What A Tanker!

Tonight we tried The Too Fat Lardies newest game, WHAT A TANKER.  What a Tanker is a fun, quick paced game of tank to tank combat in World War Two.  It is designed for any models ranging from 10mm up to 1:48, which was the scale we chose.


We had five players, and after far too much wondering and figuring on how to balance that we finally decided on a Normandy themed game with Canadians against Germans.  The Canadians fielded one M4 Sherman, one Firefly, and an Achilles tank destroyer.  The Germans chose a Panzer MkIV H and a Panther.

The Allies began their approach with the M4 and Achilles coming through the cover on their right, the Firefly, on the other hand, came straight down the roadway.  The German Panther was quick to take advantage of this and while using a bend in the road for cover, fired down the street into the front of the poor Sherman.  This was enough to cause damage to the Canadian’s drive train. That damage and poor luck with the dice left the Firefly mostly uninvolved until the end, though he did rattle the crew of the IV at one point.


The Panther had used its speed to get to a strong position but the Panzer IV Commander had great difficulty urging his crew forward and lagged far to the rear.

Unexpectedly and rather bravely, the Achilles raced forward making use of the excellent cover and appeared in point-blank range on the flank of the Panther. Following this action, the M4 roared forward as well. Together they did some real harm to the Panther, coming very close to forcing its crew to bail.


This then began the next Act of this play, which would soon show its self to be some cruel comedy.  From this point, until the end of the fight, the game was marked by bad to hit rolls, or low strike rolls and high armour saves.  Everything I have read about this game suggests that the battles are over very quickly.  There is even a discussion online about one club’s home rules due to having a tank lost in the first activation!  Our game continued for over two hours, some of this was due to unfamiliarity with the rules but the greater challenge was poor dice rolling.

Curiously it all ended very abruptly.  The Germans were slowly being pushed back.  The rules state that a tank can not leave the board, but we felt that if that move was caused by forced retreats (shots that don’t penetrate armour but come close cause the targeted tank to retreat a certain number of inches) that we would consider the tank driven off. The Germans were getting very close to that position when finally the A10 again burst forward racing to a position behind the IV which was quickly brewed up.  The very next shot, which I believe was fired by the mostly inactive firefly did the same to the Panther.  Two kill rings won by the Allies.


In all, even with the frustrating rolling we all enjoyed the game.  We have already decided to play again next week, this time doing early war, so France in 1940 here we come.