Tank Wars

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GrumpyMuppet
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 12:25 am

Tank Wars

Post by GrumpyMuppet »

Good morning,
I'm looking to play chain of command using 15mm tank platoons.
After reading the rules, I have a few questions for your collective wisdom.

1. Assuming both sides have nothing but tanks, it would seem that command dice rolls will leave the occasional 1 or 2 wasted. (Takes a 3 to activate a tank). I'm wondering if it was the intent that a 1 or 2 could activate just one crewman of a tank (meaning it could either drive or shoot).
Similarly, and to clarify, in the case of a 4, a senior leader could be activated to use their tank AND one crewman of another tank?

2. Using the "big chain of command" rules to calculate thank squadrons, does it mean you will always start with 5 command dice?

3. Would it be balanced if I just used the list number as a points value for each tank i.e. tiger I is 11 points, T34/85 is 9 etc.

Thanks in advance

Neil Todd
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Re: Tank Wars

Post by Neil Todd »

Hi Grumpy Muppet

1. If you have a radio net the SL can freely activate a position or positions in other tanks, he can't lift shock over the radio though. A one and a two can be combined to make a 3 which can activate a JL and hence a tank. Normally a 2 or a 1 on their own will do nothing for a tank. There are some exceptions however where a 1 can activate an Extra turret on some vehicles or another position in a vehicle with the small turret rule.

2. Yes a tank force will normally have 5 dice as well

3. It might be, it might not. Play and find out what works

If it is just you and a mate only using tanks you can easily tweak the rules how you like. If you want to use a 1 or a 2 to do stuff work it out between you.

Levi the Ox
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Re: Tank Wars

Post by Levi the Ox »

#1: Tanks being unable to normally use results of 1 or 2 is almost definitely intentional, to reflect their difficulty of coordinating with infantry in an infantry-centric game. Their visibility is *very* poor.

That said, the command dice aren't really set up to accomodate an exclusively vehicle force. I've thought about house-ruling vehicle-centric platoons to use a 1 to activate a driver to move forward, or a 2 to activate a weapon position that has a target in arc, but not both on the same vehicle in one phase. Haven't tried it out yet, but got the idea from What a Tanker!, basically (which might be more up your alley? Worth looking into).

#3: Not as much? The support list values are intended for an environment where those units would be augmenting a primarily infantry force. If the players know that only AFVs are going to be on the table, then there is no reason to take any of the various infantry-support options because they tend to have lower AP values and there is no use for their good HE. I expect you'd end up with a much more limited pool of useful vehicles than the norm, focused mostly on the heaviest tanks and tank destroyers in whatever period you play.

Also, be aware that Force Morale might not be as meaningful in an all-AFV game, and there could easily be a "fight to the death" effect because there are relatively few ways to lose force morale when all of your figures are riding around in giant metal bawkses. Definitely use the additional Bad Things Happen for vehicle platoons from Big CoC, at the very least.

GrumpyMuppet
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Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 12:25 am

Re: Tank Wars

Post by GrumpyMuppet »

Thanks for your replies, both of you.

I have considered the tanker rules, but with advice from the sales team, am trying chain first. Chances are, I'll be wanting to incorporate artillery and infantry soon.

In the interest of context, I've been playing a certain other have that uses order dice for some time, but find it a little lacking in the differentiation between vehicles. I think there is a lack of wargaming rules for platoon to company level AFV combat. (Maybe there is a lack of demand).

The pattern where infantry tanks become kind of irrelevant has been my experience, and I'm okay with that.

Regarding balance, I'm a little concerned the list values won't balance - the cost difference between a medium and a heavy tank seems too small, but I guess play test first.

Thank all, I intend to give it a run solo before including my mate (he is away on business). If anyone is interested, I'm happy to keep you updated.

siggian
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Re: Tank Wars

Post by siggian »

Yes, the big problem you will encounter is that CoC is not really designed or intended to be a tank on tank game. It's built to be infantry platoon vs infantry platoon, and tanks make only the occasional appearance, with both sides having tanks even rarer.

That being said, if you really want to play CoC with only tanks, you can add house rules like 1 or 2s can be used to activate a position in a tank. The problem is that these house rules may distort how the game works and make it unsatisfactory. YMMV.

Levi the Ox
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:57 pm

Re: Tank Wars

Post by Levi the Ox »

GrumpyMuppet wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 9:25 am
The pattern where infantry tanks become kind of irrelevant has been my experience, and I'm okay with that.

Regarding balance, I'm a little concerned the list values won't balance - the cost difference between a medium and a heavy tank seems too small, but I guess play test first.
That's kind of what I was getting at: in an environment where the primary opposition is infantry, armour and penetration thereof is not as important, and HE is weighted equally. In an all-vehicle environment, however, they are critical, and neither HE nor MGs have any significant use.

The support value formulas are available in the pinned "CoCulator" thread, and essentially come down to (Armour + AP + HE)/3, with a couple of minor adjustments. Since HE isn't relevant in an all-tank fight, you could factor it out. That would drop the costs of most late-war mediums and heavies by -2 (as they tend to have 5-7 HE), putting the standard Shermans, T-34s, and Panzer IVs all at 5, their up-gunned younger siblings at 6-8, and the heavies in the 8-11 range.

GrumpyMuppet
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Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 12:25 am

Re: Tank Wars

Post by GrumpyMuppet »

Thank-you, this was very helpful. I have a couple more questions.

Smoke launchers on vehicles. They are mentioned on 11.8.2 - but I can't find any vehicle that has it listed - do I assume all tanks, or no tanks have smoke launchers? (as an aside, it makes for a good reason to include off-table mortars in a force).
Assuming a tank can deploy smoke, could one for instance, on a 3, have the JL activate the gunner, shoot, then use his remaining command initiative to deploy smoke, effectively preventing return fire?

Using the Junior leader - Ch12.1 - the table. If a JL is activated on a 3 - he can spend both his command initiatives to activate the gunner, meaning that the tank is stationary, but has +1 to hit. Is that a fair understanding of the rule? Does it also mean the senior leader (with 3 command initiatives) could move, and still spend the 2 remaining command initiatives to activate the gunner, for the +1 to hit?


The "Changes" that I will make to the tank wars game seem minimal.
Command die of 1 - activate driver
Command die of 2 - activate gunner (not stated in rules but I consider that the gunner would often have been assisted by a loader).

Assuming that this is the case, conceivably, on a command dice hand with a 1,2 & 3, I figure I could use the JL to rally shock, then combine the 1 & 2 for the tank to move and shoot.

I am also clarifying that with tank movement, where they can pivot 45 degrees, they can only do so with 2" between pivots. Let me know if this seems reasonable?
Additionally to clarify to 'to hit' rolls -5's in the open, 7's if they are obscured over 25%, 9's if they are obscured over 75% seems to meet the intent of the writer in my mind. Does this seem reasonable?


Using the advice provided above (removing HE from the tank value) I came up with the following 'costs' for the tanks I own
USA
M4 Sherman 76 - 5
M3 Grant - 5 (guessing having two AT guns inflates its value)
M10 - 4
M36B1G - 6
Pershing -8

USSR
IS2 - 7 (changing to 8, as 7 seems to cheap, probably had some reduction to listed 'heavy gun' rule
T34/85 - 6
T34 -4

Germany
Panzer III - 4
Panzer IV - 5
Panther - 8
Tiger I - 8
Tiger II - 11

Levi the Ox
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:57 pm

Re: Tank Wars

Post by Levi the Ox »

Answering them one at a time.
GrumpyMuppet wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 1:49 pm
Smoke launchers on vehicles. They are mentioned on 11.8.2 - but I can't find any vehicle that has it listed - do I assume all tanks, or no tanks have smoke launchers? (as an aside, it makes for a good reason to include off-table mortars in a force).
Assuming a tank can deploy smoke, could one for instance, on a 3, have the JL activate the gunner, shoot, then use his remaining command initiative to deploy smoke, effectively preventing return fire?
I don't know about the distribution of smoke dischargers, but since the 75mm Sherman's capability to fire smoke rounds from the main gun was considered important, they probably weren't universal. Iirc the Russians had a system that allowed their tanks to lay an engine smoke screen behind them.

Your sequence of actions there works. Just remember that that cloud of smoke is likely to linger for quite a while, only clearing at the end of a Turn, not a Phase, and so you won't be able to shoot either until you displace.
GrumpyMuppet wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 1:49 pm
The "Changes" that I will make to the tank wars game seem minimal.
Command die of 1 - activate driver
Command die of 2 - activate gunner (not stated in rules but I consider that the gunner would often have been assisted by a loader).

Assuming that this is the case, conceivably, on a command dice hand with a 1,2 & 3, I figure I could use the JL to rally shock, then combine the 1 & 2 for the tank to move and shoot.
I'd suggest only allowing one die to activate a position per tank, so that moving and shooting in the same activation remains the provenance of activating the tank commander, whose direction and better visibility would be important in doing so.
GrumpyMuppet wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 1:49 pm
I am also clarifying that with tank movement, where they can pivot 45 degrees, they can only do so with 2" between pivots. Let me know if this seems reasonable?
The pivot rules are for when they're stationary. Are you referring to the tightness of turns made while in motion? Sounds reasonable for 15mm vehicles.
GrumpyMuppet wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 1:49 pm
Additionally to clarify to 'to hit' rolls -5's in the open, 7's if they are obscured over 25%, 9's if they are obscured over 75% seems to meet the intent of the writer in my mind. Does this seem reasonable?
Roughly? I'd never call a vehicle "peeking" around a corner badly obscured if it's turret is visible, regardless of the ratio, reserving that for truly hull down positions or shots where only one end of the vehicle (and not the turret) are visible.
GrumpyMuppet wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 1:49 pm
Using the advice provided above (removing HE from the tank value) I came up with the following 'costs' for the tanks I own.
The Grant would drop to match the 75mm Sherman at 4, as secondary guns don't add their full value. Otherwise those are good starting points.

Here are links to the CoCulator file https://docs.google.com/document/d/1d8c ... Fltz0/edit and the Consolidated Arsenal https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... edit#gid=0, which is a combined reference for pretty much any vehicle or gun you could want to use. (The stats given for vehicles sometimes differ slightly in different sources, so it's basically a compilation.)

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Tank Wars

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Have you looked at I Ain't Been Shot Mum (IABSM) has nifty rules for tank platoon operations and will allow you to field several sections as part of you force scale is company rather than platoon.

GrumpyMuppet
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Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 12:25 am

Re: Tank Wars

Post by GrumpyMuppet »

Thanks for the comments. Those links are really helpful.

With the CoCulator - do you know how speed affects the values of the tanks? Seems - Seems reasonable to use the formula: Armour + AP + Speed +/- special rules allowance. Using 1/2/3 for slow/average/fast is my start point.

Regarding the command dice and using 1s and 2s - if a 1 and a 2 (or 3 x 1's) were rolled, they could be combined into a 3 to activate a JL in any case. Or were you suggesting that the dice could no longer be combined to form 2s and 3s?

@ Truscott, I haven't looked at IABSM (yet). Here in Perth (WA), there is a bit of a chain community, that I am hoping to piggy-back on. I also emailed the sales team with my view for a tank wars game, (I was also considering What a Tanker) and they suggested CoC. I feel like it is only a matter of time though, before i look at IABSM.

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