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What a Tanker: Village of Tanks

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:38 pm
by Viso
Just a few days after receiving a PDF of the rules, we ran our first game of What a Tanker at a monthly club night in Burnaby, BC, Canada. Reckoning the popularity of a well-known online MOBA tank game, we tried an indirect appeal to that demographic with a vague twist on the same name. We ended up with a full table of six enthusiastic tankers.

Picture #1 illustrates the basic setup and flow of play. Set in May 1940, the scenario featured a clash between three light French tanks and three light German tanks. The duel would take place in a village (buildings and roads by Crescent Root Studios http://crescent-root.com/), with control of the nearby chandelier factory in the balance. The French entered from the top and the Germans from the bottom. The approximate driving paths of the German (red) and French (blue) tanks are shown, providing a better sense of how things developed.

At the far left, a Pzkw IIc and a Renault R35 engaged in an early tank duel. Mid-board, a Pzkw IIc charged straight in - but found nothing to shoot at. A Pzkw 35(t) entered near the chandelier factory and then headed bravely towards the two remaining French tanks, which guarded the opposite approach for the early part of the game.
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The 35(t) took a hefty beating early on and found itself with few command dice and even fewer options. It attempted to link up with German forces on the left but its crew bailed out at the hands of an R35. (Smoke added in post-production.) Both the R35 and the H39 then ventured completely across the board in search of more action. Ultimately, the Germans ended up in the middle with the French on the perimeter. With the 35(t) knocked out early and another Pz II in dire straits, the game ended as a French marginal victory. Total playing time was a bit over 3 hours, and that was probably longer than normal as this was our first game.
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A Pz II and R35 faced off across a hedge near the middle of the village. To the right of the R35 one of our numbered poker chips is visible. We used these to keep track of initiative, turning chips over once that tank's activation was complete. With six players, we still had a fairly full table to manage. As is recommended, separate colour dice should be used for (1) six command dice for each player and (2) rolling hits and damage.
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As a game, What a Tanker brings a very strong and appealing visual element. After all, who doesn't like looking at a bunch of tanks? My German tanks were all in the work-in-progress stage and thus no highlight painting, decals, or dull coat yet. We would strongly recommend building your tanks with removable crew commanders so that buttoned/unbuttoned status is immediately clear. Again, this is an important part of the game and it adds more "pop" to the player experience.

The H39 tucked in next to the church and beneath a tree while it dueled with a nearby Pz II. These tanks were definitely of the "pea-shooter" variety, accorded no more than three strike dice per hit. The entire game, the tanks traded shots quite regularly but none achieved the magical Three Net Hit knockout blow. We had one case each of the dreaded 1-1 and the desired 6-6 rolled on the To Hit, the former removing acquisition and aim while the latter added two extra strike dice.
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This was my first time hosting a game table and I ended up winning one of the door prizes! (CAD $10 gift certificate at friendly local gaming store Imperial Hobbies http://www.imperialhobbies.ca/). Special thanks to Cody (for the pictures as well as playing) and to tankers Chris, Fletch, Gord, Mark, and Walt for giving this terrific little game a good start.
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Re: What a Tanker: Village of Tanks

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:46 pm
by Sturmwind
Fantastic AAR with great photos, thanks!
I very much wish I could have made it that evening. Can't wait for the May club night.
My 20mm late war Germans are in the works.

Re: What a Tanker: Village of Tanks

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:55 pm
by Viso
Changed image hosting to CubeUpload (https://cubeupload.com/) Let's see if that works now

Re: What a Tanker: Village of Tanks

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:58 pm
by Peabody
Photos coming in 5x5 for me Sturm... Hope you get better reception later today!

Re: What a Tanker: Village of Tanks

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:47 pm
by siggian
If I hadn't all ready committed to some naval action, I would loved to have participated in this game. It looked great while you were setting it up.

Maybe next time?

Re: What a Tanker: Village of Tanks

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:49 pm
by Peabody
We are going to get in a game or two between club nights!

Re: What a Tanker: Village of Tanks

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:38 pm
by Sturmwind
Indeed we will get games in before the next club night.

Pictures above are beautiful. I changed my post as soon as they came through. Thanks for the rapid fix!

Re: What a Tanker: Village of Tanks

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:56 pm
by vlad48
It was a pleasure to be in this game - Craig's table and game aids were "most impressive". I plan to run my own WaT with my North Shore pirates next week.
One note, this game stretched considerably longer than many others due to the lighter guns on the 1940 tanks. I was proud to record the first ever retirement with these rules taking out a PZ II which stubbornly struggled to stay active!
I'm sure WaT will be in regular rotation with local clubs.

Re: What a Tanker: Village of Tanks

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:24 am
by Closecraig
Great to see what a tanker played - Looks brilliant. Gorgeous table too!

Re: What a Tanker: Village of Tanks

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:44 am
by agent_pumpkin
Super!