From: Vermont, USA
Ok, now to discuss those stats.
I'm not going to get into a lot of details, but rather I'll try to hit the highlights so that you know basically how things work. The Panzer Command system is based around what on a table top would be a d10, or ten-sided die. In Panzer Command, this die is "open ended" which means that you can end up rolling below a one and above a 10, but the chance is much less than rolling in the normal 1-10 range.
For combat against infantry, each unit has a rating for its accuracy and firepower up to a particular range in meters for each of its "weapons". Interposing terrain and the terrain that the target is in (like a wood or a building) can affect accuracy and firepower, generally in a negative manner (whereas if your target is running in the open, your firepower may be increased).
Let's compare the German Panzergrenadier Squad to the Soviet SMG Squad (their accuracy is the same). Note that the Panzergrenadiers are twice the cost (11 vs. 5 points). There are also some other factors listed here that make the Panzergrenadiers a bit better. Their morale is a bit better and they have higher "initiative" than the Soviet squad, but we'll ignore those for now.
Let's look at firepower by range band:
-------------------------30 Meters-----100 Meters-----150 Meters-----200 Meters-----250 Meters-----300 Meters
Firepower Pzgren----- 6 ----- 5 ----- 3 ----- 2 ----- 1 ----- 0
Firepower SMG-------- 5 ----- 2 ----- 0 ----- -1 ----- -2 ----- -2
The SMG squad has a Firepower of 5 out to about 50 Meters, so at that range these two squads are about even. After that though, the Panzergrenadiers start to get a real advantage, thanks largely to their two squad MGs.
In very simplified terms, your firepower is the number you need to roll equal to or under on that d10 to have a chance of causing actual casualties to the enemy. You can still suppress, pin or cause a morale check to the enemy if you roll over your firepower, but you can only cause casualties if you roll equal to or below. As you can see, at 30 meters there's a very good chance of causing casualties with each "roll", but not as much at longer ranges where suppression/pinning/morale tend to be the main results. Since the "roll" is open-ended though, it's theoretically possible to roll equal to or under that -2 and cause casualties even with a very low firepower value, it's just quite unlikely.
If you succeed in causing casualties, there's a separate resolution to determine how many casualties you cause. You can in theory wipe out a squad in a very short time, or whittle them down bit by bit until they rout or are destroyed. Teams are generally more vulnerable than full squads and more experienced troops are less likely to take serious casualties than green troops.
Now we are on the attack and there is a significant penalty to firepower if you are firing while moving. The Soviet SMG squad is also getting protection from the Building it's in, perhaps as much as a reduction of 2 to our Firepower, while we are getting relatively little protection from the woods as we are moving through them (moving tends to decrease the protection you get from terrain). When we are near the edge of the woods, we're exchanging fire at around 100-150m with the Soviet SMG squad. Let's say 100 Meters. The Soviet SMG squad is getting all of its 2 Firepower since it's stationary in that building. We are moving which is reducing our firepower and the building they are in is reducing it further, leaving us with probably a 1 firepower rating compared to their 2. Note that casualties also reduce firepower (suppression and pinnning can too), so that lead squad is probably down another 2-3 points of firepower with heavy casualties.
The end result is that if we are stationary and more than 50 meters away from one of those Soviet SMG squads, we have a pretty big advantage. But once it's in a heavy building and we're moving to attack and firing while moving, we are at a disadvantage. If we want to out-shoot it, we have two real options. The first is to find a favorable range, probably between 100-150 Meters and just start firing at the enemy and keep firing until they are fully pinned and have taken some casualties. This will make them much less effective as we then charge in. The second option is to go ahead and charge in - once we enter the building with them, we will be effectively "stationary" and at full firepower without them getting cover from the building. The bad news is, they are a match for us in close quarters fighting and we may well end up on the bad side of that exchange.
Now if you compare our firepower to the ATR team, you'll see that close assaulting them is very much in our favor, as is any firefight. At the same time, their penetration is high enough that they pose a threat to our Panzers at close range.
The Maxim MMG and the MG-42 have as their main advantage that they offer equal or greater firepower than a squad at medium to long ranges, but are much less effective at close quarters fighting. They are also quite effective at suppression/pinning as a result and have a larger "area fire" box than most squads.
Note also that our infantry all have smoke grenades (one "shot" per squad). The previous suggestion about putting down some smoke to block the LOS of the T-34s is a very good one and more use of smoke may help us get into the village.
I hope that helps explain the basics of what to consider here. Let me know if you have any more questions.
< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 9/3/2010 4:40:22 AM >