Anti-Tank Rifle Options
By Jason Rahman
Anti-tank rifles play a key role in Panzer Grenadier: Road to Berlin and Eastern Front, but in neither game are there any special rules to account for the dramatically increased effectiveness of anti-tank rifles in an assault.
In an assault anti-tank rifles were able to kill Pz IIIs and IVs with reasonable frequency, but there is no way to replicate this in Panzer Grenadier. Anti-tank riflemen were able to kill such thick skinned tanks because they were trained to only fire at close range (100 to 200 meters) working in close cooperation with other anti-tank riflemen to achieve side hits on German tanks. It was the effectiveness of anti-tank rifles deployed like this that caused the Germans to begin fitting their tanks with side skirts.
Considering these factors it makes sense that anti-tank rifles should be given a +3 modifier for AT fire in assaults because of a +1 modifier for point blank fire and a +2 modifier for crossfire. However according to the list of modifiers on the anti-tank fire chart they shouldn't get either modifier. In fact according to the current anti-tank fire modifiers they would be better off shooting point blank than shooting at tanks in their own hex which is completely contrary to actual combat.
Now at first glance one may think that because of this the anti-tank fire modifiers are inaccurate but remember that the anti-tank fire charts were designed for ranged (1-10 hexes) anti-tank gun and tank fire not anti-tank rifle fire inside an assault hex. Considering these factors it makes sense that anti-tank rifles need to receive special rules to account for their increased effectiveness in assaults.
So here are some special rules:
A. Anti tank rifles platoons receive a +3 AT fire modifier against vehicles in the same hex if the anti tank rifle platoon(s) occupied the hex before any enemy units did.
B. If any enemy units occupied the hex before the anti tank rifle platoon(s) entered the hex then the anti tank rifle platoon(s) only receives a +1 modifier for AT fire.
Note: Finnish INF and SISU platoons with anti-tank values do not receive the +3 modifier but do receive the +1 modifier. The reason behind this is these platoons were only equipped with 1 to 3 anti-tank rifles and so have a hard time getting the +2 crossfire bonus, though they can still receive the +1 point blank bonus.
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