Panzer Grenadier Online:
Editor’s Note: Earlier this year, Panzer Grenadier Headquarters unveiled what they call PG Über, a massive set of Panzer Grenadier modules for the VASSAL online play engine, plus a mentoring system to teach you how to play, plus even more fun stuff. There’s nothing like it anywhere in known space. Updates are constant and today Peter Lloyd, one of the driving forces behind PG Über, discusses some of its newest features.
It’s an innovative and truly unbelievable resource for those who actually play their games. In the Corona Age you can now play your Panzer Grenadier games in complete safety against opponents anywhere on this planet and, someday, any other.
Panzer Grenadier Headquarters is the exclusive authorized source for online Panzer Grenadier play. No other site is allowed to host these or any other modules. Not that you could find anything quite this cool anywhere else.
Vassal support for the Panzer Grenadier system continues to grow with the expansion of the PG Über. Playing with people across the country and around the world is the obvious benefit of Vassal. Then there is the unlimited counter mix. Everyone always has enough infantry, trucks and what-not.
For the more restless of us, it is also a testbed for new theaters and weapons. If you have read the OOB catalogs and extension notes, you know what I mean. Brazilians and early war Canadians have battled on my screen and wish to prove their mettle on others. Most of all, forgotten bits of equipment have joined the opposing arsenals, just to see if the balance tips one way or the other.
Today I invite you to look back to battles in Libya, Egypt and the drive to southern Tunisia, and forward to Sicily, using An Army at Dawn and La Campagne de Tunisie as a springboard. For those of you who play “in the box”, it is a glimpse of some of the extra toys in the An Army at Dawn and La Campagne de Tunisie support extensions.
The Humber Mk II
The Humber armored cars were intended to support the Humber scout cars, which already appear in the game system. The initial design took the Guy armored car body and put it on the KT4 artillery tractor. This second iteration of the design is armed with a 15mm and 7.92 Besa machine-guns. The 15mm Besa has a steel core bullet, which has similar armor piercing characteristics to an anti-tank rifle, but at longer range.
This was a short-lived variant of panzer IV series. It was the first panzer with the 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48 cannon installed. Basically, a PzKw IVf1 with a better gun. A lot of PzKw IVg’s went to North Africa, first to fight the British coming up through southern Tunisia, but then came Operation Torch and they were turned on the Americans. Somewhat more than half of the Panzer IV’s appearing in An Army at Dawn are actually Pz IVg’s. Now see if that bit of extra armor appearing in the game really makes a difference.
Free French Forces
Vassal considerations required that the French presence in An Army at Dawn be split into Vichy and Free French forces. The Vichy side kept their axe, but the Forces Libres needed something else. They got the Cross of Lorraine, as used by the 2nd Free French Brigade. One thing leads to another and eventually to Bir Hacheim. The Escadron Infantry Platoon has returned. This is the infantry reequipped by the British. But they didn’t just get new rifles from England, they got Bren carriers too. Some of those Brens (10 or 12) were fitted with 25mm anti-tank guns, probably captured from stocks in Syria. Maybe now you are thinking of an Abyssinian campaign. I know I am.
A couple of Italian toys, too.
Italy was just beginning to develop a modern army as World War Two began. The theoretical discussions about armor were still going on. Experience had been more along the line of quelling the natives, rather than preparation for facing a continental or imperial adversary. Still they moved forward. The M15/42 was the final development in the medium tank category by the Italians. It is up-armored, up-gunned, and has a better engine than its predecessor. Some were encountered by the Allies in North Africa, but their more numerous employments were in Sicily, and later around Rome.
The AB43 was the next step from the AB41. It featured a larger turret housing the 47L32 cannon found un the M13/40 and M14/41. The vehicle never left the prototype phase, as the armistice occurred before production began.
Look in the extension documentation for other additions. Then ride back with Monty to El Alamein, remind Conrath what band of American paratroopers can do with a field howitzer, and win that race to Messina. After of course, you take Bizerte away from the Axis.
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