Wednesday, 23 May 2018

646 - 'What A Tanker!'

Alright, Dudes?
A couple of weeks ago, I got to try out the new game by Too Fat Lardies, 'What A Tanker!' at the club in Torbay, With Guy, Sam and C. Led by Guy, and played in 28mm, this made for a very cool and very involving game.
The sides were split 3-ways over the four players as follows:

Sam playing [Russian lend-lease??] Brits with a Wolverine, a Cromwell and a Churchill Mk VII (I'll call these the Russians)
     --VERSUS--
Guy playing Germans with a Panther and two Pz.IVs
     --VERSUS--
Me and young C with a 3RTR tank squadron of a Firefly and three 75mm Shermans. He took the VC and one 75; I took a brace of 75s.
NB: This was the first time I've ever fielded any of my Shermans, so it was a particular thrill to be able to field them all at once, even if I did have to cede control of half of them! 
The game has a very very very clever system for controlling and operating individual tanks involving a 'dashboard' and command dice - it's sort of like the over-indulged lovechild of 'Saga' and 'Chain of Command' - and once you're used to the system it works beautifully well. One per player would be ideal, but given how swiftly the likes of Shermans can meet their demise, this isn't ideal, so that's why we went for a couple each.
Makeshift dashboard. Proper dashboards are available...
I won't take you through the battle itself, as turns are usually super-brief, and there were simply too many to track. 
In essence, the opening turns saw the Brits and the Russians exchanging fire (3RTR came off worse, with C's normal Sherman taking three points of temporary damage which took him an absolute age to shake), the Germans and Russians engaging along their shared table edge (phew!) and the Brits drawing first blood by blowing up one of the Pz.IVs! Huzzah!
Target acquired! 
Kaboom!
After this, the battle flowed in a very pleasing way, with the 'dashboard/command dice' mechanic resulting in a pleasing display of tanks nervously nudging through cover or choosing instead to dash along to get into a better position: lovely!
The game was great, but we weren't playing any particular scenario, so it dragged out a little toward the end with tanks limping round, trying to grind each other down. This was a pity, as it let to what seemed to be more of an anticlimax. I hope that this is not always the case, but given that tanks don't tend to take objectives and there are only tanks in the game, I don't really know how else the game could end. 
NB: In addition to the Shermies, this was also the first time that my
Panther has been fielded, and it looked super-mean prowling
about along the far edge of the board - it counts as 'fast' too, in this game!
The only other thing I was unsure of was how ridiculously difficult the Churchill was to damage - seriously impervious to almost everything (it didn't help that C's dice rolling with the Firefly's 17pdr was comically bad)!
Well, it did kill a couple...but not enough!
Other than that though, What a Tanker is a smashing little game - very clever in its relative simplicity, and (given that it comes from the stable that gave us the super-duper-gotta-play-the-history-or-your-toys-will-all-die-horribly game, Chain of Command) it's oddly abstracted: there are absolutely no units which aren't AFVs...and only AFVs with some sort of A/T asset, too! Weird.
So that's it: a great game and very very worth a go!

TTFN,

- Drax.

16 comments:

  1. Great pictures, and great looking game!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merci, Phil!

      As ever, I feel obliged to point out that the German camo does NOT look that red in real life!

      Delete
  2. Looks like a great game. Wouldn't fancy being a Sherman going up against a Panther.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers, Lee!

      Quite right (and quite rightly so, of course!). Luckily the game years itself well toward taking advantage of cover and outmanoeuvring opponents.

      Delete
  3. Nice! That looks like it was a blast (literally, in some cases)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers! Yup - very straightforward indeed.

      Delete
  4. At first glance, I thought the title was 'what a wanker' lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Yeah, one really gets the feeling that with this ruleset the title came first!

      Delete
  5. Great pictures, these battles always look good in the photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers, Siph.

      Honestly, the game plays so swiftly that it looks pretty good in real life too - little toys just keep buzzing about!

      Delete
  6. Imagine this with 15mm....

    Looks good and I've read other reviews that described it in a similar fashion. If I was able to play more often I might well pick these rules up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I suspect I'll try it in 15mm before too long.

      Mind you, it's certainly beneficial to have tanks whose turrets rotate, in this game, which not everyone has in 15mm...

      Delete
  7. I need a 40K version, whup one up would you ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a genius idea!

      Stand by - I'll have a ponder.

      Delete
  8. Looks like a fun system. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing the battle! Always lovely to see some tanks mixing it up. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely worth a look, Mark - a very clever and essentially very simple mechanic.

      Cheers for swinging by...!

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to comment!