combatant nations of WW2 and is worth getting just for the wealth of information contained including types of AFVs, armour values, types of guns and penetrations as well as army lists and TO&E.

 

Sadly, the infantry rules remain basically unchanged from the original and remain pretty abysmal. There are concessions now such as a bonus modifier for veteran or elite troops but basically troops are still categorised according to their weapon type and there are no special rules for troop types. In short, the game ignores infantry and concentrates on armour. A peeve I have with these new rules is that grenade range has been shortened from 15cm to 5cm which basically renders grenades useless due to the ground scale employed. Yes, it’s realistic but not very playable.

 

In conclusion, I still like the rules due to the excellent tank rules but feel that they should have given more thought to the infantry. Then again, this is an excellent opportunity for me to come up with some home rules for the infantry. The rules are not expensive and therefore worth a try. Just bear in mind that the game is not called Armoured Fist for nothing and if you’re looking for a good set of infantry skirmish rules, it’s best to look elsewhere like the excellent Crossfire rules or Battleground WW2.

 

The game is available from Military Simulations in Australia (www.milsims.com.au).

 

Next up, maybe a review of Battlefront WW2 rules. (Keep your fingers crossed).

 

Signing off.

Coming soon: Review of the new 4th Edition Panzerfaust!!!!!!