By Jason Rahman
It is said that artillery is the god of war and in Panzer Grenadier that is definitely true; however, despite how important artillery is in Panzer Grenadier there isn't any real way to destroy tanks with artillery. While lighter artillery would be very, very lucky to destroy or even damage a tank, heavier artillery does have a chance of knocking out or scaring away enemy tanks. This is especially true if you are firing a large number of batteries at the same group of tanks. Often during the Battle of the Bulge intense American artillery barrages were able to turn back or even destroy German armored columns.
Note: The original Panzer Grenadier design had a result called "Annihilate" at the extreme end of the Bombardment Table, that would eliminate tanks or anything else in the target hex. Brian Knipple very wisely removed it during development, as the historical record is pretty clear that eliminating tanks on the scale of Panzer Grenadier requires a sustained bombardment. Very few tanks were eliminated by artillery bombardment, as opposed to direct fire. That's exactly what the current rules model very well — a second morale check can eliminate a tank.
The anti-tank and artillery systems were designed separately and not really meant to be mixed in this fashion — pretty much, any bombardment heavy and lucky enough to eliminate an armored unit is going to do so regardless of the thickness of the tanks' hide. Often that will be a "mission kill" rather a representation of the tanks actually exploding, and so armor protection isn't nearly as important. But as an alternative view — try these rules out!
— Mike Bennighof, Ph.D.
Panzer Grenadier does have a rule to the effect of an X result on the indirect fire table resulting in an M morale check on closed-top AFVs. This does work well for lighter artillery, but when heavier artillery is firing against tanks this rule doesn't do them any justice. I'm sure that the designers of Panzer Grenadier must have considered a rule allowing heavy artillery to possibly damage or destroy enemy closed top AFVs, but it must have been decided against as it would add a great deal of complexity that many do not want (or feel is unnecessary). For those players who either love added complexity and realism or coddle their artillery, here's a set of optional rules that covers heavier artillery when attacking tanks. I recommend that they be used when you're playing a scenario that depicts a battle where artillery did knock out or scatter enemy tanks.
When you conduct an indirect fire attack on a hex, you may be able to damage or destroy an enemy closed-top AFV in the process. First take the highest indirect fire value or off-map artillery factor in the attack and compare it against the bombardment AT chart below. You cannot add indirect fire values or off-map artillery factors together for this purpose; simply use the individual highest value in the attack. The firing player then takes that AT value and compares it against the armor value of all enemy closed-top AFVs in the target hex. All closed-top AFVs with an armor value equal to or less than that AT value are now eligible to take step losses from that attack.
Eligible closed-top AFV are not required to take any step losses, so losses can be applied to non-AFV units, unless a 2X or greater result in scored. In that case at least one step loss must be applied to an AFV in that hex, whether it is an open-top or eligible closed-top AFV doesn't matter. Also, all eligible closed-top AFV in a hex that has a step loss rolled against it must make an M2 morale check. Non-eligible, closed-top AFV still take the normal M morale check. These rules do not apply to APCs and other open-top AFVs, as those units continue using the normal damage rules.
Highest indirect fire value = AT value
9-9 = 0
10-12 = 1
13-15 = 2
16-19 = 3
20-23 = 4
24-28 = 5
29-33 = 6
34-39 = 7
40-45 = 8
46-52 = 9
Special thanks to Peter McCord and everyone at the Panzer Grenadier forums.
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