Sunday, October 11, 2015

Avalanche Press and WW2

Avalanche Press interrupted my focus of late on re-basing my French and Indian War models by releasing the long-awaited (at least by yours truly) third game in their Panzer Grenadier series trilogy of the North African Campaign of World War 2. An Army at Dawn - obviously a nod to the book of the same name by Rick Atkinson - lets you play out the end game in Tunisia in 40 different scenarios. If you own two earlier games in the Panzer Grenadier series, Desert Rats and Afrika Korps, you can play nearly 150 scenarios covering the whole campaign with all of the relevant forces. 

If you hadn't guessed, my interest in these boardgames is related to my collection of MicroArmor. Like ArkieGamer, I was considering Spearhead by Arty Conliffe (along with the Blaze Across the Sands scenario book) for my WW2 gaming, but when I found the Panzer Grenadier games, with single stands representing platoons (like Spearhead) I found a fun boardgame system that would convert easily to MicroArmor and 4" hexes. All but the largest scenarios will fit on a 5' x 9' table or smaller. I like hexes for this operational scale, as they provide an easy way to represent direct fire on individual units in a hex as well as "area bombardment" that effects an entire hex.

One big advantage of these games for me is the focus on scenarios - some are as small as a dozen units per side, permitting the game to be learned with small fast games, and permitting armies to start small and be built up over time.

You can download the Fourth Edition Panzer Grenadier series rules here if interested. 

See ya!


  1. Very interesting! I've never played Panzer Grenadier. How complex are the rules on a scale of 1-10? Will you be using a hex system like Terrainmaker, or making your own?

  2. Hi! The box art notes the "Difficulty Level" at 2 out of 5 stars. It's definitely no more difficult than Spearhead and I find the artillery rules in particular easier. Units/stands/chits are platoons, like in Spearhead. Combat uses a typical boardgame "sliding" CRT. The command system is the heart and simple enough - leaders are activated each turn who then activate units, as well as other leaders within their chain of command (adjacent hexes) who can then activate units. . . so a single activation with well placed leaders can have a cascading effect that is great fun to make happen!

    There is a one-page summary of the rules on the Avalanche site that captures the system pretty well. The rules are in their 4th edition so are pretty clean.

    I have both Terrain-Maker™ and Hexon™ hexes so will use one or the other - both have pros and cons. I am still considering Command and Colors:Ancients™ for 15mm so Ancients may get the Hexon™ as entrenchments and anti-tank ditches will be easier with the foam style terrain : )

  3. Thanks for the run-down on the rules. I may have to pick up a copy, and will be watching the development of your project with interest.

    I've been sorely tempted to pick up some Terrainmaker hexes and give them a try. I have the Normandy terrain guide from GHQ, and the results they show in that booklet are fantastic.