Over at PanzerGrenadier Headquarter
s, there's an innovative system to run a double-blind game of PanzerGrenadier
without an umpire. Both players have their own boards/pieces and are separated by a screen, or this can be played online with a chat window or VOIP connection to converse in simultaneous play. The key to the game is a system of Observation Points (OPs) that both players work with to "see" enemy forces. To quote the article:
"Observation points are either created by players, or are intrinsic to observed units and leaders. Unarmed transport and demoralized units and leaders are never observation points. All undemoralized combat units must be observable by an observation point at the end of a player's action segment. This is important for dealing with collisions. Note that once play begins, the observation requirement need not be fulfilled by the owning player's observation points or observed units.
Any undemoralized combat unit or leader may create an observation point in its own hex. Stationary infantry units (not HMG or WPN), cavalry, and reconnaissance units (such as armored cars) may create observation points in adjacent hexes.
At the start of a game, players will need to create observation points to observe their own units."
The article provides a marvelous description of the system and a very well-illustrated example of play using it--here's a sample illustration and there are many more like it:
Something similar could be adapted to other tactical games systems/series that would benefit from it; it's worth checking out.
While I haven't actually played with this system, I am intrigued enough to want to try it out. The author argues that it adds no additional time to play since it replaces the usual spotting sequence (although the spotting rules still hold for OP and observed units spotting enemy units). Am sure we all would be interested in reading about games that use this system and what players think of it. Even if you don't play PanzerGrenadier, if you are interested in tactical wargame systems of any period, you'll find the article interesting. You don't even have to know how to play the game to get the gist of the piece! It will definitely fire up your imagination to think what you could do with your favorite tactical game. I applaud the author of this article for developing such a simple and fun system to spice up one of the premier tactical games out there today!