The 50th Anniversary
In the year 1970, when I got my first copy of the World War II tactical boardgame PanzerBlitz, I was 13. It was the rave in the boardgame world at the time. A game with totally new mechanics like combined arms tactics and the spatial feel of maneuver, plus attractive artwork on the pieces and geo- morphic map boards, PanzerBlitz caught all the wargamers attention back then.
This year, 2022 (delayed 2 years due to Covid), OMG 50 years later at WBC, will feature a special offering of free prizes and souvenirs to all comers who play a game of PanzerBlitz or PanzerLeader. Players can choose from t-shirts, mugs, hats and other stuff to commemorate this classic. This year, the GM has created four battle scene dioramas as prizes for all four players who play in the semifinal and final games.
At WBC, the tournament is run as a coached event. This means that any player need only show up between 0900 and 2100 any day of the convention, be coached through a game and then play a game on their own. The GMs will provide battle situations, from very fast and simple to longer and complex, for play.
Players may also bring their own games and situations for play during the week. For the semifinal and final, the situations are chosen from a preselected list (1A, 14, 45r1, 51r4, 52) that have been used for many years now.
Why play this old game? Simplicity. It is a great boardgame! Maybe it is pleasing to the old grognard brain or maybe it is because of the elegance of design and fast play. PanzerBlitz is a game with a short book of rules.
There are two tables to refer to during play. That’s it. So a learning game
does not take a long time. Yes, some battles can be very challenging, with many pieces and multiple combinations of tactics. You can tailor the game situation to play to your learning curve. A skirmish of small forces can be played in an hour, or a large battle can take all day into the night to finish. And, it is different every time as there are many, many historical and hypothetical situations to choose from. In addition, the gamer can create their own battle to re-enact. This can be a detailed historical situation, with accurate order of battle and terrain. It can also be a build your own force with to play for an objective on a pre-selected terrain board. With so many choices to choose from, with the ease of play, and with all the support of 50 years of written materials, it’s a game that cannot be missed on anyone’s gameplay bucket list. A play of this old game is worth the experience of boardgame design history! Today, the games are still valuable, and are often for sale used, and very rarely unused, sealed, on the resale market. So access to the game is fairly easy to come by. Read the rules, play a situation and be ready for the WBC tournament.
PanzerBlitz and PanzerLeader will be played as separate game versions within the PZB game tournament. Pairs of players may play each other twice, once playing PZB and once playing PZL, the winners of each game receiving 10 points, as opposed to 2 points for the second game, plus bonus points as usual. Subsequent games between the same players award the winners 2 points.
Additional Prizes: The GM will provide dioramas as trophies for first, second, and third place finishers.
- Free Form Format - This Tournament uses a Swiss Elimination format for the preliminary round followed by a Single Elimination format for the four players with the best performances during the Swiss segment. Entrants may play multiple games during the preliminary Swiss segment anytime during the first seven days. Best performances will be determined as described below in paragraph 6.
- Schedule - The schedule consists of seven daily heats. The Swiss Segment ends on Friday at 2300 hours, at which time the four players with the best performances during the Swiss Segments will advance into the Single Elimination Playoffs. All games played during the Swiss Segment will be used to determine the top four players. The two-round playoffs begin Saturday with the semifinals at 0900 hours.
- Scenarios - Either PanzerBlitz or Panzer Leader may be played with the former the default version in the event no agreement can be reached. Players can play any scenario that they and their opponent agree to during the preliminary rounds or the playoff rounds. If the players cannot agree on a scenario to play in the semifinals and Final, then the GM will provide five PanzerBlitz scenarios (1A, 14, 51, 52 and 45 - same as the scenarios provided at the 2008 WBC) for the playoff play. The players in the semis and Final will be asked to rank the five scenarios in order of preference that they want to play. A value of 5 will be given to the highest ranked scenario, 4 to the second highest and so on down to a value of 1 for the fifth ranked scenario. The highest combined ranked scenario will be the one that is played for that match. If there is a tie in the rankings for the highest number of points, the scenario with the smallest differential between the tied player selections from these rankings will be the scenario. In the unlikely event that there is still a tie after this tiebreaker, a die will be rolled to determine which of the two scenarios will be played.
- Optional Rules - Players may agree on using any or all of these optional rules:
- Use PanzerLeader rules for transports.
- Use the PanzerLeader CRT.
- Blocks are only allowed to be used on roads and in towns.
- Wrecks are placed only on roads and in towns, non-vehicular units are unaffected by stacking limits on wrecks.
- Single Elimination Play-Offs - Four players from the Swiss segment will play in the two-round single elimination Final. All Swiss rounds must be concluded by 2300 on Friday to count towards the calculation of the playoff rounds. The GM will post the match assignments for the semifinal by 2330, Friday. The semifinal round will begin at 9:00 AM Saturday. If any of the four players qualifying for the semifinal fail to appear at the Kiosk by 0900, Saturday, they will be dropped from further participation in the playoffs. Players who finished lower than 4th in the Swiss segment may move into the Single Elimination rounds if they are present at the Kiosk on Saturday at 0900, when higher rated no-shows are officially dropped. The 1st place finisher will play the 4th place finisher and the 2nd place finisher will play the 3rd place finisher. If players qualifying for the Final round do not intend to participate, they should alert the GM as soon as possible so that lower ranked finishers may be moved up to play in the single elimination portion.
- Player Performance Ratings -
- All game results and performance ratings will be posted and updated as the results are reported.
- Performance ratings will be based upon the three best games played by a participant.
- Games in excess of your three best games will not add, nor detract from your performance rating.
- Performance ratings for a player will be obtained as follows:
- Ten points for each win against an opponent in the first match between two common players.
- Two points for each win against an opponent in the second match between two common players.
- If players select a scenario that allows for a draw ending, and their game ends in a draw, both players will be awarded four points each.
- Players will earn one point for a loss.
- Finally, a player receives two bonus points for each victory tallied by an opponent THAT YOU DEFEATED or HAD A DRAW against, up to a maximum of three wins (six bonus points) for that opponent. NOTE: The bonus points count towards your final score if they are for one of your three best games. You do not get bonus points for a loss.
- Performance Rating Tiebreakers
- Head to head play (points earned vs. that opponent) is the 1st tiebreaker
- Points scored VERSUS mutual opponents is the 2nd tiebreaker
- Points scored BY mutual opponents is the 3rd tiebreaker
- Points scored BY all opponents is the 4th tiebreaker
- Die roll is the 5th tiebreaker
- Multiple Games - Entrants may play every day during the Swiss segment, if so desired. Entrants may play multiple games during the Swiss segment. While you can play the same opponent multiple times, note that players can only earn ten points for a win versus an opponent during their first match against that opponent.
- Match Assignments - The GM will assist in determining match pairings during the free form segment; however, players can seek each other for matches independent of the GM assignments.
- Admin - Each player will be given a sheet to record the important elements of their game. These elements will include the scenario played, which player played which side, the winner and other important game elements. The sheets must be handed in to the GM to have the match be considered official and completed.
- Missing Participant - If an assigned opponent does not appear for a mutually agreed upon start time, the GM will forfeit the game to a player who is waiting. The player who is waiting must alert the GM that a forfeit is imminent within 15-minutes of the start time listed on the Match Card. If the tardy opponent fails to appear, the game will be forfeited to the player who is waiting at 20-minutes past the start time on the Match Card. There is no deviation from this procedure; therefore, if a waiting player alerts the GM beyond the specified 15-minute alerting period, there will be no forfeit; instead, the game will be cancelled.
- Judgement - The GM (or assistant GM if the game involves the GM) reserves the right to adjudicate any game at the end of the time limit for the round. If one player is moving at a significantly slower pace than the other, this will be taken into account in the adjudication.
- Order of Finish - WBC rules require submission of a Winner Claim with the top six players listed in order (although there may be no prizes for some of these finishes for this event). At the end of the Swiss, players will be ranked in order from 1 to 6. The final 5th & 6th places will be determined from these standings.
- AREA Ratings - The GM will submit the results of ALL games played for inclusion in the AREA ratings.