The great news is that our latest rule set, What a Tanker! is now with the printer and we have a set publication date for Monday the 9th of April and the advanced order bundles are on the web site, representing the best value for money, as always.
But let us not sully such a celebratory moment with matters fiscal! Let us concentrate on the question everyone is asking, “What is What a Tanker!?”
What a Tanker! is a game of tank combat in WWII. The rules are great for allowing a player to take command of a few tanks whilst his opponent does the same. Lots of our playtest games followed that format, with bigger games maybe seeing players with one or a couple of tanks each. Indeed, part of the game sees players tracking the success of their tank crews as they embark on a career which may span five years of war and multiple tanks. More on that in a moment, but when one introduces that factor, we found that many players wanted to focus on one tank each and enjoy the gladiatorial like nature of the combat between these armoured machines.
But we are running ahead of ourselves. Let’s look at the basics; what will you need to play What a Tanker? Here we find that most wargamers are faced with a real win situation. Most of us already have some tanks which makes starting playing What a Tanker! a real shoe in. Just get the rules and the tokens and you’re all set to play. Indeed, we like to think that the rules are so simple, you’ll be playing within minutes of opening the book and putting your terrain on the table.
That’s another bonus. The rules are simple to learn. Each tank has a hand of command dice which reflect the co-ordination of the crew inside the tank. When activated, your tank rolls its Command Dice and sees what it can do. This may sound as though it is prescriptive or that the dice are telling you what to do. That’s not the case. You get to choose which order you play the dice, presenting some important choices, but more importantly you’ll have your “Wild Dice” which you can use to fine tune what is happening. However, remember that your crew are strapped inside a metal box from where visibility is imperfect, the sound of battle is stressful, the roar of the engine is ear-shattering and the smell of fear is palpable. How you get the best from your crew will be down to the way you control your hand of Command Dice.
Destroying your enemy will take a mixture of skilful manoeuvre, keen observation and careful aiming and once again where you focus your energies will decide how successful you as the tank commander are. But remember, not all tanks are created equal. What a Tanker reflects the abilities of a whole range of AFVs, from tank destroyers, fast recce tanks, slow moving behemoths, powerful high velocity guns which pack an incredible punch and well armoured vehicles which can shrug off hits. But remember, your crew are probably the most fragile part of the machine you command. Throughout the game, it is critical to keep an eye on the fighting spirit of the men you command. You can always fix that engine fault, but can you maintain the fighting spirit of your men? Can you keep them operating at the maximum level of efficiency which will allow you to hold the initiative and defeat your foes?
But more than that, as you progress down your career path, your tank crews will gain experience which will “earn” them bonus cards. There’s more to commanding a tank than gunnery, and these ruses, learnt by experience can provide the one or two second advantage which makes the difference between life and death. If you achieve Ace status, you’ll see that experience rewarded as you gain more control and dominate the battlefield. But watch out! There may well be a rookie tank commander just around the corner who will end your run of success. As you climb the career ladder, you’ll find that you will want to protect your crew as losing them will see a whole chapter of battlefield experience lost.
What a Tanker! is a fabulously fun game of tank combat, but it also hold a mirror up to the crews who fought and is a tribute to their bravery.
So, with the proofs here, let’s take a look at some shots of the internal layout. Please remember, this is an unbound set of proofs and these are quick snaps from my phone. Better photos will follow, but we are sure you’ll be able to see that this is a great set of well illustrated rules with loads of examples to allow you to learn the game in fast order.
What a Tanker! includes all of the rules you’ll need to play the game, along with tank lists and career paths for France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, the Soviet Union and the United States. We also have a What aTanker “Tool and Token” set which includes markers for Buttoned, Acquired, Aimed and Loaded as well as the Universal Tanker Tool for your angles. The set gives you all you need for six tanks.
Our advanced order bundles are as follows:
The What a Tanker Complete Bundle. This includes the rules, the Tool and Token set and a free PDF which will be emailed to you on the day of release. This is just £24 which will be the best What a Tanker! deal. You won’t get it this cheap at Salute and you won’t get the free PDF after release day, so this is the bundle of the moment.
What a Tanker Rules: The hard copy rules and PDF. This bundle is £20.
And that’s it. Nice and simple. We will be offering PDF only bundles once the rules are published and we will have additional Tool and Token sets as well, but at present we are limiting tokens to one set each. If you and your mates want to play bigger games than six tanks, then your best bet is to get one of them to but the Complete Bundle as well.
Here’s a link to What a Tanker on the web site: What a Tanker
Watchers of Twitter may have noticed that, as part of our ongoing Metz 1944 campaign, my US platoon attempted to assault Fort St Blaise last week, but to no avail. We were repulsed with some nasty casualties despite getting to the fort’s rear door. It was a tough action but it was also very informative.