Panzerschreck. Gary Graber, ed. Published by Minden Games, 9573 West Vogel Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85345. Web site: www.homestead.com/minden_games. Published semi-annually (May and December). $15/issue. No subscriptions. PayPal accepted for orders (email@example.com). Available from Boulder Games for about $10/issue.
Panzerschreck is a digest-sized, semi-pro zine that emphasizes variants and solitaire games. Each issue includes one or more small games (a total of 25 in the first ten numbers) with components that can be assembled with a little labor. Themes and mechanics are often unusual, e. g., life at Andersonville prison, the Nuremberg trials, the Röhm purge, World War I coastal raids, etc. Others are quick-play renditions of more mainline topics like the Russian Front's Operations Barbarossa and Typhoon.
Issue 10 (Summer 2003)
This issue boasts two games plus substantial additions to one previously published. Operation Typhoon, designed by James E. Meldrum, is an uncomplicated portrayal of the German drive to capture Moscow in October and November 1941. Turns are one week long; units are German corps and Soviet armies. The map is a mere 17 by 11 hexes. The Germans have eight turns to advance the nine hex distance from Smolensk to Moscow and no room for fancy maneuvering.
Sniper Attack is a solitaire by Gary Graber that uses only a deck of playing cards and a bunch of tables to recreate a day in the life of a World War II sniper. Though more a pastime than a game, it looks like an enjoyable change from Klondike.
Two supplements to the magazine's World War I naval miniatures system (introduced in Issue 5 and elaborated in 6 and 9) add the U.S., Japanese and Russian Baltic fleets, some optional rules, and an historical campaign game.
The variant articles are a diverse lot. Most interesting is "Invasion America Goes to the Movies" by James E. Meldrum, which presents six scenarios for conforming SPI's 1976 game to Hollywood plots. The best known of the films is Red Dawn, for which there are two scenarios, one starting with the Soviet attack, the other picking up where the main action of the movie ends and giving players the chance to see whether the American resistance can struggle through to victory.
A second piece by the prolific Mr. Meldrum offers four "alternate histories" for Avalon Hill's Raid on St. Nazaire, such as a French civilian uprising in conjunction with the Allied descent. Anyone who has played St. Nazaire dozens of times and is bored with the standard situation may find them worthwhile, but none adds a great deal to the game.
Also included are brief variants for Warsaw Pact, Global War, Carrier and Siege of Leningrad.
A change from normal fare is an interview with Art Lupinacci, publisher of the new edition of Streets of Stalingrad. Mr. Lupinacci's laudation of his product is somewhat overblown, but he does provide tidbits of helpful information for those who are pondering whether to invest $170 in a single game. Those who already own it will be pleased to find a set of useful markers (mounting required) that can be employed to show that units have moved, fired, etc., saving wear and tear on the memory.
Rounding out the issue are a generous plug for Counter, one of the best review zines for non-war strategy games, and a list of all of the games published in Panzerschrecks 1 through 10.