''Panzer General'' is an operational-level TurnBasedStrategy game published by Strategic Simulations, Inc. It's one of the classic games of the genre and the flagship title of SSI's Five Star General franchise, which also includes ''[[AnotherSideAnotherStory Allied General]],'' ''[[ChinaTakesOverTheWorld People's General]]'', Fantasy General and ''[[RecycledInSpace Star General]]''.

In the game, you take control of the forces of UsefulNotes/NaziGermany during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Battles take place on a hexagonal map; the entire map is visible at the start, but there is a FogOfWar which hides enemy units outside the player's vision. The objective of each map is to take and hold certain key cities within the time limit; whether and how quickly the player does this determines how well he does, which on certain maps can unlock [[AlternateHistory ahistorical campaign options]]. The ultimate goal of the original game is to invade the United States and conquer Washington, D.C.

The game is a computer version of a classic [[TabletopGames Tabletop Wargame]], of the sort not repeated much since.
!!This game contains examples of:

* AlternateHistory: Special scenarios allowing you to conquer Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States. You have to do quite well to unlock these, though.
* AnotherSideAnotherStory: The SpinOff[=/=]ExpansionPack ''Allied General''.
* CriticalExistenceFailure: Averted. Unit's performance is based on its manpower, so a decimated squad doesn't pose much of a treat.
* EasyLogistics: Downplayed. The fuel and ammunition are limited, but devote a turn to resupply (i.e. no moving or attacking) and they recharge, so long as there are no adjacent enemy units. Reinforcement (effectively "healing") works in a similar way.
* FramingDevice: The second game (''Allied General'') opened and closed each Campaign with an installment of "Allies on the March", a [[{{Retreaux}} Black and White Newsreel]] produced for the game using wartime StockFootage.
* FogOfWar: Unique in that, even when a unit is visible, you may not be able to see all of its stats, depending on how well you can see it / who's spotting it.
* GeoEffects: Terrain and weather greatly affect gameplay. Certain terrain types hinder movement and / or grant defensive bonuses, while bad weather can (again) hinder movement or even keep your aircraft grounded.
* LastStand: In the final mission, an Axis attack on Washington DC, there is a tiny group of die-hard British veterans under US command.
* NoCampaignForTheWicked: So averted the damn thing [[AnotherSideAnotherStory literally broke in half]]:
** Even dancing around the issue of the Soviets, the only vanilla campaigns for the original WERE for the Wicked, namely the Third Reich. While this was slightly toned down in the sequels, they remained the stars of the series, coupled with the addition of the Soviets. The only vanilla aversion came in two, with the "Crusade in Europe" campaign(s), which were identical but offered the choice of whether you wanted to fight using the Americans or the British. Fanmade campaigns rounded things out, but things still lean very heavily towards the Germans.
** Panzer General II opened up the options to play as the British, the Americans, or the Soviets as well (complete with the ability to slightly change how history turns out depending on how well you do), but the Germans are still in the spotlight here. You can choose to play as early as 1936 commanding the Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War to create the AlternateHistory scenarios mentioned above, or you can choose to play as the Germans from Stalingrad to try and prevent the total capitulation of Germany as per our timeline. [[HarderThanHard Good luck.]]
** Played straight in ''Allied General'', a sequel released before ''Panzer General'', where only British, Soviet, and American campaigns are available.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: The first game ends with some congratulatory text promising world peace, jolly oompah music and some WWII film reel of marching Wehrmacht. Then the whole picture suddenly slows and is tinted blood-red. That's right, the game reminds you, you've just conquered the world for Nazism...well done you.
* NonEntityGeneral: Played with. While you aren't actually represented on the battle maps, your MissionControl will actually offer you drinks and smokes during briefings and otherwise interact with you as though you are a living, breathing human being in the same room. In Panzer General II, you even receive your own dossier folder, complete with randomly generated name along with how many medals you've been awarded during your career. You know you've [[TookALevelInBadass leveled up in badassery]] when the officer briefing you addresses you as "Field Marshall."
* NoSwastikas: Big time.
* StoryBranching: The result of each mission dictates where you will go next. As an example, get a Major in Warsaw and you lead [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Campaign Operation Weserübung]]. Get a Minor, and it's straight to Belgium. (Get a Loss and [[NonStandardGameOver you're fired]].)
* TacticalRockPaperScissors: The game encourages the use of combined arms by making certain unit classes stronger or weaker against other classes. Pitting a tank against an AT gun is generally a bad idea.
* TankGoodness
* YouHaveFailedMe: Fail a mission or two in the German campaign, and your dismissal briefing ends with a gunshot to your temple. The same is true when playing the Soviet campaign in Allied General or Panzer General II. The American and British campaigns have much kinder punishments for failure, as your general usually gets re-assigned to command of an ammunition dump.