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Panzer Commander

 

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My gaming buddy bought this just-released title and we sat down and played our first game Friday night.  It's very cool and was the most fun we've had gaming in quite a while.

A few highlights:
*  Production quality is very high - pretty much what you'd expect from FFG.  Moving your Star Destroyers and TIE fighters around - and your very own toy Death Star! - was too fun.

*  The game objectives - and how they are implemented - is very thematic.  The Empire's goal - obviously - is to find the Rebel base and destroy it.  The first part is relatively easy - though you have to think through how you're going to flush out the Rebels without moving your fleets too far out of position either way (which I fell victim to).  Certain missions help you eliminate planets without wasting precious fleet moves.  The second part will be easy IF you can get your massive fleet there in time.  The Rebels are much weaker militarily than the Empire.  The Rebels, on the other hand, simply have to slow the Empire down (through sabotage and by opposing Empire attempts to gain influence) and then run out the clock (through meeting certain objectives, which moves the "game over" marker down the turn track, leaving the Empire fewer turns to find the Rebel base and win).

*  The Mechanics have a similar feel to WOTR in the sense that you have leaders to which you assign missions.  There is even a mission for Luke to go to Dagobah to become a better Jedi!  (Kind of like converting Gandalf the Grey to Gandalf the White).  The leaders are THE essential mechanic to the game, because you can't do anything without them - like move fleets, gain influence, sabotage, capture enemy leaders, etc.  Each leader has his/her unique blend of skills - Leia is great at diplomacy while Vader is great at - what else - capturing enemy leaders and spreading fear!  There are more leaders available than you are able to recruit in one game, and you recruit leaders through a random card draw, so you will end up with a different mix of leaders each game.

*  Our first game lasted about four hours (or more), but we were completely immersed in the experience of it.  Towards the end, when it was clear I wasn't winning as the Empire, I blew up a planet with the Death Star just for the fun of it.  The Empire is THE bad ass in this game, make no mistake.  Given enough time, the Rebellion WILL be crushed.  But the Rebels have a few tricks up there sleeve and can try to keep the Empire player off balance by poking sticks in their bicycle spokes, so to speak.  Guerrilla tactics are definitely the order of the day!

Anyone else try this one out yet?  If you like WOTR (the mechanics) and the Star Wars universe, this one is a can't-miss.
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PostMon Apr 11, 2016 6:10 pm
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SWO_Daddy

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Picked it up last week.  Hoping to play soon.
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PostTue Apr 12, 2016 12:15 am
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admiral_tee

 

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A mate is getting it delivered today. Will be playing it this Sunday over a few beers and a bbq.

Tee
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PostTue Apr 12, 2016 7:21 am
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general Hoth

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Cant wait for The french edition Shocked
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PostThu May 05, 2016 10:29 am
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DDevastator

 

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I need to get a copy sometime. I almost did once, but the thought of getting more ships for AandA sounded better to me.
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PostThu May 05, 2016 3:03 pm
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admiral_tee

 

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Had my first game of it about 2 weeks ago.
Bought it for myself that night on Amazon and it arrived a week ago.

TL:DR version - loved it.

It's a great game. It's not as complex as earlier "big box" FFG strategy games and that's a blessing. FFG have gotten better with describing the rules and the rulebook layout.
We had a great game and in the end the Rebels won fairly comfortably but until the final 2 turns it was a close run thing.
Turns out, in this alternate timeline:
*Luke was still shooting  Wamp Rats in Beggars Canyon and Obi-Wan was the Jedi hero of the alliance.
*Han and Chewie performed many acts of sabotage, mostly in Corellia, right next to Coruscant.
*Leia and Lando performed a rescue of Obi-Wan when Boba Fett had him in carbonite
*The "Battle of Yavin" occurred around Kashykk (sp?). No Death Star but an SSD and a massive ground invasion. Rebels lost but bloodied the Imperials.
*The "Battle of Endor" was around Mon Calamari. Death Star made an appearance. The battle was bloody and the Imperials won. It was all a costly diversion though as the Rebel Base was nowhere near that sector and through the actions of a tireless Mon Mothma, the galaxy erupted into rebellion (i.e. the Rebel influence and turn marker finally reached each other).

I'm playing it again, in <2 weeks time. Can't wait.

Tee
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Scharnhorst's fate in WaS: "Scharnhorst is quite a... "Hlich stinkender Hund" that the only real options are the LS 6 early year 41 cost Gneisenau, and the 4 attack kaboomkannon fantasy Scharnhorst."
PostTue May 10, 2016 2:20 am
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Panzer Commander

 

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Tee, thanks for the AAR.  Who played the Imperials?  It sounds like they spent a lot of time and effort smashing Rebel fleets (Battle of Yavin, Battle of Endor/Mon Calamari) when the only thing that matters is finding and destroying the Rebel Base.  Actually, keeping the Rebels from achieving their objectives (and reducing the time clock) is an important secondary goal, but first and foremost is (a) finding the Rebel base, and (b) having sufficient force in place and positioned to strike quickly and decisively.

I am hoping to play again myself this weekend!
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PostTue May 10, 2016 4:31 pm
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admiral_tee

 

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I played the Rebels.
It was our first time so I believe that may have helped me win. My friend was running through those Probe cards quickly and in the end he had around 4 planets left to investigate.
After the game finished, we both realised that winning the Battle of Kashykk (first third of the game) impacted the Imperials far more than first thought. After the Imperial fleet was almost decimated, it took time and effort to move out the other fleets that were closer to the Core.
I also realised that the Rebel player can utilise some crafty mind games to influence the Imperial player. For e.g., towards the end, when he had a couple big fleets moving to the Outer Rim sectors, I started building Shield Generators and Ion Cannons. He took this to mean that I was close (whereas I was just exploring options). I went with this and when he moved a fleet (that was on the other side of the board) I bulked up my Rebel base. Thus he bulked up his fleet there.
There was a minor fleet, on the far side of the board, that was actually two sectors away from the base and when I had the card that enabled me to move from the Rebel Base to anywhere on the board, I jumped it all between where my base was and his smaller fleet. Once he saw this, he realised he had been played.

Although I am still new to this game, I believe that during the early game (of the basic set up) the Imperial player should move all his fleets out a sector or two. Then bulk them up and there and focus on running through those probe cards ASAP. Either that or ignore the probe cards and focus on multiple fleets everywhere, of varying strength, just to increase the odds of the Rebel base being found. However the Rebel player will always have that card that enables them to move the base so I am unsure how either tactic can mitigate this.

Thoughts?

Tee


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Scharnhorst's fate in WaS: "Scharnhorst is quite a... "Hlich stinkender Hund" that the only real options are the LS 6 early year 41 cost Gneisenau, and the 4 attack kaboomkannon fantasy Scharnhorst."
PostWed May 11, 2016 12:57 am
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