More What A Tanker

Last night we played our second game of TooFatLardies new What a Tanker. Last week we played a Normandy period game with Canadians and Germans.  We decided to try early war in a far more built-up area.  I have to admit I had some doubts about this.  From the comments over on the What a Tanker Fans Facebook page it appears most people prefer early tanks but with light terrain, but crowded city was the plan.

 

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Dave’s Somua comes looking for John’s Panzer II

 

We had planned for six tankers, with the French fielding two Hotchkiss H39s and a Somua while the Germans were supplied with two Panzer IIs and a Stug III.  In the end, we only had five tankers.  I suggest that one of the French players take the two Hotchkiss but that met with immediate refusal.  The decision of most was that life isn’t always fair.

 

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The Somua come to aid one of the Hotchkiss tanks

And so it was that John and I took command of the Panzer IIs, Geoff took command of one of the two Hotchkisses, and Dave the Somua.  Peter played the Stug, which as he adjusted all the terrain to provide for room for the Stug I suspect he planned on playing it all along!

We rolled for the Fat Boy scenario, which means that we were playing on the wide sides of the table.  very quickly the action settled upon the less cluttered side of the battlefield, with both French tanks chasing after John’s Panzer II.  I tried to get there to provide aid, but miserable dice luck (or perhaps a less than enthusiastic crew) slowed my progress.  The Stug seemed in another world while Peter tried to navigate terrain to get over to the action.

 

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One German Down

Eventually, Peter and I got into the action, but by that time John had been hit enough that he was suffering.  The damage system for What a Tanker consists mostly of removing the dice you roll for your actions.  Some of  these removals are temporary and some permanent but either way the result is that you start to fall into a pit.  The more damage you receive the fewer options you have and the more likely you will take more damage.  John’s tank was the first to be brewed up.

It is worthy of mention that Geoff’s tank had managed to bounce off several hits in an amazing fashion, but he too was being whittled down. eventually, he fell victim to the Stug.

At this point, per the rules, John could have respawned his tank where he had come in, but we decided instead due to the unbalanced nature of the fight, to have him respawn with the final Hotchkiss from the position it would have begun if we had six players.  he raced forward to get into the fight, surprising my tank with shots into the rear.

 

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Just after the Stug came to my rescue!

By this point I had received a bit of permanent damage including hits to my optics and damage to my turret ring. I tried to race away from John’s Hotchkiss to disrupt his aim and buy some time but the Somua used its superior speed and flew out of cover after me, only a well-timed and luck shot by Peter saved my bacon.

Still my salvation was short lived.  John relentlessly kept firing on my little tank until my crewed decided that discretion is the better part of valor, and bailed out.

The game had been a lot of fun up to this point, but now it got a little silly.  The rules allow for an outnumbered tank to simply leave the battlefield, which was a choice available to both remaining tanks at various times in the game but that option was never taken.  Now these two tanks were in a one on one duel that was clearly likely to continue for hours, mostly due to all the terrain.  Instead, as it was late, they just sat there and poured fire into one another at a very close range, and had great difficulty causing any damage!  That continued for some time until the Stug, which was slowly getting the upper hand finally caused the French crew to bail.

So, German victory with two German crews surviving and Peter gaining three kill rings.  the French may have lost, but their one surviving crews has a kill rings as well.

Final notes, the light tanks are a lot of fun.  Too much terrain also was fun, though the game continued very long because of it.  With the terrain being mostly site blocking buildings it also meant a lot of very close quarter fighting.  Plan is to continue again next week.

 

Until next time, Cheers!

 

p.s. Thank you to Geoffrey Hummel for the Pics, mine were all blurry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Cheers

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