Land Cruisers:
Illustrated Examples of Play

By Daniel Rouleau
December 2017

Editor’s Note: Daniel Rouleau and Matt Ward developed Panzer Grenadier: Land Cruisers, a small, strange and fun supplement we made for the Gold Club. The Land Cruisers themselves represent a departure from the logic of Panzer Grenadier and so required a lot more special rules than we usually include in a game. Daniel made some color examples of play that we couldn’t put in the book (because they were in color), and they’re here now for your enjoyment.

Land Cruisers offered a new challenge for us. While the submission included guidelines as to how the Land Cruisers should be handled, we had to develop a set of rules to ensure players understand how to handle these behemoths.

The first order of the day was to determine how Land Cruisers move. A Land Cruiser moves from adjacent hexes to adjacent hexes, paying the cost of the higher cost terrain for each pair of adjacent hexes it moves into. A Land Cruiser can also pivot by moving one hex of the counter to an adjacent hex while the other remains stationary. Land Cruisers may not be set up in nor may they enter town or woods hexes. Land Cruisers may not enter slope hexes except along a road.

Let’s illustrate with a few examples. The Land Cruiser activates while it occupies hexes 0908 and 0909. We will denote its position (0908, 0909) to make it easier to explain.

The Land Cruiser moves down the road to (08007, 0908) for 2/3 of a movement point because both hexes are entered along a road, and then continue to (0707, 0807), (0606, 0707), (0605, 0606), (0604, 0605), and (06704, 0604) paying again 2/3 of a movement point each time because every pair of hexes were entered along a road.

Land Cruiser Marak starts again in (0908, 0909) and moves to (0807, 0808) and then to (0708, 0808).

It costs Land Cruiser Marak 1.5 movement points to move to (0807, 0808) because while the “front end” moved from 0908 to 0807 along a road (2/3 MP), the “back end” moved from 0909 into clear hex 0808 (1.5 MP). The cost of the latter is the greater of the two and thus the one to apply.

It costs Land Cruiser Marak 2 movement points to move to (0708, 0709): the “front end” moves into a clear hex (1.5 MP) and the “back end” moves into Light Woods (2 MPs). The higher of the two costs is 2 MPs.

What if the Land Cruiser simply rotates, from say (0908, 0909) to (0808, 0909)? In this case, the “front end” into a clear hex (1.5 MP) while the “back end” remains stationary (0 MP). The higher of these two costs is 1.5 MP.

Moving up and down hills can be tricky. Let’s start with Land Cruiser Marak in (0604, 0705) and move it onto the hill.

Land Cruiser Marak cannot rotate its “front end” to 0704 because it can only enter a slope hex along a road. However, it can move its “front end” to 0705 (1.5 MP) and its “back end” onto 0704 along the road (2/3 MP) for a cost of 1.5 MP. Land Cruiser Marak continues to (0704, 0703) along the road for 2/3 of a movement and then to (0703, 0803) for 1.5 MP.

Land Cruiser Marak looks cool on the hill, having height advantage over any approaching French tank but it’s also in a vulnerable spot because it has few options if the French were to assault it.

That 18-20 bombardment does not look very good in assault. Or does it? Actually, in Assault Combat a Land Cruiser may use its bombardment strength as its assault strength. Well, those 18 factors certainly look better now!

But before the French can begin their assault, they must first get into position and the Land Cruiser has a few more surprises for the French.

A Land Cruiser may transport up to two personnel units PLUS up to four leaders internally. Units being transported may use their direct fire strength upon activation or may use it in opportunity fire. Activation of the Land Cruiser for either Movement or Fire actions does NOT constitute activation of the transported units. Activation of the transported units for either Movement or Fire actions does NOT constitute activation of the Land Cruiser.

Land Cruiser Marak is transporting two RIF units and a 10-1-1 Major.

It’s the beginning of the turn and the French have the initiative. The Lieutenant in 0406 activates and directs the Sergent in 0306 the six INF units in hexes 0306, 0406, and 0506, all to move. The French first move an INF unit from 0306 to 0206 and then to 0207 at which point the German player announces he is conducting an opportunity fire. The German player decides to use the two RIF units and to add the combat value of the leader and take a shot on the 30 column (11 strength plus +1 column shift for taking opportunity fire plus +2 column shift because the French unit is adjacent to the Land Cruiser). The French INF suffers a step loss and is demoralized. The French then move an INF unit from 0506 to 0507 and then 0508 at which point the German player announces he is taking another opportunity fire. The German player liked the result of the first fire so he decides to fire again with his two RIF units and adds the combat value of his leader to end up on the 30 column again (note the +2 column modifier for being adjacent applies again because the INF unit is adjacent to the Land Cruiser). The German do not do as well and the French INF is only disrupted.

The French player continues to move his units and leaders and this is what the situation looks like at the end of the action segment.

Note that while the units and leader transported by Land Cruiser Marak have activated, the Land Cruiser itself has not. Land Cruiser Marak now activates and the German player chooses to push his luck by bombarding hex 0407 on the 30 column (18 strength plus +2 column shift for bombarding an adjacent hex). No luck, the fire misses entirely.

This is what the situation looks like at the beginning of the next turn.

The French win the initiative again and activate the Lieutenant who in turn directs the Sergent and all good order units to conduct a fire action. The Lieutenant, one unit from 0407 and the good order unit from 0508 move into 0408, and the Sergent, the unit in 0307 and the remaining unit from 0407 move into 0308.

The German player may use the Land Cruiser’s special ability to withdraw from combat. If a good-order Land Cruiser is not in an assault hex at the beginning of an action segment and enemy units enter a Land Cruiser’s hex during the segment, the Land Cruiser may withdraw from the hex prior to assault combat if there are already German units in the hex being assaulted or if a good order personnel unit currently being transported unloads in the assault hex to cover the Land Cruiser’s withdrawal. The Land Cruiser withdraws by moving to adjacent non-prohibited hexes free of enemy units.

In this particular situation, one RIF unit and the Major could disembark in 0408 and the other RIF unit in 0308 to cover the Land Cruiser’s withdrawal to (0309, 0409). The assaults in hexes 0308 and 0408 would then be resolved.

The Land Cruiser could also just withdraw from one of the assault hexes, say 0408, by disembarking the leader and a RIF unit into that hex, and withdrawing from 0408 to 0309. The assault in hex 0308 and 0408 would then be resolved.

The Land Cruiser could also decide to stay put. In this case, the assault against the Land Cruiser in hexes 0308 and 0408 would be conducted as a single assault combat. The French would attack on the 18 column (14 strength plus +1 column modifier for having an undemoralized leader in the assault) and the German would defend on the 24 column (18 strength for the Land Cruiser combined with the 10 strength from the two RIF units and 1 strength for the leader’s combat modifier; column shifts for combined arms and for presence of an undemoralized leader do not apply to transported units). Maybe the German units should have disembarked but remaining inside the Land Cruiser has its advantages.

To find out what are those advantages are and what other peculiarities apply to Land Cruisers, you’ll need to purchase a copy of Panzer Grenadier: Land Cruisers! Matt and I certainly had a lot of fun developing it and we hope you enjoy it.

Click right here to order Land Cruisers right now.