Val CHA Cost Notes 5 Size 25 Length 3.17", Width 1.59", Area 5.04" Mass 3.2 ton, KB -5 54 STR 19 HTH Damage 10 ½d6 END  10 DEX 0 OCV 3 DCV 0 19 BODY 4 13 DEF 33 2 SPD 0 Phases: 6, 12 Total Characteristics Cost: 81 Movement: Ground: 19"/38"" Swimming: 0"/0" Cost Abilities and Equipment Propulsion Systems 21 1) Motorized Tracked Military Vehicle: Ground Movement +13" (19" total), 1 Continuing Fuel Charge lasting 4 Hours (+0); Only On Appropriate Terrain (-¼) -2 2) Ground Vehicle: Swimming -2" Tactical Systems 87 1) 75 mm KwK 42 L/70 Cannon: RKA 5d6+1, +1 Increased STUN Multiplier (+¼), Indirect (can be arced over some obstacles; +¼), 82 Charges (+¾); OIF Bulky (-1), Real Weapon (-¼) plus +2 with Ranged Combat; OIF Bulky (-1), Real Weapon (-¼) plus Penalty Skill Levels: +2 vs. Range Modifier with All Attacks; OIF Bulky (-1), Real Weapon (-¼),  51 2) 7.92 mm MG 34 Machine Gun: RKA 2d6+1, +1 Increased STUN Multiplier (+¼), Autofire (5 shots; +½), 4,200 Charges (+1); OIF Bulky (-1), Real Weapon (-¼) plus +2 with Ranged Combat; OIF Bulky (-1), Real Weapon (-¼) plus Penalty Skill Levels: +3 vs. Range Modifier with All Attacks; OIF Bulky (-1), Real Weapon (-¼), [4,200] 2 3) Armored Body: +1 DEF; Limited Coverage (front and sides; -¼) 3 4) Armored Front: +2 DEF; Limited Coverage (forward 60 degrees; -1) 8 5) 60 Degree Sloped Rear And Side Armor: +6 DEF; Activation Roll 14- (-½), Only Works Against Physical Projectiles (-½), Limited Coverage (rear and sides; -¼) 15 6) 35 Degree Sloped Front Armor: +8 DEF; Limited Coverage (forward 60 degrees; -1), Activation Roll 14- (-½), Only Works Against Physical Projectiles (-½) plus +8 DEF, All DEF shares the same Activation Roll (+0); Limited Coverage (forward 60 degrees; -1), Activation Roll 11- (-1), Only Works Against Physical Projectiles (-½) 8 7) Heavy: Knockback Resistance -4" Operation Systems 4 1) Radio: Radio Perception/Transmission (Radio Group); OIF Bulky (-1), Affected As Hearing Group As Well As Radio Group (-¼) Total Abilities & Equipment Cost: 197 Total Vehicle Cost: 278 Value Disadvantages 25 Distinctive Features: Nazi Germany Wehrmacht Tank (Not Concealable; Extreme Reaction; Detectable By Commonly-Used Senses) 15 Physical Limitation: Suffers From Frequent Mechanical Problems (Frequently, Greatly Impairing) Total Disadvantage Points: 40 Total Cost: 238/5 = 48
Description: Just about every book on World War II armored warfare states the Panzer V "Panther" to be the best all-around tank of the war. Avalon Hill's game Panzerblitz stated it was the best tank in the world up until the mid-1950s. What made it such a great tank? Several factors.
When the Germans entered into the Second World War they did so with a number of well-designed light and medium tanks, but no heavy tanks. In fact, in a one-on-one encounter, many German tanks were outclassed by the heavier French Char B tanks. The reason the Germans did so well was due to having radios in all their tanks and to superior tactics and training. Over on the Eastern front, the Russians countered the German armored advance with new tanks of their own, by introducing the highly effective T-34. Combining well-sloped armor, wide tracks, and a large-caliber high-velocity cannon, the T-34 ran rampant over Germany's panzer divisions. This caused General Heinz Guderian (creator of Germany's tank army) to launch an investigation into armored warfare on the Eastern Front. The result was a request for a medium to heavy tank incorporating elements of the T-34.
The Panzer V is the result of several different vehicles developed as far back as 1938. The first true Panzer V prototypes appeared in early 1942, with production starting in May of 1942. The Model D, the tank depicted in this write-up, went into mass production in November of 1942, and finally saw combat on July 5, 1943, as part of "Operation Citadel," the push to surround Soviet forces in Kursk. Because of the speed with which the Panzer V was developed, it was overweight (42.3 tons compared to a target of 34.4 tons) and suffered from various suspension and transmission problems. This resulted in a staggering loss of 56 percent of the new Panthers in one day, and by July 6, a mere 20 percent of the 250 Panthers fielded were still in action.
Undaunted, the Germans set to correcting the various problems inherent in the tank's design. They abandoned the Model D for the revised and improved Model A, correcting the gearbox and transmission problems. The Model G incorporated many features of the abandoned Panther II project. including a redesigned hull. All in all, the Germans built 600 Model D tanks, 1,768 Model A's, and 3,740 Model G tanks in 1944 alone.
Combat-wise, the Panther was to be feared. It quite capable of defeating the American Sherman, British Churchill and Cromwell, and Russian T-34 tanks, and was the equal of (or better) of the improved T-34/85 when it showed up in 1944. The Panther's 75mm gun is described as able to destroy any enemy tank in existence from 1943-44 at ranges of 2,000 meters (Which happens to be the maximum range of the gun as it is written up!). Because of it's high muzzle velocity, I gave it an extra damage class, and if using armor-piercing rounds it should be around a 3 1/2d6 RKA (and remember, there is no Hardened DEF in W.W.II!). Note this model has no hull or coaxial machine gun, but later models corrected that omission.
Readers may note that attacks to the front of the Panzer V may encounter as much as 32 DEF. This might seem a bit much true, but reports indicate that the Panzer V could take hits from a 90mm cannon (at ranges of 1000 meters or greater) and survive. About the only way to take the Panther down was to flank it, and even then, the sloping armor on the sides and rear provides excellent protection. One final note—all this DEF should be for naught in an encounter with more modern tank guns. At some point (don't ask me when), modern high-velocity tank guns will blow right through a Panzer V, sloped armor or no. The trick is to try and find a balance between armor of the Second World War, Korea, Vietnam, the Six-Days War, and the Gulf War(s). But that's beyond the scope of this write-up.
A Panzer V Model D is 22' 7" long, 11' 3" wide, and 9' 8" tall. It weighs 42.3 tons, has a top speed of 29 mph on the road, 15 mph off, and carries a crew of five.
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