When I was in high school I used to play Panzer Blitz and Panzer Leader. The above web sites give some idea as to what they were like. This Greg has also gone on and made additional game counters to expand the time and situational windows of the game.
The games no longer exist. The Avalon Hill company behind them ran into trouble and has vanished. Now it exists again, but in name only. The rights to the old games were bought by a new company called Multi-Man. But Multi-Man has republished very little of the original Avalon Hill stuff. Mostly it makes its own newer games.
I also played other Avalon Hill games, and there are others who have also tried to make board war games. Problem is that the games don't seem to stay in print.
A number of years ago I talked to Multi-Man's founder. He said that there are newer gaming systems which are better than Panzer Blitz. I don't know about this. Much of it comes down to scale. What scale do you want to play at?
Panzer Blitz and Panzer Leader were at the platoon scale. So each counter would be about 50 men, or 5 tanks. But not all armies are organized the same way. So this was sometimes awkward. Myself, I also had made some counters for earlier WWII scenarios. I found it difficult to scale back the gaming system to the capabilities of the older armored vehicles.
Panzer Leader and Panzer Blitz were fun because modern life is still very much of the mobility technology of that era.
Another thing which made the games fun was their expandability. The game boards did not represent any particular place. Rather they were typical terrain of a region. They had very small towns on the boards, and there was usually on one of the boards one larger town. At issue were things like the streams, and how much trouble armored vehicles would have in fording them. You could put multiple game sets together and make huge scenarios, for playing over the course of a few days.
There was also a third game, less well known, which used the same system with just a few modifications, Arab Israeli Wars. This covered 1956, 1967, and 1973. It had desert terrain. I had wanted to make a combined set of rules which covered all three games, all three sets of terrain, and all of the published expansions.
I really have not played such games in the decades since. I don’t have my old game sets either. But the subject is still interesting to me. The ideal arrangement would be to have a large library room, Frank Lloyd Wright inspired, and to build a huge table. I'd also like to re-connect with an estranged high school friend and gaming buddy. But to get new people to play, the games have to be in print. Maybe Multi-Man would be willing to sell the rights? Or maybe there really are newer and better gaming systems to build on?
I reflect about these matters now. I know that part of what has triggered this is the recent death of a man I had come to admire. So I am looking to recollect some of the pieces of myself which have been lost over the decades.
I don't think that playing such games means that one worships war. I certainly don’t.
In recent decades there has been tremendous development in the area of fantasy role playing games, but not with the board war games.
Another aspect of the board war games which, though obvious, is still worth considering, is the fact that women do not connect with them at all. They connect with the fantasy role playing games, but not the board war games.
This does not mean though that women play no role in warfare. These board games try to depict a particular aspect of warfare. But there is so much more which exists in the lead up and follow on. There women do most certainly play a very large role. And of course there is guerrilla war, where combatants can be civilians by day, or where you could say that there are no real civilians. These types of games would never be able to depict such. For that you would need to use the fantasy role playing format, where people play characters, and where there are no absolute sides.
This is not actually about a guerrilla war, but it is still very interesting to me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN5TbqzxQBg
Its resistance and revolution which are of interest to me and which I want to be the focus of my future life.
Exploited Children United http://theexploitedunited.onlinewebshop.net/
Philip Roth, 2005 interview on Fresh Air http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer...4&m=5081283