Today we tried, the new rules from Two Fat Lardies named,What
a Tanker. Each player controls one, or a very few tanks. In fact, we had two
groups playing, one with 15mm models and another with 28mm
Each tank has a ‘dashboard’ with it’s characteristics such
as armour, gun value and any special attributes. Players roll command dice and
each number on the dice allows the tank to carry out a different action (move, acquire
target, aim, shoot and reload), sixes can be swapped to any value and used for
other bonuses. This means some turns you won’t be able to do exactly what you
want which we can put to confusion, panic or to the crew having the god like
view of the battle players. Initiative is also rolled each turn so you can
never be certain of anything.The dashboard places to put a token to keep track
of having acquired a target, having aim, being loaded and being buttoned down.
Phil and Kev were the Germans with a Stug III each while Martin
and I were Russians using 1941 T34s. Our tanks were designated as Fast which
meant we could swap one command die of any value to a 1 for movement. The
Stugs, as tank destroyers could similarly swap a dice to 2 for an Acquire
Target action, having a low profile they also required an extra action for us
to acquire them.
Game 1: I moved behind a wall as Phil moved out to see me.
Although range is unlimited there were several obstacles between us, meaning he
needed 3 acquisition actions to acquire the target. I darted behind a building
and hid there for a turn or two until I got the right dice, just adjusting my
turret so it would be in the right position when I moved. Phil started moving
across to the group of buildings at the top of the table.
When I got the right
dice I was able to move forward, acquire, aim, fire and then move again to
reverse back to cover. Having hit the tank I rolled my six damage dice and Phil
rolled his six armour dice to cancel them. I scored 3 unsaved hits resulting in
the Stug being destroyed.
Meanwhile Martin moved up through the village keeping out of
sight of Kev, through a wood and into the same compound as the enemy tank.
Getting the initiative ahead of Kev he was able to move again and fire into the
Stug’s side destroying it. Round one to the Russians.
Game 2: This time we played from the narrow ends of the
table. I moved up into the village hoping to slip past the Stug opposite using
my speed to stay out of the fire arc of its fixed gun. Phil was about to mount
a hill from which I would have no hiding place so I disappeared into the trees.
Kev’s tank which wasn’t in danger yet from Martin’ moved into the wood too,
blowing me up on his second shot.
Kev then moved up to a wall for cover from Martin, but the
T34 was able to rush behind him and hit him from behind, with no effect. The
T34 then drove off and found itself caught between the two Stugs which
destroyed it. Round two to the Germans.
Game 3: Martin had to leave and Nick took over a Russian
tank. He had line of sight to Phil’s tank at the far end of the road and managed
to kill it on the first activation. This wouldn’t make much of a game so Phil
returned with a new tank the following turn, using a Panzer VI this time.
I advanced a bit and found Kev’s Stug advancing up the road
could see me, but didn’t have the dice to make the most of it. I advanced to a
hill for a hull down position and we exchanged shots for a few turns.
into some cover and with equal cover and his better gun I decided the odds
weren’t favourable and to move out of his line of sight, hoping to flank the
Panzer VI which was facing off against Nick. I was taking damage from it meant
losing command dice and putting them on the damage dice box on the dashboard. I
moved around the wood to stay out of sight, stalling for time to roll sixes which
allowed to recover the command dice. Phil moved through the wood to appear
right next to my side. At this point Phil had to go and Carole took over.
Kev and Nick were now failing to engage from their
respective farm enclosures with various obstacles in-between. Kev now broke off
and moved to intercept me. I moved round the wood and up to a wall but Kev was able
to hit me and destroy my tank. Nick returned to his original position and
engaged Carole’s Panzer VI and she blew him up.
This game was a lot of fun. It was quick so you don’t feel
let down if you get destroyed on the first hit, it doesn’t devolve into both
sides finding a good spot and staying there and repeating the same shots turn
after turn. It requires frequent decision making as you decide how to make use
of the dice you roll.
Other players were playing a game using 28mm scale tanks,
also playing the rules for the first time. I think if you are going to use big
models you need a really big table or there isn’t enough room for manoeuvre.