Prince of Eckmühl
This series of games marked the beginning of my fall from grace with tactical wargaming. At this level, there was simply no accounting for the failure/inability of the enemy to react to my movement and fire in a timely fashion. Likewise, sitting back helplessly while my opponent moved or fired provoked in me the deepest of suspicion that there was something fundamentally unsound about tactical-level boardgames and miniatures, in terms of their alleged "realism," that is.
Other games would come out that sought to sort through the failings of Panzerblitz, the logical absurd conclusion of which was likely ASL, but none would ever deal effectively with the implications of introducing unlimited deliberation into an environment which was characterized by no such quality, none, not even a smidgen. And while I continued to play and enjoy the Avalon Hill, "classics-style games," like Afrika Korps and Anzio, I was never really bitten by the tactical bug, this in stark contrast to so many of my friends at "the club."
It was only with the introduction of the Close Combat series of computer games that I found myself willing to get involved in the whole dirty business of killing on this level. The game had simultaneous, real-time play, fog-of-war, and mechanics that were fabulously elegant in their apparent simplicity and obvious commitment to effective modeling of important aspects of battlefield combat.
But, while I was completely sold, many of my old buddies stuck with those nasty old cardboard counters and considered me a sort of graying-at-the-temples Quisling, a virtual sell-out to the world of "RTS-clickfest" style games. They were rather more open-minded about Steel Panthers and Combat Mission, but the "rules" underpinning these games always struck me as little more than computerized versions of Panzerblitz and ASL, or miniatures rules, for that matter.
The chasm's just as deep as ever, BTW. I'm just as devoted to board-wargaming, and just as ambivalent, indifferent perhaps, about those that are tactical in nature. I just can't buy the turns and pauses for planning. It's worth noting that remarkably fresh copies of Panzerblitz and its kin are located on a bookshelf behind me. There they shall likely remain untouched until some emboldened heir endeavors to hawk them off on Ebay at a hopefully distant date and hour.
PoE (aka ivanmoe)
Government is the opiate of the masses.