Panzer Leader PBEM

'Afternoon all,

I’m looking for a game or three of PBEM Panzer leader. Anyone out there

interested? I have a procedure for PBEM with Opportunity Fire that’s

seemed to work well over time.

Take care now…

Peter Bertram

would be interested in playing a game of Panzer Leader. I am new to Vassal but have played PL PBEM before.

G’mornin JVS,
Sure thing - always interested in a game of Panzer leader, especially if it’s with an experienced PL player (always trying to learn something new).

Vassal is the best PBEM vehicle I’ve seen - been using it for years. Once you get past the learning curve (really easy), it’s a breeze. To help you get started with it, below is the PBEM procedure I’ve always used.

If you need any help getting everything downloaded, shoot me an email - be glad to help out if I can.


Panzer Leader & PanzerBlitz by Peter Bertram


  1. Download .log email attachment from your opponent.
  2. Load Vassal but don’t open server.
  3. Click on FILE, then click on LOAD GAME.
  4. Locate and click on the .log file you just downloaded.
  5. Game board appears in Vassal. Directly below FILE and HELP are a horizontal row of buttons. Click on the second button from the left.
  6. Messages appear and units move as you continue clicking (second button from left).
  7. Play through your opponent’s turn in this manner. When finished, click on FILE, then on CLOSE GAME.
8) Dialog box appears and asks if you want to save the game. Click YES and when another dialog box appears, name it for your next turn (Example: RussTurn2, or RT2 – do not attach .log!!!)


  1. Load Vassal but don’t open server.
  2. Click on FILE, then click on LOAD GAME.
  3. Dialog box comes up. Locate and double click on the game you want to load.
  4. Game board appears on the Vassal screen.
  5. Under FILE, click on BEGIN LOGFILE.
  6. Dialog box appears. Name the file as a .log (Example: GermTurn1.log, or GT1.log).
  7. Click on SAVE. Game board on Vassal reappears.
8) Use your mouse to “click and drag” units and make your move. Make appropriate comments in the dialog line (directly below the line of buttons). Hit ENTER on your keyboard to send comments with your move.
  1. When finished, click on FILE, then on END LOGFILE. Your move is now saved.
  2. Send the .log file to your opponent as an email attachment.

Excellent. Do you want to pick a scenario and side or should I? Any optional rules you would like to use? What about opportunity fire?

Scenario and sides don’t matter much to me - you can pick 'em both. What I do ask, however, is that when we’re done we simply swap sides and play it again - OK?

In re optional rules, the two I like to use consistently are Infantry Quick Time and Opportunity Fire. Any others you want? OF is tricky with PBEM but I have a procedure for it that’s worked well over the years.

Let me know if you have questions about Vassal - I’m certainly no expert but will try and help. So I suppose g’hd and pick a scenario and sides and we’ll be off and running.

Looking forward to a good game, sir…


Guess it might help if I actually posted the PL PBEM procedure. Sorry 'bout that - here 'tis…

(for dummies like me – by Peter Bertram)


  1. Open game in VASSAL
  2. Under FILE, click on BEGIN LOGFILE and name as a .log (Example: GermTurn1.log, GT1.log, etc).
  3. Proceed normally through the turn sequence.
    3a) Should he wish to, the moving player has the option of stopping movement at any point in his turn for a possible OF attack resolution.
    3b) The moving player may insert instructions in his move if desired. For example: “only stop move if OF result is X” – or “continue move regardless of OF result” - etc, etc.
  4. When finished, click on FILE, then on END LOGFILE. Your move is now saved.
  5. Send the .log file to your opponent as an email attachment.


  1. Open opponent’s move in VASSAL.
  2. IMPORTANT-DO THIS NOW: click on FILE, click on BEGIN LOGFILE (add OF to file’s name- OF.log).
  3. Start playing through your opponent’s move by clicking on the “VCR” button. If you wish to execute an OF attack, stop moving at that point and resolve it. Type comments in the dialog box, just as if it were your move.
    3a) If the result of the OF attack is “*=no effect”, continue moving until the next OF attack you wish to execute or the end of opponent’s log file, whichever comes first.
    3b) If the result of the OF attack is “D, DD, or X”, click on FILE, then click on END LOGFILE (unless opponent has noted instructions to the contrary – see A3b above)
    3c) If your opponent had previously sent you a partial move and you declined OF, you MAY NOT now go back to that partial move and execute an OF you wished you’d made!
    3d) If you stop your opponent’s move to resolve an OF attack, opponent has the option to change the rest of the move starting at the point immediately following your OF attack.
  4. Click on FILE, then click on END LOGFILE.
  5. Send the OF.log file back to your opponent as an email attachment.


  1. Open game in VASSAL
  2. Play through your move until opponent’s OF.log file ends.
  3. IMPORTANT-DO THIS NOW: click on FILE, click on BEGIN LOGFILE. Then either:
    3a) Continue moving per A3 above if you previously stopped during movement, OR
    3b) If you wish to change your move after opponent’s OF, start moving now.
  4. When finished, click on FILE, then on END LOGFILE. Your move is now saved.
  5. Send the .log file to your opponent as an email attachment.

Okay. A rematch switching sides is a great suggestion. No further optional rules from me.

I choose scenario #18 Bastogne Siege. You can take the Allied side so you can setup first and send the file my way.

We can switch to personal email. I will send you my email address to your Vassal forum PM inbox.

I have Vassal and the required Panzer Leader/Panzerblitz module installed.

One question on OF, if a unit fires from a woods using OF, is it also triggering OF possibilities?

Example player A moves a unit and player B takes a OF from a woods hex thus giving player A “a site” on the firing unit, can that unit then be OF by player A? What happens to other units in the hex of the revealed unit? Are they still hidden or are all units in the hex sited?

Player A cannot use OF during his movement phase.

Only the unit that fired from the woods hex is spotted. Other units in the same woods hex remain unspotted and cannot be attacked.

G’mornin Chiggy - the response by JVSFugitive above is 100% correct. I might merely add that if Player B’s firing unit is in a town hex, any other units in that same hex that are also sighted must all be attacked as one defense strength if Player A fires on them in a subsequent turn.

Hmm pity, that would have made for some exciting times and perhaps a reactive type shoot counter shoot as in an overwatch tactical system might be tested.

I do read that the OFing unit can not move or fire in it’s turn if it OFs, I assume also it stays spotted because of the OF fire and thus can be fired on in the second players fire phase. So if in fact the Opportunity Fire is in fact the Offensive Fire of the reacting unit.

I also assume that if I move next to you, you the 1/4 movement is waved at that point and you can shoot.

I do have to wonder what effect a real “OverWatch” reactive OF system would do if units on both sides were allowed to fire the moment they spot no matter if the trigger event were fire or 1/4 movement, the game turns would be very interactive and much longer to play out that is for sure. But the tactical possibilities would be endless in combination of play!

Also I see that CAT attacks take place after movement, so it appears that infantry have a superior ability to uproot the panzer bush system of play this game was labeled with so many years ago, assuming they live to tell the tail that is.

I say that because the offensive player who moves next to the defender with armor can only wave a hankie as they move away on their turn as long as they use hidden terrain to do it.

Just so people know what I am talking about…

Bounding Overwatch From Wikipedia:

Example: A squad (2 fireteams) in an urban combat zone must advance to a building 100 feet away, crossing an intersection they believe might be in enemy rifle sights from elevated buildings. If the team simply made a run-for-it, they expose themselves to potential enemy fire without protection.

This is where bounding overwatch comes into play.

One fireteam takes an overwatch position while the other team bounds (a bound is a 3-5 second rush) to a new covered position. This way there is always an overwatch team that can react instantaneously to enemy fire (the bounding team would have to stop, take cover, locate the enemy, and aim before they could return fire). Once the covered position is reached by the bounding team, they now assume overwatch positions while the other team then becomes the bounding team.

By using Bounding Overwatch, this unit is able to effectively move through a hostile urban street and intersection, without unecessarilly exposing themselves to enemy fire.

If enemy contact is made, the overwatch team opens fire and the unit takes up a process called Fire and Maneuver which is very similar to Bounding Overwatch in that teams alternate firing and maneuvering. During fire and maneuver, the commander takes more direct control of team movements and positions.

Keep in mind that the time scale for each turn is very small as in minutes. The OFing unit cannot fire or move next turn because I assume it takes time for the crew to re-load, recover from the previous engagement.

This is not necessarily true. The unit which used OF remains spotted only if within LOS of any unit or the moving unit LOS when it reaches it’s hex of rest.

This is not true. The moving unit can suddenly appear next to me in which case I do not have time to react and use OF.

I assume the 1/4 movement OF rule represents the time and space required for the firing unit to load the guns, sight and fire.

Is setup allowed in 1/2 hexes?

Found the answer and it is no!

Actually, it depends on where the 1/2 hex is. PL Rulebook pg14-XIV-B-1 says "The half-hexes around the exterior mapboard edge are playable for all purposes.

But the next rule (XIV-b-2) notes that units may not set up on interior half-hexes - ie the half hexes that make a whole hex when two board sections are joined together.