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Hordes of German & other Axis troops poured into the Soviet Union. The Red Army of Workers & Peasants suffered over 10 million killed in action before driving the Nazi invaders from their country. Intense battles raged for almost four years, as each side threw millions of soldiers & thousands of tanks, aircraft & cannon into the fray.
This is a game series that is long over due. For anyone who does not have four or five PhD candidate friends w/no lives for ASL, this game fills the void for playable tactical WWII combat. Solo play is a possibility. A bit more complexity in the rules and some detailed players notes would be have been helpful. It is hoped that other minor countries will be available soon: Dutch, Canadians, Norwegians, Poles, Balkans. Well worth the money.
Simply put, this game is elegant. It is easy to learn, fun to play, and provides a game scale (platoon level) that is both flexible and easily maintained. The command rules are unique, and the activation system allows players to maneuver and engage in combat back and forth within the turn, instead of waiting turn to turn. The maps are a little devoid of terrain features, but they are well painted, and only one terrain feature (the hill hex) is unappealing to me. Otherwise, the maps are top-notch. For those of you who are truly 'tired of playing by those same old rules,' and are looking for something fun and easy to play, I highly recommend Panzer Grenadier.
This one is fairly easy to deal with ... cross PanzerBlitz with the basics of Squad Leader and add a leader-based pseudo-impulse system. That's it. It's actually quite a good-looking (except for the maps, which are hideous, and the charts, which come from the GMT school of space-wasting layouts). Not terrible, to be sure, but not what I was looking for; I was hoping for somthing a little more original, and maybe a better simulation (not an area where either PanzerBlitz or Squad Leader scores a lot of points these days). You know, something that might have taken advantage of the intervening 25 years of wargame design thought. It's definitely better than PanzerBlitz, to be sure, but that's not saying a lot anymore. I guess I'll have to try MMP's PanzerBlitz update, and we'll just have to wait some more for an updated, modern, tactical WWII game to join Up Front, Storm over Arnhem, and Thunder at Cassino.
I guess there is a community of wargamers who like these 'retro' titles, and Panzer Grenadiere will almost certainly appeal to those gamers. For those of us who are held to the hobby by titles like Hannibal, EastFront, Storm over Arnhem, On to Richmond, Paths of Glory, and Up Front, this is one to play on someone else's copy.