What a tanker - AAR/Review

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SJWi
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What a tanker - AAR/Review

Post by SJWi » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:25 pm

Last week the lads at the Hitchin Black Wolf club gave a second outing to the Two Fat Lardies “What a Tanker” game of WW2 Tank Combat. The previous week it was played in 28mm. This time we dropped to 20mm and used a more cluttered table.

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For those of you who haven’t heard of this, it is effectively small scale tank vs tank combat. We have played it with up to 3 tanks per side and there are no infantry or guns in the game. Some may view this as odd but that’s how it is! Each tank/ player has a dashboard indicating the status of the tank, and a la Chain of Command rolls set of dice per turn with the numbers indicating what sort of actions the tank can do. This can lead to some very frustrating turns but I guess that’s “friction”. Movement, acquisition and firing are very simple and hits are registered via the rolling of attack and defence dice. Some damage can be repaired, others are more permanent and some catastrophic.

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Our game saw a platoon of Shermans including a Firefly take on a Tiger1 and a Panzer IV. We guessed that the Tiger would prove virtually impervious to the Sherman’s 75mm so concentrated on killing the Panzer IV leaving the Firefly to hunt the big cat. That bit of the plan worked but eventually the Firefly’s luck ran out and it was destroyed by the Tiger. My plucky Sherman then found that even pumping shells into the Tiger’s rear from close range was still a tall order and eventually it too was destroyed leaving the other Sherman to creep off and lick its wounds.

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The game is quite simple but can be tactically challenging. Think of it as a fun game of tank combat not an accurate simulation. Each tank type has an armour value and “strike” value, plus features ( eg a BT2 is “fast”). However if you want a mass of accurate statistics and a plethora combat factors this probably isn’t for you. There is also a simple “career progression” or campaign system which sees surviving tank crews advance towards “ace” status and also improve their tank type over time. We are yet to explore this aspect of the game, but already there are murmurings of starting in France 1940 and trying to fight throughout the war!

I will be honest and say that up to now I haven’t been the biggest fan of Two Fat Lardies products. I own a few sets and have played a several games of “Chain of Command” and “Sharpe Practice 2” but have yet to catch the bug. However I found that these were exactly what it said on the front cover…..”A challenging and fun game of WW2 tank combat.”

Recommended.

This weekend some of the Hitchin club are invading France and visiting the Musee de Blindees at Saumur. A copy of WAT and some 15mm tanks and terrain is being packed for the journey.”

Regards,

Simon.

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7dot62mm
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Re: What a tanker - AAR/Review

Post by 7dot62mm » Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:20 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the review. I've played the game twice now and must admit that I have no need to play it any further :roll:

I'm of course expecting too much. WAT is not and does not purport to be anything other than a tabletop version of World of Tanks, a beer-and-pretzels tank rally game where tanks drive around in circles. As such it may be entertaining but its connection to real WWII tank warfare is tenuous at best...

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mausmann
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Re: What a tanker - AAR/Review

Post by mausmann » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:00 pm

Many thanx for the review and AAR.... thmbs2) It does sound like a beer and pretzels game, but nothing wrong with that either. As you say it will come in handy for a quick fun game on your travels.
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Bob_Mackenzie
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Re: What a tanker - AAR/Review

Post by Bob_Mackenzie » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:10 pm

Oddly enough I played it too this past Monday.

I rather enjoyed it. There is quite a challenge in arranging your rolled action dice into some sort coherent plan, so there is plenty to think about. Like most games the more terrain the better IMO.

Although its hardly realistic WW2, as others have pointed out, tanks do act as tanks and the relative strengths and weaknesses of different types are portrayed

Its dead simple and all the players on Monday, had a grasp of the rules in about 3 turns (and turns are short) I picked it up without having read the rule book

There are some ambiguities - its not clear where LOS/ranges are measured from. The curved path rule isn't clearly explained.

I suspect it might be rather dull 1 on 1 and also suspect there might be a tad too much sitting around if playing 3vs3. I also wonder about the duration of its appeal given the limited scope. However I enjoyed Monday to the point I'd like to give it another go

Cheers

Bob

Fire at Will
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Re: What a tanker - AAR/Review

Post by Fire at Will » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:43 pm

When I saw it released, it brought back memories of when I and Rich Clark played a game by Jim Wallman called Hell on wheels set in the breakout from Normandy in 1944 way back in a COW in the 80s. It was a bit too much free kriegspiel and needed a good umpire. I'm sure this has lurked in Rich's mind for all this time and I'm sure he's worked up a good fun, thought provoking version that I've yet to buy.

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SABOT
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Re: What a tanker - AAR/Review

Post by SABOT » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:45 pm

Thanks for tne review. Not my kind of wargaming but sounds like a bit of fun and frustration.
Fin .... Tank on!

dead1
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Re: What a tanker - AAR/Review

Post by dead1 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:52 pm

Cool AAR.

Some interesting commentary. Game sounds like an OK beer n pretzels one. That is not bad in itself. I would give it a go.

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TacticalPainter
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Re: What a tanker - AAR/Review

Post by TacticalPainter » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:42 am

My understanding is the Lardies were looking for a light, interactive group game that played quickly. It’s a game that introduces new players to concepts of command decision making and dealing with ‘friction’. I could see this game as a great club game and one that may help transition some younger players to other historical rules. In fact in a discussion on the Miniatures page recently someone mentioned that they had bought the Tanker rules and that led them to discover the rules for Chain of Command, which they had just purchased.
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SJWi
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Re: What a tanker - AAR/Review

Post by SJWi » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:09 am

Chaps, thanks for the various replies. I probably agree with all the comments. It certainly is "beer and pretzels"; or as we will soon find during our sojourn to France "vin rouge at fromage", but sometimes that is what I need! We have played it 2 on 3 and yes it can get a tad frustrating particularly if people take too much time thinking through their options. We may introduce a "timer" for decision making and players lose command dice if they exceed this!

Next up from me will be a review of the "Musee de Blindes" in Saumur; the French Bovington. Can't wait.

Hincmar
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Re: What a tanker - AAR/Review

Post by Hincmar » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:37 am

Pretty sure they might have a Nashorn there so take loads of pics of that, please!

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