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Panzergruppe Guderian» Forums » General

Subject: How does the game compare to history? rss

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Severus Snape
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"So teach us to number our days, that we may get us an heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12 RV
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"I'm not allowed to say how many planes joined the raid, but I counted them all out and I counted them all back." Brian Hanrahan
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Thanks to David Glantz, among a few notable, and well-researched authors, we know so much more than SPI at the time PGG came out. How do you think the game "holds up" compared to your understanding of the history?

goo

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Bill Lawson
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Overall not to bad. But I just sold mine. Its not going to get played anymore.
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Severus Snape
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"So teach us to number our days, that we may get us an heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12 RV
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"I'm not allowed to say how many planes joined the raid, but I counted them all out and I counted them all back." Brian Hanrahan
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billyboy wrote:
Overall not to bad. But I just sold mine. Its not going to get played anymore.


How come? Pray tell.

And I mean both parts: the history and the reason for selling the game.

goo

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Bill Lawson
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Its a classic wargame. I played it lots when it first came out in S&T. I played it a couple years ago and it was fun. But, its dated now. There are so many newer fresher games out there (and unpunched on my shelf) that I know it won't get played.
I wasn't even looking to sell it but a guy on CSW asked if anyone had a copy they would sell. I forget the exact circumstances but somehow his game got ruined. I felt sorry for him and made him a fair offer. He was grateful and everyones happy.
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Ted Kim
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I think the sweep of the game works reasonably well against historical positions. But the exact OB for the Soviet side could use updating.

I had more discussion on this in:

http://grognard.com/zines/sr/spi_no1.pdf


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Greg Blanchett
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It's very dated and much more, the game...

Historically, you'd be better off with A Victory Denied.
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Severus Snape
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gb1469 wrote:
It's very dated and much more, the game...

Historically, you'd be better off with A Victory Denied.


Regarding PGG, how does it show its age? After the first two turns, the Soviet movement restrictions are lifted and they can counter-attack. Of course, it has been ages since I played PGG and, with Glantz in one hand, and Stahel in the other, I will have to see how it holds up under the weight of history.

I am not sure that MPP offers a solution, having been disappointed with their Ostfront offerings in the recent past, but I am willing to consider it. Thank you for the suggestion.

goo

 
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Severus Snape
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tedhkim wrote:
I think the sweep of the game works reasonably well against historical positions. But the exact OB for the Soviet side could use updating.

I had more discussion on this in:

http://grognard.com/zines/sr/spi_no1.pdf




Yes, I found this and it is excellent. Were any more issues produced?

goo

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Ted Kim
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bentlarsen wrote:
tedhkim wrote:
I think the sweep of the game works reasonably well against historical positions. But the exact OB for the Soviet side could use updating.

I had more discussion on this in:

http://grognard.com/zines/sr/spi_no1.pdf




Yes, I found this and it is excellent. Were any more issues produced?

goo



Sorry to say - there were no more issues. But at least I got a CSR award that year for the review!
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Leo Zappa
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tedhkim wrote:
bentlarsen wrote:
tedhkim wrote:
I think the sweep of the game works reasonably well against historical positions. But the exact OB for the Soviet side could use updating.

I had more discussion on this in:

http://grognard.com/zines/sr/spi_no1.pdf




Yes, I found this and it is excellent. Were any more issues produced?

goo



Sorry to say - there were no more issues. But at least I got a CSR award that year for the review!


Wow, Ted - that zine is outstanding! I never even knew this existed - shame no more were produced, but kudos to you for your effort in the one that did get made! Also - PGG is absolutely one of my favorites, as is one of its offspring, Drive on Stalingrad, which I played for the first time last year.
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John Vasilakos
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Poorly I beleive. The game completely misses the ability of the Soviets to make significant counterattackes. The Soviet attacks rocked the Germans and significantly derailed the German advance. I noticed this flaw as soon as I finished reading the magazine articale that came with the issue. The game did not match the article! And now both Glanzt and (Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East) David Stahel confirmed my suspicions
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Steve Fitt
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John Vasilakos wrote:
Poorly I beleive. The game completely misses the ability of the Soviets to make significant counterattackes. The Soviet attacks rocked the Germans and significantly derailed the German advance. I noticed this flaw as soon as I finished reading the magazine articale that came with the issue. The game did not match the article! And now both Glanzt and (Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East) David Stahel confirmed my suspicions

I'm not so sure about that. I see a pinning move as a sort of counterattack, and even moving to a place that the Ger. has to go and eliminate you can be seen as such.

My problem is with the Soviet RR lift capability. They tried to defend along the Dnipier R. from Orsha to Mogilev. In the game this means they need 3 lifts per Div. to move it from area X to that front. This means they can average just under 3 Div. per turn on the route. Since they get at least 4 div. per turn at area X and others elsewhere [the army at area W and scattered "Provisional Reinf."] to move by rail, they will have to leave 2 Div. per turn (on the average) behind. They really need to be able to move 12 to 14 Div. per turn by rail to hold the Dnipier.

How can we now (68 years later) evaluate their ability to do that?

Another problem is with the Russian 1 step divisions. The best of them should be 2 step units.

John, on 2nd thought I agree more than I 1st thought, but I still see pinning as an OK form of attack.
. . What I see now is that the Ger. just took Yelnya as the game ended. That gives them 55 VP, add in some SWF reinf. so give them 59 total. And this is given the terrible Rus. play. 1st they tried to hold the Dnipier R. Then they defended in front of Smolensk, allowing the city to fall to a flanking move. And they "attacked" a lot.

The Dnipier R. line must be held with at least 2-stacks in each defended hex. This requires about 4 Div. from Smolensk to be moved by rail. Then they will need 2 or 3 Div. each turn to replace loses, assuming that they can hold. Meanwhile the center and the north need Div. and replacements too. No wonder Guderian had no trouble getting over the river and Hoth's 3rd Pzgruppe had no trouble piercing the Rus. on his front either.

But then a pocket formed on the road in front of Smolensk. It held out for a looooonnnng time. No way that would happen in the game. Unless the Ger. waited for his Infantry to come up to reduce it. [In my pointers I say mop-up with Pz Div. because they are 6 times faster moving forward again, they can retreat to avoid most loses, and they get about twice as many die-rolls=attacks/overruns as Inf.]

So, no the game does not reflect history.
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Steve Fitt
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I would like to add to my last post here with additional thoughts.

The game does not simulate history in several ways. But, I am in no way suggesting these changes as a game. I doubt it would be any fun.

1] Stacking -- the rule is inconsistent. The Soviets can stack 3 div. per hex and this goes for Ger. Inf. too, but not for Panzer and Motorized. The ability of Panzer Div. to concentrate a lot of combat power on a narrow front is not reflected in the rules. (Allow 2 Pz and/or Mot. Inf. per hex {or 2 Div. of any kind}, but only 1 Div. [or Soviet stack that includes a Leader] can overrun together. Allow the Reg. of Pz or Mot. Div. to be doubled for integration on the defense if they are within 2 hexes of a Reg. that is within 2 hexes of the other Reg. of the Div. {rule from Kharkov}.)
. . . Also, for the Soviets you need to consider that the 3 div. of a stack are 3 div. in a corps, which is really spread out over a 2 to 3 hex front. They however cooperate as they fight. This is "simulated" by placing them all in 1 hex.

2] Like I said above, some or many Soviet Div. need to be 2 or even 3 step units. They would need to withhold some units from the mix to use as substitute div. This would allow them to hold a much longer front with less. Consider the pocket that was closed that was in front of Smolensk. It held out until after the game ends. It is blocking the supply road. (The Ger. Inf. Div. are reduced like this 9=>7=>4=>2=> dead. The 1s are used as the 7s.)

3] German supply was in fact traced to Yelnia without ever clearing the road.

4] The "combat" system and CRT have 2 problems.
. . . a] The attacker can avoid many loses by taking the retreat. This allows the Pz Div. to be used for mopping up without too much attrition. (At least, in Overruns the attacker should have to take the loss on "Split" results [and the attacker becomes disrupted on pure attacker retreats from an overrun {note: they can't move in the MMP but recover at the end of that turn}]. And maybe the attacker should take the loss on pure attacker retreat results in combat, not overrun {but then he could not attack to get out of a ZOC, which may not matter if there is a disengaging movement rule}.)
. . On the other hand, some Ger. loses are just fatigue and repairable tank loses. (Therefore maybe, the Ger. can "re-build" 1 unit 1 step each turn, but can never build the div. back to full strength. The unit can not be in an enemy ZOC, move in the 1st MP, or attack.)
. . . b] The defender is never compelled to take the retreat. This is just not the way WWII was fought. Very often a hold-at-all-costs order did not result in no advances by the attacker. Thus my suggestion that pure hits [except a D2 on a die roll of 1] should force the defender to take the retreat. See also 5] below.

5] Movement in the MMP is too fast/far. There needs to be some ability to move after combat, but even the Soviets could react faster than the game allows. (Perhaps double the movement costs of terrain. On the other hand, perhaps the defender should be "Disrupted" sometimes [if rarely] by combat even if he doesn't retreat. This would allow "infiltration" of the defender's line and encourage stacks to be closer together. Perhaps: On an Engaged result of an attack [not overrun] the defender becomes disrupted.}
. . . The Soviets can move their Tank/Mech stacks in "their" MMP if it includes a Leader.

6] Kharkov allowed disengaging from ZOC. Some such rule would be historically more accurate. But, that one is too easy.
. . . a] It needs to cost more MP than in Kharkov, maybe 5 MP.
. . . b] Soviets need to be in Command if not supply.
. . . c] Unless a unit [old or new] is left behind, the enemy can move to follow the moving units.
. . . d] The units can't enter another ZOC that phase [or turn?].

7] Inf. of both sides should march faster on the road {maybe 3 hexes for 2 MPs or even the same 2 for 1 that Mech gets.} This would also help the Soviets get their army forward sooner without moving some div. on the RR.

8] My own personal gripe. Units in cities should give up their ZOC if they are doubled. The city is small compared to the hexes. Holding in the city means abandoning the countryside to the enemy.

{9] The Russians might have additional RR lift. Or longer RR movement, which would allow 2 lifts to reach the west map edge, but change less elsewhere.}

10] A new Victory Condition list would be needed. The Germans will rarely get more than 55 VPs from Cities.
. . . Soviets get 1 VP for each Ger. Reg. [incl. Cav. div] or 5 for a whole Div. eliminated.
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