Fourth Edition Optional Rules, Part I
Note: Panzer Grenadier’s Fourth Edition comes with optional rules. A lot of optional rules. Here they are in the first of two installments, so players can start using them right away.
A player may combine two reduced units of the same type, nationality and morale condition to form a single full-strength unit. Both units must start their activation in the same hex, be activated by a leader with the rank of Major or higher, and spend all their MPs to combine. Remove one of the units, flip the other to its full-strength side, and place a Moved/Fired marker on it.
If during any activation a given off-board artillery increment or on-board artillery unit fires Bombardment Fire at the same hex it bombarded on the previous turn (not including smoke or illumination), the firing player immediately places two Spotted markers in the target hex to indicate the presence of drumfire. Place an additional Spotted marker for each additional unit or increment that fires at the same hex on other activations. Resolve fire against the hex normally during the activation. In addition, resolve a new attack against any unit or leader (friendly or enemy) that moves into the drumfire hex during later activations of the current turn. Remove all Spotted markers indicating drumfire during the Marker Removal Phase.
All units and leaders that occupy a hex marked with two or more Spotted markers for drumfire are attacked using the usual bombardment procedure (just once; there’s no extra attack for placement of the markers). They will not be attacked during any subsequent action phases of that turn unless they exit the hex and re-enter it. During action phases, drumfire only affects individual moving units and leaders that enter the hex; any non-moving units in the hex are not affected.
Each unit and leader (friendly or enemy) that enters a drumfire hex during any activation is immediately attacked by the artillery unit/increment that placed the Spotted markers there. Resolve the fire on the Bombardment Table against the moving unit or leader that entered the hex, but not against any non-moving units or leaders already in the hex. However, count any non-moving units in the hex toward the +1 modifier for three combat units stacked in the target hex.
The firing player may combine the strength of off-board artillery increments or on-board artillery units occupying the same or adjacent hexes that placed Spotted markers in the same drumfire hex, or they may resolve their fire separately. The firing player may not combine the strength of on-board units with that of the off-board increments; resolve their attacks separately.
Drumfire does not discriminate; all moving units and/or leaders of either side that enter the hex are attacked. If a moving unit or leader does not become disrupted or demoralized by drumfire, it may move out of the drumfire hex if it has sufficient MPs remaining to do so, or it may remain in the hex. A moving unit or leader that fails a morale check (14.1) caused by drumfire must stop moving immediately and remain in the hex. A moving two-step unit that suffers a step loss (7.6) but does not fail a morale check may continue moving. Demoralized units that are currently fleeing (14.31) due to failure to recover morale may not enter or move through any hex marked for drumfire. In addition, no drumfire hex can be used as a “safe hex” by demoralized units.
Artillery that fired Smoke or Illumination at a hex cannot count that attack for the two consecutive attacks for drumfire; all such attacks must use Bombardment Fire. If an on-board artillery unit firing drumfire is disrupted when firing or becomes disrupted later in the turn, its drumfire attacks are at half strength. If a unit firing drumfire is eliminated, becomes demoralized, or is assaulted during the current turn, immediately remove the Spotted markers indicating drumfire (no unit or leader entering the hex this turn is affected by it).
Efficient Unit Move & Fire
Instead of making two Anti-Tank Fire attacks, an efficient AFV may declare a move/fire or fire/move activation when activated. During that activation the unit may move up to half its printed movement allowance and fire once with a -1 modifier. It is then marked Moved/Fired. This option should be reserved for 1944 or later, or for units with a morale of 8/8 or better in scenarios taking place earlier than 1944.
If a player wins initiative (3.0) by enough to take three or more action segments before his or her opponent can take one, he may “save” one action segment and use it any time during the turn to perform two consecutive action segments; he need not designate ahead of time when that action will be taken. He may not use it to “interrupt” another player’s turn. A player may use this saved action to perform an action after the turn is directed to end due to Fog of War dice roll.
Similar to cavalry charge (15.31), an AFV unit activated by a tank leader (including loaded APCs, but excluding tanks with riders) may conduct extended assault from two or three hexes away. The AFV must have a LOS to the target from its starting position, and follow that LOS to the target assault hex. Inactive enemy units may conduct Opportunity Fire against an AFV performing an Extended Assault in any hex it enters before entering the assault hex. Units being assaulted may not undertake Opportunity Fire if other enemy units are already in their hex at the time of the Extended Assault. If an attacking APC includes loaded personnel, they may not voluntarily unload in the same activation as an Extended Assault; they may unload in subsequent activations.
Fog of War
After both players have conducted three activation segments each, then each player rolls three dice at the end of each of his subsequent activation segments. Add one to the result on night turns. If the total result for the three dice is 16 or more, the turn ends immediately for both players, and neither may take any further actions that turn (including recovering morale for unactivated demoralized units). Proceed to the next turn.
When designated by the scenario instructions or mutual agreement of the players, a player may activate units by formation. The composition of the formation is chosen by the owner at the time of the attempt.
To activate units by formation, ALL the following requirements must be fulfilled:
• Have a morale of 7 or higher and a current initiative of 2 or higher;
• The formation must include an undemoralized leader with a rank of Major or above;
• All subordinate leaders in that formation must be undemoralized.
• For ease of identification, consider turning units in such a formation 90 degrees to differentiate them in play from other units.
The player rolls two dice. If the modified total is less than or equal to the senior leader’s morale rating, the attempt succeeds and the formation is activated. Modify the dice roll result as follows:
• +1 for every friendly leader eliminated
• +1 for every friendly unit eliminated (trucks, wagons and prime movers don’t count; tanks do NOT count double)
• +1 for every unit reduced to half strength in the formation
• -1 if no unit in the formation has suffered a step loss
• -1 for Australians, British, Finns, Gurkhas, Italian Blackshirts, Japanese, New Zealand, US Marines, Soviet Guards units after 1942, US Army after 1943 and Germans (all branches) before 1945.
If the attempt fails all formation leaders are considered Moved/Fired, but not the units.
If a player successfully activates a formation, he may move or fire some, all, or none of the units in that formation normally. However, all formation leaders and units are considered Moved/Fired at the end of the action phase even if they did not actually move or fire.
Besides being able to use a larger force pool in one action segment, formation-activated units may combine fire from two adjacent hexes into a single fire calculation for Direct or Bombardment fire without a leader (rather than just one hex).
Despite scenario specific rules in some games, the use of hidden units is always optional. For previously published scenarios involving hidden units, players may use the following rules, or ignore them and play with all units deployed on the map.
Players write down the location of hidden units rather than placing them on the board. Spotting range for enemy units trying to locate hidden units is reduced to 1/4 normal range (round fractions down; minimum of one hex). Thus a hidden unit in clear terrain in daylight (normally spotted at 12 hexes) could only be spotted by a unit three or fewer hexes away, and a hidden unit in a town hex (normally spotted at three hexes) could only be spotted by an adjacent unit.
A hidden unit loses its special status and must be placed on the board if an enemy unit is able to spot it, or if it moves or conducts any type of fire.
No Hidden Units Specified
For a scenario where no hidden forces are specified, if a side is allowed to dig in at the beginning of a scenario, then allow one-third of the forces and leaders to begin hidden, rounding fractions up.
When playing with hidden units, solo players can employ the following. Identify twice as many potential locations for hidden units as actual hidden units (so if you have 12 units, and normally 1/3 or four units would be hidden, then identify eight likely locations). Write down those hex locations on a piece of paper or mark them with Spotted markers (use fewer locations but the same number of markers if you want units to stack potentially). Place the hidden units and an equal number of Moved/Fired markers in a container (you may want to use separate containers for Anti-Tank units and Direct Fire units). When one of your moving units enters the LOS and range of one of the potential hidden locations, draw one or more pieces from the container (depending on how you envisioned the hidden units deploying). If it’s a unit that can fire, use opportunity fire and place the revealed unit on the map. If not, discard the marker. In either case remove the Spotted marker from the map or scratch out that location from your list of locations. Revealed units operate normally thereafter.
A player may not examine an opponent’s stack (look under the top piece) unless the whole stack is adjacent to his own undisrupted/undemoralized unit or leader, or the stack is marked with a Spotted marker.
Logistics and Supply
If a player obtains a result of 3 or a 4 on his Fog of War dice roll at the end of any action segment, his side experiences a logistics shortfall. If, on a later game turn, the same player rolls another 3 or 4 on his Fog of War dice roll at the end of any action segment, his side experiences a critical logistics shortfall. Sides with a logistics shortfall or critical shortfall suffer the following effects for the remainder of the scenario (not just the remainder of the turn).
• The player’s Initiative is immediately reduced by one (subject to the minimum of zero (3.0).
• All Mechanized or Motorized units have their movement allowance reduced by two.
• Direct and Bombardment fire suffer a -1 column shift, and Anti-Tank Fire suffers a -1 dice roll modifier. There is no effect to Assault.
Critical Shortfall Effects
Every time a Mechanized and/or Motorized unit moves or fires, or a weapons unit fires, roll one die. On a result of 1 or 2 the unit runs out of fuel or ammunition and is removed from play after firing. All other units have their fire values halved for the remainder of the game. Units removed in this way do not count as lost for victory purposes, but do count against the initiative reduction (3.0).
If using the multi-player rules, only individual players who obtain a 3 or 4 on a Fog of War dice roll experience Logistics Shortfall, not the whole side.
Fourth Edition Rules
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