Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A World of Tanks - What a Tanker! AAR

This past weekend was the monthly meeting of the South Jersey Gamers Assocation. Unfortunately, a scheduling conflict meant that the planned game of Dracula's America wasn't going to happen, and a call went out for a replacement game. 

While Ted had his French and Indian War game of Share Practice planned, I took the oppurtunity to pick up a digital copy of What a Tanker!, the WWII tank skirmish game also from TooFatLardies. I'd been meaning to get the rules at some point, since I've been searching for a ruleset that will get my 15mm collection back out on the table. 

The scenario was pretty simple - a head-to-head clash of armor. Red Team had Panzer Mk IVs, while Blue Team had a combination of Shermans M4s and Cromwell Mk IVs. While the Germans had better firepower, Blue Team had the advantage of the Cromwell's higher armor and Fast attribute which would allow them to stay on the move even with a bad roll of the dice.

With two players on either side, I cut number of tanks to four on each team.

The first turn basically saw both sides getting to grips with the command dice rolls, and moving into position.

The table was laid out to have two major play areas. The teams could go into the hills, which blocked line of sight and were impassible. This was better for fast maneuvering, where spotting a tank would be easy, but getting shot back at in return was a risk. The other option was to go through the hedgerows, which were minor obstacles. It would take more effort to move through and spot the enemy, but it also made for a better defensive position.

The first casualty of the game was one of Blue Team's Shermans, who took a side shot from a Panzer hugging the side of the table.

The Panzer running up the side of the table managed to sneak in another kill, knocking out the Blue Team's second Sherman.

Sam, in the mean time, had used his Cromwell's superior speed to rush across the board and get behind the Red Team's line.

Sam used the oppurtunity to get a couple hits in the rear of one of the Panzers, who needed to use its command dice to swing its turret around to get a shot - which missed.

As Blue Team was getting hit pretty hard, I decided to bring the last Sherman in as a reinforcement. The eager tank crew came in along the road, fired one shot that missed, and were subsequently blown up by the waiting Panzer.

So far, the Shermans had failed to impress against the Panzers.

Now Blue Team had their backs against the wall, with four Panzers chasing after the two shermans.

However, Sam managed to get a well-aimed shot through the rear armor of a wounded Panzer, which resulted in the tank's destruction.

The rest of the battle took place in the village, with the teams jockeying for advantage. Sam took a risky maneuver that placed him in the rear of each of the Red Teams' Panzers.

The risk paid off when Sam was able to destroy another German tank - but then his Cromwell blew up in return when another of Red Teams' tanks spun around and put a round into his side armor.

With only a single damaged tank left, Blue Team decided to run up the white flag.

The game was pretty well recieved, although there was some hesitation about the command dice. It can be somewhat frustrating when you can't seem to roll what you need, leaving your tank stranded in the open or unable to fire at a target right in front of you. I'll chalk that up to it being a Lardies ruleset - they seem to be rules that players either love or hate.

That said, I had fun running and playing the game, so I'm looking forward to playing it again. Maybe in 28mm?


  1. I was very surprised to see this won Wargame Illustrated's best new game of 2018.

    Have you played "Tanks!" To compare this too.?

    1. I have not played "Tanks" yet, but what I have seen of it seems to indicate that it's more of an WWII reskin of X-Wing, which I have played. Maybe I'll get a chance to play Tanks and compare it to WaT.

  2. Put me in the "hate" category of TFL rules. They are usually only 80% done, with lots of loose ends and needlessly complicated mechanics that are supposed to add "feel". We've had poor results with asking them for explanations at their websites.

    Presently, I'm mostly thru with selling all my TFL rule sets off.

    I'm unsurprised that their game won and award - those things usually have more to do with who knows whom than a well-designed set of rules.

    Btw, I'm pushing a gamer your way - uncertain how far he is from Cape May, but Dan is a good guy.

    LMK next time you plan to come up here, and we'll get you in some games!

    Merry Christmas! a.

    1. That's a shame, although from what I've seen, TFL rules are pretty divisive.

      I'll keep an eye out for Dan at the January meeting!